I just had a look on how training went during the first quarter of 2014 and I have to say I am quite happy. On March 30th I am at 58 training sessions so far compared with 52 last year. This translates to around 4,5 training sessions per week and 235 per year. I know it might not sound as much, but people who don't track their training often think they are training more than they are in reality.
It has not been easy staying as active with a full time job and a dog I have to look after. What makes me even more satisfied, is the split per training type:
- I did more nogi Q1 of 2014 than Q1 of 2013. % of nogi training up to 21% from 17%
- I have also forced myself again to do more stand up than last year. % of stand up training went up to 21% from 17% as well.
What I have done to achieve the increase in takedown training is start judo (or actually go back after a break of 15-20 years). So far, training judo has been a pleasant surprise as we have focused a lot on foot work and foot sweeps like the kouchi gari and ouchi gari. These techniques are very good for jiu jitsu as you don't risk giving up your back from the turtle if it fails. What has been very eye-opening for me has been the focus on the tackle or off-balancing with these techniques. I think that in general bjj practitioners do not sufficiently focus on what is going before the actual trip with the kouchis and ouchis.
Jiu jitsu practitioners also tend to stay really stationary and in poor posture to avoid letting the guy shoot for the legs etc. Poor posture meaning bending over at the waist (see picture). If the grips are in place, it can be very frustrating to find a window for a trip, throw or single leg. However, what I have realised that once you start taking quick steps to one direction instead of being stationary, your opponent has to become more upright. this is because he can not move as fast as you if he is trying to imitate a hunchback at the same time. Result of moving around should be a more active takedown battle instead of a stalling fiesta.
Common Bjj stalling posture for stand up
Besides learning how to walk around and training trips I've actually started thinking more about what is important in adapting judo for bjj. I think one of most important things for adaptation is to make attempting throws less risky. Foot sweeps and single legs/ double legs are much more common, partly because you're not screwed if you miss it.
What I am trying to do in my training now is if a try to learn a major throw, I choose one where I don't have to let go of my opponent's collar. This is because, if the throw fails completely, I still might be able to square back up with my opponent by pushing with the collar grip. It my sound like a slim chance but actually the opponent often puts his weight so back to avoid the throw that you can square back up with him from a failed throw as long as you have the collar grip.
Throws that fall into this category are the morote seio nage, the "reverse" ippon seio and I guess the uchi mata at least. I don't know if it is a coincidence, but Rodolfo Vieira's main throw is a (cross collar) morote.
Rodolfo prefers the morote and doesn't let go of the collar
Going to Zurich open:
Another thing I have to mention is that I will be going to Zurich Open to compete on May 10th. Unfortunately it is only a gi competition as I am trying to do one nogi competition this year as well. Anyways, really looking forward to it and the cost was reasonable as I am staying in my friend Sebi's house who was also with me in Rio de Janeiro a while ago. Should be fun.
I am currently also trying to put together more material on Luiz Panza's fascinating hip float attacks but it seems to take longer than expected