Friday, April 15, 2011

Tapping My Way To Freedom

Training this week has been awesome. I'm flowing between positions nicely and having some great rolls. Worked on some stand up wrestling earlier in the week which was very good. It's something I enjoy and think is very important for a jits dude to get familiar with. It's a huge advantage to be able to take some one down or avoid a takedown in competitions. Also I feel it's important to make my grappling for self defence  much more effective.

I feel like I've really turned a corner mentally on the mat and my jiu-jitsu has really progressed quickly since this mental shift happened. It's a combination of a few things but at the middle of it all is that I've been able to let even more of my ego go.
Some dudes i think are a bit intimidated by me on the mat, I'm a 102kg bald dude with a red beard.  But anyone who has rolled with me knows that the fear is a bit unfounded. When i roll I'm not aggressive, I always play guard at the start of the roll and try to 'flow with go' but the moment I slap hands with some of my team mates I know they really want to go for the kill and tap my fat arse. Now this is cool and I still enjoy the rolls but they are missing out on so much jits fun by going down that road.
I usually try my hardest to not let anyone tap me. But tonight I thought fuck it, anyone who aggressively wants me to tap tonight I'm going to tap. I didn't just lay there and give it to them but if they got position and were going hard i kind of let the chokes slip in, then fought it off for a bit and then just before i went out, i tapped. Now this nearly back fired on one of the strong whitebelts, he pulled off a nice technique that we were working on at the start off class. I thought 'Kudus to you dude for going for the techniuqe' So I let it get deep before I started to fight the grip and then I tapped but I went out for a micro second. Was just like some one reset my computer. Weird feeling man. It's amazing that I haven't been put out before this considering I've been training for a bit over 2yrs. He knew I some what gave him the choke and was apologizing but it was all cool it was actually what I wanted. I wanted to get put deep in some chokes and tap.
After that tap I felt really good. It was like I'd just let go of some more of my ego bullshit. Tapping to guys who have not been training for as long as you is always something grapplers try to avoid. But I feel it's healthy for growth in jiu-jitsu. I get to feel how deep I can go with chokes before I tap and also it shows that I'm willing to tap every now and then.
One of our killer purples who I often have some awesome rolls with, really went at me as well. I was really trying to play some jits with him but I could feel he wanted my blood. So I didn't exactly give him anything but I definitely wasn't going to try and shut his game down with my size and strength. I wanted to play Jiu-Jitsu with him but he wanted to do fight Jiu-Jitsu with me.
After our roll, in which he tapped me like 3 times and tryed to crank my neck for a while. I had to say something. He's totally a cool cat who I have much respect for and probably the guy at the gym I have the most in common with. So I felt I could voice my opinion with him. I said that the roll was fun but if we just flowed a bit more we could have pulled off so much more beautiful Jiu-Jitsu. He agreed and we rolled again straight away. The difference was huge we got through so much more technique and I think if we had a couple more rolls that night we would have been able to put on a good display of technical Jiu-Jitsu and I would have learnt some cool shit from him. 
I'm not saying by any means that when you roll you should not look for the finish but the finish is just that 'the finish'. I would rather keep the roll going. Move to the next transition, give something else up, try the escape and so on but always moving, always connected and always trying to link all my techniques together. I really think that the beautiful Jiu-Jitsu is found in the movement not the finish.

C u on the mat,

1 comment:

  1. I'm not big and scary looking like you... ;-)

    BUT I need to take a leaf out of your book.

    That's a great post. And the youtube clip is good. Play JJ vs fight JJ. Indeed, we all need to play more, so we can learn more!