I'm starting to have a lot of fun with jiu-jitsu recently. I really feel that I have improved recently and gained a lot of confidence. This is mostly due to me focusing on standup. My first couple of years of training was stifled because I was sparring with guys who had judo black belts and I was never taught how to go against that. This made me work my bottom game. Now that I am thinking more and more about throws and grip fighting I feel like I have a more rounded game and even should I get taken down I have my ground game to fall back on to keep me safe. It's really opened up a new side of doing BJJ for me. My passing is still poor but I'm hoping that working on standup will make my balance better as I see so often with the judoka here and so harder to sweep when passing.
I have also entered a phase in which I put myself in bad positions with white belts to see if I can escape. I will either turtle to allow back control or allow a pass to work on side or north south escapes. I think I am at a good point right now where my jiu-jitsu has started to grow again which makes me really happy. From the summer of last year I really felt that I wasn't doing well at all, I had reached a plateau. Me breaking through this plateau may have something to do with those 2 competitions at the very start of the year.
Class last night was based on side control escapes. I think I have notes on them somewhere but they were basically escapes when:
1. Opponent has underhook on arm and head - I have frame on his hip and neck, bridge, shrimp, knee in, other foot hooks his leg and recover guard.
2. Opponent has underhook on head and straight arm blocking my guard recovery - I frame again, bridge, switch arms and gramby roll.
3. Opponent has both underhooks as in 1. - I have frame on hip but no forearm on his neck because it's too tight. I bump him, slide under while holding his arm and come out to either Darce choke or sweep him over me.
We also did a north south escape. I am familiar with all these escapes but they are never easy to put into practice. K-sensei always says that your technique must be solid to escape effectively and that all steps in the technique must be done properly. I sparred with a new white belt, Tanisawa-san, and allowed him to escape with this technique sometimes. Not always but when he did it well I let him have it. I'm not training to be a bastard and crush every attempt that a white belt makes I went through that as a white where guys would crush any attempt I make and I never improved my escapes because of it.
Tete-kun also asked me to do a sparring round without the gi. That was cool. It made me wonder if he has read my blog and knows my desire to work on nogi. He beat the crap out of me. He slips the chokes in so easily. Without the gi it seems very easy to catch chokes. I was surprised at how strong he felt. I really felt like I was going against not only his technique but his speed and strength also. Really fun sparring round. I want to do more. I told him at the end how I am basically a white belt in nogi.
Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins
Desire to train: ☆☆☆☆☆
Endorphin level after training: ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆