University of Texas at Austin, (BJJ), Austin, TX, USA - 23/04/2014
Today I got to meet another cool blogger who I have 'known' online for a few years, who has moved back to Austin from Korea. John runs the I Love Leg Locks blog and he lives up to that name, so I spent a lot of our roll being very careful of my feet. I decided to flail at a leg lock at least once, as it seemed I really should given the name of John's blog: unsurprisingly, he tapped me not long after. ;)
John is a brown belt who now trains at the University of Texas at Austin (where he is also studying for a masters degree). That fortunately means he has access to one of the matted rooms there, so we could get in a bit of sparring and drilling. After a quick warm-up, we got in a good roll, at a fairly light pace.
As ever I failed to do a whole lot from guard. Mainly I played around with grabbing the gi tail and sticking my foot in it, but I don't really know what to do with that position. I should probably have a look at some of the random stuff people do with 'lapel guard', though I suspect it is probably too complex for me. Could be fun to try though.
One thing I should have done is Kev's 'nappy grip' sweep as they go to knee cut. Iremembered to shove the gi tail under their leg, but didn't remember to then switch grips again. Also, as John metioned later, you will have trouble rolling them if they get their hip to the mat. At least I think that's what he said, meaning I need to get underneath them to complete the sweep.
Another tip John mentioned was on passing, especially useful because it built on something I already do. I try to stay low and tight with pretty much everything I do on top. When passing, John suggested I progress from that tight position to also using my head to finish the pass. Wriggle it down next to their head and use it as a sort of third arm. Sounds like a good plan, so I'm looking forwrd to giving that a go next time I'm struggling to pass (which is most of the time when I'm trying to pass).
My back escape remains too sloppy. I keep forgetting to implement what I learned from Dónal, so I think I'd benefit from lots of drilling on back esapes. When I get back to the UK, Artemis BJJ will have started its expanded schedule, including open mat time: I see copious back escape drills in my future.
Jesse was going to join us, but something important came up, meaning he didn't make it over until I was about to leave. Still, he did at least get to roll with John (who is a lot more beneficial to roll with than me: it would be interesting to take a class with him, as he's clearly a decent teacher).