Friday, 29 March 2013

On the Mat Day 356: Berserker

So, I really did plan to go to Tsurumai dojo last night but Dmitri cancelled and instead I went off to Nonami because I expected more people to be there and thought Matt might turn up for training. I was the first one there as usual and there was a guy who came to watch the class, he looked tough, apparently did boxing and a month of Shooto before he injured his shoulder and quit. I really should have talked to him and made him more welcome but he was talking a lot with F-sensei.

Kondo-san brought a friend along, a young kid who is just entering high school this April. He had that lanky thin build that Akira used to have before he packed on a lot of muscle through BJJ. These kids really fill out in a couple of years. I asked Kondo jokingly if he was his son, everyone laughed. The kid remained quit but he was a friend who does judo. He caught me later with a faked seio-nage to ouchi-gari. Everytime on the ground he kept turtling flat in that same mindless judo way. The guard is such a better place to be on the ground.

F-sensei had us work through the Marco Barbosa techniques we learnt at the seminars. High mount to side to side armbars. I feel an improvement but later during sparring found it hard to lift Yuuki's arms up and keep them there. It is easy to give space. I have to stay tighter with my legs and be more fluid. I did the drilling with a white belt I've never seen before who wore ear protectors. He left immediately before sparring. I get that some people are busy or may even dread sparring but it has to be done. I jumped in the deep end and sparred on my first lesson.

My body feels like it's rebelling against me at the moment. Sore hip on the right, left lower back twinge, right neck twinge, left foot old break aching when it rained yesterday, and left outer knee ligament painful and wont allow my lower leg to rotate fully. These aches are just signals telling me that I'm still alive. The only way to be free of pain if you're a grappler is die.

Sparring was a lot of fun. I caught Yuuki with a super sneaky choke, when he taps you know you did something right. He has always been super resistant to submissions. Kondo-san gave me a good run. Lots of energy and good shrimping against my over-under pass. I usually switch out to the back under his leg but F-sensei told me that the option is also there to go towards his front and straddle my leg over his head and sit back to north south, which I did during sparring and felt a twinge of sorrow for him as my crotch grazed his face. That's one of the things I hate when I'm on the bottom - T-bagging.
Berserker Matt on the mat
Matt was suprisingly hard to sweep and did well against Kondo and
Yuuki who are generally good at takedown. He grips too hard though and reacts to every single push and pull. That has to be exhausting. Eventually, I caught him with a lumberjack sweep, took side control with his far lapel under his neck for control and then switched to knee on the belly at which point he began to turn Berserker. He started to shout and flail, pushing me like crazy in attempt to get me off. I've never had someone shout so loud from that position. Imagine a giant barbarian clad in loin-cloth smeared in war-paint coming at you with a club, his mouth fully agape, bellowing a war-cry. Matt was close to that. There's a Robert E Howard story in there somewhere. Afterwards, I showed him to shrimp and my go-to-escapes from side control and knee on belly.

After class I talked to Yuuki about the choke I caught him with and replicated it for future reference so I don't forget it. We began to talk about other guys from the gym who had ever put us in painful positions. F-sensei mentioned how one of the guys we train with went full knee on the belly with his wife, she turtled then the guy went knee on the back with her. He probably weighs twice as she does. After that she said she would never spar with him again. It suprised me to hear F-sensei talk about the guy in this way because I had always believed he was F-sensei's star pupil. It then made me think about why the guy had not been promoted for a while despite being really tough. I've heard that to get purple belt, a student has to show that he can be flexible with sparring partners. You'd never for example spar with a young stud wrestler the same way you would a woman...unless she wanted to take it up a level of course. With experience you can usually tell by the first grip how hard the other guy is gonna go. I myself like to match the intensity. If they are light so am I. If they go balls to the walls, I will try to match it until my heart bursts. It dawned on me that there are other qualities to being promoted in BJJ besides being a badass and tapping everyone.

Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins

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