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So i talked about in my last post, this new approach to training. So far it’s going pretty good, and i’ve expanded it to include the two NoGi classes i teach per-week, where i’ve been experimenting with a few different ways of teaching classes without showing a set technique, so now i’m training 4x a week without any technique from an instructor (including myself), and then i do openmat once per week on top of this.
In general i really feel like my game is getting ahead leaps and bounds, it’s hard to be sure though, because i’ve had moments like this as well when training “normally” when my game seemed to be going along faster than normal, we all know the ups and (dreaded, inevitable) downs in your game when training. Some days everything works, others everything is terrible. I guess the proof is in the competition results though, and so far they have been very positive.
My competition year started off the same way i’d been doing pretty much since i got my brown belt, by losing in the first round at the European Open, didn’t even score a point. It was after this tournament i decided to change my training strategy, and go for this new method. Since then i’ve competed twice, first in the NoGi European Championship (IBJJF), which i managed to win (middleweight master brownbelt), marking the first major IBJJF tournament i’d ever won, and now this weekend i snagged silver in the 12 man expert division (beating a brown belt and two black belts, before getting caught early by another black belt in the finals), and gold in the brown belt expert divison with a gi (4 competitors), both wins by submission. I’m extremely happy to have won the gi-division especially, as my nogi game has always been better than my gi, and my results with a gi have been extremely lackluster since i turned brown. All in all, it’s difficult to say if this is just because i’ve now been brown for a longer time (thus meeting guys with less experience than i was in the beginning of my brownbelt career), or if the methods are doing the trick. It’s only been 3-4 months, so it’s hard to believe it makes such a big difference, but i really do feel as if really focusing on moves i myself want to, and getting a LOT of quality mat time in, is making a huge difference. Aggregated over the week, that’s 3 hours of quality mat-time (double what i was doing before) that i was basically wasting before.
Mostly i was really thrilled to win because i had already planned my post-winning belt picture, the now somewhat publicized “Creation of Adam” recreation, so i was thrilled to get that belt, so that i could harvest all the delicious likes and reddit-Karma.
A lot of you expressed interest in seeing how this would work for me going forward, so i’m just keeping you updated here, below are my first three matches in nogi, conveniently my iphone ran out of memory 10 seconds into the finals, so i’m spared the humiliation of posting that 🙂 I’ll post my gi-matches when i get them, but since memory ran out they’re on a camera from my friend.
P.S. that toehold in the second match is becoming my trademark of sorts, I’m catching people in that submission all the time in competitions now, and a quick search on MGinaction and youtube makes it look like there’s not many, if any, doing this same attack from x-guard, if there’s sufficient interest i might make a short instructional on this move.