Good Progress?

Positional always goes better and feels better than regular rolling to me. When rolling if I make a mistake there’s the need to correct for it by recovering and working the way back up the ladder, which has its own benefits overall but creates this difficulty in fixing the actual problem.

Back (top) – I need to work on grip fighting better. Purple belt got out with some difficulty, but I didn’t feel like I could honestly threaten a submission the whole time and he got out. I can consistently submit the blue/white belts but that’s not the metric I should be caring about. Goals for improvement are to start where I’d be recovering the position against blue/white to hopefully have longer retention and then work that into more dominant grip fighting for the sub. The focus remains the RNC.

Back (bottom) – I’m still falling back to escaping by getting my shoulders to the mat pretty often, and for as long as I’ve been doing BJJ that just shouldn’t be acceptable anymore. I’m actively trying to work on the hip sit style of back escapes as shown by Ryan Hall, Priit Mihkelson, and countless wrestlers – sit to a hip, clear a hook, control the leg or arm to keep them from following you and climb up to half guard top. Conceptually it’s really similar to what Saulo Ribeiro shows with the scoop defense and escape as well.

Mount (top) – Arm triangles.

Mount (bottom) – This is arguably where I’m the most comfortable in terms of bottom positions, but it’s always good to work on the basics. I’m so reliant on box frame and shrimp that I could use work on the other escapes for when it fails, but the box frame is easily the best mount escape I know.

Side control (top) – Back attacks and armbars. I need to work switching sides when they turn into me in general to help deal with cases where they try to reguard.

Side control (bottom) – Getting to turtle and wrestling up has been going well; I should spend some time just regaining guard again for awhile too.

Guard (bottom) – Just in general way more work needs to be done here. If I can be aggressive/assertive I can usually come up into a sweep or something, but I need this to be a downright dominant position even at slower paces for where I want to be.

Guard (top) – We’ve been spending a lot of time doing split squat (headquarters) passing and half-guard passing. That’s going well, but definitely needs even more work. I also should start playing with forcing the plow and distance passing in combination with it. The purple belt’s half guard remains super annoying to get around with the knee shield to one side and the kimura to the other. Dominant controlling positions are needed to consolidate and getting/maintaining them is a battle right now. I either need to prevent the battle or be so practiced that winning it isn’t even a question. More work is needed.

Standing – We’ll be doing standing as a position – when the other person gets into a grounded position we’ll reset. I’m rusty, but we need to do more wrestling and judo style drills.

Specific submissions – I’m comfortable enough in the spider web that I haven’t been working it a lot though it’s probably one I should circle back to in the future. 50/50, leg knot, and saddle will all be on the docket. I need to work leg lock defense/escapes, blue belt needs to work attacking/control.

Training Notes

A minor hand injury from posting onto a cat toy during no gi on Saturday made gi on Sunday really difficult. I had to do a lot more hook gripping than I like to.

Myself: I want to work more on back escapes, entering into back control, and finishing chokes. Purple belt’s feedback for me was to take the arm bar I have rather than insisting to finish the triangle I can’t get the angle on through his defense. Really, what I want is more positional with a focus on the back. Standing I’m rusty as all heck and still very tentative about the space and mats. Guard and half guard are going well enough, though I still don’t like being on the bottom nearly as much as on the top. I’m getting passed a fair amount still but almost always getting to a safe side control or turtle to recover from.

Purple: Because the purple belt only joins us every two weeks progress is hard, maintenance is easy. We’re going to try to structure the times he’s with us better. I’ll give this more context below. He’s started integrating a guillotine that lets him change angle and makes wrestling up an almost dangerous prospect against him. I’m honestly thrilled to see him chaining another submission with his existing kimura trap game.

Blue: The blue belt’s goals seem to be to do better against the purple belt and myself more regularly during rolling. He’s been taking on most of the responsibility of a structured curriculum for the white belt which has kind of fallen off as the white belt knows the basics at this point and just needs more experience.

White: I’m not sure what her goals are right now. I think positional would benefit her more than instruction or rolling. She knows the basics, but just hasn’t internalized them yet.

We’ve kind of fallen into the trap where we’re just friends who are rolling and helping each other test stuff out at this point as opposed to having targeted training. I think that’s okay if it’s what people want, it’s recreational. I think for growth it’s non-ideal, especially with such a small pool of people. We won’t get the natural growth that comes from a deep/wide talent pool that shows you what to work on and forces you to come up with answers. Rather, we need better structured training if we’re to get better. I’m going to try to push for more positional for the next few sessions, with a focus on a 50% win-rate predicated on starting position. That is, if I’m on the white belt’s back, she should get to start half escaped if that’s what it takes to bring my efficacy down to 50% and I should be working on reclaiming through an escape or setting up against a defense. If the white belt is on my back, she should get arms trapped already if that’s what it takes to bring my defense/escape efficacy down to 50%. Obviously we’ll each be starting differently with each person due to the skill disparities, but that’s probably a benefit as we’ll have chances to try early and late stage defenses and offenses for these situations.