Saturday Jiu-jitsu

I guess with Halloween last night, most of the college kids had a little too much fun and so didn’t make it in this morning. Eight of us, counting Adam & Justin; one new guy and one guy who used to be with the team and was in town visiting.

Warmed up on our own, then a few rounds of hand fighting, supposed to go light. The second guy I went with, though, it was his first day, so he was going a little harder. Clunked me good in the chin once, and I bit my tongue. Um, ouch. Still bugging me.

Then rolled a few times to loosen up. Worked on getting to position and getting pressure down. Also worked on staying in tight like Scotty told me on Wednesday; not much luck, but I tried.

Started with Justin and then Ninja John. Tried position and pressure on Justin, but he moves so much and so fast! Again, I hope that the fact that he isn’t waiting on me to move means that I’m doing better. Did get to mount somehow once; tried keeping pressure down and going for an arm, but he slithered out. He was getting a standing guard break a lot; he knows if he hints that he’s going to stand up that I’ll lock on and go up with him, so today he was distracting me with something else and then standing. I had some luck switching to X-guard when he was up, but mostly he was down again too fast. Tried the scissor sweep pass from Wednesday, though he only let me start to walk around before he countered. Got there a couple of other times, and he’d either still manage to partially sweep me (I’d recover and get some pressure down on that top leg, but I’d lose the pass and we’d scramble) or he’d immediately counter my counter. Sometimes it’s very annoying that he knows what I’m going to do. Still, always fun to roll with him.

Then Ninja John, who’s fighting next weekend. (His fight is at the same place that Adam’s first fight was, but Adam’s is in the opposite direction this time.) He was throwing a few fake punches out and covering, like he did last week. When we were rolling, he’d pass my guard and then pull away. He seemed to be working something specific for his fight, so I tried to help, mostly by pulling him down in my guard and trying to cling. Probably didn’t do much for him, but I tried. Got a scissor sweep once, so I threw a few fake punches so he could cover, which he did. He said later that he wants to keep the fight on the feet, since he’s a kickboxer, but he’s been coming down and working a little bit of ground game mostly for defense.

We drilled triangle from guard to armbar to triangle. We’d worked this a few weeks ago (though this time we did add the second triangle), but practice is good. Justin was also saying that being able to do these moves one after the other — or even knowing you want that 3rd triangle, so you throw the first two moves to get it — is an important part of being a solid blue belt.

More rolling. Nick first. I got the triangle to armbar we’d drilled and was trying to get my hand up to grab my shin for the second triangle, but then he decided not to let me have it (he told me this after class); he did some mystic purple belt thing and got me completely off his arm. Well, not really, but I don’t know what he did, but then he was free. I’d get him in half guard, and he’d go for D’Arces; I’m recognizing them going in now, so I’d do the defense Justin showed me; I was also working to stay in really really tight in half guard and not leave any space around my neck. Also got to mount at some point and even got the armbar out, but I think my legs weren’t pinching down enough because he rolled out. Oo, and I nailed the north/south roll escape that Scotty’s been working with me on. (I think Nick might’ve let me try and not countered, but still.) Actually got the entire roll and ended up on my knees directly next to Nick. I think ideally I’m supposed to turn and go for his back, but I was too excited about hitting it right.

Last roll was with Clifton, my drilling partner from Monday. (Oh, funny from Monday: one of his arms has a yellow-red-green striped tattoo, while the other arm is blank. Trying to remember which side I was working, I finally decided to think of his arms as “striped” and “plain.” It slipped out at some point — I think I said, “I just did the striped side; let me try plain” — and he laughed.)

The visiting guy was talking to Justin and Nick after class. He said that where he trains now, purple belts don’t want to — and so rarely do — roll with whites; even blues don’t roll with the whites much. He got to roll with Adam, Justin, and Nick today; he said those are the first rolls he’s had with purples in a long time. Then Justin said that he (and Nick and Adam) rolls with us white belts so that we’ll get better so that he’ll have someone to work with eventually; it’s an investment, he said. Granted, the other school may have a lot more in each class, in which case it wouldn’t make sense to add more people just to roll with higher belts, but I’m still glad that we get to work with the blues & purples. I spend half the roll trying to work stuff, and the other half trying to watch what they’re doing.


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