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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Shark Pit

Saturday morning classes are always interesting. They're my favorite classes of the week because we usually end up doing something out of the ordinary.

This time, we did shark pits. Also commonly called "B**** of the Day". lol. One person goes on the mat and everyone else takes turns spending one minute of intense grappling trying to submit them.

Ben had us do this with a small variation. The first go-round, we weren't allowed to go to our knees or go to guard. All we were basically allowed to do was get in the fetal position and try not to get submitted. Then, the second go round, the people in the middle had to start out with each person in either mount or side control. There were no submissions this round. It was the job of everyone attacking the guy in the middle to maintain the dominant position. If the guy in the middle got out, then they'd reset and go again until the minute was up and the next person jumped in.

I learned several things from this exercise, which I will now share with you in a nerdy fashion:

1. Like Ben was explaining after we were done, the point of the exercise was to show us that it's easier to survive than we might think it is. We weren't allowed to go to guard. We weren't allowed to turtle. The people on top were going full boar trying to submit us. And we were still able to fend them off for the most part. This should give us confidence to know that we can survive even if we get into a bad position and that, if we do find ourselves stuck in mount or side control, we need know that we can survive and to relax and start working out.

2. People are much tighter when they are just trying to maintain a position vs. when they are going for a submission. Evey time they go for something, they make space. I need to learn to take advantage of their distraction and use it to time my escapes.

3. My side control escapes suck. lol For the last few weeks, I've been focusing on side control escapes and have seen only limited improvement. Today, I noticed that my arms got really tired during the shark pit drill, which suggests to me that I was trying to push my opponent away instead of using my arms as barricades and moving away. It's a bad habit that I've gotten into. I'm really going to be focusing on changing it.

So, I will continue on my quest to learn how to be a better escape artist. Until then, happy tapping to me! ;)

3 comments:

Dev said...

That sounds like a fantastic exercise! Good job!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Wow that's great! Sounds like you have excellent coaches who are taking good care of you!

just a quick comment/phase that I think a lot of people miss:

"2. People are much tighter when they are just trying to maintain a position vs. when they are going for a submission. Evey time they go for something, they make space. I need to learn to take advantage of their distraction and use it to time my escapes"

Between the survival and the escape, there is a phase when you actually become aware of the above mentioned "they make space". If you spend 3-6 months just feeling that space out (not actually trying to "learn to take advantage" but just waiting for it and actually feel it come and even slip away) then you'll catapult your escapes and even transitions to another level!

I often ask people to start from mount on me. I don't try to escape at the first opportunity, but I just try to lie there and register exactly what they are doing (weight distribution, spaces created/negated...etc.) and I learn to read them that way.

A.D. McClish said...

That sounds like a really interesting experiment. And, considering that I find myself in mount and side control often, I think I will try it out! Timing is something that I am just now starting to understand. Up to this point, it's been, "Of, I'm in side control, I have to do the escape." I was just trying to force escapes. Now what I am TRYING to learn is how to set certain escapes up. Try a sweep, but know how to do one in another direction if they resist my first direction. So far, it's all been in my head and not anything I can carry out with any consistency. But that's what I am really working on right now.

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