A wise man once shared this. Ok. It was Kyle. And he said it about 10 minutes ago on instagram. But it captures a ton of what is awesome about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Today was my first time doing No Gi training. Basically wearing a rash guard and shorts. And it sucked. I was nervous. And I don’t do well when I am nervous. My anxiety and autoimmune issues kick in and I get hives and migraines. Not a ton of fun.
But as I have shared before the mats have become a safe place for me. And Thursday lunch crew is a very safe group. The first hurdle is wearing a tight shirt. For a big guy this is no fun. I picture Chris Farley’s “Fat man in a little coat” routine. Second hurdle. No Gi is really different. My strength was not as effective as Gi training and that left me exposed multiple times. I rolled two rounds. One with Kyle and one with Coach Turtle. I lost count, but I think I got tapped out 8 times in 12 minutes. That is kind of hard to do, unless you suck bad.
But I had a ton of fun and became more comfortable with the uncomfortable. The humility train was right on time and I am a regular commuter these days.
Thanks for the lessons. In BJJ there is only winning and learning. Oh. And bruising. There is a lot of bruising…
Broke a good sweat. Worked on some great basics tonight and got in a couple good live training rounds in.
This post is just going to be about some cool jiu jitsu I have learned lately. Not a lot of reflection. But definitely a lot of learning!
Here are the coolest things I have learned over the past couple of weeks –
– Key Lock: So when you get to the mount, which is basically kneeling over your partner/opponent, you isolate their top positioned arm. You push with straight arms down, making sure you have a C grip, not thumbs around. This grip is not really intuitive to me yet, but I am working on it. Once you have the arm on the mat, you leave your left grip on the partner’s wrist, while weaving your right hand under their arm, between their bicep and the mat. You grab your wrist with a C grip and slide their arm down toward their side. If they don’t tap yet, you lift up with your right arm and they will tap soon! Now, this was easy in drilling, and really hard in live training. I was partnered with Big Mike so I literally could not push his arm over. He showed me how to get more torque on his arm and with technique, I was finally able to get his wrist to the mat. Once there, it worked like a charm.
– Tiger Tails with Big Mike: Noticing a theme…Big Mike. Mike is a great guy who I train with fairly regularly. I would describe him as a giant. A giant who is really strong, more flexible than you would imagine and frighteningly quick for a guy his size (6’6″ – 265 lbs). Yeah. He is a beast. We do this warmup exercise called “Tiger Tails”. You put a piece of belt about a foot long in the back of your belt and then try and get your partners before he gets yours. This is an enormous challenge. Oh, and if your partner gets your tail, you do 10 quick pushups. We did two, two minute rounds and I did 70 pushups. The hardest thing was not defending Mike, or trying to pass his tentacle like arms. Or even the pushups. Although all of the above was really hard!!! The most difficult thing was keeping my attitude and belief strong each time. By the end, I felt like my mind had been defeated and that defeat was what has stuck with me all week. I need to do 70 mind push ups…
– How to defend the triangle guard and choke: I have trained with Andre two times lately. I like rolling with him. He is more advanced than me, by quite a bit. He is strong and technical. The last two times I have trained with him, he has successfully tapped me with triangle chokes. So, after this last time, I asked Coach Turtle to show me a couple of ways to get out or defend. Positioning is key. And not losing my posture – which means to surrender my head so he can sink the choke in deep. I practiced this a bit and unfortunately it was not magic. It took a lot of work and patience to relax, breathe and work slowly to improve my position. That is what makes it difficult. But achievable.
I had a good week of training. I rolled hard and learned a lot. I employed the most important thing for me at this point, humility. I tapped when I needed to and stopped when I was gassed. And I learned more. I am thinking a lot about how to relax when I get in dangerous positions. How to be patient and technical. I am grateful for Big Mike, Andre, Coach Turtle, Coach Wojtek, Coach Mike, Kyle, Felix, Lisa, Kyle, and all my other training partners. I am thinking of the sport and looking forward to getting back on Tuesday!!
Have a great week!