Friday, 17 February 2012

On the Mat Day 234: Endorphin High

This is the last lesson I will take before the competition on Sunday. I hope to chill out on Friday and Saturday, maybe go to a hot spring with my son, sit in the sauna, steam out a little water content from my body. I spent a good portion of my time yesterday thinking about tactics. I was just doodling a flow chart of my strongest position which is the spider guard with a lasoo hook from the left leg. At class that was pretty much all I concentrated on. attempting sweeps or triangles from that position.

A lot of people came to class and unexpectedly Teo turned up, too. He is a Brazilian black belt and has a weird mix of laid-back (almost lazy) movements with limbs that feel extremely heavy when you try to move them. He is a good influence on my training. Letting me work some technique then sweeping when he wants. While sparring with K-sensei he was prompting me with instructions, "Sit up", "Push the head", "No, the other way." Short sharp, low toned instructions. I can never hear my instructors commands especially during a competition because they are shouts.

The technique last night was the same as Tuesday, guard break to low knee-cutting passes. I think I am getting quite proficient at this type of pass and worked it with Fuji-san. Also during a break in sparring I asked Fuji to let me try something on him. It was from a video I watch from a Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu's Matt Darcy involving the knee shield which I use a lot. It was suprisingly effective for me.

Two people were injured last night as well. Yoshida-san who is a doctor, had his left thumb bent back. It was clearly swollen with blood pooling on the inside of his palm. He said it was probably from the tendon bleeding out. During my first month of BJJ I had the same injury and it hurts like hell. Tete-kun also had his chest compressed, maybe damaging the cartilege or ribs near the sternum. Both of them stopped sparring and called it a night. I had a good round with Tete prior to his injury and we ended with him saying how good I was. I've been getting that lately. A few comments from guys who usually wipe the floor with me. I know half of it is because they want to bolster my confidence for the competition but maybe I really am improving a lot.

It was such a great night at training. Lots of positive feedback, pats on the back, sweat dripping, heart pounding. I enjoyed it so much. It is so rare to be in a room full of guys that genuinely have the best interest of each other at heart. I drove home feeling high as a kite and loving life. I hope my son can experience the pleasure of doing jiu-jitsu in the future, meeting friends and share the feelings of what I can only describe as primitive tribal bonding.

Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins

Notable moments: Getting mounted armbar on Teo using very good technique. He resisted and twisted the arm, I didn't want to crank it. Perhaps there was some pride involved there so I let it go. It's all good. He let me get mount in the first place.

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