Thursday, July 31, 2014

No-Gi Work

Made it to the gym for some no-gi today and rolled with the same gigantic guy I rolled with last week. This time I had a bit more success and was able to use my hips better, keep better frames, and generally keep my structure aligned more productively which led to me being able to get to top position and his back a few times and control him.

I also was able to finish a chin strap choke off of the attempted back take and accidentally jaw crushed him while trying for a Von Flue choke.

He has grips like a vise and great top pressure, but he was making some mistakes that let me bypass his attributes some. He was also getting tunnel vision on his north/south chokes and passing up opportunities to attack my arms. I pointed a few of those out to him and he started mixing it up a little better which led to several solid armlock submissions for him, so that should help his overall game.

Good class, good work.

Monday, July 28, 2014

You Know It Was Good Training When You Almost Black Out In The Shower

Hit the Gi class today and it was killer. Worked the Y-grip break that Xande put out:

And got a feel for it. Then we worked Z-guard/Quarter Guard passing and I was able to pick up some details that I think will help me. A lot of it is just getting more experience with the passing system that this gym uses, which I really like. It plays well into parts of my old passing game while being superior in every way because it's tailored a little better to people under 200lbs.

First pass you get the a collar grip on the same side that your opponent has the knee up on, and grip the bottom leg with the other hand under their knee. Next you step up with your leg on the pinned side, and then you step up with the other leg and square their hips up. Keep them pushed down with the collar grip and backkick your leg to clear and pass to KoB.

Second pass they block the collar grip, so you go to the belt or pants on the back, then with your other hand you bump the kneeshield towards the outside and drop your head down into your opponents ribs. This should slide your shoulder down to their ankle to pin the leg. If you don't get deep enough then you will be open to the shin-in pendulum sweep. Your other hand pins their bottom leg flat down and then you tripod up and walk around them to complete the pass.

Third pass they block the collar again, so you weave under the top leg, grip the bottom leg, grab some gi towards their bottom collar with the other hand, but not too deep, and then sprawl hard on the same side hip as their blocking knee to force it down towards the bottom leg. You want your weight posted entirely on that knee, your shoulder connected to opponents knee. Now walk it around to take side control.

You can also walk it towards the back if you want to from there and try to take the back.

After that it was cardio time and we did partner drags up the mats and back. Luckily I was partnered with a 150lber and a 115lber. I had to drag the 150er, the 115er had to drag me, and the 150er got to drag the 115er. My legs were on fire by the end of it. Oh, and while the other team was doing drags, you had to do pushups. Pretty sure I'm going to feel crippled tomorrow, but it's the only way to get my cardio back.

After that We rolled 7 minute rounds, I started out with another purple belt and flubbed a tomoe nage due to limp noodle legs. I spent the entire time defending and framing with high success. Ended up getting armbarred once, but it was from a position that a fresher me could have escaped. I just didn't have the ability left to make the adjustments without giving up the armbar. I felt like that was a successful use of defense.

Rolled with the instructor after that and it was mostly the same. I did manage to hit a sloppy sickle sweep since he likes to come at me standing. Also managed to get a shot at a loop choke, which I had deep, but not deep enough and not with enough control to sweep him or finish it. After that it was just me framing and shrimping for three more minutes or so.

Hit the showers and stood under icy cold water for a bit and tunneled and almost dropped. Definitely a tough class for me because I'm so out of shape, but I'm working on fixing that.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ow... My face hurts.

So this happened today:

Caught a stray elbow while in halfguard that put a pretty wicked cut on the inside of my lip. No further damage done, but it stings like a mofo right now.

Mostly spent my time working on prioritizing head control and maintaining and regaining hooks on the bottom. I REALLY need to do something about my passing game in no-gi. My sweeps are ok until everyone gets so sweaty that I can't maintain control, but my guard passing is terrible. I can't keep control of the legs long enough to complete my normal passes, so I need to drill some more no-gi specific passing stuff to clean that whole process up.

Still, slowly improving. Going to hit up the Gi class tomorrow, and try to make 3 Gi classes next week. We'll see how that works out for me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7/22/2014 No-Gi Training

Did about 30 minutes of cardio then rolled for an hour with a massive guy who has been training BJJ about 2 years and wrestled a bit in high school before that.

Sweeping him was beastly hard but I was able to pull it off a few times and transition to the back a few times. Came close to finishing a N/S choke, but nothing else was what I would consider close. His top pressure was stifling most of them time, but he was still making a few random mistakes that I helped him clean up, which immediately resulted in him being more effective at crushing me, which is good.

I was able to effectively apply some of the framing concepts I've been reminding myself of to relieve a lot of pressure, and was able to fight off quite a few things. It was a lot of good work, forcing me to work hard while rolling and keeping me from being lazy.

I was also able to control and pin him pretty effectively once I was on top and I found myself using some of the concepts from Cobrinha's top control that I was looking at last night in his match against Jeff Glover here:

I feel like my guard passing has suffered the most from my layoff though, and I really need to just get in and do some positional drilling on a few passes and rebuild my passing game both for Gi and No-Gi. I'll probably spend some time this weekend watching Lucas Lepri videos since I feel like his passing style is the one I want to emulate.

Gi class is tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to that. My elbow and my ankle are both running about 90%, but my elbow yelled at me when I tried to do pullups, so whatever weird muscle injury I have there is taking a while to recover.

Friday, July 11, 2014

When am I going to be good at this again?

Second day in the Gi and I feel like a train hit me about 25 minutes into the class.

This time I made it on time to drill top and bottom, worked mostly omoplata setups and grip fighting on the bottom, and trying to work passes when my opponent has both sleeves controlled on top. Results were mixed but I'm start to recover some of my working knowledge of gi.

After that we worked the same three guard passes from wednesday, then another 20 minutes or something insane of cardio work. Jogging, then partner drags around the mat for a lap, then 5x20 pullups and pushups, then things start to kind of blur, I think we went from there to the people competing tomorrow doing a Q&A on rules and stuff, while the few of us who aren't competing went to roll.

I do remember that I rolled for about 20 minutes with one of the blue belts and just got mauled. I was chasing with my feet, feeding into armbars and triangles, and generally just fumbling around like I'd never done jiujitsu before. It was bad. Probably going to be a month or two before I can perform in the Gi while completely exhausted with any competence. Right now I just don't have the unconscious reflexes I did before the break.

The beatings are good for my soul though.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

100% Wrecked

Best class EVER! Back in the Gi and beginning the training camp for the Atlanta Open. Just like getting back to no-gi I feel like a scrub.

Got there a few minutes late, but still got in some drilling. It's essentially game-plan drilling, 5 minutes each of drill what you want from the bottom, then from the top.

From there we went right into technique which was passing guard.

First pass, you break guard, acquire combat base, opponent goes to feet on hips, you take the outside pants grip on your down leg side, bring the down leg up, then backstep that leg and shove the opponents knee down and through, then backstep the inside leg around for knee on belly. I'm pretty sure this is one of the passes Emily Kwok does, and I am terrible at it. Definitely need to work on my standing passing.

Second pass, same stuff but opponent switches to DLR when you bring the leg up. You do the knee flare remove the DLR hook, then drive in and legdrag. Post legdrag if your opponent maintains the ankle grip from DLR you windmill your knees down onto their wrist side, pop the ankle free, then windmill back to the otherside.

Third pass, same stuff, but when you knee flare they return to feet on hips, you pressure in with the hips, feet back, and execute the standard X-pass.

At every point you have to address any offensive grips your opponent has before you execute. If they have a collar grip, strip it.

After that we did like 10-15 minutes of cardio during which I almost died. I am hideously out of shape. Might have been 20 minutes. It felt like 3 days. I barely made it through that and then it was time to roll.

Got to roll against a purple belt my size who is also better than I am in at least a few ways, which was awesome. I'll be able to train with a similarly sized and slightly more skilled person for the first time ever! We baseball bat choked each other, and then mostly stalemated I think.

Rolled against... other people too? A blue belt I think, and maybe a white belt, then closed it out with the same purple belt. OH! Also rolled with the instructor Chris, who I barely barely barely managed to sweep off of a straight ankle lock. Then I got immediately reswept. By the end of it I was dead, barely managed to make it into the shower and an ice cold shower has never felt so good in my entire life.

Going to do some No-Gi tomorrow and try to do some conditioning too, then more Gi work on Friday!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Holiday Work on the Home Gym

Trained today, rolled with one of the aspiring MMA guys again, different one than usual, who has a fight coming up in September as well. He had good heavy pressure, but was making a few small fundamental errors that I helped him clean up with his passing which immediately made him much more effective. I broke out my omoplata/triangle game again which worked well but he was definitely better in the scrambles than I was, so I failed to capitalize on several sweeps.

In bigger news I started work on my home gym. I have a 10'x18' outbuilding on the property that I'm going to convert into mat space and lifting space.

This is a picture of the current outside, after I cut down a bunch of huge bushes that were trying to take over the building, this is also post bug bombing since it was infested with spiders and stuff:

I took it at night, but you can get an idea of what it looks like.

Then here is a close up of the area that will be mat space:

This space is 10'x'10, give or take a few inches, and there is a wall currently dividing the two parts. I'll be taking that wall down and then putting in a nice sturdy wood floor across the entire space, redoing the walls, putting in a little AC unit, and then building in pullup space, and possibly a power cage. I'll be posting updates as I work on it, but I don't intend to be finished with it until possibly early next year, or even mid summer next year. It's going to be a leisurely project.

Training tomorrow is supposedly back in the Gi, so I'll be showing up rocking my grappling pajamas, and if we do no-gi then I'll ditch the jacket and roll in pants.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Light Week, Improved Ankle

Skipped class today to take my dogs to the vet to have their sutures removed from being neutered, but I went in yesterday to roll no-gi with the MMA guy who has a fight coming up. His heel hooks are steadily improving, good pressure to immobilize the knee now and he's much more cognizant of when he's vulnerable to heel hooks, so we're making a lot of progress with that.

I worked on tuning up my Omoplata setups and finishes after being unable to finish two last week and was able to sweep with one and finish one. Overall a good roll and a good pace and I still feel like I'm getting better each time. Another month or two and I will feel like I'm better at BJJ that I was at the beginning of the year.

Next week Chris comes back from training with Traven on tues/thurs, so we'll have official no-gi classes on those days and be back in the Gi on Mon/Wed/Fri. I'm going to try to hit 6am Mon, and then 10:30am tues-fri classes starting next week now that I feel like I'm back up to speed.

My ankle improved rapidly from barely being able to walk on it friday afternoon, to barely having any stiffness or pain this morning. I'll wrap it for training tomorrow and probably keep it wrapped next week just to be sure, but I think I can consider it healed.

I'm still not going to be ready to compete at the ATL Open this year, but I do want to try to hit a couple of tournaments before the end of the year. I might try for USG Va Beach... Still trying to figure out budget and schedule for all of that.