Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 28th 2014 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids' Class

Nothing out of the ordinary to write about the kids today.  They both did a good job and had fun.  The technique was umpa escape from mount.  I saw them both do this technique well however they did get stuck a few times.  They both did well in sumo and blob tag was a blast. 

Open Mat

Jace returned with me to open mat and behaved well for the most part.  He did try to trick me at one point by filling my water bottle up with hot water.  He wouldn't give Sam the time of day even though she attempted to wave at him several times and tried to talk about similar interests, he wasn't having any of it. 

I'm pretty tired this evening so I think I'll keep this pretty short.  I didn't get to roll with too many people today mostly because I spent so much time getting submitted by Ray and when that was over the mats were cleared out.  Sorry Henry for not rolling today.

Brian (Sweaney): I've noticed Brian's pressure has been getting a lot better lately.  Seems like he's figuring out guard passing pretty well and I'm having to pull out more tricks and not be as lazy.  I caught him with a bow and arrow at the end and gave him a run down of how I like to defend.  We drilled it a couple times after that.

Brandon: He seemed a little tougher this time than a couple weeks ago.  Not sure if it was due to me being a little more relaxed.  Started off kind of bad as he put me in half guard with my head against the wall.  I thought about asking to center up but decided to work through it by squirming my way out of it to full guard.  From there I hit a couple sweeps and submissions.  At one point I suggested that he add a little pressure to his half guard and showed him the tripod to knee slide pass. 

Mo: Before we rolled we went over dealing with the lasso guard which I am no expert but had some ideas and also when passing guard if someone does a stiff arm.  Later after rolling a while he asked for tips on how to deal with a de la riva after doing the standing guard break which I also had a little advice for.  I played a lot of half guard with Mo and kept trying to setup the shoalin sweep but could never get the right grip on his sleeve.  I took his back at one point but he defended very well and I had to switch to mount instead.

Ray: Switched to No Gi and entered Ray's domain.  It was very difficult to keep track of all that he submitted me with as I made the statement that they were all foot locks but he also got me with a couple armlocks and a choke as well.  Some of the good things I did were an omoplata that he did defend with an ankle lock, I attempted some wrist locks that got him to move, and a butterfly sweep.  I was able to move a lot more in no gi without the collars for him to grip so that was a nice change.  The most difficult part to get over with him was worrying so much about getting ankle locks that I wouldn't do some things that I normally do like putting my hooks in from back mount because he always ankle locks me from there.  I think I just need to go up against him more to get used to defending all of these different kinds of attacks and I need to pick up a few of my own.  He is just several levels above me when it comes to the ankle lock game.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 27th 2014 - Gi (Philosophizing)

Morning Crew
Theme & Techniques: Hip Throw, Cross Collar Choke from Guard, Armbar from Guard

Big class of 9 for a Friday monring, apparently we were a Brian short to tie the record of 10 from March 14th.

I ended up partnering with Bhuvana for this portion of the class.  To her credit, she didn't display any signs of frustration at all my nagging.  There were just little modifications for each technique

Hip Throw: keep your feet closer together and bend your knees more

Cross Collar Choke: Keep wrists straight and elbows close to your body.

Armbar: When pivoting keep the knee tight to the shoulder and keep flat and hold the hand thumb up against your chest as you raise your hips.
Rolling: Closed Guard Up/Down/Out

This was great I'm always happy to do Up/Down/Out because I get the chance to work with so many people.  However, I don't think I got enough sleep the night before because I was pretty tired by the end.  I could see some improvement from everyone that I rolled with and what I observed in other matches. I can't think of anything out of the ordinary to mention, I completed some sweeps and some guard passes.

After class I asked Greg about how to handle getting up from the single leg that I attempted on Robert.  Apparently it would have been a lot easier to stand up than I thought instead of attempting to take the back.  From there we talked about how I got there which led to my problems dealing with wrestlers' in turtle position.  Mike showed me a way that he's been dealing with turtle by hooking the far hip and going under the elbow and with the other arm grabbing their shoulder and collapsing the elbow.  It seemed pretty doable and not too difficult so I may look into it tomorrow.

While changing and a little bit over instant message this evening Mike and I have been discussing some philosophy of Jiu-Jitsu.  Terms like spirituality and artistry were tossed around a bit, but I think we finally got to the bottom of it.  He made the observation that I approach it from a concrete point of view while he is looking at it abstractly.  I was really hung up on him saying that winning isn't the goal but creating art is.  While I agree it isn't something to be obsessed with, I think it is very important.  In the end we both decided that it is important but he would rather focus on creating art on the mats and I think I agree with him, but I don't feel the need to think about it that way on the mats.

Some of my straight forward philosophy would be:  
The goal is to have the most efficient technique and strategies to advance position and submit or restrain your opponent with the least amount of force. This is coming from my self defense point of view.  To drill your techniques until the details disappear and the body and mind work together.  AND to takedown, sweep, pass guard, and submit with the coolest, badass techniques.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

June 25th 2014 - Gi

Warm-ups and Drilling: Guard Passing Exercises (4 x 2), Guard Passing Drilling (4 min)

Before class Mike showed me a 2 on 1 sweep that I liked, where the opponent stands, I will have to practice it a bit more.  He also wanted to test a wristlock against me since I'm apparently the resident wristlock guy.  It may be time to revisit some of my wristlocks and see if I can incorporate them into my game.

I left class feeling very happy, tired and drained, but happy nonetheless.  We ended up with 8 of us which wasn't quite as many as last week.  I'm still not used to the order of the advanced warm-ups but I like the extra things like butterfly guard walk and side rolls.  However lunges are a little difficult as my ankle has been bothering me off and on for the last few days. 

I partnered up with Conan for the guard passing drills.  The exercises were: side stepping to knee on belly, hand post and circle to other side, knee slide, and handstand switch pass.  Probably not clear descriptions, but most of them were moving side to side of the other person laying in guard while keeping some type of pressure and using footwork.  These were tough on the legs and the main reason for my fatigue.  We finished this portion of class with 4 minutes of no resistance guard pass drilling of our choice.  I mostly did 2 reps of each pass starting from basic guard break with knee slide to standing guard break to bullfighter pass to passing the half guard. 

Rolling: Free Rolling (3 x 4 min)

My claim to fame today is that I didn't get put into a situation where I had to tap out.  With Conan I started up in his guard and worked my way to pass.  I used a lot of crossfacing and pressure but the way he used his farside arm to underhook did not allow me to mount too much of an offense and it was only a matter of time before he swept me.  I spent the rest of the time defending.

Sara gave me trouble in that I didn't want to smash her although I accidentally did a couple times and she also has enough skills to keep me at bay.  When I attempted to sit guard I couldn't coax her into my guard game and we played a little berimbolo.  Eventually I got tired of that and decided to go back to attempting to pass the guard until time ran out.

I rolled with Ray last and started in the up position and attempted to pass guard.  While I was attempting to pass he ended up in turtle at one point and I worked to take his back, but I made sure to watch my hooks so he couldn't foot lock me.  That ended up being my demise as he eventually shrugged me off his back and worked me over from side control and mount for most of the round.  He locked up a few kimuras that he was close to finishing but I did my best to turn my body and keep a good grip on my gi.  I'm sure if he would have used strength he could have broken my grip.  I regained half guard but he locked up another kimura that I had to defend. 

After class Conan went over the stiff arm to bicep guard defense that we went over several weeks ago.  I think the most difficult part of this for me is tripoding and turning almost belly down to then regain guard.  It makes sense how it works, it just doesn't feel safe to me yet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24th 2014 - Gi (History Repeats)

Theme & Techniques: Hip Throw, Cross Collar Choke from Guard, Armbar from Guard

Greg is being pretty strict with his curriculum schedule and I really like this idea.  I wish I had thought of this when I was teaching Hapkido.  This week's technique list is the same as it was on the week of January 21st which would make me assume that next week we will work on standing headlock defense and guard break to single under pass.

I partnered up with Fuji for the throw and Tim joined us for the other techniques.  We mostly coached Tim through both of the techniques with phrases like: "Keep your wrists straight and pull yourself to them," "Get a deeper grip," "Don't cross your feet for the armbar," "Keep your knees tighter against their shoulder." etc.  Hopefully we didn't nag too much and he got something out of partnering with us. 

Rolling: King of the Mat from Closed Guard, Free Rolling (Post Class)

I'm liking that we are able to do more king of the mat and up/down/out during the beginner classes.  A little more competition and a lot more chances to work with everyone.  That said I had a little bit of a mediocre day with having my guard passed a few times that I thought shouldn't have and then being swept once or twice. 

Mike (lawyer) and I had a few good matches.  He was able to smash my guard the first time with a good smash pass.  He is pretty good at making distance and sprawling out strong.  The second time I was able to do the stiff arm defense as he attempted to pass my guard and then barrel roll when he attempted to step over my head.  I think I may have to level up my intensity when rolling with him in the future. 

I had a few good rolls with Fuji and Will as well.  Fuji is forever frustrating with his spider guard and lasso and I have to really hunker down and keep my distance or else I get swept.  Will has a pretty strong closed guard and is pretty good and positioning arms and elbows to create avenues to the armbar and triangle.  Mostly I found myself pressing my elbows close to his ribs so my arm didn't get pulled across and waited for him to open his guard up.

Robert and I had a good match to finish the exercise out.  I did the standing guard break and was able to open his guard and back out a bit, I ended up moving to half guard.  From there I crossfaced and wove my other arm to grab his bottom leg.  We fought a while from there but eventually he was able to stand up.  I had a hold of a single leg but he was pushing down on my head.  I thought I could move to take the back but he was able to push me to guard when I attempted it.  Greg said I should have just stood up instead, so it's something to think about. 

I rolled with Tim after class and tried to work the 2 on 1.  He was able to stand up and pull away enough to neutralize it.  Somehow I was able to sweep him though and worked from half and quarter guard for a while until I acquired a gift wrap and took his back.  He did a great job preventing my RNC however Fuji pointed out that he verbally tapped several times while I was trying to get my forearm under his jaw.  I ended up switching to a bow and arrow. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 21st 2014 - Kids & Open Mat (Back Takes and N/S Chokes)

Kids' Class

There only ended up being 1 other kid besides my own this morning, so I hung back more and let Greg and Jerad handle them.  It seems like Jayden wants to be silly and kind of the class clown a lot of the time.  For now I'm kind of letting it slide and hopefully he'll get tired of it.  Mostly it's just the beginning stuff.  I know he can do shrimping and all of the animal walks really well but he often goes pretty slow until he gets noticed. 

They did Sumo for the first game and I saw them try some things that I worked with them on last Sunday.  Mostly it had to do with off balancing rather than just pushing back and forth.  Their technique was O-Soto Gari which they did well.  And, finishing the class with blob tag.

Open Mat

I brought my son Jace back with me.  He had a Gameboy and some toys but ended up mostly playing catch with me and Greg.  He seemed excited to come back next week.  When we showed up, a competition class was just finishing up.  We have a team getting ready for an IBJJF tournament coming up in Chicago.  I was puzzled as I didn't see anything posted but it ended up being by invitation for the people competing.  A little bit of a bummer because I really love those competition classes, but understand that the people competing need personal attention. 

Conan: Henry had said he wanted to roll directly after the class but ended up declining and pretending like he was going to change and then rolled with someone else.  So I sauntered over to Conan and rolled with him for a while.  I worked hard from top at first and was able to pass his guard.  From there I tried all of my attacks kimura, farside armbar, knee on belly, north/south choke, and guillotine.  None of it worked although I think I was pretty close with the north/south choke.  Eventually he regained guard and swept me he even went to mount which I don't recall him ever doing to me before.  I worked hard to try to escape but he eventually finished with a kimura I think.  He complimented me on my bridging and that I made it difficult for him to submit me.

Jerad: We had several great rolls together.  The thing that bothers me most about his game is how tightly he keeps his leg pressure.  It is very difficult to escape his mount or to get to deep half from half guard where I'm usually pretty good at that.  I don't recall how, but I was able to take Jerad's back for a while at one point and set up a bow and arrow, but he got his hand on his collar and prevented it.  I believe he submitted me twice or more and I was able to catch him once with a north/south choke.

Mike: We started out with me on the bottom in some type of de la riva guard and with a lot of work and back and forth I turned it into back mount and worked for an RNC.  For some reason our rolls are a little fuzzy.  I remember some 50/50 and him straight ankle locking me and then going over some 50/50 sweeps.  I think I caught him in a north/south choke as well in the next roll. 

Gina: It's been a long time since we've rolled, for quite a while we've been on different class schedules.  Her game seemed to be to pull me into her guard and I was preventing that.  She was doing a good job preventing my guard passing where I'd get almost passed and then her knee would sneak in.  Probably the most difficult part was trying not to smash her as she is a little lady.  She was able to escape my side control a few times with the stiff arm escape.  Probably the coolest thing I did was the rolling back take from quarter guard. 

Mo: He ended up defending a few submissions that I thought I was going to complete.  There was a loop choke that I attempted but didn't use my legs to hold him and he was able to roll out of it and then he did a good job hand fighting from back mount.  I ended up showing him the back mount technique to cross legs and hip in to open them up and get the hook in.  He even did a good job of defending my north/south choke at first, but I still pulled it off.

Tim: I played some guard with him and at one point hit a sickle sweep which I showed Tim after we rolled.  My main objective from the top was to setup the baseball bat choke and look for the armbar when they attempt to defend the choke, I am really liking this technique.  Tim asked about the hitch-hiker escape from an armbar and we also talked about some other escapes like triangling your arms like in an RNC.  

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 20th 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder Throw: Standing RNC Defense, Farside Armbar from Side Control, Scissor Sweep

There were 4 of us this morning and I was still a little sore from Wednesday's class.  I got some good reps in Darijo.  One thing that threw me a bit was that Greg taught the farside armbar differently than Tuesday.  He didn't have us push on their face and standup but instead we stayed low on our knees and rotated around to the armbar without creating as much space.  I've learned it both ways in the past so it wasn't difficult to transition, but I was kind of hoping to work on the face push.  Greg called me out on my bottom leg not being on the ground and I corrected it moving forward.  Strangely scissor sweep is something that I feel I do better during rolling than when drilling it.

Rolling: Side Control Position (6 x 2 min), Closed Guard Position (6 x 2), Free Rolling (Post Class)

We each got to roll with each other in the 2 positions.  From the bottom of side I focused on the basic side control escape and wasn't too successful.  I think a lot of that is due to these guys getting better at top side control.  From top I worked on going to mount and farside armbar.  I screwed up one of my armbars against Ross which allowed him to regain guard, good job Ross.  With guard bottom I worked on the scissor sweep and grip fighting.  From the top it was all about grip fighting and the regular guard break.  Once again I can tell the newer guys are getting better at things like grip fighting and breaking posture.

I rolled with Dave after class who was a little reluctant at first.  I started sitting and pulled him into my closed guard.  From there he was trying a little too hard to break my guard with his elbows so I ended up leading him through the basic guard break and then knee slide pass and then returned to guard and had him do it again.  Once I got on top I worked to setup the armbar that Greg did to me a few times on Wednesday from the baseball bat setup and it really worked out smooth.  I will probably be looking to incorporate this more in the near future.

I ended up with a decent shiner from Wednesday class and I'm pretty sure it was from when Henry attempted to jump into mount and just grazed my eye a little bit when I attempted to use my butterfly hooks to maintain a guard.  No worries, my wife jokingly complained a bit about going out to eat with someone that looks like they get into fights.  No one said anything at work, I think most of them know that I train in something or they think I'm weird or both.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 18th 2014 - Gi (So This is an Advanced Class)

I was pretty stoked as it's been a while since I've been able to attend an advanced gi class.  Most of my advanced brethren were in attendance making it quite a large class.  I'm often the only blue in the morning and noon classes so I think if I think this Wednesday class will be a nice addition. 

I don't think my normal categories will apply to this class.  We did a pretty kick ass warm-up including some exercises that I don't normally get to do: butterfly guard walk, Homer Simpson, and side rolls (I kind of miss those).  Then we did extra reps of everything when we circled up heavy on the abdominal exercises.  From there we did some killer lunges up and down the floor with some partner leg raises in between.

Finally I partnered up with Jerad for the 8 minute escape drill; the first time around having no resistance.  I found that I don't have a huge repertoire of escapes from any of the positions so I ended up repeating a lot of the same ones.  When we added resistance the second time through I hardly completed any escapes, but I kept moving and timing my escapes so that Jerad couldn't effectively attack.  So I think I made it through without being submitted.  From the top my mount felt really good, which has been coming together lately.  I tried to pay back Jerad by serving him up a mounted triangle but he defended it very well and ended up escaping.  He explained the escape to me in that he's bridging and using his arm inside the triangle to push me up just like the side to side bridges that we do in the beginning of class. 

Greg had us break for water and then returned for some rolling.  I was partnered up with Henry for this portion.  I calmed myself down and cleared my head the best I could.  I wasn't going to try to go strength on strength and try my best to go with the flow.  I feel pretty good about my performance although our second roll my defenses fell apart a little bit.  He really knows how to overcome my half guard, I may need to revisit this position and focus on it for a while.  I caught him once a la loop choke and he caught once with an armbar from side mount that he setup beautifully while I defended his baseball bat grips. 

I went with Greg next and I got the impression that he wasn't playing around.  Everything that he did was his usual game but revved up and more serious.  I felt like I had no chance, which is a real eye opener for those times when I thought I did well.  1st Roll: I pulled guard with a collar grip he passed my legs and dealt with my half-assed loop choke.  From there he attacked from knee on belly going for baseball bat collar grips, while defending that he fell into a nearside armbar.  2nd Roll: Pulled guard with one spider hook.  He stacked and got rid of the hook, knee slid and windshield wipered over my leg to side mount, knee on belly worked for baseball bat choke, I realized the mistake I made last time and almost did it again, he went to mount caught me in another armbar.  3rd roll: he sat to guard I went for my grips and stood up.  He maneuvered into single leg-x and swept me passed to side mount started to setup the kimura which I defended for a little while, turned the kimura into an armbar.  4th roll: Is time up yet? He pulled guard I went for grips and stood he went for shin to shin and grabbed my leg to pull me in, time ended then. 

Greg told me a did a good job after that, but it didn't feel like it.  Really I had an overwhelming sense that my thinking was getting in the way.  Every time he improved position it happened while I was trying to think of what to do next and then I had to scramble and reset my brain.  That has to be one of the main things that comes with 8 more years of training.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17th 2014 - Gi

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder Throw: Standing RNC Defense, Farside Armbar from Side Control, Scissor Sweep

There was a huge noon class of 13 and I ended up working with Robert.  Fun fact: although we had so many people, I don't think there was a Brian in attendance. 

We had some pretty high flying throws together and eventually my thigh started to get sore from falling so much.  My main focus on the armbar was the addition of pushing on their face as I got up to switch sides.  Normally I don't do that, but it was in Greg's instruction.  I did have a little trouble with the scissor sweep, which is odd, it may have been his good wrestling base.

Rolling: Side Control Position (2 x 2 min), Closed Guard Position (Up/Down/Out), Free Rolling (Post Class)

Robert and I had a good battle from top and bottom of side control.  Like usual, I feel like I have to work extra hard to keep him down because he'll be able to get to turtle or a single leg if the pressure lets up.

We had enough people to split off into a big and not as big groups.  I was able to complete a standing guard break to knee over pass that Bhuvana gave me kudos for after class.  She mentioned how it looked text book and methodical and was really excited about seeing it.  I think this says a lot about her progress that she recognized the technique and how technical it was. 

I had a good battle with Robert trying to pass his guard and we got a little stuck at one point when I was on top in side control but he had my arm locked up in a kimura, it was a real battle of inches to squirm my arm out of his grip.  Fuji passed my guard pretty easily.  I went for my cross guard omoplata, but he took up all the space and smashed me and I wasn't sure how to recover.  Mike (Lawyer) came very close to passing my guard and we spent a little time in half guard.  I was able to take a page from Robert's book and locked him up in a kimura.  I attempted the switch move to back mount but ended up in butterfly guard which led right into a loop choke.  For some reason I had a forearm burn after that and that hardly ever happens.

Bhuvana asked to review the basic side control escape after class and I gave her a few pointers.  After that I attempted to coach Ross rolling with Tim who was being coached by Fuji.  Really the only thing I told him was to go to knee on belly a few times when it looked available.  I rolled with Tim after that which was nice because I was debating whether to get changed or not and head back to work.  I think I may have to stop using spider guard on him because he uses the defense I showed him pretty well.  I setup an omoplata at one point but he defended that pretty well, so I ended up using an upward armbar that Conan has taught previously.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

June 14th 2014 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids' Class

I don't have any complaints about my boys this morning, both of them performed well and the class went by quickly. They did sumo foot tag for the first game.  This game seems to naturally encourage some wrestling techniques.  The kids were doing sitouts and sprawls to keep the other kids from grabbing their feet.  I saw some pretty good things from everyone.  The technique of the week was scissor sweep.  Jace asked Greg to demonstrate it slower and he did a slow motion instructional that the kids enjoyed.  We finished the day with a big group blob tag.

I spoke to Jerad later during open mat and mentioned that one thing that I've seen improvement in from the boys is that they are handling losing a lot better.  They still have their bad days but they handle losses in sumo and foot tag a lot better. 

Open Mat

Jerad: This was probably the most enjoyable roll in recent memory.  There was a lot of back and forth and the action was pretty continuous.  He was the more dominant one for the majority of our rolls and had me in trouble a couple of times that I had to grit out.  I defended from side mount, mount, back mount with some bow and arrow attempts, a arm triangle, etc.  Most notably he was blowing right through my half and de la riva guards repeatedly.  He eventually caught me with an armbar in our first roll and I was able to pull off a north south choke in our second roll.

Conan: I tried to keep a positive attitude with Conan.  There are certain people like him that I expect to lose to so I start out with a defeated attitude.  So I turned my guard passing level up to 11 and through everything I could at his guard.  Still had a hard time though, he is so tricky with his butterfly hook at any time.  There was one point where he was setting up an omoplata using an overhook and I was able to get my shin against his butt and pull my arm out.  He also complimented me later on my bridging but said I needed to follow them up more since I am putting the other person off balance.  Something to think about. 

Fuji: I was able to pass Fuji's dangerous guard but he quickly rolled me over using my momentum once I reached side control.  While it ended as usual with a brabo choke, I feel a lot better about my defense today.  I even thwarted his first attempt by going to north/south, but there was not getting out of his side control.  Mike told me later that I should really be attempting the tripod escape more, so I will take it into consideration.

Brandon: This was the first time that I've rolled with him although I've seen him in the school once or twice.  He is a little imposing as he's larger and stronger than me, but not too experienced in BJJ yet.  We rolled several times and I had to work around his strength a little bit and was able to implement most of my game.  At the end he asked me to show him some guard passing and I thought the bullfighter would probably be the easiest to teach quickly.  

Jordan: I was pleasantly surprised with how hard of a time Jordan gave me today.  Most notably we had a really intricate grip fighting battle.  I would say this is something that he's recently improved because I don't remember him frustrating me with grip fighting this much in the past.  He was able to pass my guard and then I spent a lot of time in his side control and north/south position.  He was trying to setup the north/south choke a few times but I defended it.  Eventually I made my way back to guard and I think I may have made him think that I was dead set on going for the omoplata that I was able to setup an armbar from guard that I normally don't find as high percentage.  After rolling I showed him my follow up with grabbing the chin and working towards a guillotine if they turn their head in defense of the north/south choke.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13th 2014 - Gi

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

Had a good group this morning as usual. After going through O-Soto Gari with Mike (Lawyer) we added Dave to our group to work on the side control escape.  Then Austin showed up and said he was late because something about his alarm and his cat, so I worked with him the rest of the time.  I felt pretty good about the techniques and gave Austin some pointers along the way.

Rolling: Side Control Position (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min, Post Class)

Greg set aside enough time so we had the opportunity to roll with everyone.  With Austin, Darijo, and Ross I tried my best to implement the basic side control escape but it didn't work as well as in practice, but it did open up opportunities for the use of other escapes.  Most often what would happen is I'd have a good bridge and get my knee in across their belt but from there they would put on some pressure and I would end up snaking my other foot to get to butterfly guard.  I played it pretty tight from top position and went to knee on belly when I could.  I used the kimura setup that we worked on a few weeks ago, it's slowly working it's way into my repertoire. 

To finish off class, I rolled with Dave and Mike.  Lately my objective with newer guys is starting off pulling butterfly guard and fighting for the cross collar grip and looking for the loop choke.  I still haven't figured out the timing of the knee push and the technique completely depends on it.  If the loop choke doesn't happen then I move on to going for the butterfly sweep.  Mike gave me a few problems.  I had to work pretty hard to get passed his guard.  I also setup a farside armbar but he was able to lock his arms in and rotate his body to stacking me.  Usually I don't have that problem and may need a backup plan for when that happens.  

After class I rolled with Austin and had a good time.  A highlight was that I completed the pass Greg showed me last week to deal with the knee shield half guard and it worked like a charm.  Most of the role I played around with the cross guard position mostly trying to feel out the setup for the armbar instead of going straight to the omoplata.

I finished out the morning with Ross.  He's getting tougher and I underestimated him a bit because he was able to pass my guard at one point.  My objective with him was to play the open guard from 2 weeks ago and I got to the position a few times, I don't think I got a submission out of it but usually setup a sweep or went to close guard. 

I'm starting to be reminded of the things that I had trouble with when I first started.  I'm seeing guys ignoring collar grips when attempting to pass guard.  I feel like I was told to deal with grips by my seniors but not really knowing how to do it.  Now grip fighting is very important to me and I feel like I'm getting pretty good at it.  Another thing that came up today was I caught Ross with a reverse arm triangle from side control which used to happen to me a lot.  I told Ross that I wasn't sure how to prevent it but suggested that there are very few reasons to straighten your arms out from the bottom of side control.  I setup a couple kimuras today and questioned if I used too much energy/strength to break their defense.  I may ask Greg about this tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10th 2014 - Gi

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

I got in a little late due to work so I missed the warm-up portion.  Fuji is back and I got to work with him on the technique portion.  He threw me pretty well with O-Soto Gari, as he's been known to do. We both had our struggles with the side control escape.  While it's a basic technique I think it's a little tougher to complete for us bigger guys.  I need to get better at it, as it's a good way to setup the other side control escapes I am good at.

Rolling: Side Control Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling Post Class

Fuji and I both kept the other from regaining guard from the top.  I think his shoulder being a little injured still had something to do with that.  Greg transitioned to mount right away in our first round despite my attempt at quarter guard.  From the top I had a little more success, at one point I switched sides and we ended up in a strange position somewhat like a reverse triangleish almost kimura type thing but he got out of it and ended up in my guard.  I mentioned that there was the possibility for me to do something there and Greg said "There were a lot of things there"

I rolled with Tim after class.  I setup the loop choke first as it's something I've been focusing on lately.  In our second roll I went to spider guard right away, but he implemented the defenses that I showed him last time we rolled, awesome!  I played more half guard knee shield hoping to setup a shaolin sweep after that. 

Greg was showing Fuji a footlock that seemed very cool, devastating and legal in ibjjf.  I rolled with Fuji after that but his shoulder was really bothering him so I had a lot more success than usual.  He had to tap from my stiff arm side control escape so I know something was still off.  I hope it heals up soon.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 7th 2014 - Open Mat (No Easy Rolls)

My parents took the boys to the kids class so I had the morning off.  I heard they behaved well and ended up being the only ones there. 

I've become a little concerned with the smell of my sweat and my gis starting to stink.  A little Google searching says that an ammonia smell during long workouts can be from the body running out of carbs to burn and then starts to burn protein and that's what causes the smell.  So this morning I drank more water and ate more carbs and it made a difference as far as I could tell.  I ended up having zero easy rolls today and it was great, except I did have a little cough.

Adam:  It's been a long time since we've rolled.  We did some slow rolling to warm-up a bit and then got into it.  I felt like I had a little more for him than before guard wise.  I was able to regain guard a few times, but never really threatened him with anything.  I did my best to defend everything that he threw at me but could never get on the offensive.  

Greg: He asked me to drill a very cool 50/50 escape with him.  I'm always happy to oblige any drilling requests.  Basically you get two low pant grips and then shrimp away to get your other leg on their thigh.  Finally you kick away in a side kick motion to then perform a technical stand up.  I really enjoyed this as I don't have very many answers for this position.

We rolled after that and I had very little success.  I probably didn't have the best strategy as I always started off trying to butterfly sweep him which is really Greg's thing.  He was hunting for armlocks on me today as he kept passing my guard to side control and then moved into mount and then worked for armbars. 

Henry: Had a pretty good roll with Henry and I kept him from submitting me sort of.  Probably the most frustrating thing was that I had Henry in turtle and side control but with his body twisting magic he was able to regain a good position.  Then when he had side control he continued to attack and setup his baseball bat choke.  During the last one that he attempted I was able to keep my distance and eventually escaped but at the cost of being lightheaded.  We quit rolling after that.

Ray: Our first roll he felt like the immovable object.  I attempted butterfly guard and then he smash passed me and from then on out I attempted to escape side control, and ended up tapping to a kimura.  Our second roll I setup an omoplata from open guard.  He got under me and rolled me into a mount but I lost the position from there and ended up getting subbed by an armbar soon after.

Friday, June 6, 2014

June 6th 2014 - Gi

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

Mike (Tumbleweed) was able to join us for the first time at 6:30 AM due to his new position on the night shift bringing us to 7 total students for the class.  It's nice to have another blue belt around.  I worked with Ross on this portion of class and all of the techniques came more naturally than Tuesday.  I played around with my path to finishing the ezekiel quite a bit.  I gave Ross some pointers to tighten his mount by moving up a little higher and then clamping his feet into my hips so I couldn't regain half guard.  This came around to bite me in the ass during positional rolling.

Rolling: Mount Position (2 x 2 min), Half Guard Position (2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min & Post Class)

So like I said with Ross on top I had to work a little more to get out of his mount.  Of course I'm not sure if he was already doing that or if my suggestion actually sparked something but I'll take any credit I can get.  I couldn't get the ezekiel from the top either I had to resort to other techniques, but I did attempt to set it up.  Maybe I'll try incorporating that choke next week when everyone's moved on to the next techniques.

I worked with Greg next in half guard.  From the top he passed my guard fairly quickly by getting pant grips and then switching my knees to the other side, I think I may need to ask him about it later.  The second time I was able to setup deep half, but couldn't do much with it because he controlled my outside leg.  Eventually he stepped over my head and all was lost.  From top he did the quick hip switch that he's been working on and took me completely by surprise.  I prevented it the next time around and I think he had swept me with something just as the time ran out.

Did free rolling with Mike and I didn't have much left in the gas tank.  He played some worm guard and I did my best to keep distance between us until I brought my opposite leg up.  From there on it was all defensive from my end.  He took my back and I defended off some bow and arrow chokes and then he took side control and started going for brabo grips which I did my best to defend, finally he caught me with an armbar.  He mentioned that I was still turning away during knee on belly instead of turning into him.  I thought it was just because he was switching sides so fast that I couldn't keep up.  I do need to be more aggressive in defending my knee on belly though, I've been armbared and choked too many times lately.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 3rd 2014 - Gi

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

Smaller class than usual with only 4 of us: Bhuvana, Tim, Ben, and myself.  I worked with Ben for this portion of class, and our throats were sore by the end of the class. 

A couple things became apparent concerning the ezekiel choke.  One was Greg kept telling me to keep my head down.  It has to be deceptive so your opponent doesn't see what's coming.  Also I think I've been too nice or wanted the choke to be too perfect, but really it should be a nasty choke.  For some reason I had a hard time also going for deep cross faces because and Greg showed me that I needed to twist more.  When working on it from half guard I had a tough time ignoring my habits of what I usually do from this position.  I guess it's pretty engrained for me to do the switch hip and go for a kimura or push their knee down.  Maybe the ezekiel will be a good addition to my game though.

Rolling: Mount Position (2 x 2 min), Half Guard Position (2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min & Post Class)

The ezekiel was a lot harder to get during rolling since everyone was expecting it.  I still went for it and was able to get it once maybe from half guard.  I attempted a shoalin sweep a couple times and was able to complete 1 of them.  The only reason I didn't finish the other one I think was because I didn't explode enough into the back roll. 

Greg threw out a challenge when I started rolling with Ben saying that he wanted to see some deep half guard.  So I pulled half guard and tried to work my way there.  Once I got there he was already on his butt to I automatically went to the sweep, but his other leg did get in the way a little bit.  I eventually worked my way around it but I must be doing something wrong, but I don't think that other leg should be an obsacle.  

I rolled with Tim after class and tried a few things I've been working on lately.  The 2 on 1 to arm drag, the loop choke and the ezekiel.  We had another good discussion about progress and what not afterwards.  I thanked him for always sticking around to roll with me.  I appreciate the extra rolling.