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From the Sidelines – Paraestra, March 10th

March 11, 2009

Went to Hakapara (short for Hakata Paraestra – its a Japanese thing), said hi to everyone there, showed off my thin leg and soaked up the pre-competition energy. It was good to be back, even if I wasn’t training. Nothing like being home.


Tomari-sensei gave me an estimate to break. He thinks it’ll be another month before I’m back at the same fitness shape and skill level I was at pre-injury. Of course, I’m sure he wants me back as soon as possible too, but he also wants me to take my time.

Ide-san shared his solo warm up drills with me. He made crawling up a wall with his feet while balancing on one shoulder look easy. He also recommended drinking lots of milk to pack on the kilos and muscles for my leg. That’s cool cause I actually like drinking the milk here.

Sam looks ready for his competition matches. Matt and I practiced our random coaching shouts at him. One thing funny to point out, during the sparring matches Sam had four guys yelling instructions at him; me, Matt, Ide-san and Tomari-sensei. Should make for an interesting competition day.

Matt, sharing the same Yamato Damashi spirit as his fellow practitioners, jumped in during the sparring rounds. He took it “easy” and said he felt “slow” but he didn’t look it though. During his last match of the night with a resident purple belt (I want to say Iwaki-san but I could be wrong), Matt found himself in a potential sweep. He adjusted his base and was safe for the time being. Matt tried to improve his position by freeing his legs or passing guard but he couldn’t really go anywhere. Then, in a flash of brilliance, he did a distraction tactic (going for a collar choke) that disrupted the purple’s game plan from “sweep” to “defend” and enabled Matt to remain in the top position. Something I hope to apply in my game one day.

There is a pull up bar in the school. I did 15 pull ups. The Last three were clap pull ups.

The drills had an addition to them. First Round Robin, then a couple rounds of sparring. Then an extra two rounds of guard replacement and side-control drills. I liked the side-control drill a lot. No-gi, start from open guard. The object of the drill is for both top and bottom players to keep moving (and giving as much resistance as possible). Top passes guard, gets to side-control, but keeps moving, doesn’t hold on or keep side-control – continuously switching sides and positions, knee-on-the-belly, north-south and so on. Bottom continuously pushes away, shrimps, tries to make it hard for top player to “stay” in one place, no holding, no sweeps. When my leg gets better I definitely want to try this drill out.

*Techniques of the Night

Here are the techniques covered in the class. No great explanations, just notes to myself about the details I noticed.

Spider Guard Sweep
Similar to your favorite spider guard sweep, but the hooking foot instead hooks the farside armpit, shin across the chest. Same sweep motion, push/pull with legs, push with grip on pants.

Spider Guard Sweep > omoplata

Spider Guard Defenses
Entangled arm > pinky to shin, slap palm down, elbow up. Step into opponent, stack

Entangled arm > sidestep same side, reverse kesa gatame pass, push down on nearside ankle, stack weight on legs, pull up to free sleeve

Before entanglement OR Spider guard set up > step towards guard, back straight, elbows in, palm up, circle out (like a kung fu move), step out once again to control legs

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2009 10:08 pm

    Clap pull-ups? WTF are they?!
    I like that you didn’t mention “the choking incident.” Maybe I shouldn’t either. It seems very mature!

  2. March 12, 2009 11:22 am

    Clap pull ups are like regular pull up except that at the top of the pull up, let go, clap your hands, and grab the bar again before lowering yourself. It helps to weigh five kilos like me.

    Wasn’t sure what to make of “the choking incident” so I thought discretion the better valor.

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