I spent a lot of last week in the kimono working my ground game. In addition to Dennis' class, that due to rain we had inside Premiere house, I also made it into Nova Uniao several times. As always the technique and rolling was great. One aspect I like is that that as NU they work takedown techniques a lot more than most gyms I have been to in Rio. A lot of places will just drill entries into takedowns or throws very lazily as part of the warm up; at NU they will actually show and work defense and offense from the feet and sometimes include short live situational goes from standing. Now that my face is a bit more recognized there I have been getting more and more helpful tips from the higher belts there. If fact after a good roll with one of the black belts (by which I mean I got smashed technically, but held my own), he asked me if I wanted to roll again a few minutes later. Of course I said yes, and he again continued to smash me technically, but offered up a lot of good pointers on where to move and grips.
As I said last week one thing I have to work on is not stopping in certain positions and allowing a shift in the momentum between my opponent and I. This week I tried to keep that in mind as much as possible while rolling, just being aware of the situations and times I stop have already helped. Being conscious of my stopping allowed me to either keep my movement up or react more quickly if I did stop in a position. Working on not stopping has helped to push me to always improve on good positioning and not accepting being put in a bad position. While the problem of stopping is a more conceptual and mental adjustment, this past week I learned a glaring hole in my game technically—my sweeps. Or more appropriately my lack there of. While drilling sweeps to finishes in Dennis' Class I realized how limited my sweep game is, and that what I have feels clunky and not overly sound. I think this hole in my game probably developed for two reasons: 1. I prefer a top game 2. If I am in guard I will work to submit or create a scramble that will allow me to escape or reverse to the back or a takedown. While I have a lot of success with this strategy, in order to advance to the level I want to be I need to add them to my guard game. Besides if I have a greater knowledge of sweeps, I'll have a greater understanding of how to stop them when I am on top.
Yan Cabral and Leo Santos Seminar
This past Saturday a few of the guys from the house and I attended a seminar hosted by Nova Uniao mma and bjj standouts Yan Cabral and Leo Santos. Both men have been recently signed by the UFC and Santos won the most recent Ultimate Fighter Brazil. While they have transitioned into mma both originated in training bjj; Santos being famous for a flying armbar finish of GSP in ADCC, and Cabral is one of the featured fighters in the upcoming Copa Podio.
The seminar was phenomenal and packed with bjj practitioners of all belt levels, and was broken into two hour long parts with Cabral and Santos each taking an hour to show technique. Santos showed a lot of top game attacks, while Cabral showed a mixture of guard work and submissions from top. Sometimes people can get overloaded with way to much technique, but at the seminar it really wasn't the case. We were given ample time to rep each move and then after wards the mats were free for us to practice what we had learned. I took away 2-3 things I really liked---a standing butterfly guard pass, a submission from top half, and a small concept of hand positioning from back pack position. Everything they showed was great, but I really felt like those things were moves that compliment my game.
Now one of the great things was in the U.S. a seminar like that would cost well over a $100USD, but here in Rio the birthplace of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu it cost $50R, which at current rates is about $20USD. Just another advantage of being here at Connection Rio.