Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some Stand-up observations

Me and Beau went down to the garage for the first time since our last stand up randori session. Last time I was attempting Pat's advice of rolling the ball and it was working, but only for separating us in a tight space. So we ended up outside of striking distance and went right back into it. I was talking about it with Bryce last night and he was saying from his personal experience (and only his personal experience) that if you're in an enclosed space then attacking works, but not necessarily attacking Uke's face or body. What he meant was, waiting for a strike to be thrown then attacking your opponent's wrist or elbow or shoulder to off balance him (while keeping your posture) and just keeping him off balance. I tried that today and while I initially took a few shots to the face and maybe a black eye, in the end that strategy worked pretty well. I was catching Beau's elbow with a hand or sometimes his shoulder which would make him stumble and I just kept that up. It usually ended up with him falling and latching on to me causing me to fall with him then we transitioned into some groundwork...which is always fun :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

Grappling with Beau

Beau is a friend of mine from high school I went into the Marine Corps with and later became a roommate to me and Andy. Beau has always hated grappling of any kind be it Judo, wrestling, or MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program). He has always said that two men rolling around together was just homosexual but the other night admitted that he's just never been good at it but wanted to get better. Me and Andy have been trying to get into Judo for the longest time so we'd have another buddy to practice with, so I was ecstatic to give him a hand in learning a few positions. We've been doing the hold down cycle and giving a few reps specifically with kesa and kata gatame along with Mune gatame. After a few randori sessions I figured out Beau's only problem is when he would find himself in a position unfamiliar to him, he would freak out and waste all his energy flailing around instead of a controlled attempt at escape. So I started putting him in holds and when he would start flailing I'd set it a little tighter and tell him to calm down and look for a place to shrimp or bridge (or both). After just a week he's doing fantastic. He's giving a lot of energy in short bursts and if it doesn't work he's switching tactics almost immediately. At this rate he'll be throwing me around before I leave in a few months :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Holidays

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man's life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.

-Albert Einstein

Happy 4th of July Everyone

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Close Quarters

First off, thanks again for so many replies to my previous post. I confess I watch UFC matches from time to time because every so often you see some guy do something extraordinary in a circumstance where he's losing and suddenly he comes out on top. 99% of the time it's on the ground and the guy "losing" is remaining calm. I see people who are mounted get punched and turtle up while the guy on top beats on them until the ref stops it and tonight me and my roommate Beau wanted to test that. I've got a couple of pairs of grappling gloves and I let Beau get in the mount and told him to swing away and see if I could stop him. We later switched to where I had him in guard and same situation. Admittedly Beau is just learning about grappling but I could stop him from punching me without him landing a solid blow 8 out of 10 times from each position. The other 2 times he'd hit me once before I'd grab the arm or reverse the position or figure a way out of it. It's incredibly hard to punch someone when they buck you or throw their hands in that middle space between you and them while you're trying to hit them. Afterwards I wanted to work on my avoiding being punched while standing up. I tried Pat's Aiki brush-off several times and it worked most times. What I had problems with was that given we were in my garage on my mats, which are about 8' x 8', it's hard to stay out of ma ai. When contact is made, I noticed I could jump in and close the space, but that doesn't feel Aikido-like, but moving away doesn't do anything but free him up to swing again. I can't seem to get any solid off-balance while moving around in small spaces. Suggestions?