Thursday, 16 November 2017

On the Mat Day 911: Couple of Brown Belts in the Mix

Wednesday morning class is getting good. We have a few regulars now. Mostly people who work nights and then drop in before going home or work for the government or in the service industry so have the day off.

I had a couple of brown belts to spar with which is always great because it pushes me to do better and examine my skill set. Here I am sparring with both of them.

As you would expect, they both have good pressure. A solid passing game and quick to react with sweeps. I simply try to use butterfly guard or single-X now as any savvy BJJ player can see from the photos. This takes a lot of pressure off my bad knee and allows me to continue sparring. I find it hard to use lasso guard and Z-guard because of the danger to my knee. These 2 guards were instrumental in my development from blue belt so I have basically had to re-design my game from the ground up since getting back on the mats last October.

My motivation is fairly high considering the cold snap we have now. My brain constantly turns over thinking about weaknesses I have when in certain situations. It can be really hard to turn off my thoughts.
With Tsuzuki
With Hasegawa

Saturday, 14 October 2017

On The Mat Day 897: The Path to Leglocks

Despite having a busted up knee, one that moves out of alignment when simply looking at it, I have been persisting with learning leglocks. The Modern Leglock Formula has really helped me delve deeper into the leglock game. It basically maps out all the leglock positions, outside ashi, standard ashi, 4-11, 50-50, discusses how to hold the position, entries, digging into the submission and how to finish. It even has a DVD for defense against leglockers. There is just so much content to get through but I've learned so much in the limited time going through it so far. I think I've also received a small level up having rolled with Imanari a few weeks ago. You just have to get a feel for how an expert leglocker goes about his business.

After a few weeks of minimum sparring and trying to strengthen my legs with squats and Turkish getups I've been sparring a few times. Things went well until I sparred on Wednesday and my knee came out of joint again. It's basically a common thing now, just a ticking time bomb. I can spar rounds for a few weeks then it will suddenly tell me to go fuck myself and dislocate. I really need to get it sorted this month so I dug out my hospital card to make an appointment Monday. I should keep a log of how that goes.

Anyhow, here are a few pics from sparring Wednesday.
Twister, yup, looks nasty but I assure you sir, I apply it extremely slowly

Reverse leg triangle on Yayoi. She's like a Tazmanian Devil so I have to use any means necessary to slow her down.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

On the Mat Day 891: Imanari Seminar

Me, the only one with hair
This isn't the first time I've met Masakazu Imanari. He was kind enough to let me take a photo with him a few years ago. This time, however, he did a seminar at our club. The reason he came all the way to Nagoya from Tokyo? Well, my instructor and him both received their black belt from Marco Barbosa.

Our dojo is really big for Japan but it felt surprisingly full on the day, also hot and sweaty. I was expecting Imanari to have us doing a lot of running around and physical stuff at the beginning but thankfully he only asked us to do leg pumps to the left and right, sort of like a gymnastica naturale movement. Just to get our hips warmed up.

He showed us the following techniques:
  • Imanari roll from sitting
  • Rolling from side to side while sitting
  • Crouching side on against the opponent and doing Imanari roll
  • Front ankle lock
  • Front ankle lock with both legs controlled and switch to the other side
  • Butterfly guard with kimura grip, invert into 4-11 leglock position

I think there were a few more things he showed in between but it went on for 2 and a half hours so I was a little addled by the end. He gave us lots of time on each technique which I appreciate because I often get lost when shown too many techniques in one sitting.
Everyone who came for leg crippling fun

I noticed that he is really fast at the Imanari Roll as you'd expect and he really elevates high on his shoulder with the leg whipping around to create momentum. The hand behind the knee really pulls hard to topple the opponent. The front ankle lock he showed was a bit sneaky in that it appears to be a straight ankle lock but in fact the foot is extended like a ballerina foot with pressure moving the tip of the toes outwards. To get an effect of this, completely straighten your leg with your toes pointed and slowly make your pinky toe point outwards. Imagine Imanari is grabbing that leg and its locked in place. I think you get the picture how much it would hurt. One other thing was that when doing the straight ankle lock, his legs don't just simply bite down but the inside leg pushes while the outside leg pulls.

He was really cool at the end allowing whoever wanted to spar with him. The timer was set for 2 minute rounds and I think I must have been the 3rd person to roll with him. I have to admit I was a little frightened for my legs but he went easy on me and I tapped really fast. He allowed me to wrap up into a straight leglock and he countered with the Dean Lister toe hold near the crotch area. It hurt a lot and I tried to spin out of it but to no avail. I tapped about 4 times in the space of those 2 minutes but it was really fun to go against somebody of his calibre.

There was talk of him coming again next year. I hope so. I will work on leglocks as much as I can from now. If you ever get the chance, and are interested in leglocks, I recommend Imanari-san's seminar because you just have to feel how strong the technique is from a master.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

On The Mat Day 886: Leglocks

Things have been tough with work recently and with the North Korean missile looming over Japan I've been feeling a lot of stress. I went to class today feeling tired, probably from being stressed out and came away feeling refreshed. I read on the reddit/BJJ board somebody asking whether you ever get tired of BJJ? Well I do, for sure. It's hard work going mano-e-mano against someone. But it has the benefit of being able to just go into the club for an hour or so and focus on nothing else but the technique you are doing. The world outside just disappears and I am totally focused on what I am doing at the moment. I think a lot of people have the problem of not being able to live in the present. I know I do. Doing BJJ brings me back to the point in time where I am existing at that moment. That's why I can never quit doing it, despite the injuries, the pain that comes with it and the hard summers and winters training.

I've been slowly going through the Modern Leglock Formula. I'm sort of savouring every small piece of it and not rushing through it. I'm currently working on Standard Sankaku, Top Sankaku and Outside Sankaku. The tips on maintaining control of the opponent seem to be paying off as I am gaining confidence in simply holding my opponent in the leglock position and not going for submission. It's weird I suppose. To a layman it looks like I'm entangling my legs then just sitting there while my opponent (usually a lower belt for now) strains at getting out of the position.

Leglocks seems to be pairing up well with butterfly and single X that I am using now. I'm really enjoying changing up my game to something that stops people putting a lot of weight on me. I'm also doing nogi so I don't get my knee hurt again. Next month, I will take a trip to Mitsubishi hospital to get my knee sorted out. That will probably go on for months.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

On The Mat Day 875: Rare Night Training

I went to train last night with James. It's super rare that I train at night but since there is a 10 Celsius degree temperature drop from the afternoon class I decided to go at night. Even so, sweat was just dripping off me and my Scramble Rebel pants were dark black from sweat by the end.
Getting underhooked by Tete, looking for butterfly hook to get out of trouble
I only sparred 4 rounds then used the Bulgarian bag to do lunges in attempt to strengthen my knee. I'm super careful when sparring but once I get tired I have to be very wary of not getting injured again. When I am fresh I can concentrate on keeping my knee out of trouble but once I hit that stamina wall I have to stop for now.

I was told by James and K-sensei that Imanari Masakazu will come to our club to do a seminar. Hopefully he will show us leglocks and I am really looking forward to it. Be nice to get a signed DVD or some memorabilia. I think they have set a date for September 24th. Both my instructor and Imanari have the same instructor in Marco Barbosa who awarded them both black belt.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

On the Mat Day 873: Private Lesson

Yup, I'd try it if it cut down the Cicada population
So I haven't been able to get to training much during the latter half of this month. I've been swamped with work. There have been other factors that have kept me away as well such as not enough sleep, my poor beaten up knee and lack of motivation. Now that we are deep into summer, each morning I am woken up around 5.30am by the sound of cicada. The sound is just overwhelming and I often wonder if it will make me crazy someday, just like the Chinese water torture. I hate the sound, not only does it make me feel hot, it makes me want to go outside and cut or burn down the trees near my house - maybe I am going crazy after all.

I went to train on Thursday morning since it was unusually cool after some passing storms. Unfortunately I was the only person who turned up. Wednesday seems to have a good turnout and means lower numbers on Thursday. This might have actually been good luck because F-sensei asked me what I wanted to work on. I told him I am really into butterfly guard right now and he promptly went on to show me how he operates in the guard he uses all the time during sparring. He went over getting a standing opponent into butterfly guard (something I have problems with), dealing with close passing using the butterfly hook and reverse shrimping, John Wayne sweep (why is it called this? anyone?). He went on to tell me he actually doesn't mind if someone underhooks his far arm when they are passing him, as long as they don't control his head he has no problems sweeping or getting out of trouble. He showed me a few tricks from half-bottom to recover from being underhooked.

Because I love leglocks and am interested in learning a system, I just ordered the Moden Leglock Formula DVD from Stephan Kesting's grapplearts. In the past I have ordered the Spider Guard Masterclass and enjoyed it, although I don't focus on it right now. Hopefully this DVD has a few tricks and great drills I can work on. I will honestly devote a year of entirely doing leglocks if I find it has the material to help me do that. Can't wait till it arrives.

Saturday, 8 July 2017

On The Mat Day 867: Increasing Training Frequency

From last week I decided to increase how much I train. I went 5 times last week during the day and 4 times this week. I usually do 2~3 lessons per week. These are my personal findings:
  • It is easier to constantly train every day than it is to take breaks in between. This may be a personal thing but I find I lose motivation on my days off and lose momentum. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Going every day is like working everyday, or brushing your teeth everyday. It is habitual and gives you little time to think about not doing it.
  • The above depends on my sparring partners. Heavier and tougher opponents means that I was more tired the following day. Light and lower belt opponents meant I felt very good the following day despite having trained 4 days in a row on the 1st week.
  • My retention of techniques was high the more I attended. Even a week later I can still retain every technique I learnt in the 1st week.
  • I got injured more. My knee has been playing up as a result of not resting in between days. I've had it tweak on me 3 times over the 2 weeks. Tweak meaning I feel the ligament stretch as my knee moves out of position. It makes me ill thinking about it. This is in comparison to it not giving me any problems for the past 4 months.
  • I am more confident sparring with people who usually give me a hard time. This, I assume, is a mental advantage in which I know I am working harder than them so can probably dominate them.
If you have no injuries and train 3 times a week, I would recommend you bump it up to 4 or 5 times a week just for a month. See how it goes. I have to dial it back now that my knee injury is returning. I'm seriously considering surgery to repair my torn meniscus at the end of this year. I couldn't bear having to wear a knee brace during the Japanese summer.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

On The Mat Day 859: Summer and Mosquitoes

Right now I'm not doing anything except BJJ 3 times a week. 4 if I get time away from work and family. I did actually start P90X3 a few weeks ago but just got to the first week. I enjoyed it but had some pain in my ribs when breathing so stopped...and never continued. It seems hard for me to stick to a program right now that I don't have a competition coming up. Getting ready to compete is a great stimulus for lighting a fire under your arse.

I'm considering starting training again from July and then competing around 2 months later. I'd like to do another competition this year before I get on with a lot of DIY projects around the house I've been putting off. I'd also like to start writing a novel again. BJJ is not the only thing in my life, though, it is a huge part of it - which keeps me mentally healthy.

It's getting hot at night. I woke several times last night and felt the sweat dripping down my back. I don't like using the air conditioner because it makes me feel like crap if I sleep with it on. I use it only a few times during the peak of summer, which usually comes around the middle of next month. I've also had a few mosquitoes visit me at night, a common occurrence this time each year. I killed 2 of the little shits, mashed them into the wall, leaving a splatter of blood on the wallpaper. Very satisfying but it's more mess to clean up. I fixed my mosquito tennis racket contraption so am now ready for them. Disturbed sleep over the last 2 nights has really taken its toll on me. During sparring today I felt so crappy and moved like an old lady.
Weapon of choice - cue Christopher Walken

Thursday, 1 June 2017

On The Mat Day 846: New Yet Old Member

Yesterday was jiu-jitsu. I felt unusually tired out. I still went to train though. I think you get the best training when you feel tired or a bit drained of energy. Needless to say, after finishing up I felt fine.
I was surprised to see Tani-san, who has just joined the club. He is in fact a black belt from a sister club. Apparently, things didn't go well for him or he had a falling out so came to train with us. I've not asked the reason and it's really none of my business. I'm just happy to have another black belt on the mat to train with. I've trained a long time ago with him and he crushed me. He seems to have mellowed out, that or I have got better at preventing him putting his weight on me. He has a long history of judo, wrestling and MMA. He told me later on that he is actually licensed as being disabled due to all the injuries he has from martial arts. For instance, he needs to wear boots because he has damaged the nerves in his feet. He doesn't move like a disabled person on the mat but I can feel him hesitate in positions where he might re-injure himself. I know I do that. Especially when I feel like my knee is about to be bent badly and possibly re-injure it, I will not fight a sweep or something similar.

Today I did the P90X3 Challenge workout and wow it was great. All you do is pull ups and push ups. You set a goal (mine was 6 and 15) and I am grateful that I set it low because sustaining those numbers is hard. I was super pumped by the end of it though. This is the only workout of P90X3 so far that I feel condenses an entire workout of the original P90X into 30 minutes. I look forward to seeing how much better I will be on the mat in a few months. I always consider the words of Steve Maxwell when I am working out. P90X3 is just auxiliary fitness to support BJJ, if I hurt myself doing P90X I am missing the point. That is why when I feel a knee creak or joint move in a weird way or strain I will immediately stop or modify. In the past I used to push through this - such an idiot.

I got a new photo from the Dumau photo team on Facebook. I quite like how grizzled I look. Take a look below.
Bling, Bling!

Monday, 29 May 2017

On The Mat Day 845: Ready for the next fitness phase

Where did I get with P90X? you might ask. Well, I did it until the competition, which was my goal, then I let it go. That means I worked out with P90X for 9 weeks and had 4 weeks to complete. It served its purpose and got me into shape for my competition, which I won, might I add.

Now it's time for the next phase. I'm moving onto P90X3 and hoping to compete again after 2~3 months from now. The reason I left behind P90X was mainly because of the length. It was just too long, was starting to show its age (Tony's jokes started to grind on me) and I felt that I had done it way too many times already. P90X3 is bright and shiny and packed nicely into 30 minutes for each workout. I think this will give me more control over my time and perhaps add more BJJ sessions and jogging if I need to drop weight more.

I started with Total Synergistics this morning and it seemed fairly easy apart from the pull ups. The girl in the video is really in great shape. Definitely my type but then again I'm probably the thousandth man who has done the video and thought that. I'm also using Fitday again to record my calories. Something I haven't done for the past 3 weeks and have noticed a softening in my body.

BJJ training has been really good recently. I'm trying to improve my mental toughness and how I think. I've been listening to a lot of Jocko Willink podcasts and can related to what he says since he is also a BJJ black belt and makes references to it.

Here is me rolling with my instructor on Friday. Even when he is in a bad position, he uses subtle movement to sweep me.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

On The Mat Day 838: Day After Dumau International (Video Added)

It's Tuesday now and I feel like I am starting to recover. Up until the competition on Sunday I started to feel rather drained and over-trained, not to mention the stress of competing for the first time in 2 years. It's been a tough year for me since getting back after my knee injury. I started off squatting to put some strength in my legs to support my knee, switched to P90X at the end of February and cut calories from March. Needless to say my body has probably been riddled with cortisol. However, scientists nowadays do say that putting the body through hardship and stress can make you and subsequently your descendants live longer. Who knows, maybe I've just added another 5 years to my lifespan.

On the day of the competition, I went in the car with F-sensei, who kindly drove me there. It was good because I got a bit of insight into his thinking, such as how he dislikes drilling (judo background), his placing of importance on formalities (coming from his complaint of how a visitor to our club never even said goodbye) and his understanding of the BJJ family-man (how we are ruled by restrictions because of having a family and wife).

My match was 3 pm and I arrived there at 9.30 am. In future, I think I will take a train down to the event. Waiting is tough on the mind. I constantly kept switching from doubting myself to knowing I had prepared well over the past 2 months. My stamina was good from lots of 10 min nogi sparring and I was strong from all the pull ups and push ups P90X throws at you. I tried to listen to a podcast but it was impossible over the noise of the crowd. I tried to go outside in the park but couldn't rest my mind.

The match itself was well...5 mins as I am in the Senior 2 category. It's nothing really. I tried to tell myself that the outcome does not matter. I still wanted to win though, oh how I wanted to win to prove to myself that I deserve to be a brown belt. You never quite feel reassured that you are at the correct belt level until you win in a competition - which is why I believe you need to compete at least once at each belt level.

I started the match working for a collar drag, failed and got smashed. However, I recovered. My opponent felt very strong. Strong grips and I couldn't really strip them, although, I am quite good at that. The first 2 minutes I was basically fighting from inferior positions. Until I heard someone in the crowd, later I learned it was Yasuda-san, shouting HALF TIME! I was down 3 points to zero and had to get back. The opponent almost took my back but I managed to turtle tight then reverse him by going around him with my legs to take side control. It was at that point that I felt him break. I mounted with ease and went on to try a baseball bat choke and the Marco Barbosa choke we had learnt in class just that week, these didn't seem to work (people in competition will fight damn hard with chokes) so I switched to my favourite Japanese necktie, which sealed the deal. I really cranked it on too, although in small increments, because he was still resisting.

I had came back from a 3-0 loss and had choked my opponent to submission. I really wanted to get that choke in competition because it is sneaky as hell and has been a great weapon in my arsenal. I got my medal then the folks from Dumau took my photo for free, very professional looking too. Here it is.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

On The Mat Day 833: Marco Barbosa Lesson

I took off to class last night, which is unusual for me, since I always train in the daytime. Marco Barbosa is in town and was teaching at our club. The room was packed full of people and also some folks who came along with Barbosa himself from both Brazil and I think Peru.

The techniques he showed were, as expected, painful. He stressed controlling the head which basically meant putting your ribcage and upper body on the opponent's face while in top position. This controls their movement and opens up attacks. It's extremely painful to be under that kind of pressure. I never compact the head of my opponent but go for the standard chest to chest with an over and under hook. Compressing the head is really effective but might not make you a fan of your team buddies. I can see its application in MMA and a street fight. The conundrum is, how to train using this kind of painful pressure so that you can use it naturally when the time comes but not alienate your training partners.

His philosophy seems to be:
If you are on the top, make your partner as uncomfortable as possible, so that he wants to tap or make a mistake.

I sparred with both him and Diego Martins who both seriously made me want to shrivel up and die under their top pressure. It's both extremely claustrophobic and soul-crushing. I admit that there were a few times I considered tapping under the pressure. I think if I was in the physical shape I was 2 months ago before starting to work out in the mornings I may have tapped out. It was just sheer determination that kept me going and I got a glimpse of what it was like to be a white belt again.

I know I need to develop this kind of pressure of control and as I sped off home on my bicycle after the lesson I wondered to myself if I am just too nice to people when we spar. It's not the first time I've had this thought. Am I too kind? Should I be mean and put more pressure on my opponent? It certainly is a great weapon to have.
Group photo after the lesson

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On the Mat Day 831: Rolling with Brown Belts

I did Triometrics yesterday morning then cycled to jiu-jitsu. I feel it today because there were more people attending the day session than is usual. I got to spar with some other brown belts who have more time in than me, which was great, because it means I get beaten up which exposes my weaknesses. I've been fretting for a while since I only really get to spar with white and blue belts. It doesn't challenge me as much as a brown or black belt does. I constantly envy the blue belts who I train with because they have a huge pool of people who are better than them so they are improving all the time whereas I felt that I've been in a rut.

I sparred as much as I could yesterday. BJJ is not easy, especially in your 40s. I'm bruised and aching all over today. It's tough doing BJJ while doing P90X and also counting calories so I am at least 500 calories under required. I love it though. I feel like a gladiator getting my body ready. There are also so many things to work on, I constantly watch the videos I make of rolling and make notes and stuff I need to fix. It's like being in a laboratory.
I finished the session by sparring for 10 mins Nogi with Kameda-san, who constantly beat the crap out of me and tapped me more times that I can remember. He is a good training partner in that he is around the same weight as me and rolls without ego. Both happy to be offensive and work defensively. He also has different techniques I'm not used to going against that most folks don't do at our club. Those 10 minutes of rolling at the end go fast but the last 2 are exhausting.

My weight has dropped some, I'm around 73.6 right now. Down from just over 75 kg 2 months ago. It's not a huge drop but even when counting calories I find my weight yo-yos around from day to day.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

On the Mat Day 827: 50/50 Guard and P90X Week7 Complete

I'm still chugging along at P90X while doing BJJ. My stats this week hadn't really changed at the time of recording them. I was still 74 kg and 83 cm waist. Although, just today, after training I weighed myself and was at 72.6 kg. I couldn't believe it so had to weight myself again. I must have dropped a lot of water during today's training at the club.

I'm basically calculating all my calories on Fitday and it seems to be slowly and steadily working to drop my weight. My greatest consumption comes from fats in the form of avocado, macadamia nuts, walnuts, chia seeds, cream, cheese, MCT oil and eggs. My mood and energy is constant and I have even found that I think more clearly while sparring. Just today I saw a counter to a position I've never seen before. It felt like I was taking a back-seat and just pointing myself in the correct direction to get around what my opponent was doing.

Just the other night I watched That Sugar Film on Netflix. Wow, what a great movie, funny and informative like only an Australian could do. It really hit home how much crap the food industry tries to sell us without giving a shit about us. It added fuel to the fire for me to eat healthy. I try to only eat stuff in its natural form, this is not always easy, but I feel it is paying off both in my health and while doing BJJ.
I've also registered for the Dumau competition on May 7th. To get ready for it I've been adding 10 mins of nogi sparring at the end of each session with whoever will roll with me. I need to build up my gas tank.

I'm currently doing lots with the 50/50 guard. Just deconstructing leglocks, sweeps and how to get out of the damn thing. Does it look like 2 dogs having sex? Sort of but it really has opened up my game into other areas. I'm also right now digesting a 50/50 guard DVD loaned to me by Yoshida-san and made by Felipe Pena. It's achingly slow to get through and can at times make me go to sleep, but it has a lot of good stuff in there to pluck out.

Monday, 10 April 2017

P90X Week 6 Complete

I've just started on the 7th week of P90X. A week ago I felt drained of energy and a friend recommended that I try using Glutamine. I've used it in the past but haven't bought it for many years. I took about 5g and it seemed to help a bit. Either that or the warmer weather has made it getting up easier in the morning.

When doing P90X every day and also training BJJ (I trained 4 times last week) which is a high volume for me, there seems to come a point where you either stop doing the workout or push through and it starts to get better. I decided to push through because I want some good results and am getting ready to compete again in BJJ.

My stats this morning were:
April 10, 2017: 155/96 BP, 51 BPM, 83 cm waist, 74 kg
Compared with the start:
February 27, 2017: 143/79 BP, 50 BPM, 87 cm waist, 75.6 kg

Things seem to be getting better (except for blood pressure) so I'm doing something right. I've decided to use to calculate calories at a deficit of 500 a day, which is 3500 a week and equals under half a kilo of weight (hopefully fat). I'm trying to approach the diet part more scientifically now that I'm accustomed to eating higher fat and less carbohydrate. It might get tough.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

On the Mat Day 818: Leglocks

So I am still working on leglocks. Today during sparring all I concentrated on was putting everyone into 50/50 guard and working leglocks from there. So far, there appears to be around 6 leglocks that I have discovered. It's a lot of fun working this out.

It was warm enough to spar nogi today so I sparred a round with James then K-sensei. Lots of fun. Still feeling tired out from P90X so I switched Plyometrics for Triometrics from P90X3. It's half as short but still hard on the legs. I'm still doing the full weight-training workouts but also replaced Yoga and Kenpo X with yoga workouts of 30 mins (from various sources) and MMX (P90X3) respectively.
I feel tighter all over my body but it is a struggle to train BJJ 3x a week and do P90X. I bought some multi-vitamins and have even been taking naps when I feel really beaten up.

Nogi with James
Sparring in Gi (butterfly hooks)

Sunday, 26 March 2017

On the Mat Day 817: Drilling Leglocks / P90X Week 4 Complete

I've always liked leglocks and there is a lot of information out there about them plus they are very much in vogue right now. As a blue belt I used to go for straight ankle locks a lot. I've recently been studying all the terminology for the positions such as ashi garami, honey hole, saddle, etc. It's quite confusing because different people use different names. I think the garami and sankaku terminology that John Danaher uses is confusing. I think once I get all the positions clear in my head I will list them here with terminology that is out there but is clearly distinct for easy remembrance.

Today, I basically drilled the single leg X sweep and low single to enter into ashi garami. I also tried the Imanari Roll to see if I could do it and was pleasantly surprised that I have the dexterity to do it. I sparred with Yoshida-san no-gi for about 20 minutes non-stop almost today. Was a great roll and lots of fun. It's like dancing with a familiar partner who is dangerous yet careful about my safety.

Ogiyama-san also wanted to spar with me no-gi today and that was also fun. We go way back years now but it still seems like the other day he walked into the gym for the first time. Time flies when you do BJJ. He has recently split from his wife and he whispered to me that he recently got a couple of tattoos (they are sort of taboo in Japan). I took a look and thought it was cool that he got them done. Sure it might be a mid-life crisis he is going through but at least he is doing it in a positive manner.

I just finished the recovery week of P90X. It was very much not sticking to the schedule. I did a couple of workouts but also stretching and was going to train BJJ but was hit with a cold that kept me away from training. My diet has not been good at all. Eating too many carbs. After 3 weeks of P90X mixed with BJJ my body felt exhausted. I will still get on with it tomorrow. The workouts get harder but I like how it builds my stamina.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

P90X Week 3 Complete

So I am finally into recovery week. It is very much needed. I feel extremely tired getting up early and working out while also doing BJJ 3 times a week. I do like the fact that I have more energy when I roll though.

I've just finished a 3 day holiday and although I didn't eat the way I wanted to. My carb intake definitely went up and also I ate more sugar than I wanted to. I think my body was telling me it needed more energy - not sure really. Anyway I got back onto eating well again this morning with a huge omelette then a chicken and avocado salad for lunch.

Unfortunately my body stats don't seem to have changed much.

February 27, 2017: 143/79 BP, 50 BPM, 87 cm waist, 75.6 kg

March 6, 2017: 144/79 BP, 51 BPM, 86 cm waist, 75 kg
March 13, 2017: 148/80 BP, 47 BPM, 84.5 cm waist, 74.8 kg
March 20, 2017: 128/75 BP, 48 BPM, 83 cm waist, 75 kg

So I gained a little weight but my waist shrunk. Perhaps I didn't measure it properly. After all I am right out of bed and doing this bleary-eyed. All I can do is keep going and maybe tweak some things in my eating.

One thing is, it does give me more confidence when I roll at BJJ because of the mental advantage in knowing I am working my ass off every morning while many of the guys I roll against probably aren't. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

P90X Week 2 Complete

I feel like my body is always sore but has tightened up in so many places.My arms, chest, sides and hamstrings feel more solid. I can do more push ups and pull ups now and I can go further with Plyometrics.

It's getting a little hard to start Plyo and Ab Ripper because they are probably the most painful workouts for me. I find Ab Ripper to be quite boring and in general, as with all the workouts, to be overly long. I still get up at 7.10 am, put my mats down on the floor, shift my chair out of the room and get to it. By the time the weekend arrives, though, I am extremely tired and require a 9 hour sleep to recover. I would probably benefit from taking a nap in the daytime. Although this may mess up my sleep pattern. Right now I sleep somewhere between 10 and 11 pm so I can be fully rested for a workout.

My diet is going OK. I write everything down in a notebook to keep myself honest. I don't write macro nutrients like Carbs, Protein and Fats but simply have been trying to stop eating so many carbs and sugary foods. Below are some examples of what I eat. Lots of green and a good chunk of meat. Carbs mostly come from sweet potatoes and rice, with very little bread. Fats are mostly avocado, walnuts, macadamia, MCT oil, coconut oil, olives, eggs, butter and cream.
My favourite meal after training P90X in the morning and BJJ
Lots of avocado with chicken and salad

February 27, 2017: 143/79 BP, 50 BPM, 87 cm waist, 75.6 kg

March 6, 2017: 144/79 BP, 51 BPM, 86 cm waist, 75 kg
March 13, 2017: 148/80 BP, 47 BPM, 84.5 cm waist, 74.8 kg 

I was a little worried because my blood pressure was high but it only seems to happen in the morning. I checked myself in the afternoon and it was normal. My weight has not gone down much (200 g) but my waist is getting thinner. I think I am snacking on too many nuts. They are so calorie dense.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

P90X Week 1 Complete

It's been over 5 years since I did P90X. The last time I did it, I was waking up at 5.30 in the morning before work to sweat through it and get fit. Now that I work at home I wake up much later at 7.10 am on the dot and get to training.

Erik makes Plyo look easy despite Tony's digs about everyone having 2 legs
I've been meaning to start P90X for some time. I would have liked to start back in January or February but it is far too cold but just before March, the weather here warms up enough to make it comfortable to train free of worrying about pulling a hamstring or calf muscle due to the cold - I have to worry about such things now I am almost 45. I'm nearly the same age as Tony Horton when he first made P90X. Weird that since I bought it way back when it first came out and I was at the time 30 years old. Wow!

I can't put it any other way. The first week of P90X was hell. Even though I've been training BJJ for years 3 times a week and thought I was fairly fit. I wasn't. I could slowly feel my cardio going down hill so that I could not think fast enough to move to the next technique while sparring. I was too gassed. This is why I've decided to go through P90X hell again. Cardio is king.

I just finished Plyometrics today. It actually was easier than last week. I couldn't keep up most of the time but I also did better than I thought. Last week my entire body was aching, especially my chest and by Sunday night I thought I was ill because my bones (that's what it felt like) were aching. However, I've been sleeping for 8 hours most nights and it is amazing how fast the body can recover after a good night's sleep.

I've also cleaned up my diet a lot. Low carbs. Very low carbs. I've been trying to stick to the Primal Blueprint, which I've had success with last year during a 2 month stint. Basically I am eating a lot of good fat; avocado, walnuts, macadamia, MCT oil, coconut oil, eggs and have reduced sugar in my diet a lot. I feel like my body is running on better fuel. Hopefully everything is coming together and this time around I am concentrating on diet more than the workout to get me fit and in shape. Afterall, diet is 70% the workout is 30% or so I am told.

February 27, 2017: 143/79 BP, 50 BPM, 87 cm waist, 75.6 kg
March 6, 2017: 144/79 BP, 51 BPM, 86 cm, 75 kg

More energy, feel tighter especially in the midsection, clear thinking, no sluggishness after eating