Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daintiest Big Man and Past Gas

I guess that I realize now that I am not just old, I am also a wuss.   400 lb Josh labelled me with, "you are the daintiest big man I have ever rolled with."  To my defense, his comment followed after he flopped on me going into side control.   The reason for his comment is that I make a lot of sound effects.  So much so that I have created a new language:
  • "uhhhh" translates to "your body weight has pounced on my guts, please proceed to another position"
  • "oouchhh" translates to "you have trapped my extremity in a submittable position causing pain, please be alerted to my tapping"
  • "shiiit" translates to "note to self, please keep your elbows and arms inside the vehicle and at your side at all times (or get caught like this once again)"
  • "eeeeh" translates to "that's my jock strap and not my belt, please remove your hand"
  • "(sound of rapid panting)" translates to "I'm going to die, please prepare for stalling tactics"
Actually, last Saturday Andrew was sparring with another and asked mockingly if I was alright.  I said, "you can hear that (panting)."  Sparring partner Josh answered, "the jiu jitsu school in Gainesville can hear you."  Gainesville being 6 miles away.

"How long does it take to get past gassing terribly (when you are old and feeble)?"  I was wondering that myself, as I was having a lot of trouble getting back going after not taking many BJJ classes at the end of last year.  I remember Master Dave saying it takes a week or two.  For the Aged, it took about 5 weeks and I am just starting to feel good with sparring, not yet able to go 100% for 15 minutes.  When I started, it took 3 months.  But, then again, I am the Daintiest Big Man.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Breaking Opponent's Grip When Doing an Arm Bar

I have tried the kick the opp's opposite bicep method with poor results. Today Jay the Judo BB showed me a Judo method, which is very OMJJ Approved. All it requires is falling to your side. Even I can do that.

When you are in position with the arm trapped and about to lean back, the opp has a tight bear hug grip on their own arms. I f I fall back, they may just roll with me and get on top. The trick is to further close your bear hug on their arm and grab your Gi on the elbows. Then, fall sideways and arch your torso to extend their arm above their head. They cant hold their grip when it is extended above their head. With the grip broken, you then need to move back to perpendicular to the opps body and finish the arm bar.

I have not tried it in sparring, but it seems easy, requires little energy (i.e., fall sideways) and stops that problem with my arm bar. I am so slow that any opp can see me broadcasting the transition to arm bar a mile away. They then lock their grip and I am stuck hugging an arm that if I execute the arm bar they roll right with me and on top of me.

This video is similar, but how Jay taught it was to just lean to the side and not change the position to be nearly on top of opp. But, hey look, they are old too.

Monday, November 15, 2010

How to Escape the Rear Naked Choke By Your Couch

After working long hours, I love to do nothing but couch.  This laziness is in direct conflict with my ambition to learn BJJ.  After a stint of falling off the wagon (i.e., the mat), how do you get back on the horse and get going with BJJ class again?  The answer is "with much regret."  After missing a series of classes, I always kick myself for not fiting in at least 1 class per week (I travel frequently which is the other reason besides laziness (Master should only read that work is the cause of any of my absences)).  As an Aged and Feeble BJJ Practitioner, missing just a week puts my cardio back two weeks or more.  Nothing sucks more than gassing.  Well, maybe getting choked when you are gassing out.  So, How to Escape the Rear Naked Choke...From Your Couch?   Answer: don't let the couch get its hooks in.  Go to at least one class per week.  Take your Gi on business trips and find a nearby BJJ club.  I did this once in Lexington KY and it was fun.  As an aged and feeble student, you will be a novelty.  Every BJJ Club probably wants their own token old pummel, choke and cherish.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Old Man Judo in Manassas VA

I was intimidated to take the Judo classes at Rage Fight Club in Manassas.  Just doing BJJ warm ups, I ended up getting surgery by only break falling poorly....duh.  What would the aged and feeble OMJJ novice get into with a full program of  break falling?  Nonetheless, I knew that I needed to learn how to break fall the correct way and I always loved the Ippon Seio Nage/Japanese Whizzer/Shoulder Throw from high school wrestling. 

The Judo class is taught by two black belts: 1st and 3rd dan, Victor and Jay.  It is really amazing to have two sensai of that caliber teaching a class attended by a small group of students.  My hesitations were somewhat unwarranted.  I am learning how to do some basics, including break falling.  The sparring still has me cautious, as I am not really used to the part of getting thrown.  I really enjoy the art aspect of Judo.  The end of class Victor does this meditational breathing routine.  It is more formal with the bowing and the like but still very casual and non-militaristic.  Judo is very fun.  It is awe-inspiring to watch and "play" as the throws are more dramatic and exciting than BJJ's ground game.  However, it is more restricted given that Judo disallows leg take downs, which with a wrestling background is my standup game.   If I could even call it a "game," at this point.;

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Injuries vs. To-be-expected Aches and Pains

Aches and pains are to be expected when you are an aged and feeble BJJ student.  Unfortunately, injuries are also to be expected.  Since I started, I have had a rotator cuff sprain, elbow bone spur, elbow bursitis, popped rib, torn shoulder cartilidge, and arthritis in both shoulders.  These injuries and the elbow surgery have had me out about half of the year that I have been training.  I have learned how to protect myself and be smarter at training.  Here are my lessons learned:

1. get very warmed up.  Don't spar until you are loose and ready.

2. Follow the technique with no short cuts.  I screwed up my elbow by being lazy when break falling.

3. Be defensive and avoid being submitted.  Subs are brutal on the joints.

4. Tap as soon as you are caught.  There is no sense in straining your joints when you are already done for.

5. Give your joints a break.  When my arthritis starts to ache endlessly, I will take a break from class or spare for a shorter time.  Your younger team mates will not understand, but if you are in it for the long haul, be prepared to take extra time.