This week, I started a new shift rotation at work. That devilish rotation happens to have late shifts. So every seven weeks, I have to do eight o’clock finishes, leaving my mornings free for thumb twiddling, and of course ruining my training in the evening.
Showing my Bear Grylls level preparedness (sans Horlicks, and a TravelLodge), I wanted to ensure I got at least one session in this week. I gave my pal Ronnie a shout, and asked if he’d be available to train at some point this week. Ronnie’s one of the club’s hardest white belts. He’s the sort of guy that you always get a good roll with, because he’s strong as fuck and has a base/core from hell. He also has a garage that he’s converted into a training space.
Ronnie being the gentleman he is, offered to pick me up and take me out to his palace in the sticks. What a wholly hostile heinously cold little garage he has. The warmup couldn’t come quick enough. We had no choice but to get stuck in.
After a brief warmup in the igloo, I asked Ronnie what he wanted to work on. Thank the fucking lord he asked me something that I knew. Armbars. I fucking love an armbar, me.
As per usual, I started off with the intent of showing him a basic armbar. This turned into a deep rabbit-hole of hurt. Various lead-ins and approaches from the guard to attack the arms. I then covered how to break their defense and sweep, whilst keeping the armbar. If they defend again, we broke that down too. Jist is, you’re fucked. Well, that’s the plan anyways.
I had fun helping Ronnie with these techniques, because whilst it allows him to up his game, it also allows me to evaluate mine. Justify whether I’m worth the raggedy tassle that hangs from my waist-line. I had far more answers for ‘armbars’ than I expected to, which is good. It’s something you need to do to progress in grappling I think. Share knowledge, and expand on things you’ve picked up over the years. It’s up to whomever you’re sharing with to decide whether that works for them, or whether it’s absolute dogshit. You get valuable drilling time too, to explore whether what you’re doing works.
I came away from the Arctic Tundra with a rare Jiu-Jitsu high, because I felt like we’d both learned something valuable. For him, how to tighten already solid techniques – and for myself I’ve reviewed parts of my game that I’m clearly neglecting, when they’re stronger than I first thought.
Long live HARMBARS. Toodles.