Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Third Time's the Darce

BJJ (6/17/2009 6:00pm)

Back on the mats again. Tonight was my third night back since returning from my surgery and that whole ordeal. I felt terrific. I survived the warm-ups with only the jumping push-ups being passed over.

Drills tonight revolved around learning the Darce choke. I have seen this one performed many a time but this was my first opportunity to learn it. After a bit of awkward fumbling my training partner for the night and I started to get it down pretty well.

When it came time to roll, I stuck to the plan and started to sit out. It wasn't until one of the other guys got hurt that I started. I got the left-behind partner of the guy who had to limp off the mats, told him I can't really roll but I can work technique. He said he wanted to work on guard passes, so that is how we started. My Guard Was Awesome tonight. Probably one of the best guard nights ever. Not only was I happy to be doing well, I was also glad that I was able to help this other guy with something he needed to improve.

I swept a few times, didn't really go for submissions because I was trying to help him learn. I was able to control his grips and posture, off-balance him at will, and just generally look like I knew what I was doing. Good night.

Next I rolled at "50%" with Kim. He has always been tough for me. He was going immediately to spider guard, which always gives me trouble, but I did well. Twice I was able to pass, and as in the earlier session my guard was solid. I didn't submit, but I did not get submitted either.

For my third night back, pretty awesome. I am just taking it a day at a time, knowing that it is a journey.


So I'm finally back in action and here I am not updating this blog. Shame on me. Perhaps I need more stuff to complain about in order to make me write. Or perhaps I have just been too darn busy letting life get in the way again. Or maybe, when I have time to write, I use it for catching up on rest instead.

Whatever the reason, here I am. Writing now and that is what matters. What do I have to say? Since my last post I have done quite a bit and some of it is even Jiu Jitsu related. Some of it is just the same ol' stuff, some of it is…..the MUNDIALS!!!

I know I have missed the appropriate window for reporting on the Mundials and by now everyone knows what I do, Roger is a cyborg. I attended both Saturday and Sunday during which time I ran around snapping photos for that friend to us all, Caleb from The Fightworks Podcast. Upon arrival he dispatched me with the still camera and Bruce with the video camera and off we went. Despite some technical difficulties, I was still able to get some great shots. One of my photos that made the website was the culmination of semi-strategic positioning and a whole bunch of luck. On Sunday Dr. Evil and I were sitting among the boisterous Alliance team and when Sergio Moraes beat "Finfou" and leapt up into the Alliance camp, froze time, and allowed me to snap this shot.

The photo appeared on the FWPC and I'm just glad that I was able to help Caleb out and give him a decent shot. Yes, that bald head at the bottom is Fabio Gurgel.

On Sunday morning there was also the chance to get together with Caleb and other members of The Mighty 600,000. We had a great time sitting around, talking Jiu Jitsu and pretty much expecting Roger to win it all, as he did. I am happy to announce that my good friend Dr. Evil was able to make it down. Here is a shot of us, with Caleb, at the coffee get together before Sunday's action.

Dr. Evil is the one on the left who looks like Dr. Evil, I'm in the center and Caleb is on the right. Good times guys, thanks a lot. Stay tuned, more Jiu Jitsu content to come. I'm finally back to the mats and anxious to make improvements and let everyone know how its going!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Light" Rolling

BJJ (6/3/2009 6:00Pm)

On Wednesday I went back for more. Like a crackhead who's been in rehab for 5 months, I could not resist getting back to my drug of choice just as soon as I could. This is only my second class back and I did them on consecutive days. What did I say about being a crackhead?

I was really feeling my out of shapedness during the warm-ups. Unlike the previous day when I actually felt pretty well, this time I was a pile of goo (only less firm). By the end I was melting. The lack of cardio is difficult to deal with but I did not expect the total loss in functional strength. I know both will come back with time so I am actively working on not getting frustrated, so far so....ok.

After the warm-ups Fritz yelled "get some water, put your mouthpieces in" which means its time to roll. Luckily Mike was also suffering from a bad case of MPH having hurt his toe a few days before. Since neither of us were able to actually roll, we worked together. We started by working some technique from my guard until he said "lets just go super light and see how we do". That was easy for him to say but so hard for me to do.

We did a "light roll" for the rest of the class with me needing to pause every so often to catch my breath. I only managed one guard pass, one sweep and one submission (ezekiel choke). I had never felt that spent after training. I was glad that we were slightly pushing and that I was able to keep my heart working the entire time. I knew that with every session I would be improving and I would never feel this bad again.

Taking Thursday off, training Friday then its off to the Mundials (as a spectator) for Saturday and Sunday.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Good to be Home

Full circle. Well, this Jiu-Jitsu, maybe its full Triangle! Either way, after 4 Months and 23 days or; 143 days or; 20 weeks or; 3432 hours or; 205,920 minutes or; 12,355,200 seconds, however you count it I made it back to the mats. But who’s counting?

Of course, going into the class I had a bit of apprehension and trepidation. I was worried about how well my heart has actually healed; I was concerned about overdoing it right off the bat. I had an irrational fear in my head that I had forgotten everything. I was nervous that I would be completely and totally out of shape (well some fears do come true).

Packing up my gym bag and getting ready to head to class brought back a familiar feeling. Making the drive to the gym I could not believe that my long, involuntary vacation had come to an end.

Now, since I have been out I have made it a point to stop in now and then. To catch up with the guys, provide status reports on my heart and just to soak up the atmosphere. This time, I arrived with my bag in hand and I was ready to go.

The warm-ups were just as brutal as I remembered. Surprisingly the only one I could not make it thru was our traditional end of warm-up surfer. Other than that I managed to get thru everything else. Now, I didn’t look very good and I was sloppy and slow; but I made it thru.

We drilled standing guard passes, which was a perfect refresher for me. I drilled with Neil and Kris who both made it a point to be there with me on my first night back. Dr. Evil stopped by too but was not able to train as he just had his wisdom teeth pulled and is dealing with that madness. Thanks for the support guys.

When it was time to roll, I stuck to my commitment to not rush back to rolling so I helped a guy who was there for the first time. Upa’ville here we come. Helping him learn the upa escapes was also beneficial for me because it allowed me to ease right back into the rhythm and work on some fundamentals and positions.

What a great night. I am horribly out of shape and have a long way to go to get back to “normal” but I made it thru and did pretty well. I’M BACK!!! I want to thank everyone for your support and well-wishes during this tumultuous time. This community we have is phenomenal I am proud to be part of it.