6 Oct 2009

Getting tough

I thought I would update the blog with some training news...

I've made a concerted effort these past few weeks to make it to class x3 times a week. Doesn't matter which nights, as long as I get x3 sessions minimum I feel this is what I need to make progress. So far I have been managing to do this, although if my wife works late or goes away on business, I have to cancel my plans to stay home with the kids. But most nights are ok.

Nick's been getting tougher recently. He has installed a policy whereby those who want to compete HAVE to turn up to training on certain comp-training sessions and arrive precisely on time. Failure to do so will result in him barring you from entering the comp. At the moment, the guys (no me though) are training for the British no-gi Championships. I think the stricter approach is a good idea. Sometimes it needs a bit of stick rather than carrot to motivate people and make them work towards a goal. It also instils a stronger team atmosphere. He also said that we, the team, represent Roger Gracie, and he does not want to send in anyone who is unprepared. Quite!

During sparring, I've really tried to make each spar into a training exercise and aim for specific techniques. I know this sounds like an obvious thing to do but up until recently, I've only ever sparred in reaction to my opponent. They make a move, I defend, I try to counter etc. It's a bit lazy I guess and also somethig that I think is inhibiting my progress. So right now I'm sparring with a purpose in mind. Last week I was trying out a loop choke from half guard - something I see Oli Geddes do a lot. I got some nice submissions from this, but more often I got stuck. But regardless, I felt I really learned something from each spar. Fellow blue Dominique is very good at this way of sparring. She'll learn something that week and work real hard to apply it in sparring each session. The number of times she has caught me with a throat-ripping choke that I missed from the previous class is another motivation to make me attend more often!

This week, Nick has been making me roll counting the points as I go along. This is really hard. Most spars are a to' and fro' affair and you don't really care if you lose a position, but rolling for points (as well as subs of course) without giving anything away takes concentration and a very tight game. It's a very different way of rolling and I think good training for competition. Daniel has also been making me spar with comps in mind. He is so good its no point trying to out-manouvre him. So he 's been making me defend but not letting my opponent get any dominant position for more than 2 seconds. He told me to count out every time I lost a position. It's great because it really focuses my mind on getting out quick and not giving away points. But again, its really tough because you can't pause and rest up.

Finally I'd like to give a shout out to Hana who I have been training with a lot recently. Hana is just 16 and started about 4-5 months ago. She's been picking up techniques at an phenomenal rate. I think it is very inspiring to see anyone, especially a female, take to BJJ with such incredible gusto. This kid is gonna be a monster on the mats if she isn't so already. But she's injured at the moment and has been ordered to rest up. So here's a Meerkatsu message to say get well soon :)

About the Author


Author & Artist

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


Nick said...

Signed up and had my first session at Mill Hill yesterday. Met Nick and Daniel, and got absolutely crushed by a massive Aussie blue belt. I felt like a toddler :(

The atmosphere is great, very welcoming, and as soon as my shoulder recovers i'm going back for revenge (more punishment).

Meerkatsu said...

Not sure about Aussie blue belt, we've got a massive South African blue belt. He is really massive.

Well done for popping by and joining, hope you enjoy your training and we'll get to meet soon.

Nick said...

Ah yeah, South African makes sense. Couldn't really make out the accent above the ringing in my ears as he was squeezing my head off.
They grow them big down there.


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