BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Open Mat, Leuven, Belgium, 25/06/2016
Today I got in rolls with Gina and Taherul. Like yesterday, I was attempting to play around with the knee cut counters, but it can be strangely difficult to get them into the same position you want. These rolls weren’t consecutive, but I thought I’d combine them into one post. I had an awesome chat with Gina and her training partner Marthe (who I rolled with earlier in the week. Unfortunately she was injured today, but we had a cool chat), so hopefully I can visit their school in Germany some time. The same goes for the other friendly German I rolled with yesterday, Carmen.
Now that the UK has become horribly divided, checking out some German BJJ and art seems a fitting first use of my German passport, which I’m planning to try and get soon. Britain may leave the EU, but I can’t stomach that for myself: no referendum can make me personally leave when I have several nationalities up my sleeve. Although it’s scary to think that there is a Britain with which I have no contact or experience (the Britain that voted for Brexit, an unwelcoming, insular, hostile Britain), at least in Bristol it was 62% Remain. I’ll continue to live in that Britain as a European citizen.
Anyway, rolling with Gina, I wanted to see if I could do that re-kimura counter. I kept posting my arm on the mat to see if she’d go for it, which she eventually did. I grabbed my wrist and pulled it across, escaping the kimura, but I don’t think I was applying the re-kimura, properly. Just like Carmen and Marthe, Gina is strong with decent defence.
She wasn’t giving me any easy opening and continued to work to recover her guard. Like I said to both Marthe and Gina afterwards, I much prefer rolling with women. Even if there may usually be a strength advantage for me (like with Daphne yesterday: Gina was closer to my size), that just means you need to focus on not using strength. It’s fun to see the moments where you could use strength – e.g., ripping out of some armbar attempt or whatever – and try to instead defend purely with technique. Engaging challenge. :)
Taherul is a cool purple belt who I spent lots of time chatting to at the Meating Place meal, along with another guy I sparred earlier, Lars. I went fairly steady, trying not to use strength as I have about 10kg on him. His guard was tough to pass, then when I did, it was tough to keep side control. I kept getting to that rubbishy half guard position I often reach, then getting pulled into the submission zone. I could hold off his collar choke (not sure if I was using strength or not, I just squeezed his elbows together), but he eventually put me in a tight triangle. I was looking to work my way out, but left my arm vulnerable, so he caught me with that.
I attempted the grips that I learned in the Nathan Adamson private (as these rolls happened before and after that, I’ll be posting it up next). It gives me something new to go for, a useful tweak on my usual grip, but like all the other techniques I’ve learned this week, I need to drill it with progressive resistance. I have an enormous amount of material to play with when I get back home. ;)