Just a quick training update: I had a pretty good series of rolls last night at class. We had two visitors down who really helped me out prior to my attempt to compete at the Gracie Invitationals at SENI this coming Sunday.

Isaac was the first person I ever competed against (last year at the Brighton Grab and Pull event). He's not competing at SENI but regardless, generously took time to give me a right good thrashing, which I really needed. You see, Isaac fights in my division (purple, light feather, masters) and in the comps he's attended, he has done very well indeed, including gold at the CBJJE Europeans, so we're talking about someone who is my direct peer and with whom I should try to match in terms of skill level. Anyway, we ran through a few scenarios designed to get me used to the way other light feathers fight and he also popped in a few wrist locks. Now this was a total surprise to me. Despite Roy Dean's excellent video series (Art of the wristlock) I was never really convinced wristlocks worked in BJJ. But Isaac showed me just how they do work, and quite painfully so as well. Props to the man for generously sharing the mat and humbly sharing his knowledge with me.

The other visitor was Pippa (nick-named 'Banana' for some reason) who is smaller than me and devilishly fast. She plays a very aggressive top game and is also incredibly flexible. I mean really flexible and she uses it to her advantage. At one point, I was sort of side mount when a leg came at me from nowhere! It worked enough to distract me and she escaped. Amazing stuff. Last time we sparred was over a year ago and she's definitely improved by a quantum leap. So again, great practice for me against a smaller, faster opponent. In fact, if I had to pick a 'team' of sparring partners - you know, like Pro boxers do at their training camps, Pippa and Isaac would certainly be in there. I'd like to wish Pippa the best of luck as she tackles the Mundials next week.

So on Sunday I'll be at SENI and looking at my division it will not be an easy ride. Everyone at purple belt is a seasoned competitor with very good, tough, tight games. My aim is just to hang there and survive. Not ambitious I know but after my performance at the British Open earlier, I consider just lasting the course without being submitted as a step forward. We'll see. I'll be 41 years old this year and competing even at this level doesn't get any easier, but I still enjoy the cut and thrust of tournament training and competing.

2 comments:

Isaac said...

It was a real pleasure to roll with you and be remembered how annoying are light guys. I always end exhausted when rolling with you, from the very first day ;-)
That guard pass we were practicing is amazing, I have to add it to my game.

Thanks for a really good session last night. I hope we repeat it from time to time :-)

slideyfoot said...

Cool - I haven't trained with Pippa in ages, but I remember she had a very aggressive, active game. Does lots of good work for the cause of women in BJJ too, with all those seminars etc. :)