Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Road to BJJ Black Belt

So I began working the closed guard like I said I would and well lets just say frustration is setting is coming on strong.

For about 3 months now I have been playing a flow style game. Which I believe we all should aspire to do be able to do at will. Now I am going to explain what I mean by a flow style game so people will understand what I mean by it and not confuse it with a defensive style game. Experienced practitioners will say "duh, that's what your suppose to do." while some people will need to have it explained.

What I do is attack my partners weak spots and when I run into resistance I will move into the next technique. By attack I mean sweeps, positional changes, AND submissions. Trying to stay a step ahead of my partner and have him focusing on stopping techniques and then catching them when they leave an opening.

For example I am in the mount trying to secure a cross collar choke. As a defense my partner traps my arm and attempts a bridge and roll. Instead of stopping the positional change a alter the choke and work it from my guard. If that gets defended I switch to say a pendulum sweep and regain top position and attack with an arm bar or just retain mount depending again on my partners resistance. I simply feel like I'm flowing from technique to technique.

This is were I felt I was developing a lot of my BJJ "skills". So when I decided to work on just playing my guard I started forcing techniques. I would start attempting a flower sweep and if it failed I would go back and do it again. Never taking advantage of my partners reactions just trying to perfect a technique that I feel I need to work on. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I don't need to work on the technique any more I know the technique.

The thing I should be focusing on is WHEN to do the technique. Just because I want to do a move doesn't mean its the move that should be done. The secret to a good technique is not just the mechanics its the timing and application. Equating it to Judo I would say that you need to throw someone where they want to be thrown not were you want them to be thrown. Again this makes perfect sense to me if you follow cool if not come back in a couple months of training and go, "I got it now".

It has taken me a couple of weeks to write this and I have been at a lost of words to explain the efforts and mindset I have on the mat. In this time period I have seem to injured my knee again. My next blog may be asking your thoughts on micro fracture surgery.

Friday, October 21, 2011

1947 Judo what have we lost?


Ok take a good serious look at the techniques demonstrated. She is pretty good. Why wasn't this expanded on? Why did Americans dismiss Judo?

Look at what happened to every other sport in America that was being done at that time. Look at the advancements, innovations and progressions that was made in them. Why didn't we do this with Judo?

BJJ was in it's embryonic stages at this time. The Brazilians grew Judo groundwork by leaps and bounds in the same time period and we are basically a third world country when it comes to martial arts.

Instead of being a leader in this area we are a joke for the most part, aside from a few exceptions.

I blame the infighting and politics of Judo for this. I blame the arrogance of people who thought they knew better and the idiocy of those that followed them. I blame money and the lack of it.

Judo was not thought of as a profession yet we pay college coaches millions for a game that contributed very little to society besides entertainment.

In a nutshell we, judo instructors, fucked up.

Monday, October 17, 2011

My secret weapon.

In my ongoing quest for martial arts knowledge I have been injured many many times. Just so you will know that I'm not BSing you let's run the list.

I have broken my hands, fingers, feet and toes multiple times and currently have a plate and 12 screws in my left hand.

I have undergone ACL replacements in both knees and most of the meniscus (I'm not going to look up the plural) is gone in both knees.

I have broken my ribs countless times
as well as pulled nearly every muscle in my body in some way shape or form.

I have had 2 major concussions. Which may explain some problems I have. (Bad joke I know).

The major injury that I have suffered was a broken back. Yes a broken back. My spine was compressed in an accident that broke the L5 vertebrae in my back into three pieces. Luckily nerves were not damaged but it took some time to recover. I also lost 3cm of height.

Over the years I've tried many many things to get some relief from the injuries. Chiropractors and acupuncture even yoga from a DVD were some the things I tried even massage therapy and that water massage thing they have in the mall.

I would go to medical doctors and get steroid packs (not anabolic) and anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots. I have also done enough physical therapy that I could get a job as an assistant.

So I say these things because I believe I have a good idea what has and hasn't worked for me.

So what is my secret weapon on the road to BJJ black belt?


Seriously this is the best form of body conditioning I have ever experienced. The instructor at Gladiators Academy, Blake Aillet, is not only a ninja at BJJ, he is a ninja at instructing Pilates.

Blake does an excellent job of formatting his classes to movements that enhance jiujitsu movement. The moves are sometimes very difficult to do because you are trying to maintain proper form.

I consider myself a pretty agile person with decent flexibility. After 25 years of martial arts I was pretty confident in that assumption. Wrong. Dead wrong.

Since doing Pilates I rarely have a limp now. My neck and shoulders are not sore all the time. My core body is stronger than it's ever been. I can pump out situps now like it's nothing.

For the BJJ guys, my core is so strong now all of my sweeps from guard are stronger. My transitions and movement are virtually effortless.

For the Judo guys, since my core strength went up when I hip check someone coming in for a throw they fly off my hip like they ran into a wall.

If you're at Gladiators Academy you're missing out on the best conditioning class we offer. If your reading this and not from Lafayette, LA then go find a Pilates class.

Try the class for three months. After that come back and tell me if you feel better or not. I feel like I've gained an inch of height back and my back is not sore all the time now.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The road to black belt

Recently I was awarded a brown belt in Brazilian jiujitsu from Tim Credeur with his instructor Rodrigo Mederios present.

I started thinking how this would be the third martial art I am trying to attain the rank of black belt. My other two belts are in Taekowndo and Judo. I still remember when I received them and hold them in a special place in my heart.

So I thought I would document or report on my time spent as a brown belt in BJJ.

So we will start of the first week with doing some guard work. I've decided that my exploration period is over and I'm just going to stick to a few things and make them virtually unstoppable.

Closed guard I'm going to focus on standard submissions, arm bar, triangle, and collar chokes. I'm going to tune up flower, pendulum, and scissor sweeps.

My idea is to keep it relatively simple while in the guard and make it active and dangerous.