Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Gracie class 10/20

Covered a lot of material tonight... started off the class by going off to one side with Phil and 4 brand-new guys. Phil announced it would be a "fundamental" lesson for new people. He taught how to stand in base (get up from your back when the opponent is already standing over you) and how to deal with them in various positions-- when to put your foot on their hip and kick up, vs. feet on both knees, hooking behind a thigh to circle with them, etc. The key to remember is that the foot on the ground connects directly to your head via your elbow and hand.. the other side foot is cupping their knee. I also reviewed the forearm choke from mount and guard with them, and then Phil told me to join the bigger class.

Phil then paused for two promotions-- he awarded a stripe to Mike, the purple, and Travis, a 2-stripe blue. Then the class shifted to self defense techniques.

We practiced two self defense movements from Sunday's class-- bearhug counters. Be prepared to curl a foot behind their ankle which prevents even big people from picking you up. If someone hugs you over the arms, do a bicep curl, step behind their leg, activate your hips to lift them up on your hip, and last minute, cup under their thighs to direct their legs up and over in a circle. Ideally you land them in front of you in the same place every time. I forget the details of the under-the-arms bearhug counter. Perhaps it's because I coughed myself awake at 2:30am and I'm finally getting sleepy again. We also covered a headlock counter... when they pull you back against them, protect your neck and go with it, blocking their forward foot with your leg (don't hook behind it, protect your knee, just slide alongside it) Step a quarter-turn towards their back and use your shoulder against theirs to push them down, then go for the armbar.

We also observed the browns practice throws in response to club attacks.

When we broke to roll, I was lucky enough to have Richard Power invite me. He's a 4-stripe brown who initially watched me and Leila roll 3 weeks ago. He was extremely mellow and kind, and he let me work for some submissions. He had me in kesa gatame (couldn't hook his leg and forgot to frame BOTH arms against his chin to reverse him) and mount and half guard and basically owned me in the position game. I love grappling with people so much better than me and I hope he enjoyed it enough to give me more of his time. About 30 min of rolling with Richard and I was ready to go home.

I get to do class every night this week since Mitch is rowing. The academy has improved their shower (no more soggy wet mats but instead a nice solid ramp leading away from the shower; hope they have a good drain underneath because I'm sure water will come out with people draining off, and where will it go?) This is what happens when you have owned an old house... you start paying attention to random stuff like that.

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