Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 30th - Aiki-JuJitsu

I decided to attend the Daito-Ryu Aiki-Jujitsu class last night.  Sensei Gabelhouse was the instructor.  There ended up being 6 of us.  I partnered up with Nick and Joe during various parts of the class.  I'll try to explain the techniques we did to the best of my spelling ability.

E-Kai-Jo seems to be a type of armbar.  The difference between what I have done in Hapkido and this is they grabbed just above the elbow instead of using the forearm to put pressure behind the elbow like we do.  We did this technique from a chest lapel grab to start off with and did a lot of reps which was nice.  There were some things I had trouble with doing the way they wanted due to previous Hapkido habits.  It was a little frustrating and caused me to be a little tight and use strength at times I didn't need to.  We also did the same technique from our knees which was a little rough at times cause my right knee bugs me every once in a while.

We switched partners and I worked with Joe for a while.  We did some slow sparring where we sat back to back and then attempted to get the E-Kai-Jo.  Apparently I was going to fast or using too much strength because I kept getting told that if I was going 25% they'd hate to see 100%.

We stood up and worked on Ni-Kai-Jo I believe.  It was analogous to what I would call a vertical wristlock.  I was having some trouble with one part of this lock which made it very difficult for me.  We were supposed to interlace our fingers around the opponents hand and it didn't feel strong to me.  Again my brain was competing between wanting to do it the way I know and have practiced and this different way that I was being taught.  Kind of frustrating to be corrected on jointlocks when I've had so much experience with them.

At the end of class we did Randori with one person in the middle and I went first.  They were nice to me and attacked me one at a time.  A couple of the locks I did were things from Hapkido that just came natural.  We went through the rest of the students being in the middle.

All in all, besides being frustrated in having to do techniques a little differently than I'm used to, it was a good experience.  It's caused me to contemplate jointlocks and the differences between our methods.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 29th-30th - Judo and Morning Open (My Fingers Hurt)

I am on my once a year week alone without the family.  They took off yesterday for my wife's father's house.  My objective once again is to participate in as many martial arts classes as possible.  Yesterday to start it off I went to Judo.

Sensei Dave taught class and there were somewhere around 8 participants.  We started off with a warmup and then basic falls.  We did a lot of fitting in and then throwing.  In between some partner drills we did a leg workout with jumping onto mats.  I focused on shoulder throw (Ipon sienagi sp?), then a hip throw with the leg out (horiagoshi), and then soto makakomi.  I almost hurt Ken at one point when I switched from regular shoulder throw to a drop shoulder throw without telling him and made him faceplant a bit.  We did just a little bit of randori standing up, then finished with ground fighting.  I felt right at home rolling and seemed to be able to take everyone's back fairly easily.

Mike and I rolled afterward and worked on some various things like the bull fighter pass.  I need to learn this better.

This morning Robert was taking it a little easy but was trying to keep his sweat going.  He brought a couple of guys from Lincoln, MMA to roll as well.  It was a large group and I rolled with everyone at least once.  Some highlights:

Robert: I felt pretty smooth rolling with him and was able to attack more.  Maybe it was because I had the mindset that I was taking it easy that I relaxed a little more and didn't worry as much about losing.

David: Stupid triangles.  Still my nemesis. 

Fuji: I was only able to get top position on Fuji once and it wasn't for very long.  Otherwise he was destroying me with knee on belly.  I got to figure out how to get out of that.  He tapped me out a couple of times

Ken: Like usual it was a battle to pass his guard and then keep a good position after that.

Josh (wrestling coach): Obviously strong from the top and had good movement.  I was able to sweep him a couple of times with half guard and also a flower sweep.  I got him with a guillotine and he got me later with an arm triangle.

Other visitor: Just a relaxed roll, he had been recovering from a leg injury.  I was able to sweep him a couple of times.

James: Almost got him with a guillotine.  He said it was the best roll he had with me.  

Now I'm sitting here at work and my fingers are very sore from all of the judo gripping yesterday and rolling this morning.

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 25th & 27th - Open Mat and No-Gi

Like usual I was late to no-gi class on Friday, but unlike usual everyone decided to leave as soon as I got there.  Must be a sign of the summer heat.  Luckily Mike decided to stay and roll with me for a bit.  I was reluctant to oblige his desire to work add in ankle locks to our roll because my toe had been bothering me a little but I've been interested in ankle locks lately and I know I'll have to start picking up on them as soon as I get my blue belt. 

I was getting wise to some of his ankle lock setups but he still caught me a couple of times.  I'm amazed at how quickly he's jumped in skill level.  Like usual we got stuck in the position of me trying to pass his guard and him retaining it.  There were a couple of times where I came very close and maybe once would have been considered a pass.  I recall one time I went for a toe hold but he got a heel hook at the same time and his lock was tighter.  Amazingly I tapped him out in the last match we were.  We scrambling and I went for a knee bar.  I was in the right position but it wasn't tight enough, he triangled his legs and a toe hold presented itself.

Sunday consisted of about 8 of us with the experience levels split in half.  After a quick warmup Conan looked at me and asked what we were working on.  The first thing that came to mind was ankle locks.  He took us through the straight ankle, heel hook, and toe hold all starting from top guard position.  It was a good review and I learned some things about heel hook hand/wrist position that I didn't know before.

During open mat I went with Adam first.  It was pretty much a defensive battle for me trying to keep my limbs near my body and fight for underhooks where possible.  We went back and forth a couple times in half guard as well but eventually he got me to north/south and a kimura soon followed.

I fought with Jerad for the remainder of the time.  Somehow I was able to take a top position right off the bat and pass his guard to side control.  From there it took a lot of my mental ability to try to stay one step ahead of him as I went from knee on belly to trying to secure an arm, at one point his hand was down by my leg and I grabbed his wrist and slid into north-south choke.  It worked and after a couple of bucks I got him to tap. 

The remainder of our matches consisted of him dominating me with a couple of exceptions.  I almost took his back at one point where I had his arm locked against his body with my legs.  But I couldn't get onto his back, I realized later I should have rolled him onto me instead of trying to get on top of him.  He was controlling me well with knee on belly and then north/south and sprawl position.  I believe he got me with 2 darce chokes.  After that and then he got me with the reverse arm triangle using a leg to step over my head as bait that he's taught a couple of classes on that I've attended. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

May 24th - Gi

Conan was the teacher yesterday.  We started off with a warmup some tripod stuff and then basic falling (arg!). We started off with some Judo stuff working with partners.  We worked on kimuras from side mount for the rest of the class.

Conan rolled with me first for open mat.  I felt like I was able to move a little more than I usually do with him.  I mostly spent my time in side control and then I'd get to turtle.  I don't feel like I ever attacked but I almost got half guard once, but I think he stopped me with a crossface.  I did a lot of defending but he eventually caught up to me and got me with an americana. 

The other Josh worked out yesterday.  It's been a while since he left us for Mid-America.  He did feel stronger and I noticed some little changes to his game.  He was able to take my back rather quickly using an armdrag.  I was able to escape.  From there I worked a lot of different things like spider guard, half guard, knee on belly.  I was able to pull off a couple submissions (Kimura, North/South Choke) before we had to quit.  Conan was trying to give Josh some pointers but I think we were both confused for a little while because we didn't know which Josh he was talking to.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

May 23rd - Morning Open

Robert was our target today.  Participants included David, Ken, new Mike, and Claire.  We're preparing him for his MMA fight next Saturday.  He ended up going for 10 five minute rounds in a row with 30 seconds rest between each.  From my point of view his cardio and strength kept up for the entire time.  So, maybe I should have pushed the pace on him a little more.

I often wonder about mindset leading up to a fight.  Will you damage someone's confidence if you continually beat them right before a fight or a tournament.  It didn't happen in this case but I was thinking about it when I was rolling before the tournament last week.  Or, should you take it a little more easy on them and let them get their confidence up in their techniques?  Not sure but I could argue for both sides.

While I wasn't fighting Robert I was helping Claire and Mike with armbars and armbar defense.  Then I rolled with Ken.  I mostly focused on half guard and feel like I'm getting a lot more control of that bottom leg.  I was able to reverse a couple of times but Ken in his infinite annoying guard retention kept regaining guard.  I also have a hole somewhere in my half guard game cause there were a couple of times where he was able to remove his leg from my half guard.  All in all a good morning session.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

May 21st - Gi (More Half)

Jerad taught class last night and we did the other side of half guard by working on passing from the top.  I already feel pretty confident with this so didn't have too many problems.  I found myself concentrating more brain power on the bottom stuff.  This was a little easier to do as I ended up on the senior side and worked with new people for the entire class.  After working on a couple of passes and rotating partners we did some 2 minute top and bottom live drilling and went through several partners with that.

I went and attacked Adam right after class and tried to pass his guard.  We ended up in half guard like usual and we both worked on our new half guard strategy.  I need to focus more on locking the leg down and controlling it because whenever I start to move my upper body my lower body kind of relaxes.  So like Ray said I need to do both.

I worked with Mike and Claire and helped them with various things.  Apparently Mike was impressed with my performance Saturday, which is weird to think about.  Have I become a student to look up to like I look up to Jerad, David, Ken, etc (there are quite a few other people).

Monday, May 21, 2012

May 20th - No-Gi (Tournament Reflection and Videos)

Yesterday was a reflection day and not too formal.  Ray and I were the first ones and it seemed like maybe the only ones, but then Jerad, Adam, Bauer, and Claire showed up.  Just for me due to my performance Saturday, Ray decided to impart his half guard wisdom.  We got with a partner and would work on half guard and Ray would come around and help us.

The 2 things that I took away most from the session was that I need to affect and control their leg.  There were too many times during the tournament that I focused on upper body but did very little with the leg.  The second thing is that when I go for the sweep I need to shoot under their ankle or opposite leg to my shoulder instead of just to my elbow.  I need to try to take their place instead of try to pull them on top of me.  At the end of the class I still had some issues with when to shoot under and how to stop getting smashed.  But, I'll work on it.

The videos from the tournament are below.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

May 19th - Battle on the Plains IV

I competed in my second Jiu-Jitsu tournament yesterday and I'd say it went pretty well.  It was hosted out of our school in Lincoln, NE and was a relatively small tournament.  Naturally I was worried that there wouldn't be anyone my size and skill level to compete against.  But, they ended up making a decent division of 4 for gi and 3 for no-gi.  Since there were fewer gi competitors and I think they had some trouble figuring out the no-gi brackets at first, they decided to run through the gi divisions right off the bat. 

I'm not going to try to do a play by play of all my matches as everything is a blur and I was able to take video of it and am working on converting them to youtube.  So, I'll post them soon and just give highlights.

In Gi I won 3 matches all by points.  My first and third matches were with the same guy, Alex I believe his name was.  He weighed quite a bit more than me and was also a blue belt.  I used my half guard skills a lot and then got reversal and knee on belly points when I could.  I was almost kimura'd by him several times.

My second match was against Will, which I dreaded.  Will beats me all of the time in open mat so why not in a tournament?  I ended up staying on top and passing his guard several times for points.

In no-gi it was Alex and another guy from his school (we'll call him wrestler cause I don't remember his name).  I rolled with wrestler first.  Aside from him getting the takedown and keeping me on the bottom for a good portion of the match, I was able to take his back and sink in a rear naked choke.

My final match was against Alex again.  He had a pretty good slamming takedown on me and pretty much dominated me from there.  I was able to get to half guard and I remember him saying something like "Oh shit."  He beat me by points and passed my guard several times.  I was gassed by the end of it.

Ray said that we'd be working on some half guard stuff today, and that he'd show me some stuff from his half guard game.  That will be a huge help because I really love half guard and feel comfortable there.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

May 18th - Open Mat (Slow Roll)

I got to open mat at the usual time on Friday after work.  I slow rolled with David and Jerad which was fun.  Not really pushing too hard for any one thing just kind of going with the flow. 

At the end we sat in a circle and talked about game plans.  I'm pretty confident with the positions and techniques that I'm good at.  I'm going to push the pace as much as I can and play my game, not theirs.  Not give up on any positions and make my opponents work for whatever they get.  I'm only going to go forward in positions and get the position before the submission.  I've got to remind myself not to burn out and use superior technique rather than try to force things.

I'm been up for a while and couldn't get back to sleep.  I'm going to try to hit the YMCA and swim a few laps before heading to the dojo.

Friday, May 18, 2012

May 17th - Gi (Tournament Prep)

We split the class into two groups after a quick warm-up.  This was pretty cool as the newer guys were learning about tournament rules and scoring etc.  We instead went through a series starting with reverse dlr to inverted back take to reverse x-guard and ending with butterfly.  I have a lot of fun working on a lot of this stuff and I seem to pick it up pretty fast.

At the end of class we did some tournament matches and I rolled with Adam first.  It was pretty difficult but I surprised myself by maintaining guard.  He scored the takedown right off the bat and kept the top position for the rest of the time.  There were a couple of times when I went to spider and lasso guard and I almost had a half guard sweep but in the end he beat me on points.

For my second match I went up against Tate.  I decided to go for broke and try a kneeling shoulder throw off the bat and I pulled it off.  That was the highlight as the rest of the match consisted of me trying to pass his guard, being in his back mount for a while and almost getting triangled.  We had some pretty good scrambles.  Can't wait until tomorrow.  I don't know who I will be going up against but I'll just try my best to do my thing.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

May 16th - Morning Open

In attendance: Robert, Ken, and Claire.  There were supposed to be quite a few more people, but I guess they had better things to do, like sleepy time.  Besides my toe bothering I felt pretty loose today.

We took turns rolling with Robert to get him ready for his upcoming fight.  I was doing a lot better at getting off the mat and attacking underhooks and single legs.  With both Robert and Ken I created a lot more scrambles and spent less time just laying in half guard.  It almost seemed like Robert was taking it a little bit easier.  We went 5 minute rounds and I don't think there were that many submissions, I don't remember any but that may be selective.

There was one baseball slide pass I was really proud of against Robert.  I moved my hips in the right way, drove my knee down, got the underhook, then finally kicked my leg free.  There was however a time when I was going for a head and arm triangle and I was trying to push his shoulder into his head and he rolled me over into his side control.  How disappointing. 

Ken and I had a pretty good battle.  It seemed like the whole match was a scramble and I was maintaining open guard.  My objective was to take his back and I just missed it a couple of times.  I also almost had x-guard but couldn't get his shin above my shoulder.

I worked with Claire on some mount escapes and whatever else came up.  I raised my level of resistance a little bit, as I'm trying not to take it easy on her.  I know how demeaning it can be at times when people fight you with kid gloves.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

May 14th - Gi

I requested an attacking the back class from Jerad last night and like usual he delivered.  We did the techniques that I expected starting with putting hooks in and staying with them as they rolled, then rear naked and other chokes like Ezekiel and Bow and Arrow.  There were some differences in the way that he taught the armbar from the back with the gi on than what I had learned with no gi.  I always thought I had to get the arm to the other side of their head but when you control their gi collar it's not completely necessary.

We drilled from the back taking turns on the back and then rotating.  Fuji recorded most of my drills.  I did my share of good and bad things.  I'll be reviewing the videos before the tournament this Saturday.

Here are the links to a few of them:

On Jerad's Back
Jerad On my back
On Will's Back
David On My Back
On David's Back
On Mike's Back
Mike On My Back

Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 11th - Open mat

My son had a pre-school program today so I was able to take off work for that and then make it to Jiu-Jitsu at a reasonable time after that.  It was worth it.  I rolled multiple times with Garrett, Ray, Claire,  David, and Greg. 

I felt pretty good about my performance with everyone.  Ray choked me out multiple times but I feel like I was moving a lot and had some good passes. 

I'm feeling a lot stronger going up against David now.  It doesn't seem as hopeless as it once did.  However, his closed guard is very difficult to deal with especially when the threat of a triangle is always there.  I was able to defend his triangle once which inspired Ray to talk some shit to David on my behalf.  I was even able to pass and get to side mount.  But, I blew it and he got back to closed guard.  I couldn't find a way to break it open and pass and I finally got caught in a triangle.  By the way, David is back on top of my nemesis list. 

I rolled a little rougher with Claire than I have in the past.  It seems like she's picking some things up now so from my experience I learned a lot quicker when I went against the good guys.  I worked with her on getting out of back mount and mount as well.

The first couple of matches with Greg ended abruptly with a guillotine choke.  I felt like I was making progress and passing his guard but I put my head right into the choke.  There were a couple of other times he went for the same choke but I seemed to learn my lesson and hand fought more aggressively.  One thing I noticed was that when I have him in open guard he seems to have no issue with being completely in the air.  He does it in such a way that he keeps his legs away from being grabbed by my legs but he doesn't go too far forward to get off balanced.  From their he looks for an opening and sticks his knee into a good pass position.  I might have to study this more to figure out how to do it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

May 11th - Gi (Broke 200)

Ray taught a pretty active class yesterday.  We carried each other across the mat a couple of ways.  We then got in groups of 3 and did the fitting in drill and then the break dancing roll and jump exercise.  We did a few combination throws from a failed reaping throw to and inside leg takedown and then a wrestling takedown.  The remainder of the instructional portion of the class was spent on the lockdown and whip up from half guard.

Ray had the more experienced people go to the corners and partner up with new people.  From there we rolled starting from different guard positions (open guard, de las rivas, reverse dlr, inverted guard, and spider guard).  It was nice to work some of these different positions specifically with new people.  It takes some of the competition out of it and forces me to try new things instead of going to the things that I feel like I'm good at.

During open mat I rolled with Jordan.  I can already see some improvement in him as he was doing some good things with body positions to keep me from passing his guard.  I started out working a lot of knee on belly and going for the far side armbar.  Still need to work on making the setup a little cleaner and sneaky.

I weighed myself this morning after swimming and I finally broke 200 lbs with 199.2.  For a long time I've just accepted that 210 was my weight and it wasn't going to change.  190 here I come.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

May 9th - Morning Open

Good training today.  I worked with Fuji, Robert, Ken, and James.  Claire was there too, but left after one roll.  Today was a little disappointing to my ego.  About the only really good thing was I did a sitout on Robert that surprised him, however I didn't remember doing it.  My main focus this morning was to always be moving and be aggressive.

Fuji dominated me again.  He started with a Judo throw right into side control.  I tried to focus on breaking collar grips and he gave me some pointers from there.  His knee on belly/collar choke was one of the worst experiences of the morning.

Fuji also gave me some good coaching while I was rolling with others.  I found it difficult to follow some of his directions at times.  I know the person that is coaching me is trying to help me but it's frustrating when I can't meet their expectations so I often get a little angry at the coach.  Like if I hear "turn into him" several times in a row and I've tried to turn into them but failed I'm not sure if I should keep listening to the coach or try something else.  Plus I have this please everyone complex that makes me feel bad if I let the coach down.

My desire to improve my wrestling has continued.  I tried to start standing with everyone.  Ken and I worked on some sitouts from sprawl position.  I was always trying to stand back up or get to turtle instead of just laying back into halfguard like I normally do.  Just got to keep working on what I'm not good at.

Monday, May 7, 2012

May 7th - Gi (Lacking Wrestling Skills)

We had a full house tonight.  It was a good balance of new people and salty ones.  Jerad had us work on a series of arm triangles with putting their arm into the armpit from side control.  The class seemed to go by really fast.

We did the 4 positions 2 minute drill.  I ended up with Fuji as my partner which was good for me, but I don't think I challenged him too much.  I think the most telling position of our skill difference was the turtle.  I couldn't keep him there and he dominated me consitently.  At least in the other positions I felt like I had some chance.  He was also dominating me with collar grips which I know I need to defend more. 

I rolled with Adam first for open mat.  I've been trying to change things up a bit and use standing passes.  I need to get a little more instruction in them though because I keep getting my sleeves grabbed and pushed around.  Maybe Adam is a bad person to try new things on because hand fighting is very tough with him. 

Next I went with Tim who was in class for the first time but I soon found out had a wrestling background.  After a breif stint in turtle I made it to guard but I couldn't get anything going.  I tried armbar and scissor sweep to no avail.  Soon I was in half guard and then in side control and even backmounted for a little while.  I'd regain half guard and then guard and we went back and forth between those positions.  It wasn't until I went to an open guard and put some distance between us that I was able to put him in a guilotene.  I felt a little disapointed in myself that I wasn't able to do more and affect his balance and take top position.  I really need to improve my wrestling.  I'm going to come up with some things to work on my own with bridging and sitouts and tripoding to make it all second nature.

I did some standup with Ken after that but I had a little hitch in my hip that was bothering me a little so we didn't roll.

May 6th - No Gi

There were about 6 of us yesterday and the theme was the triangle choke, which was coincidental since I worked on the same thing with Brandon on Saturday.  We went through the basic setups of jump rope and pushing the elbow through then some other setups and variations. 

For open mat I rolled with Adam first.  I focused on fighting for the underhook which worked a couple of times I even was able to put him on his back briefly with an unintentional kneebar from half guard.  Adam took my back, which hasn't happened very often lately, and made me tap with the RNC. 

I rolled with Ken as well and had a lively match.  I'm still trying to workout what I can and can't do from deep half because the position seems to present itself often with Ken.  There were also a couple of times where I went for the x-guard but couldn't pull it off.  I don't recall how he tapped me out but I'm pretty sure he did, maybe a darce or something. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

May 3rd - Gi

Mike and I worked on some single leg defenses, which I enjoyed.  I requested we work on more wrestling when Conan asked us what we should work on.  Since there were quite a few new people we went through falling, then basics of shooting, then we partnered up and worked on double legs.  From there we went back and forth working on offense and defense with sprawls and doing the takedown.

I rolled with Garrett after class.  He seems to be learning things and doing a lot better.  I helped him a little bit with mount escapes. He didn't seem to get frustrated so I guess I really didn't need to tell him that he'll get better like I feel I have to do.

I next got destroyed by Conan.  One thing that he really likes to do is crossface in really annoying ways.  There were several times where I thought I was making progress but then he would grab my gi collar and put a forearm in my jaw and all progress would cease.  I believe he tapped me three times.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

May 2nd - Morning Open (Wrestle)

It was just Robert and I this morning.  I guess since I told Ken I had a key he decided to take the morning off.  I set my timer for 5 minute rounds and we did a little bit on the ground.  We went back and forth a little but he dominated most of it.  My half guard is getting better but he kept on threatening the darce when I'd get my underhook and he got it once. 

After a few rounds I asked if he'd be willing to stand up.  From there I would attempt a shoot or try to get him off balance and he would always get the better of the exchange.  He gave me some pointers and I improved a little bit.  Every time I ended up on the ground he'd have me get back up but push on me to make it difficult.  It wasn't long before I was winded.  I feel like I got better as the practice went on but I'm still going to need a lot of work. 

I tweaked my lower back a bit.  Hopefully, it feels better by tomorrows class.  I also weighed myself this morning and I'm down to 202 lbs.  I don't remember the last time I was under 200 lbs, maybe 12 years ago.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April 30th - Gi (Sluggish)

Jerad complied with my request to work on some standing guard passes.  I guess my increase in workouts and getting up early is catching up with me because I've been feeling a little beat down. 

We started from closed guard and did a basic knee cut or baseball slide pass.  From there we moved to standing up to pass.  I believe we only did 4 passes which was perfect.  One that has eluded me is the bull fighter pass so it was good to work on that one a bit.  We had quite a few purple belts yesterday so we were paired up purple with a lower belt and I worked with Jerad for the majority of the class.

To finish the class we rotated around the room and did the guard pass/sweep/submit drill.  This is where I really started to get tired especially with Ken and Adam.  The new guys seem to be catching on okay and were doing some good things.  They seem eager to learn which it nice.

Ken and I did some randori from stand up which mostly consisted of him trying a bunch of throws and me trying my best not to get thrown.  It went back and forth a couple of times on who got who down, he definitely has the Judo skill.  We rolled after that but my gas tank was empty.  Hence he dominated me and made me tap to a kimura.  I remember thinking leading up to the submission things like "okay time to start defending now" and "come on you're getting dominated."  It didn't help.  Today is a rest day so hopefully I'll be rejuvinated for tomorrow morning.