It may be the last competition of the year for me but it’s one I want to equal my best recorded performance at, and really continue to push forward and develop my game. Ideally I’d like to fight at least 3 times on the day, and win a minimum of two of them, so I can either equal my best performance of a Silver or win my first Gold medal. That would be a really good end to the year. As long as people stay around I also want to compete in the Absolute to see how I perform there too.
Coming back in January, training consistently with Gracie Barra from April, competed and medalled in September and then to compete and win Gold in November would be a high note to finish the year off before the start of 2017 and the next stage in my BJJ journey.
The majority of my time in 2016 has been spent getting my body ready again for Jiu-Jitsu: sharpening movements, getting flexibility in my legs and hips against, focusing on my breathing and making sure I’m using effective and efficient force and technique rather than just overpowering a training partner if I have a size or strength advantage on (which probably make up 60% of my training partners).
I’ve been private studying the half guard also; which has taken longer than I expected because of the range of different half guards one can play. So I’ve spent months being smashed by partners of coloured belts and none working out the fundamentals of the half-guard, with some help along the way from other half-guard players, and working out the difference between Deep and Z-Guard, when to use knee shield and when to bail out either to a full guard or to sweep and get on top.
Now, in my training, I’ve given myself free agency status so I’m not specifically looking at any one position but I am trying to get better at what I do currently. I was thinking about looking at the back control / turtle guard in my next 6-12 month stint of training but following some advice from training partners I’m thinking of focusing more on guard passing. I think I’m good at it but I want to be better.
I’m keeping one eye on the European championships also in Lisbon, Portugal, in January 2017 so having some good guard passing ability may well improve my chances and that would be a good start to 2017.
We’ll see. At the moment I’m focusing on Nottingham, with around 5 weeks to prepare, so that I can put the best performances on I can and bring back some Gold to Gracie Barra Birmingham.