Thursday, July 29, 2010

Advancing the Fundamentals

Some great training last night.  I usually go to a Fundamentals class and an Advanced class on the nights I make it to the gym.  I don't think I will ever "outgrow" the Fundamentals class - every time I go over even the most basic techniques, I find new technical details that make my game tighter.  Sometimes I work through these details with somebody with less experience and I can feel and see obvious differences in pressure or I think it through thoroughly because I want to clearly articulate some part of the technique and "coach" them into doing it better.  Other times I'm on the other side of the equation and have a more experienced training partner that requires that all the details come together or it doesn't work.

Although there are still a lot of techniques I probably haven't even seen, I think one of the things that separates a blue belt from a purple belt and above is the level of precision and detail that the upper belt brings to even the simplest techniques.

Last night was a classic case for me with a more experienced player.  At one point we were drilling making space with a bridge/shrimp to recover guard when under side control.  My training partner and I were working on a version we call the "Rickson Bridge."  In nutshell, instead of taking a big shrimp and trying to open up a lot of space to get a knee through, you take a small step out and bridge into your opponent with your hips while bringing your bottom shoulder under your body (I'll post another time about training with Rickson and what I recall from his seminar on "invisible Jiu Jitsu").  Both techniques can work, but the "Rickson Bridge" is a much smaller more precise movement that takes a lot less energy and when done right makes it almost impossible for your opponent to flatten you back out.

And when done wrong leaves you stuck to the mat.  My training partner was great and made sure I went nowhere unless all the details were there.  I managed to mangle every detail of the technique multiple times, from not keeping my posting foot planted strongly and flopping around like a fish, to not coordinating pulling my bottom shoulder under enough so that it became a battle of strength, to not staying connected with my hips, to easily half a dozen other details.  BUT, eventually everything started to click and get burned into kinetic memory.

I enjoyed the Fundamentals work last night as much as learning the cool choke set-ups from Butterfly Guard in the Advanced class.  Call me Crazy.

Quote of the Moment - Go Crazy

“Some people never go crazy, What truly horrible lives they must live”
 Charles Bukowski

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seminar with Professor Luiz Palhares

Jeremy and Luiz
Jeremy Akin and Luiz Palhares

Went to an outstanding seminar this weekend with 6th degree black belt (Brazillian National Champion and 3X Pan American Champion) Luiz Palhares at Brentwood BJJ.

We started with some simple but effective takedowns and then moved into a series of Butterfly Guard sweeps that flowed into some X-Guard work.

We had a great group of trainees from several schools in the area so we finished up with some friendly rolling between the "clans."

I am a firm believer in training/rolling with "everyone."  It is a great opportunity to get to roll with someone that trains someplace else.  You see new things and find out if your "awesome technique of the week" is really as awesome as you think it is. Sometimes you may dominate, other times you may get your butt kicked.  Sometimes you may be a "student," other times you may wind up teaching something. Some "lessons" you may have reinforced, such as when someone says they want to roll easy - they really mean they want YOU to roll easy while they try and rip your face off :-).  As much as I learn from rolling with my team-mates it is often multiplied when I get the chance to roll with some new faces.  This is yet another reason I love seminars.