Yesterday was a long day, but Coach did some things that I haven't seen before with regards to the training. I liked the changes.
Competition class involves a tougher warm-up/conditioning routine that usually lasts about 45 minutes. Then we spar from standing, unless our partner's nursing an injury or something. I sparred with Sharkey first. I outweigh him by... oh, at least 30 lbs. But he's scrappy and always seems to get me at least once with a guillotine. I did work on being more aggressive on my takedowns, and managed to surprise him once, I think. In my second match, I was rolling with Jeff and a gi burn I had on my temple opened up. I was covered in blood from this tiny little scrape on my temple. After I got that cleaned up, I got pounded by Matt for 7 minutes.
In the regular BJJ class that followed, we did a lot more sparring. Instead of technique, Coach started running matches. One match must have gone for like 15 minutes. It ended for me when my partner, a really lanky guy, took my back. I was defending well for a while, but then he got a body lock really high... like up around my diaphragm. When he squeezed, all of the muscles in my back spasmed and my back popped a few times. It hurt, but after I could tell that it was nothing serious. Nobody wants to get hurt, and none of us want to injure our partners. I told him that he probably did me a favor... like when the old guy falls down the stairs and suddenly that crick in his back is fixed. Well, this was kind of like that.
Oh, in the meantime, the band aid that I'd put on my temple had come off, so picture me rolling with a 2 inch strip of white athletic tape on my temple... replacing it after each match because it keeps coming off.
Getting back to the changes Coach threw at us yesterday. The class typically consists of 30 minutes of warm-ups in which we will often do agility drills, conditioning drills and things like that. Armbar from guard, kimura, shrimping, triangles. These drills are not uncommon. Then, in most classes we'll do technique for 30 minutes and then spar for 30 minutes. Yesterday, it went 30 minutes of warm-ups, then sparring for 30 minutes, then more sparring for 15 minutes, and then when we were all nice and tired, we did technique drills. It was a nice change, and Coach told us that doing it this way would help us to maintain good technique even when we're tired. Lots of guys have tight technique when they're fresh, but then gas out and get loose and sloppy.
So, today, my back is a little tight, but not bad. My abs are screaming and I'm a little dehydrated. Overall, I'm much better off than I expected.
On specific techniques I'm working, I've been concentrating on the cross-choke from guard, specifically to get a deep grip and then instead of forcing or settling for a shallow grip with the other hand, reaching over my opponent's shoulder and driving my elbow down. I caught Lim yesterday with this. I adjusted my cross grip a few times to get it nice and deep, and worked it under his chin. Then kept my elbow in tight to his chest to help break his posture down. Worked out well.
I also worked a lot from half guard and am beginning to have some success from that position. I am concentrating on staying up on my side (easier said than done) and trying to pay attention to where my opponent's balance is and working with what he's giving me.