Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28th 2013 - Open Mat

Kids Class

My lovely wife's parents were in town for Christmas and were able to come to watch our kids do some Jiu-Jitsu.  Class went as usual with Jerad and Conan teaching.  As usual the kids enjoyed foot tag and blob tag.  They had a little bit of an off day with their shrimping and animal walks, I'm not sure how to motivate them that these are the important things.  They also worked on shooting for the double leg, which turned out pretty well.  They even completed the takedown today.

Open Mat

Since I had a family get together at 1:00, I went to class early and Jerad was the only one there to roll with.  He got the better of me most of the time with some one legged x and his ability to pass my guard.  He finished me with a mounted triangle and an armbar.  During one of our rolls I had a good volley of submissions and ended up attempting a north/south choke, then went to kimura, and finally an armbar.  Something like that doesn't happen often with Jerad.

I spent the majority of my roll with Fuji in his mount and finally side control.  I feel like I defend the submissions well but I don't feel like I have an escape plan.  I may need some positive thinking, but it seems like Fuji has my number and I'm not making much ground against him.

It's not often that I get to roll with Gina, predominantly because we attend different classes.  It's quite a different experience rolling with her.  There are things that she can get out of that I give others a hard time with.  My main objective was to take her back, but for some reason she was always able to twist out of it even when I got to the full position with hooks in.  She did make the mistake of telling me that arm triangle was her kryptonite recently so I used that information against her. 

Mike and I had a great long roll.  I was in side control for a lot of the time and I had to stick close to him.  I transitioned from north/south choke to guillotine and then kimura.  I attempted to take his back but he defended his collar well and didn't allow me to get any hooks in.  I screwed up though and he ended up in my guard and was able to escape the choke.  From there he passed my open guard quite easily and after some top work submitted me with a gi choke.  I'm just happy that I got to train this week.

Monday, December 23, 2013

December 23rd 2013 - Gi (Forearms-a-burnin)

Theme & Techniques: Weird Lasso Sweep Type thing with kimura and roll over variation

As I entered the school, Conan said that he heard I was suffering from Jiu-Jitsu withdrawal.  Ain't that the truth.  I'm assuming my wife made mention of this earlier in the kid's class.  With being sick and then having a limited holiday schedule for the next two weeks I'm going to be going crazy without my BJJ fix.  Luckily I was able to attend the beginner class tonight.

Conan started off class saying that as a Christmas present we'd work on something a little more advanced in the beginners class.  We started out the sweep by moving to a shin spider guard then kicking one leg through and going over to the opposite armpit and kicking through all the way to the knee.  Keep holding on to their sleeves and then kicking them forward.  If they resisted and moved in the kimura was there, if they sprawled back you just rolled the opposite direction.  It's difficult to describe so I won't go into more detail.  It seemed to work well and I may try it while rolling.  I ended up working with Ross and he did well for only having done a couple classes so far.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Guard Position, Free Rolling

Had a lot of success in Up/Down/Out but I mostly went up against the new guys.  My pass of choice for the evening was Toreando while I used a couple of different sweeps.  The scissor has been my stand-by lately while the omoplata has not been bearing any fruit.  Mike and I discussed it after class, and it's just natural that the school as a group are learning and responding to a technique that I was good at for a while.  I also hit the spider to x-guard to technical stand-up sweep.  I think this is the next thing to be added to my a game as it's been high percentage lately.

Conan stayed around after class and let us roll since this would be the last until Saturday.  I rolled with Brian first who's kids attend class with my boys.  I guess I'll refer to him as glasses Brian not to be confused with Air Force Brian.  This is the first time I rolled with him and he asked me what we were doing.  The question kind of confused me, but I guess if he's only ever been in beginner class he may never have free rolled.  That being said he did fine for a beginner.  His posture and base were good but I just have several more tricks up my sleeve than he does for now.

I finished out the evening with Wess.  We haven't rolled since classes at Roseberry's so I was interested to see how he's progressed.  Soon into our first roll I already started to feel a forearm burn.  I did my best to keep top position and spent some time in back mount.  His hand fighting was very good and frustrating which just made my forearms and fingers more fatigued.  During our last roll I almost felt like asking to quit because my arms had nothing left.  I had the best success with collar chokes as every time I tried to do an armbar he was good at keeping them tight to his body.  If I were to give him any advice, it would be to focus on standing guard passes and using the pant grabs to setup a pass.

Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20th 2013 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Drilling Omoplata, Side Control Escape

I was the only one to attend this morning which was okay since I'm getting over a cold.  I did a couple variations on the omoplata besides the submission like the sweep and then the armbar we worked on a few weeks ago.  I had a little trouble keeping it in the armpit but only because I thought holding the elbow was more important.  I worked on the stiff arm side control escape which I have seen some success with lately.  The major improvement I needed was to turn on my side more in the beginning.  Greg worked on a back take from turtle that he learned from Marcelo Garcia's website that would be pretty cool to pull off.

Rolling: Free Rolling

We had a couple of good rolls where I totally dominated and didn't allow him any position that he wanted or to establish a decent guard.  I then pulled off a slick trick by floating from half guard into mounting him followed by a gift wrap to backmount.  I submitted him with with an RNC and then later on a straight ankle lock that I've been working on.  And, that would all be awesome if it was what I did and not what Greg did to me.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

December 17th 2013 - Gi (Coworker)

Theme & Techniques: Self Defense against standing RNC, Mount Upa Escape & Cross Collar Choke

My coworker Bhuvana decided to try out a class yesterday.  She was hesitant for a variety of reasons but seemed to enjoy the class nonetheless.  She took a couple of hard falls with the first throw and commented that her insides were a little shook up. I ended up being her partner for the rest of the class.  There were a few times where I had to remind her to relax because she was trying to muscle the technique.  In the end, Bhuvana said that she had fun and left wanting more.

Rolling: Mount Position, Free Rolling

Somehow amazingly I was able to escape Greg's mount and regain guard.  The second time he ended up taking my back with a gift wrap.  Jordan and I rolled after class for a little while.  I had some success with the spider guard to x-guard that Greg often does to me.  I was also able to setup the mounted triangle that I turned into an armbar. 

Apparently everyone that competed did well at the tournament this past Saturday.  I haven't got too much information about what happened but a lot of medals were brought home.

I've been sick as a dog since yesterday and had to miss the evening class.  Hopefully I'm well enough for tomorrow's class.

Friday, December 13, 2013

December 13th 2013 - Gi (Throat Punch)

Theme & Techniques: Takedown fit-ins, Mount Hip Escape, Drill Comp Stuff

I was still a little sore from yesterday and from the weights lifted on Wednesday.  I forgot to mention that Bauer hooked me up with a basic routine to help me get started with lifting.  My goals are to improve my back and knee strength and just generally improve BJJ.  He's having me do some body weight squats, dead lifts, bent over rows, as well as pull-ups and push-ups.  I've only done it once so far but I liked it, hopefully a good addition to my current workout schedule.  I'm taking special care to make sure I'm improving myself instead of raising the chance for injury.

The mount escape was going fine until Brian accidentally elbowed me in the throat as he was practicing the escape.  It didn't hurt as bad as it could of, but it came out of nowhere and surprised me.  We continued and I didn't think much more about it.

Brian reacted a little differently than I'm used to with the omoplata from cross guard.  It made it difficult to do the omoplata but the pendulum sweep was right there.  There were a couple of times I was able to transition to the right thing to do when he reacted differently whether it be finishing the sub, or him rolling over into side mount, or having to straighten out and do the sweep.  I was trying some of the different things Adam was doing with the over/under pass but Greg convinced me to keep doing it the way I have been.

Rolling: Slow and Free Rolling

We did some slow rolling, which was new to Brian but he got along fine.  We may have been a little stiff and had too many pauses between our turns. 

After class I rolled with Greg and had a great time.  He obviously kicked my ass but I did some pretty good things.  Deep half guard presented itself a couple of times and I kept myself out of submissions a few times.  It ended with a kimura that he set up from north/south.  One of the most noticeable problems I have with his style is the way he uses his feet and shins to prevent me from regaining half guard.

On the way to work I kept thinking that my throat was hurting.  I was trying to figure out if I was getting sick, but then I recalled the elbow to the throat that Brian delivered earlier.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 12th 2013 - No Gi

Theme & Techniques: Footlock Defense for straight ankle and heel hook

I've been hoping for a footlock class for a while and Greg thought it would be a good time to refresh defenses before the tournament.  Things to remember included: don't try to spin out of a straight ankle; don't move in straight on a heel hook; get rid of their foot on your hip.  Adam and I were both a little tentative because we don't like having ankle locks done to us.  Will was our third partner and he helped me out a couple times when I wasn't getting up to my knees properly.

Rolling: Takedown sparring, free rolling

The guys competing on Saturday drilled and did more safe activities to be fresh for the tournament.  Greg, Adam, Jordan, and myself did some resistance training.  During standup I tried to setup the Russian tie but rightly so it wasn't happening with Adam or Greg.  I had a little more success with Jordan but still probably over-thought my game too much. 

During free rolling Adam and I had quite the half guard battle that went back and forth.  I may need to take Fuji's advice from last Saturday and be a little more mean with my crossfaces and pressure.  I executed my game pretty well with Jordan and was able to maintain back mount for a while using a gift wrap entry.  Greg schooled me pretty well, however I was not falling into some of the traps that he was setting for me.  There were a couple of pauses where I knew he was expecting me to use a deep underhook so he could setup his monoplata armbar whatsit.  I guess I'm unconsciously picking up things not to do with Greg, so I got that going for me.  He did end up submitting me with an RNC from back mount. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 10th 2013 - Gi Noon & Evening (Fingers had it Rough)

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Guard - Hip Bump sweep & Kimura

Attendance is starting to pick up at the Tuesday noon class; there was 5 of us plus Greg.  Ross who was on his second class, Bearded Josh, Jordan, Air Force Brian, and me.  I ended up working with Josh due to matching pretty closely size wise.  He kept questioning if he was doing the hip bump correctly, maybe because it felt too easy.  Of course that technique heavily relies on timing and the other person's posture to be effective in rolling.  Hard to simulate during drilling.  Greg and I both tried to assure him it was correct

The kimura from guard has always been difficult to setup for me.  I think it's because where you put your arms is so important for the top guy that in the words of Kurt Osiander if you get put into a kimura from guard, "you fucked up a long time ago, bro!"

Rolling: Guard Position, Shark Tank for Brian

This was the start of my finger pain.  I did so much gi gripping today that they feel like they were rubbed with sand paper.  Went with Josh and the question of how do I roll with new people ran through my head.  He hasn't gotten the basics down of grips and posture so I do my best to make my techniques as smooth as possible using the most leverage.  Eventually I give him some pointers describing what I'm trying to do and how he can defend it.  Greg was next and I feel like I did some good things.  I had a few sweep attempts that I chained together but it wasn't enough to bring him down.

To give Brian some extra tournament prep, Greg had Jordan and I take turns rolling with him under tournament rules for 4 rounds of 5 minutes.  Like I always say, he's doing great for how new he is to BJJ.  We put him through the ringer and he came out pretty well.  I was able to setup the farside armbar from side control twice and told him afterwards to not put his arm on that side of my neck. 

Theme & Techniques: Competition prep reps

Brian returned for the evening class for more prep.  Class was run similar to the Saturday competition class, which I'll be sad to see go.  We did 4 minute rounds of working on our guard technique (omoplata) guard pass (over/under), and our #3 (Arm Drag to Single Leg).  I worked with Adam on all of these and he helped me out quite a bit with the over/under pass.  He does a few things slightly different that I'm going to start incorporating into this technique.

Rolling: 8 Minute Drill, Tournament rules matches

I worked with Adam again for the 8 minute drill and I'm happy with my performance.  I was able to escape every position except side mount, he is a boss at that position.  There were a few times that I could feel his strength and size being a helpful factor in him escaping. 

I did matches against Adam, Brian, and Moe.  Between the matches Greg had the guys competing do some calisthenics to make rolling a little more difficult.  I felt bad just watching them, but not too bad.  I kept Adam in guard for quite a while but eventually he got ahead of me and I remained in side control for the rest of the round. Brian almost made the same mistake as earlier and I reminded him of the far side arm bar.  Later on somehow the kimura from guard presented itself disproving my earlier assumption that I suck at setting it up.  Moe pulled guard as soon as he got grips but he wasn't able to lock it up and fell pretty hard on the mat.  It probably looked like I slammed him.  I took it easy on him due to him being worn out and made him work to escape my mount when he wanted to give up. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 7th 2013 - Kids & Competition & Open Mat

Kid's Class:

I've been going to the kid's class every Saturday and a few Mondays, and it's been a blast to be able to be on the mats with my boys.  I've had some worries that they wouldn't like it or lose interest, but now that more kids have been joining they seem to like it even more.  We've had our struggles with shrimping and crab walks being hard and not wanting to partner with other kids but it's getting better.  They love the games foot tag, blob tag, sumo wrestling, sprawl ball, and crab walk soccer, which all have applications to BJJ.

They've covered several actual techniques as well: scissor sweep, side control to mount, upa from mount, o-soto gari and a couple others.  We even worked on scissor sweep and escaping back mount at home last night.  My wife was so proud (she was being half sarcastic).

Competition Class:

This was the last comp class before the tournament next week.  Greg took it pretty easy on us partly because attendance was the lowest we've had.  Robert Rojas had fought the night before and I guess it went pretty late.  Apparently the fight went very fast and Robert won in the first round by TKO.

I worked with Fuji starting with drilling side control escapes and then did a couple of interesting drills.  The first was to implement our ideal game with little resistance.  Off the top of my head I used 2 of my three techniques that we've been drilling.  Arm drag to Single leg, over/under pass to side control, to far side arm bar. 

The second drill was to deal with someone stalling in full guard.  The opponent would just lay their head down and keep their elbows tight.  This was to simulate that the person on top is ahead by 2 points and you need a sweep or submission to win before time runs out.  Both were great exercises to prepare for a tournament.

Open Mat:

Not very many people stayed or showed up for open mat.  Jerad had to take off for work so we got a couple rolls in quickly.  I'll have to look back and count how many times he's handed my ass to me and then add 2 more to the count.  I did well in the beginning of our second match as I passed his guard and attempted some submissions from side mount.  Once he escaped it was a lot of the same.  He is one of the few people that likes to attack from mount.

I spent the rest of the session with Jorge.  We rolled a couple times where I spent most of the time on top in side control.  He is very difficult to submit.  After that we went over side control escapes mostly focusing on the tripod with underhook.  In our last roll I focused on knee on belly as I haven't been doing it that much lately.  He really made me work to keep control and maybe I need to take Fuji's advice and be a little more mean with my positions.

Friday, December 6, 2013

December 6th 2013 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Back Mount Escape, Rear Naked Choke

It was a bitter cold morning but Air Force Brian and Bearded Josh ventured out to attended 6 AM class.  Nothing really new, but reps are always useful.  We practiced the back mount escape in both directions (going towards or away from the choking arm).  Greg then went over the basics of the RNC. 

Rolling: Back Mount Position (2 min rnds)

We partnered up round robin style and each got a chance to attack each others back.  I probably should have insisted on the rear naked choke that we worked on in class.  Instead, I went for bow and arrows and succeeded a few times.  It probably wasn't fair to Josh because he hadn't seen the bow and arrow yet and according to many BJJ practitioner it's better to go for the techniques that we cover in class to solidify the instruction in the memory banks.  I was able to use the defenses that we worked on a few times although they are much more difficult when the other person is resisting.

WHOYA: December 6th 2012 - Gi

After reading through this, I'm surprised at how many techniques were covered in one class.  We did 3 De La Riva techniques and 3 omoplata defenses.  The structure of the classes has changed so much since the new school opened.  It used to be an hour of instruction, usually several techniques, followed by half an hour of free rolling where you pick your own partner.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this and was still learning a lot.

Now We work on 2 (sometimes 3) techniques in one night and rolling is always structured.  Greg picks the match-ups and we usually do some form of positional sparring whether it's king of the mat, up/down/out, or the 8 minute drill or free rolling.  It seems a lot more efficient and I've seen everyone improve immensely in this short amount of time. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 5th 2013 - No Gi (Just Takedowns)

Theme & Rolling: Takedowns with KOTM and Partner

After our warm-up we went right into takedown sparring for the majority of the class.  Eat your heart out Henry.  I felt more confident during stand-up sparring than I ever have.  I realized later on that this is the result of my reps with the arm drag to single leg in the competition class.  I actually completed a few takedowns.  Greg mentioned that I didn't look lost while standing up and I heard a few "nice arm drag attempt".  I focused the most on keeping my front hand down by my knee at all times.  I also felt a little better about pummeling although I need some more go to options.

Adam instructed us in using the Russian to transition to a double leg.  I had been attempting to get to the Russian position all evening but it never worked out.  After the confidence I've gained from working the arm drag to single leg, this may be something I focus on and add to my reps.  The double was a little awkward at first but once I figured out how to get deep with my shot, it worked a lot better.

I received Tinguinha's Cross Guard DVD yesterday and I've seen bits and pieces of it.  I can see some value in it already as it relates to my current game quite well.  It is providing answers to the problems that I've had with the position and broadening my horizons with stuff I would have never thought of.  I'll try to do a full review in the future.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

December 3rd 2013 - Gi Noon & Evening

Theme & Techniques: Upa Mount escape, Cross collar choke from mount

Bearded Josh joined us again, he has signed up and hopefully will stick around for a while. The most significant thing about practicing the escape was that Greg noticed I was taking a short pause at the top of my bridge.  Changing that made a big difference.

I think I made some improvements on the cross collar.  Instead of trying to bring my opponent down to me I would try to pull myself into them.  This seemed to keep my elbows from flaring as much.  This is a technique that I constantly struggle with and I'm always striving for any improvement.

Rolling: Mount Position (4 x 2 Min Rnd), Free Rolling

Worked with Greg and Josh and they couldn't have been more diametrically opposed experiences.  Greg easily turned my mount into some type of guard several times and then didn't give me a chance to do the same.  So naturally I did the same to Josh, but gave some pointers when he asked.

I rolled with Jordan after class with the objective of maintaining guard as long as possible and looking for sweeps.  He was able to pass it once so I got to work on my side control escapes as well.  He did a great job preventing north/south choke; I was looking for it but he kept his hands in the right places that I didn't make an attempt. 

Theme & Techniques: Closed guard armbar and pendulum sweep

For some reason several toes on my right foot felt swollen.  Not sure if it was my gout acting up or if I hurt them in the noon class.  Thankfully, they're okay today.  It affected me a few times but once we started rolling I was able to ignore it. 

I am confident with the armbar we practiced, setting it up is something I need to work on.  The pendulum sweep from being stacked was very informative.  Previously I thought the sweep had to be at a 90 degree angle but from the armbar position we sent them at a different angle that wouldn't allow them to base out.  Genius!

Rolling: Guard Gauntlet, King of the mat from closed guard

Didn't make the cut to be on the guard side of the gauntlet, but hopefully I gave the other guys a run for their money.  Jerad gave me the worst time.  His butterfly guard is difficult to deal with.  I did go into it with the goal of standing up to pass which seemed to help.

During KOTM, I had some successes and a few times, not so much.  One lesson to come out of today is that I need to work on my posture and grips more from inside the closed guard. 

WHOYA: December 3rd 2012 - Gi

It looks like this was the introduction to up/down/out.  Greg taught and went over some spider guard.  I think during this period Greg started introducing a lot of new things that would be used in our new school (warm-up, up/down/out, etc).  I also make mention of showing off some of the techniques from the Jeff Glover DVD, which I still need to return.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

November 30th 2013 - Competition & Open Mat (Bad Day?)

Competition class

Missing a few people again today but we had even numbers which helps Greg out.  We skipped our usual conditioning and went right to drilling:
  • Drilling guard pulling back and forth
  • 4 rounds 4 minutes of guard pulling with Henry and Adam
  • 4 minute rounds of our guard technique
  • 4 minute rounds of our guard pass
  • 4 minute rounds of our 3rd technique (single leg)
Throughout the whole thing I had some trouble with my cardio.  Not sure if I just had a bad day or if I still have some congestion lingering.  I may have to get back in the pool for some laps to get in better shape.

We finished the class with tournament matches and I was partnered up with Henry.  I was doing quite well in the beginning and was in side mount for a majority of the first half.  Somewhere along the way I lost top position and ended up in guard then half guard and then he passed.  Eventually he was way ahead on points and I wanted to give up.

Open Mat

Conan gave me some pointers from bottom half guard.  The position hasn't been working as well for me lately and it's been bugging me.

I rolled with Mike for a while and he smoked me pretty well.  It feels like he's got me pretty figured out and I'm going to have to expand my game if I'm ever going to challenge him again.  He spent most of the time in side control where I felt like there was no chance of escape.

Conan felt immovable.  Everything I tried felt like running into a wall.  He beat me fairly easily a couple times.

Dwight showed up with 30 minutes left and Mike and I rolled with him no-gi.  I felt pretty good in the beginning working some butterfly guard and half guard.  The most progress I made was with an overhook from guard otherwise I wasn't very offensive.  Everything was going well until he went for a heel hook. 

So if you haven't noticed this post was pretty negative.  Although I know that there are ups and downs in BJJ and this is definitely a down, I'm having a tough time getting over it.  I've just got to stick this out train through it.  Looking back on some posts from last year, I'm at least thankful to be able to train without hurting.