Monday, October 27, 2008

Rubber Guard, Fo Realz

We've been doing rubber guard stuff the last few weeks which I love. First couple of weeks was just breaking down to Mission Control, getting to New York, Chill Dog, getting the Pump. Today we got to the fun stuff (for me) omoplata time. Since I have so much trouble actually finishing the OMo on people I was happy to see this stuff.

Ways to get the Omo:
Jiu-Claw: Extend the legs and squeeze on the arm, keep the body rigid. When opponent postures up spike them back down and use the momentum to sit up and move from seatbelt on legs to seatbelt on waist.
Seatbelt: Keep the legs wrapped TIGHT. Both legs. Gumby can take mount and triangle you if you only get the near leg, even if you still have his arm trapped.

What to do if you can't get the Omo:
Side Control: When opponent rolls block the leg to slow them and maintain control, tuck the elbow in and drop in to side control.
Triangle: If opponent postures and turns back into you just open the Jiu-Claw and let them drop right into it. Easy as it can be.
Sweep: Underhook the leg instead of seatbelt, extend the arm out, when they try to jump, roll with it and take sidecontrol.

After drilling those for a while we got to roll, I rolled with tall-skinny-blonde-kid whose name I can't remember and swept him about, mounted him, and triangled him. He's getting better, but I still have way stronger wrestling than he does. And I use my short stumpy legs to make space and trap him with sneaky triangles.
After that I rolled with some huge guy who was really good, he was nice to me, let me work stuff without crushing me. I omoed him and got to side control. Everything else was me fighting to not get Darced as usual. After that rolled with another huge guy who was very good. Again he was nice and let me work. I almost managed to Z-guard sweep him, was able to fly him around a bit with it which was cool. He kneebarred me eventually, but it was a fun roll.
At this point I moved away from the behemoths and rolled with Gumby (Mark). As always he's one of my favorite people to roll with. This time I went straight for the rubber guard Omo hoping to just use it to sweep him to side control and try to set up the same armbar from the back when he eventually escaped. I put on the omo and tried to seatbelt the legs, but I missed his far leg. He stepped it backwards over me, turned and mounted me while I still had his arm. He escaped the Omo by putting me in a mounted triangle. He locked it on and I tapped. Craziness. I love rolling with him. After that we went back and forth a little until time ran out. Then I jumped in with Kegan. I've never been able to tap him even when I've locked in triangles and squeezed and pulled and everything, so I thought I would try something knew. So right off I start setting it up, I fake a triangle attempt and then switch to a bicep splicer when he defends it. I cranked down as hard as I could and got nothing. He eventually passed my exhausted guard and got side control, but he was in Kesa and wasn't careful with his hips, so I bridged, loaded him up and rolled him over. I tried for mount and was sloppy, my hips got too far forward and he dumped me back over. Then he Darce'd me from an odd angle that I couldn't figure out how to defend. Very fun roll.
Finally I rolled with a guy I've rolled with previously, he's only been in the Monday classes a couple of months I think. I worked on some combos and had some fun. Went for a situp sweep, he tucked his arm, I pushed his elbow down and kicked my leg around for a triangle, he locked his hands together, I attacked the opposite arm and swung over for the bicep splicer. Quick tap. After that I triangled him, then rolled back and let him get to side control. He went for an armbar with an odd setup, but I was able to block him from getting his leg over my face. I sat up into it and he tried to turn it into a belly down armbar but was too loose on my arm and I hitchhikered out of it and took side control.

All in all I have a pretty firm idea of where I am technique wise. I'm moving up the hierarchy a little and I think with continued regular class attendance I'll continue to move up. I doubt I'll ever catch Ralph and his fanatical devotion but I think I can get back to where I give him trouble if I can combine my improving skill with some improving fitness.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eddie Bravo Extravaganza

We jut finished up several weeks of Lockdown + Whip Up + Dogfight stuff. It helped refine my half guard game a lot since I've been using the Lockdown from day one, but have had a hard time getting the whip up and the various sweeps. Actually getting to drill them a few times with people has already upped my percentage on old school quite a bit already. I still have a hard time whipping up because people are just so heavy, but I'm getting better at that too. For the moment I just whip up as hard as I can and get to my side, then fight the Darce while I work old school. Seems to be doing OK against everyone who doesn't have monster Darce chokes.

We started Rubber Guard last night, which I love. I've played it on and off since I started BJJ because Eddie's "Mastering the Rubber Guard" was the first BJJ book I got. Not because I knew anything about it, but because it was the best written and illustrated out of all of the books I looked at. I can already move through the Misson Control -> New York -> Chill Dog -> KungFu Move -> Omoplata sequence pretty quick. But then I get stuck fighting to finish the Omo while people try to jump over me, so I generally turn it into a sweep and take side control instead.

My biggest problem is when I can't get their hand to the mat. I usually lock the arm up, switch back to full guard and use the armcrush+pendulum sweep. Has worked a couple of times.

Rolling last night we split into weight classes (FUCKING JOY!!! No 200lbers crushing my head!) I had Gumby, Thomas, someone whose name I should remember, but I don't, and some dude who was just balls OUT the entire time. I rolled with ballsout guy first and immediately hit him with an armbar and swept him over. Didn't have the power to break his grip in time to finish it, so ended up back in guard. From there It was all defensive. Escaped a bunch of stuff for a while then got sloppy and got ankle locked and had to tap. Took a break then rolled with Gumby, we had a blast. I swept him, he contorted himself onto my back, I rolled out of it, etc... etc.. Fun times. After I rolled w/ the guy whose name I should remember. We also went back and forth a lot until we both ended up going for ankle locks and defending them. Ended up with our legs tied up in the last 10 seconds or so of the round.
After that I rolled with Thomas. He likes to guard pass by just pressuring down and walking to the head. Well that plays right into my favorite sweep so I had him mounted within the first 20 seconds or so of the round. He shoved right out of it of course and we battled back and forth, I almost caught him with a triangle, and almost caught him with an armbar, but he is incredibly strong so I was never able to do more than get to the lock before he escaped it. Once he got to half guard I curled up and let him go for the Darce so I could work Old School, swept him a couple of times and got Side Control. I spent a lot of time fighting off Americana's from half guard and he finally subbed me with a partial RNC, he actually had to turn my head far enough to press my mouth into his shoulder and cut off my breathing.
So positionally I'm still doin pretty good. I just want to be stronger. On that front HCG is expanding, taking over the entire building and putting in some more weightlifting equipment. Even with the extra lifting stuff it should almost double the mat space. My plan is to go down there early on Tuesday and Thursday to lift in addition to going to class.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally updating

I've been slacking on this blog since I started work on We went to NAGA again and Johnny moved up to the Intermediate division, he took 3rd, finally got beat by someone. Guy was essentially Johnny in another year. Hugely strong, big wrestling background, way more BJJ experience. So that gave him some stuff to work on. He finally got a job, so once he gets settled in there we're gonna see if his schedule will work to get him up to HCG somehow. Ronnie was in a HUGE novice division and took 3rd, got beat on points by a guy who was gigantic. But he wonhis other 3 matches all by sub. So we were happy. I got kneebarred in the first round of my division by the guy who took 1st.
My shoulder is 100% better now and I've managed to get to class twice a week for the last few weeks and I think I'll be able to keep it up. I'm still screwing around with different workout things. I've started running again (which I hate) and started getting back to my lifting. My roommate moves out in 2 months and I'll have a weightroom with a decent bench and everything. That might help with my lifting progress.

On the BJJ front we just wrapped up a month of 10th Planet style Half-Guard work using the lockdown. I was pretty comfortable with this since one of the first things I got when I started BJJ was Eddie's Jiujitsu Unleased book, and then the Mastering the Rubber Guard book. So I was pretty familiar with the idea behind all of this stuff anyways. I still have two big problems working in halfguard, the first is when I'm just not strong enough to get the whip up and end up just trying to worm my way down and make something work. The second is when I go for the Old School and immediately get Darce'd. I know why it happens, I just need to practice it more. If I can make it up to dogfight I do just fine though.
I've started playing Z-Guard all the time because I got tired of having my knees gouged by peoples elbows. I really just have two sweeps from there and know nothing else right now. Been looking for videos or books or something to get an idea of what other options I have . More and more frequently I find myself getting guys like Ralph and Patrick into places where if I had the strength I could sub them, either I need to find ways to get my whole body involved without exhausting myself or I just need to get stronger. Probably some of both.

I've been nailing the basic hipbump sweep all over the place and have managed to hit a couple of armbars from mount, but only on guys who are less experienced than I am.

I need to figure to figure out a way to stop Patrick from escaping my triangles by stepping over my face and falling down. I get stuck stretched out and can't bring any pressure to bear on him.

My guard passing has gotten better, mostly by virtue of me baiting armbars/triangles and then slipping out of them. Dangerous, but easier than fighting against people trying to crush me with their legs.

The better my techinque gets, the smoother my transitions get, and the more often I end up with superior position on people the more frustrated I get with my inability to finish people. I just need to be stronger.