Sunday, June 28, 2009

Thoughts from first grappling session

I have been thinking about my grappling yesterday.  I think that the reason ground fighting is so exciting is because it is like learning to walk again. We have only a very basic knowledge of how to move on the ground and most of this knowledge is either crawling or attempting to stand up. In a fight, crawling is giving your back and will not help at all and standing up simply isn't an option at times. It is interesting to learn how to move on the ground when you are on your back, or on your knees because we do not have the experience of this. Since this blog started off as an exploration of movement (hence the name kieran in motion) I find it quite ironic that things have moved full circle.

Anyway, when I was rolling yesterday I found I was able to sweep my more experienced partners more often than I or they expected or anticipated but when I got myself into a more dominant position I lost it very quickly.  My partners were often not getting the submission on me that they intended because I had good defennce anticipation but they tapped me out with submissions that I gave them through leaving openings while defending something else.  This shows me that I have a decent level of defence to start with but that I need to remember that nobody else but me is thinking of things in sigle movements. I will sweep from in guard to full mount then immediately be put on my back again, for example and this happens because I am thinking in my head "right, now I am in mount" and trying to switch to "mount" mode in my head whereas the other guys are thinking "I can sweep to mount and then flatten him out and pressure him into a keylock and if that doesn't work I will move up and try forr the armbar" etc etc.

Secondly, I  am completely forgetting about my own position when I go for submissions. A perfect example is when going for a triangle I will put all of my attention into breaking his grip or straightening his arm (etc) that I forget to keep my legs tight and he pulls out or passes my legs.  I know what I am supposed to do if I ge stacked when going for a triangle but I focus too much on one aspect and neglect positional safety. This ties in with my previous point. I am thinking about the arm and only the arm wheras my partner is thinking that he can pass my legs then get into side control then pass to mount. I need to think more strategically in terms of positional hierarchy and body mechanics.

Finally, my legs and arms are not working in concert all too often.  This ties in with everything I have just said. I am not used to using my arms and legs to control someone when I am on my back or on top of someone and so I have no working knowledge of doing so. I know in my head what I should be doing but concentrate too hard on one aspect that I forget what I am doing with the rest of my body. Then becaise he is thinking three moves ahead and I am only thinking 1 second ahead if my move fails he can then implement his gameplan.

I have three goals for the next time I roll which should be either Thursday or Saturday:

  1. Whatever position I am in, I will try to use both my legs and arms to move to a better position, whether that position is mount to half guard or the end of a submission.
  2. Once in a dominant position, or even an advantageous neutral position I want to be able to control and maintain this position for at least fifteen seconds. Bonus points if I get this on the biggest and strongest of the guys!
  3. I want to tap out my partners with one of the submissions I know I can do easily: guillotine, neck crank, arm triangle, climbing arm bar, triangle. I addition, I should get used to firing off these submission attempts in rapid succession, most probably in this rough order.  This will increase my chances of either getting the tap or getting swept! I want to work them in this order because then if one fails I can go for the next one and I have a plan. I know the neck crack can be used as a transition and the arm triangle can be rolled into rear mount so I can use these as part of my game plan: if neck crank isn't toight enough but he is trapped I can sweep him using it because he has no arm to base out with on one side, for example.
 I will try to achieve these three aims and report back later on how I got on.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Last week Allan came to our muay thai class. He and Colin have known each other for a while so he decided to add in muay thai to his kickboxing and boxing experience.  As we got talking, it turns out that Allan has beebn grappling for years too and has competed across Europe in grappling tournaments.  He rolls with a few guys in the squash courts at the leisure centre, the same as Graham and I.

I joined them today for a 2 hour session and learned a lot.  There was only 4 of us but that meant we always had someone to partner up with. We are all different sizes and shapes which can only be a good thing.

I'm going to be training with them on Wednesday too hopefully.  If I can progress we enough then hopefully early next year I can have an ammy mma fight and take it from there.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I will no longer be fighting in August as I was not matched by the promoter.  Rather, a seperate promotion is putting on a show on September 18th that I am putting my name forward for.  Hopefully I can be matched for this one.

Also, I have found someone in Arbroath who regularly gets together with others and does submission wrestling so I will be training with these guys too hopefully. I hope to have an MMA fight either at the end of the year or next year depending on how fast I can learn and progress with grappling and groundfighting.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So I have put my name forward for a fught on August 29. I was training last time to compete. Just to get in the ring was my goal. This time I want to win. More info to come.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

BJJ roadmap

I have been visualising and daydreaming about ground fighting for a while now and recently bought a notebook so I can write down technique, ideas and plans that I think of or come across on the internet or book. When I get some actual tutelage I'll keep instruction and notes in there too. One thing I though would be useful while I can't get any physical practice is to formulate a plan of sorts for when I get in certain positions. I bought "Mastering Juijitsu" by Renzo Gracie and Erich Krauss on the advice of Mr Slideyfoot, a poster on the Sherdog forums who also runs a superb blog on his BJJ training as well as including book and DVD reviews. This is a great book and discusses strategy at great length. One thing they stress is that BJJ players will always have a plan based on positional hierarchy. I've also been reading Stephan Kesting's newsletters and his free e-book. One of the big things that he points out is creating maps in order to progress and have a solid plan you can focus on. The ones that he gives as a demonstration seeed lacking to me and I've discovered why. They do not have specific detail of how to get to each position.

In order to learn better and to understand positions better I've created a roadmap for my beginning steps into BJJ. I have outlined three sweeps or transitions and three attacks from the guard that I would like to work on. Once I have these comfortably in my head I will move on to other disadvantageous position before moving onto advantageous positions. I'll try get three of each from each position before the end of the year. here is the first one I will be workin on. I've missed out some things because I've picked things that I like the sound of, or have worked on before and would like to continue drilling. Obviously the missing positions will be added to in time to create a whole "game".

If you have any tips on these techniques or can give me a better plan of attack then let me know!