Monday, September 27, 2010

The Problem with Teaching

So I taught class again last Saturday.  I had planned on going over a variety of defenses to the regular arm bar from the mount.  I had it all mapped out into 4 stages of reaction and what could be done at each stage.  When I got to class, almost no one was there.  Apparently a big seminar and tournament were happening at the same time.  So once class started, I had only 5 students.  One of them wanted to learn any kind of leg lock.  So at the last minute I decided I would teach a really basic straight ankle lock along with some defenses to it.  This goes against my normal philosophy of teaching an offense with its defense.  It was a request, and such a small class so I did it.  Also, someone was there for the very first time.  I don't think straight ankle locks are really a great first ever class in Jiu-Jitsu, but I also knew the other 4 would not want to do standing up in base drills because they were one and two stripe blue belts.  Tough to balance such a class so that everyone gets something out of it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Teaching on Saturday

Saturday was a great day at the gym.  I taught class because Mike Nickels was still up in Canada (having sadly lost his fight the night before).  I wanted to go over an interlocking series that hopefully would benefit the wide range of skill levels in the beginning class.  I decided to go over the Eddie Bravo halfguard and lockdown sweeps.  I like these because half guard is easier to get than full guard, so the position comes in handy.  Many students feel that getting a full guard doesn't do them any good, so they prefer half guard.  I don't know if I'd go that far.  I definitely feel safer in full guard.  Nevertheless, half guard and lockdown offer a lot of possibilities.  What was funny is that I saved one kind of weird sweep for last.  It's called the Godfather.  After I had done the whole class, I demonstrated that as a possible option for when you are flattened out in halfguard.  I didn't think much of it, but everyone wanted to see the details and go over it more than all of the other moves.  I guess you just never know what is going to appeal to the class.  When I rolled afterwards, I was very fatigued early because I'm recovering from a cold.  What I noticed is that it made me reluctant to work from the bottom.  I guess this means I don't trust my guard as much, or I use too much energy while I'm down there.  That will be something for me to work on.  I also don't feel like I'm getting enough subs from the bottom.  Plenty of sweeps, but not subs.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Second post-testing the system

This is me testing the system to see if the post works.  I was supposed to fill in and teach class last night since the owner of the branch I train at, Mike Nickels, is up in Canada fighting in the MFC.  I ended up having to get one of my senior blue belts to teach since I have a cold.  I should be fine to teach by Saturday which is nice, because I love teaching and I don't get to do it enough.  Thanks to Michael Baird for showing his leg-lace series.  Unique stuff!

My first post-a little about myself

Hi everyone.  This blog is really more for me than anything else.  It's a way for me to keep track of my training and thoughts as I work my way toward earning a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  I have been training in Jiu-Jitsu since 1996.  The first two years were actually studying Bushido Jiu-Jitsu because there was no one in the Denver area actually teaching legit BJJ.  In 1998, my current instrucor, Dave Ruiz, came to town.  Since that time, I have been studying true BJJ.  Even at that, I have been doing BJJ for 12 years.  Of course during that time I got married, got a job, got distracted etc... Long story short, I have not been the most dedicated student, although I always continued to train at least once or twice a month.  I currently get in two to three times per week.  This blog is dedicated to other students like me.  These are people who are not professional fighters, and are not able to train full-time.  I am a regular guy with a family and a job who continues to love and train BJJ.  I have had a brown belt since May 15, 2008.  This blog will let me explore what the transition to black belt is like in the hopes that other long time students who have seen their peers climb the ladder much faster will keep fighting the good fight.  Aftter all, it's about the journey.