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On the way to the Kyushu Championship tournament

April 21, 2009

My upcoming tournament, the Kyushu Championship, is less than a week away. Here are a few things that happened and I found interesting while training for the competition.

A Knee on the Head beats a Vice Grip to the Neck
There was a blue belt that didn’t roll like a blue belt. I thought it was just me but after sparring with him and sweeping him like crazy and smashing him and completely tooling him, another blue belt did the exact same thing to him.

The next time I met up with him a week later he was amped up and was ridiculously aggressive. Not wanting an injury I happily tapped out whenever he got close to a submission (most of which were ankle locks and collar chokes).

I ended up in top north-south position and he pushed me off and bear trapped my head/neck with both his knees. It really hurt. It was a technically a strike with the knees rather than trying to clamp down like a tepee choke. I almost passed out from the impact.

I kept my base, posted most of my weight over him. We stayed like that for a long time. Tried pulling my head free, didn’t work, it made him squeeze his legs on my neck even harder. I have the scratches to prove it.

So I pushed his head, first with the palm of my hand, to face the opposite direction of where my body was so I could escape. (Something I learned from the Komlock Seminar – to hold or work for a position easier – and applied it to escapes). When I got tired of that, I posted my knee on his head and – lo and behold – he let go.

Oh, he was even more kill-submission-seeking-crazy afterwards.

Didn’t Care, Just Rolled
With my knee in recovery, I took training super serious at the start of the month. And after each session I’d compare my performance with my pre-injury skill level. I wasn’t happy with my progress and with my abilities.

So I reset my priorities, made sparring fun again, and didn’t mind if my knee couldn’t let me roll for longer than I wanted to. Though I gave it my all during the time my knee could handle and happily rolled to just keep rolling even if I tapped more than I should when my knee began feeling “loose”.

At first, Tomari-sensei was worried about me. He still is. But after rolling with him, and not giving up even with the odds stacked against me (potential collar choke and armbar in the process of being slapped on and I still was scrambling to get out like a madman) he thinks I’ll do well in the tournament.

I’m feeling pretty good too.

And surprisingly so is my knee.

Sometimes Being Selfish is the Way to Go
I had a bunch of friends try jiu-jitsu out for a bit. And I slipped into coach mode with them around.

Coaching is a totally different set of skills and not the skills that I wanted to be working on. But I used my knee as an excuse for not putting in the mat time.

But as the tournament drew closer, I felt the need to step away from being Patrick the Coach and focus on Patrick the Guy Who Likes to Do the Jiu-jitsu. Of course, I had to give up my personal workout days to do the jiu-jitsu and I think it paid off. I feel confident is all.

Witness to the Birth of Brand New Techniques
One of them was Tomari-sensei’s modification to the Kiyama-lock that was taught in the Komlock Seminar.

The Kiyama-lock is a technique that controls the opponent. Tomari-sensei’s technique is one that submits the opponent.

The other was my friend Matt’s “Monkey Steals the Peach” technique. A fitting name. I’m glad to be a part of jiu-jitsu history.

Perhaps one day we’ll film it for Grappling Dummies. We still have to film the 8 point drill and a few other goodies. But before that, it’s tournament time.

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