Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Continuing to Flow

I definitely need to start video taping the rolling in class. I played it completely chill and easy last friday, just sweeping and hanging out on top, not really forcing any submissions or anything. It felt lazy, but I was in a lazy kind of mood.
I'm hoping to continue my work against our Purple belts tomorrow. I need to be able to sweep them, it's becoming pathological. To that end I'm looking for some sweep combinations I can put together to throw at them.

My wedding is rapidly approaching. We're getting everything put together reasonably well, but still have some loose ends to tie up. It's going to be awesome. Then a 10 day honeymoon in the mountains. After the wedding my quest for Purple belt officially begins. I'll be going up to Alliance HQ twice a month to train and looking to demonstrate my awesomeness to the degree required to get my purple belt next summer.

I put 183lbs up on bench again yesterday and the day before. It felt a little easier than it did the first time. I'm going to do it again today, then take two days off from bench to do squats. I tried a set of 3 squats with 183 as well, first one I did 3/4 squat, then just above parallel, then parallel to ease myself into it and see how my knee felt. No twinges, no trouble. I'm going to alternate with 3x3 on the squats and my GTG work on the bench every other day if I can. But i don't mind being a little random.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feelin the Groove

Casey was under the weather last week so I had the chance to teach class last wednesday and worked on breaking people down in guard and freeing your hips to maneuver.

Step one: From closed guard pick a side. Get a sleeve grip on that side and a collar grip in the other side.
Step two: On the sleeve grip side put your foot on the hip and push your hips up and escape them to that same side while driving your collar gripping elbow straight down to the mat and stiffarming your sleeve grip across and to the mat.

Step three: Kick your leg up from their hip across their back.

You now have them pinned down pretty well and you have a hand free to work with.

From there we went over setting up a single collar choke + sweep, setting up the Kimura, and setting up an armbar.

I spent some time talking about how being flat on your back with double wrist control is not a good way to progress in guard, even if you feel "safe" there. Everyone seemed to enjoy it and catch on really well and now one of my friends who had been having a lot of trouble with his hip movement in guard is nailing armbars left and right.

Friday we briefly worked on an arm-in guillotine escape, then we rolled for over an hour in a huge gauntlet. I got to work against our two huge purple belts and achieved a moral victory in briefly unbalancing one of them.

Sunday was no-gi and one of our ammy fighters is getting ready for a fight, so no mercy. I got all kinds of sneaky on him and was able to sweep him a few times and finish a triangle and my trademark bicep slicer on him. I also warned him that he needed to free his arm when people spin to armbars on him from guard and he stacks them, but he didn't listen and my buddy with the improved hip movement armbarred him from guard EXACTLY in the way I warned him about.

I was also able to defend against our purple belts very well and start launching attacks. I feel like I'm making a lot of progress right now in just feeling peoples weight and feeling how techniques flow together. I'm starting to understand why a lot of the purple belts over at Bullshido don't post much in the way of technique how-tos or discussions. I'm hitting a point where I'm just flowing instead of planning my path. I've become increasingly willing to give up "control" in order to let my opponent move to create openings for me. I'm no longer looking to impose my game on my opponent, but letting the game reveal itself as we go along. I find it harder to analyze my technique post class now though because I can't really say, "I set out to work through this roadmap, I was able to do so X times out of Y attempts. That is Z more times than last class." My goals are so much more amorphous now. I need to start video taping the rolling portion of class more often so I can see WTF I'm doing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Arm triangles and whatnot

Today by popular request we worked on the arm triangle that Brock used to finish Carwin at the last UFC. The grip is slightly different than the normal one since it's designed to be used on people with retardedly large shoulders. Basic arm triangle setup, but you grip palm to palm instead of on your bicep, and you have to keep your head tight to trap the arm. Then it's just squeeze and walk towards the head.
After that we worked on a couple of other arm triangle variations including my favorite setup where you scoop the arm from north south dig under your opponents head and lock it down there.
Specific sparring was from bottom of side control, I swept everyone while on bottom, then subbed everyone while on top. Rolling with the lightweights is getting a little too easy. Even my boy Fausto who was giving me absolute FITS a few weeks ago was no match for me today. Though in his defense he's got some tweaked ribs slowing him down. I hope we do some gauntlets with the entire class again next time I do No-Go so I get some more time to work with the big guys.
Rolling my group was 4 lightweights, we did 1 3.5 min round, then switched partners and repeated, then rested for 1 round, then switched partners again and repeated. Again, complete dominance.
After that I rolled with Will, who is about 220lbs, naturally athletic, and very strong. I spent about 20 seconds under side control with the rest of the round being me dominating him. Including sub via Kimura. That makes me happy with my ability to deal with the bigger guys and gives me some insight into how much my new strength is helping me. He was still able to rip out of quite a few things, but over all it was MUCH easier to make my shit work and much harder for him to escape. He's got about 4-5 months of training, so enough to know what to look out for. That combined with his natural balance and strength has made him very difficult to deal with in the past. I was very happy with how I handled him today.

Did 4 sets of 1 w/ 173 today. The last one was after jits, which was ill advised. I almost dropped it on my face. Gonna try to get 8 successful ones in tomorrow. Then I might be going out of town again for a week. If that happens I'll stick to 173 as my workout lift for at least 3 more days before trying to put 187 up. If I'm able to lift all the way through the week then I'll try 187 after resting saturday and sunday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Continuing Progress

Monday I hit 177lbs for a new personal best on the bench press. I then went out of town until Saturday for work. Upon my return I decided I felt strong and rested, so I put 183 on the bench, and I managed to put THAT up too. I've now gone up almost 50lbs on my max bench press since this time last year.
Today for the first time in about 6 months I started doing squats again. I put 120lbs (Edit: Just looked at my bar and I actually had 120lbs on it, not the 100lbs I originally thought) on my small bar and went for 3 sets of 10 Ass to Grass Front Squats. I definitely felt the workout. I'm going to stick to that every other day as much as possible until the end of september I think to give myself a strength baseline and put on some more muscle tissue, then I'll start upping the weight and dropping the reps. Probably go up 10lbs and down 2 reps per set every week until doing single reps at 90% of my 1rm multiple times per day and increase the weight every week.

I need to add in more grappling related cardio as well. Maybe some variation of fight gone bad with burpees, and pushpresses...

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Ok, so been stupidly busy at work and training and what not, so I haven't updated here for a while.
Been working spider guard, leg hook guard, and the bicep slicer sweep all together, kind of mixing everything back in still. It's all coming together really well which is making me happy. Because my sweeps have been working so much better I've been able to work my top game. Really working knee on belly and staying mobile. Still fishing for the single collar choke ans my primary sub with armbar right behind it and then the omoplata. Americanas and Kimuras are getting mixed back in pretty regularly now.

The biggest development has been in my weight lifting. I started concentrating on bench press and building up my upper body strength, since then my max bench has gone up from 137lbs to 173lbs. I'm on point to be at 200lbs by the end of the year. I need to add squats back in to the mix though, my lower body is getting neglected.

I'll be skipping NAGA in July and possibly in October as well unless money rains from the sky or something because I'm getting MARRIED and need the moneys to pay for the honeymoon.

If that's the case the next NAGA I hit will be sometime in 2011....