Wednesday, 18 July 2012

On the Mat Day 283: Sleep More for Better Jiu Jitsu

I had 4 days off work. This meant I could catch up on a lot of missed sleep. On Saturday I worked out in the evening with TapoutXT, Sunday rested, Monday did an early workout around 8.30 am and Tuesday I finished Strength and Force Upper which I am starting to enjoy now. I think the bands really help me to resist during BJJ when my opponent pulls on my sleeve to control me. Yesterday evening I also went to BJJ. I think out of those days I took a nap twice for a length of 2 hours each time. I felt so much better for it when it came to training last night. I had a ton of energy even though my jacket was drenched in sweat and weighed twice as much by the end of the night. I did not feel gassed and my brain was actually working on technique.

Around 7.30 pm I was driving to Tsurumai gym when I received a text mail telling me that F-sensei was ill so only Nonami gym was open. This is the first time in 3 years training I have known him to be ill and stop a class. He is driven by dedication and total love for the art. I think his hard work is paying off because the member list is growing. I detoured to head towards Nonami gym and got there to a roomful of the newer white belts, couple of blues, 1 purple and 1 brown. K-sensei used me to demonstrate the drill, probably because I am similar in weight and build to him. We worked on the armbar finishes.

Sparring was hot, sweaty and lots of fun. I'm impressed by how well some of the white belts move. Tanizawa-san who has not been doing BJJ recently has the nastiest cauliflower ear I have seen on a white belt or anyone for that matter. He removed his earguard to show me and even after a week of letting it go down, it looks nasty - like a piece of black and blue pounded gristle. Apparently, it was the size of a golf ball. He told me he took a knee or something to the side of the head by accident which caused it to swell. Again at the start of the sparring session, I started with the toughest guys there. Yuuki, Miura and Tsuzuki. If I want to get better I must sharpen myself against the toughest guys.

I have been very much affected by the novel "Gates of Fire" by Steven Pressfield. It's a story about the Spartans and has really made me change my mindset to toughen myself up. I've also put up a couple of encouraging pictures in my training room, one of them is a picture of a purple belt. I'm not a belt chaser at heart but it is a clear goal for me which I hope to achieve in a few years. I like to see the light at the end of the tunnel as I strive towards it. Seeing that purple belt up on my wall makes me hungry to work hard at my BJJ. I considered buying a real purple belt instead of a picture but for some reason it felt somehow like tempting fate to bring me bad luck or something.

Sparring time: 7 x 6 mins = 42 mins
Notable moments: Gift wrap to wrist lock, poor control with spiderguard, back take from Z-guard, poor ability for finishing from rear mount.


  1. Taking naps always helps me, both in recovery & performance, which makes sense, considering the two are intimately interconnected.

    You ever try/ do biphasic or polyphasic sleep?

    - Ronnie

  2. Ronnie, both sound like interesting experiments but my schedule/work/family would never really allow it, polyphasic anyway. I'm a night person but because of the Tapout XT workouts have reverted to an early waker. I am, however, extremely interested in finding my optimum time to sleep and wake up. I do use an android app to log my sleep each night and record my deficit.