Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 BJJ Resolutions

So after successfully managing to get married and spending an awesome 10 days in Gatlinburg I'm ready to get back to work and jits. This being New Years Eve it's time to lay out my resolutions for the new year. My BJJ related resolutions are as follows:

1. Purple Belt: I want it. I think I'm close enough that a really dedicated 6-8 months will put me in position to get it by October/November.

2. X-Guard: I want to make this a more central part of my game.

3. Get my weightlifting back on track and push my PL total up to 900lbs.

Along the way I'd like to pick up some gold medals at NAGA or Lutador, and possibly some of the US Grappling comps.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BJJ Private w/ Zapruder

So the guy doing the ceremony for my wedding is Bullshido member Zapruder who also happens to be a Brown Belt. He's in town for the wedding and staying at my place, so last night we pulled out my mats and he gave me a short private with some really handy stuff in it. I'm going to try to get it down here before I forget it.

1. Gable Grip chokes: There are 3-4 really solid variations of the Darce/Anaconda and RNC that using a gable grip instead of the more traditional grip. The principal behind them all is generally the same, to change the pinch point of the choke from the crook of your elbow to the crook where your hands meet. It's important to squeeze your elbows towards each other to finish the choke and it seems to require a little more strength on the squeeze, but more than makes up for that by being stupidly hard to defend.

2. Halfguard pass counter: The most common halfguard pass I run into is the one where your opponent bases out and turns his back on you. Apparently to counter that all you need is good timing and a backwards roll. This will require more of a shift in my focus when on the bottom of halfguard than anything else since I'm usually trying to ball up and go for old school or deep halfguard.

3. Spinning upside down triangle choke setup... thingy: So when my opponent is passing my Z-guard with their arm through my legs to block them, if I spin upside down under them it catapults me around straight into a triangle choke. It's totally pimp and I definitely need to work it since it combos well with my z-guard stuff.

4. The Saddle: My directionality was wrong. I kept getting off to the side and using my free leg to disrupt balance. What I need to do is get directly squared up so that my knee is pointed straight up the center of my opponents body and use my hips to disrupt balance.

5. Kimura/Footlock gripping: By torquing my wrists down sort of like doing wrist curls it adds an entire other dimension of pressure on the submission and allows for better/stronger finishes. In order to improve my ability to do this I need to start doing some wrist curls or something just to help strengthen my wrists further.

6. Guard retention: This was one of those things that when I saw it I just went "DOH! Why haven't I been doing that?" I normally block guard passes with my bottom foot by putting it on my opponents hip. He steps the top foot over between and then feeds the bottom foot back through. Definitely something I like and need to work on.

While we were rolling I did manage to catch him with the overhead sweep that's been working on everyone, that was awesome. He let me pass his guard a bunch and work on trying to sub him. Of course, arms like steel cable and a grip like a vise so I couldn't free anything up to actually come close to a sub, but it was fun to work against someone else who is my height with that degree of skill. He only outweighs me by about 20lbs, so I really got to see the higher level technical side from someone very much my size and build.

Tonight he's coming along to Megalodon to do a leglock class for everyone so I'll get to see him work against our bigger purple belts and blues to see how he handles them as well.

Friday, December 10, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 12/9

The final session of the Grappling club for the semester. Ankhor wanted to work on finishing triangles, so we went over how to turn the corner, the various things you can grab onto to help turn the corner and keep your opponent down, and how to complete the sweep to mount if your opponent is defending well.

After that we just had a good time rolling. I played with a bunch of people and generally tried to work positionally and maintain my flow. I really feel like I need to go back and work on sweeps more. My attempt to concentrate on situp sweeps is helping some, but because people flat RUN from my closed guard it doesn't help as much as I'd like. I've been comboing it with the gift-wrap sweep, some half butterfly/elevator sweeps, and the kimura/kimura sweep, as well as the scissor sweep, but I feel like I need to sit down and just work through that group of sweeps a few dozen times and feel each one out a little more. I don't think I'm using them as efficiently as I should be.

Had a great flow roll with Antony at the end, just relaxed and flowing through positions. At one point I ended up with a triangle on him and he chose to try to defend by sitting down and trying to put his feet in my armpits, so I ended up finishing the most relaxed triangle ever, with my hands behind my head, just chillin, because that escape doesn't work all that well.
Sometime during the roll he snagged a Kimura on me and I ended up in halfguard trying to roll out and he ended up finishing me with one of the weirder kimura positions I've ended up in where I was half upside down with one leg trapped. Very fun roll and the kind I think I'm going to ask him to do more of with me since normally he doesn't like rolling with me that much because we roll together a TON and know each others tricks too well.

No more grappling club until... January some time I think. I'm looking forward to it.

JiuJitsu 12/8

We worked on some more omoplata stuff, unfortunately I barely remember the details at the moment. I remember it was a Triangle choke to Omoplata combo, but not much else. AH! Suddenly remembered. We were doing Z-Guard to Triangle Choke to Omoplata.

We rolled from Z-Guard and I did... stuff... the whole thing is a hair fuzzy. Once we started rolling from neutral I was in a group with Ian, the big ex-wrestler guy, and Will. Ian was ready for most of my shenanigans this time and I think I only managed to get on top once. He wasn't standing up in my guard this time, so no monkey flips. I can feel how much he works to avoid using all of his strength against me, but sometimes I think he goes a little overboard on it and could combine technique and strength a little more. His technique has been getting cleaner since he started working on using less strength though, so as long as it's helping him I don't mind if he's holding back a little more than absolutely necessary.
Big wrestler guy has stupidly good base, I finally swept him and choked him with my single collar choke.
Will also has excellent base and it took me a while to get that single collar grip on him as well and get the sweep. He held out until the bitter end though and since I only had my finger tips in the grip he was able to resist it until time ran out.
We did a couple of back and forth rounds within that group and nothing particularly notable happened.
Afterwards I grabbed Kris to roll since he's one of the lighter guys and learned that I can no longer bait the triangle against him in order to work on crazy passes. Tried to pull off a sort of spinning "hurricane" guard pass and wasn't able to get my hips around before he locked in the triangle. He didn't have it exactly perfect, but he's got some insane squeeze strength and was able to finish it eventually. That moves him from the category of "experiment with whatever stupid shit you want" into "Work your A game".

An excellent class though. I'm slowly starting to form some kind of concept in the back of my brain that I can't quite describe yet relating to my opponents pressure and how I would like to feel when I'm on the bottom. I think there's something useful brewing back there, but I don't know what it is yet. For the moment I've plateaued and am just putting in reps until the next breakthrough.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gameplan Update for Dec 2010

As the end of the year draws nigh I find myself looking back at how my game has developed over the last 12 months. My first year as a blue belt drew to a close last month and feel that I've developed very well over that time. I've gone from what was, in reality, a game based on around hail-mary triangle chokes and lucky sweeps to one that has a myriad of paths to top control and a wide variety of submissions from each position to attack with. I feel like my Gi control is still lacking though. I'm not much for tying people up with the gi and I probably should be doing more of that. Anyways, aside from that I feel like it's time to lay out my Game as it stands right now.

Destinations: Kimura (Gi and No-Gi), Single Collar Choke (Gi), Triangle Choke (No-Gi)

Kimura - This is really my catchall now. I go work on settings this grip up from wherever I can get it and I've used it sweep, finish, and combo with other attacks like the Omoplata. I prefer to go for it from the top in either Technical Mount or headmount.

Single Collar choke - This choke is still about the only Gi specific submission that I use. However I use a half dozen or so variations of it. If at any point I can get this grip I can at the very least sweep and usually finish from whatever position I'm in. I also use it against the super large guys in order to get top position since hooking it and rolling under them always lands me on top.

Triangle Choke - This is still my bread and butter in No-Gi. I hit it from pretty much wherever I want and finish it most of the time, even when my knee is stacked all the way to my forehead. I'm still working on tuning it in Gi though. The additional grips and friction give me a lot more trouble locking it in and finishing it there than in No-Gi. I'm far more likely to combo off to the armbar in Gi. One of my next goals is to combo it with the single collar choke from above since I'm pretty sure I can make that work.


Takedowns - I'm all about pulling guard. I have a couple of decent throws, but it's so difficult to get people to engage that I generally end up just pulling guard to get things moving. I suppose I should be more aggressive looking for a takedown to a dominant position, but I'm going to have to get someone to drill with me more next year if I want to REALLY improve my takedowns. My primary guard pulling method is to get a collar and a sleeve grip and then attempt a suicide throw, if it works I end up in mount. If it fails I have guard with a decent set of grips.

Sweeps - I like to get the sleeve grip, try a scissor sweep, then if they manage to block it or post to quickly roll to the other side and push the arm across while pulling down on the collar and hipping out to the side. That gets me halfway to their back and usually gives me the single collar grip, the giftwrap grip, or their back depending on how they react. If that fails I generally move to an elevator sweep with a single butterfly hook. If that fails as well I fall back to spider guard -> leg hook -> bicep slicer sweep. I've become less enamored of that sweep recently since all of the guys in the gym know it and immediately posture up really hard against it, however I'm continuing to work it to look for things to chain together with it when they posture up like that. If that one fails is generally time to regain guard and start over again and throw a flower sweep and some triangle attempts into the mix.

Top Game - I've gone from feeling completely bewildered with KoB to using it as my primary attack vector. I like to get to Knee on Belly, then fish for an arm and transition to headmount and work the Kimura, or slide over to mount and then switch to technical mount and work for that same grip. At the same time I'm always looking for my single collar choke grip and the armbar as well as an opportunity to setup a triangle choke on guys my weight. Against anyone bigger than I am I don't give up top position voluntarily and will continue to transition on top until something opens up.

I've spent the last couple of months working on sharpening up my situp sweeps and found that in No-Gi I can fire them off without a problem, but in Gi I tend to be pinned to the ground more often and more effectively and have to rely on my legs to break the stalemate. I'm not able to situp as often in a manner that lets me attempt the sweep. My armbar transitions and combos have improved greatly though and my combinations in general are far above what they were a year ago. My top control, base, and pressure have developed well also.

I think my focus is going to be more and more on combining techniques with the goal of the third technique in the chain succeeding. Hopefully by the time I have a series
of solid, working combinations I'll be up for my Purple Belt and ready to move on to figuring out what to do with the rest of my game. I definitely know enough techniques to have something effective from pretty much any position. I need to sharpen up my footlocks a bit, and work on developing more combinations and better flow. If I can really pour myself into that starting in January then I should have no trouble earning my purple by the end of next year.

JiuJitsu 12/3

Friday night class at Megalodon we worked on Omoplata variations which included a couple of different methods of finishing the Omo which I have every intention of working in to my normal omoplata game.
Two of them involved being perpendicular to your opponent instead of parallel. To finish you extend your legs and hook their arm at the tricep, or even just extend across the neck, and slide your hips back to put pressure on the shoulder. Worked quite well.
The third was a counter for when they try to roll, it's a relatively LATE roll that you are countering though, so I don't get a chance to use it very often since most people try to roll on me WAY early in the omo. To counter you roll forward with them while maintaining your grips and end up in a sort of crucifix position, then scoot your hips out away from them to finish.

We drilled from closed guard and I opted for the "Large" side of the room with a couple of 200lb blue belts and a ~250lb ex-wrestler, and one of our 220lb 1 year white belts.
Within that group my buddy Johnny is the most insane to roll with. He's huge, strong, fast, and skilled. If I do anything except just try to hold him in my closed guard he blasts right through it and subs me. So of course I threw everything but the kitchen sink at him. Every time I do that I get a little closer to finding something that will slow him down. The other big blue belt doesn't have the same kind of wrestling base, so despite being super strong and athletic I have a much easier time of controlling him and can fairly reliably sweep him and occasionally secure the submission. I found today that when he stands up in my guard his hips fairly reliably end up in position for the overhead sweeps that we worked on a couple of weeks ago. I hit him with it twice and it was a thing of beauty.
The 1 year white belt caught me napping when I tried to just waltz through his guard and I had to defend a triangle choke for about 45 seconds. He actually would have had me if he had kept the lock he had at the beginning which was in front of my shoulder and really tight, but he adjusted his legs and gave me space to defend, so I rode it out.
Gigantic wrestler guy took me a while to figure out, he has good top pressure, but doesn't protect his neck enough, so once I determined that it wouldn't get me crushed underneath him I grabbed the single collar and spun under for the sweep. He seemed surprised that he couldn't fling me off of him since he had just hurled the 220lb white belt around like a small child. Picked up a Kimura on him, and one of my kickover armbars. Fun times and it was nice to work against the big guys again.

I may have a more philosophical post a little later today about gameplan construction.

Friday, December 3, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 12/2

As my wedding approaches the days are starting to blur together. It's hard for me to remember what days I have class and what days I don't.

We had about 17 people show up for the club this time around, including three new ones. I started out with a quick review of the two basic mount escapes, the Upa escape and the knee-to-elbow escape. Then I paired them off and had them work the escapes back and forth starting with very little resistance and working up to full resistance, with an emphasis on combining the two escapes. After about thirty minutes of that I set up 5 "rings" and started king of the hill with mount escapes. One partner starting in mount and having to submit, the other person just having to escape or regain guard. I made sure to emphasize that the TOP person actually has the harder victory condition in this one, it being much more difficult to submit someone that it is to just regain guard most of the time.

I rotated in a few times for fun, then we did half an hour of rolling. One of the new guys has a couple of years of Judo/BJJ from Middle Georgia Judo and wanted to roll with leglocks in play. He went for an early heel hook but didn't even come close to having a grip on it. I threw on the saddle and heel hooked him, then heel hooked him again when he tried to pass my guard standing, then knee slicered him when he put on the body triangle while I was in his guard.

After that I played with some of the other guys, one big athletic guy just absolutely blew my grip while I was trying to control him. The most trauma I've felt in my hands in a while, even worse than when I'm playing spider guard all night.

Continuing my situp sweep work I started just diving for the kimura from guard, then when my opponent tucks his arm, I finish the situp sweep. Worked extremely well and I intend to employ it further in the future.

It was a good class and almost everyone is making decent progress. I'm still encouraging them to come join Megalodon if they are serious about jits though.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jiujitsu 11/28

No-Gi tonight. A lot of lightweights in the class tonight, Antony was back which is great. We worked more side control escapes, all pretty much related to the ones we worked for Gi on Friday.

We also did a lot of escape drilling, which I always enjoy. Then we worked on some Knee on Belly attacks. Spinning Armbar on the farside arm, a modified Kimura, and a straight armlock.

I spent the night working on my triangle chokes since I've been neglecting them in no-gi. Got them from all kinds of places. Comboed them well with other things including armbars and sweeps. I'm really feeling like my jiujitsu is smoothing out. I transition between defense and offense better and move among my various attacks with less hesitation.

Favorite combo of the night: Arm Drag -> Whose your daddy sweep -> Mounted triangle with the arm trapped for extra pressure.

General thoughts on the way my game is changing some. I now go for the single leg takedown even from knees or butterfly guard or whatever. If I get a chance to snag that leg and stand up to execute the takedown I will take it every time. It's starting to become a highly effective sweep for me when people post their knee up in combat base for me to just latch onto it and stand up. I switched to this after reading about Ryan Hall changing his game away from some of the crazier techniques and how the top level game was all about getting that single leg. I watched a bunch of videos and saw how Marcelo and other guys at the top would indeed grab that single leg and score over and over again from wherever they could get it. So I've been working to add that into my game and it's been helpful so far.

JiuJitsu 11/26

My car decided to crap itself on the 23rd which was just a huge pain all around, but I still made the friday class. Just Four of us, Casey, Coe, me and that same newer wrestler guy. We worked side control escapes including a couple of slick ones that I hadn't seen before.

I learned that Coe and Casey haven't gotten any lighter, but I'm not making as many mistakes against them now. I did manage to reverse Coe from side control which made me happy, and I put up a good fight against Casey, which is about all I can ask for.
My neck and right shoulder are both tweaked though after Coe kicked his leg up and managed to catch my face and peel me backwards off of side control, I felt it coming up and tried to duck forward and didn't quit make it, so super painful.

The new wrestler guy is still ignoring hip control in favor of trying to pin the shoulders, once he gets over that he'll improve a lot almost over night. His top control is already good and tight.

I'm making good progress with armbars from the top, and grabbing both armbars and triangles from more places now, but my situp sweep progression just isn't there. I just can't get most people into my closed guard long enough to try it in rolling. I'll keep working it though.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Jiujitsu 11/19

Relatively small class, Darnell, Me, a visitor from the Alliance school in ATL and a just a few other guys showed up. Darnell decided to show some helicopter techniques for fun, so we started with the monkey flip sweep from feet-on-hips spider guard, then a variation from closed guard, then helicopter armbars. Fun stuff.

So many of our guys are already so gun-shy about moving towards me in guard that I don't get a lot of opportunity to play with this kind of thing, I spend most of the time chasing them down to get some kind of grips.

Mostly I just had fun. Practiced the breakdance pass a few times, worked from the bottom a bunch, worked on my combos, and generally just chillaxed and enjoyed the game. It was a fun class. I might do a quick video on the breakdance pass tonight if I go to No-Gi.

Friday, November 19, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 11/18

Broke away from boring jiujitsu, but still got a lot of drilling in. I taught Scissor Sweep and the basic guard break and pass and had everyone get in 25 reps of each. Then I put everyone in groups of 3 for specific sparring from guard with the top guy just having to pass and the bottom guy just having to sweep to win. So that got everyone some live experience with the stuff we had just gone over.

We had a couple of new folks in the class, one who was a wrestler which was fun. Once he adjusts to the small differences between wrestling and Jits he'll be awesome.

I wasn't really rolling since my left arm is still a little gimpy, so I wanted to preserve it so I could make class today, so I just worked on some combos as per the Roy Dean purple belt DVD. I ran through Omoplata -> Gogplata -> Armbar, and Triangle -> Armbar -> Giftwrap/flower sweep, as well as Scissor sweep -> Triangle -> armbar -> flower sweep, and Scissor sweep -> kimura/kimura sweep. I'm getting smoother with my combos which makes me feel good, but I still have issues making the flow happen against guys with good top pressure sometimes. I tend to go into glacier mode and latch onto one limb and slowly work my way to a sweep or sub, which I guess is fine, but isn't as smooth and flowy as I'd like it to be.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

JiuJitsu 11/14 No-Gi

I made the No-Gi class for the first time in a while. Anthony is back from doing his play and was worried that he would be rusty, but he was only out a couple of weeks and hasn't lost a step.
Casey asked if anyone wanted to work on anything particular and I called out for the Situp Sweep. He made the point that you really have to distract your opponent with something before you can go for it since they have to be sitting back on their heels for it to succeed. Of course this meant that everyone in class was looking for the situp sweep to happen so they were all defending it. I don't think I got anywhere close to hitting it on anyone.
We drilled starting in closed guard and I was able to break the guard of everyone except Brian, guy just as insane legs and core strength. Even if he just hangs out and does nothing it's a bitch to get his guard open. I find myself baiting him and then passing when he goes for a sub. Eventually he's going to get good enough to catch me, especially if I keep doing it. I was able to sweep, submit, or pass on the under 180lb guys, but the bigger guys were generally shutting me down. No worries there since that's a black belt, a blue belt, a blue belt with 4 years of wrestling, and hyper athletic Brian. I'm still able to sweep Brian if I get tricky enough, and I can occasionally catch Ian in a sub if I get tricky with him, but Johnny is just too strong with too much pressure and too solid of a base for me to pull off anything other than a stalling game with him.

I'm honestly completely baffled as to why he doesn't dominate his division in competitions right now.

Overall I felt a little directionless rolling tonight. It was fun, and I was making stuff work, but I mostly was just falling back to my normal overhook game with a few new things bolted on. Which I guess is just fine in retrospect. I just want to sharpen that game up anyways, and having a solid butterfly game for when I just can't get closed guard makes it that much more dangerous.

I filmed most of the class today and will probably post some clips up after I've had a chance to watch it and chop it up. The files are enormous.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

JiuJitsu 9/10

I got to class a little earlier and put in about 20 reps of the situp sweep, just trying to get a feel for it. Something about the extra bulk of wearing the gi makes it feel really awkward. I need more reps.

Techniques today were butterfly guard -> Armdrag -> Take the back. Several different ways to set it up. All pretty much the same. It was good to get in reps with the armdrag.

Did some positional rolling starting from butterfly guard and spent my time sweeping folks and passing guard. Taught Katie how to pin the knees on one side or another and pass with the shoulder to the gut. She needs all the tricks she can get since she weighs like 100lbs.

After that I rolled with Brian and a visiting blue belt named Phil from Daniel Moraes academy in Jacksonville. He had a very solid style on top, very good at taking away any space that opened up. The first roll we were fairly even with me working several sweep attempts which he blocked and me eventually turtling and moving to halfguard where we stayed for a while. Second roll with him I used my fav tech for breaking people down and was able to launch a nice series of attacks which failed, and eventually ended us up in halfguard again until he had a sudden cramp and had to bail.
Rolling with Brian was normal. I'll sweep him if he gets too aggressive, then if I give him the slightest chance he'll explode and resweep me. He tapped me with a nice north south choke the first time. Then I tapped to Kesa because I got bored under it and couldn't get anywhere. Then we sat around for a while and talked techniques. My guard was compared favorably with Moraes' guard, not that mine is anywhere near as good, but that it is a similar style. A very fun class and nice that I was competitive against a 5 year blue belt from another school that outweighed me by 30lbs who came to play. Always feels nice to validate your training a little like that.

Also, Mad props to my Jennosaurus who made sure I went to class tonight. I've skipped a few recently to help her with nursing school stuff and because I've been SUPER busy at work, but she made sure I got on the mats tonight and that's just one of the many reasons that she's awesome and I'm marrying her in ~30 days.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 11/8

Tonight we started "Boring" Jiujitsu. The first few weeks I taught I would show 2-3 techniques, everyone would practice each technique ~10 times, then we would roll either starting from a specific position or just free rolling. This way everyone got introduced to the kinds of techniques they will eventually be able to use as well as getting to see how hard it is to apply those techniques against other people. This period also lets them get some of the SPAZZ out on each other and usually manages to convince them that if they want techniques to work that they will have to practice them.

Once I've got them hooked on the BJJ though, it's time to get serious. So tonight we went over the very first side control escape I showed them 6 weeks ago and I broke it down step by step, then we repped it 100 times each. We started with minimal resistance, just enough not to be a dead fish. Then every 10 reps we increased the resistance until the last 10 reps you were doing everything to prevent your opponent from escaping, including transitioning to other positions. Some folks were skeptical initially, but by the end of it everyone was very happy with how much they learned. I don't think most of them realized there could be that many details to something as simple as a side control escape. Honestly I could do like 30 hours worth of class time on nothing but side control escapes and still have only gotten started on what I know about them, much less what a black belt knows. I would love to have a month of side control escapes at Megalodon...

No rolling at all tonight. All drilling that escape. Boring JiuJitsu makes you good.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Jiujitsu 11/5: Good to be back!

So despite all the screw ups with the software upgrade I was working on tonight I made it to an hour of jiujitsu. I was rolling pretty hard today, a lot harder than I usually do, but I also noticed some things about my style which I need to fix pronto. I will list those first:
1. I have gotten into the habit of giving people grips on my gi pants as a way to lure them in since everyone runs away from my guard all of the time. This leads me too often to having to defend the pass before I can start attacking. BAD JIUJITSU! So I need to go back to starting in a good butterfly position and sticking to it. If my opponent wants to run away from me then I'll just have to chase them and get REALLY aggressive about it.

2. In no-gi I have gotten SLOPPY. I'm not breaking my opponents down and really fighting for my overhook control the way I should. I'm not going for the situp sweep as a combo to help me break people down. Definitely need to start putting in a little more no-gi time soon to keep me sharp.

3. My halfguard needs a tuneup. I used to be super dangerous from the bottom of half, now I seem to just stall out looking for the oldschool sweep and end up with people hanging on my neck. Gotta get aggro from the bottom of half again.

Now, on to what was awesome:
I hit a ton of armbars. Way more than I usually hit. I was willing to just throw my hips and legs up and see what happened a lot more tonight. As a result I hit something like 6 armbars, including a couple of triangle to armbar transitions.
My situp sweep attempts kept turning into Kimura sweeps though. I need to tune that up a little, gotta get someone to drill with me one day.

I hit a choke I've been looking at for a while but never really found the right place to try. It's a Cobra choke, which works thusly:

I have my grip on the opposite collar and I'm looking to set up my collar choke, my opponent manages to back away and goes for the double underhook pass. I defend the pass by spreading my knees open and digging my feet in under his thighs. I then put my free arm across the back of his neck and snack my hand under my arm that has the collar grip. Then I point the fingers of my non gripping hand at the ceiling and just.... make it tight. I hit that 2-3 times and it was awesome since I've been blocking that guard pass and not having any options. Now I have a great option.

I also hit a kimuraplata. This is a SLICK move for you little folks who find that people get a death grip on their clothes when you go for a kimura from guard, and those same people roll forward when you go for an omoplata.

Step 1: Get your kimura grip from guard and spin 90 degrees to put the kimura pressure on. Your opponent doesn't grab onto something, finish them. If they grab something then go to step 2.

Step 2: Keep your Kimura grip and continue rotating until you are in the omoplata position with the kimura grip. Begin to sit up like you are going to finish the omoplata, but keep the kimura grip. What this does is hook your leg around your opponents elbow and bend their elbow towards the front of their body while you have their wrist locked in place. So instead of moving the wrist to create the pressure on the shoulder you are moving the elbow to create pressure on the shoulder. It works a treat and is super sneaky.

I think this was one of my most productive classes in a while. I actually was able to pinpoint some specific weaknesses to work on, which is nice.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 11/2

I did the last lesson in my "Beginners BJJ Curriculum" today. Normally I would have spent an entire month on each of the things I taught instead of a single class, but the idea is to keep the class fast paced and give people a taste of everything BJJ has to offer to keep them interested first. NOW I'll go back to the beginning and make them drill it over and over and over again.

We had a couple of new people, a couple of gigantic guys, one reasonable sized guy and a girl. Gave them a quick introduction to shrimping, up, and sitouts.

Techniques were attacks from guard. I leave submissions from guard until the end because I want to keep the emphasis on position and obtaining superior position instead of having everyone throwing up wild triangles at each other from the bottom. First I showed the two safe positions in guard, head in the solar plexus, hands in the armpits, weight down on your opponent. Then how to posture up using your opponents ribs and hips to post on. After that I showed triangle chokes concentrating on getting the hips high and getting a good kick over with the leg to make the choke successful. The refresher was really good for me as well since I've been letting my triangle chokes get super lazy and it's been hurting me.
Next up was armbar from the guard. I showed how to isolate the arm and bring it across the chest, then use your legs to trap and hold your opponent and finish. Briefly went over how to sweep from the armbar to finish if your opponent tries to stack you.

Rolling was King of the Mountain style with 5 groups on the mat and the other 6 or so people on the wall. I had them start in guard with the top guy trying to pass, the bottom guy trying to sweep or submit. Things rotated through pretty quickly and everyone got plenty of chances with different partners. I stepped in after everyone had been through once and got some time rolling with different folks. Hit a few situp sweeps, but found myself hesitating to fire the armbar on top a lot. I did hit a couple, but I definitely need to keep refining it. This is an excellent project for me for sure.

After that I let everyone roll open-mat style for a while and I grabbed people to roll with. One guy jumped on my neck from halfguard and tried to tear my head off, which annoyed me enough to pass, bust out the no-gi ezekiel, and then armbar him.

We've got a good solid core group in the club it seems like, so next week we can start in with the "boring" part of jiujitsu that really makes you good at it. Drilling.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Running, it sucks.

So I resolved to start running again to help improve my overall cardio as opposed to only my grappling specific cardio and boy do I need it. My course is 1.5 miles long, .75 up and .75 back. After the first .75 I was sucking wind and coughing like a pack-a-day smoker. I dunno why my lungs are being such bitches about it, but they HATE to run in the cold apparently. Well screw them! I'll be up for another 5am run tomorrow and try to push a little further since this time I ran .75 and walked .75. Once I can run the entire 1.5 I'm going to start edging it up until I'm doing 3 miles. My eventual goal is to run the 3 miles in under 20 minutes. If I actually keep at it with the running this time around I might be get there sometime in 2012....

I skipped JiuJitsu last week to let some minor injuries heal up before they became actual problems, back at it tonight teaching the grappling club. I'm going to teach triangles and armbars from the guard and go over the importance of posture and hand positioning.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Inspiration Struck

So I've been hit by inspiration in the form of this kid Rebecca "Mini-Beast" Forsyth. I've seen her at NAGA a few times when I was there and she's a super fierce little kid. She crushes the competition. Well a co-worker is thinking about putting his daughter in a martial art and I of course suggested BJJ. In order to show him an example of a girl about his daughters age competing I looked up some of Becca's vids from NAGA.
While watching them I noticed two things, firstly that the girl has only gotten more dominant in the last 8 months or so since I saw her compete last, and secondly that she has honed her situp sweep and armbar into a victory machine. She hits the situp sweep almost every match and frequently finishes with the armbar. That kind of dedication to just a handful of offensive techniques has given her a really sharp game. I also liked her technical standup about two minutes in to this video which is one of the cleanest I've ever seen. She follows it up with a nice takedown as well.

So in honor of the Mini-Beast I will be spending the next FOUR, that's right FOUR months working situp sweep and then armbar from the top. Nothing but those two techniques.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

UGA Grappling Club 10/25

We were sharing the room with what appeared to be an Indian girls dance troupe of some sort this time around, which was interesting mostly because they kept screaming at each other about whose fault it was when their routine got messed up.

We started off drilling situp sweeps and mount escapes, then I went over the Kimura -> Guillotine -> Situp Sweep combo and we worked on the various parts of that for a while. Then because I had it as a request we did the Darce choke from top of halfguard. This is probably my single WORST submission, but I went over it anyways and we drilled it a little. I went over a halfguard sweep by request as well. My go-to sweep where you overhook, trap the same side leg, and upa. Everyone kept getting 2/3rds of the way through the upa, and then instead of pushing their opponent away EXTRA hard to gain separation and get to side control they would switch to hugging their opponent and land in top of halfguard. I corrected that and then we did positional sparring from the top of halfguard.

We had a couple of people come in towards the end of the positional sparring that have previous Tang Soo Do and Takewondo experience. I rotated them in as we started rolling to see what kind of folks they are. They weren't overly spazzy and both of them are fairly light, so not dangerous. One kept trying to canopener me or something, the other one attempted to get rubber guard from the bottom of side control. I answered that attempt by mounting him, letting him sweep me over, then immediately running through Mission Control -> New York -> Chill Dog -> Kung Fu Move -> Omoplata on him.

It seemed like a good class. It was one of our smaller ones with only 10 people in it, but I expect attendance to pick up again once the dance troupes are all done practicing.

I'm still floundering around a little trying to figure out how I want to proceed with my own training. I think I should revisit some of my old No-Gi basics for Gi since the Situp sweep and Triangle choke used to be my bread and butter, but I don't really hit either in Gi that much. Unless I get some brilliant stroke of inspiration by wednesday I'm going to spend the next couple of weeks just working on situp sweep and triangle. There is a triangle choke setup off of the failed situp sweep, so I want to work that as well.

And as long as I'm talking about triangles, I figured out WTF I'm doing that's lowering my triangle choke percentages in Gi. I figured it out because I did it in No-Gi last night. I'm leaving my hips far too close to my opponent and being far too lazy about the sub. In fact, I've been far too lazy about everything while working on my flow. I've just been flowing with people and looking for openings and then if I get too much resistance just transitioning off to something else. If I'm going to go through all of the trouble to setup a triangle and get halfway to it, I need to go ahead and work harder to finish it.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bit of a slump

So after talking several other folks through how to deal with their slumps over the last 8 months or so I've hit one myself. The guys in my class that I'm better than I'm just plain better than. The guys that I'm not better than are gigantic purple belts or gigantic wrestlers and the gap between us is pretty big because of that. So I'm having a hard time bridging the gap between where I am and where I want to be.

Luckily I know the answer. Drill. Drill my A-game. Drill my B-game. Drill my backup plans. Drill my go-to-hell plans. Drill drill drill and drill some more. So tonight I'm going to abuse my position as instructor for the UGA Grappling club and get some No-Gi reps in of my A-Game no-gi sweeps and a few other things. See if I can break myself out of the rut.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

JiuJitsu 10/14

So true to my resolution I continued working on my A game and my general flow last night and I can definitely feel the improvement over where I was six months ago.

Techniques were an ezekiel from the back where you rotate so that you are looking in your opponents ear, drive your bottom wrist around to on top of their far shoulder, grab your sleeve, and ezekiel.
Then a quick armbar from the back, then an armbar from the back with a kimura grip for greater control.
And finally an armbar vs the turtle where you scoop their far arm with your far arm then roll onto your side. You can finish there or have the option to flip them over and finish.

We did specific sparring from the turtle, Rugby is getting better already, he was able to shake me off a couple of times and get back to guard. Once was my own fault since I felt the triangle setup that I use and automatically went for it, resulting in him escaping to a neutral position.
My single collar choke setups are getting sneakier and sneakier as well.

Rolling was with Ankhor and Katie. Ankhor is one of the super athletic guys that does Muay Thai and BJJ, he's got an MMA fight coming up at the end of those month. A few months ago he was giving me absolute fits because of how strong he is, but over the last 3-4 months I've gotten a lot stronger and improved my technique. So last night I was able to breakdance all over him for the first time in a long time.

Katie is like 14 and is Casey's daughter. I'm not sure how seriously she takes JiuJitsu, but she's there pretty regularly and I try to give her tips on how to make stuff work when you are 100lbs lighter than everyone. Sometimes she seems to be working hard at it, sometimes she doesn't seem to care. But I think if she had some more people her size that she could see the stuff working on it would motivate her more. Instead the next lightest person is like 40lbs heavier than she is and probably 5x as strong. Definitely not a recipe for morale building.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Workin' my A game

Ok, so normally I would entering a new month of experimentation, digging through youtube, reading Subs101 or lockflow, generally just casting about for new techniques to play with. Instead I've decided to go for another month of consolidation on my current game and try to bring it up a level against our purple belts and a couple of the big athletic blue belts. I know there are tricks I can use on them that will work, now I'm going to make a concerted effort to work this tricks and refine them. Time to take things to the next level with my current game until I find a place where I don't have the proper tool. At the moment I think I have plenty of tools to work with.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weightlifting 10/7

I'm thinking of switching to only updating my lifting stats once a month or something.... 4 times a week makes for a bunch of short little posts with no content.

That being said, hit 5 reps at 127.5, 3 at 147.5, and 5 reps at 163.5 on the bench. That's a personal record of volume for me. Whoot!

Hip Control

I had mentioned to BJJGrrl that controlling the hips was one of those things that was crucially important to a lot of aspects of JiuJitsu, and everyone told me that for years, but I never really understood what it MEANT or how to accomplish it until recently.

I've worked out that there are three ways to kill someones hip movement, the direct method, the indirect method, and retreating. With the direct method you are using solid pressure directly onto their hips. An example would be when you are in someones closed guard and you put your hands on their hip bones and drop your weight on them. You've directly shutdown their hips in order to work on opening their guard and passing. This method requires that you be able to solidly manage your weight, keep it centered, and "drive" down into your opponent. This is probably the first method that most people discover for controlling the hips.

The Indirect method is the method that I've actually found to be most useful though. With the indirect method I'm not attacking the hips directly, I'm removing the levers that control that hip motion, the legs. Every motion of the hips requires that the legs be involved to generate the torque and force required to accomplish anything. Shrimping, bridging, all of it involves driving with the legs. Because of this my primarily method of hip control has become the legs. An example is from mount when you grapevine the legs, it does add some direct pressure to kill the hips, but it mostly just takes the legs out of the equation. I expand on that concept whenever I'm on top and work to lift my opponents legs off of the ground to prevent shrimping. For example, in side control I will turn slightly towards my opponents feet and grab their FAR leg at the knee and pull it up off of the ground. This makes it very difficult for them to shrimp and makes it easier for me to transition to mount if I want to. I follow the same idea when I'm passing guard. I hug the knees, sprawl and then turn and lift to keep my opponents feet off of the ground. This stops them from shrimping away or chasing me with their legs.

The third method is retreating or transitioning. This is the method I use the most now and it's even LESS direct than the direct method. I feel like this method is best suited for a smaller person who is working against a larger person and is still applicable even against people of the same size or smaller, it's just not as necessary. With this method you just remove yourself from where their hips want you to be. If you are in side control and they start to shrimp to regain guard you transition towards north south then pop to Knee on Belly as they follow you. If they try to bridge you off there you spin and sit down on their head for headmount/northsouth. If they start to escape that you slide down to side control on the opposite side and start the process over again. You have to be pretty sensitive to when your opponent is moving to make this work though.

Now, the BEST method, and one I'm just starting to reliably be able to use, is a combination of all three. When I'm moving to KoB I like to grab the far leg at the knee and pull up to prevent shrimping away from me. At the same time I use the KoB to drive heavily into the hips to pin the hips. When I'm sweeping someone I maintain control of their hips either with leg pressure across the hips directly, or with a hook under the knee, or with a handful of pants. Concordantly I work to keep my hips AWAY From my opponent. This flipside of this entire thing is that controlling your OWN hips is just as important as controlling your opponents. If they have your hips locked down you can't do much to them. So again the legs come into play. If your hips are pinned by direct pressure you have to be explosive even if it's a tiny explosion. Just enough to unfreeze your hips on one side and pop out. If your legs are being lifting try to pull your knees up to your chest and pop them open like butterfly guard. If someone is using fast transitions then trick them. Fake shrimping one way the roll to your knees on the other side.

Above all look at ways to prevent your opponent from using their hips while finding ways to maximize your own hip movement.

JiuJitsu 10/7

Worked on a takedown for a bit, then flower sweep variation and a triangle combo with it. Fun times.
Did some specific sparring from guard where I played around trying to figure out what I want to work on this month, then rolled for a while.

I had a couple of big guys to play with and spent my time letting them start in side control or mount so that I could work out of it. One of them managed to spark my rage for a moment when he tried to use gorilla strength on my head to keep me from taking his back. Whenever someone big does that it momentarily releases my normal mental block, so I immediately smashed him to the ground, drive my forearm into his neck/jaw, then armbarred him when he tried to defend against that. Everything was super hard and fast until the armbar went on. I never completely lose control, but that contained rage is something I've been trying to harness so that I can let it out at tournaments when it would really be helpful to be moving twice as fast as I normally do. He also tried to americana me from inside my guard, instant armbar again. He's a good guy, and I look forward to how good he's gonna be when he gets some more training time in, but he's only been training for a week or two, so he still has some bad habits to grind out of him.

This is an "Experiment" month for me, but I have no idea what I want to try out... Gonna have to browse lockflow/sub101/etc... and find some stuff to play with. Or I might hit the Roy Dean purple belt DVD and make it an Experimental Combo month and see what I can put together.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weightlifting 10/2 and 10/3

Benchpress was only 6 reps at 155 I believe, don't have my notes with me right now.
Overhead press was 9 reps with 90lbs which is very solid for me.
Tomorrow will be squats again which puts me starting my third week of 5/3/1. Overall I'm feeling pretty good about the whole thing. I'm looking forward to maxing out again at the beginning of December to see where I'm at.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Weightlifting 9/28

Squats! WHOOT!

The first day of my second week of 5/3/1.
3x115 (113.5)
3x135 (133.5)
10x150 (153.5)

I felt pretty good about 10 reps at my bodyweight. Tonight is Benchpress, I'll be trying to hit 9 reps or better with 157.5.

UGA Grappling Club 9/27

We had a total of six girls show up to the class, which was awesome. I think only 2 or 3 of them will stay on as regulars, but that's still good. I continued my normal warmup of Shrimping, Upa, Sitouts, then had the folks who had been there before working on Situp sweep to mount, then Knee to Elbow escape, then Situp sweep, repeat...

After that we move on to some a halfguard sweep and a halfguard pass. I taught my go-to moves for both of those. The sweep is 99% similar to the Upa mount escape. You overhook the arm on the same side as the the trapped leg, then plant your inside foot as close to your butt as possible, put your hand on their hip, and upa. You push with your arm at the same time to increase the amount of separation between you and your opponent so that you can try to land in side control top instead of halfguard top.

The pass was the basic shoulder of justice pass. Underhook + arm under head, good shoulder pressure, walk your foot up to their butt, then pop their knee down and drive through to 1/4 guard, put your other foot up on their hip and drive your trapped foot the rest of the way through to mount.

After that we did Americana from side control.

Next week we'll work on Armbar from Mount, and Side Control Escapes, then I'm going to start them working on the "Boring" parts of jiujitsu. We'll be doing positional rolling starting in full guard with the top person working to pass, and the bottom person looking to sweep. No submissions. I'll probably have them do 10 reps of the situp or scissor sweep and 10 reps of a guard pass right before hand so they have something fresh in their mind.

I think I'll start waxing a little philosophical on them as well... Time to get them to start settling down when rolling instead of trying to out muscle and out run each other.

The one sour note was that I had to call out one of the guys for some inappropriate remarks while a couple of the girls were rolling. I suppose I could have done it quietly later, but I wanted everyone to know that I don't tolerate that kind of shit. He seemed to understand, so I don't think it will be a problem in the future.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Weightlifting 9/26

Did overhead press, had my max set at 115 instead of 110 and I was rounding up with my weights, so I ended up with an extra 7.5lbs on my final set, was able to do 6 reps. Fixed the weights, waited about an hour and redid the set at 87.5 instead of 93.5 and was able to hit 10 reps. Both of those are good sets for me considering a year ago 93.5 was my max and I was struggling with it.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

JiuJitsu 9/24 and Weighlifting 9/25

Friday is Takedowns as usual, we're working on the deep underhook and wrist control which is a position I like, but one I rarely end up in because people fight so hard to stay away from me. I find that silly because my takedowns are so bad, but whatever. We worked High Crotch to Single leg and High Crotch to duckunder some more. People are getting ready for NAGA, so we're refining techniques instead of learning new ones.

We did standup sparring and I got two nice takedowns. I got the best throw of my life on Antony and it got videoed, so it should be available sometime soon. It was awesome. And I got Rugby when he tried to tackle me and I rolled him backwards and took mount. That one got some applause too.

I find that when I can get some kind of grip and close the distance with my opponent I can actually get the takedowns, but I'm so rarely able to close that distance and I don't shoot very well from outside. I'll keep workin on it.

Weightlifting 9/25

Today was Deadlifts, did 125x5, 145x5, and 165x15. My hands were giving out on the last couple of reps, but I think I could have pulled out one or two more, but the program says not to go to failure. I'll probably do OHP today instead of monday since I have the UGA Club on Monday so I'll be out late.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weightlifting 9/24

Second day of 5/3/1, first day was Squats, today was Bench Press. Again did no warmup sets or any of the support exercises, might try to work those in next week. Started with 107.5x5, then 127.5x5, then 143.5x9. The last rep at 143.5 was extremely difficult to finish for some reason. I think the height of my bench is really going to start to bother me soon and I'll have to find some way to get my feet up higher so I can support myself properly.

I'm looking forward to how this program plays out for increasing my work capacity, it's a lot more reps than I've been using up to now and I'll actually be working my lower body properly for the first time in almost a year.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

JiuJitsu 9/22

Had horrible stomach problems all day, pretty sure I ate some expired Yogurt. Manage to fight my way through class anyways, felt like I was sleep walking.

We worked on some halfguard passes, a couple of which I liked, one of which I didn't. Specific sparring was from guard, we had a new guy who is an ex rugby player in the class, he tried to collar choke me inside my guard so I swept him. Guy is monster strong though, once he has a few months under his belt he's going to be a force.

Rolled with Ian and Ankor again today, not anything like the slickness I had last time I rolled with them. I could barely control Ankor and couldn't do anything with Ian. I made it through though and that's all good.

Still having stomach issues today, was late for work because of it and feel incredibly dehydrated. I weighed in at 143 and it's been months since I was that low.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Weightlifting 9/21

First day of the 5/3/1 Program. Started out with Squats. Doing a 4 day program since I have Jits 3 days a week I'll lift on the days when I don't have jits.

Started with squats today.
5x105, 5x120, and 10x135. I think I could have pulled a couple of extra reps out on the last set without any real trouble, but I don't want to push too much early. It felt good to be squatting again though.

UGA Grappling Club 9/20

Got to the club early and sat around watching the Kendo people whack at each other with sticks while I stretched.

Turn out was good, we had 12 repeats and 6 new faces. 18 people showing up is great. Again we had 4-5 people from Megalodon there, which was good. I opened up by grabbing the new people and showing them how to Shrimp, Upa, and Sitout while the repeats all hit the wall for shrimp+upa+sitout warmup.
Next I taught the Knee to Elbow escape from mount, then the Scissor Sweep. Then I showed them the drill that combines the two. So one person would start in mount, the other would knee to elbow escape, then scissor sweep. Now the other person escapes from mount and sweeps, repeat. I had them do that a few times to get used to it.
Next I showed the knee-through guard pass. I went over the basic guard break again to reinforce the concept and for the people who didn't see it before. Several people had trouble with this pass because they kept turning their backs to their partner when moving around to side control. Had to remind them to get the underhook before moving, which solved that issue.
Finally I gave them a submission to play with. Rear Naked Choke time. I chose that one because I want to force them to work for position instead of trying to crank subs on each other all the time. So I gave them a sub which only exists at the very TOP of the positional hierarchy. Everyone seemed to have fun with that and we moved on to rolling.

This time in order to try to be a little more organized I counted everyone off and had the even numbers take places on the mat, then paired them up with an odd number and had one set of numbers rotate each round. Now that everyone has had a taste of rolling with a variety of people I'll probably set them up in 3s next time and let them do 2 rounds in, 1 round out.

I spent the time working nice and controlled and making it a point to perform the techniques I had shown them and letting some of them sweep me, etc...

Everyone seemed to enjoy it and overall I thought it was a good class.

JiuJitsu 9/15

I apparently forgot to write about this class.

Casey was tied up with something so arrived late, in the mean time Darnell showed a couple of guard passes based around grabbing the gi. They are "gracie gift" style passes with one arm in and one arm out, which can be dangerous, but if you keep the grip on the gi then you are protected from the triangle.

We did some positional rolling, then I got paired up with Ian and Ankor. I love rolling with these guys because both are insanely athletic, so they are kind of my benchmark for how I handle athletic people. I was able to control both of them and generally impose my game well. My integration phase is coming along nicely and the combination of the leg hook, butterfly guard, spider guard, armdrags, and technical mount transitions are serving me well. I spend most of the time in top position after hitting a sweep. I'm rarely stuck on the bottom.

I'm very pleased with my progression and really think I have a good shot at earning my purple belt by the end of next summer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

UGA Grappling club 9/13

It was fun to be teaching again. We had (including me) 8 people from Megalodon at the club and about 10 others. I opened up teaching everyone how to shrimp, upa, and sitout then had them do a bunch of each as a warmup. After that I showed how the Upa and Shrimp became escapes from mount and sidecontrol. Parterned the up and had the work escapes for a while. Next it was on to breaking the guard and moving to combat base and the double underhook pass. Finally I introduced the situp sweep and we drilled that for a little while.

Then we rolled 3 minute rounds for about 45 minutes. I used that time to gauge folks intensity as I rolled with everyone. We had a couple of people with previous experience which is nice, but most of the non Megalodon guys were complete noobs. I let folks work, swept them let them escape, let a couple pass my guard with the double under. Generally just had a bunch of smooth and controlled rolls.
Also rolled with Ankor and caught him in the reverse inverted triangle and was able to finish it. A very good first class I think.

Next week will be shrimp, upa, sitout warmup. Then teach the knee to elbow escape from mount. Then situp sweep to mount to knee and elbow escape and repeat.
Then the knee through pass.
Then RNC.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Weightlifting Update and UGA Grappling Club

So, I tried 197 on the bench on Thursday and failed. Killed my arms trying to push it up. So instead of trying to force it I'm going to take a break from lifting for a few days (probably until this Thursday) and then go ahead and start 5/3/1 with my max bench as 190.

In other news tonight I have my first session as the instructor for the UGA grappling club. I'll be doing that every Monday night. My curriculum is going to look something like this:

Fundamental Movements:

Guard Passing:
Guard Break
Double Underpass
Knee Through pass
Toreador Pass

Situp Sweep
Scissor Sweep
Elevator Sweep

Upa Mount Escape
Knee and Elbow Mount Escape
Shrimp Side Control Escape to Knees
Shrimp Side Control Escape to Guard
Escape From Back Control to Guard

Triangle Choke

I'm going to start with the fundamental movements and a couple of passes and sweeps and get everyone comfortable with moving around and using positional control first before I introduce the submissions.

I'm really looking forward to this, I love teaching and as far as I can tell I'm pretty good at it. I'll start adding those updates to here as well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

JiuJitsu 9/10

Class today was takedowns again as every Friday will be now. We worked on a high crotch to single leg to seio nage sequence which i really liked.
My problem with takedowns is that i always seem to end up with mu opponent death gripping my wrists/sleeves and im unable to do anything from there. I imagine there must be a throw from there, i just have no idea what it is.
I gave my camera to a 10 year old girl to film class, so i have video, but there's no telling what of. Ill post some up on Monday.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Conditioning and Jiujitsu 9/8

Hit up class at 6 for conditioning. Shaved 2 minutes off of my ladder time so added a second 1 minute rest and did another 5 reps, working to get 3 full ladders in 25 minutes eventually.
Judo showed up at 6:30, but we had to wait about 10 minutes for the kids TKD class to finish up before we could roll. I worked on the Roy Dean Scissor Sweep->Triangle->Armbar->Omoplata->Sweep->Armbar combo. Ran through it a couple of times then we worked on his Triangles for a few minutes. After that we rolled for about half an hour straight. We went back and forth a lot tapping each other, I was trying to work my transitions on top and my combos, but mostly I was just trying to exhaust myself before class. It worked.
When class started Casey had us do armbar drills from guard, then sprawl drills, then crunches throwing the medicine ball back and forth.
Technique was attacks from the top of halfguard. The first one was acting like you are going to pass, then handing the lapel off under their arm to your arm which is under their head. Pushing your knee through and posting up, swithing hands, grabbing some fabric on the opposite shoulder, and choke.
Second one was same setup, but they defend the choke so you pull the arm across for a Brabo+Armbar combo.
Third was the same Brabo as #2, but setup from North/South with an over and an underhook. Pass the lapel from the underhooked side across to the other arm, then spen to KoB, snag the leg and pin it. Choke or Pull the Arm across.

Sparring was me Sean (Shawn?) and Mac. Sean and Mac are both around 220. Mac is a blue belt, Sean is about a 6 month white belt. I was mostly able to impose my will on them, broke them down into my guard, moved to the single collar choke, the triangle, or the armbar. Swept Sean a few times and worked on flowing into submissions, hit a few armbars that way. Was throwing up combos and really feeling smooth and connected. One of the best classes I've had in a while for FEELING like I was doing good jiujitsu.

Gonna try to take the camera on Friday and get someone to film, hopefully I'll have another good day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Weightlifting 9/7

177 x 2, was going to do three, but my right arm was lagging behind for some reason. The weight overall felt easy enough, but my left arm pushed up just fine and my right went up a lot slower, so I stopped at 2 reps. Still going for 197 on thursday.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weightlifting 9/4

Lifting was 153.5 for 3 sets of 3. That's actually a personal record for reps at that weight I believe.

Today is horseback riding day, tomorrow is a full rest day, then another 3x1 with 173.5, then thursday 197.5.

I can TASTE that 200lb goal...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Jiujitsu And Conditioning 9/3

Got to the gym at about 10 to 6 so got changed and started conditioning a couple of minutes before 6. Did 25/20/15/10/5/ 1 minute break /5/10/15/20/25 for a total of 150 of each of Squats, Pushups, Crunches, and Bent over dumbell Rows (each hand). Took me just over 25 minutes to complete the set.

After that I waited around hoping my efforts to bribe people to show up early to roll would be successful, but they were not.

Technique was Takedowns tonight, looks like Friday night is going to be takedown techniques and takedown drills going forward, which is good since my takedown game is weak.

We worked on duck unders to a couple of different finishes and a strong underhook transitioning to a couple of different throws. After that we did specific sparring from standing working for the takedown. I hit a couple of decent judo throws and one double leg.

After that we took it to the ground for a big gauntlet. My arms were shot so I spent most of the first two or three rounds working legs only throwing moving through the Scissor Sweep -> Triangle -> Armbar combination then once my arms were feeling better I switched out to Leg Hook -> Omoplata -> Rollover Omoplata sweep to the top. Really trying to work on my flow.

I still turtle too much against Johnny because he blasts through my guard if I do anything except pure defense, and Coe just crushified me as usual, fun times. Gonna keep the flow goin and continue integrating this month, it's feelin good.

Starting not this coming monday, but the monday after I'll be acting as the "instructor" for the UGA Jiujitsu club (Or sub grappling club or whatever they are calling it) So that should be fun. I don't know how structured they want the classes to be, so at first I'm mostly just going to be there to provide guidance to keep them from killing each other.

The beginner class at Megalodon probably won't start until the beginning of next year.

Ugh, all this typing is making my arms tired. Going for 173.5 3x1 again tomorrow, then Some rest, then going for 197.5 on Tuesday. RRRAAARR!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Weightlifting 9/2

Got the weights set back up, in the living room this time.

Preparing for my attempt at 197.5 I put 173.5 on the bar and put it up for 3 sets of 1 with a couple of minutes rest between each one. Definitely felt the weight, but that's a new personal best for me for reps with that weight.

Once I hit 200 on the bench I'll start the 5/3/1 program as prescribed (as best I can considering time pressure and lack of pullup apparatus) and start working on getting my PL total up. 900 here I come!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

JiuJitsu 9/1

This month is an integration month. I've got the single collar choke, Butterfly Guard Armdrags, Tornado Guard, Some new sweeping principles, Leg Hook guard, and a whole new Knee On Belly based top game that I've worked separately over the last 4-5 months. This is the month where I bring it all together into my main butterfly guard based game.

Today I hit up class early, but there was still one of the TKD classes in the room we use, so had to wait until 6:40 or so to get in there. Greg a.k.a. Judo was there early and I showed him my personal favorite way to break people down in closed guard. Cross lapel or cross collar grip, same side sleeve grip, then the foot on the same side as the sleeve grip goes to the hip. Shrimp out to that same side while driving your collar gripping elbow to the mat and pushing the sleeve grip across your opponents body. Then pull your sleeve gripping arm back out and block their arm with your body. Let's you work all kinds of nasty things. I primarily use it to set up my single collar choke.
After that we rolled for about 30 minutes. He weighs 190, has endless cardio, and great posture and base from his time doing Judo. He also can crack a turtle with a quickness. Gave me a good chance to warm up and get ready to open up my game. I caught him with a few things, I think he caught me with something... Power guillotine I think. Really well set up too.

After that we worked some takedowns, using a two handed lapel grab to setup a single leg. I hate takedowns and this one was no exception.

After that we move to some side control stuff. Setting up the Kimura, the Armbar, and the paper cutter choke in north south starting from side control.

Specific Sparring was from side control. I escaped a bunch and choke some people. One of our 4 month white belts, Kris, had asked me not to take it easy on him, so the first roll with him he asked what the goals were, I told him that "inverted triangle" was one of my options from the bottom. Then 2 seconds after we started I tapped him with the inverted triangle.

Rolling had me set up with Judo and new wrestler guy. I dunno how heavy he was, but he was bigger than me and probably somewhere in the 180 range. I tossed them both around, got one REALLY SLICK sweep on judo from butterfly guard when he tried to grab a guillotine. A beautiful backwards roll that landed me in side control. Also had another really good sequence where I went for leg hook guard, went for my sweep, he tried to crush me, I spun under him to Omoplata, he spun somehow and gave me a shot at an armbar, he was able to turn out of it and I had to give it up and take side control.

Was an excellent integration night though. I bounced between butterfly and leghook and feet on hips spider guard pretty well, used my sweeps from all three positions, set up my top game and was able to stay on top and look for subs and get them. An excellent night and one that makes me feel like I'm starting to put together a purple belt level game. I've got some road to travel yet for sure, but I think I've got the road map now.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Conditioning 8/29

Skipped out on JiuJitsu because my little bro is about to leave for Israel and we had a little going away party for him at my parents.
Did some light conditioning, 25/20/15 w/ squats, pushups, crunches, and bent over rows w/ 36lbs. Just enough for my arms to feel it and to get my blood flowing. Gonna probably do a full rest day tomorrow and get my weights set back up, then lifting tuesday and conditioning + jits on wednesday.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Conditioning And Jits 8/27

Went to class early to see if anyone would show up to play. I did some conditioning for about half an hour. 25,20,15,10,5,5,10,15,20,20 of Squats, Pushups, Crunches, and dumbbell rows (Each arm) with a 20lb weight. Took a brief rest after the ladder down and another after the ladder back up. Could have done more of everything except the pushups. Arms were completely on strike.

Had a warmup roll with one of our Ammy fighters, Brian, his standup is awesome, but his ground game has been highly reliant on his athleticism until the last few months. He's finally starting to settle down an start working the technique, though he still tends to fall back on just being in better shape than everyone else sometimes. We rolled for a while and I caught an elbow to the trachea. Didn't stop the roll, but it got uncomfortable later. Not videos this time around because class was so small, had no one to run the camera.
Talked to Casey about getting a beginners class going and he agreed to it, so long as he didn't have to come do anything. I'm going to talk to Coe and Darnell, the two purple belts, about working up a schedule and a curriculum for it.

Technique was a counter to the far side underhook escape from side control. Bottom guy gets the underhook, turns in and pushes you off. You backstep for stability and then step over into technical mount with the overhook. Next you work your foot on the overhook side up to your opponents head and then squeeze your knees towards each other (EVen though one of your knees is still on the ground, yes) resulting in an omoplata like shoulder lock.
Next technique was the same setup, but you feed your leg across for the Gogoplata. Final technique was same setup but you feed the leg across and sit back for a wicked armbar.

After that some specific sparring from side control. I got to move over to the Gigantor side of the room to even things up. Rolled with GiantNewWhiteBelt guy who I discovered is named Brent, Darnell, Brian and Casey. Played as defensively as I ever play which means looking for sweeps and subs while not completely ignoring the fact that I'm about to get tooled. Darnell shut me down completely today and even Got me with an ezekiel while I had an overhook and he was in my full guard. Sneaky.
Casey dominated me in hilarious fashion as usual. The best part about that is the split second between me making the key mistake and him putting on the sub. It's just a huge "OHSHITISHOULDN'THAVEDONETHAT" moment and it's always from something seemingly innocuous.

Brian I was able to sweep a few times early on, and generally handle just fine, but once I started to slow down it was all over. The guy does NOT get tired.

Sparring was with Brian, Darnell, and then one of the guys my size, Kris. More of the same with Brian, while I Was fresh I could handle him, but as soon as I started to get tired it was everything I could do not to get mauled.
Darnell continued to shut me down.
Kris I was able to sweep a bunch, throw around, an generally handle the way I handle all of the whitebelts my size. At one point he went for an ankle lock of some kind, so I defended and slapped a toe hold on him. Apparently I tweaked it a little hard for his taste, but he's fine. I don't go for leg locks on white belts unless they start in it first, but I probably need to start working that toe hold on the higher belts a little more....

By the time I got home from class lifting the gallon of milk to pour me a glass felt like the heaviest thing in the universe. That's how I know it was an good day.

Conditioning 8/26

Weights are still in storage so Conditioning again:

Wearing my 20lb weight vest: 25/20/10 of Squats, Pushups, Situps and Upright Rows w/ 36lbs.

That shit is tough. My conditioning really needs the work, so I'll probably stick to the conditioning routine even once I start lifting again.

Saturday I'm adding an extra set of 5 to the end, so 25/20/10/5, then probably Tuesday I'll add 4/3/2/1 to it. Bringing me to 25/20/10/5/4/3/2/1. To increase I'll add to my fresh set until they are all at 25. So 25/21/10/5/4/3/2/1, then 25/22 and so on with a goal of 25/25/25/25/25/25/25/25 with a short rest between each set of 25. That should be enough of a goal to keep me working for the next 12 months or so.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pressure as a Concept

Many people talk about having "Good Pressure" or "Being Heavy" in jiujitsu without really thinking about what that means or why you would want it. For a while I was really obsessed with being heavier with my opponents, really crushing them down whenever I was on top. Then I realized that I got swept more often against bigger guys when I did that. Linking so much of my weight to them gave them more control over me while sacrificing my mobility advantage. Against people my size the conventional notion of pressure was fine, but against larger people I was getting too enthralled with the idea.
So I stepped back and asked myself WHY I wanted to be heavy. Why did I need "good pressure"? There turned out ot be several reasons. One was to give myself more opportunities for a submission. If I'm heavy my opponent has to work harder, has to open themselves up more, has to give me more opportunities. Another was to make my opponent tired, but again the end result of that is to give me more opportunities for a submission. To prevent my opponent from escaping, again to give myself more opportunities for submissions.
So I looked at these goals and then I looked at what I was doing and thought, "How can I accomplish these goals most efficiently?" Having good weight distribution and being heavy is one way, but it's not the only way and it's not always the best way.
As a small person I'm frequently going to run into people for whom my weight, no matter how well placed, is negligible. In those situations I can't rely on being heavy. I have to rely on other types of pressure.
To find other ways to generate those same results I thought about what pressure really means in the abstract sense. It means stress. I want to create stress in my opponent to make it harder for them to plan, harder for them to implement their game against me. I've started more and more to do that by being increasingly mobile. I'm heavy where I can be and when I can be, but I don't get committed to the idea of crushing someone with my weight. I use my agility and my mobility to continuously move and attack my opponent and keep them from implementing their game plan or being able to work against me. I keep good pressure by making my opponents react to me.

So don't get too attached to what you THINK something means, back up a step and look at what you're trying to accomplish and see what works best for you to accomplish it.
Remember, the best thing about jiujitsu is that if something works, it's good jiujitsu.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weightlifting 8/24

So due to visitors coming up this week my weights are in storage in my closet for a while. In the meantime I decided to bust out my old weight vest. It weighs 20lbs.

I threw the vest on and did
20 Squats, 20 Pushups, 20 Situps
20 Squats, 20 Pushups, 20 Situps
10 Squats, 10 Pushups, 10 Situps.


My muscular endurance needs work, so once I hit 200 on the bench I'm switching over to doing working towards 100 pushups with the weightvest on while I work on my squats and deadlift. I figure that should keep my bench from going down while I'm not benching as often. I'll max with it once a month or so just to make sure I can still hit 200.

Jiujitsu 8/20

Videos will be added to this post tomorrow:

Techniques were all Omoplata attacks. Standard Omoplata from guard first, then a counter for when they try to roll out of it, you roll with them and keep your underhook of the far arm, establish a crucifix and escape your hips out for the omoplata finish.
The last one was for when they try to power straight up, you underhook the far shoulder again and this time you do a flower sweep type motion with your legs and roll them over into a very uncomfortable stacked position, then wrist lock them for the final humilation. I got to be the test dummy for the last two. Fun times.

Drilling was just from closed guard, bottom person has to sweep or submit, top person has to pass. I vaguely remember sweeping a bunch of people and passing some guard. Then I rolled with one of our purple belts who is about 220lbs, I kept trying for my leg hook guard and whatnot, but was having none of my shenanigans. Finally I ended up on my side balled up under him and with one butterfly hook. I snagged his ankle and went for the butterfly sweep and it worked. Made it all the way up into guard too. Serious cheers for me there since the guy has proven well nigh impossible for me to even unbalance, much less sweep. I'm clearly getting trickier.

Sparring is where I have videos to share. The first round I have was against my instructor Casey it was hilariously crushing. He tied me up and took my back and went for a bow and arrow choke, I defended long enough that he sort of pretzled me up and then armbarred me.
Reset and essentially the same thing happened though this time I spun out of the bow and arrow and was able to avoid getting subbed again until time ran out.

Then I rolled with Johnny who is a monstrous wrestler. He's walking around close to 200lbs again, but he was down at 185ish for a while and really should get back down there again to compete. His top pressure is just brutal. He smashed my legs raced past my guard, and ended up in my halfguard working the darce. Eventually he got past my halfguard and I knew I wasn't going to escape, so tappity tap. Repeat that procedure only he went to NS and went for a Kimura, I spun out of it using a decidely risky escape and ended up under side control where I don't remember what the hell happened and can't tell from the video, but I think it involved me tapping.
After that I played it cautious, spikey ball, no attacking. Time ran out before much could happen.

Next I rolled with Antony who is another blue belt my size. I like to work my sweeps and top game against him so I immediately set up my leghook guard, got the sweep, went to KoB and worked from there, alternated between side control and KoB and North south for a while. He caught me in halfguard, I tried something weird, he rolled me and stood up and dived past my guard. I turtled (I turtle against him because he does the SAME thing every time) and grabbed his elbow for the fatboy roll, he recovered guard and I worked to pass. Settled down in side control and bounced around there until time ran out. I always like rolling with him because he stands up to pass and he's generally pretty fluid and fun.

Net up I rolled with one of the gigantic new white belts. He has had some training somewhere in the past, but it reveals itself only sporadically. I think this is his fifth or so class maybe. I Work my normal game, leg hook to sweep, he stiffarms me and I reset and retry. I get on to and he flings me off, I reset and start attacking, I essentially bully him over and he sort of powers out of it and we end up in neutral again. I start working full guard and hit a scissors sweep. He tries to push me off of him so I spin to an armbar. I ended up showing him why not to push up on peoples chests for the rest of the round.

Final roll was against Darnell (Whom you will remember as the purple belt I swept earlier) I work to establish butterfly and go for the same sweep I got him with earlier. That fails so I move to full guard with the over hook and manage to catch the Mir lock. He gets sideways defending it and I'm able to sweep him over. I should have kept the arm and switched to the inverted shoulder lock thing that Ian McPherson used and I believe I posted about previously. Instead I got all excited and tried to take side control. That didn't work out, he turtled and I tried to control him, ended up back in his guard and tried a funky knee compression because I couldn't think of anything else.

I'm extremely happy with my sweeps and my guard work in general. I need to work against Johnny more to shore up my weaknesses against his explosive guard passing though. All in all, I feel I'm making decent progress.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weightlifting 8/19

New PR on the Benchpress, 193.5 went up slow but steady. Tried Squats at 227.5 and did two reps but not low enough for me to count it. I was able to get a successful 187.5 though and I'll work my way up. Deadlift I tried 283.5 and couldn't budge it, did 3 reps with 217.5 though and 227.5 went up. So I'm calling my powerlifting total right now 190+185+225= 600 even. Pretty crappy from a powerlifter standpoint, but not too shabby for a random 148lb person.
Starting saturday I'll be working on getting my squats and deadlift up. I want to put 50lbs on both of those by the end of the year and I don't think it will be a problem. I'd like to put 75 pounds on by squats and 100 on the DL, but I don't know if I can pull that off. It'd be ecstatic if by my birthday next year I was putting up 225+260+325 = 810. That's a very respectable total even for a power lifter and I think it's possible for me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Weightlifting 8/17

Worked on overhead press, Hit 107.5 for a few reps, then hit 113.5 kind of shaky. I wasn't happy about it so after an hour or so of break I went back and tried it again and put it up for 4 reps. I might put 123.5 on there and give it a shot saturday, but tonight is my first attempt at 193.5 on the bench. If I hit that I'll probably give a ~220lb squat a try and then see if I can pull 270 on the deadlift again. If I'm successful I'll have 193.5+223.5+273.5 = 690.5 as my powerlifting total. Not winnin any awards, but not horrible for a 148lb bodyweight, which is what I'm at right now. My goal is 225+300+450 = 975.

That means I'm coming in right now at the bottom of the powerlifting chart, a class IV according to thee numbers:
With a goal of getting to a class 1. It's going to be hard to keep my bodyweight at the 148lb range, but I think it's a good goal. This means that starting at the beginning of the year I'll have to become more serious about my lifting as well as about my jiujitsu since my goal is a purple belt by the end of next year. If I can put together some good progress towards my powerlifting goals I think that will help with my jiujitsu progress as well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weightlifting for 8/16

I put up another set of 4 with 167.5 and followed it with a set of 2 with 173.5. Along with some miscellaneous overhead press, good mornings, and squats. I'm very much on track for my 200lb goal by the end of september.

Knee is feeling good, I'm sure it will be 100% by friday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Deconstructing my Rolls

Today I've got a handful of videos of me rolling with a couple of our white belts that I'm going to breakdown and talk about, but first an update on my lifting situation. I hit 167.5 for a set of 4 last night. New personal record. Also hit 152lbs bodyweight, then went out to work in a warehouse for a day and dropped 10 lbs. I'm back sitting around 148 right now. I'll be trying for a set of 5 with 167.5 again on Saturday. I'm taking a week off of Jits to let my knee finish healing, so I won't be back to class until next friday, but in the meantime I'll be lifting and watching vids.

Now, video time!
First video is against an ex football player who weighs maybe 20-25lbs more than I do. This is his fourth class, so he is still very spazzy and doesn't really have any idea what he's doing.

As part of my Guillotine project I decided I would do my best to only sub him with guillotines. So right off the bat he tries to tackle me from the knees, I sprawl, get my hand under his chin, and fall back for a guillotine. No strength needed.
I have to explain to him that we get to keep going.>:) He moves in aggressively and I mess with his legs, mostly I just work on maintaining guard while I let him try various things to pass until he gives me my favorite sweep at one minute in. Notice how i use my hips and knees to keep him away from me. I'm not pulling him in and encouraging him to lay on me. I'm using hip mobility and my legs to keep him on the outside of the circle so that I can beat him around to any pass attempts.

This is the leghook/bicepslicer sweep that I've been using a lot. Most of the guys in the gym are wary of it now and so run away from my leg hook the second I get it, this guy hasn't rolled with me before and had no idea what was about to happen. He landed with a bit of a thump and I gave him a second to catch his breath.
After that I complete my transition to Knee on Belly, I could have dropped onto his arm for the Bicep Slicer finish there, but chose to try to setup another guillotine. He pushed me up, I rode it around to north south and locked in the guillotine.

On the restart I grabbed his collar for a snapdown, athletic noobs will frequently over commit their upper bodies at the beginning allowing for easy transitions to the back. I abuse this liberally. You'll see I went to some weird knee on back position for a second before getting bucked off, I was fishing for a far side collar grip so that I could do a comedy forward roll, but I couldn't find his collar.
So I set up the triangle from the back, used that to get the torque to sweep him, and went back to KoB, then let him come up to his knees into another guillotine. After that I messed around looking for an Omoplata, but ran out of time.

Next video is with a friend of mine who has been training about six months. He outweighs me by about 70lbs most of the time. He has good natural balance and is a quick learner.

I open up looking for a collar grip, but he gives me an arm so I hook onto that and fall back to attack it, he pulls away, but I use that opportunity to get the collar I wanted in the first place. I transition to the other collar because I didn't want to put too much pressure on my injured leg working the leg hook guard.
You'll notice that he is WELL aware of the implications of that leg hook and works very hard to avoid letting me get it. I see an moment when I think he's off balance and try to move to the top, but he beats me to it and I spend a few seconds in halfguard bottom.
Notice that I do NOT let him settle onto me. I'm driving my knee up the entire time, not giving him a place to get comfortable, and I get back to open guard. I trick him with a pull -> push and start working to pass his guard. He's strong so I get shoved around a little, but I keep my weight down and don't allow him a chance to sweep me. Even when he does get some leverage I ride with it and maintain my base.
We run out of time as I'm working to pass his guard.

Despite his 70lb advantage I NEVER allowed him to settle on top of me. I kept at least one knee wedged up between us at all times and I used my feet equally as often as my hands to maintain my space.

We were doing 3 man groups doing 3.5 minute rounds, fresh man comes in at the 3.5 min mark, so you roll 7 minutes in a row. So now we're back with the first guy.

I open up by establishing butterfly hooks since he likes to charge forward. He plays right into it and I hit the monkeyflip and roll to mount.
I'm not worrying about being particularly heavy, I mess with his arm he starts trying to stiff arm me and just rolls himself over. I let him establish a solid turtle so that I can practice breaking it down a bit. I get underhooks on both sides and then start frogkicking out to flatten him down. Easy choke follows.
I fail a leg hook variation sweep, but I use that to catch a grip on his arm and set up the triangle, he tapped a little early to the triangle. I started letting him work side control, but even then I keep a knee up to never allow people to settle in completely on me. This round was a little short due to the guy needing some water, he still has cardio issues.

And now back to my friend. I'm being a little more aggressive in this round, digging for the collar and practicing breaking him down into my guard. Normally I wouldn't be playing closed guard against him, but it's part of my Guillotine project for this month.
[Edit: Realized I didn't upload this video, oops. So this one is listed as part 5, but is actually part 3]

I break him down a little, he escapes, etc... just working the grip. Then I get a couple of deep collar grips and mess with a collar choke. He was gurgling, but I couldn't quite seal the deal with it so I transitioned out.
Notice that I keep my foot in his side the entire time to give me the best chance of ending up on top. He's able to dodge back and avoid it, but I end up with full guard and him broken down, which lets me move to an armbar. I had no intention of finishing the armbar against him, so I moved around to a bicep slicer, which again I had no intention of finishing, then time ran out.

This one is a good example of how I stop larger people from passing my guard by continually attacking them to keep them from getting settled and working to pass. I never gave him a chance to stop defending and try to pass.

The final video is half the new guy and my friend, then when the new guy gasses I hop in to roll again. I come in at about the 1:50 mark. I decide I want to get on top this time, so I just pile in and work on passing his halfguard.

Notice, MOBILITY. I move back and forth switching my pass from one side to the other until I get past his arms. Then I settle in to a north south choke and start sliding back. It was close, but he had enough of a grip on my Gi to keep me from moving far enough down to finish it.

All of these videos demonstrate that as a Blue belt you shouldn't really be having trouble with athletic white belts. Guys who outweigh you by 70lbs? No problem. You just play a different game. Keep your knees up, be mobile. There is no reason you should be letting big noobs get on top of you unless you specifically want to work out from under those positions. I plan on filming a lot of my rolling in the coming months and picking out 1-2 good ones each week to post on here and discuss. Feel free to throw some comments out.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August is Guillotine Month

I hit 2 sets of 3 with 167.5 last night, ready to try a set of 5 tonight, if that works out for me then I'll be trying 193.5 on thursday. I jacked up my right leg doing throws last week before I went out of town, so I've had to leave off the squats for a few more days, but I'll be back on those next week.

This month at Jits is going to be all about Guillotines. I was looking back over some of my notes and things and it turns out that I've actually got more successful submissions with Gogoplata's than with Guillotines. So I've decided to sharpen up my guillotines and their setups all this month. I picked up Din Thomas' 1001 submissions videos and he has several slick guillotine variations on there I plan on trying, and Tony Desouza has this video out: that Zapruder hooked me up with which was most informative.

Back at Jits tomorrow and we'll see how things work out.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So yesterday was probably one of my bigger lifting days. I did one of my normal sets of 2 reps with 167.5, then put up 3 reps of 167.5. Then I put up 3 sets of 5 with 147.5 which is a huge improvement for me as far as work capacity is concerned. I also did a set of 5 overhead press with 80lbs, then hit 2 reps with 100lbs which is a new personal best for me. Then I knocked out a couple of sets of 5 on the squats with 167.5. That's more lifting than I've done in one day in a long time and I feel great. I feel stronger than I've ever been.

I'm still working hard at class to take things to that next level where I feel like I can make a run at my purple belt. I think I'm making good progress towards it. I feel strong against everyone, even the two giant purple belts. If all goes as planned I'll crush me some NAGA next July in my final run at the Blue Belt division and go for my purple some time late next year.