BJJ 60 min
Open mat at my brown belt instructor’s house. An out-of-state brown belt friend of his stopped in, and we just did a lot of rolling. He’s a stout fellow about my age and 6’2", 220 pounds or so.
My instructor murdered us both, no surprises there. He’s really, really good. Scary good. Last night he unloaded his complete takedown game on me, which is an onslaught of judo and wrestling that is like riding a wave of energy coming at you from all directions, only he’s actually using your energy and not working particularly hard. He says I’m one of the hardest people he trains with to takedown, and I stayed on my feet for maybe 10 seconds before he found the right mistake to exploit. It is a sight to behold and an incredible thing to experience. Well, it’s incredible once you can get over the fact that you’re nowhere near that level and a shit sandwich is on the menu.
The visiting brown belt and I matched up really well. He has a lot of tricks up his sleeve, but seemed to be lacking in some of the fundamentals I’ve been working so hard on lately. He struggled to beat my frames and struggled to keep his in place. I escaped his side control, passed his guard and more or less dominated him in side control, all without using any real pressure. He eventually replaced guard, swept me and then caught me in an armbar from Kesa Gatame, the same one the two judo guys I occasionally train with caught me in. That’s an escape I definitely need to improve, but he did it well and I didn’t have an answer for it today.
Our next roll went similarly for the first 5 min or so, trading positions a lot, but I escaped his guard, passed his half guard, wrapped him up in side control and took mount. From there he did not frame well at all, and it was a simple matter for me to pursue the concept I’ve been working so hard on lately. Beat the frames and climb to technical mount. I got him in a Kimura grip from technical mount, which was my goal for the day, but I couldn’t quite isolate his arms like I wanted and he eventually forced me back to mid mount. He failed to establish frames and I climbed back up to a high mount until he made the Americana shape, which I took from high mount and tapped him out.
I’m not sure what speed he was at, but I was maybe 70 percent and not using any pressure game on him. I still have so very much to learn and improve on, but I think I can say I know a little jiu jitsu now.
Belts are just 2 inch-wide strip of cloth that people can give each other for all kinds of reasons. This guy comes from a different system than my instructor, and I’m sure he earned every promotion he’s gotten. Belt’s don’t matter at the end of the day. Frames matter. Hip movement matters. Making safe matters. Timing matters. That said, the guy was a beast and definitely the best person I’ve ever gotten a tap on. Who would have thought that dozens and dozens of private lessons with one of the best players in N. New England would yield success?
Getting the tap was great, but what’s really got me excited is gaining and holding technical mount and successfully executing a knee-on-belly escape to a belly-down single leg takedown. Both of those are fundamentals I’ve been working really, really hard on. Getting them to work against skilled competition is really thrilling.
Show up and listen, then put the ideas into practice as best as you can. Frames, frames, frames. Hips, hips, hips. Dominate the position and see what opportunities present themselves.
Training with my friend is such an incredible gift. I’m really riding high right now, although I’d never show that on the mat. Always thank the other person, win or lose.