Sunday, January 30, 2011

BJJ 1/30/2011

I trained last friday as well, taught the beginner class and took the main class, but I was too busy to post about them. Went over breaking the guard in Gi and did some passing and reguarding drills. Main class was continuing work on armdrags and different variants.

Tonight I had 3 people for the beginner class. I started out with a movement drill where you Upa, shrimp, hipswitch to turtle, then sitout and end up back on your back and repeat. For technique we worked no-gi guard passing using a tripod pass where you post your head on your opponents solar plexus, base up on your feet and keep one arm in their armpit and use the other to break the legs open and start your pass. After everyone had the basic idea we drilled doing the pass and the bottom person had to shrimp, hip switch to turtle, then sitout back to guard.
Next up we worked on the basic scissor sweep principles. Getting the underhook, loading the opponent up onto the shin, lifting the knee, and sweeping. Worked that back and forth and then did about 30 minutes of flow rolling with a clear emphasis on the techniques we had been working on as well as the escapes from the previous classes. So far folks have been staying relaxed and working well with the flowrolling. Not sure how much they are really working on thinking ahead, but it seems to be helpful so far.

Main class was more armdrags. Armdrag to the back for RNC as a warmup drill, then armdrag to a half crucifix RNC, then armdrag attempt, but they post a foot up, so you underhook the knee, keep the arm tight, and roll over backwards for the sweep. Then just for kicks Case showed armdrag to the back to a rolling calf crusher. Fun stuff.

Specific sparring was from butterfly guard. I hit a bunch of armdrags, and managed to hit X-guard and swing to the back and kick th legs out. Was pretty as could be. Generally worked on armdrags from the bottom and just passed guard on the top.

Rolling was a 4 man group with 3 of our more athletic guys, luckily two of them had just finished Muay Thai, so they weren't as crazily energetic as normal. I played relaxed and prevented a lot of passing, caught a couple of triangles and whatnot. One of the guys kept trying to footlock me, so I heel hooked him very gently a couple of times. Fun class and I'm having an easier and easier time of managing the stronger and more atheltic people.

Also, my new Megalodon Gi that Casey, Coe and Darnell chipped in on for my wedding present came in and it is absolutely sweet. I'm going to try to get a picture of the back up since it has the Megalodon and Alliance logos on it. Looks quite nice. It's a Judo style Gi with the shorter sleeves I prefer and it's in blue. Very sturdy and it came with matching pants.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Be an Enforcer

At every school there is that Go-To person that always handles the noobs. Ideally it's someone not too big, who is always calm, but is tough enough to take some beats, and skilled enough to demonstrate to the super athletic, spazzy, "I R DOIN MMA!!" type noobs that whatever they are doing is ineffective and they need to chill the fuck out and pay attention to learning jiu-jitsu.
If the enforcer is a 250lb brown belt then the noob doesn't learn anything because, "The only reason I couldn't beat him is because he's bigger than I am!" is sitting in the back of their mind, so they just go twice as hard on the next guy their size. If the enforcer is the instructor then it can cause bad blood between the noobs and the guy who is supposed to be teaching them. The perfect enforcer is a senior blue or mid level purple belt between 135 and 155lbs. A little bigger is fine, but you definitely want your enforcer to be a demonstration of technique over strength.

If you find yourself being paired up with every 220lb spaz that comes into the gym, and you're a lightweight blue belt, you're probably on the list of Enforcers for your school. Since no one ever really sits down and tells you what you're supposed to do, let's explore that concept for a minute.
As an Enforcer your job is ONLY to demonstrate that pure strength and athleticism will not let the spazzy noob win. You don't have to completely dominate them, you don't have to sub them, you just have to make sure they know that what they are doing is ineffective. So here are a few ways to do that.

1. Invincible Guard: This is best used against people that try to elbow grind their way out of guard or apply submissions from inside the guard. To execute this technique lock your feet together and turn your knees OUT so that the backs of your knees are pressed against your opponent. This makes your guard much harder to break and lets you bump your opponent around a lot. Next put your hands behind your head and look around the room, hold a conversation with someone or give some advice to a white belt in a nearby roll. While doing this constant pull your opponent forward to break their balance. If they start to stop working make sure you encourage them to "Keep working!".

2. Mocking Maneuver: This one can be used in conjunction with any of the other techniques, but I prefer combining it with Invincible Guard. When your opponent is trying something that won't work, and refuses to abandon it, engage this Maneuver. "You know that won't ever work, right?", "If you keep doing that you're going to hurt yourself...", "I'm just wondering where you're going with this... keep on.", "I'm not sure that does what you think it does.". This is a way to subtly remind your opponent that they do not yet know WTF they are doing and should stick to working on things they've actually been shown in class, not things they half remember from UFC 57 or the latest Submissions 101 video.

3. Whirling Dervish: If your opponent is too big, or too strong, or you have a knee injury, or for any reason can't employ Invincible Guard this is an excellent backup option. Sit on your butt, get any kind of collar or sleeve grip to help spin you, and extend your legs so that you have a foot on the hip or between the legs or anywhere that you can use to help keep you lined up with your opponent. Now let them run themselves stupid trying to pass your guard on the outside of the circle while you use your grip and your hooks to make them carry you around the inside of the circle. No matter at what point they get frustrated and try to dive on you, you'll have them inside your guard still.

4. Levitation: This is a personal favorite. A lot of spazzy noobs will want to stand up to run around your guard or do other silly things, so get your feet on their hips and keep a deathgrip on the collar. Keep your legs socketted into the hip crease and nice and stiff and when your opponent stands up they will give you their hips, this leads to overhead sweeps and other comedy monkey flip style sweeps. As long as you keep your feet on their hips you can keep this option open.

5. Silver Bullet: This one takes some work to develop, so be prepared. The idea here is to get ONE technique, usually a sweep, up to black belt level. Practice it for 20 minutes before every class, drill it randomly at home, watch videos about it to learn variations, etc... Now use this sweep on your opponent 50 times in a row. I've hit a dozen scissor sweeps in a row on a spazzy noob and then they finally had the lightbulb go on that HULK SMASH!! was not going to win them any prizes. If you want to be a good enforcer you need at least one Silver Bullet, and frankly this is something you should be doing anyways.

6. Bait and Switch: This one is for particularly aggressive noobs and is the only technique on here that really involves subbing them. First engage invincible guard, second give them your arm to try to americana, third armbar them or take their back and choke them. You can offer them any other subs you think they will recognize if you have a solid counter to them as well, but the one I see most commonly is people trying to work the americana from inside the guard.

Notice that the one thing that all of these (Except for #5) have in common is that they will NEVER work on someone that has been training for a month. These are all tricks designed to get people to calm the hell down during their first 3 weeks and PAY ATTENTION.

Now for STORYTIME! As anyone that reads my blog here knows I weigh about 145lbs. I've been as heavy as 153 and as light as 130 during my time in jiujitsu. At the time of this story I was at 138 and had not started weightlifting seriously. A couple of 250~lb guys came to try the class out, both were backyard wrestlers and were decked out in tapout gear and clearly ready to go spazzy ape shit on people as was demonstrated when they went bonkers on their smaller white belt partners during the technique specific work. After that they got paired up with me and one of our 220lb blue belts. My guy clearly assumed he'd be able to manhandle me, and pounced on me with a quickness driving as much of his weight onto me as possible. I spent the next 5 minutes just not letting him do anything. Worked my way through most of the above list and by the end of it he was sweating buckets and gasping for air and I wasn't even breathing hard because I made him do all the work. His comment, "I had no idea it would be this much work."

And that's all it takes. All I had to do to show him that spaztard strength could not beat someone half his size was to make it a lot of work. I didn't sweep him a hundred times, I didn't take his back, I just kept him up and away from me and made him keep working the entire time to try to accomplish something. Being an Enforcer isn't always about riding KoB for 20 minutes until some ass hole pukes on himself, it's not about landing 20 subs in 60 seconds on a guy just to show him he's still a total noob, it's about emphasizing to noobs that they are in class to LEARN SOMETHING NEW not to show off how strong they are. All you have to do is make their strength ineffective.

Monday, January 24, 2011

BJJ 1/23/2011 Main Class

Casey has decided to concentrate on arm drags for the next 6 weeks or so, which is awesome. I love when we get into a good groove on a technique and I really get to put in a bunch of reps.
We worked on a couple of different ways to break grips and control the opponents wrist, the Kung Fu grip release (AKA Wax On)is one I've always used, but the one where you kind of clap your hands together and grab your opponents wrist is one that I've seen, but seriously under utilize. After the grips it was all about getting a good deep drag, moving yourself as much as you move your opponent, and keeping control of the arm.

We practiced locking in the RNC, as well as transferring to an Armbar, and to an arm triangle. Very good stuff. I was working with one of our Ammy fighters, Brian, who has an extensive Muay Thai background but only starting working on his JiuJitsu in the last 12 months or so. He has a tendency to fall back on his supreme athleticism in BJJ and it has slowed his development some, but he's getting a handle on it now and is really looking to improve his technique. I spent some time helping him tune things up and showing him small adjustments that made things work a lot better for him than trying to hulk smash muscle everything. If he sticks to working his technique as relentlessly as he works on everything else then he should be ready to go pro MMA next year.

Rolling/Drilling was all combined today. Two lines, one big gauntlet, one side of the room starting with butterfly hooks and working to hit the armdrag. I worked it as best I could, but ended up using my opponents reaction to the armdrag attempt to sweep or sub in other ways most of the time. I did get quite a few successful armdrags out of it though. Definitely good trainin'.

Fundamentals Class 1/23/2011

I had to go take care of my horses today which made me a little late getting to class, we only had two people there for fundamentals though. My friend Will and Casey's daughter Katie were there. Continuing with the idea of Frames and Escapes we worked on escaping from side control by building a frame on your opponents neck and shrimping. Once again I talked about combining movements including the Upa in order to make space with the Frame, and to look for shortcuts to the escape. We also talked about what happens if you do get squished and can't shrimp away and reguard.
The second you feel that you aren't going to be able to get your hips away you swim for the far side underhook and reach across your opponents shoulders at the same time you kick over and trap their leg, then try to take the back.
We also talked about what happens if you get wizzered and squished after you have the underhook and the leg and I showed them how to ratchet themselves downwards using the arm and the legs together. Spent a little time talking about using your whole body to accomplish your goals.

I had them drill building a frame while the opponent was passing to get them to start thinking ahead. The goal was to build the frame and shrimp to reguard, then the opponent passes on the other side and repeat, then try to get some pressure on to stop the reguard. If you felt like you weren't going to get the reguard you had to swim and switch to the underhook.

That was all we did for the last 20 minutes or so of class was to practice framing and then swimming for the underhook. Both of them made good progress and I swear I'll have Katie stomping the lightweight guys by the end of the summer if she sticks with it.

BJJ 1/21/2011

Casey was out of town with a couple of our Ammy fighters who were fighting up in North Carolina, so one of our Purple Belt's Coe taught the main class. We worked from the turtle starting with the fatboy roll, then a couple of different reverals including a different kimura grip than the one I normally use.

We did some specific sparring from the Turtle and I spent most of the time escaping to guard and choking people. I did take a brutal forearm to the nose which resulted in a fountain of blood for a few minutes. Got that under control and then we did a gauntlet with everyone. I worked on being patient and letting my opponent set themselves up for the sweep which worked nicely. I managed to sweep everyone except Coe and maintain top position. Fun times.

Fundamentals Class 1/21/2011

Only my buddy Antony showed up for the early class today, so while I went ahead and went over the posture breaking and hip movement stuff I was planning on for the fundamentals class we spent most of the time helping him work on holes in his game. We talked about using pressure to pass and not leaving space at the last minute for people to escape. Looked at some random DLR stuff, did some work on escapes, then flow rolled for about 30 minutes stopping occasionally to talk about stuff that came up. It was a really fun class for both of us.

Friday, January 21, 2011

BJJ 1/19/2011

We had two completely new people and a couple of guys who have only had a few classes tonight which is awesome because I love seeing the school grow. I'm hoping they all stick with it. I'm also hoping they will show up to the beginner class on Friday.

We started out the class drilling armbars from guard, and triangles, then moved to some more fun De La Riva guard stuff. I'm trying to use DLR a little more when rolling because it transitions pretty well with X-Guard and Spider guard, so I'm liking the current DLR kick.
First technique was swinging to the back, establishing essentially butterfly guard from the back and then kicking the legs out.
Second technique was a technical stand to single leg.
I also spent some time practicing the basic DLR sweep.

Drilled with the lighter guys and swept them all a bunch, passed guard, etc... Tried to let them work the stuff from the class but most of them just froze up when I didn't immediately smash them. I let one guy start one of the sweeps, but when he stopped like 3/4 of the way through I rolled to a kneebar on him, another guy I let get to the single leg, but then he just stood there too long, so I rolled him.
Both of those guys need to be in the beginner class more where they can learn to think while they are rolling, they'll have an easier time of executing stuff in the main class that way.

Rolling was a 4 man group with 3 of the new guys. Spent most of the time letting them work a bit, then sweeping and choking them. One of them is a former wrestler, so he tended to give up his back and do other wrestlery things, once he adjusts to the differences he should be a pretty solid training partner though.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fundamentals Class 1/16/2011

The first No-Gi fundamentals class had Casey's daughter Katie as well as my buddy Will and Ian back again. I wanted to talk about the difference between gi and no-gi grips and how you use the different grips for control. I started out with the Overhook grip and showed how to get to the Overhook by swimming when someone is posting on your hips and how to hook the back of the head. Also showed the tricep and collar tie grips to replace the sleeve and collar control in Gi. The bulk of the lesson was in how to use the Overhook and the back of the head grip to break your opponent down and hold them, then how to attack from that position. Again this is something that I'll be revisiting frequently because it's something that never gets explicitly addressed in the main class even though the grips are mentioned. I also went over mount escapes and holding mount with the feet on hips "Monkey Mount" position and talked about what to do when someone is strong enough to just lift you off of them from there. After that we practicing spinning when someone lifts you so that their arms cross and you come back down in side control. Then did some work with each other practicing the escapes.

Finally I introduced the concept of flow-rolling. We'll be revisiting that frequently as well since I want people to be able to roll by thinking and looking instead of just seeing who can throw their techniques the hardest and fastest. Flow rolling is all about just doing the correct next move. It's not about making it work by speed and strength, but by thinking it and implementing it. So when you are flow rolling you let your opponent succeed if they attempt the correct move and you flow to something else. It's about honing your ability to think while rolling just like the more intense rolling is about honing your ability to apply the technique against someone who is physically resisting you.

I skipped out after that because my wife had to study for an upcoming nursing test and needed some help.

Fundamentals Class 1/14/2011

So this was my very first "Fundamentals" class at Megalodon. My goal is to help our guys shore up the gaps between knowing a technique and being able to implement it as well as give new people a better foundation from which to learn the techniques in the main class. It's just so much easier to learn a new armbar variation when you don't have to stop every rep to figure which way your hips are supposed to move and that kind of thing. With that in mind I'm starting with escapes and moving from there.

I only had 4 people show up for this first one, my friend Will, one of our blue belts Ian, and Ian's two kids that train with us sometimes. I started out by showing them a mount escape that we don't go over very often in class called the Hydraulic. It works by bracing your hands on your opponents hips, then upa and stiffarm your opponent above you. You can then dump them to the side, go out the back, or pull your knees up and go to butterfly guard. It rarely works that way in actual rolling though, which was my point about escapes today. I wanted everyone to get used to their escape attempt failing, or not working 100% the way it does in practice.

I then introduced the idea of framing as a discrete concept. The idea has always been there in a lot of techniques that Casey shows, but most of our guys have never had a class where framing is specifically addressed. I explained how to setup your frame from the bottom of mount and how to use a combination of framing, the hydraulic, the upa, and the knee and elbow escape to generate a mount escape against a resisting opponent. I talked about not giving up progress and staying off of your back and we practiced a lot of escaping mount. This is something that I'll be revisiting multiple times over the next month.

After that Ian asked about guard retention and since we only had a few people there I showed the Damien Maia guard retention tips about keeping parallel and pushing the head down on the same side as your opponents body as they pass. We played with that a little and then the regular class started.

We worked on De La Riva guard sweeps. The first involved blocking the leg and isolating the far arm to trip them over your leg. The second was for when the strip the grip off of the far arm so you situp, pass the arm under the leg, and stand up to dump them over. The third was, again, the farm arm grip gets stripped, so you put your foot in their side, stretch them out, and then transfer their leg all the way over their arm until you are in a kind of butterfly guard from the back, then grab their belt or gi and kick their legs out while you pull. Very slick way to take the back when it works.

Positional sparring from feet on hips spider guard. I swept a bunch of people mostly. It's all kind of a blur.

Rolling was with super tall guy and Will. I had my intensity dialed up a little for some reason and kept tossing Will around and then taking his back in scrambles. I think it's just my focus on my upcoming Gong Sau causing me to go a little harder than normal. Fun times, fun class.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

BJJ 1/12/2011

Fun times, left work a little early to pick my wife up from our house and it ended up taking almost 3 hours to get out there and back due to detours and stupid drivers. Still, I made it to class on time.

Warmed up with some armbars, triangles, and situp sweeps from guard. Good technique heavy warmup just the way I like them. Technique today was a really really slick sweep/X-guard transition that I immediately liked.
The setup is your opponent in combat base, you are sitting back with the same side knee up. Put your foot on the inside of your opponents foot and then overhook their knee so that it crosses in front of your shin and locks their leg in place. Next you roll to the side and lift your leg, dumping your opponent sideways and forcing them to post on their hand. If you can reach their leg you can then come up to your knees and just push them over to side control. If not you can grab their posting hand using the marcello grip, feed your bottom leg through and scissor sweep. If neither of those seems to be working you can easily move under them and switch to X-guard to work from there.

We worked a variation where they get their weight down before you can lift the leg, so you wrap the lapel around their knee, feed it deep, and stand up. You lift the leg, ankle pick, and drive to side control.

Drilling we started in the combat base position with one person already starting with the overhook on the knee. I found that the best way to defend was to overhook their arm and grip the far lapel, then drive my weight down and to the back and sprawl. Me and Antony had some seriously acrobatic rolls using this sweep and several different counter attempts. I'm a fan of it for sure considering how hard it is to get people into my guard now. Most of them are willing to sit in combat base and work though, so playing angry koala on the leg should give me more options now and it fits in nicely with my X-guard push.

Sparring I rolled w/ JC, Katie, Antony, and a few easy rolls w/ Johnny since he's getting ready for a smoker. JC and Katie I try to let work most of the time. Antony is always a blast to roll with and this was no exception save for when I took an unintentional headbutt to the bridge of the nose. It bruised up a little, but no blood. Should be all healed up within a few days. Johnny is just like grappling a dumptruck. Takes everything I've got just to play static defense. Fun times though!

My first Beginners Class is tomorrow at 6pm. The current plan is to warm up with shrimping, situp sweeps and knee to elbow escapes, and some hip movement drills. Then work on how to move when escaping from mount and side control. A very movement heavy class trying to get people to coordinate their whole bodies together when they are working on things.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BJJ and Self Defense

I participate in a couple of web forums,,, and some random smaller ones. About once every two weeks someone comes on posting about how impractical BJJ is for self defense. The discussion invariably devolves into accusations that anyone who trains BJJ will automatically jump guard no matter what the circumstances. Since I'm feeling philosophical today I thought I would address that issue here so that I have it as a handy reference for later.

First argument: Jumping Guard On The Street
For some reason people watch BJJ matches between equally skilled opponents and think that because BJJ players are willing to jump guard in a tournament setting that they have no other options. The strict truth of the matter is that as a BJJ Blue belt 99.99% of people I meet have exactly ZERO defense against me taking them down. I have absolutely no reason to voluntarily pull guard against anyone in a confrontation. My takedowns aren't as good as a four year wrestler, or a four year judoka, but they are infinitely better than the takedown defense of almost everyone. So no, I will not be pulling guard on the street. I will be getting a bodylock and throwing you on your head, as will most BJJ people. And frankly, if a BJJ black belt wanted to he could pull guard in a street fight and crush pretty much anyone who is NOT a BJJ black belt or extremely high level wrestler without worrying about. It would still be a bad plan, but it's certainly doable at a very high level. Of course at that level your takedowns are even better, so once again you are likely to get spiked on your head instead.

Second Argument: Multiple Attackers
It has been stated many times that being on the ground against multiple attackers is a horrible idea and that BJJ has no way to deal with multiple attackers. The flawed thought process behind this argument is actually kind of mind bending. First of all, no Martial Art is going to allow you to effectively fend off half a dozen guys attacking you at once. If you are sufficiently skilled and have a good athleticism advantage you could probably take on two guys and win. If you're Cain Velasquez taking on untrained featherweights you can probably handle 4 or 5. But the mob is gonna bring you down one way or another no matter what. Krav Maga, Wing Chun, Muay thai, Judo, Boxing, BJJ, Wrestling, none of them will stop 6 guys from kicking your teeth in reliably. However, BJJ WILL help you avoid being held down, grabbed, tackled, etc... The ability to sweep and stand up if you get tackled is invaluable and the only way to truly learn it is to practice it against skilled, resisting people the way you do in a BJJ, Wrestling, or Judo class. So BJJ is AS good against multiple attackers as anything else. Of course, this entire argument is based on you being a MORON and going places by yourself where you are likely to end up in fights. I dunno about most people, but when I go downtown to party I usually have five or six friends with me, and most of my friends are trained.

Third Argument: Weapons
Going to the ground against a guy with a knife/gun/nunchuks/nuclear arsenal/etc is a terrible idea. That's absolutely true. That's why it's good to know how not to get tackled and pinned down by a guy with a knife. Knowing how to control someones limbs translates pretty well into defending against weapon assaults, but it's ALWAYS a terrible idea to get involved in a fight against someone with a weapon. Again, no martial art is going to help you against a guy with a gun if you don't have one. Nothing is going to reliably allow you to defend against a knife attack unarmed. BJJ is AS GOOD as anything else for weapon defense, which is to say, terrible. Of course, if you're a BJJ guy armed with a knife it's just that much easier to hold someone still while you stab them...

Really the entire argument is fallacious. The people making the argument are always proponents of some other martial arts system which they claim does the job better than BJJ, however those systems are things like Wing Chun and Systema which are unable to reliably handle a single unarmed opponent, much less two guys with knives. Which brings me to the most important counter argument against the "Deadly" systems. Because some practitioner of one of the arts mentioned here will tell me that their art is too dangerous to use in the ring I'm going to discuss the Force Continuum.

The Force Continuum
BJJ is an EXCELLENT art for self defense. It teaches you to control your opponent, maintain a dominant position, and apply an appropriate level of force ranging from passive restraint all the way up to a fatal choke.
If your drunken cousin starts a scene with his girlfriend at your sisters wedding is it REALLY appropriate to kick him in the nuts and gouge out his eyes? If your 6 year old is throwing a tantrum is the best solution an elbow to the spine? If you said YES! Then you're a psychopath. The answer is NO. Those are not appropriate reactions. But many arts would have you believe that they have no tools beyond those deadly strikes. They have no ability to restrain an opponent that doesn't result in crippling or fatal injury.

With BJJ you can choose to act anywhere along the force continuum. If I need to hold down a hysterical 6 year old I can do so without injuring or even hurting him. If I need to escort my ranting cousin out of the wedding I can do it without putting him in the hospital. But if some guy starts trying to cave my face in I can break his arm or choke him unconcious. Bottom line, BJJ and Judo are both ideal for self defense. The best solution for self defense though is BJJ, Judo or Wrestling and Boxing, Muay Thai, or another solid COMPETITION striking art like Kyokushin, combined with conflict de-escalation and avoidance training and a little common sense.

But most importantly, follow the cardinal rules of not getting your ass kicked:
1. Don't go places where you might get your ass kicked.
2. If you violate rule 1, don't go alone.
3. If you violate rule 1 and 2, don't get drunk.
4. If you violate rules 1-3 then there's a good chance you'll get your ass kicked.

The hard fact is that most people will never ever be in a life or death encounter where eye gouging or trachea crushing is the correct response. Your cousin larry gets drunk and starts hitting on the brides mom at your brothers wedding? EYEGOUGEGROINKICK! Is not the appropriate solution.

There, now I can just link this post in the next retarded BJJ Self defense argument.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No-Gi BJJ 1/9/2011

Was back at my first no-gi class since early december and it felt a little strange, but the break must have reset something in my brain because my normal no-gi game was back. Overhook to triangle to armbar to various other stuff.

Technique was halfguard passing while defending against a kimura attempt from the bottom, then countering the kimura attempt with a spinning armbar. So that effectively kills my ambush kimura game that I've been using. Not that I'll stop until people start regularly hitting the armbar on me, but I'm definitely going to have to be more wary now that everyone has been shown the counter.

Worked with the light guys for positional drilling, mostly swept folks, but Antony was back and once again surprised me by standing up to escape in a spot where I just DID NOT expect it. I love working with him.

We had one of the guys from the UGA club come sign up to train with us, super tall guy that has Muay Thai experience, had a hilarious moment where I thought I was sweeping him and suddenly one of his arms came out of no-where to brace him and he slapped on a guillotine. I'll really have to watch out for those with him. He tried it twice more but I was prepared for them and blocked it handily.

We have another new guy in the class that is close to his height, but with less experience. It's good to have some more new blood.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ugh, playin defense

Showed up a few minutes late today and missed most of the warmup. Technique was halfguard stuff.
Halfguard to a kimura setup that worked by pushing out to long range half, getting the kimura grip, then sitting out to full guard to finish.
Next up was the same shrimp to LRH, go for the kimura, but your opponent pulls the arm out, so you scoop under their leg and go for X-guard, but end up in failed x-guard. With both knees in front and your top foot behind your opponents thigh, lift with that top foot and scissor the legs as you pull the far arm towards you to execute the sweep, then either backstep pass to side control or transition to the kneebar.

Pairing up for drilling I was with the lightweight side of the room, starting from halfguard to sweep or submit from the bottom. I played fairly relaxed and let folks work and then eventually swept them or passed for the most part. There was a new guy there so I let him work out and escape the first time, then squished him and passed the second time. He seemed to be having fun. I showed him my go-to halfguard sweep.

After that rolling with Ian and Brian. Ugh, rolling with them is WORK. Brian is only 170, maybe 180 on a fat day, but he has really long limbs and really good base and is extremely athletic. He's been doing Muay Thai for years and has several ammy fights already. He's ready for his blue belt skill wise, but his technique library is a little light since he mostly just does a handful of things extremely well. Ian is a 200lb blue belt that is also extremely strong and athletic. So I spent most of my time playing super defense and looking for any small opening. I managed to trick Ian into a sort of overhead sweep variation, but couldn't lock down mount and he managed to toss me back and end up back in my guard. Ended up close to an rather unorthodox armlock from bottom of north south turtle. Almost got it, but Brian is just too strong for any shenanigans like that to work. He's also picked up the single collar choke that I keep using and is now going for it all over the place. I'll probably grab him next week some time and show him some tips for finishing it. He also can openered me twice, once from my guard so I just dropped guard and switched to feet on hips, but the second was from inside my triangle choke. I usually base my forehead on my knee to prevent this, but I slipped to the side and actually slapped him in the eye tapping because of the pressure on my neck.
I spent a LOT of time just using feet on hips and sleeve grips to keep them both at bay. Definitely not as much pure fun as rolling with the guys my size, but valuable for sure.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

BJJ 1/5/11 First class of the new year!

Back to Jits for the first time since... Dec 17th I think. I was sure I was going to be completely exhausted after five minutes of rolling, so I grabbed Justin and did a quick warmup roll. Yes. I was completely exhausted after 5 minutes. Then class started and we worked on guillotines with modified grips. Worked on the Marcelo grip which is palm to palm with the choking palm facing your body and the supporting palm facing your opponent and your elbow resting on their shoulder. This means when they posture into it, or drive forward to defend it actually chokes them more. Not a fan of that grip from standing, but from halfguard I loved it.

Worked from closed guard after that for a while and I ended up singing Paranaue while rolling and tossing everyone around with ease. Paired up with Kris and Justin to roll live. You may remember Kris as the white belt that caught me in a Triangle choke right before I took my break. He made the mistake of posting about it on facebook, leading me to promote him out of the "Let the noobs work on stuff" category and into the "NO FREEBIES FOR YOU" category. With that in mind I spent most of the time breakdancing on him. In the interest of fairness I played mostly the same way with Justin. Justin has about an 80lb weight advantage on me though, so it's a good deal harder to toss him around. Still, felt good flow the entire time and didn't get tired at all. I felt MORE energetic by the end of class than I had when I started.

A great first class back! Now I gotta get with Casey about teaching beginners classes and stuff.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Purple Belt Roadmap

I believe I've mentioned before that Alliance has fairly specific testing criteria for belt ranks, which you can check out here, so I'm looking to distill the general requirements down into specifics for my game so that I have a nice detailed list of stuff to practice. My goal is to have a short video of me performing each technique uploaded and linked from this post so that I have a nice specific idea of WTF I'm doing.

Throws and Takedowns
One leg throw:
1.Ashi Guruma

Four hip throws:
1.Hip Throw w/ Underhook
2.Hip Throw w/ Head control
3.Ippon Seio Nage
4.Whizzer throw

Two double legs:
1.Double w/ turn the corner
2.Double w/ sweep the leg

Two single leg:
1.Single w/ turn the corner
2.Single w/ sweep the leg

Two ways to defend the guillotine standing up:
1.Side step to suplex
2.Turnout to duckunder

Two ways to defend the headlock standing:
1.Sitback takedown
2.T-bone suplex (May not be legit)
3.Body Lock takedown

One way to defend the headlock on the ground:
1.Running man sweep

One way to defend the guillotine on the ground:
1.Stack defense

Passing the Guard
Five different ways to pass the guard and get side control
1. Toreador Pass
2. Double Underhook Pass
3. Basic Knee Through Pass
4. Hug and Climb Pass
5. Log Splitter Knee Through Pass

Two sweeps from the half-guard:
1.Overhook Upa

Two half-guard passes:
1.Backstep Pass
2.Foot on Thigh Pass

Sweeps from the Guard
Five different ways to sweep your opponent:
1. Butterfly Sweep
2. Half Butterfly Elevator Sweep
3. Giftwrap sweep
4. Single collar sweep
5. Situp Sweep
6. Scissor Sweep (Just in case one of the others doesn't count)

Two ways to escape the mount:
1.Bridge and Roll (Upa escape)
2.Knee-to-Elbow escape

One way to escape the side-mount:
1.Far side underhook escape

One way to escape the rear-mount:
1.Isolate the arm, turn into guard.

One way to escape the knee-on-belly:
1.Nearside arm grips the foot, bridge, push to halfguard.

Five from the mount:
1. Armbar
2. Americana
3. Mounted Triangle
4. Ezekiel
5. Single Collar Choke

Two double attacks:
1. Triangle/Armbar
2. Kimura/Armbar

Three from the side-mount
1. Americana
2. Kimura
3. Single Collar choke

Two from the back
1. RNC
2. Armbar

Two from knee in the belly
1. Farside Armbar
2. Nearside Armbar

Five from the guard
1. Triangle
2. Armbar
3. Omoplata
4. X-Choke
5. Kimura