Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Turn Your Weaknesses into Strengths

It is a widely known fact that my take-downs are garbage. I don't shoot in far enough. My sprawl looks like my knees buckled out from under me and I kind of just fell down dead. I don't move fast enough or smooth enough or close enough. So, in tournaments or take-down drills, my solution to this problem has always been to just jump guard.

No longer!! lol Phil and I split a couple of private lessons on take-downs and I feel like I took a few power-steps in the right direction. (Yeah, I know that was corny, but that's the kind of high quality humor you get in my blog).

Brian, who is a purple belt at our school, showed us a lot of things including how ridiculously fast he is. He can shoot in and get to you from halfway across the room!

I am pretty sure that he was annoyed with how uncoordinated I was with the sprawling, but he must have brought an endless store of patience. It was pretty pitiful. He tried all kinds of things to make me sprawl correctly. He rolled a physioball at me to try to make me sprawl onto it, but I ket stopping it out in front of me with my arms. That was a lot of my problem with my sprawl. I'm hitting the ground with my arms and legs instead of with my hips. And I'm too stiff.

One thing he said stuck out to me and amused me at the same time. H was telling us that when you take your stance you need to have your feet slightly staggered, with your elbows in tight and your head up....kind of like a T-rex. Now, I have a five year old son. So I know my dinosaurs. And after seeing the way Brian moved I felt compelled to inform him that it's not really like a T-rex. It's more like a velociraptor. Dinosaur species aside, the illustration definitely stuck with me. I couldn't help but smile like the uber nerd I am every time I took my stance after that.

I'm going to take one more private lesson from Ben about take-downs. I have a laundry list of things that I need to work on to improve that area of my game, but I want to get a rounded view on the subject before I make a huge long post about what techniques I'm going to be focusing on.

The hardest part about learning take-downs is that they are hard to practice in a drilling situation. More so than other BJJ techniques in my opinion. You really need to be in motion for a lot of them to work. You use the hip throw when someone is moving into you. You use the leg hook when someone' moving back. It's a lot about timing and learning to judge the distance and the movement of the other person. What I need is a training partner that is around my size who wouldn't mind letting me attack them over and over again. Hmmm.....Stephanie??? lol

I am determined to get better at this. Jumping guard is fine. But I don't like giving up those 2 points at the beginning of the match. More than anything else, I don't like not doing something just because I'm not picking it up right away.

On a completely unrelated topic, we're going on a field trip tomorrow with our Saturday morning class. All of us are loading up and driving down t Apollo beach to visit a fledgling sister school. The instructors are students at Fabio's. I'm excited to get to roll with some new people!

Anyway, that's all I've got for now. Happy Easter weekend to all of you!!