Monday, 2 April 2012

On the Mat Day 251: New Purple Belt Member

A new guy has joined our club. Apparently he was a member of Axis and is a purple belt. I didn't really ask any specifics about why he changed club or how long he has been training. He looked a couple of years older than me but a couple of kilos lighter. He had a wirey frame and appeared fairly fit for his age, but that is usually a given for a purple belt. Anyone spending enough time doing jiu-jitsu to get purple belt should generally have a good level of fitness. I detected a faint cigarette odour about him too. This doesn't suprise me given that how cheap cigarettes are over here. However, tobacco and BJJ don't mix well.

We sparred a couple of rounds and I went to pass with an over-under as I like this pass for smaller guys. He was very good at defending against my attempt and swept me with a butterfly sweep. Later he took butterfly guard again and I grabbed the knee that was not sweeping me, he immediately got my elbow in a gable grip and whipped it back for an inverted armbar across his stomach. I felt the tendons strain at my elbow and cried out in pain. The way he ripped at my arm was quite vicious. This got me wondering about his training. I came to the thoughts that:

1. At his previous club, everyone armbars like that to full extension
2. His ego got in the way and he just had to submit me to prove he was a legit purple belt
3. It's his favourite technique and he did it without thinking (muscle memory).

Later I asked him about the technique and it was in fact his favourite technique which he uses in combination with a buttefly sweep attempt. It was definately a nice setup and he showed it to me later. He also showed me the sweep that he caught me with twice after I asked him about it. He seems like a nice guy but still I will be very careful around him from now on.

Earlier in the class he also mentioned that he knew a British guy who was part of Axis that had trained in Tokyo. Later I discovered this was Philip Yeomans who trained under Takamasa Watanabe who received his black belt from Rickson Gracie. I watched a couple of his matches and he was pretty good. This gave me some hope that as a British guy working my way up in BJJ in Japan there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I've started to do judo uchikomi using a rubber band. I got some tips from F-sensei and also installed a band at home. I did about 100 later in the evening, concentrating on pulling the arm far and getting my footwork correct for uchi-mata and seio-nage. at class I plan to do uchikomi with a partner who has judo experience. I really want to improve my standup, passing and escapes this year.

Sparring time: 4 x 6 mins = 24 mins

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