Saturday, August 29, 2009


So after class two days ago, I felt pretty sore in a couple of areas. As well, during my rolls, I could easily identify where my weak points were. So of course, I make note of these deficiencies and put together a plan of action. How do I patch up the holes?

Now I have the benefit of working with some pretty good classmates who roll with technique as opposed to strength, weight, and power. So my tweaking stems from a technical point of view instead of a brute force approach.

Two very specific areas I am working on: creating space and hip mobility.

Creating Space

In almost any situation where you are on the bottom, having the ability to make space is essential to make a good escape. Generally, using arm strength to shift your opponent up, down, left, right, etc. is a very important step to enact the second part of an escape or position shift; hip escape, getting a knee in to replace guard, or to pummel from bottom.

My deficiency: strength. My plan: plyometric push ups added to my workout routine.

  • 3 sets of 20 with elbows in tight push ups with a hop at the extension.
  • 3 sets of 20 spiderman push ups.
  • 3 sets of 20 burpies.

Hip Mobility

Hip mobility is essential for ground game. Strong and flexible hips will get you out of a plethora of difficult bottom situations. If you can't get onto your side, or get your hips out, or even to flip onto your belly; your opponent can play control all day long. So having good hip mobility will make you a problem for the other guy.

My deficiency: weak and inflexible hips. My plan: hip strength and conditioning drills added to my workout routine.

  • 3 sets of 10 (left and right) upas.
  • 3 sets of 10 (left and right) hip escapes - full motion.

So after a couple of weeks training again, I am feeling my game come back. My gas is coming back. My strength is coming back. And my instincts are coming back. Once I get my body back in order, I can concentrate on the finer points of technique. One step a time. But it feels great to be back in the mix.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Glover's Travels Episode 2

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Terere vs. Marcelo Garcia 2004

Do what you can.

"We lined up for rolling and Professor made a comment about how a particular blue belt's feet were taped up and how that is the mark of a l33t BJJ student. He asked why they were taped so much to which the student replied, the tape is to cover up mosquito bites from his trip Brazil."

So I am back in action and feeling really good. My head swims again with the game scenarios. As for my specific mindset for training; keep up, work hard, and don't hurt myself. I am aware that I am in the re-building phase; polishing the rust off my tools and putting gas in the tank. My body is responding well thanks to tape, yogurt after class, and as much muscle rest as I can get between classes so they can re-build.

One thing that has been of real value to me is the understanding of compensation. We were working spider guard escapes last class which involved a lot of grip breaking. As I was not using a joystick grip, my fingers got pretty raw, pretty quick. And you never know just how raw your blisters are until you get home and have a shower.

Well, my fingers did not fully heal since last class so I had them bandaged and taped very well. That offered up some good protection. And as for the compensation during rolls, I avoided using certain grips and fell back on joystick and macro grabs. This allowed me to get some good work done and gave my injuries more time to heal for the future.

Do what you can.


P.S. I rolled with that blue belt with the foot wrappings and saw some of the mosquito bites. I am surprised he made it out of Brazil alive!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back on the Mat

For anyone who has been away from training for as long as I have, just over a year, the greatest challenge is not finding the cardio to train again, the mental preparation to role, or the general conditioning to play the game; it is to find the courage to take that first step back onto the mat.

I took time off training to focus on my two children, my new and demanding occupation, and to keep my house in order. I sacrificed more than just BJJ, I played a role that sacrificed a little bit of myself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Anyone who is a dad gets this; you give up and you grow up. It is tough.

A few weeks ago I made the decision to start training again; life had given me a reprieve. I admit my head swam with difficult thoughts:

  • I am going to embarrass myself? A blue belt with a dreadfully rusty game, no gas, and pathetic conditioning.
  • How will my classmates react to 'that guy' coming back to class?
  • How will my Professor respond to my coming back?
  • Am I going to get hurt?
  • What if something else comes up in my life that forces to me to leave again?

In the end I decided that 90% of all of these thoughts could all be rationally dealt with if I simple tossed my ego. My ego is gone. I am not who I once was. I am clay.

So, decision made, I started my preparation to get back to it. Simple stuff, but necessary to re-enter:

  • Get some of my cardio back; running, riding, stretching, and some BJJ specific strength drills.
  • Get my head back in the BJJ mind set; I watched training videos, competition videos and consumed my library of notes and written materials.
  • Mentally played scenarios in my head at bed time. *This was an important one.
  • Set a goal for a date to return.

My first class back was everything I thought it would be. My classmates were welcoming and generally awesome; as I remembered. My professor was kind and helpful. My physical preparation allowed me to go through the motions without getting too winded. And I at least had the stamina to play a somewhat defensive game for a few roles.

Now to re-build. A couple months my cardio and conditioning will be back. And most importantly: I can re-build my game and sharpen my technique.


On a separate note... It actually feels good to have blisters, bruises, and pain all over the place once again.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Ramping up...

I didn't let myself go. The kids are older and things are getting easier. Still a lot of time juggling and obligations. Launched a new site which feeds my desire for adventure:

I am watching lots of competition. And all my training videos collected over the years. Can't wait to see if my game still holds up once I earn my cardio back...