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.