Sunday, January 24, 2010

Days 15,16 &17

Private lesson with Glenio. Glenio and I have rolled a lot now. And with the language gap shrinking a little, we can discuss my many mistakes.

“Every rolls begins the same,” he says. It’s true. I sit, pull guard and Glenio passes. This all goes back to my leaky open guard. Glenio sees spider guard as a solution. Glenio prefers the leg-lasso version and runs over some basics with me. We do the basic sweep and quickly review some submission setups. What’s important is that I understand how I can use spider guard to slow down an opponent who is trying to use speed to pass at a distance. I will never be able to keep up to these guys. What I have to do is snare them in the spider guard, slow them down and work to sweep, submit, or tie them up in full guard.

There’s an interesting moment for me during the discussion of the sweep. Glenio is explaining that if you perform the sweep properly, your opponent will feel almost weightless. “Como uma pena,” he says – like a feather. He makes a swoppoing motion with his hand, like a feather falling to the floor. This is one explanation I’d heard for the significance of Penao’s nickname – it means big feather.

The important details on the sweep were to avoid the foot lock by figure-fouring the legs, bridge one way to bait your opponent, open the knee to pull his weight towarss the sweeping side and to use the grip on the pants to push out – rather than to pull him over (this may make sense to nobody but me – still, I am writing it down for posterity.)

Glenio and I had also talked a bit about De La Riva last time. De La Riva is sort of my go-to open guard. When somebody is moving too fast, I find it relatively easy to grab an ankle and establish the outside hook. Trouble is, I only use a couple sweeps. And to make matters worse, Mauro, one of Glenio’s brown belts was running a footlock clinic on me every time I used it last time. Glenio’d promised to help me with it today.

My main mistake is that I keep the hooked foot too deep on my opponent’s hip – I’m just asking for the footlock. Glenio says it doesn’t need to be that deep, keep it down around the knee.

He asks to see my DLR sweeps. Here’s what I’ve got: tomoe nagae, single leg, basic DLR sweep and taking the back. Glenio says they’re all fine. But he wants to show me his preference. Glenio likes to have control of the far arm and to pass it to his inside arm under the leg. He takes a collar grip with his outside hand. He lets his hooking leg fall to the mat and uses the other foot to keep the far leg back. Basically, once he gets you here, you’re swept. It’s just a matter of when and where.

I always think of DLR as being for lankier guys. Glenio is built like a potato. I was a little surprised. He told me he loves playing DLR and X guard. It’s funny how your perceptions of ‘old-school’ vs new-school’ change. I had Glenio pegged as an old school guy; playing closed guard and finishing with lapel chokes from side control. It’s true – he loves that stuff. But it’s obvious he is keeping up with competition results and experimenting with newer techniques. I know DLR and X guard aren’t exactly the newest, flashiest techniques – but it’s still not what I expected.

I like rolling with Glenio. He lets you work your game, but doesn’t let you get away with glaring technical screwups. When he gets a submission, he just wait until you realize you’re caught. He has great control. Today Glenio lets me work my open guard. I get the spider guard going and manage to pull off the sweep. I’m not imagining I actually swept Glenio, but I must have been doing it okay since he let me finish it. I also worked the lapel choke from the first day (I was worried I’d forgotten it.)

My side control escapes are still pretty weak. I did manage one I’d learned from working on the Draculino site; the one where you make space between your bodies, slide a knee in and swing a leg over for the armbar. I think it caught Glenio by surprise – but only because we hadn’t worked on it and I’d never tried anything like that in any of our rolls. Frankly, I’ve never even tried it before, but it ties in thematically with what I’ve been working on with Marvio. I think Glenio was sort of amused by it. It took me a minute to break his grip – finally I remembered the ol’ heel in the ribs. Glenio gave me the arm bar, but he made me work for it. That’s the kind of roll where you learn a lot – you see the moves in context and figure out how they all fit together.

Not to say Glenio didn’t give me a good ol’ fashioned ass whoopin’. He did. At one point he lured me into the baseball bat choke from guard. I’ve been wanting a little refresher on this technique and Gelnio was just the guy to give it. I’ve heard this called the baseball bat choke and the samurai choke. But in Brazil, the call it the Alleycat choke. I think the Alleycat is a name brand for vise grips or something? Anyways, I love this choke now. I think people at FitPlus are going to hate it…

I am planning to go into the city Monday to attend a daytime class at Ataque Duplo. I have a private lined up with Marvio that night.

Spent Saturday and Sunday at the beach. Nothing really to report except that Praia Solidaud is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to anywhere on the planet.

We’ve got a week left here. My list of things to do is short: I want to have a nice night out with Liz, get into a few group classes, do two more privates each with Glenio and Marvio, go on a decent hike and have a BBQ. Sound doable. I also want to make sure Liz gets to do whatever is on her list, too.

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