So after two or three weeks of missing classes off and on due to illness, car problems and holiday stuff, I’m getting back on track this week. Monday was a shocker, I was afraid it might be after only having trained once the past week. Coach Jay couldn’t make it, so Jason, the gym owner ran the MMA class. About halfway through, I was sucking wind pretty hard. We did a lot of floor drills, some ground and pound work. Then we did cage drills.
In cage drills, one person is up against the wall or “Cage”, and the other is trying to take him down. The object if you’re against the wall is to escape, take the other guy down, or get a reversal. If you’re the non-caged guy your job is to take the other guy down. First round was with one of our experienced fighters. He’s much lighter than me, but super tall and lanky. I did pretty good against him, but he was usually able to leverage me around enough to get a reversal, but he had to work at it at least.
The next round was a younger guy who was much shorter and lighter than me. I was against the cage for him, but was pretty easily able to reverse him each time. I even toyed with him for a little bit to make it harder for myself, and still beat him each time. Yeah it was a mismatch, but it felt good to not lose for a change. Not to mention, in the same mismatches two months ago, I was still getting my ass kicked, so I can’t begrudge myself a few small victories.
At the end, we did some live ground sparring. I started out on bottom, my opponent was on top and I had to reverse or escape by the end of the round to win. One thing in MMA class when we ground spar, is I keep thinking of straight Jiu Jitsu and keep forgetting I can punch and kick too. So the guy is on me in my guard. I came close to sweeping him each time, but I couldn’t get him over. He leaned back some to start punching me. I covered my face and I heard one of the coaches yelling “Get him off of you! Kick him!!” So I did a front push kick or a “teep” as is known in Muay Thai. I applied the kick and launched the guy about five feet back. I got to my feet and the coach stopped us, as per the drill it was a win for me.
Second round was another guy, also smaller than me, but he was able to stay higher up on me. I couldn’t get my leg high enough to kick him and couldn’t sweep him. So he ended up winning that round. Later the coach told me I should have just punched him and then push him off me with my hands as he was also smaller than me. He was right and once again, I had forgotten I could hit.
In the next round, I started on top. I was quickly able to break the guy’s guard, passed his guard, mounted his chest and started pounding him in the face. After a couple punches he tapped so I won that round. By then I was spent. Jason asked if I could go one more, but by then I was getting the dizzy, shaky, light headed feeling I get sometimes. That, I have learned is my body telling me I’ve had enough. We only had one round left to go, so I got some water and started to get my breath. One of the coaches came over and told me I did a good job. I told him I must hav got out of shape the past week, because I was so exhausted. He said no, Jason was really working us hard and I made it the whole class. So with that, I felt good.
Last night I went to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I went to the gi class this time. Hadn’t worn the gi in over a month and I forgot how cumbersome the thing was. First, since losing the weight it doesn’t fight right. Well it does and doesn’t. The top doesn’t close much because It’s still a little small around the waist. But the pants are almost too big now. So I was constantly adjusting myself. I was either pulling my pants up, or readjusting the belt and top. Plus the fact that whole gi is very thick and heavy makes it harder too.
Also the technique is much different in gi. In no gi, I can wiggle my way out of a lot of holds. In gi, my opponent was always able to grab my lapels or sleeves and either arm bar me with it or choke me with it. It’s much much harder to escape while wearing the gi. I did get the upper hand a few times last night. The first time, the round ended before I could do anything. The other times, before I could fully get into a good position, or get a submission hold, he managed to reverse it. My partner last night was a guy who has been in a few MMA fights and he’s been doing BJJ off and on for awhile, so while he pretty much kicked my ass, I held my own at times too, so that felt good.
Over all, it’s been a good training week so far. I have MMA tonight then probably no gi on Thursday. I notice the more weight that comes off, the better my balance. First month or so, I was like humpty dumpty. They just had to shove me and I went teetering over. Now, they at least have to work at it to get me down or submitted. Once again, small victories.