Last month Greg announced that he wanted to start focusing on themes for our BJJ classes, so in the beginner class he’s been teaching the same techniques for a week straight, and in the advanced class we’ve had an overall theme all month. January’s advanced class theme was “spider guard” (yay!), which must have ran over into this month, because we worked on spider guard sweeps last week. Greg didn’t say what February’s theme is, but since we practiced the clock choke yesterday, I’m guessing it might be “turtle”, or maybe “chokes that hurt”.

During the up, down, and out king of the mat from turtle in the advanced class yesterday, when I was on the top I attempted to clock choke everyone, and never succeeded. When I was on the bottom, I tried to granby roll each time, and I actually pulled it off…once.

When I started out turtled against Greg, he choked me in approximately three seconds, and not even with the clock choke, no, he bow and arrowed me. I think I’m just lucky that he didn’t also choke me when I started out on top! When I lamented to Ray that Greg had choked me in record time, he said “What do you expect, he’s the professor!”. Yeah well, every time I roll with Greg I know he’s going to take my back and choke me (it’s another one of his reoccurring themes!), I just prefer when it takes longer than the blink of an eye.

I like the idea of concentrating on a single theme in class, because I think I need even more repetition than the average student before things start to sink in. No matter what the theme is, I can guarantee it’s something I need to work on. Unless the theme is “How to suck at Jiu-Jitsu”, because I already mastered that a long time ago!

Other reoccurring themes when I roll with the blue belts who were in the advanced class with me yesterday:

Conan: Lets me have side control, but I still can’t do shit.

Jerad: Patiently waits until I essentially submit myself.

Ray: Taunts me into attempting to sub him, but won’t let me do it.

Mike: Never. Stops. Moving. Until he submits me.

Fuji: I shall not pass!

Mount FujiIn keeping with the theme of themes, I’ve decided to assign myself a theme song for February (yes, I know it’s almost half over, I’m a procrastinator!). The song I’ve chosen is…

“There ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wide enough
To keep me from getting to you  learning Jiu-Jitsu.”
-Marvin Gaye (mostly)


4 comments on “Themes

  1. Re: Conan… once in top side control, have you tried just grabbing the opposite collar (sink it in really deep, palm up) and then scoot over his head and sink pelvis to mat for a forearm choke? Not very elegant, but simple. Baseball bat is another good one to try from there.

  2. That forearm choke- You have to be really decisive with that grip. It only works if you do everything right and 100%- you can’t half-ass it. Get the collar grip in REAL deep, drop your elbow cruelly to the mat, scoot around and crank that bone right against hir jaw to kink the head over a bit, and then (still keeping elbow on the mat) drop the pelvis to the mat and pretend you just gained 600 instantaneous pounds and turned into liquid tar. Since you have one hand free, reach out and block hir hip. If s/he starts sunfishing around, you can hunch up and put your foot over hir head to hold hir still…. but doing this involves losing your heavy downward energy, so you might get bucked off. Sometimes it will buy you a few extra seconds to finish it.

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