Sunday, February 10, 2019

BJJ: Cat And Mouse, Starring Me As The Mouse

After doing Gracie Jiu Jitsu for about six months now, I've progressed along to become a 4-stripe white belt. Now it's basically spending time refining and attempting to master all the techniques before I can formally test for the Gracie Combatives Belt, which is the belt before blue belt.

Yesterday, There was a seminar at the training center taught by a 3rd degree black belt.

To say it was like drinking from a firehouse would be an understatement. Learned a lot, need to drill out a lot of the new things I learned, and it was a great seminar. Lots of neat new counters and guard passes and lots of stuff that is above my current level.

After the seminar, we 4-stripe white belts were eligible to have our first rolling experience.

The rules were we had to roll with higher ranks than us as white belts rolling with white belts tends to lead to injuries.

So I got to roll with some very experienced blue belts.

It kinda went like this:

Pretty much it was cat and mouse with me starring as a mouse as the cat played with its food.

Let's put it this way, the first blue belt (an instructor btw) I was paired up with, had me begin in a superior position and then did the entire match with his eyes closed and won handily. In short, humility and lack of ego is rather important at this my current level, and future levels for that matter.

Much of the initial Blue Belt curriculum are techniques that counter and neutralize the combatives level curriculum, and it shows. Combatives works great against non-jiu jitsu trained opponents but has definite limits against more experienced practitioners.

A lot of the time I was pretty much in observation mode while trying to hold my own - What are they doing?, Should I try to stop what they're doing?, Oh, drat I should have tried to stop that, but too late! I did get to try one counter I learned from the seminar and it worked, at least for a little bit.

Forget about trying to tap out the blue belts, it was more a case of try to hang in there and try to see what they're doing and how to try and defend against it while seeing if there's any opening at all for an opportunity to improve your own position. Most of the time defending against one technique led you down a path where you were brought into and nailed by the next technique.

To say they're darn good is an understatement.

I did manage one match to a stalemate where neither side tapped the other out, but it was a very close run thing. I suspect he was deliberately holding back.

Feedback I got was that I did good, remained calm, observed well, and did a decent job trying to hold them off and went for what opportunities I could.

A full hour rolling with 6 different blue belts, pretty darn amazing.

Tons of fun, rather exhausting, and I learned a lot.

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