I have been feeling really strong recently - the pull ups and push ups are shaping me up nicely and the 3 lessons per week are forcing my body fat to drop. Strength though, is only that, a one dimensional being that is useless in BJJ unless it is applied at the right time with the right technique. When sparring with F-sensei, he makes sure that I never get a chance to use my strength. If I do, in cases such as side control escapes, I just wear myself out as he transitions to a different position, always the right position in response to my escape pattern. It can get frustrating but I've passed that point. I just move to the next logical position or make a stupid mistake.
Since only I turned up last night at the Tsurumai dojo, F-sensei worked with me doing closed guard attacks. He and K-sensei have decided to work on closed guard and takedown for the West Japan competition. He drilled me through breaking the opponent's posture to work a collar choke, scissor sweep, flower sweep, and omoplata version from these sweeps. I also asked him for feedback on tackles such as single and double leg takedowns. He talked about getting the correct distance and that if I start from the arms with the tackle, I will never get it. I need to get close, change level and shoot in from my torso and then use my arms to tackle. I mentioned that if I try to begin the tackle from a close distance the opponent ties me up by getting judo grips. He said that I should use both my hands under their elbows to prevent them from stuffing me as I drop my level and shoot in. It seems like good advice and it is the same action many wrestlers use to tackle. I will try this. We talked about the switch when your opponent bears his weight down on you after a failed tackle. I always thought you could only switch from the arm under your armpit but it seems not. I will work on switching to both sides, whichever has least resistance.
The lesson was basically a private lesson. These are great to have from time to time but I must admit that I feel daunted at times when my technique looks like shit compared to his. He encourages me though but the fact of how much more I have to learn always surfaces in this type of lesson.
I listened to a new podcast last night while driving to class. Fightworks Podcast don't seem to be pumping out their episodes as often as in the past so I've been looking around for other stuff to listen to. I stumbled over Inside BJJ and they just happened to have an interview with Kurt Osiander, who I have watched for some time on Youtube. He is a really interesting, funny guy who is worth checking out. If I ever get to pass through San Franscisco I will definately visit his place.
Sparring time: 2 x 15 mins = 30 mins
Notable moments: Side control escapes and better awareness of opponent hand placement
Pointers from F-sensei:1. Do not forgot to react to the hand in my collar if it is deep. I must circle my head under the arm to nullify the potential choke.
2. Use my legs more when submitting with achilles tendon leg lock, guillotine or armbar. I must try to bring my ankles to my backside to create more pressure.
3. I need to stretch out the opponent more by kicking with the legs on his hips and pulling with my arms on his sleeve.