Wednesday, April 12, 2017

If They Can't Stop You, It's Not Wrong

Something that I've often heard from mid level blue belts directed towards some enthusiastic whitebelt is, "You're not supposed to do that" or "That's not a good idea" or "Don't do that from inside the guard" usually directed at someone trying a choke from inside the guard, or holding a guillotine attempt after their guard has been passed, or driving a forearm into the throat from inside guard. These are things that we know are 'wrong', but WHY are they wrong?

Well, they are wrong because they get you submitted or swept, right? But what if you, the blue belt telling this white belt that they are 'doing it wrong' can't actually get that sweep? What if you can't make the transition to the armbar? Is it really wrong for them to be choking you inside your guard if you can't do anything to stop them?

The answer is NO. It's 100% correct for them to do it to you if you can't prevent it. There are no wrong techniques in jiujitsu, only things that work and things that don't, If it works then it's not wrong. When it stops working, then it's wrong.

Just something for all of the blue belts to keep in mind next time they think about telling some enthusiastic noob that what they are doing is 'wrong'.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Knee Shield Halfguard Project

As I mentioned in my previous update I've moved from my leglock project into a project centered around the Knee Shield Halfguard position. That project has been going extremely well and I've been finding success with position even against my coach (To one degree or another).

I expect to have some instructional videos for the position put together later this year.

Another development is that progress is moving forward towards opening my own gym. It looks as if there is a possibility that my current gyms kids MMA instructor may be looking to open an MMA gym in the same area that I was looking to open a BJJ gym, and since the two of us get along fairly well our coach suggested we go in on the venture together. That may make it significantly easier for me to launch the gym which is obviously great.

I'm still planning on that being about 18 months out though. No need to rush things.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2017 State of the Journey

It's been six months since I last updated here because shit has been BUSY. Extremely busy. So here's a run down of the last few months.

NAGA - December 2016

This tournament marked the final integration step for my leglock game with the rest of my game. I had some trouble implementing in the gi against the 200lb guys, but I overall felt very good about my performance here. Which led directly to the next update:

Almost ten years to the day since I first stepped into The Hardcore Gym I was awarded my Brown Belt by my current coach Chris Ruiz and Professor Roberto Traven.

Since then I've embarked on a new project, Knee Shield halfguard. I've been dabbling with knee shield for about a year, but over the last few months I've really pushed the position and started building a full game around it as a means to prevent pressure passing when my DLR/Spider combo gets compromised.

To that end I'm actually working on filming my first ever actual instructional videos based around the position. At some point this year I'll likely put them up here to get feedback once they've gone through a couple of iterations of revision.

And finally, I'm not competing at all this year. Instead I'm embarking on a south-east USA gym tour. I'll be visiting NOLA in a couple of weeks, then Dan O'brien's gym in Alabama, then hitting up gyms in Tenn, SC,NC, and Fl, before finishing the year out visiting gyms around Ga that I haven't been able to visit in a while.

Hopefully I'll be updating more here with pictures and whatnot from my gym visits.

And that's where I am right now.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Masters 2016 - Video and Results

Well, things could have gone better, and they could have gone worse.

I lost in the first round again. However this time I didn't feel like I got caught by surprise or anything. The first couple of minutes went perfectly to plan before I made a mistake. Here's the video, then below it the breakdown as I see it.

My game plan was to go for an immediate single, essentially as a fake just in case my opponent pulled guard immediately. That's good for 2 points and frequently happens in my division. I shot, he didn't pull, so I backed out and went to the next step which was my drop sweep ankle lock attack. 

I was able to secure the ankle and start attacking, but he was very good at keeping my legs pushed down and preventing me from getting proper extension for a real finish. I had it stretched out good a couple of times, but not enough to force the tap. So I went to the next part of the plan and used the ankle lock to transition to the top.

Then thinks went south. I had not really worked on what I was going to be doing AFTER that transition, so I came up, got points, and then sat there and let my opponent get his game started. He was able to get ahead of me and eventually take my back for the win.

I'm actually very happy with that initial implementation. Everything when perfectly. I just need to work on some more finishing details on the ankle lock, and work on smoothing out my transition into the guard pass. That's what I've been doing since I got back. A lot of transitioning from the ankle directly to the pass with no hesitation.

I should be able to fit in one more event this year, so we'll see if I can improve on this performance.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Masters Worlds 2016 in T-Minus 13 days...

I haven't updated in a while because I've been extremely busy training for Masters Worlds in Vegas, and with general work and life.

Project Ankle lock has been a rousing success. I have successful transitions to the top off of it. I have redundant sweeps. I have resiliency against pressure and escape attempts. I've started comboing it with an immediate drop sweep from standing which has been highly successful as well. I feel great, but there are going to be 27+ people in my division at the end of the month so it's going to be a tough battle to make it to the podium.

We shall see...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Project Ankle Lock is Completed

Since before the ATL open I've been working on tripod sweeps and scissor sweeps using the ankle lock grip and then finishing the ankle lock. I've gotten to the point where I can achieve the sweep and finish the ankle lock on a wide variety of people including multiple brown belts and some of our more athletic folks, so I've decided to conclude the project and consider the Sickle into Ankle Lock to be fully integrated into my game.

For the next project I had briefly looked at adding in the Estima lock, but after tinkering with it I've found that I have to force the position a lot more than I want to if I want to try it. People just don't naturally respond to my actions by moving into a position that makes the Estima lock available. So instead I think I'm going to move to something else. Not sure what, yet, so it might be time to jam some youtube videos and find something new to work on, or I might revisit some of my sweeps.

Still, things are going pretty well. I'll be attending a Roberto Traven seminar this saturday which I'm looking forward to.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Back to work post ATL Open

This was my first class back after competing since I've been working on tiling my floor and I came in looking to pretty much double down on how hard I'm working. We worked a couple of throws, and then how to enter for those throws off of escaping from side control. After drilling those we did 40 minutes of rolling which is where I really wanted to start working.

I started from standing for most of my rolls and was specifically looking to hit the Tomoe Nage with my LEFT leg since one of the things I learned from the ATL Open is that the grips I'm most comfortable with are the grips for the throw on that side, but I keep trying to hit the throw with my right leg. So I was successful with three of those, which made me pretty happy. I hit a white belt, a blue belt, and a brown belt with it.

From there I wanted to work on that same ankle lock sequence that I used at the ATL Open, so I was looking for the same opportunity to secure the ankle and work the single leg X-guard sweep to the finish. Once again I was successful three times, hitting the sweep and the finish on a white, a blue, and brown belt.

So I felt really good about my class goals. I spent my last roll playing full defense against one of the bigger brown belts. I had one small opportunity to try for the ankle lock, but he pretty casually escaped before I could even get the grip in, so clearly there is progress to be made, but also during the class I was awarded my 4th stripe, so I'm now just 6-8 months of REALLY HARD work away from possibly picking up a brown belt, which is pretty cool.