BJJ (12/08/08 6:00pm)
So I hit the mats again last night after my substantial bit of time off as of late. It was good to be back in the mix again. The old saying, you don't know how much you miss something till its gone, always seems to hold true.
Its so funny, back in the early and mid 90's when I was heavily involved with Tae Kwon Do I used to believe, as I'm sure many do, that BJJ was a sport full of cocky, arrogant, disrespectful brutes who didn't deserve the title of martial artist. I know that this misperception is false at its core and is often perpetuated by those with a vested interest in the "traditional" martial arts.
Over my last year of training, I have come to find that the people I train with are by far the nicest, most humble, selfless and respectful folks I have ever dealt with in any sport. These people truly become a family. When I returned last night, there were so many warm welcomes and people asking "where you been?" after only a week or two; compare that to the times in TKD when I could miss months without anyone noticing, unless of course I missed a payment!
So, training started off as always, with one notable exception. Kazeka was leading class from the beginning. It has been a long while since I have had an entire class lead by him. Normally he'll have Fritz warm us up or take over some aspect of the class, but not this one.
Warm ups with Kazeka can either be extraordinarily brutal or feel almost easy. Last night was an almost easy feeling with some difficult movements added in. A lot of handstand walks and other balance oriented movements.
Drilling focused on defending chokes from the rear when your opponent has his hooks in. The first one dealt with taking advantage of that cardinal sin, when the opponent crosses his ankles. I have actually used this one before actually "learning" it. I didn't make my opponent tap, but it did allow me to reverse to his guard.
We then learned rolling your opponent onto their back, plant your head on the mat, work your shoulder into the choke to nullify it and defend their opportunity to take mount. I felt that once that shoulder was in between the choke, I had a wide open path to start an escape and was able to scramble to side control most of the time if not half guard.
Rolling was awesome. I went with the Doc first, we had a good back and forth, I got to his guard, he swept to mount, I swept to his guard, passed to half, in the scramble got his back, then he turned out, more scramble, he got my back, and stalemate till time was called.
Kazeka had me sit out the next round.
The last round I went against a brand new wrestler kid with three classes in. I went nice and easy, took him to his guard, passed to mount in seconds, let him upa me over to my guard (cause I wanted to work on my sweeps). I pulled off a pendulum first, got to mount, threatened the collar choke, let him escape again, next I did a scissor sweep, started working for an armbar, lost my own balance, in the scramble I just pulled guard, and actually pulled off a sit-up sweep. I’ve NEVER gotten that one before. I just never have the explosiveness or the timing. So big surprise.
Pretty good night. I’m a bit sore, needless to say, since I haven’t trained in weeks but it was good to be back on the mats with the mindset that I can do what I can do and I wont stress about how much or how little that might be this time of year.