So it's my birthday today. I just turned 41. I have mixed feelings about that. The number sounds very old to me. The thing is, I don't feel that old. In my mind I am still 20something. However, rolling with younger guys at jiu-jitsu tells me otherwise. Although, I wonder if that is an excuse my ego uses to stop me pushing hard.
"Oh that guy got the best of me, he is half my age."
These kind of comments sometimes bubble up in my head but I quickly suppress them. I don't want to be that guy that gives excuses. I want to be a solid grappler, deserving of my rank. I just need to train harder and or become smarter.
I'm certainly at a point where I am very comfortable on bottom in BJJ but not when standing. From a self-defence point of view this is not good. It's a make or break situation where I am right now; do I go and train judo for a few years or continue to butt-flop and improve my guard and enjoy jiu-jitsu that way? Training judo will be hard on my body for sure but I need to do it or suffer being an incomplete grappler.
Last night before training I practiced o-soto-gari with Dmitri for about 30 mins. It's not easy to get all the intricacies working together, things such as foot position, moving each arm differently (pulling and pushing), maintaining correct balance and being aware of where I am looking. I try to do the technique, but feel like a 2 year old trying to kick a ball and missing. What is apparent from sparring is that I need to work harder at grip fighting. I intercept grips OK but then release the attacking arm so the opponent can continuously go for the grip again. I'm looking forward to doing more standing because it feels like I am starting BJJ again and everything is new and exciting.
I also did a round of no-gi last night. I think I prefer this style of grappling. It is less harsh on the finger joints and I get to slip out of holds easier. It also feels more comfortable because I don't have to wear the gi which can feel heavy when drenched in sweat. I used to train Pancrase in shorts and t-shirt and since that was my first exposure to grappling it has always stuck with me as the norm.
Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins
Japanese word of the day:
脳震盪（noushintou) concussion, something that will probably happen the more I do standup.
Thngs to improve:
Better grip fighting
Guillotine defence (arm over shoulder and pull down defence)
Versus strong opponent I need to be faster and not play their game
Oh and get more sleep!