August wasn`t a great month for me in terms of my evolution in bjj. Upon returning from Los Angeles, I took a few weeks off from training to get caught up on work. When I got back at it, I felt as though I`d been a couch potato for 6 months. It`s amazing how quickly a person can lose their cardio when you don`t keep up with it even for just a few weeks. Maybe that`s just something that comes with age...(I`ll use that as my excuse for now).
After just one hard training session, I decided to enter myself into one of our in-house tournements last weekend. An in-house is the best way to test yourself when points count and tapping out means the match is over. Unlike randori (sparring) where tapping out just means, "you got me, let`s start over again".
At any rate, I won my first match vs a larger opponent, but he was quite new to bjj. What that match told me was that although I consider myself to be a beginner, I`ve gotten to a point where I can dominate a beginner (and even moreso someone on the street who doesnt understand the science of groundfighting). Naturally, this isn`t something to write home about, but it lets me know that I`ve got the positional basics in the can. My next two matchups were against guys closer to my weight, but with the same or slightly more experience than I`ve got. I got the reality check that I needed. Needless to say, I ended the day with 1 win and 2 losses.
The beauty of losing a match is learning where you`re the weakest and focusing your training on that. Here`s what I learned...
1. I need to fight in a lighter weight class than Heavy or Super Heavy, under 200lbs with the Gi would be nice. Fighting a guy my weight who is all muscle and nearly no body fat, the difference in strength is noticeable. Duh!
2. My shots for takedowns aren`t good enough vs someone with decent takedown defence. I put myself in a bad position at the beginning of match 2 and I wasn`t able to recover.
3. I prefer to fight from top position. (as do most), but I know what I need to do off my back, it`s simply the idea of getting my body to respond when my brain is giving it a command. This is partly an issue with conditionning and working on muscle memory.
4. I need to get used to rolling with a mouth guard. This is new for me, but a habit I want and need to get accustomed to. It makes it more difficult to breathe which I`m hoping will help my cardio in the long run.
Anyhow, this weekend is Ribfest downtown and the club has a area to spread the word on the club. Last summer was great in terms of feeding the kids program which is doing very well. So if you read this in time, feel free to come out and say hi!
On a seperate note...here`s a good video to check out.
A reminder to not be over-confident. It makes for interesting exchanges, but you can get caught anytime.