Thursday, December 24, 2009

Shin-in-Throat Armbar *UPDATED*

I promised awesomeness regarding this technique tonight, but it will be delayed. I shall include pics and/or video as recompense for my lateness.


Ok, so I previously talked about this technique over on Bullshido trying to determine whether it was a viable technique or just something that was working on total noobs. Wednesday night I pretty much answered that question by tapping our senior blue belt who outweighs me by 70ish lbs with it. He was unable to pressure up against it because of my shin pushing on this throat, was unable to push my leg off of his head because it was secured on his neck, and was unable to pry my foot off with his other arm because my other leg was able to push against his elbow. Pushing with my shin allowed me to force him to release his defensive grip on the armbar to try to relieve the pressure on his throat, which allowed me to isolate the arm and finish the armbar.

I included this technique on my recent mindmap as an attack from mount and from guard. I was asked if it should be linked to the Omoplata because it is applied from an Omoplata setup. The answer to that is that it CAN be linked to the omoplata, but I rarely hit it from there. I most often hit this technique from guard only if my opponent postures up while I have their arm and am trying for a traditional armbar.
More commonly I hit this from the top. I go to the traditional armbar and then immediately rotate my hips and wedge my shin into the throat. I find it gives me more control and allows me to put more pressure on large opponents that normally are able to resist my armbar attempts via brute strength.
The pressure you can put on the throat is enough to cause SERIOUS discomfort because the shin is driving UP towards the top of their head as well as down towards the floor. The pressure ends up being applied to the area of the throat JUST under the jaw, if you press against that with your hand a little you'll see why it's so effective.
I've had a couple of people try to defend by reaching up and grabbing my foot to peel it off their neck. To stop that I use my other foot and stick it in their elbow and push away. This also keeps them from turning up into me to try to hide their elbow and escape.
If your opponent is strong enough they may still be able to sit up, if that happens don't worry. Just keep your leg extended and apply pressure on the arm across your thigh for the tap.
A note of caution, your leg is assisting this technique, so it applies more pressure than just pulling with your arms. People are likely to tap before you think they should.

This technique is great if you are a smaller, weaker guy who has a hard time breaking the hulk smash grip of your larger opponents when they are defending the armbar. If you are generally able to get to the armbar position, but can't finish it before your opponent escapes this is for you.
Step 1. Get to your basic armbar position from mount so that you are on top. I hit this from scrambles a lot when people stiff arm me to keep me from passing.
Step 2. Scoop your opponents arm with your arm that is closest to their feet.
Step 3. Turn slightly up on your side facing the opponents head and post up on your elbow.
Step 4. Rotate your foot so that your toes are pointing at your opponents ear. The closer to that exact angle you can get, the better.
Step 5. Open your hips and push your shin into your opponents throat.
Step 6. Start your grip breaking. Put your other foot on your opponents elbow or bicept and push, you should be able to angle the push so that it puts more pressure on your opponents throat. If this fails go to step 6a.
Step 6a. If you can't break the opponents grip and they haven't released it to attempt to defend the throat yet then take the flat of your foot and place it on the heel of the leg that is pressing against their throat. PUSH DOWN. This might tap your opponent here, but it will definitely make them release their arm.
Step 7. Now that the grip is broken use your other arm to hook their arm at the wrist and place your other leg against their elbow to keep them from regaining their defensive grip. Slowly work the arm straight against your bottom thigh.
Step 8. Remove your foot from their elbow/bicep and place it on the ground near their armpit. Use it to arch your hips up off the ground while you push the arm down for the tap. Alternately now that you have the arm extended you can switch to a more traditional armbar position for the finish.

Now, if you find that for whatever reason you just CAN NOT make them let go, no matter how much you mess with their throat you can scoop their elbow with your other arm, the one near their legs, and post up onto your hand. Work your way up to the mounted Gogoplata position and finish from there. I've yet to find anyone I couldn't get to release their grip with the shin in throat method though.

Illustrative pictures will be posted when I can get some taken.

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Am Awesome

Last nights class we warmed up and then I ran the stretching for the class, flashbacks to TKD there. After that Casey showed a couple of solid halfguard passes. The one I always use and one other that I like, but am not as good at.
The first on is the standard one where you walk your foot up to their but, pop their leg off of your knee and push through to mount.
The second one is if they get the underhook and you can't re-pummel. You switch to a headlock grip and then back step over them, use your hand to block their hip to keep them from following you over, and then shrimp your hips away and take side control. I found that this one, which I don't use that much, flows very well into the Von Flue choke, so I've resolved to try to use it more.
We then did a third one which is favored by one of our senior blue belts, Coe, which involves jaw crushing and hip switching to push your knee through and take side control.

After that we did some halfguard rolling, top guy has to pass or sub, bottom guy has to sweep, reguard, or sub.
My friend Will who just recently started there did pretty well, he managed to reguard a few times against me, and was very difficult to sweep. His balance and weight management have gotten really good in just the last couple of weeks.
After that we rolled, Casey paired us up. I rolled with JC first and played catch and release for the most part, just being relaxed and casual about it.
After that I rolled with Brian who is a super athletic guy from the MT class whom I generally can control, but have trouble submitting. I've solved that problem and subbed him with my shin-in-throat armbar and with a kimura which I grabbed from long range halfguard and used to sweep him over, took head-mount, and finished. I was quite proud of that one.
Next I rolled with Coe who has been my nemesis since I started doing Gi. We battled back and forth a bit and I threw the saddle on him and got his base disrupted and had him stretched out good. He tried to hide his foot from me and I grabbed it and hit him with a toe hold for the tap.
He then crushified me with his mighty girth and choked me with something a couple of times before I managed to get him in the saddle again and went for outside heel hook, he moved his leg I went for the straight footlock, he moved his leg again and I got the inside heel hook for the tap.

I'm psyched about that as I have been totally unable to catch him or finish him in anything really. I have to give props to Zapruder for introducing me to the saddle and helping me add it to my game. It really gives me a ton of options from guard when I just can't get past the legs.

Finally I rolled with Judo for a bonus round and tapped him a few times, he managed to snatch a guillotine on me and catch me in guard before I could get around it, giving him the tap on that one. He's really explosive all of the time, half the time he just tries to jump into mount on me and I snatch halfguard and work from there. He also has great posture and good pressure. He's fun to work with.

I'm feeling great about my technique going into NAGA, my no-gi game is stronger than ever now and my Gi game is progressing rapidly. My bench press is back to 117 and I'll be trying for 123 tonight. Overhead press is at 87 and I'll be back to trying 93 on Thursday. Squats and deadlift are at 153 and I'm happy with that for the moment.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Refining My Game

Weightlifting is going pretty well, did 113 again on the bench Saturday because I was out late watching the fights and was already tired. Went ahead with 153 on the squats though and they felt good.
Jiujitsu last night we worked on takedowns, which I hate. I got one decent body lock takedown and got taken down a bunch of times. The guy who kept taking me down I ended up getting one time via trickery. I threw out a sloppy single leg, let him sprawl on me and grab a body lock, then I sat out and took his back for the "Takedown". Yeah, I know, Lame.

After that we played with star sweep variations which I like, had some fun with that. Then we rolled. I didn't realize it until much later, but I was really casual the entire class and still no one came close to putting me in danger. I also noticed that I'm constantly attacking. I rarely get defensive. Even when I'm defending a position I'm looking for a way to attack, I think that mentality helps me a lot.
I've also stopped my technique acquisition phase. I found myself thinking, "I need something new and esoteric to play with!" and then I thought about that statement for a minute and realized I was falling into the "BJJ is my Pokemon" trap discussed on Bullshido previously. I have plenty of techniques, usually 3-5 options from any giving position, and I need to be refining them. I've already been working to refine my guard passing and improve it, so now I'm approaching the rest of my game with the same kind of attitude. I plan on using the same handful of techniques over and over and over for the next few months to try to be unstoppable with those few techniques. I feel like that will be a better use of my time than learning new ways to setup the Gogoplata.

One place I'm still having trouble is avoiding the Kimura when I'm on halfguard bottom vs one particular guy. I experimented with a flexibility based escape, but found that I couldn't hook my leg up properly unless I could get my other hand out from under his body to work. I think I just need to change my halfguard style against him and stop going for underhooks. We'll see how that works out.

Oh, and because I want to make this a somewhat more technical blog:

Star Sweep and Variations:

When someone stands up in your guard the normal sweep is to brace on your shoulders, underhook both legs, break your guard, bring your knees together and push with your legs. Resulting your opponent falling over and you riding the momentum up to mount.
Well if your opponent stands up with one foot back, preventing you from hooking both legs you can switch to the Star Sweep. Underhook the nearest leg, put your other hand flat on the mat near your head, palm down, finger tips pointed down towards your shoulder (Like you are going to do a hand stand). Now push your hips up and load your weight onto your opponents leg/knee, causing them to lose their balance and fall. Again you ride their momentum up to mount.
If for some reason they aren't falling with your weight on their knee you continue the spin by kicking off with the leg opposite your opponents trapped leg and dropping into the turtle with their leg trapped under your arm. Now drive your weight back to put pressure on their knee and bring them to the ground, or stand up with the leg and do a single leg takedown.
KEEP THE LEG while you move to side control and establish your position.

Weight lifting again tonight, Jits on Wednesday.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Back to weightlifting and conditioning

Last night was my second night back lifting, I lost a little bit of progress but not too much. I had to drop my bench press back down to 113 and my overhead to 83. My squats and deadlift were already well under my previous lifts so I was able to continue increasing them. The squats are actually starting to feel heavy at 147.5. If I can avoid injury and everything goes pretty steadily I'll hit my body weight on the benchpress for 5x5 sometime in february, just in time for NAGA.

Speaking of NAGA we started conditioning at the end of class to prep for NAGA last week. Starting out with just 5 minutes of P90X style conditioning and gradually increasing to a 15 minute workout. I always try to get someone to roll with me for 5 minutes after the conditioning so I get a chance to try to work completely exhausted. Worked out well for me, went 5 minutes with the Judo guy that recently joined us and did quite well despite the total and complete exhaustion I felt. It was great.

My most recent technique issue has been getting out of/away from kimuras from halfguard and side control. Mostly halfguard since I can usually snag a leg and rarely end up in side. The guy doing it to me is hugely stronger than I am, so I've been working on finding something to counteract that. My most recent thought is to use my flexibility to counter his strength by kicking my outside leg up through his top arm, putting my shin in the crook of his elbow and using that to break the grip and turn it into a bicep slicer. I'll get my first chance to try that out tonight and we'll see how it goes.

Other than that I'm doin great, the Saddle has become a staple technique for me used as a sweep to get on top, used for setting up subs, and used to help me pass guard. It hasn't taken over my entire game, it's just become a very useful tool that integrates well in the rest of my style.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Heel Hooks and Gogoplatas and Von Flue Chokes, Oh My!

So I couldn't find my NAGA shorts for No-Gi night so I grabbed my competition Gi pants (The highly recognizable blue ones from all of my videos) which meant to keep my mental association consistent I had a "No Mercy" night and instead of letting people work on stuff and being all nice and whatnot I warned everyone and then went on a rampage.
The result was a bunch of heelhooks and gogoplatas alongside the normal complement of triangles and straight armbars and a solid Von Flue choke. All against guys 30-40lbs heavier than I am. It was hilariously brutal.
To add something slightly more technical to my blog I'm working on a takedown that is flashy and workable. Step one is to pull flying guard without breaking your opponent down so that they stay standing and you end up with your legs around them. Then you drop backwards and underhook a leg, brace your other arm on the ground release your legs and kick around so that you end up turtled next to your opponent with their leg secure uner your arm. Now stand up with the single leg and finish the takedown. I'll be practicing it Wednesday and might have video of it depending on how things go.

Progress has been excellent for me almost everywhere. My only real issue comes from guys who are 30+ lbs heavier than I am with similar experience levels. Which is reasonable.
Restarting Stronglifts 5x5 AGAIN tonight using 85lbs on the bench, sticking with 140 on the squats. Started conditioning for NAGA already, that gives me almost 3 full months to get ready for my first tournament as a blue belt. The goal is still to go undefeated. I'll see how that works out for me.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Cobrinha is awesome.

So I picked up a copy of Cobrinha's DVDs a few days ago, and while 90% of the material is a bit beyond me right now the first DVD has some great stuff from full guard w/ the overhook that fits right in with my regular game as well as having some great butterfly stuff that works for me. I'm still watching it over and over trying to get a solid mental framework so I can practice working some of the techniques.
Class is going well, Operation Blue Belt is still a success, I'm getting tapped by Casey, Johnny, Coe and Kyle, not really anyone else coming close. I've got to get through the damn holiday season and then really crank down on my cardio to get ready for NAGA in February. I also have to get my weight lifting routine back because it has completely gone to shit. I think I'll have to just start at 87lbs again and work my way up from there. I also need to add protein powder to my chocolate milk and eat more. I really want to be back up close to 150 so I can cut to 139 again. I felt really strong last time I did that and I think it helped.

I've been improving my guard passing and working on keeping pressure on people. I've been using the Von Flue choke from side control as a means of control, putting a lot of pressure on people to hold them down. It's helped me think more about staying super heavy on everyone. Other than that still working on sweeps and passes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thoughts aAbout Levers

This post is going to be a bit rambling as I try to capture some thoughts I've had recently, so bear with me.

I was talking to some new guys at class and trying to think of things that were kind of over arching concepts they should keep in mind during class. It got me thinking about simple machines, levers, wheels, screws, that kind of thing. The lever gets a lot of credit in jiujitsu, but the wheel and the screw are big players as well as far as motion goes. As an example my strategy when dealing with very large people is to act as a wheel, or more specifically a marble. I make myself into a tight ball under them and roll myself around until I can pop out from under them. Screws make an appearance in many grip breaking techs and in finishing of subs like ankle locks and even the kimura. Thinking about simple machines when you are looking at your technique is a good way to get inside the fundamental mechanics of the move.

Concentrating on simple things like maintaining shoulder pressure and using my entire body to move people has really started to make a lot of things work for me that didn't before. My guard passing is getting better every time as are my sweeps.
I still feel a little weak with the subs sometimes though. I can get to the triangle or the armbar almost at will on some people, and just can't finish it. I'm not as frustrated about that as I used to be and am comfortable just bailing to a different sub or moving to a sweep continuously until I hit something. That means I'm spending a lot of time out positioning the bigger guys and not so much time finishing them.

Most importantly I feel like a lot of things are becoming natural and instinctive for me, like keeping pressure on when I'm passing guard and scooping up the legs for the under pass when the opportunity is there. Everything just seems to be fitting together really nicely and for once my ability to perform is outstripping my ability to explain. Usually I think through whatever I'm doing step by step as I do it and can easily break it down for other people. But several times tonight I just did something and had no idea how really. I just did it because it was "Right".
I want more of that.

I'm also holding off the wrestlers a hell of a lot better now than I used to. My open guard is... well... like I alluded to previously you need Elephants to get past my guard..

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lifting Restart and Operation Blue Belt

So after recovering from shoulder, back, and knee injuries (All minor, but annoying when combined) I restarted lifting a couple of days ago.
My bench press I dropped down to 107 5x5 again, and did a set of 5x5 squats w/ 107. Tonight I did 2 sets of 5 w/ 107 on the squats, then kicked it up to 143 for the next 3x5. So I'll be doing 5x5 w/ 143 lbs ATG, which is my bodyweight. So not too shabby. Overhead press I dropped back to 87.5 3x3 to rebuild. Deadlift I bumped up to 143 as well. I think I can still make bodyweight benchpress by the end of december, but we'll see.

Operation Blue Belt is going well. Still haven't been tapped by any of the whitebelts except Vinni, who doesn't count because he should have been a blue long since. And I'm stalemating or beating most of the other Blues. My tournament schedule for next year is gonna be awesome with 3 NAGA events, the Miami Open, and at least 2 Lutadore events. I'm looking to bring home a lot of gold medals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Operation Blue Belt, Day 1

So I'm officially an Alliance Blue Belt now under Jacare.
The test went pretty smoothly, we attended the normal saturday class at Alliance, worked a slick open guard pass, did some open guard rolling drills where I swept a black belt much to my satisfaction but got totally ownaged by most of the blues and purples. After that I got to roll with one of the other blue belts whom I ran a clinic on. He seemed really nervous or dehydrated or something though, his hands were really shakey...
After that the folk who were testing were pulled aside and Jacare ran the heavier guys through their techniques while Cobrinha (Who is awesome and very friendly) ran us lighter guys through our stuff. We just went down the list demonstrating the techniques on each other. I got a couple of "very nice" compliments from Cobrinha and it was all a lot easier than I thought it would be. I didn't blank on anything and ended up with a Blue Belt. Hurray!

That was Saturday, today was my first class as a blue and it was No Gi, so I didn't get to wear it. But with that in mind my goal is not to let any white belts tap me for a while. That doesn't mean being stupid and refusing to tap when some white belt as an armbar fully extended. It means I'm going to roll calm and careful and not get into positions like that. I did a good job of that today making even Casey work to get past my guard and sub me. I even managed to pass his guard once.
Rolled with Vinni as well who should have tested with us for blue and can legitimately be called a blue belt. He's also one of our Ammy fighters. I climbed all over him with sub attempts, and swept him a couple of times. I felt really good about the roll with him as well.

I also rolled a with a new kid who is here for like his second day I think... I ran a clinic on him just to demonstrate how cool JiuJitsu is, then taught him how to properly open guard and told him to work exclusively on that for a while.

It was a good day.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


So I haven't updated because of a combination of work business, shoulder and knee injury, and working on getting ready for my upcoming Blue Belt test.

Haven't done any weight lifting in a couple of weeks and had to skip a couple of BJJ classes because of some shoulder and knee injuries. They are cleared up and tonight we are reviewing everything we'll need for the guys testing for blue this saturday.
If possible I will video my test and put it up here for folks to check out.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fun With Leglocks

Armed with my newfound Leglock knowledge I've been playing with The Saddle and heelhooks and kneebars along with my more open and sweep heavy guard. Wednesday night I got a chance to try my game out against our resident hyper flexible leglock specialist.
But first, we did some spider guard work and a takedown which was a staple from my TKD days, but is illegal in every grappling tournament of been to. The flying scissor takedown. I had a blast with it for a while, then we moved into drilling starting with sleeve grips and either feet on hips or feet on biceps. I started with feet on hips pretty much every time so I could start playing my normal open guard game. There was much sweeping and the occasional sub. I had fun. Anthony managed to wriggle out and escape from me a couple of times and I think he managed to get past my guard once, not sure on that one.
After that we got to roll, I did a 7ish minute round with one of the newer guys and worked him over a bit, tried to let him work some stuff. Then I got a 10 minute round with Mark our resident leg lock addict. With my newfound outlook on leglocks and how to use my feet and protect them as well as how to attack my opponent we spent nine minutes and about thirty seconds going back and forth. I swept him a bunch of times and out positioned him. He kept going for heel hooks, knee bars, etc... but I was able to defend them all fairly easily. Then with about 30 seconds left to go I set up the Saddle, caught him in it, and heel hooked him.

I'm loving the way my new game feels and flows. Props to Zapruder for this step in my development.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rolling Kneebars, I has them

Sunday night we worked on stuff from the turtle, both attacking and defending. First was working on the fatboy roll, which I love and use all the time. The second was an armbar counter to the fatboy attempt, which I hated, the third was a rolling kneebar when your opponent is beside you with the harness. At first I thought the kneebar was a little gimmicky, then I reflexively hit it rolling and it worked great. So now I've added it into my arsenal. I also hit a pair of Kimura's from the turtle, which was just silly, but I was happy with them.
I think I'll have no problem with my blue belt test now. Weight lifting is going well, I need to keep hitting the conditioning that Coe is doing after the regular class. I skipped out on it Sunday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tryin to Catch the Blues

So post NAGA I'm concentrating on the stuff it will take to get my Blue belt in October. To that end I have abandoned closed guard entirely in favor of a sweep heavy open guard game. It was working out ok for me except against Ian who just completely wrecks my game. Something about the combination of his style and athleticism shuts down my normal methods and I have yet to come up with a way to handle him that doesn't involve me going full out 100% intensity. And even that just evens us up. So I have resolved to roll with him at every opportunity in order to sharpen my game up.
Other than that I feel solid about testing for blue in October and fairly confident that after a year at Blue I'll be ready to make a run at my Purple belt.

Monday, September 14, 2009

NAGA Georgia, Sept 2009 - The Aftermath

Videos are now up from NAGA the links are below:
No-Gi Match 1:
No-Gi Match 2:
No-Gi Match 3:

Gi Match 1:
Gi Match 2:

Before this tournament I had a record of 8 wins and 8 losses. With 3 wins in this tournament and only 2 losses I move to 11/10, YAY! I have a winning record now! Hopefully I will continue to grow that W column in the next few events.
Highlight of the day was my Gogoplata victory in my third No-Gi match. I even got some props from the tournament director for that one.
Now back into training to get ready for my blue Belt test next month. Weight lifting starts back up tonight and now I can EEEAAAATT again! This was the first tournament I have cut weight for, I dropped from 147 to 139.5 over the course of 7 days. A fairly gradual cut, but I'm not used to not being able to eat everything within my reach, so I was a little grumpy. Now I'll be trying to hit 155 via weightlifting before May next year which is the next NAGA event I'll be attending.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pilgrim's Progress

So, I'm rejoicing for two reasons, first is that I got my first legit tap on a blue belt last friday. A new blue belt from San Diego started up with us and I got to roll with him some. I caught him with a kick over armbar from omoplata attempt in Gi. He triangled me in No-Gi after FLINGING my omoplata attempt off. I had expected him to posture and toss me a bit and was ready to hit a triangle myself, but he tossed me so far that I ended up with no way to recover. A quick scramble put me in his guard where he went for rubber guard, I carefully stacked him and then postured up when he broke back to full guard. He got a hand on my wrist and was exerting very steady pressure, I tried to pop it free and he snagged it down and caught the triangle. I felt like I was pretty much dead even with him, and he outweighs me about about 20lbs and is in incredible shape. Dude is a marine and he runs and bikes every day. Definitely in better shape than I am.
Second is that I passed my instructors guard legitimately. He went for a collar choke which I defended well and used the opportunity to get to side control. He wasn't going 100% (Black belt with 60lbs on me, he could just throw me off of him) but he wasn't letting me get it. So I feel really good about it.
I'm on rest week for NAGA now, light work, no grappling, watching videos to get me all keyed up. Videos from NAGA will be up Monday night.

Monday, August 31, 2009


So, Friday we started really getting ready for NAGA, did some gi choke work from side control, working on a baseball bat choke that combos well with the arm triangle I use. I was dehydrated and exhausted by the time class started due to work issues, but I remember doing about 1.5 hours of class, some drills, and some rolling, then 15 minutes of conditioning. Then I did a couple of bonus rounds, one Gi and one No-Gi.

I picked these guys because they are both in good shape, both skilled, and both guys that I usually have an edge over when we're both fresh. With me tired they really exposed some weaknesses I had. I also threw in a heelhook from the Saddle for Zapruder. All of us are competing at NAGA, so the more mat time we get the better.

Tonight was more of the same, but we did Guillotine and RNC escapes at the beginning of class. The guillotine escape involved armover the shoulder, then working to the side and kind of sweeping the opponents legs out from under them and taking side control. I had a thought "could I scoop him up WWE style and drop him in side control?" and the answers was a resoundingly awesome YES.
After that, some rolling. I rolled with the whitebelt who caught me with a kimura last time, I was in competition mode, so he got subbed a lot, mercilessly. After that I rolled with Courtney, threw her around and subbed her bunch. Then more conditioning, then I did a bonus round with Coe who CRUSHIFIED me and spent a large portion of the time working a guillotine on me which I finally had to tap to. A good night though, working my conditioning should pay off I hope.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Energy Legs!

In preperation for class today I took 2 aspirin and this thing called a Stress Tab. The stress tab has like 100mg of caffeine and a billion tons of B12 and B6 and stuff. The consequence was that I was PACKED FULL of energy the entire class. We did some side control escape drills to start off with, then I broke off to help the Noobs work on Americana and Kimuras, Both Jenn and Courtney caught on pretty quick to both of those, but the straight armbar we were doing was a little more complicated and they had a harder time with that.
For drilling we started under side control and had to escape while the guy on top had to sub. I starte with Ankor on top and eventually swept him and escaped, then I rolled with Coe, started out on top and held him there for a while before he finally go a hand in my armpit and a fistful of gi and stiff armed me over. After that I rolled with... asian dude whose name I can't remember, I started on the bottom and got a little too lazy, he got mount and americanad me.
After that we rolled, I started with Ankor in Gi and we did some back and forth, I was trying to be super aggressive and so gave up sacrificed some defense, we tapped each other a few times. After that I rolled w/ one of the new guys. I threw him around and subbed him a bunch, he was enjoying it. After that I did a round of No-Gi with Ankor, got the Crucifix Kimura a couple of times, a triangle from the back, a standard Kimura, and an armbar as I recall. He got me with a freakin body triangle from the back and I think a kimura, and possibly a straight armbar... A good roll for both of us.
Next up I rolled with Courtney for a few minutes and threw her around and subbed her a bunch, then the same with Chad.

All in all a good class and I still felt packed with energy afterwards, even now! I'm going to start taking those stress tab thing before class every time I think.... And for sure before NAGA.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Be my Butterfly

We played with butterfly guards and butterfly transitions to X-guard today and I got some practice lifting 250lb people up in the air, which I need. After that we did some drilling, I swept a bunch of folk including this one kid who is the kind of wrestler that clamps down on your head and just sits there right now. He locked down onto my head and wouldn't let go forever, eventually I managed to get enough space to omoplata sweep him and take side control.

After some butterfly drilling we rolled and the kid who called me out a week or so ago passed to side control and managed to americana me, which he was very happy with. I won't be letting that happen again. My goal tonight was to play with the crucifix and I got to do that quite a bit on a couple of people, I was able to transition to it and get the kimura, I had trouble with the hell strangle because I kept needing both arms on theirs to maintain the position, I think I'll want to transition to scooping the arm behind my "top" arm and hooking it there in the future. I tried to take the RNC from there once, but couldn't get the right leverage so I had to give it up. It worked pretty well as an option from the back for me though.

My final roll was against one of the college wrestlers in the class who is built like a 55 gallon drum full of bricks. It's like trying to grapple with a very acrobatic bowling ball. I was able to sweep him a couple of times though from half guard when he tried to darce/choke me. I was able to defend against his RNC and avoid several other subs, but he pretty much ran me over.

A good class, somehow I dropped 3.5 lbs in the last 2 days though, weighed in at 141.5 this morning. That means I should be able to cut to 139 for NAGA without any trouble.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Flying Sidekick

This is the video from my midterm for 2nd degree TKD blackbelt, I left TKD shortly after this was filmed. I'm breaking 2 boards with the flying sidekick and then 2 boards with an upset knifehand strike.

If you watch the video and pause it at the 15 second mark you can see that I should have had my non-kicking leg tucked up a little tighter. Also, the distance I ran was more for visual effect than out of necessity, I've done the same break with only 2-3 steps.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Competition Videos

I dug through all of my video links and have pulled them out in chronological order for anyone interested in checking them out:

First ever grappling match 2007

Later that year, NAGA

2008 NAGA

2008 Casca Grossa



Not all of my matches got video taped, my second match at that very first Casca Grossa was missed, I lost via armbar about 90 seconds in.
My First match at the 2008 NAGA was missed, which was very disappointed because I got A HUGE takedown at the beginning and just dominated the guy from start to finish.

I think those are the only two that have been missed. Other than that every single match in my competitive career to this point is recorded and on the internet for everyone to see.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My Guard, It Is Impassable, Unless You Have Elephants

I was on a roll again today, we worked on some attacks against the turtle using the clock choke, as well as counters to the clock choke. The primary counter was actually the "Fat Boy Roll" that I use from wrestling already, so that was good since I'm already good at that. Also learned how to properly apply the clock choke, whoot. Another Gi sub in my arsenal now.
After that we did some drills from turtle, hijinks ensued, then time to roll.
I started out rolling with a guy who was new to class, he was somewhere around 6 feet tall and maybe 180 lbs, and apparently had wrestled for a while. I have no idea how long. He was completely unable to pass my guard, but was very very active. He fought off a tight triangle for a while, constantly worked to get by my guard, but eventually was swept and mounted. I hung out in mount until time ran out since by then there were only 30 seconds or so left and I was tired.
After that I rolled with one of th guys whose name I constantly forget, he actually called me out this time which was fun. I arm-barred him, RNCed him, swept him a few times and generally had my way with him. He's learning though.
After that I rolled with another guy whose name I can never remember but who is another 190ish lb guy who is very strong and active. He was also unable to pass my guard and I eventually swept and mounted him also.
I practiced getting collar grips and breaking him down into my guard over and over and over again as well as working on holding him down. Next step will be to work on feeding the different collar chokes from there.

All in all, a good night, though my lack of sleep lat night hurt my endurance and left me too tired for a bonus round.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Ugh, ate a brick...

So I had a big bowl of spaghetti and meatballs friday before class, not the most brilliant idea.
Felt like I was grappling with a bowling ball in my gut.

We warmed up with takedowns and sprawls, then worked on guard passing and did guard passing drills, I did ok...

After that we rolled, I rolled with a very athletic 180ish pound guy who is VERY intense. Forces me to go 100% against him. I subbed him with a heel hook then held him in my guard for a while because I felt like crap.
After that I rolled with JC who is lanky and my same weight, but like 6'2". I damn near fell asleep while rolling with him and he ezekieled me.
After that I got a bit of a second wind and rolled with one of the much newer guys, swept and subbed him a bunch. Then rolled with one of our ammy MMA fighters for a while. Heel hooked him, and he returned the favor.
Finally I rolled with my resident blue belt nemesis, but by that point my left arm was numb and I was barely awake and he crushed me in dominant fashion.

All in all, not my best day at class. I shall strive to avoid consuming heavy meals right before class in the future.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

BJJ, It's like a Magic Trick

So the tips I got from Zapruder are continuing to pay off in a big way. Wednesday I pretty much ran a clinic on everyone under 180lbs in the gym. Sweeps were on point, subs were happening, finally hit a triangle in Gi. Even rolled with one of our Ammy fighters and passed his guard and stayed on top of him for most of the roll. Went for the "Saddle" heel hook and couldn't secure it and he ended up on top in halfguard, where we stalemated.
After that I did a No Gi bonus round with a kid that just started Jits but has been doing Muy Thai for a while. RNC and Triangle+Armbar for the win. I was never really in any danger of being subbed by anyone except for Ankhor who landed a super tight triangle that took me forever to fight out of. Eventually he was just too exhausted to keep it locked on and had to let go.
Over all I feel really good about my Jits and I think I have a shot at a solid performance against the blue belts at NAGA. If everything goes well I'll take 1st and feel ready to take a stab at Purple belt.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Noobs and Collar Chokes

So I brought a fleet of noobs (Well, 3 today, probably a couple more next Sunday) up to Casey's to join the crew. The roster included my fiance Jenn, our friend Chad, and our other friend Courtney. Now, Chad and Courtney represent completely opposite ends of the human spectrum, Chad is 270lbs, farmboy strong, monster huge dude. Courtney is 120 and built like a leprechaun, so we had a great time with that.
I paired up with Jenn to work collar chokes, kimura's, and arm triangles. Chad worked with the purple belt, Darnel, and courtney paired up with Falsto to work. Pretty basic stuff, Jenn caught on right away and enjoyed making my eyes bug way out with a couple of deep collar chokes.
After that I did some rolling with Jenn and Courtney having them start in my guard and work to pass and so on. After sweeping them a few times I showed them how to posture and break guard to pass. We worked on that for a bit then the two of them worked together. Courtney is a little spastic, and very energetic, Jenn is a lot more methodical. Both of them were catching on quick though.
While this was going on Chad had been fed to the lions on the other side of the class. He was working with Darnel which at least meant he got a lot of good advice.
After that we split up to roll, I rolled with Chad first which was a blast. I was able to apply all of the stuff that Zapruder and I had been talking about and kept him in the air and off balance the entire time. I swept him and subbed him about every 30 seconds for 7 minutes. Which he thought was awesome.
After that I called out Coe for the obligatory blue belt ass whipping. He was showing a little less mercy this time after I asked him if he scuffed his knuckles punching old ladies... I made him work for the pass and tossed off a few more remarks about a failed collar choke before he got a good grip and throttled me. I was briefly able to pass his guard, but before I could lock side down he got a hand in my armpit and pushed me off, I spun to his back but couldn't lock that in either before he dumped me back down and I had him in my guard again. A couple of times I had to tap to the CRUSHING WEIGHT of knee on ribs, but a fun time indeed!
Last I got a bonus round with Darnel. Up until tonight he had actually not subbed me rolling. First up he managed to get me with a goofy wristlock while I was defending the americana, it wasn't even the normal knuckles on the ground wristlock either. I think he got me with something else as well then I tried to 50/50 sweep him so I could get a heel hook. His base was just too good and he slowly crushed through my guard and armbarred me though.

Still feeling REALLY good about my skills now. I'm not having anywhere near the kind of problems with WEIGHT that I used to. Coe and Darnel are still destroying me, but not as much with weight as with superior skill in using that weight. The less experienced heavy guys are far less of a problem now.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A New Era

So it's been 6 months since my last update. A lot has happened in that time. For one thing the blog is going public again.

Early this year due to work scheduling issues and financial concerns I had to stop attending HCG. It sucked and I was out completely for almost two months. Luckily I found out in March that Casey Baynes from Alliance in Atlanta was sharing space with one of my old TKD schools and teaching Jits 3 days a week. The class times were a better fit for my work schedule and the classes were less expensive. It's mostly a Gi class, but that's fine. HCG is still the best MMA gym outside of Atlanta, and a good argument can be made that they are the best MMA gym in the state, but my focus has never really been on MMA so I was never using those resources to their full potential anyways.

So for the last 4 months I've been doing Jits with Casey and the guys there. I competed in the white belt Gi division at NAGA and got 2nd, I took 3rd in Intermediate No-Gi. I've been progressing nicely and now really feel like I'm ready for my blue belt test which should be coming up in October.
In september I'm going to compete at NAGA again, this time as a blue belt in Gi just to test the waters.

Most recently I've been working on collar chokes and balling up under huge guys trying to crush me and last night I had an epiphany. A bunch of stuff that Zapruder from bullshido had been telling me clicked together and I was able to keep a 220lb white belt suspended in the air for most of a 7 minute round. I really feel good about it and I'm confident I'll easily pass my blue belt test. After that I think I can wait a year and probably get my purple belt next summer.

Now that the blog is public again I'll try to post up some videos from class when I have them. I'm picking up a 4gb memory stick for the camera next month, which should let me record the entire class if I want to, but mostly I'll just be posting me rolling with various folks so I can get some comments on it.

Now time to clean the house, exercise the horses, and go for a trail ride.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Wrecking Machine!

So Friday at Open Mats I showed up early and got warmed up a bit, then grabbed a guy that I had last rolled with before christmas and rolled light to warm up. He's got MAYBE 6 months but is gorilla strong. I passed his guard and worked on him a bit, he regained guard, and I tried to bait the triangle to pass again, which had worked GREAT 2 months ago. Well, he's since learned how to lock it in and caught me. I fought it for about a minute but he was having none of that and cinched it in for the tap. I saw him hit 2 or 3 other people with the Triangle over the course of the evening, he's gotten pretty slick at it.
Other than that, I did not get tapped, I spent a total of maybe 2 minutes in an inferior position all night. And I finally started finishing people. STRONG people. I got 3 RNCs, an Arm Triangle (From guard no less), an Arm Bar, a Bicep Splicer, an Omoplata, and I think I got a triangle in somewhere, but can't remember.
Even the one guy I didn't finish I spent a lot of time in mount on. I certainly was positionally dominant. I mostly just glad that I'm starting to get the subs successfully.

After that I went down to meet the guys to workout and they had brought a ton of people to play with us. We had 7 other people there which was awesome. One of them was a 260lb guy who was rediculous strong that I subbed twice with a straight armbar that I've been calling the KoalaBar because you wrap your entire body around their arm and drive the blade of your forearm into their elbow and you're attacking the "wrong" side for a regular armbar. I've been working on it and hit someone with it at the last monday class, but it's still not 100% reliable for me.

Anyways, I'm awesome. I feel awesome about my Jits. I feel like I have a real chance at NAGA even though I'm moving to Intermediate.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A New year, time to update!

SO, my Jits goals for the year are to get my Blue Belt, which I hope isn't far away since I can hang with most of the other blues already, though just barely. And to place in the intermediate division at NAGA.
My weightlifting goals are to get my Deadlift up to 300. My bench press to 200, and my squats back to 400.

My guard passing has gotten way way way way better. A few things came together that really made the whole process click for me. Pinning the leg with my instep instead of my shin, keeping my upper body tight, getting the farside underhook... It all just kind of came into focus right before the end of last year and now I'm passing a lot more guards than I was before. My biggest problem remains opening the guard against the stronger guys, but that's getting better too.
My sweeps are pretty slick, the z-guard scissor sweep, the basic situp sweep, and my giftwrap sweep have been money for me still and are just getting better and better.
I've gotten better about not waiting for the EXACT PERFECT setup to try subs, which means I get reversed more often, but I'm also finishing people more. I had a couple of weeks of rampaging through people with a bicep splicer from guard before everyone caught on and started shutting it down. I'm a million times better at finishing arm bars than I was 3 months ago, the same for kimuras.
All in all my whole game is really solidifying. I just need to put in the time to keep improving. I've been hitting 2-3 times a week at HCG and my 2 hour friday gig almost every week. I just took a week and a half off because I'm switching back to polyphasic sleep (Which explains why I'm awake at 2:20am doing deadlifts on a Wednesday) and needed a few days to adjust.

I'm up to 144lbs now though, so actually gonna have to try to cut 5 lbs for NAGA.... Should be doable.

Gonna go see if I can hit a personal best on overhead press tonight too...