Friday, December 28, 2012

December 27th - Gi

I started out yesterday's class as the senior student but Adam and Will eventually filtered in.  The theme of the class was not as clear as the usual submission or position, it was more based on a fundamental movement.  We started with the crescent kick over a turtled opponent to hip slide and switch to back mount.  Most of the rest of the techniques were similar with kicking over to some type of hip pressure.  We did the same thing from mount kicking over their head and then moving to side control keeping hip pressure.  Next was armbar from mount and then moving back up to mount.  We also did some twister side control which doesn't get worked on too often but I like the way it can be used to take mount.  I still don't think I have the right pressure but I have a better idea of what I need to do now.

Will and I had a great roll in open mat.  He has his unique attributes that he's good at such as his armbar/triangle setup from guard which had me scrambling a couple of times.  I was able to pass his guard a couple of times with some standing bull fighter type passes.  I had setup a bow and arrow from side control but I wasn't able to control his body and we ended up in guard and I still had the collar grip.  It looked uncomfortable for him but I couldn't get him to tap.  He got free but I was able to switch to a omma platta fairly quickly but that was foiled as well.  He was able to setup a triangle with his move and it might have been my demise if Conan hadn't stopped us and had us switch partners. Although, I was pretty postured so I could have gotten out of it.

I rolled with Wes next and had a little trouble with him at first.  We started standing which I probably shouldn't have done since I'm pretty limited technique-wise right now.  He did a good job of holding on to my gi and stiff arming me away, but that was all he was pretty much doing.  So I eventually had to initiate some type of a takedown and my goto from this type of pressure would be drop shoulder throw.  Instead I finally attempted one of the sacrifice throws but didn't get close enough and basically pulled side control.  He held me for a while until I regained full guard.  From there he tried to smash me as I attempted armbars and omma plattas which he powered out of. 

He ended up standing back up and we were in the same position with him holding me at arms length.  A vertical wristlock came naturally and had him tapping while I was still standing.  That doesn't happen often in Jiu-Jitsu.  Our next match I did a half assed drop shoulder throw to one knee but he went over perfectly.  He laid there for a bit and I asked him if he was okay since he wasn't giving any resistance and when he started to put up a fight again I was in position for north/south choke so I put it on and got the tap.

I was a little disappointed in my performance while being pressured in guard.  I feel like maybe I fought back too much with strength instead of redirecting.  He was putting so much pressure into me and even putting his arm across my neck that I should have been able to lock him up from there and finish him.  I think on my armbar attempts I might have swung my leg to wide and made it easy to block.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 23rd - No Gi

It was questionable if I should go to class Sunday or not.  I'm still a little weak in the knees but I decided to go anyway.  I taught Hapkido on Saturday and did fine there, I told myself that I would at least go and take it easy and not roll or do anything to hurt myself.  <--LIAR.  Well I didn't hurt myself but I did roll.

The theme of the class was defending knee on belly. We worked on shrimping, pushing the shin and regaining halfguard, underhooking the shin, pushing down on their knee and sitting up when they pull on your neck.  All was pretty good except for the underhooking of the shin, that scared me a bit, so I only had it done to me on my right side.

During open mat I rolled with Sara a bit, which was good for me.  I could stay on bottom and take it easy, not too easy as she's wiry.  She did pass my guard and made some good attacks from side mount.  I probably abused my size and locked up a darce choke from the bottom and rolled her over and got her to tap. 

I rolled with Conan next and for a second there I thought I was going to finally make him tap.  Mostly because he allowed me to pass his guard and then when he put his near hand down to defend knee on belly I went for my famous north/south choke (well someday it may be famous).  I tried my best to finish it and make it tap, he was stuck there for sure but I couldn't figure out how to finish.  I made sure not to burn out my forearms and tried to move my body into place better.  Later he told me it was pretty close.  I think he might have finished me with a kimura or most likely an americana.

I rolled with Adam last and there were a few times my knee felt in danger.  Mostly from his half guard lockdown.  I tapped prematurely but it was worth it.  I don't think either of us tapped but I did pass his guard once.  He kept me on the bottom otherwise though.

Friday, December 14, 2012

December 13th - Gi (A Step Back)

It pains me to write this.  After taking a month off and feeling so good about coming back, I had another setback during yesterday's class.  I may have to take another break to heal.  How frustrating!

Conan taught and the theme of the class was the berimbolo starting from De La Riva.  We'd do a take down invert and then go for a back take.  Fortunately this was the only technique that we worked on the entire class.  We split it up into the sweep to being inverted to then taking the back.  I had a little trouble figuring out the best way to get up to the back.  Sometimes my hand would get caught in their belt or I couldn't get the bottom hook in.  Luckily I worked with Greg on it quite a few times.  While working with him we did about 3 or 4 reps and then the other partner would do their reps.  I think I prefer this to taking turns after each rep.  Here is a video of the Mendes Bros teaching what we worked on:

We did the up down and out drill from open guard with the guard passer standing up.  I feel like I was doing really well and would pass the people that I normally would and sweep the people that I normally would.  I especially had trouble with Greg as I should.  Trying to pass his guard led to my demise.  His spider guard is so frustrating.  Whenever there is an opportunity he had a hold of my sleeve with a foot in the crook of my elbow.  You really can't get away from it.  If you feel like you're going to pass to the open side the trapped arm stops you.  My injury occurred when I forcefully pushed his leg out of my elbow crook and then slid to the side.  This over bent my knee and I knew I was done for the day.  It's not as bad as it was the last time but it makes me take pause and think about next steps.  Another break may be in order.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 10th - Gi

After a good warm-up, Jerad had us work on a couple of guard passes from standing in someone's open guard.  The first one boils down to the knee cut pass.  You get their foot off of you hip first and then readjust your near leg to prepare for the cut across the thigh.  Then go for the underhook as the shin drives his leg down and you baseball slide.  If the opponent tries to block your knee with his hand you pull on their sleeve in kesa gitama fashion.  This is something that Jerad does to me regularly when I try to put him into my half guard.

The second pass starts out the same way but the opponent blocks the path by shifting his hips and legs.  To counter the counter a skipping step is done to the side and your weight is to their leg and upper body.  From there windshield wiper with the shins to keep their legs pinned as you move to side control.  Surprisingly this was difficult for many of us.  The shuffle step and putting the weight down properly was the biggest obstacle.

Jerad themed the up, down, and out drill time around standing guard passing/sweeping/submitting.  I did pretty well.  All things fell as they normally do.  I had difficult times with usual people, but did have my moments and I was able to pass a few times.  There was one time I was trying to do a cross collar choke on Will and then switched to a scissor sweep which worked like a charm. I also swept Ken by going deep half to back take and then just keeping on him until I ended up on top.  I ended up in over/under pass position quite a bit and finished a few of them.  I lost plenty of times as well, usually to people going around me into side control.

I watched Jerad and Fuji work on a spider guard sweep from the Tinguinha (Greg's teacher).  I jumped in and tried it a few times as well.  None of us could get it just right, mostly because of the inverting required to complete. 

I rolled with Ken and Jerad and was shut down decisively by both of them.  I attempted the baseball bat choke as a surprise opener with both of them but wasn't able to complete it.  I think I just need to turn my shoulders more and keep my elbows together.  I feel like the rest was spent on the bottom defending and don't remember many of the finer points.  Ken tapped me with an straight armbar and Jerad with an americana, so I didn't escape a night without getting submitted by that.

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 9th - No Gi

We did a really knee intensive class yesterday and I survived just fine.  We had a couple of visitors which made for a big Sunday class with 10 of us.  After a good calisthenic warmup we started on some wrestling.  Most of it centered around the sit-out.  Conan had a good idea of having us do it with a partner first and then work on it individually.  I think it was the right thing to do for the new people to get an idea of what they are trying to accomplish.  After working it alone we got with a partner and worked on sit-outs from a failed shot.

We continued with the sprawl position and worked on a couple of chokes from there.  We did the darce first and there seemed to be a little confusion on which way to roll or if to roll at all, but we all got it in the end.  The anaconda is the mirror of the darce in that the bicep hook up happens behind the armpit and the darce is behind the neck.  I must have short arms because both of these chokes are difficult for me to lock up.

During open mat I rolled with Conan twice.  He let me take the top position right away and I tried my best to keep it.  He is so good at stringing together escape attempts and displacing my balance.  Conan is also about head control, always shoving my head around to put me where he wants me or prevent what I'm trying to do.  Every time I went for deep half guard or a side control escape he would catch me with a crossface and center me back up.  He finally submitted me with an americana.  Our second match didn't finish because we had to bow out and finish class.  I felt like I was doing a little better from top that time.

Fuji destroyed me again once I was on the bottom.  I couldn't do anything but defend his arm triangle choke attempts and I failed at that.  I made some attempts to go to turtle but he rolled me back over again.  There is a lot of pressure down there and I need to keep learning how to deal with it.

I rolled with Jerad last and while I had a highlight Homer Simpson sweep from deep half guard he was able to get top position and take control of me in mount like Friday.  He did a great job of setting up an armbar from there and while I could see it coming I couldn't stop it.

I have a goal to improve my turtle transitions.  To help me with that I'm going to do 50 sit-outs, 50 bridge to tripods every night on my own.  As well I'm going to start doing pull-ups again. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

December 7th - Open Mat

I'm always happy to make it to open mat on Fridays.  In a way I feel like I'm starting over, taking the month off was good for me but fellow teammates like Jerad and Mike are always improving.  When I'm already less skilled than them it's a little depressing.  Adam was also at the dojo when I got there but he had hurt his shoulder (which turned out to not be serious). 

I rolled with Jerad first.  The good thing about being an hour late to open mat is that I'm fresh and everyone else is tired.  It's unfair and I'm not proud of it, but what are you going to do?  Jerad played me easy the first time and allowed me to pass his guard and take side control.  I used my knee on belly to north/south choke trick.  I got him to tap, but it was more from a jaw crank than a choke. 

The next rolls weren't as pleasant for me.  I ended up defending from the bottom for the rest of the session as Mike and Jerad worked me over from mount and back mount.  No matter what I did to try to escape they would either trap my hand in gift wrap, switch to side mount, or switch to back by putting their heal in my side. 

We had around 10 minutes left so we decided to drill guard passing king of the mat.  The first time I swept Mike by accidentally punching him in the face.  We went several more rounds before calling it a night.  I'm glad I could get over there in time. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

December 6th - Gi

I was excited to hear that we were going to work on the De La Riva (DLR) guard.  It's been a while since I've done any actual class time with it.  Usually while rolling I find myself somewhere in between open guard, spider, half guard, reverse DLR, and then deep half.  I usually don't end up in regular DLR.  Maybe because I feel like I have so few options from here.  I've got a back take and a sweep (that I often can't complete) and that's it. 

Here is an explanation of the DLR: De La Riva Guard.  As an introduction we worked on getting into the position from someone standing in our guard then we worked on the back take which is getting a butterfly hook in and then moving to the waterfall sweep.  Next we worked on the omma plata when they are trying to back away and leave their arm out there.  So I added that to my list.  Next Gi class I'm going to try to practice "Technique #4 "Back Trip Sweep vs Stand-up" from that link I posted above.  That looks pretty effective.

From there the class shifted and we worked on escapes from omma plata.  We went over: 1. Getting underneath them and rolling them over us.  2. Stepping over their head to change the angle on their arm and take side control.  3. Grab their arm between your legs and do an omma plata back to them while rolling. (don't really like this one, but it's kind of cool.  4. The final one was to get your posture then push on their hip and flip them over into turtle.  David kept putting me into a triangle on that last one.  Not sure what I was doing wrong.

We did king of the mat guard passing for open mat.  I had a fair amount of success and was able to keep the bottom position for 3 or 4 rounds in a row.  I can remember going with Fuji, David, Will, Justin and a couple of the new guys.  Most of the time I was trying the bull fighter pass, but I found out later that my posture was incorrect which is something that I need to work on.  My arms are too outstretched and knees are straight and I'm bending over too far.  Instead of squatting down low and elbows bent and in low.

I rolled with Fuji.  He was kind enough to start in bottom guard for me to give me a chance.  I was able to pass his guard and had side control for a little while.  I got a little stuck here not sure what to do, north/south choke would be difficult, he wasn't giving me far side armbar, arm triangle was attempted but I couldn't lock it up.  I should have probably went to mount but that would be tough to keep as well.  He eventually was able to go to turtle and then he just stood up.  How disheartening was that.  I didn't know what to do and after a failed Judo throw attempt I ended up in his side control.  He worked his magic smashing me and working on getting my gi undone and around my shoulder and then my neck and finally when I got my arm free it became a choke.  Ugh, I mentioned to him that I often don't feel that hopeless in a roll anymore.  Maybe I should roll with Fuji more often.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December 3rd - Gi

Jerad led us through a pretty good warmup and then handed the class over to Greg. Greg had us work some sweep and omma platta and triangle from the lasso spider guard.  This was pretty fun although I had a little trouble at times with the sweep.  It seems like an easy position to screw up if you don't keep your legs in the right place. 

We setup four partner groups for king of the mat but instead of the winner staying we would rotate so everyone would get equal time on top bottom and then go to the end of the line.  We worked from open guard with some sleeve grips.  I had some successes and some not so much.  It was really good hard training that I've been missing.  I had a few wars with Fuji, Jerad, David, and Ken.  Jerad seemed to be especially annoying by keeping a hold of my sleeve.  I had a heck of a time trying to keep my posture and defend his attacks while trying to get my hand free.  Mike and Jerad gave me some pointers after class to help get out of it.

I was pretty tired but decided to roll a bit with Ken.  Ken took off his gi top though so it made it a little difficult with mine still on.  I had to remind Ken a couple times to let go of his grips.  I must have been pretty tired because I don't remember much from this match.  In the end he submitted me with an armlock but I can't really recall how.

The rest of the night was kind of messing around.  I showed Jerad and Mike some of the darce and deep half guard stuff I learned from the Jeff Glover DVD.  I think I might have given Jerad some new ideas so fair warning to everyone else.  My body was very achy after that class.  My fingers hurt from all of the gi grips and my lower back and knees were fatigued.  It's good to be back.

Retraction: Last post I stated that Jerad submitted me with 2 ankle locks.  When actually he submitted me with 2 ankle locks and a darce choke. Hopefully this sets the historical record straight.

Monday, December 3, 2012

December 2nd - No Gi

I took some crap from Fuji before class about coming back too soon.  I went a little defensive and told him to mind his own business and then smacked his mouth.  Well not really, but we talked about my addictive personality a bit.  I don't deny it and consider it to be a good trait to some extent.  I know he means well and is just looking out for me.  Too be honest, I feel the best I've felt since my injury.  My knees feel strong and stable but although they do get fatigued after a good workout.  

Conan announced the theme of the class to be "how to defeat Ray."  Which is cool.  But then it appeared that we were working on foiling the deep half guard, which I do not support.  The trouble with adopting something into your game that a senior student uses extensively is that since they are better than you, your other training partners are already good at defending it. 

I ended up working with Stanley again from last week.  Which was cool, I love to teach.  The other theme of the day was on the knee slide pass.  We did the knee shake half guard pass and then knee slid once our knee was free.  It moved into blocking deep half with a cross face and then getting the underhook and switching to knee slide.  We then defended the deep half if they got in really tight by pushing on their head stepping over.  Finally we worked on attacking the arm, which I have a lot of trouble with when I'm on the bottom.

During open mat I rolled with Ken first and was feeling pretty confident in the beginning.  I used my cross guard to omma plata effectively once and was able to sweep.  Somehow I lost the top position with him stiff arming me and ended up on the bottom.  He pulled off some funky americana kind of using his legs and his arms.  I probably wasn't in too much danger but I was stuck and it was at a weird angle.  Rather than risk injury I decided to tap.

I rolled with Jerad a few times.  Again felt confident in the beginning and was able to mount him for a while.  He tricked me as usual by making me think I had a guillotine and then quickly reversing me and I ended up with nothing.  I tried the omma plata again but he postured up really well.  Fast forward to me in half guard and not able to get to deep half.  Both of our matches ended up with ankle locks and I wasn't going to fight those too much.