After missing last week due to food poisoning I was very much looking forward to training this week. I got there slightly early (7.45) but there was already around 20 guys changed and ready to go. Whilst I was getting changed myself Ricardo reminded everyone that it was an open mat session so start rolling.
I did a quick 5 minute warm up and learning from my mistakes of the other week I was fresh today as I did not do a 5 mile run in my lunch hour.
My first roll was with a guy who was a blue belt in Judo from Westcroft Judo club and in fact I remember him from when I last trained there. He was strong and stocky and even though he had been training BJJ for a few months I could tell he was a Judoka. He managed to get me in a sort of guillotine choke, but he never had it sunk in properly. This didn’t stop him from continuing to try and submit me and he had me in this for a couple of minutes before I finally tapped more so because he was crushing my jaw than because he was choking me out.
My next roll was with the only female in the club or at least she was tonight. I was conscious whilst rolling with her not to try and muscle my way through and tried to use technique instead. This caused a kind of stalemate as although she was quite technical and was able to pass my guard I was able to reverse her and then pass her guard albeit only to side control where, not wanting to just force a kimura I struggled to get a dominant position. Towards the end of our roll I did finally manage to get mount and sink in a kimura which forced her to tap and this was all done using technique so I was quite pleased.
There were a couple of complete beginners in tonight and whilst I grabbed a quick drink of water and waited for someone to roll with I thought I’d grab one of the new guys. The first new guy I rolled with had a bit of an idea and was quite strong so I just let him attack and let him go from side control to mount before I reversed him and did the same back.
The second new guy I rolled with had never done any grappling and had no idea what even the guard was and this was a slightly difficult roll as I spent most of the 5 minutes explaining why rather than showing him.
Shortly after wards Ricardo showed us all a technique to practice and I paired up with a young guy who had just purchased a shiny white new gi. The technique was quite complicated as it was first an escape from side control and then in doing so uke gets an underhook and tries to go for full mount but you end up shrimping out the other side and getting their back. I’ve basically broken this down in to 2 separate techniques. The first one being the escape from side control and the second one being a good way of taking someone’s back if they are about to get full mount.
When we went back to sparring I got to roll with this young guy and before we rolled he told me he had been training a month which is 1 week longer than I have. When I preceded to Arm Bar him twice followed by a kimura and then an arm triangle he looked a little bit frustrated so I told him that I had a couple months of Judo but he didn’t know that they did ground grappling in Judo. I was very happy with the two armbars I got as they are my first in a BJJ class and they were exactly as Ricardo had shown me the other week.
My last roll was with the guy I first rolled with i.e. the ex Judo guy. I was surprised that he still had his strength considering he uses it a lot when he rolls. I managed to have a better roll with him this time around though. In this guy I think I have found someone who is just that little bit better than me but not by a huge amount. I think I can use him as a yard stick for my improvements going forward.