Friday, November 14, 2008

Gracie open mat 11/14 and random thoughts

I am currently cozied up in a corner booth at Halcyon, sipping a mug of sadly bitter mocha coffee, digesting some yummy sushi, and patiently waiting for salsa class at 9pm to teach at Copa. This will be a long post then, since I have time to kill.

Two hours of productive rolling at lunch, despite having woken up at 2:30am and not being able to fall asleep again, despite having a Cobb sandwich at Kerbey Lane (too much blue cheese) for what felt like lunch but was clearly breakfast as it was prior to 10am. Now, I'm dragging tail feathers a bit but coffee has no effect on me.

I recognized while rolling that I am predictably falling into the same positions-- he's in butterfly in front of me, we grip fight, I manage to half-assed do a knee-through pass, land in half guard, halfway succeed in controlling his hips from side, but mostly fail to extract my leg from half guard-- get swept, sometimes managing to land with half guard that goes nowhere unless you count 75% of the time, when he transitions from half to side.

Usually I can tell he's making a distinct effort to not overpower me or muscle things-- but still, he's got excellent, instinctive weight placement and my ribs are not always well-sprung enough to preclude groans during transitions.

I wish I had a better memory for exactly how he was subbing me. I think he got a triangle, a spinning armbar (from back?), and surely a choke or two. Last I lost count, it was 1-6, and then I only got one sub if you count the time I was coached through a non-RNC choke setup from back. It's frustrating, but not in the ready-to-cry way that the Friday before Atama was... (gee, only a week ago?!) I'm frustrated that I am not a better training partner; I obviously don't push him or test him. He told me in a moment of candor the other day that he only rolls with me because of his neck injury-- what was his word, incompetent? I'm just incompetent enough to not pose a threat to his neck, and small enough basically to be safe as well. I don't expect to really challenge anyone but perhaps Leila at this point, and that's only because we're a similar size, but it would be nice to be able to help others as much as I'm getting helped. Hopefully someday.

I did almost make the mount attack series from yesterday that Richard taught-- and Scott was watching when I flubbed it. I got the gable grip over the shoulder and trapped the hand on the lapel but when I scooted for inverted triangle under the head I let go the hands-- he came up and reversed me, so I should've kept the triangle, but I let it slip away.

I think jits is fabulous for a million and one reasons, but one of the top five is that it's deep in the sense you can keep learning and progressing for a long, long time and never touch bottom. So, I guess I am comfortable with the concept that I may never feel like I have "arrived" or that I "get it."

Still-- the prospect of making blue-- ahhhhh... I know, who cares about the belt color, and I really don't. It's more the prospect of reaching that skill level. I'm still not tired of being toyed with, and as long as it's still productive I'm happy. I need some sweep defenses-- half the time I'm not really on the mat but dangling above it, suspended on feet, knees, hands. But it would be nice to have a little ammunition.

I rolled with Shane again-- a slender guy, very tall. I am sure he's being nice to me because like last time, I was able to take him down (armdrag to the back, trip; single leg, trip). The only downer happened during a scramble; he accidentally clocked me with his long, hard, bony shin.

Rolled with Scott briefly who emphasized what I should have done from that north south position to kimura: when they're grabbing their arm to their belt you jerk their arm hard and fast the direction it naturally goes (to the stomach, in front and forward) and then slowly, with control, go up and back for the kimura. The ferocity freaks them out but doesn't hurt anything.

He also discussed when/which side you go for the underhook: when you're passing guard or in guard, the desirable underhook is on the same side as the free leg(s). So, if I'm on top and I have Scott's R leg in my half guard, it's his L leg that's free, so I want my R arm to have the underhook. Key when passing guard is to go for the proper underhook-- thus if I pass to his R/my L, I want my R arm to get the underhook.

If you can't get both hooks in from turtle, get one and a knee; with the hand on the hook side, reach in and grab opposite collar, and that accomplishes the same control job as double hooks. Worked a little on that flippy roll from back with reverse seatbelt too.

Attack from half guard: Be completely on your side, get up on your elbow then your hand, scrunch down under them-- either sweep by driving forward and catching their posting arm or dive under them and roll when they sprawl back too much, I think.

After work I went back to Phil's and since my dinner date with my husband was in an hour, I decided not to roll-- instead, Phil watched my tournament footage and wrote two pages of notes, 19 separate things I need to work on, and he prioritized 4 things to start with. I really jam on his attitude- very professional, demanding but with humor, encouraging and pushing, and always with the goal of helping you develop a unique game. And he seems to dig my competitive attitude.

OK-- about time to bounce. I'm pooped. Hoping to do a takedown class tomorrow morning with Richard but if that doesn't happen I have plenty of work to do, footage to render, gardening to handle, food to make for the UFC party, and working out to do (it's been a full week since I really lifted.)

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