Gracie Barra Bristol, Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol
I had a good christmas, which will be the last in my parent's current house. They are moving to Tring, and then on to their new house in Aylesbury (which is in the process of being built). Among my usual haul of CDs, I was surprised to get a snazzy new Windows Phone, which means I can now fiddle on the internet pretty much anywhere.
Unfortunately, it isn't capable of copy and paste, and you cannot put Word docs directly on it. You currently have to email yourself, which I can't do because the internet at my gf's place has exploded. That also means I can't put up the awesome article Chrissy sent through yet: it will have to wait until I get back home on the 10th, unless I get to a library.
Having last trained just before christmas, it was good to get back on the mats, this time in Bristol. It was a sparring class, as ever with everyone lining up against the wall. If you are on your knees, that means you want to spar, otherwise you're indicating you want to sit out.
Things started off with guard passage, where I was mainly trying to go for sweeps more than usual. I was also pleased to transition from a triangle to an armbar, though it felt like I was a bit high on the arm. I wasn't really getting anywhere with standing sweeps though: I am still tending to just establish grips and not do anything with them.
On top, I wanted to trap their hand by the hip and then stand. After some grip fighting, eventually got what I wanted then stepped through to half guard. However, I wasn't doing a good job of freeing my foot. The americana was there, but a blue or higher probably would not have let me take the arm.
After that it was free sparring. My partner was taking it fairly easy, while I again looked for that Braulio spider guard set-up. I later found myself in the running escape position again. Like last time, I felt relatively safe, although he was beginning to cinch in a collar choke. As he was starting to roll me to take my back, I tried to flip to side control. It sort of worked, but he still had that choke grip. Time ran out, but I can't be sure if it was on as time ran out.
My next roll was with another blue belt, Luke, who is someone I really like training with. He always stays calm and controlled, which makes for an enjoyably technical roll.
Finally, I went with a white belt: after five rounds (despite taking a break) my very limited cardio was running low. So, I worked almost entirely on retaining my open guard, using my feet and knees to push off his hips, chest and biceps. I was also trying to spin on my back, keeping my knees in close to my chest. I think I even ended up in upside down guard at one point, which I never normally use.
Should be training again on Wednesday next week, though I may wait to type that one up. Takes much longer than normal doing it on my phone (although the touchscreen keyboard is pretty good) and it also means I can't put in any links.