I Swear I Used To Be A Blue Belt

I went to Fight Prime on Saturday. Judo was slow, but nice. To be honest, I went for the BJJ so any judo is a perk. For those asking “where is the chase, and how do I cut to it?”, I’ve officially switched gyms. The rest of this post is going to be about the BJJ class and my super apparent short-comings.

BJJ started with warm-ups which were more akin to S&C than just jog then stretch. I mean, we did jog, and there was some stretching, but the process was going through a series of solo drills to warm-up. We were pushed, and after a short while I hope to be able to understand what’s being called out so I don’t look at one of the darker belts and then go “Oh, shrimping. Got it.”

The class was super different from any BJJ class that I’m used to. I’d almost say it was more like judo. We started standing for each series, which always went to knee-on-belly or  a submission.

Sleeve grip to inside trip to ankle pick > leg drag > knee-on-belly
Sleeve grip to inside trip to ankle pick > uke steps out > lace your arm over their back, under their leg, and sit through to sacrifice > figure four, roll into kimura
Jump guard > Half lumberjack sweep > ude hishigi hiza gatame
Jump guard > Half lumberjack attempt > star sweep > knee-on-belly
Jump guard > Half lumberjack attempt > start sweep attempt > stand for single and finish

Mosquito pointed out why it may be better to underhook on the switch to single when we stand for the last technique. It’s harder to escape. The finish is what I’m used to – lift and switch or sacrifice with tani otoshi.

Then came rolling – this is where my title comes from. I went with a brand new white belt, a white belt with a couple of stripes, and a  couple of more experienced blue belts. Judo habits be damned. It’s the same check list of problems from when I started training with Wade – I give up my back like it’s strategy, turtle more than I should, and let people flatten me out in half-guard. With Wade the solutions were simple – the way he taught meant focusing on the ground and actively working a guard game instead of a top game so that I would become better at re-guarding and maintaining the guard instead of having my back taken and getting caught in lapel chokes. After class I turned to the guy signing me up and said “I swear, I used to be a blue belt.” and then talked with someone who used to do judo about the habits that are ingrained when you do judo ground work. Rolling on Saturday was the epitome of why I need to get back to BJJ and back to the ground.

Overall I’m pretty happy with the switch. I’m hoping the routine varies and that the standing stuff gets off-loaded to the wrestling and judo classes, but I can’t really complain about doing takedowns and throws.


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