Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Diagnostic tests, saunas and no-gi bjj

This morning I wrote most of the diagnostics tests assigned for the first week of studying by the Princeton Review MCAT course. However due to some technical difficulties the sight would not register my results... I called in customer service/ tech-support. After the discussion with customer service I can honestly say I would recommended this course for anyone planning to write the MCAT, the service is outstanding and the material is very in depth. Afterwards the contractor came to finish up the last little bit of construction left in the sauna (just looping the wire/thermostat around the door away from the heat source). I am very pleased with how the sauna turned out. After this I did some practice questions for physics and chemistry before having to leave for BJJ training.

Training today was warm up, then 4 long rounds of rolling. I guess I must be back in form because the 4 rounds felt like they went by so quick and I didn't feel that tired at the end of it. Today I rolled first with another judo guy trains at Toronto BJJ (big asian guy), he's been training for much longer in BJJ than I have. The roll was back and forth, standing and on the ground and ended with neither of us getting the submission. For the second match I rolled with "the Spaniard"; I really enjoy fighting against him because he uses a good balance of technique and strength, plus he always gives me tips and suggestions. He caught me with a rear naked choke one time today when I tried to pressure from top and pass his guard; he quickly arm dragged me and took my back. I guess I haven't adjusted to not giving my back yet (judo habit). For the third match I went up against Reuben "Gracie" (everyone in the club calls him that). He is a high level purple belt but today felt a lot better going up against him than the first time I rolled with him. I used less strength and focused more on scrambles and techniques. At one point I almost caught him with a reverse arm bar but then I missed my chance to transition to the omoplata. The last match of the night was versus Chichinyo (a high level brown belt); we worked mostly on stand up but it was very difficult as both of us were sweaty and the mats were slippery. I attempted some double and single leg take downs for the first time in a long long time (in judo there are no more leg grabs so I stopped practicing those techniques).

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Oatmeal with peanut butter, Coffee with milk

Lunch: Broccoli and chicken breast omelet, green tea

Dinner: Protein shake, granola bar

After practice: Protein bar

Thoughts of the day:

1) Practice deep drop seoi (left and right) and try to explode up with the finish
2) Work on strengthening foot sweeps
3) Continue to work from the top in newaza

*Note: I'll post a picture of the first use of the sauna tomorrow

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Math, Physics, Chemistry and Judo...

Last weekend I began my preparation for the MCAT exam that I will write in January. The majority of Friday and Saturday were spent prepping for the Sunday morning/ afternoon classes. Sunday the total time for the classes was 5 hours but I swear it felt longer. Monday and Tuesday were also spent prepping and studying (diagnostic tests, homework, lecture review...etc). Overall its mental taxing but I have to do it if I want to do well on the exam.

As for training, Saturday morning I went to Pedro's. I was a little sore from practicing with Diego the night before but managed to push through the pain. Afterwards I went to train at Alim's for technique tune up and to learn how to use the uchikomi bands properly. Now I am supposed to start doing 1000 band uchikomi a day for this week; Alim said for this week I shouldn't care about how long it takes me to do the 1000 just that I should do it to polish up my technique and next week I will start to do a more high intensity circuit. Also at Alim's I practice makikomi techniques and sumigaeshi.

Sunday I was really burnt out after the courses so I decided to take the day off.

Monday, I had a lot of studying to do so I skipped BJJ. However, I did make it to the gym for an awesome back workout. I did 20 rep Deadlifts superset with light front squats and pull ups; other exercises included pull down, rows, standing rows, and abdominal exercises.

Today, I studied all morning and headed out to the gym around 2 pm. Here is the general layout for today's workout:

Row machine for warm up
Front squats
Low back squats
Shoulder press
Leg press
100 left arm band uchikomi
100 right arm band uchikomi

I had to cut the workout a little short because it was getting close to practice time.
Today we went to Pedro's for judo practice. I felt really good today and it showed at practice; I guess taking Sunday and Monday off helped me recover.

***Sorry for the limited info about judo practice today, I am writing this pretty late and feel drained from studying.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Battle with Deigo Sanchez

This morning for breakfast I had a protein shake and the usual supplements (fish oil, multi-vitamin, tumeric, BCAAs). In the morning the sauna was finally getting built in our basement, so I had to spend the morning explaining to the workers how to build it via the internet pictures and instructions. After explaining everything and making sure they knew what to do, I went for a late lunch at Tim Hortons. Today is my cheat day for my diet but I decided I was going to save the good meal for dinner; for lunch I had chili with some Gatorade. Afterwards I headed to the gym.

The focus of the workout in the gym was on chest and arms. Here's today's workout:

Warm up
5 min on the bike
Bench Press
60 kg x 10
70 kg x 10
75 kg x 6
75 kg x 6
(80 kg x 5) x 3
60 kg x 10
90 kg x 3
60 kg x 10
Dumbbell Flies (super set with bench press)
(30 lbs x 10) x 3
Shoulder circuit (super set with bench press)
(10 lbs x 10) x 3
Incline bench press
45 kg x 10
(50 kg x 10)
50 kg x 9
Low front squat
(60 kg) x 5, x 6,  x 7, x 8, x 9, x 10
Weighted Dips
45 lbs x 10
(75 lbs x 7) x 3
Weighted Pull ups
(45 lbs x 10) x 3
Tricep Pull down
(Random weight x 10) x 3
One arm pull down
(Light weight x 10) x 3 x per each arm
Sit ups
50 x 3
30 sec x 3

After the workout I went to Shoppers Drug Mart for some shopping because it was 20% off 50 dollars today. Anticipating the need to probably cut some weight in the hotel in Quebec I bought two 4 kg  containers of Epsom salts and three 1 litre containers of pedialyte (for re-hydration).

For dinner, as it was cheat day, I ate 1 slice of pizza and headed out to practice.

Today I went to Hamilton to train at Kawasaki's. Warm up was push ups, sit-ups and stretches. After warm up we did moving uchikomi. After that it became free practice. I partnered up with Diego Sanchez, not the UFC fighter! A 60 kg competitor representing Ontario, originally from Columbia. I practiced the Tomoe to Juji-gatame as seen in the Kashiwazaki video and drop seio nage as well as deep uchimata. Afterwards we did moving uchikomi to crash mat throws. Then randori began, we were the first ones to start randori and the last ones to finish. It was pretty good back and forth battle. I've had the pleasure to fight Deigo in a couple of tournaments so I had some knowledge of how he like to fight and he probably also knew how I like to fight. I tried to attack as much as I possibly could; the battle lasted an hour. Things that worked today during the randori were tai-otoshi, kosoto-gaki, and kouchi; things that I need to work on is a deeper step in for uchimata and straightening my leg, and more commitment to the turn in on moves such as harai and uki goshi. After practice me and Deigo stayed behind and did some no gi grappling. I really enjoyed training today, it was good to finally have control of my training as opposed to following Pedro's routine.

Final thoughts for the day: Need more practice with the deep drop seoi nage, practice keeping leg straight while doing uchimata, and keep practicing the tomoe to arm bar.

This is the UFC fighter Diego Sanchez

This is the judo fighter Diego Sanchez

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"When we go to the ground, you are in my world. The ground is the ocean, I am the shark, and most people don't even know how to swim." - Rigan Machado

Today was a rest day from the gym, one that comes only once a week. I felt like I physically really needed today to rest and recover. For breakfast I had just a protein shake with milk this time and the usual concoction of supplements. Though the day might have been physically restful, mentally it was far from it. My clothes and other belongings arrived by Canada post in my suitcase today; however when I went to pick them up from the post office they told me I had to pay $260 duty. I felt this was unnecessary because I already paid $200 to ship it when I was in Japan and also the fact that all the clothes are my personal belongings and not merchandise. I spent a good hour calling Canada post customer service then another hour calling Canadian customs. Long story short, I told them to send the stuff back to Canada customs for a reevaluation of the duty costs.

Due to this whole Canada post ordeal I had to to settle for a late lunch, the only healthy option close to the post office was Subway. I had a 2 six inch subs, one Italian BMT on flat bread and one turkey breast on honey oat bread. After coming home I had little time to rest as I had to get ready for Judo practice. Traffic was really bad and it took more than an hour to get to the practice, I slept during the ride there (bad idea) and woke up very groggy for practice.

First part of practice I had a difficult time getting in to the mindset and felt burnout, we did lots of gripping, movement and attack drills. Second part of practice was "newaza", ground work, at this point my focus came back to me. Rolling at judo feels like the complete opposite of rolling at BJJ, everyone at judo tries to avoid too much flow and stand up often as a way to escape; on the other hand at BJJ there is a lot of flow and everyone tries to pull guard or just sit down as much as they can. During the rolls at practice today I worked a lot of the stuff I have been picking up at BJJ; working from the bottom, butterfly guard, escapes from chokes, triangles...etc. Compared to the training partners at BJJ, my training partners at judo feel really easy to go against on the ground hence the title of today's post. Recently I have been trying to improve my bottom game and constantly start sitting for the newaza rounds rather than on my knees or crouching. I think starting from next practice I will start to work my top game exclusively to get prepared for Quebec Open and to get in to the tournament mindset. Today's practice was concluded with wheel barrels and rope climbs for five sets. I think all the time on the rope machine at the gym is paying off as it was a breeze climbing the rope today. It feels good when you see the fruits of training appear.  

Some final thoughts, I need to work on more gripping and movement, also work more on butterfly sweep. In addition to that recently I have been thinking of my shoulder throw technique (ippon seoi nage), preferably I would like to do the entry like I used to do when I was younger; drop on my knees and go deep underneath the uke going under and even past their legs. 

Here is one of my BJJ heroes, Marcelo Garcia, showing butterfly sweeps!
This video shows the throw that I've been thinking about recently IPPON SEOI NAGE!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Flow with the Go and Learn on the Go!

Once again I had trouble going to sleep last night, knee was throbbing and also the cleansing tea was doing its work. I woke up late drank a protein shake and took fish oil, multivitamin, tumeric and BCAAs and headed straight to the gym. Today was back day. Here's what I did:

Warm up
5 min on the row machine
60 kg x 10
70 kg x 10
80 kg x 10
90kg x 10
(100kg x 6) x 3
110kg x 3
Pull ups (super set with dead-lift)
30 reps
(10 reps) x 6
(70 kg x 15) x 3
Judo style bicep curl (superset with shrugs)
(25 lbs x 10) x 3
Pull down
70 lbs x 10
90 lbs x 10
110 lbs x 10
130 lbs x 10
(150 lbs x 10) x 3
Seated Row
(140 lbs x 10) x 3
Single leg bosu balance
1 minute per leg alternating
Rope machine
Level 6 x 20 min

After the gym I took BCAAs and went straight to get a late lunch. For lunch I ate a small bowl of vegetarian chili. To be honest it tasted like just tomato sauce with assorted veggies mixed in; nonetheless I needed some nutrients after a hard workout. After lunch I took the bus home and got my stuff ready to go for No-gi BJJ training.

Today's training consisted of a short warm up (running, jumping jacks, sprawls, rolls, and situps) and 4 long rounds of rolling. During the first roll I got over excited and tried a kimura while in the opponents guard and as a consequence I got caught in an arm bar. Second roll I went with Pavel (a blue belt) and again I went in over confident and he caught me once in a triangle as I let my guard down; however I was able to submit him 6-7 times with triangles, north south chokes and arm bars. The third roll, I went against "the Spainiard"; I enjoy rolling with him because he always teaches me fundamentals as we roll. The last time we rolled he taught me to always keep my feet inside to avoid the ankle lock. Today he showed me how to escape from back control when the person has one hook in. The last roll, I went with "the Immigrant", I also really enjoy rolling with him because he's so fluid and technical. I felt like there was a lot of flow when I rolled with him; I attempted many leg attacks and managed to pull of some sweeps. He also taught me how to break someone's guard; arms in the uke's armpits, back up and stand up, then raise your knee and sit down.

After practice I got home and realized I forgot my key; Daniel and dad were still at judo practice so I had to wait at Tim Hortons. While at Tim Hortons, I watched some you tube videos, something that peaked my interest was Craig Fallon (UK Top 60 kg Judoka) showing tomoe nage and also Kashiwazaki-sensei showing tomoe nage with a transition to juji-gatame. I think these two throw variations will be my goal to learn by the new year.

*Here's the technique being pulled off by one of my favourite competitors, Flavio Canto, in competition*

Final thoughts for the day: the knee and shoulder felt healthier today, feeling physically stronger (maybe from the rope machine workouts) and mentally I feel motivated.

Note* Haven't learned all the names of the guys at BJJ practice yet so I've given them nicknames. Sorry...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

First Day of the Blog

I decided to start this blog to help me keep track of my training routine and to attempt to maintain focus through all the hard days of training. The current goal I am training towards is to win Quebec Open.

Today I woke up later than usual because I couldn't sleep well last night due to the cleansing tea I have been drinking to help me lose weight for the Quebec Open Judo tournament. For breakfast I drank my "Athletes Food" protein shake and also drank 2 fish oil capsules, a "Performaxx" and lastly a turmeric soft gel capsule. After that I headed out to the gym. Today was "legs and shoulders" day in my gym routine. Here's the workout:

Warm up
5 minutes on the stationary bike
43 kg x 10
60 kg x 10
70 kg x 10
75 kg x 10
80 kg x 8
(85 kg x 6) x 3
Shoulder circuit (super set with squats) 
(8 lbs x 30) x 8
Single Leg Press
(50 kg x 20) x 3
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 
(50 lbs x 10) x 3
Neck Extension
(15 lbs x Max) x 2
20 lbs x Max
Shrugs (super set with neck ext.)
(50 lbs x 20) x 2
50 lbs x 30
Rope machine pull down
Level 5-6 x 20 minutes

After the gym I came home and drank some BCAA's. For dinner I had asparagus, spinach and broccoli soup. Right after dinner my brother and I left straight for judo training in Toronto with the HPP team. Training consisted of the usual stuff that we do there, warm up, gripping, situation drills, uchikomi, and randori. At the end of training Pedro had us do Judo push-ups and medicine ball sit ups, we did 3 sets of 50 for the judo push-ups and 30 second intervals for the medicine ball sit ups. I enjoy the after practice conditioning training because it reminds me of the time I spent training at Tenri University in Japan. Judo practice was about 2 hours long today.

Overall I feel like I am almost back to the shape I was at before competing in July at the National Championships. Today, the shoulder and knee are a little sore after practice.