30 Jun 2009

Hot, hot, hot!

Darn it! Last night's training was sooooo hot and humid. It was like training in the tropics. I barely stepped onto the mat and already I was sweating buckets. Nick went through side escape basics. I never tire of basics - or fundamentals as BJJ folk prefer to call it. I think that of all the positions that beginner to intermediate BJJers request the most help with, it is escape from side control. My mind is scarred by the memories of years and years of being squished in side control. But this aspect, a bit like my sweeps, is slowly but surely clicking into place.
Now I am no way even remotely saying I can escape side control easily. But I am at the stage where it is no longer such a MASSIVE problem as it used to be (this statement only applies to rolling with whites and blues). There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, but not getting there in the first place certainly helps. Technique-wise, the connection between my hip movement, arm placement, timing and angle of escape seem to be collaborating nicely. My favourite escape is the one where your uke is facing you in side control with his legs spread wide(kesa gatame). The technique to reverse your opponent is so simple and beautiful I would say it is the epitome of jujitsu - pure technique to convert bad situation to good position using no strength.

BJJ Writing
In other news, I am working on a series of very interesting interviews and articles. The good thing about writing more thoughtful pieces (as opposed to the self-indulgent junk that fills my blog) is that I meet really cool people and learn a lot from what they say. I can also ask them questions that I WANT to ask, not rely on some other interview that missed the point, or skirted around a sensitive issue.

BJJ Photography
I seemed to have received a lot of positive comments on my BJJ photographs from the British Open. If you'll allow to me get all amateur-photography geeky on you, I tried to set up my gear a little differently to normal. I brought in a fixed focal length lens (35mm) that could open up a very wide aperture (F2.0) combined with a bounce flash. Without a zoom, I had to squat quite close to the action matside, but this meant my shots overcame the hideous sports hall lighting which was really dark and gave non-flash photos a horrible colour cast (see the before and after below). The downside to my lack of zoom showed when the participants moved away from me and the flash did not reach them. Hence, for my impending 40th birthday, I will buy myself a fast 24-70mm F2.8 zoom lens which really should do the job when matside. I might also be able to get hold of a wicked 70-200mm F2.8 lens for action that is further away.
I intend in the near future to interview a few professional photographers about their approach to BJJ photography so watch this space.

Competitors at the BJJ British Open 2009. Left without flash, right with flash (and levels adjustment in Photoshop)

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

Yes the colour cast is a feature of the hall lighting. A 70-200M with 2.8(!). Wow. That will be expensive and have a large front element of glass. Birthday present? You deserve it.

BTW, have been juggling with the idea of buying either a DSLR (Canon) or Compact (Nikon). I've always been a Canon man myself but the old T70 SLR is pretty much obsolete (but I love it). Mind you the Zoom 70-210 F4 is all metal and glass and very heavy in hot climes and travelling.

Best Regards
Peter McC

XOXrachyXOX said...

the side control i hate the most is the 100kg position that alot of the guys use i'm just starting to be able to escape it with a select few people lol

Anonymous said...

Crush the blacks, Level the whites, punch the saturation...lovely lookin pics everytime ;) Man. Keep up the great snaps!
Hope your tonsils are ok, see you tonight if your well enough.



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