Wednesday, 18 January 2012

On the Mat Day 224: Cold Sores and Training

Last week was quite stressful for me. I had to interpret between English and Japanese for Intel at my company. This requires a higher level of thought processing on my part because I had to constantly concentrate on what people are saying. This comes at a price. My stress levels rise and then afterwards I usually burst out in cold sores. If there was anything that I wish science would cure it's cold sores, or herpes ヘルペス as they lovingly like to call it over here. "Do you have herpes?" "Yes, but it's not that kind! Really, it isn't oh %?X$." I really feel like a leper when I have it and hate to make eye contact when talking.

Anyway, usually I skip class if I have a cold sore because as we all know the kimono is made from a rough tough material that likes to burn across faces, ears and lips. Last night. I just thought, what the hell, and went training. If anyone was to ask what the hell happened to my mouth I would just give them the option of not sparring with me or try to ensure them that they would be safe from the virus as long as we didn't do any deep kissing. As it turns out, no one asked me and the night went by without any scraping of skin from lips or any other areas of my body. I did get a knee to the side of my face though from a clumsy white belt but hardly felt it. I don't know what other people do with cold sores but I would hate to pass the infection on to anyone but in truth I don't think it is such a problem and it shouldn't stop you from training. There are probably much worse things you can pick up from the mats that have a higher chance of infecting you, such as staph.

The lesson was actually really useful. We learnt how to apply the crucifix position and also how to escape it. F-sensei showed us two methods. One of which I had seen before but the other was new and I was able to apply the escape during rolling with a brown belt. While drilling armbars I noticed that the white belt who I was working with tries to make it harder for me apply the technique by actually leaning back quite far. He would be open to a hip bump sweep easily but it means I have to drag his arm and reach really far for his shoulder. This is only drilling, the purpose is to develop the movements so they become second nature. Not to make it harder for your opponent to drill the technique. The guy has a certain cockiness about him and seems really eager to advance to blue belt. I think he sees every single partnering on the mats as a test of his ability to resist your efforts. It makes me wonder if I was ever like that. I usually just relax my entire body and let my partner drill on me with ease. Sparring is where the resistance comes in. That's my take on it. If your partner asks you for more resistance during the drill - that's fine also.

During sparring I tried to work on sit up guard, of course x-guard and half-guard. It was easy to push me back to the mat with sit up guard so I need to work on this. One thing that did make me go "Wow!" during the session was not only my ability to escape knee on belly but to actually sweep them in the process. I have been working on KoB escapes for god knows how long and had yet to find the right escape for me. Last night, though, I hit an escape/sweep three times on different partners. Here it is is technicolour.

Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins
Notable moments: Escaping KoB and almost choking my instructor with my favourite choke.

Crucifix Escapes -

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