I have a love-hate relationship with jiu-jitsu. I hate how I only seem to be improving by small increments or not at all. There are times I feel I am regressing and becoming worse. But I love how the art of jiu-jitsu is like a layered puzzle box. You solve one layer of the puzzle and proceed to the next only to find that the dimensions of the puzzle are far bigger than you expected. I love how there are so many aspects to jiu-jitsu to train. You may find a type of guard that you never saw before and begin working on it like a mad mechanic with a new set of tools. Most of all I love the high at the end of class when your primal instincts tell you that you just did something it agrees with. Grappling is simply a pure form of exercise that requires no special tools other than a brain. Something man must have been doing for aeons. you could take jiu-jitsu back in time thousands of years and the men of that age would appreciate it, understand it and nod their heads. Try doing that with a golf club, tennis racket or football. But I digress.
I expected last night's training to be really quiet but it wasn't. A lot more guys turned up at Tsurumai than is usual. 6 people including myself. F-sensei decided to concentrate on rear mount escapes and preventing chokes since I did so badly against this line of attack during the competition on Sunday. I realized that it has been a long time since I actually have practiced these techniques. He thoroughly covered how to stall the choke and then escape from the hooks. It was very helpful and I plan to make notes. Perhaps even take some video.
During sparring I have decided to play games with people who are lower skill than me. I am not really interested in submitting them but instead want to improve my weak areas. For instance, I will let them catch me in turtle position and go for a choke. I then must escape or end up tapping. Other games I have thought of are stripping all grips they go for, minimal use of arms in open guard to improve my leg and hip movement, and allowing side control but not allowing both shoulder to touch the floor and working for escapes. I really need to focus on the big picture and improve instead of worrying about belts and tapping. I've come to realize it is a slippery slope that leads to quitting or the limbo of stagnated technique.
Sparring time: 6 x 6 = 36 mins
Notable moments: Getting swept with Kouchigari by Kondo, sweeping Tsuzuki with a waiter sweep, X-guard sweep on Kensuke, triangle choke on Kondo.
21. Escaping Rear Mount -