Thursday, 16 May 2013

On the Mat Day 372: Flying Triangles and Some Newbies

My supplements finally arrived from the US after a month of waiting. I think they got lost at Frankfurt somewhere from looking at the tracking. I was worried that some lout had kicked them all over the cargo hold floor or thieved if for themselves. I ordered a chocolate whey protein and some pre-workout mix called MusclePharm Assault that is formulated with creatine and other goodies. I went for mango flavour. I was extremely tired before going to training - it's been a mentally difficult week because I'm still working through building my freelance work while going to BJJ. I actually didn't feel like training last night so decided to try the pre-workout drink in the hope it would perk me it, which it totally did. My mind suddenly switched on and I felt a little euphoric, plus my energy was good during sparring. Although, I didn't test myself again higher belts because the class was mostly white belts last night. The only problem was that it was hard to sleep after getting home. My brain refused to switch off and I noted that the pre-workout drink included caffeine so there was the culprit. The drink was very much like the effects I experienced if I drink red bull but without the jitters.

We are working on the Americana technique this week. I've seen it many times because it used to be a favourite of mine but each time I see it, I notice or remember small movements that I had forgotten or never picked up the first time. To a layman, the Americana is "Get his arm on one side of his body and crank it, bro!" but to a BJJ instructor, there are many small steps to making sure it is 100% effective. "Cup the elbow and secure it in place, put your other arm on his wrist, the middle finger should align with the groove of his wrist, and the elbow of that arm should flick down and hit the mat next to his head so he cannot pull his arm back to the middle. The arm on the elbow moves under, monkey grips your other arm, you raise your leg on that side and shift your weight back to stop him from bridging you. Pull his elbow to his ribs, curl your wrists like revving a bike and then raise his elbow." There is so much detail so much so that I probably missed something despite it being only last night. No wonder people starting jiu-jitsu miss out crucial steps (even I do) which means the technique fails. That's what makes BJJ so interesting. Even your best moves can be polished and refined and mastering even a single technique can take years.

We had a couple of guys come last night starting at white belt. One of them actually joined, the other is undecided. I sparred with both of them. The first one I played very light and let him control top and he did a good job. Later he told me he had done some judo (doh - no surprise there). The other guy was a little smaller and was much more easily dominated and tapped. I was still playing with him but he looked really distraught after the roll. I could see his ego crumbling and he was probably thinking "Why the hell am I doing this?" He was the guy who joined the club. I gave him a pat on the shoulder and thanked him. It's important to smile so I did that to. I don't want to be like the guys I first started off with who were just somber faced, never smiled, just wanted to crush you and tap you as many times as possible. Come to think of it, maybe this is why I am a bad finisher. I just don't go for broke most of the time.

During sparring I also got a flying triangle but failed to finish. It was very easy to catch. Obtain dominant grip on lapel, reach out for far arm but don't get it, they usually pull it down to their side and shift their far leg away so they stand diagonal to you. Pull on the lapel really hard and jump the right leg over their shoulder. Left leg comes up and closed triangle. No need to launch off their hip because they are low down because of the pull. If your timing fails you could go for an ankle pick. This maybe a good combination to work on.

Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins

Injuries: bruised nose from breaking down opponent in close guard and their face came crashing down on my nose, sprained lower back from God knows whatever reason but was probably due to insufficient warm up, neck twinge from white belt guillotine attempt. Ah the fun of grappling.

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