I’m in a state of transition – in my game, in my life, in my gym. I’ve largely wanted to keep personal stuff out of the blog unless it pertained directly to my training because, well, this is a blog about grappling (riddled with poor grammar and spelling errors – I’m an engineer by education if you haven’t caught that yet). I’m going to share some of those details because I think it establishes a nice context for where I’m at. It’s also relevant to how since I won’t be training my posts will either trend more towards the grappling community or just reduce in frequency. We’ll start with the game because, well, this is a blog about grappling.
Last night was the first night of the parsed down positions. I didn’t worry about my 3 sweeps, 5 submissions, etc. I just focused on getting butterfly, half, or full guard any time I was on my back. It felt great. I don’t know that I preformed well, but there definitely were no moments of hesitation – my leg is going here, I am sitting up into you, and I am establishing my underhook. You are going to deal with it. It was nice having that level of confidence. It’s the level of confidence I have in my top game. If you have a lower belt who’s struggling (or if like me you are one), have them try this. You saw my thought process. I’m pretty sure you can deduce why I chose the three guards I did. I explained why I chose the techniques I did. If they’re struggling on the top I’d have you cut everything to side control and mount. This is definitely one of those “Shit, it’s that simple?” times in my training.
When I did jujitsu the only two kinds of guard we had were open and closed. When people are dumbfounded by this I always feel like I’m playing out the scene in Hot Fuzz where Simon Pegg tries to order wine. It works though. I’m definitely finding that two or three forms of guard is really all I need and the rest is entirely optional. I’d like to pretend this is the epiphany everyone has at higher levels of play where they realize all the fancy techniques they do from the guard aren’t practical after people see them hit it at one or two major tournaments. I’d like to pretend that I’ve somehow jumped the gun and this is how you get the super traditional black belts who only do like four styles of guard and still kick people’s asses. It’s not. It’s really more a continuation in the lesson of being too big for my britches. I’m a blue belt. I can invest in working on a solid foundation now or I can suffer for it later. Today, right now, at this point in my life, I’d definitely rather be practiced with 40 basic techniques that cover 99% of cases than be half-assed in 1,000 techniques that cover 99.99%.
Details of the personal flux period after the cut.
Over the next 5 weeks I’m going to go through some of the biggest life changes I could expect at my age. New house, new team at work, and in 37 days is the BIG day. You know, the BIG one, with the cake and bow ties and everything. Some of the aspects that I had hoped would be more stable are not. Wade’s moving the gym again – this time to Oregon. As of yesterday this is now happening on Tuesday. If you’re familiar with Karate America, it’s the school of the guy who started KA in Wisconsin. It’s kind of funny. Wade did karate forever (he’s a 3rd degree black belt in karate) and I did it as a kid and we both have the mentality of never again. The class is going to change to BJJ and an MMA-oriented form of striking (setting up throws/takedowns because the karate kids will already know how to punch). On one hand I’m really excited because I think moving into an established school will be good. On the other hand I’m nervous because training was going to be my one and only constant over the next month. So that’s it, new gym, new house, new job (kind of – as much as possible for my position), newly wed, all in the next month.
Hopefully I’ll be providing more articles about the culture that Can and Leah deem good enough to share in the coming month while training becomes even harder to pencil in to the day to day. For now, I’ve added ratings. Rate away! The blog’s here to be read, so by all means let me know what you like and I’ll steer posts towards those areas/topics more.