18 Oct 2008


It's one week to go until our big Jikishin JJ tournament in Southend and I've been putting in some serious mat time. I don't feel particularly ready, especially my cardio which is non-existent, but I do feel I am more tactically aware than in previous comps. I've picked up a lot of new techniques and re-worked some of my well-worn favourites. Groundfighting comps that start on the knees are a bit safer than BJJ comps, which begin by starting in stand-up, because you avoid being thrown and being subjected to jumping techniques. However, g/f on the knees can still be as technical as full BJJ. Recently, I've been working on rubber guard, spider guard, sitting-up guard, butterfly guard and various permutations of triangle chokes, armbars and sweeps - all from fighting on the bottom. And, since your opponent is not allowed to stand up, being stacked is less of a worry, as are standing versions of passing the guard. But there are dangers. Getting pinned in a side mount or locked in someone's very tough closed guard is a constant danger, not because they are winning positions, but because they can take a while to work an escape and within the 2 minute timeframe, one can easily lose a match just trying to escape all the time. The weight categories are not really in my favour. I weigh around 57Kg with a gi and the category I am in is under 65Kg. So I could struggle against a bully-boy 65 Kg fighter. The point I am trying to make is that basically - whatever the rules, the fundamentals remain the same when it comes to good groundwork technique.

For me, the Jikishin comps are special. It may not be SENI or ADCC and it is not noticed much outside the trad JJ radar, but our trad JJ association is a community and when you win an event here, it feels amazing to be acknowledged in that community. This year, my club - Team Imperial - will be entering three competitors: me, Oscar and Bartek. I'm pretty hopeful of some good results, especially Bartek who has been tearing up the mat at the Roger Gracie club where he has recently started a beginners course.
But whatever the outcome, for me, it is hugely enjoyable training and working towards a target. Sport JJ, including groundwork and stand-up grappling, are crafts that need time and energy to master and I've been lucky to work with some great players. The actual competitions are just the icing on the cake. It's the journey that is most fun, and at my advanced age, to be honest I'm lucky to even be able to leave the mat in one piece!

So let the games commence...

About the Author


Author & Artist

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



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