July 1, 2014
As I’m up at 6am for the second half of the Belgium V USA World Cup game so I thought what better way to spend half time than to update the English blog!
Yesterday night’s regular class was a lot of fun – Hayakawa sensei is still in Korea I believe so class was down to Shimyo sensei who showed us some sweeps revolving around the double ankle sweep – as usual pretty useful stuff! The success of these sweeps came down to minimising the space between you and your opponent; easier said than done when the guy has control of both your ankles! Practice makes perfect though I guess 🙂
Reversing the ankle sweep
I’ll be going to class this morning too at 10:30 despite the early start with the football – hope I’ll be able to keep my eyes open!
April 9, 2014
Making the most use out of the floor to ceiling mirrors
Nothing lasts forever. With the start of 2014 and a change to my working conditions I’m no longer able to hit the morning class beginning 10:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays too often. I’m instead now working from a little earlier and hitting the graveyard (well, 9pm start anyway) regular class.
The rest of the guys were pretty genki and eager to get stuck into class but after working from 9am it took me a while to get into it – think it might take a bit of time to get used to this new schedule! There are two regular classes on Tuesday and Thursday, with a lot of the guys looking to attend the 6:30pm class rather than the 9pm in order to get home a little earlier – I’m hoping that there will be a migration over to the 9pm class over time in order to bump up the numbers!
December 4, 2013
Hayakawa sensei demonstrating a pass from his opponent’s inverted guard
Horses for courses. Some guys focus on the basics and from that develop a strong, solid game. Other guys look to build on the technical aspect of BJJ, using high guards, X guards and amongst other things, today’s technique: the Inverted Guard. We looked at firstly passing the inverted guard, then secondly from inverted guard reversing the opponent’s attempted pass to finish in a knee on / side control position.
The first thing to say about the inverted guard is that it’s not for everyone (aka me – I could do with being a little shorter and a bit more flexible ;)), however my partner today was Takao san who is a little more compact than me and who could work the guard well. The pass itself is a solid pass. From the opponent’s inverted guard you control his right leg (as you look him) then grab his belt with your left hand. The second step is to roll over his hips and into the position Hayakawa sensei demonstrates in the pic above. The key though is as your rolling to slot your right foot under his left foot, creating a hook. From the resulting position you can control his lapel and move into side control.
Not a basic technique by any stretch of the imagination, but useful when sparring against some of the more technical, compact fighters at TF.
November 1, 2013
Hayakawa sensei teaching some knee trap sweeps
Welcome to November! I can’t believe that with another two months we’ll be saying goodbye to 2013 – this year certainly has flown by…. still, with the summer firmly over and the cooler weather upon us, training at Triforce is a lot easier – particularly if you’re a salaryman who needs to wear a suit to work after training 🙂
Today’s class focused on quick sweeps from the closed guard as your opponent stands. The basics of the technique centre around pinching the opponent’s knees, robbing him of stability before manipulating his sleeves for the sweep. Hayakawa sensei showed us three variations of the sweep, of which the second one worked for me the best – should your opponent have a strong base, its possible to sit up, in turn hugging his knees before pushing off to the side for a takedown – this one works well for me because of my long legs – I hope I’m able to remember it for the future.
August 5, 2013
With Triforce Ikebukuro closed for a summer break (a break being 4 days only) some of the Ikebukuro boys went down to Shinjuku to attend class. The Shinjuku studio is a great space; it has a long mat, which is great for drilling technique and sparring without bumping into other guys.
Lots of mat space at Shinjuku TF
Today’s class was all about half guard sweeps, some pretty novel ones at that. Shibamoto sensei showed us a sweep where from a shallow half guard he moved his left hand to control his opponent’s left wrist, then with his right hand he pushed his opponent’s knee away, breaking his balance. From there he elevated his opponent onto both of his knees before sweeping him over his shoulders, himself flipping over and finishing in his opponent’s half guard – as I was practicing it I thought it could fit well into my game – but god if it isn’t really painful on your neck if you mess the roll up!
Sawada & Sakamoto sans
May 18, 2013
The Golden Week has thrown my whole month out of whack. So far this month I’ve trained 7 times with today (as I write) being the 18th, meaning a session once every two and a bit days – At best I want to be at 10 log ins by the 20th, meaning I’m a bit off pace – granted, a three day bender from the 14th to Kyushu hasn’t helped matters, but now that I’m back I’m going to try and get to that magical 16 log ins by the end of the month!
I could skip out of work a little early yesterday, so I headed up to Triforce for the beginner class at 9pm. This class was headed up by Shibamoto sensei as Triforce Shinjuku was closed, freeing him up to come over to Ikebukuro. As the name suggests, the class is all about fundamentals, which is something I need take a look at from time to time 🙂
Shibamoto sensei demonstrating the Pick Sweep
Shibamoto sensei’s teaching is good – really good. He explains things slowly and deliberately, elaborating on the finer points of the technique multiple times. Case in point, he went deep with the fact that when working through the sweep combinations he had taught the class when sparring or whatever, you should never lose control of your opponents’ sleeve, whether you are holding onto the near side ankle with your left hand for the pick sweep or switching hands and reaching with the right hand for the inverted scissors sweep – he demonstrated how he transitions through the combinations, asking the class to focus on his the way he worked his sleeve control – fundamentals 101!
April 13, 2013
With the competition tomorrow I thought I’d take it easy today and attend the beginner class headed up by Hayakawa sensei. This class begins at noon on Saturdays – I thought it would be pretty busy, but it turned out that only 5 people attended, due in part to the popularity of Kim san’s no-gi class which runs from 13:30. I might end up giving no-gi a go sometime in the future – but for now I’m all about the gi!
Hayakawa sesei demonstrating some spider guard sweeps
I think I’m going to attend a few beginner classes per month from now on. Form and execution are paramount and I was picked up a few times on this when going through the spider guard sweep drill. We studied three variations, and after having the finer points explained to me (after seven years how many times must this be now?!), it seems I’ve been powering through these with more with my hips from the bottom, rather than fully stretching my leg out to the max, in turn more easily executing the sweep – hopefully I won’t make these mistakes again!