I’ve been doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu almost two years now. Granted, it’s been an on and off (mostly off) affair because of that thing I used to have called a job. One thing that really puzzles me about the fight game in general, (boxing, jiu jitsu, etc.) is that I’ll have days where I feel like king of the mountain, and days where I feel like I don’t belong in the gym. I literally can go from impressing myself and being on a super high to being utterly put in my place the very next day against someone I feel like I should be able to handle.
This week has been a good week for me. It’s not that I’m destroying everyone, because I’m definitely not. I am making things work for myself that never worked before though, and really getting a “feel” for my game. I guess the consistency is probably helping with that. My timing and momentum is getting way better, particularly when doing sweeps. It used to feel as though I would do everything I needed to be doing, I just wouldn’t do it all at once and in unison. I’d grab the right collar with the right grip, but I wouldn’t hook the leg with my own at the same time. It would either be that, or I would be doing ok rolling and then get to a position (half guard is a favorite for this) and completely blank. I was at a point where my most successful sweep was actually while mounted and would let both my guard and side get passed just so I could get on top.
Tuesday I did the morning and evening jiu jitsu classes and decided to miss kickboxing as I felt too gassed after to get good rolling time in by the end of the night. There was a huge difference coming to the morning class fresh and I could really tell when doing open rolling. The couple hour break in between had me fresh at night and it was nice to get two sessions in for the day. It’s something I haven’t done since living in the suburbs, something I will be doing from now on, and something I need to be used to for Brazil to maximize my training time.
During those classes two things happened that I was pretty happy with. First, I finished a choke with my own gi that I’ve never been able to get. It was a spur of the moment thing and it actually worked. I don’t know if I could even explain the choke now but it hit me during the roll and I got it. The other was executing a particular guard sweep really well. It was somewhat funny when the instructor asked me to show him and I brought my legs down the wrong way.
At one point while training at FLO, coach Comprido said he thought I might be ready to test for my blue belt. I was not ready at all in my own mind, and after watching me roll he changed his mind as well. His comment to me was “Tim, you roll well, but your technique is bad”. I didn’t really understand it then, but now I do. When I’m rolling I can come up with things that I normally wouldn’t while just thinking it through, and I can catch things better when actually rolling than in practice. The thing is I miss certain things along the way. I think I do better at rolling although I lack technique partially because I have long limbs and am pretty flexible, and partially because of the feeling out process.
I think I understand the concept of many of the moves and can improvise and catch them because of this, but I also understand that my technique needs a ton of work and would make me a much better grappler. I still have a ton to learn, but I’m starting to flow in my movements, and I’m catching the subtle things that I didn’t have a grasp on in the past much better such as grips, head control, control points, and other nuances. Anyway, the title is in reference to me feeling better about my grappling, and the literal feeling out I’m doing lately in my game.
I’m looking forward to no-gi tomorrow. As one last side note, I talked to the boxing coach about fighting both right handed and south paw. He had me throw a few combinations with both, and said he almost thinks my southpaw punches were better than my normal stance! I didn’t ever want to ask before mainly because I thought my coach would just tell me it’s a stupid idea, but I think if I can effectively use both stances this will benefit me in the long run. That’s all I have for now. I’m going to try to get some pictures from the gym the next few days to add some life to the blog!