Friday, June 27, 2014

Takedowns, Halfguard, and Ankle Injury

Missed an update for the Wednesday class, which was one of the most physically demanding I've done yet, well, up until that point. More half-guard work, some rolling which included a round with a 190ish lb guy who just won gold at the Mundials as a blue belt, so that was fun. A lot of work, which is good for me.

Today we started out with some takedown sparring which went reasonably well for me for once. I kept baiting the single and converting it to no-gi tomoe nages, then on the second to last takedown the guy shot in for a double, I got underhooks, he tried to convert to a bearhug trip. I turned with it and got the throw for the reversal, but rolled my ankle at the same time. So that hurts like mad now.

After that we drilled more halfguard. Halfguard passing this time.

First, basic pass to mount. Farside underhook, nearside arm under the head, knee in the armpit, then hip switch to the free hip, walk the trapped leg up, pop the leg off with the elbow, and drive through. Spider walk the underhooked arm up to control it, and windshield wiper your free foot over to the thigh to help complete the pass to mount.

Second pass was the same up until you clear the trapped leg, then opponent blocks the knee drive, so you pop up and drive to the inside for the baseball slide pass.

Third pass, they grab the underhook before you can flatten them, so you backstep, your outside hand goes to their knee to block them from following you, you scoot your hips up a bit and then free your leg.

Fourth pass is just like the third one, but you decide to get greedy and go for the kimura, they defend by hiding their arms behind your back. You grab the toes of their inside leg, and then roll over your shoulder and via crazy rolling sorcery take the back.

After that did work in half-guard, guy on top passes or submits, guy on bottom sweeps, submits, or reguards. Got some stuff to work, felt fairly good in general. Did the second round with a new guy who seemed a little frustrated that I was sweeping and passing on him very easily, so I tried to encourage him and help him out a bit and he seemed to be ok at the end.

Got in a couple of rounds of rolling after that, one of which was against a guy with silly triangles. Twice I thought could beat him to the escape and couldn't, and one of those involved me getting leg-in triangled in hilarious fashion. I was able to get halfway to the omoplata on him pretty reliably, but wasn't able to finish it.

Again a very physical class, my ankle hurts like hell now, so I'll have to wrap it and ice it when I get home, but I'l be back at it Monday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

No-gi work and MMA coaching

Back on the mats today, once again with just the one MMA guy there to roll. I'm starting to feel like a purple belt again in No-Gi, getting the proper grips, developing the right defensive movements, framing my hips properly to get the sweeps. I'm definitely 100x better today than I was when I first got back on the mats 3 weeks ago.

I've been pretty dedicated to using the 'saddle' (inside 50/50) and heel hooks as my primary no-gi submission against bigger guys, but I need to develop my pressure and control well enough to be able to apply a larger variety of submissions.

I got a little bit of deep-half work, and a couple of deep-half to x-guard transitions, in but mostly worked butterfly and knee shield variants.

After about 45 minutes of rolling I sat around keeping time and helping coach the 3 guys working MMA rounds in the cage. Just basic advice, but generally helpful. I'm enjoying doing some coaching and I'm trying to plan a trip out to Wild Bills to watch the guy fight in August, but I may not have the cash for it, or the time, depends on when it happens.

Overall I'm feeling good about my jiujitsu and I'm feeling more and more confident that 6-8 months of 4+ day a week training might actually get me ready for a run at brown belt.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Deep Half Sweeps

Three times in one week! For the second week in the month! I've now trained 7 days this month, which is about equal to the number of times I trained all year up to this point.

Basic warmup, the right into deep-half sweeps. This is a position I've been working on for a while with limited success, so I was happy to get the chance to work it here.

First the basic entry to the deep-half, which I CONTINUALLY mess up. I frequently lead with my underhook on the leg, and leave my head behind, which results in me getting d'arced. You can't do that, you have to dive head and arm together, ear on their thigh, to avoid the d'arce.

Once you get there you gather up your opponents foot/leg with your halfguard and then pendulum to bring their weight forward and get control of the leg.

First sweep was a basic waiter sweep. You have rocked them forward, they post to avoid you simply ducking out to the back, so you underhook their ankle and pendulum again. A detail I need to pay attention to is making sure that I sweep my penduluming leg under me as I come up so that it doesn't get tangled up when I take top.
Now you control their ankle until you get your knee on the mat and pinch their leg, then you can complete your pass.

Second sweep was the same entry, but this time when you attempt to underhook the leg for the sweep you can't reach it. You pinch their leg (I usually scoop it with my inside leg instead) and insert your outside legs shin into the crook of their knee. Now execute exactly the same pendulum and come up on top. If you get bogged down trying to complete the pass on the inside for some reason you can switch and pass to the clear side.

Third sweep, same setup, but this time when you try to sweep them over they move and post with their arms. You loosen the underhook on the leg, swim over their posting arm and around the head, then plant your inside foot and backwards roll to top.

I need drill all of these more, but just getting to drill the entry with Head + Arm instead of leading with the arm helped a LOT once we started rolling.

Rolled with the idea of working towards the deep half and was able to execute some version of the waiter sweep multiple times against varying partners. Not as often as I would have liked, but enough for me to feel like I made some progress cleaning the technique up. I also dealt with way fewer D'arce attempts since my head was in tight the whole time.

The rounds were super long, I have no idea how long, but pretty sure it was longer than 6 minutes, and I stuck around an extra 20 mins or so to roll since I didn't have to be at work as early today. That meant I rolled for somewhere around an hour with very small breaks. I feel good about my cardio recovery so far based on my improving performance rolling.

My philosophical ramblings are still cementing themselves, so that post will probably come together some time in the next few days since I want to make sure that I'm saying exactly what I mean when I write it.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Old Tricks and Triangle Chokes

Made it into the gym today, and again just had one of the aspiring MMA guys to play with. This time a much less experienced one who had some wrestling background, but seemed pretty new to the BJJ side of grappling. He clearly hadn't quite adjusted his wrestling and had a lot of habits that are good in wrestling, but bad in BJJ. After the 3rd time I caught him in a triangle choke I showed him how to posture up out of them, gave him some tips on passing to the 'easy' side, and had about 45 minutes of good rolling.

I'll be back in the gym tomorrow for one of the larger classes to get some more good drilling in, but a lot of my no-gi game has come back together over the last few weeks to the point that I'm busting out tricks I haven't used in years from the overhook, including omoplata to triangle setups, and other shenanigans. I'm actually enjoying No-Gi again.

Today is probably going to have a double post, since I've got some philosophical musings rattling around in my head, so look for that later this evening.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Heel Hooks and No-Gi DLR

Showed up at the gym today and the Tues/Thurs class is still kind of informal while the instructor is training up at Unit2. Only one guy was there, and he was waiting for guys to show up for MMA sparring. He offered to roll until they showed up though, and so I got in a solid half an hour. I hit him with a couple of single leg x-guard transitions to heel hooks, then showed him how to stop them.
He also tried a flashy rolling back take from top of quarter guard, so I showed him the super easy version of the same back take. We had a good 30 minutes of rolling then his MMA guys showed up so I watched them spar and offered some minor pointers on the grappling bits that happened.

I'll be hitting the gym up again every day this week, and maybe even saturday morning. So there is a chance that I will train 5 days this week, which would be a first time ever kind of thing.

Damn it feels good.

Friday, June 13, 2014

One Day of Training Is Better Than No Days of Training!

Felt good enough to get into the gym this morning, and found out that contagion had ripped through the whole place last weekend and the first part of the week, so I wasn't the only one just getting over it.

Jogging warmup to get the blood flowing, then Drill to Win this week was flower sweep to mount, then partner does knee to elbow escape and flower sweeps you back.

Key points to remember are not to GRAB the wrist, but to hug across and trap the wrist in the crook of your elbow, and cup the back of the opponents triceps. Then concentrate on moving yourself, not trying to move your opponent. Pop your hip out, scoop the leg up and roll them over the shoulder of their trapped arm. Remember to roll them at an angle, not straight sideways.

Techniques were related, from bottom guard you armdrag and pop out  on your hip, then post and kick over to take the back, then drag them to the side and finish with the choke.

Second technique, they shoulder in and prevent you from popping up to the back, so you keep the arm trapped under your arm, and switch off to the flower sweep, to S-Mount, to double armbar attack.

Third technique they frame on your face/neck as soon as you try to armdrag, so you pop your knee up to block them from freeing the arm, then rotate, hand on the face, standard armbar.

Drilled with a couple of other purple belts for about 20 minutes, which was awesome.

Split up to roll and I'm still getting better, getting some of my rhythm back. I was able to hit quite a few sweeps and transitions, and I realized that this is a whole new gym of people who don't know all of my tricks, so I was able to hit one of my old omoplata sweeps.

Establish your overhook from full guard and start working off to the side like you are trying to hit a triangle, as they posture up to avoid the triangle you bring your foot across to trap the arm and start threatening the omoplata, they keep posturing up, and you switch vectors and roll backwards to take mount. I haven't hit it in forever because everyone at my old gym knew I was trying it.

I'm also really enjoying rolling with multiple purple belts who are at MY size. I think there are only a couple of people in the gym who aren't under 180lbs, which is AWESOME.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Sick and miserable

I missed out on class Monday while my HVAC was being installed in our new house, which also involved me running about 50 feet of 10/2 and installed a 50 amp breaker in my breaker box, which it turns out does not have a master cut off. So I spent the day working in a live electrical panel which is never fun.

I also managed to get myself dehydrated enough to get sick. So I missed out on class yesterday and today as well to avoid spreading the contagion to my new teammates. I'm slowly improving though, so I'm hoping to be able to catch tomorrow and Friday still, and maybe sneak in for open mats on Saturday even though I have to dig holes for fenceposts.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Settling In To The Routine

Back in the gym this morning at 10:30am. Same warmup, then same drilling of upa to situp sweep. Techniques were the exact same guard passes from the last class, which was AWESOME. I'm not used to getting so much time to drill a technique set. I was able to troubleshoot some issues in the first one I talked about and really work on the hip twist that goes along with the knee cut pass.

Drilled for 10 minutes each, so about 3:30 per technique, then split off to roll. Had some fun, still working on getting back in shape, and getting back into the mindset. Made some stuff work, other stuff not so much. Got to roll with my new instructor for the first time and I was really impressed with the precision of his gripping in no-gi, he's only a little heavier than I am, maybe 15lbs, so seeing how he grips and moves is a nice change from my old instructor who was about 210 and had a totally different game.

This is the first time I've trained 3 days in a week in over a year I think, and I'm feeling it. Definitely feel on the tired side today. I'm not as sore as I expected I would be, but I have to dig some fence post holes tomorrow for our horses, so I'll probably feel it then.

Back on the mats Tuesday as our HVAC is coming in on Monday.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I Don't Remember JiuJitsu Being So Much Work!

Today my muscles made a few attempts to remind me that I have done hardly any jiujitsu and that maybe I should take it easy, but I told them to suck it up and quit complaining.

As a result, back on the mats at 10:30am this morning. 12 or 14 people in the class, which was awesome. Started out with a jogging warmup, then drilled Upa mount escape followed by sit-up sweep for 5 minutes each.

After that we worked 3 no-gi guard passes, one of which I had never actually drilled before.

The first one was the standard kneecut. Pop the guard, combat base, drive the knee in, opponent blocks it, you cut to the outside and bring the non-cutting knee up and walk the foot up. Flat palm to push the knee off and clear your leg, backstep and push the far knee to the mat to kill the hips.

Second one was guard break transition to achilles lock. Opponent curls you forward to break your posture, you catch yourself in their armpits and bring one leg around and pinch their leg with yours and your elbow. They open their guard to attack or transition and you bring your knee up into combat base. Then circle your arm back (put it in your back pocket) and drop back for the ankle lock.

Third was the one I had never drilled before, it was a very slick transition to the back. Opponent tries to hip-bump sweep you, you block the knee on the side OPPOSITE the one they are sweeping you towards. So the knee they are trying to use to drive you over, you block that one and pop your knee up on that side, then you step OVER their knee. Drop your knee on that side to the ground aiming for their far hip, and at the same time bringing your inside leg up to catch the first hook and bringing your arm around to set up the RNC. Then you just complete the transition to the back with both hooks in and work for the RNC.

After that we did a gauntlet with 1 person starting on guard bottom, I think I got 4x5 minute rolls out of that, I felt slightly less retarded in no-gi today and was actually able to make some stuff work properly without gi grips, so that felt good. A final round of rolling starting from the knees and then I had to ditch out to shower and head to work as it was 12:05.

So far I am absolutely loving this gym. I won't be able to train tomorrow as I will be buying all of the stuff to install a new hot water heater (inline, woohoo!) and run a 50 foot length of 10/2 and a cutoff switch for the HVAC install monday. I will be back on friday though!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

New House! New Gym! New Post!

It's done!

Moved our horses and all of our stuff over the weekend down to the new place. It's beautiful and enormous. I have an outbuilding that is going to be rebuilt as a gym with mat space and weights, my wife has a huge barn for our horses, I even have a lake with fish in it.

AAAAND I'm 15 minutes away from Independent MMA, a Roberto Traven affiliate in McDonough. I went down there this morning for the first time to check the place out since they have 6am and 10:30am classes. Their main BJJ instructor is travelling up to Unit2 on Tuesdays and Thursdays right now to train with Traven, so the class was a little light. I got to roll with a couple of guys though and I really felt my lack of conditioning. Both guys were fun to roll with, had good movement, good base, and weren't spazzy or overly intense. It was a good introduction back onto the mats for me and I'm heading back tomorrow for another class that should have more people in it.

Right now they are all No-Gi training for a competition coming up, I'm assuming the Newbreed Crystal Cup event, but after that event Mon/Wed/Fri goes back to being Gi days. Probably a good thing since my No-Gi game has suffered in recent years as I barely trained it. As a result I could feel even more rust than usual. My defense was ok, reasonably good pass defense except against one particular knee-cut pass that I can NOT remember how to stop properly without Gi grips. Lots of submission defense which I find preposterously easy without the Gi, though I did feed myself into a slick improvised No-Arm Triangle variation, and get caught in a bicep slicer while trying to hurricane pass out of baiting a triangle.

Hopefully training 4-5 times a week for the next 3 months will get me sharpened back up and I'll feel like a purple belt again and can start making the push to Brown over the next 18 months.

Oh, and I'll be documenting my buildout of my little gym, so should be photos and stuff of that when it starts in a few weeks.