Friday, 6 April 2012

On the Mat Day 253: Red Bull and Japanese Baths

As I stopped off at the convenience store on the way to the club I spied a small can of Red Bull on the shelf. I've never actually ever drank the stuff. Feeling a little worse for wear I was curious as to whether it would have any effect on my training. At least if it woke me up a little that would help. In winter I sometimes have a coffee before training to stimulate my brain a bit so I can concentrate on the techniques we are shown. I didn't really feel any different during training although the drink did seem to wake me up and my concentration levels were high while doing the butterfly techniques we were shown. This was probably due to the high percentage of caffeine in it.

A lot of people came to class. 1 black, 1 brown, 2 purple, me, 1 white. The white belt was Yoshida -san who I like to call Tokushu-butai (special forces) because he said he received some training with them in the police force. It is very easy for me to handle white belts now. Training 3 times a week over 2 has really made me improve. I start the sparring session and think, "Ok, here is a chance to work on side control escapes." But the thing is, they never get past my guard and it is quite easy for me to tie them up and eventually sweep or submit them. The last half of the sparring usually means I have to drop to turtle and work on back escapes. I should probably just flop back to the floor and let them pass to my side but it just seems like I would not be doing them any favours letting them pass so easily. If I see a guy with less experience than me working a pass with good form especially if it is one we have just learnt I will let them have it so I can then work escapes. But to let them pass with a sloppy technique seems wrong to me.

I sparred with Tsuzuki twice, he is always a hard spar. He uses the over-under pass that pushes your knee to your chest to take side control. They call it the "Katsugi pass" here translated to Shoulder pass. I tried really hard to post my far leg to turn my hips and prevent the pass with crazy legs but he always holds my posting leg so I cannot shrimp enough. I defended his back choke attempt really well and eventually escaped. I also swept him with a lasso spider hook and the timing was perfect. I have to take those small things as victories with him. He really sharpens me up though.

I was really beat when I got home. There is no better pleasure than to sink into a hot Japanese bath and just let the aches go away. The baths here are probably the most pleasure I get living here besides doing BJJ. My right ear is also starting to cauliflower. It has a pinky nail size bulge that feels like one of those air filled balls on plastic packaging that kids love to burst open.

Sparring time: 8 x 6 mins = 48 mins

Notable moments: Actually seeing lots of openings for triangles now. Why has it taken me so long to get to this point?

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