In between these posts of Belts and Stripes I always make a retrospective about what I learned since the last one and how I feel about my development. This month, I’m feeling pretty confident about my progress in Jiu Jitsu as I look back to the classes that I’ve taken.
Overall, my whole game has improved, with special emphasis to my half guard, where I’m not completely crushed once I got to it. There are new techniques that I’ve absorbed and I’ve been applying too, while getting better at some older ones too.
For the newest ones, I’ve been trying to get past the half guard with excellent execution since the only black belt (yet) in my academy always goes for it, I opted to embrace the position he wants over and over again until I can finally pass it. Since he is bigger, stronger and has more skill than me, it has been quite challenging, but I’ve seen the light a few times now and it is only a matter of time before I begin to pass it often. Or at least, I’m hoping so! There is this one technique, which is a mix of laced lapela guard with de la riva, that I get to quite easily but when I get to the point where I can sweep, I just can’t and then my guard is passed… There is also another one that was stuck in my mind and I’m just remembering it. When an opponent is on all fours, I reach for this tied belt (step required), then pull it amidst his back, grab the side of the pants where you will fall and then round about and you will be on your opponents back, targeting for at least one hook right in. These are the techniques that popped first into my mind, but there are still many others.
As for the old ones. The triangle from either the mount or closed guard. The side control clock work choke and the kimura from the mount, closed guard, or side control. These are my best techniques so far, and I feel pretty confident when the time to use them comes.
Yesterday it was our graduation. Our team is growing strong and numerous as we now have four new blue belts. A lot of kids had new belts as well, like three white-grey belt, a grey belt and a yellow-black belt which means that the kids, besides the white belts, are evolving and providing a new foundation for the future, while expecting that they continue in the martial art that JiuJitsu is.
At the end of it all, there was time for the pitbull in the desert training, where our warriors put them selves to some rolls, to get that excitement of new belts and degrees out in the Tatami.
Remember that the graduation is just a consequence of the path and not a reward for walking it. With this in mind, I wish you guys happy rolls for the coming month of February and may you practice well and without injury. Oss!