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09-02-2013, 08:13 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
I'm ramping up my training to 5 days a week, plus conditioning, to get ready to do some competitive grappling and competitive Sambo focussing on a big tournament at the Arnold Classic. I've been pretty negligent in managing this training log, and I'm not sure that will get any better in the near future. We'll see, though, as I have a few things going on in the training (new diet, new approach to calisthenics, and revamped Sambo training) that might provide some material.
Some notes from the last week:
I've long been of the view that attending to what you eat is a big part of maintaining a healthy diet. Cooking for myself has always been one of the best ways to lose weight, since I control portions, focus on vegetables, and eliminate red meat almost altogether. When I put on weight, one of the big parts of that was not having access to a kitchen; I'm in a new apartment now where I'm preparing most of my own food. That goes a long way on the diet front, and I'm already starting to notice a number of differences in performance.
Kneebars scare people, both in training and in grappling competitions. I've been working on them a lot lately, but one of the things that I've found is that there are situations where an opponent might be able to escape, but they feel like they're trapped or that the knee is in serious danger, so they tap anyway. (This happens even more than with things like heel hooks, which are far more likely to accidentally cause a serious injury.) Still, a good kneebar is a serious threat off of the back, because of the transitional angles that you get when an opponent is trying to escape the straight ankle lock, and because of the position that a good kneebar puts your hips in to facilitate future leglocks.
In sambo, the guard is seriously underrated. While the closed guard is a sort of non-factor for reasons that have to do with stalling penalties (very much the same as judo) both the half guard and the butterfly go a long way in allowing for the threat of sweeps and of good transitions into leglocks. Because of the added threat of attacking the legs, some of the extreme approaches to avoiding getting swept (like posturing up or stacking with the legs back) are very easy to attack.
Fighting over leglocks in training is both important and dangerous. It puts a lot of pressure on the ankles and feet, but it's important to develop leglock defense. There's a balance between fighting over the leglock too much (and risking an injury) and just giving up. That balance is not immediately obvious but, like most of grappling, it is important to consider with regard to your training, recovery time, and focus on the defenses.
I'm going to attend some amateur MMA events, including one where I'll be rejoining the press… it's been well over a year since I've done any serious writing on the sport, and so it'll be interesting to get back in and see a couple of amateur shows.
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