Saturday, December 31, 2011

Roll 12

This is one of the most significant rolls of all; it's against my 9-year-old daughter!

*Hey, wanna roll?*Sure*Surprise Attack*

Yep, my daughter surprise attacked me while I was playing with my other daughter.  She took my back and was holding on tight, but she didn't have her hooks in.  I easily slid out the back door, and my daughter fell to the ground with a light thud.  I took side control being careful not to crush her like a little girl.  She said something about not  knowing that we were starting; blah, blah, blah.  I swooped in for a kimura.  I don't go all Frank Mir on her, though.

I transition for an armbar.  It was tight; in fact, I could have snapped her arm like a chicken bone.  Instead, I teach her the hitch-hiker escape which she hits.  Now, she's in my guard.  I check her base, because she lets it slip a little.  This time, she's solid but not too solid for me to hit a perfect flower sweep.  She goes over like a 9-year-old little girl, and I'm on full mount--baby!

I feel her will depart.  She's done.  She pretty much gives up.  She does, however, muster the strength to remind me not to be too heavy on her.  I'm feeling charitable, so I flop to turtle.  To turtle from mount.  Oh well, it's jiu-jitsu.

My daughter eases in for an attack.  I fall to my side; she takes the gift and goes into MMA mode dropping hammer fists on my head.  Ug.  I go to my back, and she takes mount and boasts that I won't be able to get her off.  But, I do.

I'm in her guard after and bump and roll.  I pass it like butta.  I'm on side control.  There's a little back and forth, but I eventually hit a wrist lock.  She taps!  I win, but we play around a bit more before it's all said and done.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kimura Set

This class taught a great set from the guard that was all off of a kimura attempt.  Here were the 3 options we drilled.
1.  The standard kimura.  It's money, and who doesn't love it?!
2.  The bump sweep (sometimes called the kimura sweep).
3.  A guillotine.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Elevated Guard

We achieved this position when someone stand in our guard.  Feet go to the opponent's hips, and he is lifted.  From here we can roll our opponent or hit a cool armbar.  (In past classes, we've also worked taking the back.)


Monday, December 19, 2011

Armbars and Triangles

Today was a nice time for drilling armbars and triangles.  We were also shown a variation of the triangle that was like a teepee.  Cool stuff.


Roll 11


I rolled with Mr. quite triangle. He's sitting as usual. I grab his ankles and work to pass. I kill the legs nicely. He pushes my head and tries to escape out. I'm still holding on, but more and more of his legs are getting out.

I hurry my pass and establish side control, but it's not tight. I bug his neck as I try to isolate an arm. My opponent is small and nimble, and he manages to get a knee in. This soon leads to my being in his open guard.

I attempt to pass again. He must have popped up and created a scramble. I grab his leg and work a take down. He attempts a guillotine. I'm easily surviving it, but he's using it to get up. He ends up on top in side control.

My opponent settles in to a head-and-arm triangle. It's not fun, but I'm surviving. Then, he does something weird with my trapped arm--almost like a wrist lock. I could hold out longer, but I'm got good. I tap as the round ends.

Bonus Round:
I rolled with cool blue, and that joker caught me in a wild armbar multiple times. He cross-grabbed my elbow (almost like a classic armbar set up). He, then, rotated my arm and (sometimes) used his other hand as reinforcement. That move was cool. He hit it from a lot of places. He was looking for my arm to straighten. He was cool and let me drill it on him. He smashed me in the roll, though.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Gentleness

This Judo class was a blast.  Stuff is feeling a bit better, and a friend was awarded Sankyu.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Roll 10

*Deep Bow*Hajime*

This one is against big black again. We position and grip fight; I remain calm. I even throw an attack, or two (nothing major).

At some point, I end up on my back thanks to his perfect foot sweep. We scramble on the ground. He ends up in a North/South pin. It's a tight hold, and he's in control. I try to roll him, etc. I don't normally to a ton when in North/South: I defend and bide my time until there's an opening. The thing is, that's a pin that could in the match in Judo, and that's exactly what happened here.

Dudes who train to pin are wicked heavy on top--lesson learned.

EDIT: Now that I think about it, I believe his North/South pin turned into an inverted, top-side triangle. Highlight reel move; too bad I was on the wrong side of it.

Roll 9

*Deep Bow*Hajime*

This Judo match was against a huge, camo gi wearin dude. We grip fought for a bit, and my man is winded, big time.

We exchange foot slaps, but no body moves. Eventually, he hits a tai otoshi on me. He probably got this because I was hoping around too much, but I give him all credit.

He lands on top of me in side control. I lock up half guard before being pinned (in Judo you have 25 seconds). We are soon stood up. Dude comes in for a throw, and I counter with a rear throw of my own. He goes down hard, and I'm on top. I hear him huffing and puffing, and I even ask if he's okay (thinking the fall might have actually hurt him; he's okay, just gassing).

I don't do much on top. I think I end up on his back. My man is breathing hard. Time is called. We both scored a take down, and I was more comfortable on the ground. Good roll, all-in-all.

Friday, December 16, 2011

You Shall Not Pass

After some takedown work, we drilled 3  defenses to the toreando pass.

1.  Grab the passer's knee and shrimp out.  This will effectively flatten your opponent and allow you to improve position.
2.  Straighten your body with the passer, get good grips on your opponent, and you will easily be able to roll the passer.  (I was really surprised with how well this worked.)
3.  As the pass happens, grad your opponent's arm that needs to come out.  Hook his leg and adjust your body according.  This is pretty much put you in the position as #2, and you can hit a sweep.


I Fell Down This Youtube Hole

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Roll 8

With spazzy white belt, but I don't hate.  I might have been there before, too.  (I say that to be nice.  I know that I was never as spastic as this dude.)



Yep, that's right--a punch.  Mr. Spaz came thundering forward to yank me into his guard.  In the process, I get a stiff lil punch to the face.  (Might I insert a suggestion here?  If you want me to be in your guard, just ask:  "Hey, man, will you start in my guard?".  It happens all the time, and most folk--including myself--are totally cool with it, but I digress.)

So, I'm in spazzy's guard, and I hunker down:  hands on his biceps; elbows tight; head tucked down.  This allows me time to ponder things.  I think about the punch.  I think about being a white belt.  I think about karma--I kinda avoided partnering with this dude for class.  Now I'm caught in his spaz trap; karma's probably having a nice chuckle at my expense.

I stay hunkered down for a uncomfortably long amount of time.  My opponent is gassing out from all his spaztastic attempts at crazy stuff.  He attempts chokes and a lot of other power plays.  Soon enough, I decide to join the party, and I open and pass his guard.

I hold him in side control for a  while.  I, then, bare some of my own weight.  My opponent crawls away as if it's a scene from Friday the 13th. He lunges on my back and flops back pulling me down with him.  My man isn't even calm when he's got my back.  Whew.  I defend all his flails.

Time is up, and karma releases me from its hold.

Bonus Round:
I'll include a review of another roll from this day.   This roll was with a nice, advanced blue dude.  From the start, I get out of position, and I'm playing catch up the entire roll.  My opponent threatened with legit stuff. My shields were up, though.  I defended stuff that I usually don't (or can't) defend.   He attempted a few clock chokes, and they weren't bad.  I just managed to get wrist control and ride out the storm.

We changed positions a bit, but he was in control the whole match.  I was defending chokes and armbars galore.  I was totally dominated.  At one point, it felt like my opponent was bouncing on my back.  Not real sure what happened or why.

Of course,  I knew that I was getting out-pointed, but I also knew that I was surviving.  That gave me confidence.  Lately, I've been thinking  bit more about the Gracie way.  The ability to survive (and in the event of the spazzy white belt, conserve my energy as he runs through his) is a key to winning an actual altercation.

I'll remember these rolls for different reasons.  My jiu-jitsu journey continues.

Spider Man

Today's class began with tai otoshi work.

We, then, worked a sweep from spider guard.  It was, honestly, and little clumsy for me.  (I did, however, pick up a set up for a wrist lock that is cool.)

Next, we worked on a counter to the sweep.  (The sweep was a little hard for me, so the counter was even more so.)  O well, it was a good class and one more toward my 10,000.  :)


Roll 7

This roll was with bald four stripe blue before class.

I ask for a warm-up roll; he accepts.  I totally thought this roll would be medium force, but after the first few moves, I learned that this roll would be light (nearly zero) resistance.  I shifted mental gears immediately, and what followed was a 10-12 roll of back-and-forth transition, catch-and-release, and beautiful flowing.  I certainly would like to think the roll was a nice demo of jiu-jitsu.

I would like to think it was something like this.

I'm sure it wasn't as beautiful as I imagine, but it was a good roll that allowed me to focus on some of things I've been working on.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Roll$ 6

I rolled a lot and with a variety of folks.  In fact, I rolled for about 40 minutes before class. This post will lump several rolls into one review.

I rolled nicely.  I hit the sweep that coach and I worked on from half guard.  I also killed the legs of several of my opponents and worked a better than normal (for me) top game.  When I went to my back, I was up often working for underhooks, etc.

I didn't suck, but I wasn't a killer.  All-in-all, I would consider that progress.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Attacking the Turtle

We worked a nifty lil takedown when a guy is laying back.  Push him to cause a reaction, then drive him down.  It's not a sure thing, but it just might work in the right case.

Your opponent will land in a turtled position, so we worked on attacks.
1.  You can roll over your opponent's back and hit a nice (in a bad way) choke.  :)
2.  You can trap your opponent's arm and try to hit an armbar using your legs.  (It was kinda hard, but good to add to the brain.)
3.  The highest percentage move (and everyone's favorite) was the clock chock.  It was awesome in a painful way!   :/


Roll 5

*Deep Bow*Hajime* 
Yep; here's another one of the Judo matt.

My opponent is big bad black.  He's good, and he's taking on the entire line.  I try to be cool.  I manage to get a grip or two that I like.  I throw out some foot sweeps.  He doesn't budge.  He fires off some sweeps on his own.  I stay on my feet.  Sure, I may look a little like bambi on ice, but I actually stay on my feet.  

Just as I think about dropping down for an armbar/guard pull, he does it to me!  This made me think that the idea was at least a good one.  We go down, but his armbar isn't perfect.  I pass and land in side control and work to free an arm.  Time is called in this short match, but it was a real confidence boost.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Roll 4

*Deep Bow*Hajime*
You see this roll takes place on the Judo tatami.

I grip fight with my much larger opponent.  He outweighs me by at least 50 pounds.  We exchange attempts at foot sweeps. Nothing doing.

Then, I sweep him--he goes down.  He's pretty much on his side, so I take a loose version of side control.  He pushes and presses to get up.  No biggie to me; I go to my back and trap him in my guard (which barely fits around the hoss).  Soon after, I scissor sweep him and hear the oohs of the few on-lookers.  I'm on mount; I hop to side control and work to isolate an arm.  I don't exactly get what I want, so I pop to knee-on-belly.  Bottom is struggling, so I pull him into my guard to let him on top.  My charity soon runs empty, and I attempt another scissor sweep.  This time he bases out, so I take my bottom foot and kick out his knee.  He's flattened, and I'm climbing on his back.  From there I give a half-heart attempt at a rear naked choke.  My opponent buries himself in until we are stood back up.  When we are stood up, our match is over.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gentle Way Class

I enjoyed a good Judo class.  I hope to attend more.  Also, I have a goal of learning 20 throws in the gokyo no waza--that's half.



In this class, I learned at least these things:

1.  I need to pull the sleeve more when I pass the guard.
2.  My posture needs to improve when I'm in someone's guard.
3.  In half guard, my outer leg can drag my opponent's trapped leg and work and take down.  (I get caught by this a lot.  Knowing how to do it will help me defend it.)
4.  In someone's 93 guard, don't play push/pull.  Go around the post.


Friday, December 9, 2011

Beginner's Class with a beginner

I stayed after my daughter's class again.  I scouted out a beginner to work with--they're so easy to pick out. :)

We worked a level change shot to counter a 1-2 combo.  From the takedown, instruction shifted to how to do an americana.  From that, we discussed going to mount and, then, taking the back if bottom rolls.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Roll 3

Bad Ears Blue and I were the last two, so we rolled.  I'm a good bit bigger than him, but whatchya gonna do?


I lay back, not wanting to over use my size.  I turtle up, and he is on top. It seems that he moved all around but didn't find any openings, so he returns to the front and attempts a choke.  I sit out, and there is a scramble.  He ends up in my guard.  I think I even pull out the rubber guard and clear the neck to chill dog.  I kung fu move him out before realizing that his hand isn't on the matt.  Doh!

He passes whatever mess I made of that and is in side control.  He's no real threat as he really is smaller than I.  At some point, I reguard him and hit a nice scissor sweep.  I didn't just pile onto him after the sweep because I am so much bigger.  I actually end up in a sloppy side control.  He quickly and easily gets quarter guard.  I had both of my knees under me.  I attempt a kata juji jime.  I'm putting little of my weight on him, so he reguards me and time is called.

Roll 2


We fight for grips, but in a calm, cool kinda way.  My opponent's hands are everywhere, but not in a bad way.  In the hustle, I get scratched pretty good.  That, honestly, took me out of the roll for a moment.  My opponent tripods above me as I lay in turtle.  I even check to see if I'm bleeding from the scratch; I just knew I would be, but I wasn't.  Okay; cool, game on.

My opponent didn't have his knees on the ground, and I could not escape this hold.  I tried sitting out.  I reached for his leg; blah, blah, blah. Nothing was working.  He just had a really good position.  He wasn't threatening in any way.  He seemed content to hold his position.  I tried to escape, but I didn't want to make things worse.  I kinda felt like the pressure was on him to improve his position by taking my back, forcing me to my side, etc., etc.  My opponent definitely didn't feel the same way, and 5 minutes later, we were done. 

At the beginning, I thought I would stay in turtle for a while.  About mid-way through the roll, however, I wanted out but couldn't escape.  My opponent did nothing besides hold me down.  That might have been his game plan.  Oh well.  They can't all be great.

Looking back on it, I should have sat to some kind of guard against Chase's dad.  I had the space to do so; it just didn't enter my mind. That's why I want to keep track of these rolls.  :)

Roll 1

"Hey, wanna roll?"
"Sure, let's go light."
"Fine with me," I say, since it was the first activity I'd had all day.


He's seated and working some kind of open guard. I ease in. I post a foot, and he flops to his back. I love this! Sure, I'll go easy, but I'm going to stay on top.

But my opponent was working some crazy off-balancing stuff. He didn't sweep me, but I never really felt settled on the top. That was a bummer.  I want to spend more time on top, but this guy's making it awkward.

I worked to isolate an arm or sink in a choke, but he's using his feet like hands to push me away.

At some point I consider an ankle lock. He acts like he just might do the same. We both react and end up in a not-exactly 50/50 guard before each getting to our knees.

We are neutral, and I wade in for the kill. My opponent goes to his side, and I take side control. He hooks me up and a quarter guard. I bug his neck, and he reguards me.

Professor Blue and I call it a day and get straightened up before class begins.

The Blues

Today's class had all blue belts.  It was a good time.

We began with a takedown from fainting pulling guard.  It was a variation of a standard single leg, but it seemed to click with me.

We worked a counter to the pretty standard butterfly sweep.  It basically works because you base out and get grips on your opponent and effect your own takedown of him.

We concluded with a few passes from standing in one's open guard.  We stepped through, passed right, and passed left.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

S Mount cradle choke and armbar

After warming up with a couple takedowns, we drilled a knee-on-belly move where we flow from side to side in response to a moving opponent.

At some point, we would settle in behind our opponent pinning him with our chest. From there, securing the open mount is the natural move.

In open mount, the cradle choke (sometime called bow-and-arrow) is a powerful finish.

The armbar is, of course, an equally strong option.  Coach talked about stepping your leg over bottom's head and keeping it straight and sitting to that hip.  This eliminated a lot space that bottom could use to escape.


Monday, December 5, 2011

This Looks Kinda Cool

I may try this.  Minus wearing the socks, though.  Whew.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Caique Seminar

This was a great time of learning from a true legend.

Class began with a warm-up and a hip throw drill.  After the takedown, we drilled an armbar defense.  It works by posting the foot of the side that your opponent wants.  Re-center your hips and prevent the armbar.

The seminar focused a lot of attention on the americana and kimura.  (Caique said that the kimura is one of our highest percentage moves.)

Americana defense points
Keep the arm tight and close to your own chest.  Fight for the underhook.
If your arm get separated from your chest, pin your elbow and do not let your opponent lock in his arms.
If your opponent does manage to lock it up, bridge and explode toward the lock.  You will not roll your opponent but you may create enough space to get your arm back.

Americana attack points
Pry bottom's hand by using your straight arm.  Don't tug of war.
Slide your second arm under bottom's elbow, not shoulder.

Kimura defense points
Keep your arm.  Fight for the under hook.
If your arm gets pinned, take your free hand and attempt a spin out.
If the kimura gets locked in, bridge toward the lock and attempt to roll your opponent.

Kimura attack points
Good leg work is key.  Switching hips and stepping make this move.
If your opponent buries his arm, you will have to strip it in one direction before applying the move in the other.

Friday, December 2, 2011

12 Rolls

I got my new gi and my 200 classes.  Now, it's upward and onward to my next goal.

I am going to track 12 rolls this month.  Sure, 12 rolls isn't a lot, and there is nothing new about tracking one's sparring, but that's what I'm going to do.  I really hope to gain some insight into the state of my game.

I will likely roll more than 12 times this month, so I will pick and choose the ones I spotlight.


After my daughter's class, I stuck around for the beginner's class and paired up with a first-timer.

We worked big punch defense (with the hip throw) and headlock and hit defense.

Since kesa gatame happens often off of headlocks, we drilled the escape to open mount.  When the opponent stays on top (in kesa), bottom has to run his legs back, hook top's, and come to his own knees.  This usually opens the back.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

S Mount triple threat

Today's small class was a review of Tuesday's. From the S mount, you can do these three things:
1. Gi choke
2. Armbar
3. Take the back

12111ww#200 :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

S Mount plus

Class began with a standing guillotine choke defense. Gain wrist control, and put your free hand over your attacker's shoulder. Hop to that side and effect the take down.

From the downed position, we worked a kimura attack. If the kimura is defended, you can take full mount (which you might want any way).

In mount, we transitioned to S mount when bottom makes the mistake of pushing up with his arms.

In S mount, we drilled the 3 common finishes:
1. Okuri eri jime
2. Armbar
3. Fall back, take your opponent's back choke him him up; send him home. (I added that last part because H told of training with Royce as he prepared for early UFC. So cool!)


A Significant Goal Reached

A while back, I planned to get a new gi and accrue 200 classes before our professor's year-end seminar.  I got a bit of help as the seminar was planned for the first week of December instead of mid November.  With the seminar a few days away, I can say done and almost done.  (I only currently have 198 classes, but I'll get those last 2!)

I recently got my blue belt, and felt very happy about the accomplishment.  With my full-time-job, family-having self, I figured stripes should come no sooner than 50 classes.  Adding a pinch for good measure, I may need 500 classes to get my purple belt.  I have 200, and I am focusing on the remaining 300.

I don't control the color; I don't obsess about it, either.  I can control the 300 allowing enough soak time to let things sink in (i.e. attending 9 classes in 3 weeks could be better for me than attending 9 classes in 2 days because neither my mind nor my body moves fast enough to process 9 classes in 3 days).

In 2012 I want to attend at least 160 classes.  This blog began to track my attendance.  Let the journey continue.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Attacking the Turtle

When your opponent turtles beneath you, you have to try to grab his belt and collar and lift him in order to sink in your hooks.  Stay tight on his back.  If he rolls you, hang on for the ride (tuck your face to prevent injury).
If your opponent stays turtled with you on his back, you can pull him backward.  (I used to fear this move because of the pressure I thought it put on the turtle's knees, but it wasn't back actually.)


Self Defense Class

This class began with an armbar drill.

We moved into coverage of several self defense moves.
1.  If someone grabs you around your neck from behind, you may be dragged back a few steps.  Go with it.  Take your leg and move it behind your attacker's leg that corresponds to the arms he's grabbing you with.  Turn your body and bow down.  You will be doing a type of osoto gari.
2.  If someone grabs you around your neck from behind and attempts to pick you up, you will need to grapevine your leg around his.  This will thwart his attempt to slam you, and he will have to put you down.  Take that chance to base out and grab his ankle taking him down.  You have a kneebar there, too.
3.  If someone grabs you from behind around your arms, you will need to shimmy you hips one way (to create space) and, then, the other way this time stepping behind your attacker.  You can, then, cup his knees and take him down.
4.  If someone grabs you from behind under your arms, you can lock up a kimura.


S Mount

Class began with elbow-knee escape drills. As bottom attempts the escape, top may transition to S mount.

If you have your opponent in S mount, okuri eri jime is a good finish. Armbar finishes are also common from S mount control.


My Last Supper

Last night I over ate again.  I ate late and planned it all around my tv viewing.  These are the things I've got to stop.

The sad thing is, I've eaten so much lately that last night's dinner didn't stand out that much.  (If I would have eaten that way during one of my healthier kicks, I would be sluggish and miserable.)  I really do notice a difference when I eat better foods, but the junk just tastes so good.  :)

Last night needs to be my last supper like that.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Shoulder Walk

This escape walks bottom's shoulder to create space to turn in and reguard.  It looks easy and effective.

I Gots Goals, Son!

With several days of eating what I want when I want and only stopping if I want, I decided to work on some goals for 2012.

1.  I want to compete in at least 3 tournaments.  One of these will be the Michigan Open (which is usually around October).  There are some tournaments happening in Ohio around March and April.  I hope to do a Judo tournament in Lodi in September.

2.   There are 52 weeks in the year; if I train 3 times per week, my total will be 156.  If I train 4 times per, my total would be 208.  I have to think conservatively here and allow for vacations and being busy or sick.  I hope to train a minimum of 160 times in 2012.  That's roughly ever other day.  (I honestly think I can beat this number, but attending 160 classes will be a challenge, so 160 it is.)

3.  I want to attend at least 2 seminars.  One will be a given at my home gym.  I've seen that Royce Gracie conducts seminars in neighboring states.  A true bucket list item would be to attend a seminar featuring da man.  Maybe 2012 will be the year.

4.  I keep thinking of doing 90x or some such program.  I'm not committing to it, but this may be the year I do it.

5.  I expect of myself to train consistently without injury and without injuring anyone.

6.  I also think it would be cool to train while on road.  :)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Robert Follis teaching a nasty armbar setup!

From side control, get your top knee onto bottom's neck area (whew).  An arm will likely come up to defend even if you do this nicely as I likely will.  With bottom's arm up, take it and armbar that mug.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Armbar Triangled in Front

I like this as it doesn't seem to require a great deal of hip escaping.  Bottom's right leg comes across top's trapped arms (which are in bottom's wrist control).  Bottom's left leg crosses over top's far shoulder.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Judo Tournament Observations

I noticed the following from my recent Judo tournament.

1.  Judo posture is no joke.  Regular Judo players have a rigidity that other grapplers don't often see.

2.  The roll-with-the-flow mindset didn't help me.  (This may be a winning game plan for some, but it wasn't for me this time.)  I noticed more strength being used by average players.  Sure, the higher-level guys made it look effortless, but a good many players looked like they were exerting a lot of strength.  When my matches went to the ground, a lot of muscle was used by my opponents.  This seems to be the natural because Judo allows pins.  Knowing that victories could be awarded via pin, made being on bottom particularly stressful.  In a recent BJJ class, H talked to me about being on bottom.  "Top guy is not threatening; there is in no real danger.  Ride out the storm, and stay patient," he said.  While I need to be more active on bottom, this can serve me well in BJJ--but not Judo, obviously (unless, of course, I have my opponent in guard).

3.  Judo throws can be tough on ya.  I planned to use ouchi gari in my matches, but I got scared of what could put my leg in bad positions, so I abandoned that plan.  I saw some wicked seoi nages:  one lady landed on her face; one dude landed on his head/neck, twice.  (He actually got counted out, and the doctor wouldn't let him compete in any of his other matches.)  There were also a couple of folks whose shoulders got jacked up by seoi nage.  Yikes!  Now, most matches were conducted with no injury, but the ones that went array were scary.  There's no real worry, here.  I'm sure the same is true with BJ tourneys.

4.  I really had a blast.  My performance stunk, but I didn't have high expectations.  I watched a lot of matches; I enjoyed seeing the kids compete, and I would like my daughter who does BJJ to enter a Judo tournament.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

BJJ Guy in a Judo Tournament

Well, I'm not entirely a BJJ guy.  Before training in BJJ, I did Judo work for a while and earned the rank of Yonkyu.  Also, my BJJ instructor is a Shodan, and we drill a good many Judo throws as a staple in our work.

I was lumped into an open division with older players of all sizes and experience levels.  That, of course, didn't bode well for me, but I was there for the experience points.  (Judo actually gives points for entering competitions, and such is a factor for promotion.)  Plus, this tournament was nearby and cheap, so Mission Experience and Takedown Focus was a go.

My first match was against a dude that I thought I was stronger than.  He was like a rock and surprised me with his Judo core strength.    (I was nervous, again, and hadn't adequately warmed up; blah, blah, blah.  No excuses, though.)  After a bit of grip fighting, we ended up on the ground as a result of no particular throw.  My opponent took North-South.  (This move has no real point value in BJJ, although passing the guard to get to this position would earn the passer some points, but my opponent did not start in my guard.)  I lost via pin.  It stunk, and I felt pretty badly.  My go-with-the-flow approach didn't work in this case.

My next match also ended in loss but was better.  I felt myself being more calm (not to mentioned warmed up after the first match).  We grip fought a bit, and my opponent (whom I know was a higher rank than I) managed to trip me up and gained top control.  Osaekomi was called, so I had about 25 seconds to escape.  I did so pretty easily and locked up guard on my opponent.  He hunkered down, and the ref stood us up.  I was feeling pretty comfortable on the ground, so I pulled guard and managed a decent scissor sweep, but my opponent based out, and we were soon stood up.

At this point, I felt like I should make more of an effort on my feet, and I put together my best stretch of offense of the whole day.  I went into the day thinking that I would limit my offense to a few basic moves:  ashi harai, ouchi gari, and o soto gari.  I told myself that I would do other throws as they presented themselves, but these would constitute my attacks.  As I watched the day's Judo, I got a little freaked out  with where I saw player's legs ending up.  I abandoned the idea of attacking with ouchi gari.  I feared shooting my leg in between my opponent's and being stuffed and pushed backward putting my knee in an awkward position.  (I'm going to write a separate post about general observations for my Judo experience.)  So, with kouchi gari off of my list, I attacked with a number of ashi harais, and I pushed and pulled nicely.

I pulled guard, but my opponent remained standing; I quickly stood and attempted a couple more attacks before before time ended.  My opponent won with a fractional point from the first trip.  I felt much better about this match.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Slightly Better Bread

I rolled twice in class.

The first was with a beginner, and it was complete charity (as I think was fitting; folks surely have given me plenty).  I coached my beginner partner into getting me in a variety of bad spots including submissions (including the kimura set up we worked on in class).

The second roll was with the big guy I ducked earlier in the day.  I resolved to be calm in this roll, and I think my calmness transferred to him.  (That plus the fact that we had already trained once in the day, and he was sticking around for another class after the beginner's class.)  I didn't stay on my back the whole match, but when I was on bottom, the big guy caught me with a slick modified ezekiel choke.  (As it turns out, this is a favorite move of his, so I don't feel terrible.)  When I was on top (in his guard, but still on top), he forced a kata juji jime.  My head was out of my gi because of his wild set up, but he kept on going.  (Just as a note:  if I am in situations that clearly aren't working the way they're supposed to, I abort.  I would never pull a dude's gi over his head and act like I'm working a legit kata juji jime.)  Oh well, I put my head back through the top of my gi that he removed.  Of course, that put me right in his choke which my adjustment made tight.  I tapped, but I also pretty much choked myself all things considered.  I didn't feel terrible.

Also, the second dude was complementary of me.  Of course, I appreciated that, but I began to wonder if he really meant what he was saying or just trying to be nice.  He said things to me that I have said to others when I was trying to be nice.  I've also said those things when giving very legit complements, too.  I can tell that this fellow will be a good test for my confidence and progress.  I'm glad I get to train with him and others.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Beginner's Class

Tonight after my child's class, I stayed for the beginner's class.  We began with self defense.  Uke grabs from behind with your arms in.  Base out; shimmy to one side then the other stepping behind the attacker.  Grad his knees and dump him.

Another grab from behind under the arms can be defended by basing out and grabbing your attackers leg and throwing him back.  From this position and knee bar is there for the taking.

When your attacker grabs you from behind under your arms, you can also strip the hand and lock up and kimura.  By spinning out, your attacker can be taken down.

The downed opponent gave us the chance to talk about a more classic set up of the kimura.  We also drilled an armbar for when the kimura is defended.


Bad Rolls

I'm feeling the pressure to improve when things go live, and I have a short list of things that I need to begin to accomplish in rolls.

Today wasn't good, and it was a bad day in a bad week, so my the knowledge from breaking down my rolls begins now.

#1 I worked with big p, so he was my first roll.  He's about my same height, but much stronger than I.  He uses his size well, and I found myself out of position most of this match.  I go to bottom too much, though I can often sweep.  In this no-gi class, however, the big guy didn't move.  At one point, I turned into him.  He had good base and took my back and rode for a while.  I defended the rear-naked pretty well and shoulder escaped once.  From there, he took mount which turned into back mount.  After some hand fighting, I tapped to a less-than-perfect rear naked choke.  I'm taking nothing away from him.  I tapped, and even if I would have fought off longer, he had position on my almost the entire match.  I hated it.

#2  This one was against warrior jav.  I'm a little taller and bigger than he is, but this dude is intense, and he's a competitor with a tournament upcoming.  We started from sitting, and I wasn't going to go to my back, but he grabbed my heels and pushed me to my back.  This single, starting move took a lot of fight out of me because I did not want to be on my back.  Oh well.  I stayed calm against the smaller guy who is very good.  I gained half guard; he made it to mount.  I defended most of his attacks.  He moved from position to position on top.  I should have sat up, but I wasn't being threatened with a whole lot.  In one of his transitions, he hooked an arm and went for the armbar.  I was defending by holding my hand together.  I felt strong here.  Of course, he had the better position.  He was working hard and doing a lot right.  I unlocked my hands and tapped to his armbar.  It was a good get.  Fighting it longer would only take away more productive roll time.  At this point in the class, I'm feeling totally defeated, but we have time for one more roll.

#3  My purple belt bud and I rolled.  We are very even in size, and we keep similar pace (i.e. a bit slower and more technical than many).  I was seated; he was on his knees, until he ran around my legs and landed in side control, of course.  I'm on bottom again and against a guy who rarely gives up top position.  His side control turned into mount.  I threatened his posture and gave him a few things to think about with elbow/knee escape attempts.  I gave him too few things to think about apparently, because he locked up a top side kinda triangle thingie.  It wasn't perfect; one whole side of my neck was open, but I tapped to it eventually.

With that I was done.  I felt like a fish out of water, and I simply have to improve.  Strangely, putting those rolls into works (as opposed to leaving them on the matt as I normally do) is already starting to help. This may be a good move for me.

Roll Goals

I want/need to get better in live situations; period.  I've decided to track my rolls.

Here's what I want to do.
1.  I want to be on top half of my roll time (not necessarily half the time in each match but half of my total roll time).
2.  I want to make a serious attack in each match.

The time of feeling victorious by just surviving is over.  Of course, in some cases surviving is the name of the game (i.e. against a better opponent, etc.).  Other than those cases, I need to push a plan.

when shots fail

When a shot gets stuffed, you can sit to butterfly or half guard. A sweep and reverse armbar from butterfly were discussed.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why oh Why

Today we drilled  a few Y escapes from being underneath someone's side control.  Things to remember include:
   1.  Push the elbow; not the armpit.
   2.  No one can really explain why this is called a Y escape.  :)


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Small class

It was me, H, and a purple belt. Class began with some round-robin flow rolling. I was told that my technique was good.

I was given a nice tip on shrimping out when mounted.

I froze up when H asked me about head-lock defenses. There was a bit of terminology problems on my part and a little forgetfulness too. I did get some good review.

H and purple belt scored some major giving back points for working on my level.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Someone Standing in Your Guard

With someone standing in your open guard, you can grab his/her sleeves and put your feet in the hips and elevate your opponent.  From this position, you can do the helicopter armbar or roll your opponent over your head into mount. You could also pull one of his/her arms across and flip them down and take the back.

There are also a couple of sweeps from this position.


Friday, November 4, 2011

Leg Locks, Son!

Straight ankle lock (aka guillotining the ankle)

Toe Hold (aka wrist locking the foot)


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Side control and mount escapes

Under your opponent's side control, bump up, get the under hook, and get wrist control. From here, you can pick the arm and sweep.

If your opponent wizzers your underhook, you can duck through and apply a kimura.

When doing the elbow/knee escape, you can often use your free foot to pry your opponent's heavy leg.


Taking the back from guard

With your opponent in your guard, elevate your hips and push his arm while escaping in that direction. There is an arm triangle choke chance from here.

With your opponent in your guard, you can arm drag him. From here a couple of armbar chances exist.


Monday, October 31, 2011

Mount Attacks

We worked on gyaku juji jime and kata juji jime.  We also drilled armbars as a reaction to bottom's bump and/or attempt to roll.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Knee on Mount

We did a drill where bottom attempts an elbow/knee escape.  Top adjusts to it be flowing into knee on belly.

From knee on belly, we worked on finishing with an arm bar.

We also discussed proper reactions to being under the knee on belly.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

"Offense from the Guard"

In this private with T, I suggested that we explore offenses from the guard.  Instructor's first move was to escape out and sit up (often to elbow; some times to hand).  This alone told me so much about what was wrong with my thinking:  when I suggested guard offense, I was thinking of being flat on my back, both hips down, and both shoulders down.  I equated guard offense with explosion from this flatten position, and instructor's approach did so much to change me mind set.

From the escape out (similar to scissor sweep), the bottom foot must be in opponent's hip.  In this position, standing up and basing to my knee is possible, then, a nice collar drag can put opponent on his hands and knees and me on top!  (Being in this position 8 minutes after suggesting offense from my guard is the type of creativity that I was lacking until instructor shared his approach.)

Of course, the scissor sweep might be there for the taking.  Sweeping is and act of offense from the guard.

This same escaping motion (as in the scissor sweep) can give the space needed for bigger, slower guys like myself to attack triangles and armbars.  I found this tip also extremely helpful.  The flexibility and explosion thought necessary to hit triangles and armbars, is not as much as an issue if you can create space and, then, use that space to your advantage.

In discussing triangles and armbars, issues of opponent's posture were explored.  Instructor also encouraged a dynamic arm bar drill that I need to improve upon.

One of the most valuable lessons learned was in the mental approach department.  It was really cool to see instructor's take on guard offense and compare it to my limited point of view.


Giving Back class

I took my daughter to class tonight, and I stayed for adult class that followed. I was feeling the effects of a full training week, so I wanted to partner with a beginner to give back to my gym and art.

That said, I got a lot from the class. While letting my partner get the most reps in, here's what was covered.
1.  Head lock defense (big step back).
2.  Head lock defense (hook the knee; baseball side back).
3.  The above move lead to an open mount arm bar.
4.  Scissor sweep (with pushing the knee).
5.  The above sweeps lead to more open mount arm bar work.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Butter Half

Today we worked a classic butterfly sweep.

We worked a kimura roll when we have our opponet in half guard. Many folks found it a but tricky. From the roll, our opponent will often post his right hand, this gives us a chanceto work an x (or modified) sweep.


Adjusting to Bottom's Work

When in side control, your opponent (on bottom) will often want to explode up and get the under hook.  As he does this, you can counter by popping up with him and going to knee-on-belly.

From knee-on-belly you can do any of the following which we drilled today:
1.  kata juji jime
2.  top-side armbar (think guillotining your opponent's elbow)
3.  switch to a classic kimura
4.  from a classic kimura set up, go to the armbar

While mostly a knee-on-belly clinic, it was neat to consider these moves as a reaction to bottom's attempt to pop up from side control.


Flow Work

With your opponent on mount, you must elbow/knee escape; you can bump to help this move.

Mounted on your opponent, if he attempts an elbow/knee escape, you can transition to side control.  You can also transition to knee-on-belly.  From knee-on-belly, we discussed finishes.

In other news, I got my blue belt today.  It happened at the beginning of class and came as a surprise to me.  My instructor has told me that it would be coming soon.  Using me as uke for our first move, he announced to the class that he was tired of seeing me in a white belt.  He, then, presented it to me.  I was surprised, and much of the rest of the class was in a different gear (mentally).


Friday, October 14, 2011

No Gi Kesa Gatame

From an arm and collar tie up, connect your hands, sag your knee, and add a twist for a neat take down.

With your opponent kesa, try to work a Americana with your legs.

If you are in your opponent's kesa, make your frame and put your elbow to the ground.  Walk your legs away and sit up.  You have s-mount options from here.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Half Guard

In your opponent's half guard, slide your trapped leg up and put its knee to the matt.  Your free foot can pry  your trapped foot out.  Your forearm is best placed on your opponent's jaw line.

In your opponent's half guard, wrap up his head.  Then, tripod your feet (pressing your shoulder down into your opponent's neck), shake loose and pass your trapped knee to your opponent's side.  Use your free foot to help pry.  End in side control.

In your opponent's half guard when he has an under hook and is sitting up, break-dance kick your free leg around (you'll be back down at this point).  Scoot out and pry free.  End in side control.  Whew.


All Off The Scissor Sweep

We worked the classic scissor sweep then a variation where the opponent's knee is pushed out.
Then, we worked a sweep where bottom's left hand grabs top's left hand.  Bottom's right hand then grabs top's right armpit.  The sweep, then, moves in the direction of bottom's right.  It was slick.
Taking the back was also discussed along with finishing chokes.


Monday, October 10, 2011

Guard Passing

When in the guard, you have only 3 choices:  1) go under the your opponents legs; 2) go over, or 3) go around.


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Better Movement

In this private, I worked on flowing from Kimura (hand always is down), American (where the hand is above), and other arm bars. As the opponent moves his arm, the possibility for one lock or another is high. If the opponet straightens his arm, I can control his wrist and insert my forearm under his elbow and basically bend his arm the wrong way. (The option to climb on top to execute a similar lock is there too.)

After that flow drill, we applied the similar mobility to the bottom guard by climbing our legs up to play a high guard. Various wrist lock possibilities were discussed.


Friday, October 7, 2011

No Gi Guillotines

This slick choke comes out of no where from just about anywhere (including when an opponent is turtled).


Side Control Class

From the bottom of side control, don't give up.  Class focused on swimming for the under hook, coming up to your elbow, and controlling the wrist with a knee pick.

Regarding your opponent is always an option.  Sure you remain on bottom, but that's much more neutral than being on bottom of side control.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

BJJ match: Dave vs. Dan (DGC3)

Blue is very agile and seems to use his strength a bit.  He still was dominant in this match.  His corner's comments seem to suggest that they were playing a win-by-point game plan.  The result was a very convincing win for blue.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tamara BJJ Pan Ams 2010 Second Fight

White wins on points from a take down and pass.  Blue attempts a triangle and an armbar, and possibly had the better offense, but comes up short.

BJJ Pan Ams 2010 - Cassio Werneck - Match #1

The bottom player has a guard that wasn't passed and wins on points (possible take down or an advantage--it's unclear).
A gi choke was attempted multiple times.

Mark Pan Ams Fight 1

The winner of this match pulled guard and controlled his opponent's posture. Soon after he applied a kata juji jime choke to win the match over his guarded opponent.

Pan Ams 2010 - Celina Marie Match #1

White works a very top-side heavy game until losing the position while attempting an armbar from mount.  The armbar is completed despite the loss of position giving the woman in the white gi the submission victory.

NAGA World Championships 2007 Women's GI Beginner 6 Weeks

After some rudimentary grappling, a very tired woman wearing a white gi won on points over a very tired woman wearing a blue gi.

A triangle might have been attempted in this match, but each player seemed content to work a positional game of sorts.

Awesome Blue Belt BJJ Match - 2009 World Championship

In this match one player worked his guard game while the other attempted pass after pass.  The players exchanged sweeps  and wound up standing when the guard-happy player pulled guard and prevented his opponent from passing.  Time expired, and the bottom player won on points.

BJJ Match! Eduardo DeSilva VS Jerin Valel in Toronto at Grapplers Quest at UFC Fan Expo

This was a Gi match with an apparent 8-minute round.

This was an exciting but low-scoring match with each man maintaining his position.  The win came via label choke, and the winner had his opponent guarded at the time of the choke.

Monday, October 3, 2011

First Post; First Tournament

I want to begin this blog with an outline of my first BJJ tournament.  In short, I took third place with a record of 2 and 1.

I'm a competitor in the masters division (30-40 years old), and I'm a super heavy weight (208-221 lbs).  There were 5 gents in my division, and I drew the first match with a fellow to whom I had spoken throughout the long day of waiting for the white belt matches.

The wait was long, and my nerves were flowing.  I passed time by watching matches (this tournament began with upper belts and worked down from there).  I calmed the nerves by talking to folks--people I knew; people I didn't know; even people in my division.  I met a fellow who would be competing in my division.  I struck up a conversation which seemed to calm both of us down a bit.  The dude was big and stocky which made we nervous as a someone who may be competing against him, and I became very jittery when I learned that he was a wrestler.

In my first match (the lead match in my division), I drew the big wrestler dude.  Looking back on it now, I know that I lost the match before even taking the mat.  I was nervous about the situation and scared of my opponent.  I pulled guard because he is a wrestler.  We struggled a bit; he passed my guard and slipped on a slick paper-cutted choke.  As it turns out, this guy had a nice choke and caught everyone with it and wound up winning 1st place.

After my first match, things started feeling like normal jiu jitsu.  I was awarded a win via withdrawal.  The other guy hurt himself in his first match.  I hated that it happened to him, but I was sure that I would have beaten the guy.  (I know him, and it totally would have happened.  He's okay by the way; just a tweek.)

By this point in the division things were taking shape, and I knew who I would be facing for 3rd place.  I told myself that I could still do well, and I entered the consolation match feeling great.  I won that match on points:  26 to 0 to be specific.  I was happy to execute such positional dominance, but I would have loved to finish my opponent.  I tried, but the fellow's defense was decent, and I was being cautious.

After my division was over, I was able to actually enjoy the tournament.  I  enjoyed seeing the jiu jitsu of my team mates paying off for them.  Seeing their hard work working for them encouraged me more than I thought it would.

During my long, nervous wait, I told myself that this would be my last tournament.  I must say, though, at the end of the day, I believe I will compete again.