Monday, February 07, 2011

Training Day: Monday

170.3 on the scale, post-train, everything but the coat. Ugh and Son of Ugh alike. Blame it on the annual Super Bowl Spare Rib Fiesta.

As such, I only managed one session today. It was plenty - finishing up with 32 minutes with J.M., Brian, Glenn and Troy during Open Mat/Live Training.

Prof Carlos started us off with some takedowns. I got to train with Prof Kevin as we worked through osoto gari, both alone and as a follow-up after a foot sweep (de ashi barai?). It's not every day that you get to train technique with a black belt. Prof Carlos showed us afterwards how judokas train against the wall to help keep their throwing motions straight and linear. It was another one of those little training details that can make a huge difference six months or a year later if you really take the time to implement them into your game.

Think about it. In 2010, I trained 162 times (includes seminars and competition). What if I'd done a set of ten throws against the wall before and after every practice? It wouldn't have taken more than 30 seconds of my training time. But after a year, I'd've worked that one technique over 3,000 times.

This kind of quantified thinking is, in part, at what's at the center of what I think can help turn average ability into extraordinary performance. Imagine doing your best sweep-pass-dominant position-finish sequence 20 times a night (after all, if it's your favorite ...). If you train 15-16 times a month, that's more than 300 reps every 30 days. If you don't get better after that, then you're already as good as you are going to get at that move and need to find something else to master.

On the ground, we worked the half-guard pass with the knee wedge. This was one of my favorite half guard passes, but I almost never do it any more. I think I really lost the feel of the pass, how you are essentially sitting down next to the guy's hip as you wedge the knee in. It's an extremely powerful pass, and used to be the first part of the half guard pass series I called "Three Blind Mice" after the scene from Goldfinger (the second mouse is the Royler/Knee Cross and the third mouse is the Cross Wedge). Now, as I work on the Roger, is a great time to patch up the holes in the rest of my game from half guard top.

A little too much agility and not enough patience and deception is probably a good way to characterize Live Training today. As Roger says, some days you just go to the gym. But there were some elements, like the Eureka moment I experienced when dealing with a surprising X-guard and later finding myself forced to dig deep to try and pass a very active guard recovery effort, that are worth at least a few moments of celebratory, jiu jitsu-affirming visualization.