Wednesday, 29 February 2012

On the Mat Day 238: 4 Weeks and Counting

I have put my name down for the West Japan tournament held in Nagoya, the city which I now call home. This means I have just under 4 weeks to prepare. I have become very hesitant to make a list of activities and goals I want to do before a competition. In the past, injuries or illness have gotten in the way of my well laid plans. It's as though some wicked god of fate waits to pounce and crap all over them. Despite this I must get into shape for this tournament, it's a big one. So here are my goals:

Training related
1. Continue with push ups, pull ups every other day between training days (I feel much stronger because of this and my arms do not fatigue so quickly during guard breaks, passing and back control)
2. Continue to train 3 times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday)
3. Push myself to take less rest between sparring sessions, even if it means I am too tired and get caught by lesser beings! muhaha
4. Build stamina by doing a Tabata set of sprawls (maybe good to do after Sunday sparring and get some people to do it with me)
5. Drill takedowns, particulary single-leg and entry
6. Add a yoga/stretching session (Friday night) and an interval training session (Saturday morning) per week

Health related
1. Do not eat after 9 pm (because I am known to binge after this time) -- Exception is on training nights --
2. Sleep for 8 hours per night -- Exception is on training nights -- include afternoon naps on weekend for less than 2 hours.

So all I need to do is keep doing what I've been doing and add Tabata, stretching and interval training. That's 3 extra sessions of moving my backside per week. Not such a huge goal. Both diet and sleep are important from this point on.

During last night's training, F-sensei went over how to open up the armbar defence when your opponent is hiding it deep under his elbow and when he is using a gable grip. They were very effective techniques that required little strength and worked on body mechanics and leverage. The main points from the lesson were:

a. Do not cross your feet but instead keep them apart with your heels touching the floor so your legs are heavy over the opponent. Crossed legs make it easier for the opponent to rotate and move to a stacking position.
b. After securing the correct position with one arm linked inside the arm you want to take, post your free arm and shift your butt towards the opponent to cut down space in which he could escape.

Attendees were Ryo and Hayashi. Both white belts and about the same size at under 65 kg I would say. Hayashi has been a white belt for as long as I remember but does not train often. He is however very game to come at you strong. It was fairly easy for me to control him. One thing I have noticed with many of the white belts at our club, they all try to pass using a knee slicing pass without any thought at controlling my legs. They slide their knee between my legs almost decapitating my nuts and hope to get a pass from there. I usually just block with my top knee and make distance by sliding my torso away. I suppose I could use the top leg to come inside also like K-sensei does but I like the knee shield a lot. If I was to advise them of anything, it would be to go for controlling my legs and hips before commiting to a pass.

F-sensei continues to sweep me constantly using butterfly guard and X-guard. I know an escape from X-guard but he is so fast to sweep from the position I rarely get any time. Perhaps I need to balance better. I also must research how to counter the butterfly guard, it's getting too much when every lesson I fall for the same trick. In response to his sitting guard I did try a guillotine choke and failed but it was enough to surprise him because he was not expecting me to use it.

Sparring time: 4 x 6 mins = 24 mins

Notable moments: Lapel arm trap to Ezekiel choke used successfully again.

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