Monday, August 26, 2013

BJJ, 8/26/13

Tonight I visited the local BJJ school. I'd like to try to return to training there, but we'll see how things shake out.

After a warmup, we drilled some entries into a double-leg takedown. Then we practiced a kind of arm-drag-to-takedown. Similar to the one in this video:

The main instruction for tonight's class was the scissor sweep and the circle (or "flower" or "pendulum", if you like) sweep (videos at the end of this post, for referrence). The scissor sweep was familiar to me, and seemed to work better than it used to during the short time I tried BJJ 3+ years ago. The circle sweep is one I vaguely remember, but was never one I had much luck with. Tonight it felt good, at least while drilling. I need to remember that whichever of my arms has most of uke's arms determines which foot I use to push off his hip with. That makes sense to me, which is ok, since this is mainly to help my retention!

After drilling those two sweeps for a while, it was time to roll. My first round was with a blue belt. Very nice round. He's a very technical guy and didn't have anything to prove to a no-stripe white belt. I think I did ok, even though he was obviously not trying to smoke me. Round two was against a one-stripe white belt that I am positive weighs 50% more than me. Different story here. Apparently he felt like going hard, so he bulldozed me most of the time. No way for me to deal with his mass. I just kept Saulo Ribeiro's counsel in mind: "As a white belt, your job is just to learn how to survive."  I tapped early to an armbar he didn't really have in order not to risk injury to an enthusiastic partner. I tapped once to suffocation that amounted to him just laying on top of me. Other than that, I felt like I did an okay job on defense. I could mount no offense though. Round three was with a much lighter kid than me. Apparently he was only 16 or so. Yellow belt, or some junior rank. I didn't try to kill him. I pulled guard and worked from there the entire 5 minutes. I felt pretty safe, so I experimented with some posture-breaking I learned from a Kid Pelligro app last week. It seemed to work well. I crept closer and closer to a choke, but never got there before time was up.

Overall, it was an intense class, but very enjoyable. I hope to be back soon.

Scissor sweep:

Circle/flower/pendulum sweep:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Judo, 8-24-13

I always planned on picking up another martial art once I reached shodan in Aikido (which happened in April). I couldn't decide whether to return to Judo or start studying karate again. I decided on Judo, and today we resumed my training. I made it to green belt a couple years ago, before quitting to focus on Aikido, so it's going to take me a little time to shake the cobwebs off.

We started with a couple of excercises from koshiki no kata. Really cool demonstrations that disrupted uke's balance in simple ways. Next we practiced our footsweep drill, as well as some solo walking drills. I need to remember to "wipe away uke's footprint" during footsweeps.

We worked on deashi barai, and that one felt surprisingly good to me. We did kouchigari from a failed deashi, and while I was no expert, kouchi felt better to me than it used to. Kosotogari, on the other hand, seemed more difficult than I remember. We played with hiza garuma for a while, and that felt fine. The gentle "foot prop" felt better than I remember. We played with relaxing as a counter to hiza, and being patient to make the foot sweeps work.  We took a brief look at ippon seoinage; I've never been great at that one.

We ended the class by looking at getting a modified osotogari from Aikido's release 1, and release 1 into choke or control.

The plan is to take some time to catch me up to where I was before I quit. If I use a 5 point scale to describe how the basic techniques felt to me today (5 being only as good as I've ever felt about the throw before I stopped training, and 1 being feeling like the first time I've tried it), I would rate them:

Deashi:  5
Kouchi:  3
Kosoto:  1
Hiza:  4

In any case, I'm really excited to be doing Judo again. With the perspective of my longer training in Aikido, I can be a little more patient with my feeling like such a newb in Judo; I'll get it eventually.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Walking, Part 1

Pat recently issued a blogging challenge: write a blog post every day for 12 days, about tegatana no kata, Tomiki Aikido's walking kata. While I don't think I'm going to take up the full challenge (I won't even try for every day), I'm going to try to write 12 posts about walking. I'm not sure I have that much to say about it, so some posts might be very short, and not worth reading.

Tonight as I was thinking about what I might write, I thought I might as well go through the kata once so it would be fresh on my mind. I went into my man cave and had an idea: The room was already a little disorganized since I taught a concealed carry class in it last night. I decided to leave it as it was, and clutter it up a little more for an experiment.

So I began the kata among stacks of CDs, plastic containers, and a chair. Maybe a dozen obstacles in all. I was trying to keep the motions in correct directions, relative to where I was when I began each step, but allowed myself to randomize the direction I was facing before beginning each new step.  I found myself needing to take bigger or smaller steps, even in the same section of movements. Keeping my mind on the footwork to avoid tripping or stepping on something was a new thing. I figure any time I need to move in an aiki-like fashion, it probably won't be under ideal conditions.

So the things I might have gotten out of the experiment were as follows:

  • A slightly more "realistic" practice
  • Confusion that distracted me from doing the arm movements and prearranged "dance steps" just so
  • A more interesting repetition of the kata
  • Avoiding tidying up my room for one more night