Wednesday, December 23, 2009

End of Year Update

Ok so I'm the worst BJJ blogger in the world. I think about Jiu-jitsu all the time but I just don't have the dedication to put everything out there on the internet. I even have a ton of notes scattered around my house waiting to get typed up, and I'm sure it will never happen. But I'm a big fan of this time of year as a period of reflection and reaffirmation of goals so I'd like to take a second to discuss the progress I've made in 2009 and what I would like to focus on in 2010.

I feel that my game overall has improved this year. When I think back to where I was last December, I realize that I honestly couldn't say I had much of a game. I now have certain positions that I'm comfortable with, know some entries to, and can pull off on people my own rank or even higher.

I think one of the sweeps that I spent the most time on is what I call the knee open sweep, which I learned from Brian and Regis in a private early in the year. I worked that sweep practically the the exclusion of all others, and I feel it's my most powerful technique. I also feel that I've made a lot of progress getting to the x-guard and sweeping from the x-guard. Learning to pull myself under my opponent has helped a lot against bigger guys. I've also had a lot of success from the de la Riva guard.

Next year I would like to put together a flowchart of moves from me pulling butterfly guard, sweeping, getting the x-guard from the failed sweep, and sweeping or taking the back from the x-guard. I'd like to work on my butterfly guard game in general.

I spent a lot of time working on escapes this year, specifically the elbow escape which has helped me a lot. I'd like to work on the running escape more in 2010.

My passing game and top game overall has gotten tighter. I worked on the bull pass consistently, and I'm happy with the results, but certain situations give me problems still. There's some details that I need to get cleaned up. I've been working the crossknee pass, I'd like to focus on that in 2010, and also focus on the esgrima pass more. I got a solid underhook several times in my last tournament and couldn't complete the esgrima pass which frustrated me.

I feel that my side control has improved, but I haven't been landing many submission from anywhere really. Mostly I worked on collar chokes, and that's what I get more than anything in class. I'd like to work on taking the back more and finishing from there.

I've been getting into strength training recently, and I'd like to continue that. I've noticed it helps a lot in class against bigger guys who could just control my arms and hold me, even from inside my guard. I now have the strength to actually use the techniques against them that I may be able to do against someone my own weight, but couldn't use on someone who had 50 or 60 pounds on me.

So in general, I'm not dissatisfied with the progress I've made, and I have a pretty clear direction for where I want to go in 2010. I'd like to improve my posture, particularly when I'm in the guard, and my head placement, which I am coming to realize is a critical detail that beginners often overlook. I figure another year of working on training achieving and maintaining superior positions, then I'll start thinking more about submissions.