Last night was the first night I was able to make it all the way through warm-ups without my inhaler. Side note, I have exercised-induced asthma. It gets significantly better as I get in better shape so being able to last the whole 30 minute warm-up is a great sign for me. It acts as a nice encouragement to keep drilling at home so that I’ll be able to do that even after the holidays.
Rolling went as expected, but with some major progress points. I’m reclaiming my ability to re-guard and using it to my advantage to not go to the turtle. I inevitably gave my back to Ric again, and there were a couple of times where I went for completely shit leg-locks that I should have abandoned for position way earlier than I did, but I clearly saw progress. I also got a calf cramp. I used to get them a lot in MMA. It’s a combination of dehydration (I sweat A LOT) and my diet. Easy enough to correct. I also got to ask Thales about what kinds of things I can do to keep from giving my back up so readily. The number one thing was switching from the stable pressure of judo’s kesa gatame to a safer kazure kesa.
To be honest, I prefer kesa to kazure kesa, but I do see jiujitseros take my back more when I’m playing judo ground game than when I stick to BJJ principles, so the question of comfort and pressure vs. safety is important. The decision comes down to giving up on kesa or actively working it into an attack position instead of a pin. I would liken it to the notion of the “turtle guard”. Turtle is conventionally a defensive position with limited attack options – more likely than not you’ll give up your back, but when played well it can be turned into an actively attacking position. The 80/20 rule says I’d be better to just give up kesa. It’s not really worth investing in the position at this juncture when the effort for developing kesa could go into developing four already strong positions like side control, mount, half-guard, and butterfly guard.
I’m also trying to force myself into an open guard game. The closed guard feels like stalling. The open guard forces me to be constantly attacking or pushing for the sweep.