The grueling week


I wasn’t able to train four days this week due to an unfortunate snowfall and the holiday schedule. I was able to make it to four classes. I did two gi classes, one no-gi class, and wrestling over Thursday and Friday. I am still sore.

Gi is what it is. Meaningless tautologies aside, that means that there were no surprises. I worked out with pretty much the same people I’m used to even though it wasn’t my normal nights (along with a few people I hadn’t met including a brown belt who trains on an opposite schedule). It was productive. One class was attacking the turtle. I always feel overly confident when we do this because of judo. No matter what cool clock choke variant or turn-over we learn I find myself doing the Juan Gonzalez no BS turtle breakdown, the quarter-Nelson turnover, and jigoku jime (hell strangle). They are my go-to moves that judo has instilled as effective. The other class turned into open mat and it was working on a variety of techniques and situational rolling. I just tried to burn through some positions I’m having trouble in but know that I know techniques from. I also used it as an opportunity to try out the Top Rock techniques. I’m really digging vegan mount and plan to play with that more.

No-gi was full of surprises. I didn’t readily recognize anyone in the class and got a royal lesson in humility. All of the sudden my fancy gi-based turtle turn-overs weren’t there and someone of higher skill submitted me time and time again. I got frustrated when I was getting neck cranked, but after just had that moment of clarity about how some days you’re the guy tapping everyone and some days you’re the guy who gets tapped by everyone. Thursday night was my turn to be the guy who gets tapped by everyone. If nothing else I learned some cool ways to take the back as I was giving mine up like I was making money every time someone sunk their hooks in.

Wrestling was the most exhausting class I have done since I used to train for MMA. Every shot, sprawl, and drill felt like doing 10 of the equivalent from judo. That’s not to say wrestling requires more work, but rather that a series of movements that I’m only vaguely used to from judo and which need to be done explosively don’t lend themselves well to someone who’s too far out of shape considering they practice regularly. It was the kind of class where I felt like after a month I could drop maybe 10 pounds and be in great shape. I wish I could make it to the class more, but I’m still at work most Fridays when the class is going. I have to admit – I liked it a lot more than judo classes have been lately for a variety of reasons.

All-in-all it was a fantastic couple of days. I really miss when I could do 2 or more classes every day. Life gets in the way. As an aside I’ve started on my first blog post for BJJ Life. It’s on the matter of why we need to standardize ranks. My basic arguments deal with accidental sandbagging and rank recognition. If we’re going to continue to use ranks we should at least use them meaningfully. Most of the arguments don’t apply to no-gi where competition frequently doesn’t care about rank and when visiting another school no one can see or cares what your rank is. I guess I could have written about why submission wrestling has it right instead.

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