Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rigan Machado Counter to the 50/50 Guard

I shot a video for this solely because I find it impossible to continue to refer to this technique as 'that fifty fifty counter from Rigan's book, I think it's move 16, anyways, that one' when trying to tell people about it. You can actually see it as move #16 and move #20 in his book Encyclopedia of Leglocks. The technique he shows isn't PRECISELY against the 50/50, because no one used it when he made the book. But it works exactly the same with your leg threaded through and triangled as it does in his demonstration. However, here is a brief video showing how it works. As usual feedback is welcome. This is NOT a detailed how-to guide for the technique. Remember this is just a reference video to give you the basic idea.

As usual commentary is welcome.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Training Roller Coaster

Normally a title like that would suggest that I'm going to talk about the ups and downs of training and how some days you are doing great and other days you feel like a noob again, but I'm not. This is about the rush of being on top of your game. I had another great class last night, we had the No-Gi Pan Am gold medalist and his brother who is also an incredibly skilled purple belt training with us again. It was no-gi which is what they both specialize in so they mauled me an unholy amount, but I'm already improving thanks to working against them.

In every roll that was not with them I was flowing well, chaining my techniques together, and executing submissions with a much higher frequency that I have been the last year or so. My game has definitely bumped up a couple of steps and I'm hoping to carry that into Grapplemania on the 8th of December and come out with a good performance. In the mean time, I'm going to be back to training 3-4 days a week instead of the 1-2 I've been doing. I expect that to help a lot, and I'm going to see if I can get back to lifting weights after the 8th to try and build up my strength again.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Psychological Submission Defense

I had another great 'I am a purple belt!' class today. I was hitting combos and flowing well and sweeping and really felt like I had broken through to the next step. The difference between this class and the last one where I felt that was that this time I got a much clearer mental picture of how to reproduce those results. I expect to have more ups and downs, but I think I'm solidly on the UP path, and watching some brown belt tournament competition is starting to help me see the places I can bridge from where I am to where they are. But enough about that, on to the good stuff!

During the technique portion of class we were working on a nice fundamental Kimura from halfguard top and using it to set up the guard pass, or finish it there. I was drilling it with one of our whitebelts and towards the end of drilling as I was increasing resistance some I started stiffening my arm and moving it through the kimura/straight armlock/americana combo positions.  I then explained the combo and told him not to give up once he had my arm isolated because no matter what I did, until I get my elbow back inside I would never really be better off. I talked about how some people will defend up and down through those three submission positions hoping to frustrate their opponent enough to move to something else where there might be a better chance of escape. I emphasized NOT to give up that position or let them get their arm back just because they broke out of the first submission.

Fast forward to one of the last rolls of the day. I'm rolling with that same whitebelt and, as is my custom, I let him work his way to halfguard top where I fight for the underhook, giving him the setup from the technique portion of class. He takes it, and starts working the kimura on me. I defend, stiff arming and floating my arm around until suddenly I pop his hand off of my wrist and I hear that sweet sweet, 'Dangit' that tells me I'm not going to get subbed. He gave up. I had defeated him. At that point he sort of half heartedly went for the kimura again but he had no commitment behind it because in his mind I had already escape. Sure enough a few seconds later he shifts around and moves to a different position and I pop my hips and escape back to guard, hip out, grab a collar and choke him.

I then pointed out that he had just done exactly what we talked about earlier. He HAD me. He had the kimura solidly established. Just because I popped that one hand off didn't mean anything. My position wasn't improved AT ALL. All he had to do was grab my wrist and lock it up again and he could have continued to work it without any interruption, but he allowed me to beat him mentally and so he gave up a dominant position with a submission 3/4 of the way completed.

When you are in a position where you can work to finish your opponent, and they manage to block the submission, but not improve their position you can not let yourself get frustrated. They haven't done anything except delay the inevitable. Continue to attack and attack and attack without giving them any leeway to escape. Don't give up just because you're having a hard time finishing.

Oh, one more excellent thing from class. I normally don't finish a lot of armbars. I'm lazy about them and tend to just transition to somewhere else after I use them to sweep or something. Tonight I hit two from places I've been thinking about, but haven't really taken advantage of. One was off of a pendulum sweep. I swept, and immediately transitioned into the armbar in one nice smooth motion. And the other was a nearside armbar from side control/knee on belly where I gathered the arm up with my leg and trapped it across the chest and just extended it there. I'm very happy with both of the transitions I used on those.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Preventing the Bullfighter Pass

This is actually going to be about dealing with any pass that involves your opponent getting grips on your pants. These are super basic things and won't work in all situations, but will give you an overview of the ideas involved and it's a good place to start looking at defending against standing passes. It's absolutely white belt or new blue material, and it's not exactly an in depth look at each thing. But it should make a nice reference video. I grabbed my favorite rolling partner, Kris, because he uses this shit on me ALL THE TIME. If I stop paying attention for half a second he's got a double fistfull of my pants and is running around my to knee on belly. He's great at the pass and using it to setup other passes. Anyways, watch the video, then flame me for being a noob, whatev.

Ok, so now from that underhook you can take the option of scooping the leg for a single leg, from the grip break you can keep the cross grip on the sleeve and drop down for a sickle sweep, and if you establish your sleeve grips first you can hit an overhead sweep for bonus style points. Plenty of options, but the most important thing is thing is to be sitting up and paying attention.

Moving on, we had a new Purple Belt in class today, a fellow named Hector who just moved here from Texas. He's a Royce Gracie lineage guy and you can tell from the very deliberate progressive pressure game he plays on top. We had some fun rolls since he's just a little heavier than me and a little better. Makes for a good time because I CAN catch him if I do things right, and there are things in my game he's not used to, but  there are also things in HIS game I'm not used to and he capitalizes on every mistake I make very smoothly. This is exactly the kind of rolling partner I've been hoping for because he's enough better than I am to punish me mistakes and beat up on me good, but not enough better that I can't see the bridge between where I am and where he is. I'm looking forward to working more with him, he's signing up with us tomorrow for good.

We worked reverse scissor sweep combos for a while in class, then rolled a bunch. I was rolling pretty relaxed because I'm still in post tournament chill mode. Next week I'll probably start ratcheting up the intensity a little bit.

I also started running again, 2.33 miles in 24 minutes. The goal is 3 miles in 24 minutes, then we'll see where it goes from there.