Saturday, 7 November 2015

On the Mat Day 681: Visitors

We had a few visitors last night at training. A guy called Dustin who lives in Alabama came with his wife to train with us. His wife is Japanese and they were visiting her family who live in Toyota City which is close by. He told me that he trains at a club called Triad Jiu Jitsu and that he was one of the smallest members. I wish I had been able to train most of my career with larger opponents. It would have made me more technical and less strength dependent. There are so many people at our club who are lower in weight and size than me and I am only 72 kg.

It was interesting to get a perspective on BJJ from a brown belt who comes from not just another club but from another country. We sparred a single round (I'm only allowing myself 3 rounds right now to heal my neck) and it was very light and relaxed, the sort of roll I have with Yoshida-san. I really like rolling like that because it gives me time to reflect on what I am doing and to see mistakes as I make them. His use of frames and legwork to recover guard was very good. He had some solid jiu-jitsu principles he applied during the roll like keeping knee and elbow contact when escaping from mount or bad positions. I also noticed that despite going some 10 plus rounds he did not look tired. I really need to be more relaxed like that to go further. I also liked his guard recovery using the knees then to spin back into the opponent which worked well on some opponents I have problems with at our club. His 14 years of training have obviously helped him stay calm under pressure.

I also got to roll with his wife who rolled very well. Like her husband, she was very active, never resting in one place, shrimping often and butt-scooting to recover a better distance for guard work. I wish my wife would get in on the act and train with me. I also liked how they both used a whizzer to counter a single leg and turn it into an uchi-mata. I usually do this too but execute it faster. They both did it fairly flowing and slow but it still worked. Watching Dustin roll I recalled a moment when Damon who visited us from France a while ago mentioned that I looked stressed when rolling and that I should try to be more relaxed. I do try to do this but it's easy to forget mid-roll. In my gut I still have a long way to go in destroying the ego.

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