Hm! Can’t believe it’s been over a year since the last one. October 2010, February 2011, February 2012, March 2013. More-or-less once a year on average my martial artist friends will meet up to give each other a good beating!
I’m quite tired so I’ll make this brief. Only four of us were there this time, the Asian crowd of Bert, Manchoon, Andrew and myself. Andrew is by far the most experienced of us with his incredible skill, ferocious attitude and amazing technical knowledge. I was keen to fight with Bert, who was of a similar skill level to me in stand-up and ground fighting when last we sparred a year ago. Since then he’s started BJJ lessons and I wanted to see how much of a difference they’d make in his skill level. The results were surprising – it was hard for him to engage me in a grapple, and when he did, I was able to hit him or pin him with techniques other than joint locks. In our later grappling-only sessions, he was much better than me and his technical knowledge really shone through. In terms of injuries, Bert came close to throwing up from an uneasy breakfast and too much pressure on his stomach during grappling. Despite a general “no face strikes” rule (due to my wisdom teeth and sword-bashed tooth), I hit a lot of people in the face. It was only after Andrew barraged me with chest-punches over and over and over and never once hit me above the shoulders that I realised he was going for body-strikes intentionally and out of kindness. Sorry everyone! But I did knee Manchoon in the head, and did get side-kicked in the cheek when I accidentally nudged his leg a little higher than intended. Few scratches and bruises, a bloody nose, but nothing too serious this time!
General feedback is that I’m harder to hit than previous years. It seems that I’ve spent enough time with the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts to give up my faux-kickboxing and actually apply randori- some excellent adapting of techniques and deflections. Some not-so-great ones either, but I’ll work on those! In terms of grappling, I don’t really know too many joint-locks, but my defence is quite good. I guess when it goes to grappling I’m getting an excellent idea of “bad positions to be in” and so do everything I can to avoid them. I think I’d probably benefit from a few months (or years!) of classes. Some very satisfying leg catches, cold-wind-blows-on-two-ears, back kicks, side-kicks, front kicks, seiruto and uppercuts. Gotta watch my face hits, though XD
- When doing a gun-disarm, move the arm first (it’s faster) with minimal telegraphing, catch in front of the trigger-guard, punch away from you as you shift your body off line, drop-step in as you punch, grab under the hammer (without crossing the front of the barrel) and flip 180-degrees to break. Flip back 90-degrees to clear, pull back, tap the cartridge, cock the slide. Or just hit them with the gun.
- Alternatively, grab the wrist with the left hand, the barrel with the right hand, shift off-line and punch away. Flip 180 to break, flip 90 to pull back.
- In grappling, “half-guard” is when you have one leg under your opponent and one leg between you. “Full guard” is when you have both legs between you. When you have no legs between you, you have been “mounted”.
- To dismount someone, trap one hand, plant both feet close to your butt cheeks, drive your hips off the floor by “bridging” on the balls of your feet and buck to the side you’ve grabbed. If you haven’t grabbed an arm, they’ll reach out to stabilise themselves. Grab it and buck again in quick succession. If they’re sitting high up on your chest (and not your pelvis), buck over your head instead.
- The hierarchy of positions is: They’ve got your back, side control, half guard, full guard (neutral), side control, mounted, you’ve got their back. I think.
- When someone has you in full guard, they’ll probably try and pin your head to their chest so you can’t do anything. To escape, push against their chest with your hands and work your way down until your hands are on their pelvis. Arch your back, have one foot planted close to their butt, the other away from them, and get up. Push one knee down to break their guard.
- When applying an arm-bar, get your butt close to their side, your feet close to their other side, and rotate their pinky to your chest. Pull their head down for an alternative lock.
- To choke someone with your legs, trap one arm and catch their neck in the crook of one knee. Hook your other knee over your ankle and squeeze. Try and get 90-degrees in the bend and be slightly side-on. Alternatively, take them to the floor for a different effect. Their arm chokes one side of the carotid, your thigh, the other.
- When you get tired, don’t stop moving. It might seem easier to just take a few hits, but it makes it so much worse. You get worn down until you fall down, and then it just gets harder. Keep moving, keep being a threat.
- Range is everything. Charging in and being aggressive is not ideal, but at least forces your opponent to defend themselves.
- Aggression is 90% of the fight. Be able to turn it up at will, even if you don’t want to. It is seriously one of the most important things you can learn in martial arts.
- Don’t just take hits! Defend! No, they may not hurt at the time, but that’s because your sparring partner is holding back and wearing foam pads to protect you. Treat them as serious threats, don’t just brush them off.
- Always be prepared to attack. However you move, move so that you can fire something off. Don’t ever compromise your own readiness.
That’s enough now. Night everyone!