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.

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