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Training Post YES!

July 19, 2008

Sheesh. After a long exhausting emotional week I finally found the time to post about my training. Yes!

My current level of jiu-jitsu as I measure it against others.

Which, I should point out, is a poor way to measure skill because of many many different reasons. Your own performance should be measured by yourself not by others. People will always be on different skill levels. AND ideally everyone should be continually growing in skill.

Unless you’ve got a white belt who shows up once a week and never really spars with challenging/higher level people then of course that white belt is hardly ever going to show improvement.

vs Shimosako san (Teppo Ebi top player – high level Blue Belt)

What I did badly – gave up my back, got smashed and submitted
What I did right – defended all other attacks from him and escaped his side control several times
What I learned– giving up your back against someone really good is a sure fire way to get tapped. Instead of waiting for an opening I need to really work hard to make one and escape immediately.

Observations– Shimosako san has an incredible game, but it felt like it was all over the place. Almost like a nervous energy. I suppose it might have something to do with the fact that he is regarded as the top player and has to prove it everytime he rolls. I think that’s a good and bad thing, you’re always going to be pushed to the limit when you roll so every roll is a serious one, which means your game is going to be tight, but I’d hate to have that kind of pressure everytime I step on the mat.

vs Hara san (avg White Belt)

What I did badly – gave up my back, again
What I did right – escaped, went to guard, passed and held side control for a really long time against someone larger than me
What I learned – I took my time when I escaped, which I should remember only works with someone of a lower level than me.

Observations– white belts roll the same, so all you white belts out there pay close attention. I believe that when larger white belts roll with smaller practitioners they try to overpower them. There’s too much strength being used at the wrong time or all the time. This was particularly the case with Hara san. It shouldn’t be about overpowering your opponent because that speaks of strength only. It’s about overwhelming your opponent. That’s a world of difference. I can never overpower a large white belt, but I can overwhelm them.

vs Tomo-kun(top level Blue Belt, Kyokushin Karate Brown Belt, all around bad ass)

What I did badly – gave up my back, third times a charm, got smashed and submitted
What I did right– it was a complete spankfest but this was the only roll that was fun
What I learned – I need to commit myself to my attacks or sharpen them, have quicker sweeps, and improve my open guard

Observations – Tomo-kun has such a tight game. He gave me the space to play and attempt moves but I still got owned. And this was his “play” mode. I was in “play” mode too but you can sort of tell who’s the better player. That’s what I wanted to stress too, that mindset of play. It’s always there with Tomo-kun even if we’re seriously trying to choke each other out. I don’t know how else to explain it. I was overwhelmed. I got submitted. But it was euphoric and I made me want to train more.

vs Brent(a year of no-gi training, high level White Belt, training buddy)

What I did badly – I gave up my neck way too many times and each time I got submitted
What I did right – didn’t give up my back
What I learned – can’t be a giraffe when I’m rolling no-gi

Observations – whatever we’ve been doing seems to be working. Brent’s side control has gotten really super heavy, and his non-stop attacking sucks too. I was overwhelmed (see there’s that word again that white belts need to pay attention to).

Vs Esteban (a year of no-gi training, when I see him roll with a gi on I’ll say what level he’s at but I’d guess above avg, training buddy)

What I did badly – everything that happened with Brent, happened with Esteban except that this time I also gave up my back
What I did right– hmmm… nothing
What I learned– I need a better open guard, need to play my game, need to be more aggressive

Observations – of all the guys that I train with Esteban is someone I’d put into the big guy category. You know, the BIG GUY. He’s big guy on the mat. While I am both proud of Brent and Esteban, they started off with me owning them and now with them owning me, and both quick to give themselves less credit than they deserve. But I’m particularly proud of Esteban because he no longer uses big guy tactics – you know smash pass, Americana from side control. He used to be overpowering, then I had an answer for that. Now he’s got technique to back that up so now he’s overwhelming.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2008 10:52 pm

    I always enjoyed my rolls with Tomo-kun. Very intense but great fun. I miss training with him.
    Although you are not supposed to compare yourself to others, according to enlightened-monk-sitting-on-hill types, it’s difficult not to, and when our own improvement is so incremental it is often the only benchmark we have.

  2. July 23, 2008 12:13 am

    “Very intense but great fun.”

    Yup, that’s exactly it.


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