Tuesday, August 4, 2009

729 Flighthours video

Alright, so I finally made a new sparring video for my flighthours project. Since I started, I have been sparring for a total of 271 hours. This time I have made sure, that the video contains both gi, no-gi and MMA sparring. I have had a tendency to put mostly no-gi video up for some reason.

I am sitting and looking back at older videos in the project, and I realize, that my game really hasn't changed that much strategically since I started over two years ago. I have heard many times, that purple belt is where you define your game and from there it is all finetuning and adjusting the rest of the way. I think that is true, since I basically do many of the same techniques that I did back then. I do however see, that my game has become much more tight and smooth and it is obvious, that my timing and setups has really improved. Especially my wrestling and takedowns has taken a big leap forward. I guess that is an area, where timing and explosiveness is also a much bigger factor than technical knowledge, compared to ground grappling where the techniques often can be performed slower and with fewer movements at a time.

Another thing that is very satisfying is, that when I look back at all my little lists of what techniques I have been working on implementing or improving over the last two years, all of them are now solid parts of my A-game. So making a decision to improve in certain areas, have definitely worked for me, and I have managed to succesfully incorporate new techniques and improve holes in my game with this method.

I have put some MMA sparring in the video this time too. I train a good amount of MMA with the guys every week, since we have some who are competing on a regular basis. As you might see on the video, my striking is not very impressive. I don't really have a lot of interest in striking training compared to grappling, but I wanna do it anyways for two main reasons:
  1. I want to be the best possible sparring partner for our guys who are competing in and training MMA.
  2. Grappling is my passion, and I wanna be as good at it as possible in all areas: Gi, no-gi, MMA and self defense (the latter of least interest). Trying to wrestle people who want to hit me in the face is a great way to push myself to make my grappling work in a very stressed environment. Especially comitting to takedowns is an area, that is really improving from practicing it with striking involved.
Ok so nuff' said, here is the video. It is pretty long (over an hour), and I don't expect you to watch it all, but maybe you can cath a detail or two that you can try and incorporate in your own game. If you have any questions or would like explanations on anything I do, feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you :)

My list of things I am currently working on in sparring is:
  • Escaping sidecontrol
  • Sweeping by positioning opponents point of gravity over my own hip (X-guard, etc.)
  • Takedowns, takedowns, takedowns (especially fireman's carry)
  • Holding high mount and finishing with crosschoke
  • Pressurepassing guard

Escaping sidecontrol is probably THE biggest hole in my game at this time. I was talking to my friend Kári about it yesterday and he has a somewhat similar problem. I think it is a product of having good guard defense, combined with being in the top level of the group of guys I train with on a regular basis. I think maybe around 80% of my sparring time consists of attacking. When I am on bottom, it is mostly in the guard and people I train with normally rarely pass it. So no wonder my sidecontrol escapes sucks :D This was really obvious to me in Estonia and London where a few high level guys put me in a lot of trouble when passing my guard and closing me down in sidecontrol.

In order to improve them, I have set myself a goal to let people pass my guard in sparring at least 5 times every class, then try and escape sidecontrol. I'll see how that goes and then maybe raise the number later. I'll do it for three months, then evaluate if my sidecontrol escape game has improved.

(For some reason, my mount escapes are really good, don't ask me why?)

I have been thinking a lot about understanding how sweeps work on a conceptual level, and is really working hard on moving my opponents point of gravity above my own, which has fundamentally changed and improved the way I sweep from guard.

Fireman's carry takedown has completely taken over my thoughts for the last two months or so. It's like having a song in my brain I can't get rid of - I constantly think of the movement of that technique. What a fucking nerd I am LOL

When I was in Estonia, one of the instructors had some great details on the crosschoke from mount. I am going for it all the time in sparring, and the rate of success for my mountchokes has gone up A LOT with these details. Will keep trying it until I can choke anyone from mount, just like Roger LOL


Unknown said...

Nice to know that even more advanced guys are having a hard time getting stuck at side control.
Similar to you I find my mount escape working better for me to a point that I sometimes wait for my partners to mount and escape there instead of from side.

I watched your side control attacks series and tried to learn some defenses from there.

My instructor told me to start sparring by having my training partner side mounted already. But I find that it might be too late to escape if the guy is hunkered down already. I'll also try your approach on letting them pass guard and trying to escape.

Thanks for the blog. I enjoy reading them.

P.S. - If you ever get at insight on side control escapes it would be awesome if you could share.

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