Pressure vs. Finesse

Saku vs. Newton was on the best of Pride last night on Spike TV. Its almost like they forgot they could strike. It was a really good grappling match. Energy was only used to escape or to try to drive home a sub. This is how I roll also.

I don't have the energy that I use to have I guess. I sit and wait for opportunities to move instead of just moving to create the opportunities. I need to work on that (there is always something to work on).

I saw a site a while ago that talked about a guy taking some time off to train in Brazil. He noted some differences.

"Most classes there was usually maybe 1 bluebelt, no white belts with the majority of the 12-15 students at any class being purple through black belts. Few of the students appeared to do any weight training with average looking physiques. One slim individual came in to class one morning with no muscular definition to speak of; I immediately evaluated him as a soft beginner. He put his worn blackbelt on and was an absolute monster on the mat with a relaxed rolling style until the timing was right and he would explode into a submission. A few guys who fought MMA professionally would come in and roll with everyone in gi - I saw zero no-gi grappling my entire stay.

Most of the guys back home wanted to know about the differences between the North American and Brazilian academies. a few observations:

* Far fewer techniques demonstrated in Brazil. Maybe 2 per class and it was not uncommon after a brief warm up to hear "ok, we go to training". The emphasis was on rolling in 7 min timed rounds.
* No stand up. The blackbelts explained that the only time they performed sparring from standup was in a week or so before tournaments. They felt that standup grappling was more likely to result in training injuries.
* I found the jiu-jitsu much more "feint" oriented as opposed to straight ahead pressure. The majority of the techniques were explained in the context of setting it up with pressure to one direction and then reversing to take advantage of your opponent's reaction. The softer, more flowing style of jiu-jitsu was described by Ari as more pure jiu-jitsu - that is to say in Brazil, there was less influence of other arts like wrestling in the jiu-jitsu.
* No one had stripes on their belts. The majority of the blackbelts were not competitive wunderkind - rather, guys who just had been training for a long time.
* You don't pick your own sparring partners - the instructor always matched me up.
* I felt that people were less concerned with "who tapped who" or needing to establish the pecking order than in North America.
* The atmosphere was very relaxed - some guys dropping in, having 1 roll and then getting back into their street clothes to go back to work!

Of course the emphasis is mine. Maybe I am just naturally lazy. Maybe I am tired from working all day to be training too strenuously. Maybe it is just my passive personality. Regardless, I tend to lean toward to the more relaxed style of rolling.

If you want to own Pride 3 (Newton vs. Sakuraba is the best match)...