Grahams Gi Adventures: Back in the Gi


First training for 2 weeks last night. I have been sick and actually ended up in hospital last monday night. I haven’t done a training update for a while, but there wasn’t really much to write up for the session 3 weeks ago as it was just rolling no-gi. I did roll with Adam, and as expected when a 70kilo white belt (me) goes up against a 100+kilo Purple Belt (Adam), he completely destroyed me. I think I actually tapped to his side control at one point 😦 It’s all a learning curve though and that is the reason why I chose to leave my comfort zone of rolling with far less experienced people than me once a week and actually start going to get my arse kicked again.

Last night was all rolling again, this time in the Gi, as the guys in the gym are getting ready for the British Open in Kent in a couple of weeks. I quite fancy competing myself sometime next year, but with my family situation, weekend time with my wife and kids is really important and I can’t just be shooting off here there and everywhere for the day. Maybe we’ll be able to work something out, but if not I’ll just have to be happy with the mat time I can get.

The session was really tiring, I guess because I’ve been so ill and missed a few sessions. I rolled with Kev, Raf, Luke, Jack and James. Kev, Raf and Luke were the less-experienced guys and I tried to play guard and work some sweeps. My scissor sweep was working really well, but when you are going with less-experienced guys there is always the doubt in my mind that it is not that the sweep is executed really well, but more that are less-able to defend it. Jack is a 2 stripe white-belt and it is really hard to pass his guard. We had a really good roll, at one point I got a head and arm choke from inside his guard and used the position to work my round to his side so I had a side head-lock with his guard still round me, from there I was able to use my free arm to pry his legs open and pass to side control. Was quite happy with that, he is very flexible like me and fought off my half-arsed submission attempts pretty easy. He kept working for a gi choke and I had to defend like mad to stop him getting it. The round ended in stalemate. I have no idea who would have “won” had we been doing points. Probably advantage Jack I think!

The last roll was with James. He didn’t have a gi so we went no-gi. Much more in my comfort zone! I was really tired by this point and although I managed to to do quite well in the earlier part of the roll, my cardio got the better of me and he had my back for what felt like 10 minutes. In the end I think we called it a draw and I skulked off to the side of the mat to try and recuperate. I really need to work on my cardio some more I think!

I still haven’t written up the Sean Bollinger seminar review I was going to post. I will do that soon. In other Grappling news, I have ordered my second set of Stephan Kesting Instructionals recently. I bought the Grappling Concepts course a while ago now and it is really good. All basic high-percentage stuff, but I always take something new from the lessons each time I watch one. The bonus content Stephan gives you is awesome too. Especially the deep half guard DVD. Not something I have actually used yet, but it is a really interesting position that we covered a bit in the Sean Bollinger seminar too. The DVD’s I am waiting on now, are Stephan’s latest offering with Emily Kwok – How to defeat a bigger stronger opponent. Lucky for me, the always excellent Aesopian, has been reviewing the DVD’s in turn (part 1, 2, & 3) in his blog. So far from his review I can already say I am really going to take a lot from these DVD’s. Looking forward to my early xmas present to myself!

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