Sunday, March 10, 2013

tiny victory.

open mat yesterday. And there's a local tournament coming up. I normally avoid such open mats because people seem to be wanting to go a little harder than normal, and being that I'm not competing... I don't see the sense in being in such proximity to injuryland.

I had a lot of frustrations with how the day went. I didn't get to train at all with my instructor, again, because the competing members were allotted the priority. That really bummed me out, being that my work schedule keeps me from getting any time with the instructor as is. But it's not new. And while it smacks of sibling rivalry, it is what it is - dad doesn't like me best.

And it's just going to have to suck like that. I can only presume that I'm someone that not everyone wants to train with. It's cool, there's a few I actively avoid too, but that's generally because I get hurt every single time I interact with them. I have enough setbacks as is with my work schedule interrupting what training I get. I'm certainly not in a place where I can risk further down time due to injury. 

Which, you know, whatever. I try and make do with what resources I have - a wealth of instructionals and occasional access to a very few teammates who will watch and drill with me. It's all I get right now - 1-3 mornings of an hour or so drilling sometimes just one move, sometimes a few.

I have pursued this as I have noted that just doing a move a few rushed times in a class doesn't set it for me. I'm assuming that I need more reps. More successful reps. I need to see the move work. How it works. How it fails. I've had enough years of well, let's get maybe a rep or two in, then live roll and it fails so fuck that move, it sucks/doesn't work.

So I'm also fighting the uphill battle of reversing years of negative perceptions on moves I'm relearning and retooling. And that, believe me, is a bitch.

I've been working a ton on part of Andre Galvao's first disc on his Favorite Moves series (I think that's the name? Too lazy to go look), which focuses on the lotus flower sweep and the rolling kimura. I actually managed to effectively execute the transition from the kimura to the bellydown armbar yesterday - WITHOUT REALLY THINKING AT ALL ABOUT DOING IT.

This is huge. And I'm hoping it's also evidence that I'm on the right path. I was pulling my opponent up into the first position and spinning around to sit on his head, gathering the arm, sliding my arms through into the kimura position - all of this was accomplished before my brain even actively said "Oh hey - go for that kimura move you've been working on"

If I can just keep making things flow like that. Man, it'll be sweet.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

still making lemonade

It's rare that I have time to blog lately. Nutshell version: lots of health problems in my family, and most of my spare time has been spent going to various hospitals and inpatient care centers. I am hopeful and mostly sure things will eventually be okay, but it's been rough. 

At least I have a decent habit going for getting lots of drilling done a few mornings a week. It's been really nice to be able to take my sweet time analyzing a move, repeating it a lot (but probably still not as much as I need to or should), and then marinating in it and figuring out what the next move may be (or may not be) creatively, rather than being spoon fed some variant. Letting me decide what I'd naturally do next. 

I'd like to think that would be a better way to learn and develop my game. I hope so, as it's all I have available to me presently. 

But let's focus on what I have, not what I lack. I've been working on a dvd series from Andre Galvao involving the flower sweep (which has never been a go-to sweep for me in its previous incarnations) and what he called the rolling kimura series. I'm liking both a lot. 

I still struggle with what I call the "loading phase" of the flower sweep, but it's coming around. This particular version doesn't rely on generating the momentum by making huge circles with your free leg, which always seemed both ineffective for me, as well as being a big honking telegraph as to what you intended to do. Of course, when you're only waving a short, stocky leg around, there's only so much momentum that is being generated, I suppose. 

I'm still playing around with just precisely how much of the opponent's weight I'm supposed to hoist onto myself, and at what angle. (Recent findings are "not this much" and "not this angle")

The rolling kimura is a bit of a revisit for me - I used to love this sort of thing early in my study. I'm trying to remain mindful of not doing it "the old way" and losing critical tiny details. I also am trying to remain open-minded with all of the options from the core position, even though I'm struggling with a few of them - namely the chokes. Damned T Rex arms... 

It's okay. It'll come around. I just have to keep working the angles. Fortunately for me, at least I have a few folks who are willing to work with me on that. It's a welcome change to the rather annoying trend of selfishness that I've been noticing when training in a larger class. I don't miss that part of regular class. 

That also feeds into the relentless whining for rank that I'm equally disenchanted with, especially when I manage to get tangled up in it. When I am drilling, learning, and working on jiu jitsu, I could give a shit about my rank. I'd do well to preserve that mindset, rather than lowering myself to the childish concerns of rank. I don't dream at night of stripes, I dream of progressions. 

However, that said... I think I'm henceforth distancing myself from overextending myself to those who don't return the favor. I'm getting more selfish as well, in this respect. People taking extensive advantage of my generosity has been enough of a distraction and disappointment. I can't convince people to act more honorably, but I can control my exposure to it.