July 2, 2009

Where do I start?

That was the question of the day when I first started my training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I was feeling very overwhelmed and not quite sure what to do. I find that this is often the epic question whenever I start anything new, including this blog.

I began about a month and a half ago at a place called Tai-Kai Jiu Jitsu, which is a Relson Gracie Team Balance gym. I'm still a white belt as I write now (which was to be expected). I usually try to train at least five times a week. I go as often as my schedule allows. I'm also attending MMA classes and a wrestling class regularly. My gym does teach Thai and Boxing but unfortunately, they run at the same time BJJ does.

I'm not going to back track and try to explain everything that I have learned so far so I will jump right into what we learned last night.

Joe (purple belt) ran the class last night. After our conditioning and warm-ups, we went straight into learning the omaplata from the guard position. The set up was pretty similar to the arm bar we worked last week so it came pretty natural to me.

1. Control the bicep
2. Drop the left foot to the ground
3. Shrimp out, post right foot on opp hip
4. Pinch shoulder with knees
5. Throw leg/foot over opp head
6. Sit out and raise hips

After we all 'mastered' that, we strung together a collar choke, arm bar, and omaplata from the same position. Pretty fun stuff.

For the end of class, we did a pass or sweep drill. The higher belts started out on the mat and the lower belts proceeded to try to pass. I was swept more than I passed but I did manage to pass a green belt and a white belt, both of the men being significantly larger than I. I'm really not exceptionally 'speedy' but I managed to gain significant control of their legs and be patient enough to pass at the right moment instead of jumping right into it like I tend to do sometimes. I've also been trying to stack more often during drills and rolling. It has been working pretty well for me!

After that, open mat began.

I rolled with a newer girl who tends to gas herself out really quickly. I did my best to give her tips on some basic positioning and let her know that pacing herself is a really good idea. I worked on the cobra choke that a friend had showed me later that night because I find I only think of the arm bar and the kimura when I get mount.

I went to MMA after that and got my butt kicked a little but hey, it was fun. We worked on creating angles and just did some general sparring and clinch work. It was one of the kid's 18th birthday and we made a huge circle around him and took turns beating on him a little bit! It was playful and I can honestly say that I can't wait for my birthday to come up.

That's all for now. I'm off to the noon class.

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