I made it to class on a Saturday morning and early, too. 😉 It was cold. 😦 For those of you who don’t know, I’m a southern girl. My definition of cold starts at 59 F. So, when everybody else got there I was huddled in the corner refusing to take my warm sweat pants off. My Gi was still damp, so Johnny loaned me a dry one. He must have a BJJ warehouse in the trunk of his car. Johnny and Chris started rolling almost immediately. So I crawled over to “the quiet one” and asked him for a warm up roll.
I managed to take mount and as “the quiet one” turned to shrimp, I noticed he was turning a little too far. I quickly slid over to his back and got a rear naked choke set up. Because my arm brace was getting in the way, I couldn’t push my right hand behind his head to finish. What did I have left? *My face* I was able to push his head forward with my cheek. He was very patient and gave me plenty of time to work through the technique. The guys do that a lot. I’ve this said before, as long as I’m using good technique they let me finnish.
We started again. Same scenario as before. I took mount. He shrimped over too far. I took his back and did a rear naked choke. He tapped and then sat back. He rubbed his neck and looked at me, “That was the same choke as before?” *dawning of realization here* I’m thinking, “Oh, crap! That was for real. He wasn’t letting me do anything! Oh crap! He just got beat by a girl, twice. He’s never gonna want to roll with me again…” Stupid thought. The guys I train with are way better than that. I thought for a minute, then said. “Yeah. Let’s do it again slow and find out what’s happening.” So we started in mount, and he slowly rolled over to his left. I said, “That’s it”, and showed him how I slipped in. “You’re rolling over too far and giving me your back.” He seemed relieved. Now that he knew what he was doing, he could work on fixing it.
We started again and I fished out another choke. After ward, he sat back again rubbing his neck. There was a quizzical look on his face, “Was that a bravo choke?” My cautious reply was, “No that was an Anaconda.” His reply… “How do you do that?” I demonstrated the setup with my hands. He asked a few questions about hand placement and direction of the roll. He wasn’t freaking out about me being a girl. He wanted to know how to improve his game. Nice.
Brian Neil showed up to teach class, so that meant JUDO! We started with a shoulder pass from a failed toriana pass. That was sweet, you almost ninja roll through their legs. There is a lot of holding legs and driving shoulder stuff in there, too. The throw he showed us was Tai Otoshi. It is a hand throwing technique that creates a body drop. Here’s a youtube compilation of it by VGOJUDO.
Johnny was working on the foot work, but his feet would get tangled up when he would speed up. The peanut gallery (me) explained to Johnny, that since it was foot work, he could drill it anywhere, anytime, all by himself. You should start moving real slow and aiming for perfect foot placement. By doing so, you create muscle memory. Once, your muscle memory is in place, you start speeding it up. Johnny, looked at me with genuine gratitude and said, “Thank you, I’ll definitely try that.” I must have slept in my smart pajamas last night, or stayed at a Holiday Inn.
Brian, took the time to explain a lot of philosophy, and physics. He laid our belts out to create a box of angles. Then he would throw someone on the angles. It was a good demonstration that I can’t explain. (sorry) He also explained the importance of fighting within the range of your center of gravity. Another thing that he is always catching me on is my “view”. I come from a striking back ground, so I will fix my eyes on a set point. He always shows me how to look, move my eyes/head. Some how it straightens out my technique. It’s pretty nice, and simple.
People are always asking me about striking vs grappling. Which one do I like best and how they relate to one another. It’s not a simple answer. I plan to write a post soon called “Horizontal vs Vertical”.