Workout Recap - Week of March 26, 2023
I discovered Jordan Preisinger's YouTube channel recently, and it has been a revelation. While he does show some technical breakdowns, his focus on concepts over techniques and his commentaries of reviewing sparring footage have been incredibly helpful in giving me a framework for how to approach grappling that I was sorely missing. Added bonus that his gym is only about a two-hour drive away from where I live; too far to practical as a primary training location, but I might try to see about arranging to visit it at some point. If his videos alone have given me a palpable boost to my BJJ so quickly, getting to do some classes with him can only be more helpful.
We worked on doing some takedown variations from a standing tie-up in this class. Getting a double-leg takedown is something I'm started to get more comfortable with, but then we tried drilling (what the coach called) a corkscrew finish off of a single-leg shot that was really bizarre to me. It involved circling while controlling one leg and pulling the other out from under them, and I felt like the attacker ought to be in good position to simply drive forward through the back of the hips to drop the other person instead of trying to get so fancy. In any case, we did some sparring rounds to finish as usual, and while I did get submitted a few times, I felt like I had a better idea in general of what I should be doing, including being more aware of controlling my partner's posture and reestablishing closed guard. I didn't have many thoughts on what to do from there, but just getting to that point with some capability to negate my partner's offense is a significant improvement.
Muay Thai class
This class had a big focus on knee strikes (something I always enjoy), with a splash of head kicks towards the end (also fun). I partnered up with an aspiring fighter who I hadn't worked with in a while for padwork, and they said that I was doing well at landing my strikes with more power/impact than I did before. Granted that this person seems to be very positive and supportive towards everyone, but that was still cool to hear, no matter if it might've been exaggerated. I was also back to noticeably outlasting most of the competitive fighters during the calisthenic burnout to finish the class, which is great. I was a little worried that the lower intensity of my classes at the second gym would put a damper on my conditioning, but it seems like I've been able to overcome that.
We did more drilling on establishing back control in this class, as well as focusing on the fundamentals of a good rear naked choke from there. In situational sparring afterwards (starting from a seatbelt grip in back control), I managed to get my first tap working at full resistance against someone with more experience, which was a great feeling, especially since it was with someone who I've failed to choke before when I've gotten to that position in open sparring, so I'm taking that as a sign of real improvement. The open sparring rounds we finished with had some more high points for me, too; I got into a situation while defending a guard pass attempt where I was set up to go for a triangle choke (my partner pointed it out, admittedly, since I'd blanked on recognizing it, but that still gives me something to be aware of in the future), and I also managed to successfully reverse being mounted into being in my partner's closed guard. All in all, this was a very encouraging class.
Muay Thai class
This class focusing on power boxing sequences punctuated by heavy kicks; the Dutch-style archetype. For some reason, I was having trouble with the transition from my rear straight punch to my lead leg round kick (I usually do it with a step of my rear foot while retracting my hand), enough so that the kru came over to show me what to do, but I used that as an excuse to focus on doing switch kicks instead since I tend to neglect them, and that cleaned things up enough for me to start feeling comfortable with it. It wasn't all bad, though; one of the sequences we did a bit later was lead straight>rear straight>lead body hook>lead head hook>rear round kick, and the kru gave me a shout-out for doing it beautifully.
The coach was out for a fighter for competition this day, so we had a substitute run a BJJ class about side control escapes. We switched partners a few times once we got to the point of doing it with full resistance, so I got to work with one newbie and two more experienced people. I was surprised at how well I was able to do with both doing the escapes and riding out their attempts despite being significantly smaller; I even dialed back my force a few times when I was in the attacker role in order to let my partners feel the technique succeeding when it seemed like I was smothering them too much. I also had probably my best performances in my two sparring rounds to finish. I threatened a rear naked choke, arm triangle, and triangle choke in one round while only being threatened once (by an armlock that I got out of), and I threatened two triangle chokes against a different partner in the second round without facing any notable submission attempts. Admittedly, I wasn't able to finish any of those, but just being able to get close enough multiple times to recognize that I should've been able to get a tap if I was better was very cool.