Friday, January 27, 2012
Worked striking tonight for the first time in a good while. My knee has been healing pretty quickly, and I felt good enough to drill on it. We worked the slip-step-turn-murder combo on both sides, which for a lefty is especially nasty, seeing as how our natural rear-kicks land on the liver. I worked with Ollie who often has more heart than brains, but he was in the zone to train tonight, and as such we both learned. Sparring afterwards was more of the same. I am reacting better to getting hit, and in following the rule of "you get what you give" as far as sparring force, through some of the hardest punches I ever have in training. Being 5'10 180, I'm shorter than most people my weight; so here is a free lesson: Don't let me get in close. In the pocket I hit as hard as anyone I know, and when you throw hard then move straight back, you're likely going to get swarmed. Also, don't tell me no body shots then throw to my gut as soon as you're getting outclassed. Fuckin' tacky. But people act weird when they're getting hit. As soon as the round timer beeps, no ill will. That's a hard and fast rule.
Then, after gi'ing up, Benn lined us up against the wall.
He hasn't done this since Kevin left, so I knew something was up.
And then he called me out, and presented me with four beautiful tape strips that mean so much more than they should.
But the high point of my night was Ollie telling me after class how much I'd helped him, and helped teach. His normal goofy smile turned oddly serious, and his playful eyes suddenly filled with thanks.
That is probably the lasting memory from tonight. A justification that the time I have spent teaching isn't wasted, and isn't ignored.
It was a good feeling. And I hope to re-create it.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
I drank, and I caught up on quality time with people who are on course to be lifelong friends.
And after this week-long bender, it was excellent to step back on the mats. We had some visitors from a local MMA gym, which was cool, but really made me see the difference between our instruction and other's. One of the guys who was visiting (who claimed to be training for the last 7 years) ran over the double-under pass like this:
"So you swim both hands under his legs, Gable your hands, suck his hips up to you, shuck hard and land in side control."
Then Benn taught it like this:
"So to start this pass, you need to get both your hands inside his legs, swim them over his thighs, and lock your hands over the top. You can hang out here for a second, then when he stops spazzing, your bring your knee to his buttcrack and use it as a ramp to slide his hips up to your chest. Then you lean forward, crunching him up. Make him uncomfortable, but don't put his knees on the mat, because he can roll through. Now depending on how he reacts, you pick a side, and use the same-side arm to block his bicep. Once you've opened up that arm, you start opening and turning your hip, inserting the same-side knee into the armpit of the arm you are blocking. Now you slide your bottom knee up to block his hip, release his bicep, and wrap the head. Once you are here, you can bring your opposite arm out from under his leg and around his body, into the seatbelt control."
Incredible difference. Especially for an audio learner like myself.
Also, hit my first kneebar tonight. I kind of just decided that I want to start doing leglocks, and I feel I am at a level where I won't spazz on people and cause injuries.
Friday, January 13, 2012
I got home tonight around 11:30. Class ended about an hour earlier but I stayed behind to teach a couple of new guys (I would say kids but I think they are all of 2 years younger than me) some basic stuff. Front headlock options, side control attacks, how to shoot where you won't get guillotined, etc. None of these are things I could cover in depth with just an hour but it was neat to see them get worked in on the next roll between these guys.
But I did come to an interesting conclusion tonight. I wish I had more knowledge to share. Training for myself is nice. It makes me better, it makes me more competitive in the sport I love. But really, my true passion is teaching what I can to a new crop of kids who will be much better than me. It is hard not to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when you teach someone a kimura, let them drill it twice, and very next roll they make execute it perfectly and get the tap.
So that is the new goal. Learn more to teach more. Maybe I'll become a better grappler along the way.
Sunday, January 8, 2012
Boring life update time: I worked my last shift as an enlisted man today. On one hand it was an absolutely horrid, ulcer-inducing stressful day. The kind of day that reminds me why I'm not reenlisting.
On the other I had the same pleasant interactions with a select few people that made days like this tolerable. At the end of my shift I took a stroll down to the Ward and let the night shift nurses know how much more bearable they had made my last 3 years. I think they appreciated it when they realized I was being serious for once, rather than my typical misanthropic and sarcastic self.
Such a strange mix of emotions. The absolute joy of knowing I will never have to work in a pharmacy again to the borderline dread of no longer having a steady paycheck. It makes for a less than palatable blend, though 2 Longboard Lagers have slowed my thoughts and given my brain time to cool.
Also, an observation on hygiene. My roommate and I are both martial artists, and as such we spend a lot of our free time on mats. Mats are an area known to house staff just by virtue of so much bare skin, sweat, and open wounds on them. The result is that you have to keep your body clean if you are a grappler. So one would assume this cleanliness would carry over into other areas of life, no? No, indeed. We always seem to be in this strange state of dirty dishes chicken that honestly goes way too far at some points, especially since we have a dishwasher. Humans are just strange people, I suppose.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
MRI was Wednesday, got the report yesterday.
Good news is that all my tendons and muscles and meniscuses and other soft parts are intact.
Bad news is that when I injured it I apparently put so much pressure on the joint that my femur is still bruised inside of the joint. A bone bruise, especially a large one, takes a very long time to heal.
So I just get to deal with being gimpy. Only time will heal this, according to the doc.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
So little (okay, that may be a lie) known fact is that I am a but of a gear whore. If it is new or exciting, I NEED it. However I'm also decently sensible and realize I can't afford everything I want, no matter how burning the craving for it is.
But every once in a while, I will catch a break.
A piece of kit I have lusted after since before I had ever donned a gi was the Gameness Elite. It's flashy style, red contrast stitching, and custom-print rashguard lining left my heart pining for more. But it comes with a suggest MSRP of $260, which is more than half of what I pay for rent every month, and that is a tough pill to swallow. So I drooled from afar.
And then it went on sale.
Even at 40% off it was an expensive item, but stomachable as a Christmas and birthday present to myself.
Regardless of the debacle I had with Century and holiday shipping, I was still pacing the floor waiting for the UPS truck today, and I think my Aphex Twin-esque grin when answering the door made the delivery guy a bit uncomfortable.
I promptly unboxed that bitch and threw it on.
initial thoughts are that I hope what I hear is wrong, and it is not shrinkproof. It will fit perfect if the sleeves come in about an inch. The ripstop pants are beautiful, soundly stitched, and very comfortable. No waxy yet stiff feel of BDU bottoms here. The jacket... well, I can see why people whine about the shape, because it fits me great and I'm shaped weird. It is very much cut for someone with a much larger chest circumference than waist size. Excellent for me, haha. The lining makes the top feel like a robe, seriously.
Rolling in this thing is also a pleasure. So far I have loved my True Comp Goldweave (review to follow) and this felt even better. The collar is decently thick and bought me time to work out of a pretty nasty bow-and-arrow choke, which I appreciated.
However, I couldn't roll hard. And why not?
Well, I broke something last night. Doing lat raises and feeling beast, when something just pinged in my neck/shoulder area. Didn't think much of it, went home, ate, changed, then came to MMA (which I ended up teaching) and by the end of class, I was hurting. My left arm was spasming and I could find no spot to relieve the pressure. Hot shower, heating pad, ice pack... I was up all night trying to find some relief. I finally sucked it up and went to the base ER for the first time ever. They sent me home, I caught sleep before my MRI for my knee (god, am I really only about to turn 23 with all these problems?) and came back for jujitsu. While Kickboxing was finishing up I worked my wall warmup, and then snagged a couple light rolls and drills with Rich. It was obvious to me I had a problem when I went to get some water after showing him how to finish the bow-and-aarow and could just barely raise my bottle with my left hand.
I hope this gets better soon. Being a converted southpaw, this is my power side in striking, and with no grip strength I was pretty embarrassed during rolling* and pass/sweep/submit drills. I most just used it as omoplata drill time because you finish those with no grip strength.
Here is hoping for a speedy recovery.
*jiujitsu/submission wrestling version of sparring. Typically start on the knees and show you are ready by slapping hands and bumping knucks, and work at about 60% intensity
Monday, January 2, 2012
So I really don't have many resolutions/goals for the new year, but they all see to be grappling/mma related so I figure I will lay them out and break them down a bit.
Keep training - I want to keep training as hard as I have been for the last few months. I've come a long way in a short amount of time. Big challenge will be finding a place to train in Kennewick. Maybe this is a time to implement Judo! Haha.
Earn my blue belt - there are only five belts in Brazilian JiuJitsu. White, blue, purple, brown, and black. You have to train in the gi to earn your blue belt, so that is my goal.
Take gold at a decent-sized grappling tournament - Be in revolution, western states grappling championship, sub league, or Arlington submission challenge; I finally want to take home a gold medal.
Have a fight - I haven't fought since 2008, and if I ever want to do this for money, I'm not getting any younger. Time to step back into the ring and find out if my skills have come as far as I think they have.