So this is going to be the first post in my BJJ training log. Josh, a blue belt I train with, suggested I start documenting sessions... and as much as my ego would like to say I don't need to, it's definitely a good idea.
Today we went over some similar techniques we learned last week. Mostly side control-related work, which began with hugging the far-side arm and using that side's lapel to cut into the armpit. Using your other hand, you can hold down your opponent's legs and easily take mount. From there you can take technical mount and transition to an armbar or take the back for a collar choke, bow and arrow choke, or rear-naked choke. I actually really liked this sequence and I'm going to work it into my rolling.
I'm finding that I've reached the point of my training where I recognize the importance of CREATING openings, which ties into CONTROL. Contrary to what most people and casual fans think, Jiu Jitsu is NOT about submissions. Jiu jitsu is about CONTROL. Subs are secondary to completely dominating another human being on the ground without using too much strength. I think the first "progression" for most newbies (including myself) was gunning for submissions and position advancement. That is, once I started to learn techniques and feel more comfortable on the ground, I tried to implement those techniques by quickly moving to positions when they opened up. This works on most people, but when you learn to CONTROL your opponent, then you really start to understand the intricacies of BJJ. When I roll with another one of our blue belts, recently I've been able to control him better than ever before. The last few times we've rolled, I definitely would have won on points. I subbed him with an armbar about a week ago for the first time when I pried his arm out during a triangle attempt. A few days back I threatened with a kimura from north/south but got sloppy, and his blue beltness helped him to easily escape into my guard. I've realized that you can't just wait for shit to open up, you have to CREATE THE OPENING. I'm trying to slow everything down and work on securing each position, and it's working pretty well. I used to rush from side control into mount, and then struggle to submit from there. Now I'm finding that I take advantage of side control openings, try working on the far-side arm, and end up attacking with a kimura or armbar from technical mount or from north/south.
Few things I want to work on in the next couple of weeks:
1. Finishing when taking the back. I have been taking the back much more often, but I sometimes end up back in mount. If I body-triangle my opponent, I can maintain position -- but I often cannot secure the choke. I want to mostly work on rear-naked choke finishes and the occasional bow and arrow choke, although I hit those more often. Armbars and triangles are also a nice option from when you're high on the back.
2. Bottom side-control escapes and sweeps. I usually give up mount because my side-control defense is weak.
3. Guard passing. I get very little practice guard passing so this needs to be worked on. I made some progress today when I recognized a double underhook pass and grabbed for the cross-collar grip. Casey, my instructor, showed me what I did wrong, and I think next time I'm in that situation I'll be able to hit the pass.
4. Maintaining guard. Not a huge problem compared to the other stuff right now, but this needs to be drilled.
That's pretty much it for now.