Technical Difficulties 

Out of frustration I decided to kick my cardio up a few notches so..out came the Insanity DVD’s and pushed aside went my grappling dummy. After two weeks of every-other-day cardio hell I went to class and noticed a vast improvement in my rolling. In fact my friend Mike T and I rolled for 45 minutes straight without a break and I felt just fine. This was a big deal for me because I typically can go all out for 5 minutes and then find myself playing defense a lot in order to recoup my energy, but I was able to play both offense and defense equally the entire time. I continued to work on cardio and came to realize the most important aspect of the training. It wasn’t necessarily the physical work that was paying off but the state of mind I had to put myself in in order to survive such a strenuous circuit. Learning to move your body even when it’s telling you to stop is a great way to separate yourself from your mind’s natural tendency to under-achieve your physical potential. Don’t believe me? Try and do 40 push-ups right now. You’ll see that around the halfway point your body is probably already hinting that you stop, but if you had a gun to your head you know you could bang out the whole 40. It also reinforced the concept of continuous breath focus. As you might know, holding your breath is a cardio-killer. 

Okay so I know I have to keep my cardio up but at the same time it occurred to me to bring out the old grappling dummy and go over some techniques, but this time I’d approach it in a different way. I started in mount and did some fall to the side arm bars. That’s where you place your hands on the opponents chest and end up on their side hopefully with one of their arms secured for the submission. A flash of realization stuck me and I actually started laughing out loud. All these years of practicing this technique and the whole time I’ve been missing one simple principle. (Sure my instructor mentions the small details when teaching the moves but a lot of those go by the wayside until you are mentally ready to adopt them.) By applying this idea I was able to shave, I’d say 15% energy off of the execution of the technique. What other moves have I been “over applying” all these years? So I went to the triangle choke and found a way to knock off a few energy percentage points from that. It might not sound like much but as you know if you train, any time you can use less energy to accomplish your task you go that route; it can allow you to thrive on the mats and possibly save your life one day. 

So I figure that if I continue to do both cardio and technique refinement practice I should improve vastly in the next few months. As I test my results in open gym I will explain my methods but until then I’ll just have to say, stay tuned. 🙂 -Mike

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30 Days of Dedication


Started my 30 days of dedication to BJJ today. I’ve been a bit touch and go lately and I want to get to class and ’embrace the grind.’

Doing a cardio program (Insanity) has really been helping me stay active while rolling. Mix that with yoga and doing submission chains with my grappling dummy and I really feel my game clicking. I have a lot of confidence that I’m hard to tap but there’s still a part of me that dreads the idea of getting dominated during rolls and going into panic mode especially with younger, more energetic partners. Time has come for me to believe in the technique I’ve acquired in almost a decade of BJJ. 

So my plan is to keep my low sugar diet going (I’m down close to 10 pounds and feel much healthier), keep up the Wim Hof breathing and cold shower method, and go to class as much as possible all month. If things go the way I plan I should be in top shape by August and I can give review class a shot. I’ve been a three stripe red for long enough and I finally feel like I can hang in the blue belt realm. 

Today (7-3-16)

Been drinking more water than usual. Trying to do at least a gallon a day. Jug Life! Went to class and worked the bag a bit during stand up class. I paired up with a gold belt and all my moves seemed to work great. I got 4 triangles and escaped side control easily. I even got a tap from doing the Lockdown, I found out how to make it more powerful. One area of failure was when I went to teach a triangle escape by posturing up but I overly strained and over worked my neck and back too much. Instead I should have circled or fell back instead of trying too hard to posture when my head is being held down. I was taught some heel hook escapes and how to utilize the gullotine (arm in) when defending the guard pass. All in all a great open gym. Might be stiff tomorrow but hopefully the cold shower negates much of the pain. 😉