Monday, June 24, 2013

Backsliding and Leg Lasso Sweeps

OBMA report:
Felt like I backslid a little bit and was letting people attempt to pass my guard and work instead of putting myself in control of the roll more assertively. I will have to revisit this next class and make sure I take control of the roll from the beginning every time.

Leg Lasso Double Pump Sweep to Spinoplata to Triangle Choke:
Couple of discussions about Leg Lasso stuff on the internet led to me filming this quick reference video for my preferred Leg Lasso sweep.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

More OBMA and Some Insights Into Learning From Losing

I felt... moderately assertive and moderately exhausted. The heat/humidity drained me pretty quick and I really couldn't get mentally in gear. I was still more assertive than I would have been 2 months ago, but I felt like I was missing opportunities that I could have hit, especially with sweeps.

More importantly one of our guys just got back from a tournament where he lost, really bad, for the first time in his BJJ Career. In the past he's always done well at white and blue belt and he's gotten used to that success. This was his first tournament as a purple belt and it hit him pretty hard. I talked to him about the specific situations that cost him the match and while talking through it we isolated a root cause of his issue. He's not losing enough.

In class he's a strong, technical guy. He can impose his will on like 90% of the people we train with. This is a problem because there are places in class where he NEVER ends up. No one really forces him to turtle, so when he ends up turtled he doesn't have a good reflexive escape. No one can really stop his sweeps, so when he runs into someone that shuts him down he doesn't have a reflexive action. The problem is that there are deadends on his BJJ roadmap because he never travels those paths.

So I grabbed him for some relaxed rolling, forcing him to just let things happen and not resist too much so that he would end up in positions that he didn't normally end up in. As a result he was able to learn counters to both of the situations he was in over the weekend in just a few minutes.

This underscores an important point that people say a lot, but not everyone understands the reasoning behind. You hear it all the time, 'Put Yourself in Bad Positions!' But why? So I can practice escapes? Well, sort of. But a more accurate statement would be 'Put Yourself in Weird Positions!' Why? So you can develop a plan of action for as many possible positions as you can find.

If you never end up in a position in class, then you won't know what to do when you end up there in competition. So remember to EXPLORE your jiujitsu. Roll with the idea of finding new branches of the tree and seeing where they take you and how to move from one branch to another.

This is pretty much the exact opposite of the Assertive Jiujitsu project. This is for people who are naturally assertive with their Jiujitsu ( Like my training partner) but for that reason don't often end up in weird positions. For those of us who are naturally lazy with our jiujitsu and a little more playful we did most of this first. We explored the tree, ended up in all kinds of positions and know we KNOW all kinds of things. We just have a hard time putting them into practice because of our relaxed attitude. Two ends of the learning spectrum that both seem to collide at purple belt from what I can tell.

Now, go forth and explore! Remember, Adventure is out there!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

OBMA - Day 6: No-Gi

This was the first No-Gi I have had since starting this project and during my first roll I realized I have ZERO plan in No-Gi anymore. I used to play an overhook to triangle/omoplata game almost exclusively, but people have gotten good at maintaining posture so I rarely get the overhook long enough to work anything from it. It took me a couple of rolls to figure out what direction I was going to be working so that I could be assertive with it.

I settled on armbar and the pendulum sweep from the armbar setup. I hit it on pretty much everyone I rolled with at least once and landed quite a few armbars. Also a kneebar from KoB that I have been thinking about but hadn't seen an opportunity for until tonight.

Overall I felt like I had less direction, fewer options, and less control over the roll than I have had in Gi recently. I'm definitely more fond of Gi than No-Gi now which is 180 degree change from when I started in the Gi four and a half years ago.

I also was reminded that one of the primary No-Gi grips involves hanging on the back of your opponents head. My neck is killing me. But still, my jiujitsu felt moderately assertive. Better than the last No-Gi class I can remember. I do need to put some more thought into my no-gi game plan and path if I really want to improve though.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

OBMA - Day 5

I ended up at the gym a little before the kids classes started, so I jumped in and did their warmup and drills and then helped coach the kids while they were rolling, and did some gymnastics with them and stuff. We started off our class with armbar defense and escapes and drilled those for a while. Basic stuff, elbow pops, stacking, and the hitchhiker for desperation.

Assertiveness was in full swing while rolling. I was insistent about my sweeps, and continued to hit combinations. My collar drags weren't working quite as well today, but I was switching off to spider guard and hitting sickle sweeps when needed. It actually felt very strange at one point, I realized I had rolled with 4 or 5 blue belts and completely controlled them with almost no effort. I caught myself wondering if that was what I was like as a blue belt.
I rolled with Casey for the first time in a while and for the first time I can remember everything he did wasn't dark magic and sorcery. I could tell what was going on and avoided a lot of things that would have swept me a few months ago. I was able to execute an effective guard pass and avoid a trap that usually gets me immediately swept. All in all I felt a lot of progress tonight.

I also rolled with Johnny and was able to prevent him from passing my guard up until the last 15 seconds of the round, which hasn't been the case in a couple of years. I had to fight hard for it, but it's what I NEED to do, so it was super good for me.

Closed out the night with another points match with Kris, again I could tell he was tired, but that didn't stop me from tomoe nageing him in spectacular fashion and breakdancing on him. He'll recover from this fatigue or whatever in a week or so and be back to being one of the best guard passers in the gym, so I'm getting my licks in now while he's weak and helpless.

This is been the most successful mental project I've done since I started keeping track of my training and I think it's what I needed to finally break through and get my Jiu Jitsu to brown belt level.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

OBMA: Day 4

Another solid day for the project. Today was takedowns mostly working from the russian 2 on 1 grip, which I never use, so I spent a lot of the time working with Kris on gi grips, grip breaking, foot sweep combos, and the very non-wrestling standup game we both use.

Started out rolling with Kris and continued to be assertive with my gripping and execution, he felt a bit less intense today than he usually does so I think he might have been backing it down a notch due to the heat and humidity in the gym. I hit a bunch of sweeps to KoB and executed my baseball bat choke. My assertiveness and determination to complete sweeps was leading me to combos that I had worked on before but never really was able to put into practice. I used x-guard or x-guard variation sweeps, the hook sweep, and some others that I am now too tired to remember.
Also rolled with a bigger guy that trained with us before, but was gone for a while. Went immediately to my standard big guy game and omoplata, swept to mount, worked for bow and arrow, then transitioned to his back. Ended up just riding it out on his back and refusing to be shaken off while working for the choke.

Rolled with a new guy that turns out to have a lot of previous wrestling experience. He was preposterously strong, so right off he tried to canopener the hell out of me, then head crushed me. I tapped to the headcrush real quick before my nose could get too smashed, then loop choked him immediately. After the reset I was setting up the loop choke again and he performed a very ballistic sitout that turned it into a kimura, which only didn't wreck my arm because I was lucky and was already going that direction. Rolled through it, and he head crushed me again. Tapped and then pulled him into full guard and x-choked him on the restart.  After that I just held him in guard until the round ended while he tried to canopener me repeatedly.

At that point it got hard to continue my assertiveness due to exhaustion, but I did what I could.

I also have noticed that I am trying to pass the knee shield the same way no matter what size my opponent is. I need to adjust that so that on the stronger guys I back out and work to generate an agility advantage instead of trying to pressure pass through them. I can do that on guys my size, or inexperienced bigger guys, but bigger blue or purple belts it just isn't the appropriate passing method for the situation.

At the end I rolled with Kris again, and as our like 7 minute long round ended, Johnny called for a points match again starting from where we were with me under side control. I spend about 6 minutes playing full on defense unable to muster any kind of offense until I regained guard and at some point accidentally clipped Kris in the face with my knee.

Still it was continued progress mentally and I'm pretty happy with this project so far.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Operation Be More Assertive: Day 3

Due to some transportation issues I missed out on class for over a week, again, which sucked. But I was back last night to keep working. I ran into a few problems this time around, first of all popcorn and a hard cider is probably not the best lunch to prepare one for future athletic endeavors, just for anyone who might be wondering.

Technique for the day was armbar attacks when your opponent attempts to stack or slam out. Heel curls, leg hooks, spin unders, and regular ol' sweep to finish. Good basic fundamental stuff.

Rolling I partnered up first with a newer guy who is apparently a fresh blue belt who has been out of training for a little while. I maintained my assertive mindset and went immediately to the scissor sweep and a strong knee on belly top game and finished with a baseball bat choke. Continued in that vein and completed a few other submissions while refusing to allow sweeps or escapes for the most part. Towards the end of the round he did get a really did situp sweep on me that eventually succeeded, but I was happy with my mindset in that round.

As rounds went on my ability to maintain started to drop as I became more and more exhausted. I maintained my assertiveness through a round with Chris, and one of the other blues, and then rolled with Ian whose top pressure just sapped the energy right out of me this time. Then with Johnny, again enormous top pressure that drained my reserves. I tried to maintain the mindset, but I ended up falling back into unproductive patterns because I felt physically unable to assert control over the roll.

Final roll was against Kris again, this time Johnny was calling points for it so Kris came out like he meant it and I was flat out exhausted. This led to 6 minutes of pure defense on my part hanging in quarter guard, fighting off collar chokes, and barely blocking guard passes until I finally got to deep half guard and executed a sweep, then fought off a berimbolo to close it out.

It's definitely easier to maintain that assertiveness when I have more energy, but I feel sore today as if I did work, which is good, and I give myself a 6/10 for my assertiveness for that class. Next class will be next wednesday and we'll try for 9/10.