Monday, March 17, 2008

The Aftermath

I went to the gym today to watch the tape of this past weekend's tournament in Costa Mesa. The result didn't go my way and like they say hind sight is 20/20...looking back there were a lot of things I feel I could have done better.

The match started and he pushed to try and get a takedown early. He got a hold of a single leg, but I was able to keep my balance and not get take down. We break and I'm looking for an arm drag but can't get it. We tie up again and I throw an armbar up and land on my neck. I have a hold of his arm, but he's fighting and works to get out. We scramble and I get to my side and eventually to my knees negating any point opportunities. We stand back up and I shoot for a single leg but he sprawls on top of me and I twist and turn and he ends up in North / South, but doesn't get any points and I eventually work to my half guard. From half guard he works for an americana but I was able to defend ok. Then he goes for the americana w/ one arm around my head. As he's trying to finish we both hear a pop in my elbow. I tap because of the pop and the guy freaks out. I was waiting for the pain to start shooting all over my elbow, but surprisingly there is hurts, but nothing like what I was expecting.

So I don't know what I did to my elbow, but it's sore and it was a bit swollen. I talked to my brother and he checked out my range of motion and everything looks good. So now I'm stuck to popping about 1,000mg of ibuprofen for a few days. I plan on taking it easy and starting up again next week.

When I sat down with Mike and watched the tape, I totally thought he was going to rip me but he didn't. He pointed out a lot of positive things that I did but did point out the areas I need to work on. He did point out that my fatal flaw in my match was my posture at the end which eventually ended in my elbow popping. He felt overall I did well, with my posture being my one MAJOR mistake.

Lessons learned:
  1. Posture - my posture looked like shit throughout the match. From standing or on the ground. My hands were everywhere but in posture. STAY TIGHT! Be like T-Rex!
  2. Takedowns - this has to be the hardest part of the game. Probably where you spend most of your energy as well. I really need to focus on closing the gap, dominating the hands then taking a leg. The shot that I took was from way to far out and was flat out ugly.
  3. Armbars - I love going to armbars, but I don't think I'm no where near where I need to be to be considered "technical" at armbars. When I went for the armbar I could have a.) grabbed his leg right away to control him and look for a sweep (which is something I always forget to do), b.) secured both arms so that I could have transitioned to a triangle and c.) look for the triangle right away. These are just a few points that I know I did wrong and I'm sure there's plenty more.
  4. Guard game - I really need to improve my guard. I feel it's good, but watching the tape and seeing myself in half guard it seemed as if my whole gameplan of going to half butterfly was thrown out the window. I think these next 3 months I'm going to focus on the x-guard and just my overall hip movement in the guard.

Not taking anything away from the guy, because he did put me in bad spot and he did finish me. But like any competitor, I definitely feel I could have won that match...but those mistakes add up and you can't let that happen in any form of competition as your opponent should and will capitalize on them as my opponent did.

So it's back to the drawing board. I'm going to focus now on controlling my opponent from within my guard and my takedowns for the next 3 months. I spent quite a bit of time on guard passing and it's definitely time to move on and work on another area of my game that needs help. I'm thinking of just working on a lot of fundamental movements these next few weeks and rolling lightly when I can.

To end this entry, I'm going to leave a quote from my favorite athlete of all-time to keep my ass going:

"I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." - Michael Jordan

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