Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 - Week #1 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Knee Escape, Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control

O-Soto Gari
Video: Yamashita O Soto Gari Part 1

This is probably one of the most straight forward throws.  The problem that most people have with it is they focus more on the leg kicking part and not enough on the upper body.

Make sure you step very close to their base foot, just enough space for your leg to go through. Drive the bus pulling down on their arm and up on their collar to get them leaning on the leg you are about to kick out lean forward as your leg reaps through for the throw.

Basic Side Control Knee Escape
Video: Side Control Escape Recompose Guard.mov

Side control escapes are some of the most sought after techniques. A lot of posts on BJJ subreddit have the subject of "How do I get out of the bottom of side control?", "Stuck in side control, any tips?", "In the bottom of Side control, I guess this is my life now."  There's a reason that side control, mount, and back mount are dominant positions.  They're supposed to be difficult to escape from.  To add to that, I think Side Control is an easier position to learn and maintain than mount and back mount. 

A couple of things that I help people with on this technique: bridging, breath control, and more hips less arms. 
  • Bridging: Bridge into your opponent in a way that would make them fall over if they didn't adjust their base.  This is what is going to create the space to fit your knee in between you
  • Breath control: Avoid taking that huge inhale before you bridge.  It gives away your intention to the person on top.  I try to bridge during an exhale.
  • Hips: I keep my arms on my chest when I bridge.  If you try to push them away it actually doesn't help create the space you want.  If you use your arms too much you're more likely to get put into knee on belly.
Bonus videos
Side Control Escape #1 - SIT-UP with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #2 - ELBOW PUSH with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #3 - HIP ROLL with Marcelo Garcia

Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control
Video: Americana Submission from Side Control - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The only major difference between the way we do it and the video is that we keep the first arm under the triceps as we push their wrist to the ground so it's ready to grab the wrist as soon as it hits the ground.  I like to use my head to help keep the hand on the floor as I'm locking up the wrists. Use a throttle motion to get their pinky knuckle to the floor. Slide their elbow toward their ribs and you should only have to lift very slightly.

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 2017 - Week #23 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense
Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense

Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll
Video: How to Escape Kesa Gatame and the Headlock This week's escape is near the end around 4:30.

This is a good one but it must be done right to avoid back strain and make it easier in general.  You have to bridge and maintain your bridge throughout.  I know you want to come back down but don't!  Next focus on putting their own weight on their shoulders as you turn to get on top.

Straight Footlock and Defense
Video: JiuJitsu.com || How To Finish a Straight Ankle Lock || Roli Delgado

I've been taught this technique a lot of different ways.  I'm by far most confident with the way that we teach it now which is very similar to the video above.  One thing that he mentions on the video that helps me a lot is collapsing the elbow.  I've helped a few people recently with tucking that elbow under before you're ready to finish the submission and it's made a huge difference.

I wasn't able to locate a defense video.  It has worked for me quite a few times during rolling. The biggest tip that I can give is to put your foot on the floor first before trying to hook their knee.  Otherwise it seems hard to catch it. 

Bonus Videos
Straight Ankle Lock by Dean Lister

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 2017 - Week #22 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Guillotine Defense from Guard, Ezekiel Choke from Mount & Half Guard

Guillotine Defense from Guard
Video: Valhalla vs Ryan Hall

This is the best video for this technique.  She shows it exactly how we do it and a surprise happens at the end of the video.  So be careful when you're on the bottom.

A huge tip that I like when I teach this is to try to push them to their back.  Don't wait for them to pull you down with them after you get your hand over their shoulder jump to your feet and take control over how fast they go to their back.  Also once they loosen up go back not up.  You can hurt your neck if you try to pull upward too hard with your head.

Ezekiel Choke from Mount & Half Guard
Video: Rafael Lovato Jr Teaches Ezekiel Choke From The Mount || Roger Gracie, Setting Up the Ezekiel Choke: Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, Issue #27.

I had a lot of success with this technique a while back but don't hit it as much in recent years.  It's something that I'll threaten now and again and it will setup other submissions in mount.  I probably hit this most often from the half guard pass now.  People in general in our school are getting better at defending their neck I think.   

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 2017 - Week #21 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard Position, Sweeps, and Submissions (Collar Sleeve Guard)
Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position
Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position

Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position
This is an intro to open guard.  One of the big lessons emphasized this week is using push/pull to control your opponent and maintain your position.  I'm pulling in on his sleeve and collar and pushing on his hip and bicep.  When my opponent moves I reset my position by lifting my hips using my grips and foot position to center back up.  I start to get into trouble if the top person eliminates my controls by pinning a leg or removing a grip.

Here are a few other pointers:
  • Remain on your side to keep your foot on their bicep mobile and active.  
  • Gripping the leg of the foot on your hip and smashing it to the mat is probably the best way for the top person to initiate a pass.  Strip this grip as quickly and often as you need to.
  • Play around with the push/pull.  Always be trying to affect their balance
  • Keep your hips centered on them
  • Relax, you don't need to have death grips and try to keep your opponent in place.  Once you understand the push/pull this becomes easier.
Example Videos:

Basic Open Guard Collar and Sleeve Set up BJJ Guard
Collar and sleeve triangle | How to BJJ Techniques 
Rafael Mendes | Collar & Sleeve Guard Study | Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 - Week #20 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Basic Triangle Setup

Koshi Guruma
Video: Judo - Koshi-guruma

This has been covered in previous weeks.  Personally I've been focusing on the kazushi for the forward throws and feel like I've come a long way in the last year since Bob has been with us.

Basic Triangle Setup
Video: Keys to an effective triangle part 1. & Keys to an effective triangle part 2.

The only major difference between the videos above and what we do is instead of getting the deep overhook we'll grab behind the collar on the neck and bring our foot up to their hip to get a similar effect.  Then when punching the wrist to the chest, getting our hips way up high is important.  Once you lock up the ankles you can't release them without having a grip on the ankle over their neck.  Check out the bonus videos below for some other triangle ideas.

Bonus Videos:
52 Triangle Choke Set Ups In Just 8 Minutes - Jason Scully BJJ Grappling
No Gi Triangle Choke From Closed Guard
JJM 22 Shawn Williams - Triangle Choke From Williams Guard.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 2017 - Week #19 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Escape to Back Mount, Kneeling Guard Break, Knee Slide Pass

Headlock Escape to Back Mount
Video: Escape from Hon-Kesa-Gatame

This is probably the one that I get the most often or feel is straight forward.  Throwing the hook in seems to be the easiest thing to do.  Different than the video we don't pull them over the top of us but instead bridge them forward and base our hand out to free our head.  Then harness grip and bring our knee up by their shoulder to roll to the other side to secure the bottom hook (the most important hook).

Kneeling Guard Break

We did kneeling guard break recently in Week# 17.  Here are some other types of guard break videos that I like:
Ostap Closed Guard Breaking Tips
Oli Geddes: Sao Paulo Guard Pass

Knee Slide Pass
Video: Knee Through Pass vs Closed Guard

I searched a lot of knee (cut/slice/slide) videos and I couldn't find one similar to the way we do it.  Regardless whether we stand or kneel to break the most important thing after that is to close off the side of your body your knee slide knee is on.  You don't have to get an underhook but you do have to prevent the bottom guy from getting one.  In the gi I prefer to grab the lapel and make what I call a bully grip where you twist your hand and bring your elbow against your hip/ribs as you point your knee perpendicular to your opponent's body.  Don't forget to collect up the sleeve or wrist to finish the pass.

BJJ Scout: Leandro Lo Knee Slide Study Part 1 - Active Posting
BJJ Scout: Leandro Lo Knee Slide Study Part 2 - the Face Crank

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 2017 - Week #18 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Seoi Nage, Double Ankle Grab Sweep, Butterfly Hook Sweep, Butterfly Guard Pass

Seoi Nage
Video: In-depth analysis of Ippon Seoi nage by Matt D'Aquino of Beyond Grappling

A couple of pointers when executing this throw.  Don't put their armpit over your shoulder, it should go closer to the crook of your elbow.  Judo Bob says that this throw is more like a hand technique rather than a hip throw.  After working with Bob on this and other throws I'm only scratching the surface with understanding it.

The drop seoi nage is the throw that I've had the most success with.  The morote has also been

This is the Morote Seoi Nage that I've been working on lately: Moro-Te-Seoi-Nage-Omote-Eingang (Tokio Hirano-Lehrgang 1984 in Papendaal, Holland)

Double Ankle Grab Sweep
Video: Double Ankle Grab Sweep-BJJ Blue Belt Requirements Technique #18

Not something I hit on a regular basis, I think it's because I'll transition to an open guard before someone is able to stand and break it.  But I've seen quite a few people pull it off and I've had it done to me before.  I think the hard part is maintaining the momentum and getting up and keeping the opponent's leg pinned in the process.  You have to beat the opponent popping up, grab their collar and widen your legs before they can get back to their knees.

Butterfly Hook Sweep
Video: The Most Important Butterfly Guard Sweep...

This is one of Greg's favorite techniques and I would say at first glance it's not what you think it is.  Everyone sees the end result of the leg kicking the other guys thigh over to complete the sweep, but really the sweep is way more about the upper body and controlling posture.  2 things I start with for the basic sweep.  A high underhook and I hang off of their other arm, this should change the angle of their shoulders.  Then you need to get out of your own way by getting your shin under your other leg, so you can fall to the side (not back).  The kick should be the last thing and just a helper.

Bonus videos:
BJJ Scout: Adam WardziƄski Butterfly Guard Study Part 1 
I've already seen some success with the techniques in this video because I play butterfly half often when I'm forced to.  The idea of switching and sweeping to the other side was new to me and I've really liked playing with it.

Andre Galvao, Butterfly Guard Sweep: Jiu-Jitsu Magazine #23
I haven't got to play with this one yet but I like the idea of where he puts the hand.