Drilling Meditations

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For the past month I’ve been focusing on strictly drilling guard passing and defense.  Guard passing is that position that you know you need to work on but never really seem to.  (kinda like takedowns) But I decided enough is enough and it’s time to bring my weaknesses into the light.  So in open gym I find some willing chap who’s not opposed to a lot of repetition and we take turns passing each other’s guards.  So far I’ve learned a few things that I should have already known.  Things such as:

-Angle a bit when approaching from sitting to avoid the easy leg swing (drag) pass.  

-If you feel the opponent is passing, get out of that angle and square up to make both sides equally unpassable.  

-Tripod sweep is always there.  If you go to DLR guard, don’t just stall but push and pull to unbalance your partner.  

-Every time you sweep from the guard watch out that your feet/legs/heels aren’t in danger. (I got double ankle locked when I pulled off a double ankle grab sweep…it was kind of embarrassing.)  

-Closed guard is great but don’t rest too long.  Keep them guessing with different pressures and grips.  I seem to get the hip bump sweep and its options quite a bit on good nights.  

-You can always lift the opponent into the air if they get too close.  This will freak them out.  

-Don’t forget that there are some sweeps and submissions that can be performed as they try to pass.

-And finally remember to realize when you’ve failed and get into a good defensive posture asap.  I’m slowly learning how to invert as an emergency resort.  More on this in later posts.  

When it comes to passing I’m getting my custom game happening.  Really it’s just having 3 options from combat base and 2 from standing.  I’m landing passes more and more mostly because I’m understanding what needs to be blocked and how to keep the pressure on.  I was getting trapped in the knee shield guard but with some help from my instructor and some other sources I think I have that licked.  I’ll let you know if I nail it next time.  See ya.  

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“Reaping’ The Benefits

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 4.39.15 PMSo I made a few changes, some of them jiu jitsu related and some not, in the last few weeks.  I took a look at all my habits and asked which ones were just there to make me comfortable (or slightly unconscious), and which were beneficial.  So I decided to get rid of four things: Facebook, coffee, hot showers, and alcohol.  In its place I added cardio/circuit training every other night as well as yoga in between.  (Of course when I have Jiu Jitsu training I skip these for my off days)

Facebook: Doesn’t seem like a big deal but I realized that FB was taking up too much of my mental energy.  If you think about it, the FB wall is basically information overload.  You think you’re just casually reading about others but really your mind retains everything in one way or another.  I realized I was devoting too much of my energy reading, commenting, and absorbing information and it was starting to zombify me, so that was the first thing I avoided.  I noticed after the first day I was much calmer mentally which allowed me to have more energy to use for other things….like a crap ton of exercises.

Coffee:  The reviews are always mixed on the benefits of coffee.  I tend to lean towards it being pretty good for you at low quantities but I thought I’d experiment and see how getting rid of it affected me.  So far I notice more constant energy as opposed to ups and down throughout the day.  Sure I replaced it with Earl Grey but I believe there’s just something in coffee that drives me a little nuts.  Like it causes a bit of mental confusion as well as a sort of sinking feeling a few hours after ingestion.  A week away from the black juice and I’m convinced I made the right choice.  Between ditching FB and coffee I have to say my inner state has never been calmer.

Hot Showers:  It’s only been 2 days without the comfort of a hot shower.  Why give it up?  Well I read a little about the benefits of cold showers and it convinced me enough to at least turn the hot water knob down a few degrees.  What I realized when I thought about it is that there really is no HOT water in nature.  If you live in the woods the best you’d get is a lukewarm lake bath.  I also realized that my skin problems that I’ve had since childhood always flare up after my showers and no wonder, I was practically scalding myself.  Now I notice no more itching, my hair feels better, and my complexion overall is looking younger.  How does this help my Jiu Jitsu?  Having a cold shower after class has improved my healing and I’m way less sore in less time.

Alcohol:  Tried to give it up completely but then had a country gig and that went out the window.  It’s really hard to play Garth Brooks sober.  Anyhow I’ll have to try again one day when I’m country-free.

Most importantly for jiu jitsu, I added a cardio circuit to my training and it has already shown me benefits on the mat.  I rolled with my friend who is both better and heavier than I am.  I usually find myself trapped underneath him with little or no energy to escape but last night I found I always had an extra tank.  Sure I still tapped like crazy but when we reset I was always energized and ready to do battle again.  I’ve never felt that good on the mat which is crazy because it’s only been about one week of this new routine.  Adding to that is the fact that I just bought some kettle bells and designed an even better routine involving my grappling dummy and heavy bag and it makes me very optimistic about training.  I can’t wait to hit the mats again Friday to see the results on an even higher level.  Very exciting stuff.  That’s all I have for ya for now.