Wow, what a night of rolling. I kind of knew what to expect because Kevin updated the Fighting Chance Facebook page with some info. It said, “Come train tonight….get ready for the holiday weekend. We are going to train hard so we can play hard! See you on the mats, Vida Jiu~Jitsu!!” Okay, another one of these – just like Tuesday.
If you read my previous post on Tuesday night’s class, you know that it was helpful to have a hint of what to expect last night. The heat, the sweat and the long, long matches. Just the kind of thing I thrive on. Yeah, I like to say that when I’m sitting here, typing in air conditioning. Last night, as I was laying on my back, hardly able to breath, it was a different story.
Anyway, we did go over a technique for about a half-hour though. It was on a few variations of the X-Pass. I’ll go over the pass below, but first I’d like to say that I’m enjoying the layout of what we do up there. We don’t spend hours and hours drilling and drilling. I’m basically introduced to and fed something and then we go over it a few times. After we’re finished, I store the technique in the back of my brain somewhere and we roll for about an hour and a half. I pull that technique out the next day and study it (on my own time). Kind of like homework.
The X-Pass is one of those beautiful quintessential BJJ techniques that excites purple belts such as myself and inspires future white belts. If you learn the goal of the pass and then watch enough videos on it, you’ll eventually start using it more and more in class, or, if you haven’t begun your training yet, you’ll call a school. The X-Pass is sweet.
Using this pass does require a player to be standing though, which is a rarity these days, as alluded to in this very well written piece by Inner BJJ. If you’ve been training for a while, you most likely have seen the transition from standing to kneeling in BJJ. Give that article a read because it’s pretty enlightening. It’s a good reminder to start using your legs again – the way the better players do.
I’ve been doing some reading on the finer points of the X-Pass and am eager to start mixing up some parts of my game to take advantage of it. I’d like to start leading matches a bit more than I am right now, rather than being on the defensive so much. Which brings me to my next point.
Carlos the Brown Belt
I rolled with Carlos again last night. It’s always an experience because I get a whole lot of nowhere with this guy – time and time again. I was even talking about our matches to my buddy Seth on the way to class yesterday. I told him that Carlos has this grip game that’s nearly impossible to get the hang of. I also told Seth that I had a few ideas – ideas I conjured up after much thought and reflection.
What I’m beginning to realize about Carlos’ game is that he likes to lead. I figured that if I could avoid getting sucked into the bubble he was creating for both of us, at the very least, I’d gain some breathing room to decide what to do next. Now, I tried this last night and while I did slightly better, Carlos still parted me out. I did notice though, a few fissures in what was once impossible. That in the future may become possible. We’ll see what happens. It’s difficult though. Carlos has a lot of years under his belt and is very good.
Dave the Black Belt
I met Dave last night for the first time. He’s a black belt and from what I’ve heard, he rolls on through to train every so often. He’s going to make more frequent appearances now that he’s preparing for an impending tournament.
Towards the end of the night, Kevin, ever so graciously, introduced Dave to me and directly following our introduction, we had our inaugural roll. What an experience.
Dave was very even tempered. Just as a black belt should be. He handled my seemingly jerky and unsophisticated game with ease. I loved it because any time I get to roll with someone of his level, it’s a learning experience. I just keep thinking (selfishly) of how much better I’ll be in one year, simply from osmosis.
I’m beginning to rely on my triangle more and more these days. While a lot of players at this school are obviously trained to defend it and do a good job reenacting the escape, I find that I have a pretty good success rate. Even Dave mentioned last night that my long legs are a real challenge to deal with. I said, “Yeah, that’s what a lot of people say.” He replied that I should use them. Sort of like they were something I shouldn’t ignore. I agreed.
I kind of gave up on my triangle a while ago. I don’t really know why either. It’s one of my most effective submission techniques and a lot of guys don’t know what to do with it. Also, going for triangles over and over again really offers a lot of practice in the way of high guard. Another area not many people are comfortable with. Now, high guard leads to arm isolation, which leads to a multitude of armbars and shoulder locks. World champions have built their titles on less. So I’m thinking it’s something I should continue to develop.
My Own Advice
I’m also realizing that I need to follow my own advice. I need to begin developing plans of action and sticking to them. I need to forecast future situations and react early on. All the things I write about need to be put into practice because the stretching of my game is what I need to experience. I’ve got to transition into more of a thoughtful player. A goal worthy of pursuit.