Worked with Diego 2 on Tuesday and Diego Herzog on Wednesday.
Tuesday was grueling. Two hundred Standing Guard Breaks, two hundred Armbars from Closed Guard, not to mention bearcrawls, one-legged bearcrawls, one-legged bearcrawls with pushups. Diego 2 is just bastard. A great, awesome, conditioning bastard. Love it. His classes are all about basics, basics, basics and he makes me a better BJJ fighter every time. Rolled with Anna at the end, a blue belt from Brazil. My size kept me safe, but she was working on a wicked Leg Triangle until I got saved by the bell. Phew!
Wednesday: I was pretty beat from Tuesday so came in kinda slow to Diego Herzog's class. All we went over was the fundamentals of the Spider Guard. And if you don't do a lot of Spider Guard, like me, that positions works your hips, neck, arms, and shoulders. You're basically on your back with your legs and arms engaged and head up. Really good stuff. I rolled with Harry, who is about my size, maybe a little heavier, and I found out that I've been fighting like a heavy guy this whole time.
In BJJ, like Muay Thai, there are different strategies depending on your size. In MT big guys tend to stay planted to save energy and move less and keep a strong grounded base to throw punches and kicks. The center line tends to be their bread and butter, straight down the middle. And when I fight MT against little guys, I always tell them, don't charge right down the middle, you're just like Charlie Brown and I'm Lucy and you're basically walking into my right cross (though not so with lefties, if they know what they're doing, the orthodox fighter eats the left cross every time; just ask anyone who's gone against TJ Arcangle, thankyouverymuch). For little guys, it's all about angles and speed, angles and speed. And frankly, that's a strategy all MT fighters have. Big guys should ALWAYS fight like little guys. Big guy tactics are bad habits. Well, it's not all that different in BJJ.
There's still a center line, which you're better off staying off of, big or small. And big guys tend to stay planted and use their strength against smaller people. This is white belt level, I'm talking. Higher belts have their own strategy, tactics, challenges, to which I'm ignorant of at this point.
What this means is I end up in Turtle Guard or in my opponents Side-Control and stay there for too long. Little guys, they squirm right out, get their knees in, recover Guard, all that good stuff. And with Harry, I tended to get him in my Half-Guard and whereas I can roll most people in my Half-Guard onto their back and take Side-Control, Harry kept his hips low to the ground, his balance low, and I couldn't budge him. Granted, he couldn't advance much of an offense, but I was fighting a big guy like he was a little guy and should've had the tables turned and fought like a little guy. Only problem is I don't know exactly how to do that. And by the time I rolled with Diego my arms were shot from trying to roll Harry with my upper body. Pretty sure Diego choked me out like ten times in a row. And then Conrad proceeded to do the same. So, looks like I found a bad habit of mine. Gotta start training like a smaller person, learn how to move and stay active. A new goal.
Final note, it looks like the careers of both my BJJ coaches are taking off. Marcel Fortuna, my first Black Belt instructor, who fought a close fight to get into the UFC house during the last heavyweight season but didn't get the W, just signed on to the UFC to fight some 6'5" 260 lbs guy already in the UFC on two weeks notice. That's short time, but I know he can do it. And now Diego Herzog, my current instructor, he's in negotiations with Bellator for February after he fought for them last year and got a KO in the first round, AND he's flying out to corner Marcel. So pumped for both these guys who've been in the industry for years sharing knowledge and creating fighters to finally get the recognition they deserve. Oss!