Wednesday, 1 July 2015

On the Mat Day 636: Scramble Kimono

We are now into July in Japan and it is still raining. In fact it has intensified. It's very easy to become depressed in this weather. The rainy season lasts around a month and should be over in a couple of weeks, after which it will be very humid. It's not a fun time to train in Japan so if you plan on visiting come before June or after September.

I bought a Scramble Athlete kimono because I was so impressed with the feel of the Rebel that Furukawa-san gave me. It's a little long in the arms and legs but that because I haven't washed it yet. It does feel good against the skin and doesn't rub like some of my old gis. My first white gi feels like cardboard but I've now had to retire it because it has holes in it. I should probably get the wife to make it into some type of apparatus for pull ups and grip strength.

Training started at 10 am this morning with James. We worked on collar stiff arming to prevent the bullfighter pass. I've been looking for a foolproof method to stop this pass but haven't come up with anything great against extremely strong passers. Then I stumbled on Firas Zahabi's method of stiff arming and really like how it's done. I messed around with it a little today during sparring and it hurts the collarbone of the opponent if they push in hard. When done on K-sensei he was a little wise and repositioned the collar of his kimono to get my fist over his chest to try for a wrist lock, which he used to make me let go. I suppose the stiff arm is susceptible to a flying triangle so you have to decide on whether to use it based on your opponent.



James and I are also working on self-defense techniques a lot now. Today we continue to do o-goshi after stuffing a haymaker. I actually tweaked my inside knee ligament when breakfalling (old injury) so am icing and using ibuprofren right now. Such is the life of a jiu-jitsuka.

Very humid and sweaty today during training but it was fun training as always.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

On the Mat Day 631: Been a while since I trained at night

I've been feeling a bit knackered recently with the weather here (it is now the rainy season so very humid) and having not had a day off work for as long as I remember. I can usually tell my body is run down because I get cold sores. Those little shits - I hate them. They do sell a good over-the-counter cream here that wipes them out fast which I am thankful for.

Anyway, last night I was umming and arrring over going training since I am unable to go Wednesday due to work. Then I watched this and it resonated with me.

https://youtu.be/s6vdQNPWpnc?t=38m22s

Don't be a malingerer I thought and so went to train instead.

 Watching this video and EBI3 got me up off my arse!

Since my neck is still not fully healed I have been limiting myself to 4 rounds of sparring. I sparred with Furukawa-san last night and accidentally hit him with my knee in the face. I felt so awful. It was just during passing. I told him that he is crazy for not wearing a mouthpiece but nobody does over here. He wasn't the only one who got hit in the face. Yuki also walked over with blood on his teeth. It's just stupid not to wear a mouthpiece it really is.

As always I was glad I went. Had a good couple rounds of movement, didn't re-injure myself and also got crushed under side control while fighting to get on my side.


Wednesday, 3 June 2015

On the Mat Day 625: First day back after 2 weeks

I've taken a full two weeks off training to heal my neck. I've been to a physio for about 4 sessions
Do Cardassians get neck pain I wonder?
so far and it has helped. He told me that the pain in the areas of my neck and back are the same as for whiplash. He basically just massaged pinpoint areas of my back and neck. Weird things start to happen when the knots unravel. For example, the pain on the right side of my neck moved to the left side and then back again as surrounding muscle tissue relaxed from the massage. He told me that if I had continued to train, I would probably end up with a hernia which can lead to weakening in the muscles of the neck. It was the right decision to stop training altogether.

I attended class today just for drilling purposes and to catch up on what was going on. I just drilled some things with K-sensei and asked him a few questions. Matt turned up a little later on and we finished the lesson without sparring since K-sensei has a bad case of asthma right now (although he looked fine). I was tempted to do positional sparring but glad I didn't because I could feel a lot of tension in my neck by the end of the lesson. It would have been much worse if I had sparred. You hardly realize how much tension stays in the neck while doing BJJ until you actually injure it. Not to mention it has to hold up a fairly heavy skull and brain. I plan to stick to drilling for the next 2 weeks then begin strengthening it.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

On the Mat Day 624: Marco Barbosa class #2

Last night Marco Barbosa taught the class again. The theme was how to choke from mount Roger Gracie style. The technique was extremely painful and involved getting the first hand deep in the collar, using the head to base, coming around to the other side and using the elbow of the free hand to push against the opponent's jaw right beneath the ear. He showed it to me and it was the most painful thing I've experienced in BJJ. The point of his elbow was in the nerve cluster under my jaw, which forced my head to the side so the 2nd hand could clamp onto the shoulder and finish the choke. It's like getting a slow elbow into the side of the neck and I still feel pain in that region of my face today.

Another technique was also using the elbow on the side of the opponent's face under the cheekbone to turn their head. This was applied from top half-guard to complete a choke. I am not a fan of these painful techniques but they are amazingly effective. I'm not sure about using them all the time on my team-mates, perhaps I will from time to time but I can see everyone hating me if I did.

After three rounds of sparring last night I have decided to bite the bullet and take a whole month off training. It's not something I want to do because I had to do this last Summer when I injured my groin muscle. I am tired of constantly being in pain in the morning so I need to take a long rest. It's important that I keep in shape during this period. Perhaps cycle or swim, do lots of stretching and yoga as well as eat better.I plan to be back on the mat from June 16th. I also need to take a trip to the physio to check there are no problems with the skeletal structure of my neck.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

On the Mat Day 623: Drilling and a bit of Nogi

Went to do drills this morning with James. This is a weekly thing now and we have decided to increase it to twice a week on Friday as well. That gives us around 2 hours of complete drilling and working on ideas for techniques. My personal opinion is that it is essential to get better on the mat. You need a good partner who will give you feedback in the right places. Shawn Williams even went so far as to say that you should be drilling 70% of the time. That's a lot but given how good he is, I have to agree.



We basically worked on closed guard but with a high guard position. One leg over the shoulder which James calls the Pit Stop. So now we call it the Pit Stop Armbar. After you get the position you rotate the far elbow to force them down and then head over the head for the full armbar. It's very effective if you can get the leg over the shoulder and feet locked together.
I also did a few spider guard attacks/sweeps and passing the spider guard which has been the theme this week. It was a very productive morning of troubleshooting.

After that I sparred a couple of 10 minute rounds with 2 guys. The first was Yoshida-san and the roll was really good. He is very slippery and we have a semi-light flowing roll until he eventually caught me in a rear naked choke. We talked a little afterwards and he said he focuses a lot on putting all his pressure onto a single point when passing. I feel it when he does the over under pass for sure. He also gave me some tips for aggressive passers when I am playing guard since I asked him. I was tempted to stay for the 11 am class but too much work to do at home. However, we decided to make the nogi rolling a normal thing after drilling so I'm happy with that.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

On the Mat Day 622: Marco Barbosa Lesson

Marco Barbosa is currently in Japan from Brazil. He visits once a year and either puts on a competition or does seminars. My instructor received his black belt from Barbosa so he came to our club to teach a class on Thursday night. There are a lot of clubs affiliated with Barbosa in the Aichi area. He has taught some very high pedigree black belts in the past such as Masakazu Imanari, Luiz Panza and Cicero Costa.

There was a mix of other clubs at our dojo on the night. Barbosa had us run around the room then do shrimping and similar drills along the mat. He then went into controlling the back position with a face lock. I never do this type of move because I don't like to hurt my training partners but it seemed very effective. There were a lot of variations after establishing the facelock and getting the hooks in to move to armbar and triangle. He stressed the fact that we must be tight leaving no space and also that we must make the opponent uncomfortable all the time because if we don't they will escape and put us in the same situation. He also told us that we should never have our hands on the mat but they should be on the opponent putting pressure on them.

A lot of the techniques he used and the way they are applied are very painful. His philosophy seems to be to that Jiu-jitsu is a fighting art so give them no space and make them feel uncomfortable/painful all the time. Use all your strength to win.  If you are not doing this, then you are not winning. I'm not sure how I feel about this because I've always preferred to work to finish my opponent without causing them severe pain or injury. This doesn't mean that I will not use pressure to control them or dig in a deep choke to finish. Barbosa seems to be highly influenced by his judo background. I don't like the idea of using all your strength either. I will go full out in a competition but not in sparring unless the opponent picks up the pace. It just isn't practical or sustainable for me to do it that way. Instead of pushing against a large force I would much prefer to find the path of least resistance around it. I can see his hard style of sparring being perfect for a young man's game but not for an over 40 year old man.

Despite this puzzling moment when I felt that his philosophy for jiu-jitsu did not match mine, I found Barbosa to be a very welcoming and kind-hearted person. His skill in the art is profound and his top control is like a ten ton truck sitting on you. It's the spartan aspect of it that am no longer able to absorb. As always, I enjoyed the class and love to get a new aspect on a hobby I am crazy about. Another Barbosa lesson is scheduled on Tuesday next week, which I hope to attend.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

On the Mat Day 619: Competitions and Promotions (video included)

I took about a week and a half off full out training involving sparring before the Dumau International 2015 competition in Handa to let my neck to recover. It was the best thing I ever did. Not only did it make my body become pain-free (think finger pain and any other kind of tweak you get from BJJ) but it also made me hungry to get back on the mat. I was chewing at the bit by the time the competition arrived. That's not to say that I sat on the couch for an entire week. I picked out a couple of P90X3 routines that were mostly cardio and did those along with a little bit of kettlebell training. Physically and psychologically it's very easy to feel lazy and out of shape after only a week if you are off the mat so doing a couple of 30 minute work outs gave me a boost and made sure I didn't doubt my stamina and made me walk into the competition knowing that I could count on my body to keep up with a fast paced match.

I was very nervous on the day. It's been a year since I competed. I had a tingling nervous feeling for most of the morning. A little like the nervous fear that comes just before an inevitable fight you might have had as a young teen. It was much more subdued but still there. It's the fight or flight mechanism probably. What am I doing here? it says. "Let's go home." All through and before I stepped on the mat I kept telling myself to "Be the Hero" as Joe Rogan likes to talk about in his podcast.

The first match only took around 2 minutes, I tried a collar drag, failed, recovered guard, went to spider guard, swept with a basic spider guard sweep, knee on the belly, mad scramble, I cut the corner to the back, he rotated away but my knee on the belly kept him in place, his arm came up and I armbarred him.



Second match was about 30 minutes later. Successful collar drag, I came up, he recovered open guard, small scramble, X-pass to armbar in around 20 seconds.



I felt like the hero and it was the best result I've ever had. My body was moving before my mind could think. I strongly believe doing lots of drilling and nogi recently has helped me to do techniques without thinking about it and to set a fast pace. Of course, luck also plays a role.

The next day we had a barbecue party. While we were all standing around eating and drinking under a tent in the rain, my instructor started complaining about how long the postal delivery was taking. He was expecting a package. About ten minutes later it arrived and he shouted to everyone to gather for an announcement. James was handed his purple belt then immediately after he called my name to receive my brown belt. It was an incredible moment and being promoted never fails to surprise me. I expected at least another year until being promoted but you never know and the instructor knows best. He actually told me a couple of months prior to the competition that I'd got very strong recently and would do well against my purple belt peers. I didn't really believe it but competing at Handa showed me that he was right.

James, F-sensei and that handsome chap again with munchkins included

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

On the Mat Day 616: Neck Troubles

For the past 2 weeks I've been dealing with a strained neck. It happened during sparring as usual and has just got worse during nogi. You don't realize how much the neck gets pulled on and jerked around until you actually do nogi. It was getting better but then during sparring last night it got hurt again. I'm taking ibuprofen and icing it at the moment. With the competition in less than 2 weeks I am thinking about taking time off the mat. But doing so makes me worry about not making weight (I'm at 74 kg exactly for Light category) and lose stamina.

Monday I had a great day doing a P90X3 cardio workout (Accelerator) followed by 10 minutes of kettelbells. That was a lot of fun and I felt great. Then last night I went training and Hasegawa-san came from Grip JJ club. I wanted to spar with him because he's a great guy but never got the chance due to getting my neck re-injured.

So here's to taking it easy and keeping down the weight over the next couple of weeks.
I'm the handsome one in the Scramble kimono!

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

On the Mat Day 610: Simplifying My Game

So with the Dumau competition in 3 weeks I've been trying to boil my techniques down to what work for me best. I really feel like this is the best thing I can do. During sparring for the next 3 weeks, I am continuing to use a couple of takedowns or work for the same few sweeps that I feel comfortable doing. It may be that things go my way or my world gets turned upside down and I find myself in a bad spot but I believe it's a smart move to at least have some kind of strategy set in place. Until now I have not really thought about strategy for competitions. I've just went out there and see whether it lands heads or tails. The worst competition I had was to be pulled into closed guard where I didn't recover my base and got swept. With that in mind I am really trying to drop to combat base in such a situation to prevent them from closing. I like how entering a competition makes me reflect on my weaknesses or areas I need to improve.

Friday will be nogi again this week. I'm very much looking forward to it and we might get a couple more people to join. It brings a fun element to jiu-jitsu and makes me work on things that I usually don't when wearing the gi such as leglocks.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

On the Mat Day 609: Apprehension

I wanted to say Fear in the title but that would be too strong. Despite having trained for over 5 years in jiu-jitsu even now I am apprehensive before sparring. I am worried about many things. I don't want to look bad in front of my instructor, I want to uphold the status of my belt, I don't want to tap to lower belts, I want to show upper belts what I'm made of...these fears all boil down to fact that I worry about what others think about me. This type of behavior is non-progressive and will not improve my skill level, in fact it will hamper it. It is only lately that I have started to regain my confidence and right now I feel comfortable where I am as a purple belt but it is a constant fight with the lizard part of my brain.

I have the same feeling now I had as a blue belt when I was doing well in competition and just before I got promoted to purple belt. That's not to say that I think that I deserve to go to the next level and get promoted to brown. I want to stay purple for another 2 years if possible. Right now I am finally able to relax and accept my failings. I don't feel I have anything to prove at this point. I have decent all round jiu-jitsu right now and I enjoy each roll as it comes whether I'm the hammer or the nail.

At our club we have started a nogi sparring class for anyone interested. I'm sort of the guy in charge of it as of now since I can always make that time to get to the gym in the day and apparently you need to be purple to be in charge of the class as a rule. Doing nogi has really sharpened me up and allowed me to be more efficient during 5 minute rolls because we roll for 10 minutes during nogi. When I drop to 5 minutes it feels like nothing and so I can constantly attack without gasing out now. Life is good right now because my interest doing BJJ has gone up so much recently.

Friday, 20 March 2015

On the Mat Day 604: More NoGi

I was overtraining with P90X3 so decided to skip a week and do nothing but BJJ. It was running my body down too fast and I had to prioritize. I'll hopefully feel better to pick it up next week.

Today I did nogi, Matt and I sparred for 2x 10 minute rounds and I felt much smoother in movement than I usually am. I'm working a lot on chokes like the Japanese necktie, Peruvian necktie, Darce choke and even a nogi baseball choke which is tricky because I don't have the finger grip down yet.

I carried on and trained in the normal gi wearing class after doing nogi so feel tired now. My goals recently are working on my breathing so that I breathe deeply into my stomach to calm myself during rolls and to sleep better using theta waves during sleep. Apparently, they allow you to relax and fall into a deeper more fulfilling sleep.

Friday, 13 March 2015

On the Mat Day 599: Low energy but fun training

I'm coming up to 2 months into P90X3 and also doing BJJ 3~4 times a week has taken its toll on me. I sort of feel like I have a cold but don't. I also took my blood pressure the other day and it was higher than usual by quite a bit. I think I'm overtraining so am taking yesterday to tomorrow off from P90X3 since it's the recovery week....I'm just foam rolling and stretching. Particularly the hamstrings.

It's good that James and I have decided to make the Friday 10am an official day on which we meet for nogi/self-defence otherwise I might have skipped today. It got me to go and I'm glad I did - as is always the case. Feel shit before training = feel amazing afterwards. Training really does remove the cobwebs on me both mentally and physically. Had some good rolls with James, tried to flow a bit more and so did he. I saw lots of bad areas I have to improve on such as shrimping the wrong way for instance.

I also asked F-sensei whether I was using too much strength when sparring. He told me I was using just the right amount but It feels like I overthink because I tend to stop and ponder what I need to do next while in that time he can capitalize on it and sweep me or attack. I know I have this problem and I think it's just part of my nature and so it may never improve.

Fun day, sun shining, feel happy.

Friday, 27 February 2015

On the Mat Day 593: Training nogi

James and I came an hour earlier this morning before the normal class to do some nogi stuff. He didn't want to use a timer so we warmed up a little then started sparring. We went for two 10 minute rounds at a moderate pace. I kept trying to work the BJ Penn pass but don't get my knee in far enough to flatten the legs. I'll keep working on it. Nogi is fun but hard in a way because there are far less handles to hold onto since you don't use the gi. I also saw that I have a bad habit when inverting under legs, I leave my other leg hanging for a foot lock. I need to drill this to protect that foot.

At the end we also talked a went over a couple of self-defense moves, i.e. the head lock escape and when someone grabs your neck from behind. I think we are feeling out the format we want to take this one hour class. James suggested 30 mins nogi and 30 mins self-defense moves. Both of these interest me so I agreed. F-sensei said at the end it would be good if more people come. I think he likes the idea that we can provide more variety for people to join up. I would love for it to eventually be a room full of guys doing nogi for an hour and just rotating between opponents. I also like the long time for sparring, instead of 5-6 mins you go for 10 mins. This forced me to go at a slower relaxed pace and not rush things and expend energy too fast. You have to strategize more in terms of how much you want to push the opponent because you have the fatigue factor. Whatever the case, I am just happy to be on the mat mixing it up with something a little different.

Very tired right now though and look forward to a good sleep tonight zzzz.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On the Mat Day 592: Working out the aches

Armbar stack defense and escape
I feel so beat up right now. I've been training 3 days in a row and also doing P90X3 in the morning and it's catching up on me. Last night's training was good since there were a lot of people turned up for class. We covered closed guard armbar and spiderweb armbar escapes. Things like pushing the leg into your own and coming up and also the hitchhikers escape. I enjoyed it.

I tried to stay relaxed and loose while playing guard the entire night. I think I didn't stand up once. Lots of inverting and trying to get under the opponent. My back felt stiff this morning when I woke up but 30 minutes of yoga sorted it out but only temporarily.

Many of my attacks now are going for the omoplata or chaining it with triangles. Talking of triangles I was caught in a weird triangle the other night where my leg was also inside the triangle but I managed to pull out. It was very uncomfortable though and probably is the reason my neck is so sore today.

I've had a good few months training and keeping up a good place. I still have to be careful that I don't reinjure my groin though because it twinges from time to time.

I just started watching the Eddie Bravo Invitationals. Very inspiring guard work.


Saturday, 14 February 2015

On the Mat Day 586: Tapping out higher belts

I decided to go to class today, it's not only Valentines day, but also a Saturday afternoon which I usually spend with my family. But since I much prefer to train in the day but I'm not getting enough people to beat me up during the week I wanted to hit class today.

There were many more people there today who could give me a hard time which was good because I came away at the end of class with a lot of thoughts on where I made mistakes and what I need to work on.

One thing that came up at class was I rolled with the blue belt who had put me to sleep last time so I wasn't sure how to approach the roll. One side of me wanted to crush him into the mat, tap him numerous times, use all my strength to prove the legitimacy of my belt (sounds stupid, right?) but the other side of me wanted to not give a shit and roll with technique and low power and see how he would attack me today. Eventually I opted to roll twice with him, the first time I gave him no slack but failed to get anything substantial going although a had a lot of pressure on him and I could tell it was uncomfortable from his breathing. I controlled the position but damn he is getting better quickly. The seconds time I played defense. I allowed myself to be side mounted and back mounted to work escapes and this time protect my neck as I should have been doing. I told him later that getting choked out had opened my eyes to where I had been lazy and I thanked him. After all, that is what my teammates are there for - to show me where I am weak.

I also thought about how I tap out some people who are higher belt than me but never think I should be their rank. I realize they are either 1) having a bad day (lack of sleep, nutrition, simply tired) or 2) putting themselves in a bad spot to work from there. The big picture is, it doesn't matter who taps who as long as I am trying new techniques and having fun. I see this as an interesting part of my growth in BJJ.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

On the Mat Day 583: More focused

Training yesterday morning I felt more focused than ever before. I think being choked out last lesson has woken me up to the fact that I am doing a combat sport and I need to be more aware and focused on what I am doing. I've pretty much decided to roll to the best of my ability with blue belts and up and not give them anything like a free pass or back-take. For the time being though, I will let white belts work their game with me as I did on Friday morning, especially as some of them will compete soon.

I hope I can keep this focused from hereon and improve my BJJ.
On another note, week 3 of P90X3 is done and I am so enjoying the short 30 minute hard workouts. I also feel well rested, getting 8 hours of sleep a night on average, and am eating much better than ever before.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

On the Mat Day 582: Choked out cold

I had a first time experience last night at class. It was the first ever time I've been choked out and lost consciousness. I was sparring with a blue belt who has been coming a lot to class, maybe every day, so he has improved a lot over the last few months. I guess I underestimated him and stayed in turtle for far too long so he got my back and put on a collar choke from behind. At first it wasn't in deep but then he adjusted and pulled the collar under my chin. I tried to the escape that rarely works for me when I use both hands to pull his choking hand, give myself some room then flip his hook off so I can flip around to half-guard or side control. It didn't work again and I felt the choke cinching in but still in my mind I was working to get the hook off and flip around into turtle to escape. Then I woke up and people were looking at me weird.

I was unconscious apparently for about 3 seconds. I remember having a dream about my kids for some reason. Really peaceful and relaxed. It was quite pleasant and seemed to last for a long time. Then my vision returned and I saw I was at the club. I laughed because I could not believe what happened and asked him how long I'd been out and if my body shook as my brain reset. I didn't. I heard the instructor say that he would have tapped. The thing is, I didn't get a chance. I was fighting the choke then the next moment coming around. It was not painful because it was a blood choke so I could still breathe.

So what did I learn from this?

Last night training uchi-mata
I need to get my defense up (hands over neck) as soon as I am rear mounted then think about removing the hooks. I doubt I will use that escape again because it has failed me a lot. I should have cleaned my rear mount escapes up a long time ago. There have been a few instances where I've been in danger or lost in competition from rear mount but never worked on it. I will also try to be more active and attacking. I can't just relax and reserve energy with the lazy style I've adopted recently. I really need to be attacking constantly and there should be no delay between my movements.

Friday, 30 January 2015

On the Mat Day 579: Armdrags

This week has been fun doing armdrags from a seated position. Here is a list of what we did.
1. Armdrag sleeve then rotate and pull them in with far lapel to take the back.
2. Armdrag sleeve then hips up to take the back while they are in a semi-turtled positon.
3. Armdrag to sitting back kimura lock.
4. Armdrag, they stand up then single leg them.
There were a couple more but we mostly did taking the back.

I've been feeling much better this week compared to last. Eating and sleeping well. I'm trying to intake more healthy fats in the form of nuts, avocados and coconut milk and oil while eating lots of chicken breasts and tuna. I buy a ton of nuts, raisins and dried fruit and mix it up into like a trail mix. I'll even drop in some dark chocolate to make it a bit tastier. I have very little cravings for junk food as I had over the xmas holidays. I experienced some moments of great clarity this week because of what I believe is my eating and sleeping well. P90X3 in the morning has been OK. I feel less sore this week than last and actually enjoyed the yoga on Wednesday.

During class today F-sensei paid me a complement, although indirectly. After we finished sparring he told me that he hasn't forgot about the Japanese necktie choke I caught him in a couple of weeks ago. I laughed out loud when he said that because I was so surprised that he remembered it. I seldom remember who I submitted or who submitted me unless it was extremely traumatic. I've been working on the choke for a while and catch it a lot from top half-guard but was lucky enough to get my hands clasped together behind his head that time. It's rare that it happens, his reactions are so fast like he knows exactly what I want to do. Today, for instance, I pulled him in with a spider guarded leg and was about to get my bottom leg into the single x-guard position. He anticipated it and pulled that leg back as soon as it landed and left me stranded. I was so taken back by his quick reaction that I completely forgot about what I should be doing next.

Furukawa-san and I drilled a little on guard retention. One of you runs around trying to pass (no hands) and the guarder simply uses his feet to maintain the correct angle. You can invert or gramby roll if they get too close too. I think it's a great drill to promote fluidity and plan to do this and other types of guard drill from now on.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

On the Mat Day 574: BJJ, Power90X and Yoga.....

So I started P90X3 this Monday morning. I got up at 7.30 am and started the workout Total Synergistics. I didn't actually find this one hard. The only hard part was getting up in the freezing cold. After the workout I went off to train BJJ. We are doing omoplata this week.Tuesday I did Agility X, which was pretty fun and hard at the same time. It is a good workout to get my stamina back up to where it was at the end of last summer. Today I did Yoga this morning and then cycled to BJJ. I'm feeling extremely tired and worn down. This usually happens in the first week of starting a Beachbody program. My neck is stiff, my glutes are sore and I have a stretched muscle pain in my upper back but other than that I am sleeping 8 hours a day and eating better.

I noticed a new piece of equipment lying around at the club. A home-made Bulgarian Bag and just had to have a go with it. It is 18 kg and feels surprisingly heavy when twirling it around my neck. I have to keep my abs and back muscles tight to lift it correctly. It is a great tool, just like kettlebells, that makes you keep good spine alignment and build muscle and stamina. I plan to keep working with it after each morning class.

Home-made Bulgarian bag by Miura-san
Today's snack. Hard to find healthy snacks in Japan:(

At night I have been doing extra Yoga in an effort to improve my flexibility. It's a long mountain to climb but I enjoy the short stretches and the host of the session is nice to look at too.
Here is her first day of 30 on youtube. I recommend it.


Friday, 16 January 2015

On the Mat Day 571: BJJ Training then the Dentists

Such a mixed bag of a day. I woke up early bit into my toast and broke my tooth. It was an old filling that was probably the shit back 30 years ago but didn't hold up very well. It was shocking to me at first but it didn't hurt so I just packed my gear and went to class. As usual for this time of the year there weren't many people there. Luckily Matt turned up so I had someone tough to train with. We did a round of me in spider guard vs his passing then a round of just takedown. I felt quite energetic and don't gas so easily now that I am going 3 times a week on average. My fingers are also getting used to the spider guard grip again which is good and my brain is super active thinking about techniques.

I was among other things really trying to use Marcelo Garcia type escapes from side control or potential guard passes in which he uses a frame against their shoulder, neck or holds a lapel then scoots his hips away and turns back into the opponent. I was fairly successful with this movement, God knows I have been butt scooting a lot over these past 5 years.

Here is a video that really impressed me into learning how he does it. It made me very proactive and fight to stay out of side control. Usually I fight and fight, wait and wait, my guard is passed but I'm still on my back then I think "Oh, shit," and allow the opponent to drop onto me. Today I tried to move sooner as the pass is happening and it helped.