Tuesday, 4 October 2011

On the Mat Day 199: High Closed Guard Attacks

K-sensei (middle) wins gold
Tete-kun (right) 3rd in his event

Unfortunately, I didn't achieve my goal of 200 lessons by the end of September. I got sick last week and didn't want to train. The guys were working up to a competition and it would have been bad to turn up even with a few snuffles and coughs. I did go last night after a week away (which felt like a lot more time off) and had a great session. Everyone was sitting around the 54 inch LCD TV when I walked in, watching the matches from the previous days competition. Out of 9 people, K-sensei won his division. I don't know why he isn't a black belt yet but I suspect F-sensei is holding off promoting him until he wins a major tournament. He will travel to Europe next year for the European Open BJJ tournament there. I watched Akira lose his first match which peeved me because I know he is much better than that. He went with the gameplan to not take bottom, which is where he is strongest imo. At least now he knows to work with his strength before anything else.

Sparring was fun. I went for 8 rounds which I never have in the past. There was a reason for this. Before training I read a Stephan Kesting email which talked about breathing. I'm aware of the importance of it but have never really taken much effort into being conscious of it. He gave advice to another BJJer to check their breathing every 5-10 seconds. It apparently improved his game a lot. After recalling the days when I used to watch Bas Ruten in Pancrase fights with L and R stamped on opposite palms, I decided to give myself a message. See photo below.

Just in case I forget to "Breath"

This really seemed to help. During breaks of sparring or in quiet moments I simply looked at my hands and was reminded what was most important. I believe that it helped me relax and become more efficient, enough to do more sparring than ever before.

I got two pointers from K-sensei and also Tete-kun. Both are brown belts so I shut up and listen when they talk. K told me to point my head toward him when I do the under-over pass and not look away from his body. Sometimes I forget the correct way to face and he pushes my head then moves to omoplata. Tete-kun gave me some pointers for opening the guard. He said my based was good with my hands but I mess up with the knee placement when using it to break the guard. He said I should grab the opponents sleeve at the side I post my leg so the opponent cant scoop his arm under it.

Sparring time: 8 x 6 mins = 48 mins

Notable moments: Successful x-guard and deep half guard sweeps (I'm getting there)

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