I travelled to Tsurumai dojo last night for a change of scenery. In attendance were 3 white belts and a blue. Regular people mostly. Kondo-san who has been teaching me judo has damaged the cartilage around his ribs so cannot spar. This is a common injury in grappling and apparently a recurring one for him from his judo days. I asked him jokingly if I could use knee on belly and he tried not to laugh. Ogiyama-san also turned up since he is entering a competition in Tokyo this weekend. I think he is striving to be noticed so he can get his blue belt. He asked to go easy before sparring because he doesn't want to be injured for the competition. I complied only to have him turn into a mass of struggling muscle. He has a good base but I think needs to relax a bit more during sparring. Perhaps he actually thought that he was relaxing and going easy but his body or instincts betrayed him. It made me wonder if I was the same at that stage.
I didn't really have any plan during sparring except to work on my guard and sit up when I felt danger on my back. I am still failing to finish from rear mount, perhaps I need to watch some more Ryan Hall. My energy was pretty high too during class. I don't necessarily think that 2 days of Tapout has helped my cardio already but its more of a confidence thing. I say to myself that I am getting up at 6 am, working my arse off, getting stronger and fitter, while the other guys I am sparring against are probably sleeping while I am working out and doing my thing. This boosts my confidence and I feel less tired because of it.
I finally ordered Saulo Ribeiro's JJ University book and it arrived last night but I didn't get time to look at it, although, I've borrowed a copy in the past. I could start a small library of BJJ books now. My West Japan Comp T-shirt also arrived via F-sensei, only 3 months late!
Just a note on the technique F-sensei taught. At the end of last month he attended Xande Ribeiro's seminar in Osaka and brought back some techniques. The one he showed us last night was escaping from side mount and re-guarding from half-guard. Both involved shrimping while extending the outside arm to force against the opponent's head. He stressed the necessity to pull the bottom arm away from the opponent so the meat of my triceps rests beneath my shoulder to create a frame so I cannot be flattened out. Also, he told us how important it is to stop the crossface, something I learnt long ago the hard way. It comes as no suprise that the tech Xande showed are similar to Rickson's stuff he showed at his seminar in Japan over 2 years ago.
P.S. I had such a good mosquito-less sleep last night that I dreamt that I received my purple belt. Both my instructors took me to a shop window and giggling like girls asked me which one I prefer. I looked into the window expecting to see some dummies with clothes and was shocked to see 2 purple belts lying on the other side of the glass. Just plain weird dream. I know I still have 2-3 years until I can hit that mark, depending on my progress.
Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins
Notable moments: X-guard to standup sweep success, making more space during escapes to come to knees
PS: I heard that the Xande seminar only cost 4000 yen which is dirt cheap. Compared to the 17000 yen for Rickson's seminar 2 years ago, that's a steal.