Saturday, 7 January 2012

On the Mat Day 220: 1st Lesson of 2012

I felt pretty good this morning. Relaxed and de-stressed after a night of BJJ while listening to Donavon Frankenreiter's Lovely Day. His songs along with Jack Johnson's make me wish I lived in Hawaii. Japan can be so boring at times. Concrete and roads everywhere. A really splendid looking Japanese house that was probably built 100 years ago was knocked down recently near my home. It has been replaced by a standard box house, plain and boring like all the other houses in the area. Everything must be the same here, it's like living on a Star Trek Borg ship. That's probably why stepping into a BJJ club is such a refreshing change from the outside world here. Everyone seems more open, they wear different dogi with big patches. Some of the guys have tattoos. It doesn't feel like Japan and that keeps me sane.

I was really looking forward to getting back on the mat yesterday after a week and a half layoff. I basically ate crap, slept late, woke late and was on a slow downward spiral of slobism. I don't regret it though. It allowed my body to heal up a bit and to get some much needed rest time. My wrist and knee still have a dull pain but nothing as bad as pre-holiday levels. My energy and enthusiasm are high. This is very much like a recovery week of P90X.

At class, because many folks are still on holiday, only I turned up. So I got to go against K-sensei for a few rounds of sparring. Fumika was there to help out as Uke to show the techniques. They showed me guard passing against double hooks. The pass involved putting my weight on their legs, moving over them and bringing my ankles to my backside, closing my legs and sliding their legs to the floor and put pressure on them to pin them down while I pass. I must admit that I am not good at passing in general and these passes I am particularly weak at. I seem to have a problem putting pressure on my opponent with my legs and hips. Something that time and experience will iron out I am sure.

The 1-on-1 class also gave me lots of opportunity to ask questions. I asked about deep half guard and stopping the opponent from straddling over your head and then how to sweep from this position. Very useful. I still wish there were more white or blue belts coming to class so that I can practice my techniques more. K-sensei is so way beyond me that he shuts me down before I get started.

I'd just like to post some great videos that I watched during the holidays made by Jason Scully. They are short, quick bites of BJJ tech from closed guard, half guard and passing. I find them perfect for putting on my ipod and passing away 4 to 8 minutes on any train journey.

Sparring time: 4 x 6 mins = 24 mins

Notable moment: catching K-sensei and tapping him with a choke using my own lapel from mount.

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