BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS »

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Almost Had 'Em!

Last night, I grappled with a younger kid who has been coming about a month. I was going slow, making him move and leaving space for him to escape and to attack. He would get me in something--a triangle or an armbar and I would do the escape.

Right at the end of the grapple, he had tried to do and arm bar and I rolled out and came into side control. It was a low side control. He hooked the knee close to me around the back of my neck. Didn't have an arm or anything. Was just squeezing my neck, trying something I guess. Fabio called "Time!" and he let go. Promptly he stood up and said, "Oh man! I almost had her!" He went and sat down and told his mom about how he almost had me in a submission and time stopped right before he could "get me". LOL!

I don't mind it too much. He's a little kid. Probably eleven or twelve. But it brings up a good point that many beginners don't realize. I say "beginners" including myself, because I have been guilty of this before too.

"Almost" isn't anything. If you weren't able to finish a submission properly, whether it be because you had incorrect technique or because your opponent knew the escape and executed it, then you didn't "almost" have it. You had an attempt. And that's a good thing. But there is a world of difference between trying a submission and being able to carry it through to it's completion.

It's ironic that I rolled with that kid on Thursday afternoon because the rolls were reversed last night at class. I rolled with a purple belt nick-named "Joe Boxer" who is strong, fast and highly technical. When he rolled with me, naturally, he toned down the speed and the strength. But not the technique. Like I did with the kid, he allowed me to get into good positions, to go for submissions, and then he would escape out of them with ease.

Though I went for several submissions, I knew I was no where close to finishing any of them. There was no "I almost had 'em!" lol

It is important, when we roll with higher belts, to realize that they are more than likely slowing down and working defense for our benefit. They are letting us get those dominant positions and to go for those submissions because they want us to grow.

It's all about working together to build skills. The higher rank is practicing defense--escaping bad positions and submissions--while the lower rank is working offense. Its a good way for everyone to get something out of the roll.

But there's one sure way to bring a fast end to a good rolling relationship like that. Talking smack. All that courtesy Joe Boxer showed me when we rolled would disappear if I went around telling people how I got mount on him and went after a million submissions and "almost had him." He would grapple me at his speed after that. Then we'd see if I could get mount and go for submissions. What would happen would be a lot of me being plastered to the mat and a lot of me tapping. Not fun.

The best way to look at a grapple with a higher belt is a chance to push yourself; to go for it. You should be able to trust that they will roll safely with you--that if they get that armbar, they won't crank it. They'll hold it and make you do the escape. So you can feel at liberty to try things because you know you can trust your rolling partner.

But at the end of the grapple, keep in mind the reasons why you were able to move and work those positions, escapes and submissions. Remember to say "Thank You." And remember to do the same thing for the newbies that come in after you. ;)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Big Topic

As you may have read in my post the other day, there has been some intense debate in the comments section over a process that happens at our school called "the welcome". Dev and Georgette recently both posted blogs about their views on the welcome, but I am worried that the wrong impression is being made of Fabio's school.

I spoke with Fabio and am going to explain what my understanding of his philosophy is on rolling and on the welcome. I hope this clears everything up and gives you a better idea of what happens at our school.

Also, let me say that if you go to my school and are reading this blog, feel free to correct me if I am wrong at any point. I am going to try to explain this the best way that I can.

There has been a lot of talk about what the welcome is. Let me explain it to you as best as I can, from my experience. When a new person comes in, having no knowledge of what Jiu-jitsu is about, they are taught three basic submissions (an armbar, an americana and a rear naked choke) and then they are put with higher belts to grapple.

The higher belt's job is to give them a "welcome". Most of the time at Fabios, higher belts who roll with people who are lower than them will roll and catch submissions and hold them, allowing the lower belt time to work out an escape. The difference in the welcome is, the higher belt doesn't give them the time to escape. They just finish the submission. They do this throughout the first grapple with the person.

The goal is to submit, not to hurt someone. When I talked to Fabio about it, he said there is a reason why only people who have their blue belts or higher do the welcomes. Firstly, the people who he asks to do this know how to roll with someone and get submissions WITHOUT HURTING someone.

Here is what a welcome is supposed to look like. A person comes in and grapples a higher belt. They are going as hard as they can against the higher belt. The higher belt is supposed to stay relaxed and calm, and to submit the person without having to spazz out and go insane.

In the welcome, the goal to make them tap. Not to hurt them. It is supposed to be a demonstration of skill, not a beating. It’s to show the skill level, not to hurt people. The only injury someone should walk away with after a welcome is maybe a hit to their pride. You can't come in and learn Jiu-jitsu if you have pride. As Fabio said, "When pride goes in front of you, you get hurt." That’s why the higher belts come roll with brand new whitebelts who have no control. The higher belts can submit them in a safe way and teach them to calm down, without leaving bruises.

Getting rid of pride is not the only reason why the welcome is done. The other reason why is to inspire people to see the skill level they can achieve if they come back and keep learning. What usually happens during welcomes is people are impressed with how many times and how many different ways they were submitted. They don't come off the mat injured (though, as in any school, there are some ACCIDENTAL injuries that happen). They come off the mat impressed by the fact that, no matter what they tried, the person they were rolling with was able to not only fend them off, but the get into a dominant position and make them tap.

All of this stuff about trying to pop elbows and ankles is not how it goes. The people at our school are not trying to rip people's limbs off. It is not about the pride of the higher belts. It is not about trying to beat someone up. It is showing them what Jiu-jitsu is.

When I was first talking about the welcome with some people after all of this conversation started up, I told them, "I don't think I ever got welcomed." But now that I look back on my first day, I know I did. Let me tell you how it went.

I am an average sized girl with no martial arts background before Jiu-jitsu. When I came into Fabio's, I was put with several higher belts to grapple. As terrified as I was, not knowing anyone and not having much experience, I thought I was going to get a beat down. I did get owned, but I remember laughing because of how ridiculously I was flopping around and about how ineffective all of my attempts to do anything were. I never felt like I was in danger. When I was submitted, it was never a rough, crank submission. I left thinking, "Man, those guys were good." and also, "Man, I have to work on my base." Everyone I rolled with told me encouraging things after the grapple and gave me pointers on where I could improve.

I had a blast. And I came back craving more.

That's the whole goal of a welcome. Not to hurt someone. It's to show them what Jiu-jitsu looks like. Jiu-jitsu is described as the gentle art. Welcomes are not supposed to be knock down drag out fights. Welcomes are supposed to be higher belts showing a new person what they can aspire to.

As one of Fabio's blue belts, sometimes I am required to give a welcome when a new girl comes in. I will admit that sometimes I struggle with wanting to do them, but that is mostly because I worry that won't be able to represent what a blue belt should look like well enough. That is my problem, though. I also sometimes feel bad about submitting people, especially when it is someone who doesn't know anything, but that's my personality in general. I still say "I'm sorry" to people who have been grappling there as long as I have whenever I try to do a submission. People at my school make fun of me for that all the time. When I told Fabio I felt bad about submitting people, he told me, "You're not trying to hurt them. You're showing them where they are making themselves vulnerable."

They stick out their arm, I catch it. They expose their neck, I take it. I don't crank any submissions. And if they resist a submission when I have it, I DO NOT crank it until it pops. I let it go and go for the choke.

I can tell you that NEVER in ANY welcome I have done have I EVER tried to deliberately hurt someone. I go for submissions. FABIO DOES NOT ADVOCATE INJURING PEOPLE TO GET A TAP DURING A WELCOME. I want to make that clear. The purpose of the welcome is the exact opposite of that. The higher belt should be relaxed and easy, showing them that the technique works no matter what they try. That is why Fabio always has higher belts--not white belts--doing the welcome.

The first day someone comes to train at my school, they should not leave feeling like they just got jumped. They should walk away thinking about how they can't wait to come back. That is what I have seen happen over and over again.

My school is not a big group of bullies going around owning newbies to puff up their egos. My school is like a big family. You come in, people are friendly. They help you. In my blog, I talk all the time about how the higher belts give me advice and help me with things. And I try to do the same thing for the people who I roll with who are of lower rank than me. We are a team, not a bunch of hot heads competing to see who can get the most taps.

There. I said my piece.

I know that even after my explanation, some of you may not agree with the idea of the welcome. I know people have different opinions about how to teach BJJ. I am still new to all of this, so I don't claim to be an expert by any means. If your opinion is different from mine, feel free to share it. But I would invite you to come to our school and see what it looks like before you make any final judgments about it. If you do come, you will find a warm, friendly place, not a den of ape-men trying to snap peoples limbs off.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So Much Information!!

Afternoon class was hyper productive. As a warning, I'm writing down everything so I don't forget all the stuff I learned. Gunna be a long blog. ;)

Firstly, we worked leg-lock escapes. Kind of funny, after all the talks I've been having with people lately. It's something I definitely need to work on. We worked both a regular heel hook, corkscrew escape and a reverse heel hook escape.

I noticed several things I was doing wrong. For one thing, when corkscrewing out, I was too concerned with the placement of my foot when I'm pushing off. That's not really the key part. The key part is turning so your heel and knee are out of danger. I was trying to place my foot first and then turn. What I needed to do above all was turn. I also noticed that I was corkscrewing to the side instead of corkscrewing straight back, away from them. If I corkscrew to the side, they can roll with me.

Had plenty of practice with those escapes during rolling. Fabio, knowing I need to work on keeping legs out of danger and escaping leg locks, has been going almost exclusively for my legs. He'd catch one, let me escape and immediately go for the other leg. It was frustrating, funny and highly helpful all at the same time.

After grappling with Fabio, I went with a blue belt named Brian who we all call "Barf" (it's a long story. lol. No, he didn't barf.) and he has been a very helpful training partner from the get go, when I first came to Fabio's. Today, he got on me about my gi choke. He--and several other people--have pointed out that I go for the regular gi choke straight on. What I need to do is hip out a little bit so I have an angle to get my first arm deep. Then, using my leg to break them down the other way, I can get the second hand much easier. How many times do I have to be told/shown this to remember it?

Also, I picked Ben's brain about something that vexed me during a roll on Monday night. I rolled with a girl who was visiting from another school and she kept doing the mount escape where she puts her foot in my belt and pulls me off backwards. I have learned how to do that, but I couldn't remember how to combat it. All I could think to do was get low and grapevine. But that usually ended with me getting pulled back and dropping into a weird, half knee on belly thing where neither of us could really do anything.

Ben showed me several different ways to deal with it, but the main idea was that I need to go with it, not fight against it. The first way to deal with it is to stand up, hold down the leg that does not have the foot in your belt and step over. From there, you have several options, one of which is to roll over your shoulder and under their leg. They have no choice but to roll with you. You come out behind them and can then take their back. The other thing he showed me was to come forward, toward their head and turn and catch their leg. Their foot is trapped behind your back and all you have to do is set up kind of like a regular heel hook and rotate your body over their leg. Their own belt does the heel hook! Pretty cool.

Lastly, Fabio put me with a big guy named Orlando. He told Orlando to do nothing but hold me in guard and try to sweep me. It was a good exercise. I know I need to work on guard passing. This showed me some of the areas where I'm having trouble.

My brain is saturated. Great class. Lots learned and lots of fun. Now I'm going to go ice my shoulder and watch Food Network Challenge. ;)

Impressive

Last night I had the privilege to roll with one of the newer whitebelt men at our school. Let me tell you, when I was assigned to roll with him I wasn't looking forward to it. The guy's name is Ish and he is a giant. When I say giant, I mean he looks like he could be a professional football player. Big muscles. Really thick. Scary.

When we sat down to roll, I was already gearing up for an unpleasant experience. I expected lots of muscling and squashing. But, as soon as the roll started, I realized I was wrong. Ish is easily the biggest guy I have ever grappled. But I didn't feel his weight even once! He didn't try to muscle me. He used technique. He didn't try to squash me. He was careful about his weight, but not in a way that made the roll awkward.

I was really impressed. If he sticks with it, he is going to learn fast because he has already learned that Jiu-jitsu isn't about size and strength, but about technique. Go Ish!! :)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Jiu-jitsu for Self Defense

I don't know how to put a poll in my blog post. I should ask Liam. But I wanted to know something out of curiosity, so I posted a poll on the right-hand side of this blog hoem page. The question is:

How many of you have ever actually had to use Jiu-jitsu in an actual self defense situation?

Also, I was just wondering what is actually legal in a self-defense situation? Not that I am planning to go get in a street fight or anything. I've never actually had to defend myself outside of the school or a tournament. Could you get in trouble for defending yourself "too well"? I am not talking about me being so awesome that I could accidentally kill someone in self defense. But what if you broke someone's arm? Could they come back and sue you?

Just wondering...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Purpose to the Pain

Warning: Dramatic Blog Ahead.

For the first time in a while, I voluntarily missed some classes. I had been feeling under the weather and needed to rest some injuries. I've been dealing with a bum shoulder for a while and haven't had a chance to get into the doctor. I plan to go in on Monday. My knees--both of them--are feeling twingy too. My right one worries me. It also has been hurting for a while. Never really been right since I hurt in that take-down about seven months ago.

I needed the rest. Not just physically. Life outside of BJJ has been pretty hectic. One of the days this week, I think Thursday, I was sick and took off from my duties at the church (we are doing a V.B.S. this week) and I slept literally all day. I also did a lot of this:



But now I am itching to get back on the mat. And I have two whole days before there will be another class. That's a good thing, I think. Two more days to ice and rest my shoulder and knee.

Been thinking a lot about the last few weeks and have been getting my head right. All of us grapple people we don't particularly want to. The reasons why we don't want to grapple them vary. I can list off a few of reasons I've complained about before: they muscle a lot, they do rude things, they crank submissions.

However, I think the real reason why I don't like grappling "certain people" is very simple: They beat me when I felt like they shouldn't have.

I don't like to think that I'm an overly competitive person. But I also don't like to think that I have to pay my bills every month. Unfortunately, me not wanting to think that doesn't make either of those things less true. I don't like losing. I don't like feeling like I didn't do as well as I should have. And that's my problem, not my opponent's problem.

What I think I lose sight of every now and then is that I am not in competition with my teammates. We are there to sharpen each other, challenge each other. If someone can pick apart my guard, that's actually a good thing, because it forces me to adapt, to grow.

But it still feels like crap.

As crappy as it feels, though, I refuse to avoid it. I see a challenge and I'm ready to attack it. I might get shut down for a while. But eventually, I will learn to deal with it. And then I'll be ready for the next challenge.

I realized also that my life in general is a lot like this. I don't have to deal with anything too horrible. But, like everyone else, I have to face situations I don't want to, deal with people I'd rather not, go through pain I wish I didn't have to. But, if I let it, these people and situations can be catalysts for times of growth in my character. They expose my weaknesses, my faults. I can either get mad at them, feel sorry for myself, or "be a man" and face it.

I want to face it. Why tap if you're not going to learn from it? Why go through all these difficulties and not take anything away from it? I want to learn from it, grow from it. Doesn't make it suck any less. But at least it brings purpose to the pain.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Zombie Grappling

Yesterday afternoon, I went into class like a zombie. I haven't slept well the past few days because my son has been sick. Most of the time when I go to class tired, I end up having a really good class. Yesterday I just ended up getting leg-locked a lot.

But there is a bit of good news from the lately complainy, gloomy girl! I am realizing why I am getting ankle-locked so much and I'm starting to see it right before it happens. A few times I was able to snatch my leg back. Mostly because my friend Salsa John was going in slow motion so I could do it. :) At one point he swept me and my brain was lagging so I didn't tuck my head. He literally held me up in the air for a second so I could tuck my head. Good training partner, right there.

After class, another of my good friends at Fabio's, Thomas, was having a private lesson. He let me hang around and be his practice dummy for the lesson. Unfortunately by brain was soup and I didn't retain much. But I promised him I would write down what I remembered. And I will. Later today. :)

[An aside note, I wrote this post before I had read all the comments about leg locks on the last post. lol. This post looks different to me after reading all those comments. I meant nothing disrespectful by this post, just so you guys know!!]

Monday, July 19, 2010

Garbage

That's pretty much what I felt like tonight.

I rolled with a guy I have never rolled with before. Whitebelt. Nice guy. Always been friendly with me. I'm thinking we're going to have a nice, relaxed grapple.

Wrong.

He sits down in front of me and says, "Go easy on me." But as soon as the grapple starts, he is after me. He stuffed my guard pretty easily, which was frustrating (lol), and then went on to a lot of smashing. Shortly into the grapple, he goes for a heel hook. I tapped. Didn't want to mess with it because I'm not the greatest at heel hook escapes. After that, I was on defense for most of the rest of the roll. I kept returning to my guard or half guard. He kept smashing and passing.

It sucked. I sucked.

I was already feeling pissy after that and then I rolled with another guy who is relatively new and notorious for spazzing and not tapping. I mentioned him a couple of weeks ago. Same kind of stuff. He kept trying to go for heel hooks from starting position. And he kept doing this thing where he waved his hands in front of my face to try to distract me or something. Didn't work. Just annoyed the garbage out of me. I got two heel hooks but had to let them go because he wouldn't tap. He kept spazzing out trying to pass my guard. Finally, after he kept trying to choke me from inside my guard, I arm-barred him. Twice. Nasty, tight ones too. I let go as soon as he tapped, of course, and I didn't pop his elbows or anything, but still. I don't normally go that hard on anyone, let alone some new guy who just doesn't know how to calm down. A few of my buddies in class told me they think the kid needs to be tapped out like that so that he calms down. But I just felt even crappier after that.

I guess the reason why I feel so crappy is that I know I lost my temper. I wasn't trying to hurt him. But I was like, "Alright. That's it." And then the barring ensued. Normally, I am able to tolerate spastic guys like him. Yeah, I get annoyed. But they don't send me into outer-space like this guy did tonight. If I'm honest, I know the reason why I got so mad was because I was frustrated about the grapple before. And I took it out on this other guy.

Yeah, let the hate comments roll in.

After that grapple, I was even more frustrated and angry, so when Fabio started to put me with another white belt guy, I just asked to sit out. I knew already I wouldn't be able to relax and grapple without being insane. After class, I apologized to the second guy for going a little too hard.

I talked to Fabio about it too and he told me a lot of the same stuff my other friends said. The guy needs to tap. Don't worry about it. But he also said he is going to keep putting me with the first guy who frustrated me until he doesn't frustrate me anymore. I know it will force me to grow. Fabio put me with him specifically because he likes to stuff inverted guard. I need to focus on developing other things and this will force me to do that. But I am not looking forward to it.

Anyway...I am going to stop with the angry blogging and go to bed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Managing Friends on the Mat

Was tired in class this afternoon. Zombie-like. Getting my shoulder looked at on Monday, but it did fine during the rolls. Unfortunately though Salsa John's guard vexed me for the majority of our grapple. I was trying to pass and wasn't succeeding, so I started to go to my guard. Fabio stopped me. "You were on top, you stay on top. Don't go to your guard. You'll lose two points if you do that in a tournament."

Oopsie.

They told me that I give up too early. When the pass doesn't work, I fall back onto what I feel safe with. My guard.

Ironically, we worked some guard passing in drills today and I am REALLY wanting to have a private to focus on that area. What are the main concepts behind breaking guard and where am I getting them wrong? I know some of the answers to those questions, but I want to see specifically where all my dreams of passing are being shattered on the rocky reality of my opponents legs! ;)

We've had lots of new girls come in and try BJJ recently. Some of them stay, some of them go. I always try hard to be friendly and to make their first experience a positive one. Genuinely, I want to see the number of women increase in Jiu-jitsu in general and at our school.

But I am noticing a struggle in myself with some of the girls. Nothing new, but still something that makes me unsure of what I should do. Do I go for things with these girls? Or do I only work defense and let them work? Do I roll for only position and not submit? Do I Go for submissions but just let them escape?

Why all the angst and drama?

I don't want them to be mad at me, but I also want both myself and them to get the most out of the training session that I can. Some of them are like me and want to be challenged. But how much? Do they want me to just make them move? Or do they want me to go for submissions and let them escape or not? I suppose I should just ask individually.

Guys are easier to deal with. BJJ is a fighting sport. So, you get down and you grapple. For girls, there's another layer of social politics thrown into the game. Not all girls are like that, I know. But I have witnessed that in the past.

What I have been doing is to try to do what most higher belts do for me: roll light and work more defense. Or, I roll and look for submissions, catch them, but then let them work out. It depends on the girl. But I am worried sometimes. Did I go to hard that time? Should I have let her escape that triangle? Should I let her pass, even though she isn't using the proper technique and I could stop her?

Most of all, I don't want to do the wrong thing and have them dislike me. I care way too much about other people think. I know. But there it is.

As far as my progression goes....well...it goes. Jiu jitsu is my therapy. I love it, even when I feel like I'm sucking. Right now, coming up on top is a problem. Passing the guard is the problem. Hopefully that private lesson will lead me to a few of the answers. Still enjoying the journey. Hope you all are too.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Open Mat

Went to my first open mat today. I wasn't expecting how long the grapples would go for. It was fun, but I kind of like having the time limit. It gives me something to hope for. lol Got owned by one of our brown belts, Paul, which is always an experience. One of the newer girls was there watching on the wall. After we grappled, I sat next to her.

She said, "Hey, looks like you did pretty good!"

I thought to myself, I really, really like you, but were you watching the same grapple I participated in? "Thanks," I said, "but not really. He owned me."

"But you got out of everything pretty well," she told me.

I think I found my new best friend. If only what she was saying were true! "Thanks, but he was letting me escape."

"Really?"

Do I have to tell her the whole truth? Can't I pretend like I got one real escape out of that grapple? "Yeah. He was going slow so I could have a chance to move. He got me in positions and then stopped so I could work out of them."

"Oh."

Haha, at least I look good to people who don't have as much experience, right? lol It won't take her long before she realizes that I move like a guppy in a tank full of sharks. :)

My right shoulder has been giving me problems lately. It's the same one that bothered me before. I've been having to ice it every night. Someone suggested to me that I get one of those electro-shock pad thingies. You can get the small, portable ones for like $50, I heard. Anyone ever had any experience with those? Another person suggested massage therapy and rehab exercises. Anyone know any exercises to rehab a shoulder? The pain is mainly on the top, front part of my shoulder. One of the guys at class said he thought it was the tendon. I should probably just go to the doctor.

Friday, July 9, 2010

It Kind Of Worked

Why do things work out so much better in my head than they do on the mat? :) I tried that sweep I was talking about yesterday. I tried it on two separate people. Neither of them went over. HOWEVER, I will say that they had to adjust their base and that made room for me to get my hips squared to them and return to my guard. So...mission accomplished? No, not really. But I'll take it.

A couple of people made some comments over the last few classes about how much guard I am playing. *Frown* Am I playing too much guard? Do I need to do more of other things?

I asked one of my instructors, Ben, about this a while ago. He told me not to worry about it. He said people favor a certain position for a while, then they'll work something else for a while. He told me it was a natural progression and that, as my BJJ evolved, I would find myself doing different things.

But, I have always loved guard. It is where I feel most comfortable working from. I do different kinds of guard that I did when I first started. But it's still guard. When will I find myself "moving on"?

I will say that most of the higher belts don't let me sit in my guard. They sit in theirs and make me work. lol. That's good for me. Because as much as I love guard, I hate passing it. But, when it's my choice, I go to guard.

So, I asked Fabio about it after class. He echoed what Ben said. Don't worry about it. Do your thing.

I will. Kind of. Oh come on, don't be so surprised. We all know what a spaz I am about obvious weaknesses. I think I am going to get a private with Ben and work on guard passes and sweeps. I've been getting sweeps, but I am not capitalizing off them the way I should. I sweep...and then don't follow them over or up. Not good. And my guard passes are fairly horrendous. I kind of flop around from side to side until I find place to wriggle around.

My biggest problem is when I've done a sweep or have started to pass guard, is when I have one leg through and am blocked by a knee. This is also an issue when someone drops back for a leg lock and I come up on top with them. Annoying knee! Get out of my way! Both Ben and Fabio have showed me several ways to deal with these bothersome knees. But I think I am doing something wrong somewhere because I am still having a lot of trouble passing it.

So, hopefully I will be able to meet up with Ben and his wife Cindy and be able to work on some of this stuff. Now I'm going to go walk of the giant plate of lazagna and the massive bowl of chocolate/peanut butter ice cream I just scarfed down.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

And Over We Go

The other day, I had the lucky fortune of being watched by Fabio while I was grappling. Most of the time, he does the whole thing where he is pretending to watch someone else when really he is watching you, but this time he was sitting on the wall resting and just watching the few grapples that were going on.

It made me nervous, but he ended up pointing out something simple that I've been doing that I need to change. A lot of times I try to play an open-guard. When people start to pass, I try to use my knees as obstacles. But Fabio pointed out that, at a certain point, I abandon my knee defense because the person is moving up my side and I kind of give up and accept that they have side control. It's not in a situation when I can go inverted, because in these cases, there isn't space.

He explained that, when they start working up, instead of giving up my knee barriers because they're getting up too high, I need to go with them and take them over my head. It's kind of like going inverted. But I should end up on top.

I am going to try this in my next few grapples. I know one thing standing in my way of doing this. I think I will really need to relax in order to do it, and to resist the urge to push the person away with my knees. I need to use them like a lever. Bring the person onto them then tip them up and over. I have seen Fabio do it. I will try a feeble attempt at mimicry tomorrow. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Yeah...Me Too

There's a new girl who has been coming to Fabio's this week. I met her and grappled with her for the first time today. She's got some natural talent and I really hope she sticks with it. She said something tonight, though, that made me laugh.

We were getting ready to grapple and she said that she was tired of always being on defense. I just kind of laughed and said, "Yeah...me too." And she said, "Really?"

Um...Yeah.

I told her that I am on defense almost all the time. And I told her that she will have to get used to that if she keeps coming. The funny thing is I remember thinking that exact same thing not that long ago. Now I have accepted the fact that I am paying a monthly fee to get owned. ;)

In fact, I was talking to one of my instructors the other day, kind of asking him how long it took him for him to be able to "handle" big, strong guys. He basically told me that it never gets "easy". Big, strong guys are always going to be a challenge. But he is able to meet that challenge and work through it with technique. Eventually, one day, maybe I will be able to as well. But that day is not today. :)

There was an error in this gadget