Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dropping Weight

So, NAGA is fast approaching and I'm trying to make some decisions. Right now, I weight around 138-139, depending on the day. As it stands right now, I will be at the very bottom of the middle weight class (135lbs and above). The next weight class is only 3-4 pounds away. 5 to be on the safe side. The question is, should I bust my butt to lose another 5 pounds? OR should I not worry about that?

Class last night was awesome. We worked mainly on sweeps from half guard. I was able to use one in a grapple, but I need to be looking for them more. I'm way to comfortable being on the bottom, working from guard. I'll keep working!

Today, I have two classes, one in the afternoon and one tonight. I'm wondering if I might be training too much. Lately, I've been going to four classes a week, plus grappling outside of class with friends at my house. I'm loving every minute of it and I don't feel sore or injured. But I do kind of feel like I have trouble remembering all the different techniques I learn during the week. The steady grappling is really helpful, though.

Also, I found out there is another small competition coming up on the 5th of November in my area. It's a small name competition, but I'm considering competing. It would be a way to get my feet wet and maybe get some practice in for NAGA. Only thing is, I'm worried I could get myself injured in this small competition and then miss NAGA. And that would be really frustrating.

Decisions, decisions. :)


Georgette said...

Drop the weight, it's easy. Though NAGA will be big enough for you probably not to get matched with the BIG ladies (180+), you never know. Better to be on the safe side. There're some great articles linked on my advice for competition post regarding cutting weight. Remember unlike guys I think it's harder for women to cut water weight by saunaing etc. Better to start now with cutting calories and upping the cardio workouts.

As for training too much I'm the last person to give advice (7 days a week!) But I will say that taking notes will help you keep techniques straight in your mind... and mat time is key. Don't limit your mat time because you think it will help you keep the techniques straighter. Experience with the techniques will make them part of muscle memory and the only way to get the experience is... mat time. IMHO and of course your mileage may vary.

Enjoy :)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks Georgette! Do you take notes during the class? Write down which techniques you learned? I think I might write them all down at the end of the night from now on so I can at least remember them all.

Dev said...

I agree wholeheartedly with Georgette, but our experiences are exactly the opposite. I suck at cutting weight - in fact, I just finished a post last night about trying to drop 6 pounds for the US Open. That said, if you actually have the discipline to run, then you should be fine. Cut back on calories slowly. Even if you make weight, you want plenty of gas in your tank.

As far as training too much, only you know for sure. I find that 3 times a week works okay for me, but most of the time I end up craving one or two more. The mat time and position sparring is most important to me, though. I try to take one thing from each practice, and I DO write it down - in fact, that's part of why I started my blog. It helps me review the technique, and it forces me to find videos (I tend to come back to Saulo's BJJ Revolution a lot) of the techniques, and during that search I inevitably get sidetracked by some other sexy technique, which I then jot down a note for and try during the next sparring session.

Sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. If it's a crazy technique, I'll generally toss it and come back later, but if it seems like it should work, I'll ask Coach or one of the purples what I'm doing wrong.

I don't recommend flash cards or anything, though. Your brain will remember everything it can, but overloading it won't make your inner BJ Penn come out any faster, it'll generally just confuse you more. Focus on one or two techniques at a time, get to where you can use them effectively and consistently on blue belts, and THEN move to another.

Just my $.02.

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks, Dev. Yeah, I've been trying to tak away one solid technique from each class that I think I can pull off in a grapple. Usually its the one I'm able to at least attempt during sparring. ;) I might take your and Georgette's example and start jotting down the techniques from class here in this blog. At least then I can keep track of them!

slideyfoot said...

Georgette is much, much more experienced at competition than me, so I'd go with her advice.

However, just wanted to add that leading up to the one and only time I competed (a while back now, in 2007), I was near the bottom of my weight class, so I thought "might as well cut a little more, so I can be at the top of the weight class down."

Big mistake. I ended up dropping way too much weight, fell ill, then felt like crap during and after the comp. Ended up missing a bunch more training sessions after that, because I kept catching every virus going, until I got back to my natural weight.

So, if and when I compete again, I'm just going to go in at whatever I weigh at the time. I sure as hell don't want to feel the way I did last time! ;)

On note-taking, I'd suggest scribbling down some bullet points on the techniques (e.g., this arm goes here, pull them in this direction etc), but most importantly, think carefully about what worked and what didn't in sparring.

Try to work out WHY something didn't work, and always ask your sparring partner afterwards. E.g:

ME: "How come you keep catching me with that ezequiel choke from mount?"

PARTNER: "Well, you kept lifting up your head, which gives me plenty of space."

A.D. McClish said...

Wow, Slidey, that sucks about getting sick right before the tournament. I had to take off yesterday completely from exercise because I just felt run down.

As far as techniques go, that's a good idea to write them down and then look them up later on YouTube. I guess the only thing I worry about would be watching a video by some crappy guy who doesn't know what he's doing and then me not knowing the difference! ;)

Most of the higher belts in class are really helpful. They'll even stay after class to help some of us newbies work on stuff. Those are some of the times that I learn the most.