I missed the jits after monday due to snowboarding (totally worth it) and a last minute scheduled job interview. The interview was no longer than ten minutes since they were looking for someone with a different experience set than I have. The thing is, the HR person of this company kept trying to get me in for an interview. She emailed me three times about the position via my Hotjobs resume and we spoke twice on the phone to schedule it. It wasn’t a total waste of time since I discovered they’ll be looking for someone with my exact skillset in about two months.
Anyway, on to BJJ. Since I missed my usual classes and I really wanted to get more training in before the academy closes for the holidays, I went to the Saturday afternoon open mat class, with a little bit of a hangover from the night before. Upon waking up, I fixed myself up with some Powerade, Pop-tarts, headache pills, and telling myself I’d feel better throughout the day if I went than if I didn’t. I didn’t feel so great when warming up and stretching, but once I started rolling, I felt better.
I first rolled with a blue belt bigger and heavier than me. We had a monster of a roll, over 30 minutes. If he got top position, he would quickly pass my open guard and keep me defending, which I think I did well, I defended all but three attacks. If I managed to get top position, I would keep trying to pass guard. Most of the time, he would quickly regain guard since I would let go of controlling his legs too soon, in my pursuit of controlling his upper body. After a bit (20 or so minutes I’d say), I was able to successfully pass and maintain side-control, which I only did once.
After the roll, me and another new blue belt were taught a few open guard passes and side-control gi chokes. After drilling them a bit, we both did a brief roll. He wanted to work on his open-guard, which was perfect since I wanted to work on my passes.
What I did right:
- Defended a ton of attacks from both the bottom and in the open guard.
- Kept a good base, I was swept only once or twice.
- My smash passes worked well
- Knew to abandon the control both legs together pass rather than insisting to keep with it
What I did wrong:
- The mistakes I would make when rolling with white belts is more apparent when rolling with blues (duh!).
- When passing, I would frequently let go of control of the legs too quickly, so I very rarely got to maintain side control.
- I need to add more pass techniques to my game! I kept seeing openings for the shoulder plant pass, but I can’t seem to remember how to do it right.
- Bottom game still sucks against bigger guys.
I think I’m going to keep working on passes as my goal for this coming January. The only thing I feel that’s changed is that I’m now adding the stack pass to my game more, which isn’t a new technique for me. If I can incorporate the shoulder plant pass to my game, then I’d feel content and would then move on to work on another technique, like chokes. I don’t get a lot of chokes. Most of my submissions are americanas and armbars. My success rate with chokes is embarrassingly low, which is why I’d like to work on it after I progress a little bit more with passes.