This was a great gi class!
Even though I was tired and was dozing off at work, I felt great once I left work for BJJ. We did an intense warm-up with hundreds of sit-ups and lots of push-ups…for the first time ever, I was able to keep up with the count when doing push-ups. Awesome, my once-a-week gym workout is paying off!
After the warm-ups we all paired off for some unique rolling. Rolls were three one-minute rounds, with no breaks in between…After every roll (three minutes) we switched partners. What made this class unique was that in the first two rounds, you could only use one hand – you had to put your hand through your belt, then grab the loose ends. Also, the first two rounds were guard passing/open guard defending drills. Meaning one guy had to pass the guard and if he did, the roll was reset back to the starting position. The other person had to maintain open guard, no closing or face a push-up penalty, and defend the open guard (sweeps allowed). So the first round had one guy defending open-guard with the other passing, the second round was switched positions (both using just one hand), and the third round was regular rolling, with full use of all limbs.
One-minute rounds seem short, but when you both have just one arm, it seems to last way longer than just 60 seconds. You spend so much time strategizing and wishing you could use both arms… Anyway, in line with my previous post on BJJ goals, here’s how the rolling went:
Guard passing. With the use of only one arm, I wasn’t worried about getting choked or triangled as much, so I pulled off passes with underhooking a leg with my free arm. Usually, I would get to pass within the first 15 seconds, then spend the rest of the round trying to pass again. A few times, time ran out as I was completing a second pass. None of these second passes were underhook techniques, but involved trapping one or both legs and hopping or walking around the trapped legs into side control. I managed to pass a few blue belt’s guards and had a few of those almost-there-but-time-ran-out second passes with them too. Same with the white belts. I basically just need to get more confidence and be more aware of my posture as I underhook one (or two, with regular rolling) legs to stack or pass. All those times I got caught in chokes and armbars when single or double underhooking legs could’ve been avoided if I had postured properly.
Open Guard defending. Didn’t pull any subs when doing the regular rolls, couldn’t pull any subs with one arm and open guard either. My open guard defense is much better than I had thought. The night before, I watched a video of BJ Penn and Leo Vieira rolling (and I greatly admire their guard defense) at The Gentle Art , and I just kept thinking of the video as I kept my position. The video plus a “feet on hips” drill we did some time back made me more comfortable with planting my feet on my opponent’s hips, shoulder, arm, etc…all which contributed to me having a better defense than I thought I had. Also, I managed to sweep and mount some of the white belts and I think one blue belt. One or two blue’s managed to pass my open guard. Need to learn and be more familiar with where I can best plant my feet & legs and how to use it to set-up sweeps.
Names. I managed to remember about half of the names of the guys there, but it was kinda cheating as the rain scared out the others and there wasn’t all that much peops present.
Weight. Had 10 chicken fingers post-BJJ and I weighed in at 197 the morning after. If I continue posting about my weight, you all are going see how much my weight varies 5-10 pounds almost everyday.
During regular rolling, I notice that when I do the Old School sweep from Eddie Bravo’s half-guard I usually get caught in guillotines. Not that I have to tap to them, but it’s pretty annoying and most of them are tight! I’m either exposing my head too much when I do it and don’t go down low enough (closer to my opponent’s waist rather than shoulders) when I do it or I’m doing something else that’s really wrong.
Anyway, great class, I left it with a lot of energy, and I can’t wait for the next class next week!