Friday, February 28, 2014

February 27th 2014 - No Gi

Theme & Techniques: Maintaining Back Mount

Greg had us run a drill to deal with someone attempting the basic escape.  First we would use one of our hooks to get them to the side we wanted.  Then we would use a butterfly hook to turn them on their side.  Finally if they wouldn't allow the hook to come back in we would hook our feet and drive our hips into their back to get them to open up for the hook.  Pretty good drill and I've used it more than a few times since we worked on it last time.  I had partnered with Adam.

Rolling: Back Mount Position (12 x 3 min rnds), Free Rolling (5 min rnd)

We trained with everyone with one person resting each round.  I feel pretty good about my escaping and Conan helped me with a major epiphany.  When he was escaping my back mount his head would always seem to get in the way and push me out of position.  This is something I haven't been doing but it seemed to help when I was defending Greg's back mount.  I also partnered with Henry, Adam, Will, and Jerad and felt good about my performance. 

Will was my partner for free rolling.  I did my best to overcome his top guard pressure.  Once I made some space I was able to secure an omoplata.  In our next roll I had him mounted for a little while and he was able to create some space and drive a knee in.  I made a big mistake by bringing my knee across his body and he heel hooked me.  We talked about it after the class and he figured that if I would have went for the underhook I would have prevented the sub and we drilled it for a while.  This is a mount escape that I'd like to improve on for myself as well.

The muscles around my lower ribs felt pretty tight after class.  I'm not sure what is causing it; it could be the ab work that comes with working omoplatas or possibly my body adjusting to losing a little weight.  I'll keep an eye on it going forward. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

February 25th 2014 - Gi Noon & Evening

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard

I was kind of surprised to see us work on the technical stand-up because I don't remember the last time it was taught in class.  It's how I get up from the floor almost every time.  So I probably don't need too much extra practice, but there were people present that may have been doing it for the first time.

I worked with Bhuvana once again for the technique portion and she did fine.  Hip bump sweep can be a little difficult to learn especially getting up onto the hand and hitting with the hips.  Then I walked her through the kimura and the only issue she had with that was keeping the elbow on her chest instead of pulling the arm away from her body.

Rolling: Guard Position (6 x 2 min rnds), Free Rolling

Bhuvana seemed a little flustered in the first round and didn't really know what to do.  I swept her a couple times and then walked her through the basic guard pass and break.  Then from the bottom I let her do the hip bump but gave her more resistance than when we were drilling.  I worked with Adam from Hastings next and he surprised me.  I really had to work to keep him from passing my guard and to pass as well, but some of my tricks came through for me.  I finished position sparring with Ben who I wasn't going to take lightly since I learned how strong he was last week.  I did a lot more hand fighting and went for armbars whenever he brought his arm too high on my chest.  I worked on the standing guard break with both Ben and Adam with some success.

After class dismissed I had a long roll with Adam and felt pretty confident in the beginning but as time went on I got tired and eventually felt mentally beaten.  I started off working my cross guard game and going for a lot of omoplatas. At one point he stacked me pretty good stretching my neck, which still is a little tight.  I was able to sweep him using the hip bump from early and saw an opportunity for a mounted triangle but was not able to lock it up and lost top position and spent most of the rest of the match in half guard.  I attempted a few kimuras from half guard but was unable to sweep with them.  After thinking about it later I should have attempted the tornado guard sweep or the back take using the kimura.  I got pretty stuck and was unable to mount a good defense.  Eventually I started to gas and he was able to pass my guard and attempted an arm triangle.  It was very uncomfortable but not choking and eventually he abandoned it and went for an americana and turned it into an armbar.  Props to him for going the distance, it was a long match.  It's more proof that I need to improve my cardio and I need to set the pace for my rolls and not play the other guys game.  Also it's just training and I should be trying more things instead of stalling in a position.

Theme & Techniques: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard, Hip Bump counter to Backtake

I worked with Ross on the technique portion and we got some good reps in.  He had the problem of not getting up to his hand at first which everyone has when the start the technique.  The only issue he had with the kimura was he needed to pivot his body more.  The third technique was amazing and I hope I'm able to use it some day.  Basically when someone goes for the hip bump you grab their pant leg and kick back and out over the leg you've grabbed and circle around behind them.  It looks a lot more complicated than it is. 

Rolling: King of the Mat Closed Guard

We had a visitor, Israel, who is a purple belt that moved here from New Mexico.  I only partnered with him for king of the mat 2 or 3 times and didn't feel like it was enough to get a sense of his game.  Hopefully he sticks around because it's great to get someone with a different game and experience to broaden our knowledge base.

I became king a couple times and held on to the title for a few rounds.  Instead of the king staying in until they are beaten Greg put a cap of 3 rounds in guard for a king, so that provided opportunities for newer guys to play guard once in a while.  I think this is better than the old way.  Something I've been thinking about incorporating into my cross guard game is the star sweep when the stand up.  Usually I just keep trying for the omoplata but I think this is a great alternative route.  I was able to pull one off today.  I did a few omoplata sweeps, passed a few guards, and got swept a couple of times.  I recall going a few rounds with Jerad, Fuji, Israel, Sam, Mo, Ross, Will, and Greg.  Will and I finished out the session with me on bottom.  He was working very closely from guard and nullifying a lot of my usual stuff.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

February 22nd 2014 - Kids Class & Open Mat

Kid's Class:

Once again I was happy with how my kids performed in class.  I kind of wish they wanted to work on things more at home but hopefully that will come with time.  As long as they're still excited to go, I'm happy.  Greg started running two rings for sumo and sumo foot tag, which makes it go a lot more smoothly.  Jayden and Jace both looked more aggressive and were using some good strategy. 

Open Mat:

Ray: I don't feel like I can move him.  He's just so solid and it seems like he toys with me most of the time.  I rolled with him in both gi and no gi.  He didn't do too many leg submissions but there were a few.  A couple of the things I did well was put him in single leg-x but wasn't able to do much with it, played with cross guard a bit.  I attempted some armdrags and took his back once, although I think he let me because he did his usual of trying to ankle lock me and then moving to deep half.  There was one point when he had me in mount and everytime I tried to buck I could feel him try to setup the armbar, I had to be careful not to fall for that.

Conan: We didn't really roll but went over some butterfly guard and single leg-x or x-guard set-ups.  I wish I had rolled with him, because he always gives me some good pointers afterwards.

Henry: There is no opportunities to rest with Henry, and apparently I need to rest sometimes.  The place where I lose the most often is when he transitions from side control to turtle and then wrestling happens.  I need to figure out some answers to this because Henry's not the only one that does this to me.  He submitted me with a baseball bat choke that he's been working on.

Jorge: He has been starting off pretty aggressively from guard lately when we first start out.  However, once I am able to pass I can usually keep him in side mount until I can submit or time runs out.  He seems to know where to keep his elbows and arms and I wish I had his seemingly natrual ability to prevent submissions.  It's only a matter of time before he figures out side control defense and makes it much harder for me.

Fuji: I was hopeful at the beginning when he didn't attempt to put me into lasso guard and I was able to pass into side control.  I wasn't able to make anything happen submission-wise and eventually he was able to get to his knees and then double leg me.  From there he passed my guard and then got me with the usual brabo stuff.  Mike tried to give me some pointers on dealing with getting my leg caught in turtle.  I think I'm going to need some more help with this.

Sam: We rolled a few times and then I went over the basics of butterfly guard hook sweep.  Hopefully I did the technique some justice.

Brian: Somehow we got on the subject of military and me being a Marine and Brian being Air Force.  So I guess I had to represent.  He started off by trying a pass that I've fell for before that goes directly into back mount, with some fancy legwork I was able to pull him into closed guard.  I swept with a hip heist, which I haven't attempted in a while and stayed in mount for a while.  He did a good upa attempt but I was able to turn it into an armbar.  In our second roll somehow I was able to get back mount and worked my way to a bow and arrow, even though I really wanted an RNC.  After that I shouted "Oorah Marine Corps!" which is something that you'll never hear me say.  After that Ray and Fuji tried to set me up with more military matches: Navy (Mike) and Army (Conan).  I don't think I would represnt well in either of those cases.

Friday, February 21, 2014

February 21st 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques:  Shoulder Throw, Back Mount Cross Choke, Bow and Arrow
Shoulder Throw, Back Mount Cross Choke, Bow and Arrow - See more at:
Shoulder Throw, Back Mount Cross Choke, Bow and Arrow - See more at:

I worked with new Mike on the chokes.  I feel like I did a good job helping him get the techniques right.  We martial artists are an odd breed, we tell each other good job when the other person is able to choke or armbar you correctly.  My reps with the bow and arrow felt really good.  I feel like the steps after I secure my collar grip are really smooth and I don't feel the same way about any other technique I can think of.

Rolling: Back Mount Position (6 x 2 min rnds), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min rnds)

Of course defending the back everyone wanted to go for the bow and arrow right off the bat.  I almost got caught once or twice just because my opponent went for the collar grip right away after our hand slap and that is tough to deal with.  But, I didn't have to tap to that choke today.  Air Force Brian was probably the closest, but he let go of his underhook too soon which allowed me to get under his elbow.

I rolled with Darijo and Greg.  I was very systematic in my first roll with Darijo.  From butterfly sweep, to mount, to mounted triangle to armbar finishing with him saying, "What the hell was that?"  To which I replied, "Which part?"  "All of it!"  I rolled with Darijo after class as well and had a little trouble with the single leg-x guard.  Not sure if it was the way he was directing his leg but I couldn't seem to get to the right position and was worried about getting ankle locked myself when he sat down.  I'll have to ask about the problems I had tomorrow.

I felt great about my roll with Greg.  I was able to recover full guard at one point and I kept him from taking my back and submitting me, if that is what he was going for.  I did pause when I got to full guard to celebrate in my head for a second and that's when he broke my guard and passed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

February 20th 2014 - No Gi

Theme & Techniques: Side Mount Switch from Opponent Underhook

Greg only had us work on one move and didn't need to spend too much time on instruction.  The technique was an answer to having the opponent turn into you from side control with an underhook.  If the darce was not available we would use the whizzer and hook their neck and then run around them to the other side.  I partnered with Will for this.  It was pretty slick and worked well although in the future I need to keep my hips lower while I'm switching sides.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Side Control, KOM Guard, KOM start neutral for points

Had a pretty good day all around.  I was so excited for a split second that I was able to pull off the move that we worked on earlier against Henry but I think because my hips were too high he was able to snake his head out and regain guard.  I think I said something on the lines of "but...but...I did the move!"  More drilling and playing around with it required.  I had some good battles with everyone including Henry, Mike, Greg, Jerad, Will, and Pedro.

Some highlights that I remember:
  • I almost passed Greg's guard, I think, well almost is still a long way to go.
  • Regained guard by attempting a knee bar and then coming out to butterfly
  • Went for a toe hold on Mike and had the hand position right but couldn't get leverage to pull his leg away from his butt
  • Setup an omoplata from closed guard and finished it
  • Got swept by Jerad easily
  • Henry is good at timing a transition to sitting up and doing a double leg from guard
  • There were a couple times when I sat to guard accepting a sweep when I should have insisted on fighting for the top position. A bad habit I need to work on.
  • Went for deep half against Henry and he stood up, should research what to do when this happens.
  • I called Henry a slippery asshole at one point when he escaped a guillotene and then passed my guard and probably shouldn't have.  I was joking of course but could have probably chosen better words.
Sending out good thoughts to my teammate, Gina, who has a bulging disk and some pinched nerves.  I know what it's like to have a nagging injury and not being able to train.  I hope everything goes well with her recovery.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 18th 2014 - Gi Noon & Evening (Absolutely Nothing)

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder throw, Back mount cross collar choke, Guillotine

Worked with Bhuvana on the technique portion of class.  While Greg had to help her with a couple of details with the chokes, she was able to do everything in class very well.  This would begin a rough day of chokes for me though. 

Rolling: Back Mount Position (2 x 2 min rnds), Guard Positional (2 x 2 min rnds), Free Rolling

Had to stay on my toes while trying to keep Bhuvana in my back mount.  Her instinct was to grab my fingers to help try to pry my hands away.  Of course this is something useful for self defense but it's good to avoid it during class to prevent injury, as well as putting more focus on the techniques as they are more important.  After all if I'm in a better position than my opponent and they start playing dirty with finger breaks etc, I am in a much better position to do those same things back to them.  She did well and is actually difficult to keep down.

We did guard passing after that and I worked with new guy Ben.  He actually surprised me a little bit.  While he used too more strength than he should have I had to step it up a little bit to make sure he didn't pass my guard.  Passing his guard was a little easier, I assume he doesn't have very much experience on his back, but is a handful on top.

I rolled with Tim after class.  The other day we discovered that we have some common family in that he is my cousin's wife's uncle.  Which reminds me of a scene from space balls.  I can see he's already progressing since I rolled with him last week during open mat.  He's learned about posture and position.  We discussed why everyone was sweeping him from butterfly guard and some things to keep in mind.  Bhuvana was super excited that she witnessed me catch Tim with an armbar and she was recognizing what happened.  

Had a great roll with Greg even though he made me look a little silly.  I heard from Bhuvana later that once he had set up a technique he had given them a funny look to let them know he had me.  I did escape an armbar at one point but it put me in the prime spot for him to take my back.  After that it was getting close to time to head back to work, so I told him to submit me as fast as possible and he was able to footlock me within a minute or less.

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder Throw, Back Mount Cross Choke, Bow and Arrow

I was partnered with Brian (Sweeney Todd) and had a good time working with him.  The coolest thing was a comment that he made about it being cool working with a blue belt because he was learning some extra tidbits to each technique.  It was fun to witness him learn the bow and arrow for the first time. 

Rolling: Back Mount Position Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling (2 x5 min rnds)

I attempted to work on the RNC again during my turns in back mount.  I wasn't able to complete one and usually resorted to a bow and arrow if I could.  I've found that I've been going to face down back control which is something that I never did before.  It's a very empowering position.  In my final round I was with Ross and I kept attempting to lock his hands up but was unable to.  I'll have to ask Greg for some more tips on the back mount to hand trapping and finishing with RNC.

I rolled with Will for free rolling and had a tough time dealing with his sleeve grips.  We eventually ended up with me on top in side control but he had a good pant hold.  It took some doing to get free of that.  I moved to mount and then back and I believe I pulled off a bow and arrow.  I rolled with Brian to finish the class out.  I was attempting to setup the baseball bat choke from knee on belly but I could tell he was getting very uncomfortable and frustrated in the position and looking like he was about ready to tap (been there several times).  I went over the basic knee on belly escape with him.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

February 15th 2014 - Open Mat (Reality Check)

Forget what I wrote Friday.  I was reminded this morning that I still suck and I demonstrated that verily today.  I ended up rolling with 8 different people and I am feeling it. My plan was to roll with everyone but aI missed a few that were there: Conan, Gina, Wes, Sam, Tim, and Darijo.  I probably would have fallen apart if I rolled with everyone.  I'm not going to go over everything because it would take too long and I already forgot stuff, so just some highlights of what I feel like I did "Good" and "Bad":

Henry Good: Pulled off a scissor sweep, Deep Half sweep, passed his guard
Henry Bad: He kept top position most of the time, Submitted me with baseball bat choke and Brabo, Passes my guard like butter.

Mike Good: Had some fun fighting through quite a few scrambles.  Mike shared some advice on following up the leg drag with sliding and pinning the other leg.
Mike Bad: Caught me with an armbar. 

Jerad Good: Transitioned to one legged-x and then to x-guard and the technical stand-up sweep
Jerad Bad: Can't keep him in any type of guard.  Can't remember what he submitted me with

Fuji Good: I prevented his lasso with some previous advice from Mike, passed his guard
Fuji Bad: Caught me with an Americana or 2 rolled me over him easily when I had top position a couple times.

Adam Good: Had a good slow roll with him, Spent some time on top but his wrestling is something I'm working on dealing with.
Adam Bad: Smashed me in side control and finished me with a kimura

Brian Good: Played butterfly from bottom and then moved to mount after the sweep.,,
Brian Bad: Escaped my back mount

Ross Good: Before we started Ross commented that he always learns something when we roll together.  Transitioned to a pretty smooth armbar as he was defending my cross guard omoplata
Ross Bad: Don't remember anything going too bad, should have probably had something I wanted to work on in mind.

Austin Good: I appreciate Austin's attitude.  Both times I've seen him at open mat he's stayed for the duration and will roll with anyone and everyone.  Hopefully this persists and he sticks around.  I trained my omoplata mostly trying to get the submission instead of going directly for the sweep.  I also went over some various basics with him as well.  He didn't seem to get frustrated.
Austin Bad: N/A

It was a great day of training and a good reminder that I am only scratching the surface of Jiu-Jitsu.  I'm going to keep focusing on developing my cross guard game and I'm also looking into some Ryan Hall back take stuff, as well as training the under sprawl position when I can.

Friday, February 14, 2014

February 14th 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Back Mount basic escape, RNC

Once again, we had a good crew for our sole weekly early morning class.  Brian and Ross as well as new guys Austin and Mike.  I ended up working with Mike on the technique stuff.  He's had some training so we were able to get some good reps in with me having to help him out a few times. 

Rolling: Back Position, Free Rolling

My objective in both positional sparring and free rolling was to complete the RNC.  It turned out to be more difficult than I had hoped.  I have even more respect for Greg's ability to secure this technique.  I did feel like I was figuring out what tricks work for me when trying to secure the choke.  As Fuji says, I just need to be meaner, it's not a who can be gentle contest.  Although I wanted to I didn't resort to the bow and arrow and kept working for the RNC. 

Highlights from free rolling included a few butterfly sweeps, played a little single leg-x guard and pulled off the sweep we worked on, hit a kimura, got a guillotine, hit a omoplata sweep, and took a few backs.  I'm not sure how to feel about things seeming to go so well on the mats lately.  I've been so used to writing how much I get crushed every class that the blog is becoming difficult to write and be truthful but not sound like I'm bragging.  I guess I'll need to partner up with Henry, Jerad, Ray, Fuji, Mike, Conan, and Greg tomorrow and get my ass kicked.

I rolled with Brian last roll and on our third roll I decided to start in the sprawl position.  I attempted to sit-out which almost worked but then he took my back and we fought from there until time ran out.  I think I'm going to do this more often since it was very easy for him to take my back from there.  I must stamp down the ego and work through this piece of my game.

February 13th 2014 - No Gi

Theme & Techniques: Pummeling, Granby Roll from Turtle

Had a pretty good session today and got some good training in.  I was pleasantly surprised to see Bauer back decked out in his new unicorn rash guard.  He said that his schedule was clearing up so hopefully he'll be around more often.  I ended up working with him on the pummeling and technique.  

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Turtle, Free Rolling

We had 3 groups and 8 people so there wasn't much rest before you had to go again with a new partner.  Turtle position goes pretty fast anyway you either escape or get put into a bad position after a quick scramble.  Had some successes and got caught a couple of times.  It is a position I need to improve upon as Ray has pointed out where I usually lose is when I'm out wrestled.  So I think that is going to be my focus, trying to improve on the turtle/sprawl position.  Maybe look into the switch, sit-out, and guillotine.

I rolled with Will, Bauer, and Henry.  My main concern with Will was to stay out of his guard.  I've found him to be rather dangerous their and I know he's been working on the armbar and has caught me a couple times.  So as soon as he opened his guard I postured as much as I could.  I did better against Bauer than I ever had before.  I worked a lot from mount which was odd, normally I feel much more comfortable in side control.  I didn't have much confidence in my mounted triangle but I didn't feel like I was getting anywhere with anything else so I decided to try it and was able to pull it off.  Battling with Henry was another story.  He took it to me as usual and I had a hard time keeping up.  I think being a little out of breath and knowing that Henry is a beast messed with my head a little bit and I probably gave up on a few things I shouldn't have.  I avoided his guillotines but he did pay me back for Bauer with his own mounted triangle.  Rolling with Henry really solidified my need to improve my wrestling...and cardio.  

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 11th 2014 - Gi Noon & Evening

Theme & Techniques: Osoto Gari defense for choke, Basic Back Mount Escape, RNC

I was joined in class by Bhuvana, Fuji, and Tim.  It's possible that we'll be focusing on backmount this week.  I played the instructor role a little bit as I walked Bhuvana through the back escape and then through the choke.  In the end she made some progress.  I suggested she try the choke your own knee exercise to practice her RNC.

Rolling: Back Mount Position, Free Rolling

We only had time for one round of positional rolling.  When Bhuvana said she couldn't escape my back mount Greg made a comment to the effect of "if you could escape that would mean Josh sucks."  Which put some extra pressure on me to not let her escape.  She did seem to panic a was a little spazzy which is understandable.

I rolled with Fuji a couple times after class and he dominated me sufficiently.  He was nice enough to not use his brabo choke at first but eventually got frustrated enough to resort to it.  Later on I had him in half guard and Greg pointed out that I needed to prevent his crossface before I started reaching for the underhook.  I am just leaving my head out there to be smashed.  There was also a point when I was in his half guard but was so worried about his lasso that I didn't do the right thing to flatten him out.  I also had an omoplata setup at one point but couldn't get my head to the other side.  Later Greg told me I should have used it to reclaim guard when I got stuck.

Theme & Techniques: Basic Back Mount Escape, RNC

This was probably the worst training experience I've ever had with Adam.  Escaping the back mount was fine, but when it came to working on the Rear Naked Choke it was awful.  He had a real hard time getting his muscly arm into the right position to lock up the choke.  Several times I wanted to tap way earlier from pain but I also wanted to wait for him to get the technique correct.  Of course there's no hard feelings, but it turned out to be a hard day on my neck.

Rolling: Back Mount Position Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling

I performed as expected during positional sparring.  Got some bow and arrows and completed some escapes I also got bow and arrowed and RNC'd. I rolled with Jerad for a five minute round and he was able to beat me rather handily the first time with mounted triangle.  The second roll I was a little more aggressive and was on top for a little while.  I think I focused so much before on trying to do the perfect correct response which would often cause me to hesitate and then be a step behind my opponent.  This change in strategy has been a very positive experience.  Jerad ended up hurting his neck when trying to base out on his head during one of my sweeps, hopefully it's not too serious.

Mike and I went over some new thing called the pancake guard that he saw on a Keenan Cornelius video.  It seems pretty interesting.  We also talked about how to prevent Fuji's lasso guard.  Somehow we ended up rolling and I had a great time.  When we roll, we end up in so many obscure positions that I don't get into with anyone else.  The best things I did were getting to deep half but not being able to do much with it.  We went over a sweep that uses the bottom of the gi skirt to establish grips.  I may drill that the next time we have a choose your own drill.

I think I may focus on back takes for a while and try to improve my back mount in general as my next project.  I put the question out to Greg if there was anything he thought I should focus on, so I'll see what he says.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

February 8th 2014 - Open Mat

I stressed all day about how I was going to write this post.  Too many good things happened today while rolling that I didn't want to sound like I'm bragging.  As I've said before, It's so much easier to talk about all of the things I did wrong.  However, I feel like if I talk too much about the things I did right, it could be perceived as boasting at the expense of others.

This also got me thinking about what I discern as a good day and a bad day in BJJ.  To be honest I feel the best after class if I complete some submissions, especially if I submit someone that usually gets the best of me.  It doesn't have to be submissions, I'm happy with a good butterfly sweep or a guard pass.  I think the most bummed I get is when someone submits me that I feel shouldn't have.  I realize this isn't good and completely driven by ego but I'm only human.

I showed up a little early to get some extra rolling time with Jerad before he headed off to work.  I felt like I was a good match for him today as we both submitted each other a couple of times.  He caught me with a bow and arrow choke and a mounted triangle.  I caught him with a north/south choke and I attempted another one that turned into a no-arm darce guillotine type of choke neck crank.  We also did some very productive guard position rolling. 

I worked with new comer Austin next.  He trained at another school in Omaha for three months and mentioned that we move differently than they did.  I didn't delve deeper into that so I'm not sure what he meant by that exactly.  After we rolled a few times I helped him out with some mount and back mount escapes, pretty much showing him what I like to do.  I was impressed to still see him on the mat at the end of the session. 

As usual Ray gave me the most trouble.  I spent most of the time in his side control preventing submission after submission.  He felt very heavy from top and took up all of the space.  The one time I was doing good, I took his back but he foot locked one of my hooks for my trouble. 

Tim warned me that he is brand new off the bat.  He seemed to know names of positions and basics like that.  I rolled with him once or twice but ended up mostly teaching him guard breaking and the knee slide pass.  Hopefully it helped. 

Wes and I had several good rolls.  He's getting a lot tougher to deal with.  I definitely don't want to be on the bottom with him and I prevented his guard passing pretty actively and hit a couple sweeps.  Wes said he was tired of being in bottom side control with everyone and I pretty much told him to join the club.  We went over some of the side control escapes that have been working for me lately.

After setting up a couple north/south chokes on Darijo, I went over the defense against the choke with him.  I'm finding he has a great attitude toward Jiu-Jitsu.  I think he will be a great addition to our team along with the other new guys.

Friday, February 7, 2014

February 7th 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Upa From Mount, Cross Collar Choke

Had to miss last nights class but was up and at em this morning.  We had good group of 5 with 1 new guy.  I ended up working with Darijo for the majority of the class.  For once I felt like I could tell how good the collar choke was going to be before I applied it where usually it either works or it doesn't and I wasn't sure why. 

Rolling: Mount position (4 rnds x 2 mins), Free Rolling (1 x 5 min rnds)

I worked with Darijo first from mount.  He did a pretty good job defending submissions.  I miraculously escaped Greg's mount to half guard, that doesn't happen often.  He got me back a little later with one of my moves by going to deep half and completing a waiter sweep.  I free rolled with Ross to finish out the class.  My main objective was to complete butterfly sweeps.  I had to work a little bit but I was able to complete a few. I setup a farside armbar and I had a little trouble getting around Ross's arm but attempting a collar choke helped in the end.  Greg went over some other possibilities to deal with the arm after class.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February 4th 2014 - Gi Noon & Evening

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg Takedown, Upa Mount escape, Cross collar choke

Had a rather large class which was a welcome change.  A couple new guys Nic and Ben as well as Fuji, Back Draft Brian, John, and Bhuvana. Bhuvana did really well with the double leg for it being her first exposure to it.  They were mostly pertaining to where to put the knee down and what direction to finish the takedown.  I also worked with her on removing the collar grip after the upa and then wrist rotation on the choke.  It can get pretty uncomfortable coaching someone when they almost have the choke but just need a little tweak to it.

Rolling: Mount Position, Free Rolling

Bhuvana got really excited when she realized that I had armbared her, because she knew what it was.  I partnered with Fuji next and didn't do too bad.  I wasn't able to escape his mount but also kept him from submitting me.  There was one time when Fuji was escaping my mount and I transitioned into an armbar but kind of kicked him a little bit with my ankle bone on the way around.

John and I rolled after class and he has improved a lot in his guard passing since the last time we rolled.  I had to work a lot harder to prevent my guard from getting passed.  In the end I was able to over come and reach the top position and work from there for a couple of chokes, but it was cool to see someone change and learn something.

Fuji and I rolled after that and he played his game perfectly.  I had a little hope that I was going to escape his lasso but I wasn't able to reach the other side and he eventually swept me into side control.  I fought valiantly from the bottom but there was no getting out of his brabo grip because I fucked up a long time ago.

Theme & Techniques: Upa Mount escape, Cross collar choke, Drilling Technique of Choice

Due to bad weather our class was rather small for a Tuesday and the atmosphere was a little more light than usual.  I worked with Adam for the majority of the class.  We reviewed the stuff from earlier in the day or what Greg called the "beginner stuff for the week." Following that we did 12 minutes of drilling the technique of our choice.  Adam and I both chose the one legged-x and we got a lot of work in.  Some things started to click with the setup and sweeps but it still needs a lot of work.

Rolling: Free Rolling

I rolled with Brian, Mo, and Adam.  This is a different Brian than the others I've written about, he has some kids that attend class with my boys.  He's still pretty new but seems to be picking things up so far.  Mo was working on bottom half guard, so we kept starting from there or I tried to put him there.  Later on Greg and Jerad gave him some pointers on what to do if they switch hips that I paid attention to as well.  I felt a little more confident with Adam and kept off the bottom a little longer than usual.  My goal was to try to control the distance a little more and not get too sucked into his half guard.  I ended up on the bottom towards the end but didn't get submitted.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

February 1st 2014 - Kids & Open Mat


Both my boys did well today.  They completed all of the exercises and Jace was even willing to partner up with another boy.  We played both foot and blob tag for our games, and somehow I managed to jam one of my toes in the process.  I roll around with guys my size trying to submit me and I end up hurting a toe playing tag with a bunch of ankle biters.  The technique they worked on was opa escape from the mount.  As long as they're actually paying attention, I'm always surprised at their ability to remember the details of the techniques that Greg teaches.  Some of them do have quite a few steps.  

Open Mat:

I didn't really feel like coming in today, which is very odd for me.  It was more like I didn't feel like I was going to be able to give it my all.  My main goal for the day was going to fight to prevent my opponent from getting into side control.  Primarily fighting until the position until I was no longer able to and not settling for it

I rolled with Jerad first and we had a few accidents between the two of us.  First the finger that has been bugging me got twisted while I was trying to pass his guard.  I taped it up a lot more and we continued.  I then was playing half guard and in the process of reaching for a collar grip I almost poked him in the eye.  Finally he attempted a rolling back take from quarter guard and as we rolled around I ended up elbowing him in the nose.  Other than that he caught me with an armbar and a mounted triangle.

Henry was next, my main goal was to not gas out and go with the flow.  It worked pretty well at first, he turtled and I used the judo turnover to take his back, which he started to escape and I locked up a arm triangle.  Our next roll he took it to me and I did end up eventually gassing.  He had caught me in a arm triangle for a little while trying to return the favor, but he gave up on it.I did some good things especially pulling off an omoplata sweep.  In the end he was able to take my back and eventually pulled off a bow and arrow choke.

Wes surprised me today from the top position.  I made the mistake of attempting a baseball bat choke and giving up my guard from the start.  From there he had great pressure and made it difficult for me to move.  I eventually worked my way into deep half and then x-guard and finally did the technical stand-up sweep.  As tired as I was there was no way I was going to let him get back on top.  I eventually setup a baseball bat choke from knee on belly which took a few tries to get right.

I went no gi with Ray and was feeling pretty confident for a little while attacking from top half guard.  Until he was transitioning and caught me in an accidental knee bar with his legs.  It probably wasn't tap worthy but I panicked due to my previous injury.  In our second roll I started in guard but couldn't get much of anything going.  I can't remember how it ended, must have been a kimura or something.  Afterwards I asked him to go over some ankle lock stuff which was very helpful.  We looked at the one legged-x guard as well as an entry from knee shield half guard which I didn't know about.

Fuji told me that he was having a good time reading the blog from the beginning.  He said there were several times that he recalled being there for.  He also reassured me that he's gone through many of the same emotions and stumbling blocks that I've gone through and written about.  He also made the comment that I've been through so much but still think I suck.  I attribute this to a couple of reasons.  I have a hard time with boasting to the point of self deprecation.  I don't want any of my teammates to feel bad that I write about submitting them, which is why I keep reporting my submissions to a minimum.  In the end it is all about keeping the ego in check.