Monday, November 24, 2014

November 23rd 2014 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Deep Half Waiter Sweep, Tinguinha's Baseball Bat Choke setup, Over/Under Pass

I've been keeping with the theme of deep half and got a chance to study the Ryan Hall Deep Half Guard DVD set some more with a particular focus on the waiter sweep.  I didn't get it in rolling this week but there were a couple people that were nice enough to let me drill it on them.  I've also been hitting the switch side baseball bat choke setup that Tinguinha taught us at the seminar.  I was trying to incorporate that technique anyway but this way has solved the grip problems I was having.  My new problem is working my knee cut over their defending arm. 

I didn't purposefully focus on the over/under pass but it came up a lot this week.  I think after seeing Tinguinha do it to Greg several times while watching them roll put it to the forefront of my subconsciousness.  I have been playing with switching my hips a little more in the progress and It's been serving me well.  Also during open mat Jerad shared his techniques to prevent this pass. 

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: O-Soto Gari, Side Control Escape, Paint Brush

O-Soto Gari feels good in practice for me.  I'm getting down the timing of the lift and turn with my arms, however I would like to get more confident with setting this (and other throws) up during rolling.  I'll have to tap my judo player brethren for advice. I feel like I can do a lot of throws really well, but the setups and closing the distance seems beyond me at the moment.

I felt better about the side control escape after drilling it this week.  Greg mentioning that we bridge to bring their elbow off the floor to make the hip escape possible really sunk in this time as the main purpose.  Greg also added hooking the ankle during the escape to help prevent the smash pass.

Nothing really to report on the americana.  I focused on pushing with my whole body to get their arm into position.

During rolling I found the hip shovel escape was working well for me from the deep half dvd, so I was transitioning to that if the basic escape didn't work.  From the top I practiced the baseball bat choke every chance I got and maybe threw in some north/south chokes in there if my partner was asking for it.

One thing that struck me this week was that I saw some waning confidence in some of the white belts that I rolled with.  There were a few defeatist remarks and a few partners I felt tapped early or were hesitant to engage.  I had a discussion with Greg about how important confidence is.  I considered if I do this with anyone now like Greg or Conan.  I'm going to pay attention to this when going up against people that tap me out on a regular basis.  Greg also gave me some awesome news that I will share in the future when it comes to fruition. 

Advanced: Lasso: Sweep when far leg is up, Stand-up sweep, Turtle to Omoplata

The first sweep was something I didn't feel good about at the seminar, but it made a lot more sense after Wednesday.  I don't think my butterfly hook was down on the ankle as much as it needed to be.  Was happy to review the turtle to omoplata although I haven't gotten it to work much during rolling like I thought I would have.  I've tried it a few times but usually end up in guard so I think my angle is off on my roll. 

I always enjoy the advanced rolling sessions because I get my mind challenged and my ass kicked.  Matt really put a lot of pressure on me and gave me a lot to think about.  I think I gave up the inside space too easily and once it was gone it was very difficult to get it back.  I really need to focus on my controlling the space and not allowing my opponent to get me to a point to where I have to regain ground.  Then I have to expend extra energy to undo what has been done to get back to even.  I think I need to expend more energy to keep good position instead of being lazy until the position is lost and it's too late.

Open Mat

Was able to drill the waiter sweep with Jerad and Greg and felt good about it.  Greg drilled a new half guard pass that was very effective.  After that we rolled and I felt like I had nothing for him except prolonging whatever submission he was going for.  I think he submitted me 3 times at least.

Jerad and I had a long match where I was defending most of the time.  I'm back to getting stuck in quarter guard with him.  I do have a few more avenues that I can pursue once there, but I should probably be a little more active in preventing it in the first place.  He attacked with a deep collar grip from mount a lot and eventually was able to submit me with it.

Fuji and I had a little back and forth and it was good to roll with him again.  Still submitted me like always, but I did some good things.  I also rolled with Brian (AF) and Ross and was able to work on some of my deep half stuff. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16th 2014 - Weekly Review

Theme & Techniques
Beginner: Head Lock Escape Roll Over Back, Straight Footlock Submission and Kick Over Defense

Straight footlock in the gi is not my technique.  I'm glad Greg added it into the rotation because it's something that I don't feel confident with it at all.  My biggest problem is the timing with the hands and leaving enough room to get under their ankle appropriately.  I felt like my angle was off on the Achilles as well.  I made my partner tap, but I didn't feel like it really clicked.

Rolling was great especially since Greg rolled with me after class.  My guard passing felt pretty strong.  I had a lot to deal with though as he went to spider guard whenever he could and then there was x-guard and single leg x.  My over/under felt pretty good as well and I think I had some confidence in seeing Tinguinha do it to Greg.  I was able to hit a smooth omoplata during a transition.  I hung out there for a while not able to finish the sub.

Advanced: Lasso Sweep from Knees and 1 Leg Up 

Greg wanted to work on some of the stuff from the seminar while it was fresh in our minds.  One thing that he stressed that I haven't been doing while executing this sweep is to push them away to get the slingshot kind of action as they try to move into you to not lose their balance.  I felt a little bit better about the technique at the end, but my slingshot motion does need some work. 

Rolling starting from lasso was not easy on either end for me.  Everyone's expecting the sweep so there was a lot of dealing with pressure.  However, I do feel like the turtle to omoplata that we worked on in the seminar is something that I'll be trying to work into my game. 

One thing I always enjoy about advanced class is that we roll a lot and it's always challenging.  I rolled with Justin, Gina, Brian, Henry, and Greg.  I did have a bit of a scary moment with Henry where I was defending as much as I could against everything that he was throwing at me, but he caught me very quickly with a kimura during a transition.  I was a little shook-up that it went so fast and I could have been injured and I thought about how that would affect my life currently.  But all was well and I may have overreacted a bit.

All Levels: Side Control: Brabo Baseball Bat, Bread Cutter w/ My Gi, Escape Pin Arm and Grab Belt to Roll Over

Conan gave everyone a glimpse into one of the things that he constantly does to me. Smashes my near arm and takes it out of play and then does what he will to submit me.  While training I felt like I was getting better at it, by maneuvering my body to get over the arm and then smash it to the mat and then under my shin.  I enjoyed the baseball bat setup and I think I may look into it more the next time I roll.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 9th 2014 - Weekly Review

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Guillotine from Guard Defense, Ezekiel from Mount & Top Half Guard

It was quite a week.  These classes were pretty hard on the neck as most choking weeks can be.  I did find out that I'm generally being too nice with my ezekiel because I'm not bringing it across the throat as much as I should, so look forward to that.  I also needed to work on keeping my head down before applying the choke.  I think this has a little to do with discomfort concerning tight spaces and a little bit of a sweat factor.  I had a bit of a theory that the EZKill was easier to get from half guard since their hands are out of the equation rather than the mount where I feel a lot of people can defend with their hands and keep their head tight to the mat.  Greg disagreed and I think I'm coming around to his way of thinking.

Rolling was fulfilling during these classes as I got to roll with Zack who just returned to Jiu-Jitsu after a hiatus as well as Greg, Brian AF, Ben, and Bhuvana.  I helped Brian get ready for his blue belt test and got some half guard questions from Zack.

No Gi: Pummeling Techniques, Passing Butterfly guard: Guillotine, Hip Switch Pass

It's been a long time since I've felt this sweaty in class, but no-gi will do that to you.  Tinguinha led us through quite a warm-up focusing on the abs.  Jerad was my partner which was very productive for some good training especially when it came to the hip switch guard passing. 

During rolling I got all of the big guys.  Adam took it to me pretty good and I had to scramble my ass off.  Jorge had learned some new tricks, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't berimbolo me the next time we roll as he was close this time.  Bauer reminded me of why I need to train more no-gi as with all of my gi grips gone I had a hard time controlling him.  Jerad pretty much destroyed me with butterfly sweeps and armdrags. 

Tinguinha and Greg rolled to finish out the session and Greg had a lot better showing than earlier in the day.  In the rolls that I saw them together in, I really saw Greg's A game shine through as he was doing everything that I know him to be good at in rapid succession but Tinguinha always had an answer for it.

Tinguinha Seminar

I created a post just for the seminar: November 8th 2014 - Tinguinha Seminar

One thing that crossed my mind during the seminar was how similar mine and Tinguinha's body types were.  We seemed to be of similar height and frame, maybe weight.  It probably is a good idea to model some of my game after him.  I've already discovered the cross guard to click well with me.  Maybe the spider guard should be my next focus.

Esteemed Colleagues and Honorable Mentions

Conan: The second in command and currently the only purple belt at LBJJC is one of the reasons that I started Jiu-Jitsu in the first place.  When I first met Conan back in 2000, I was seeing him several times a week at Detox.  Before you start jumping to conclusions it was because I worked there and he's a police officer.  Not until several years later when I visited his Jiu-Jitsu class with some of my Hapkido colleagues did I realize how much of a badass Conan was and how little I knew.

He constantly surprises me technically with his ability to put enormous amounts of pressure on me from side control with seemingly little effort.  Then there's his stupid butterfly hook that comes out of nowhere.  I also hate when he plays possum and gives me a good position and then reverses and sweeps me slowly and methodically.  Sorry, I'll keep this positive and digress.  He's also given me a lot of great advice that has served me well.  He's been there for others as well both as a teacher and a friend.  I would consider him our Papa Smurf.

Conan deserves a lot of props for getting Jiu-Jitsu going in Lincoln.  I'm not clear on the whole back story but I know Conan had to do quite a bit of research and experimentation on his own to get good at Jiu-Jitsu and along the way gather up several of my closest brothers and sisters in this sport.  He introduced Jiu-Jitsu into the State Games a few years ago and put on a few local tournaments.  Plus we probably wouldn't have our current school without contributions from him and Jerad.  So Thank You Conan!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 8th 2014 - Tinguinha Seminar

Had a great couple days of Jiu-Jitsu starting with no-gi class last night taught by Tinguinha and a gi seminar today.  Here is a link to last year's seminar post if you're interested: July 27th 2013 - Seminar / Promotion (The Dexterous Dozen).  There were a lot more new faces in the group picture this time! 

Great turnout for our growing LBJJC family
There was a lot of good information given starting with passing the open guard, followed by some open guard techniques and finally a few submissions from side control.  I used a note taking program on my phone to jot everything down which turned out to be better than bringing a notebook like I had meant to do.  If anyone was paying better attention than I and you see that I missed some please let me know.  Here's the list of techniques:

Guard Passing
  • Butterfly Reach over underhook, grab the belt post leg, knee and hip switch to side control
  • Same as previous bottom foot traps leg, move around their knee, move their wrist up, crossface and step to mount
  • Attempted Hook Sweep, Post foot and head to floor, switch hips and jump to other side
    • Had some trouble with the timing of this one, I got it a few times, but it was difficult
  • Single Under arm position with their hips off the floor, grab leg over head and head weaves to leg drag position, shut down hips collar control smash to side control
  • From a distance reach and grab belt and top of the foot circular standing pass to north/south postion
    • This was pretty cool and something I may follow up on, if only I had longer arms
  • Same as above but their foot is in the hip, push their leg down with hand not on belt and move to north/south
  • Same as previous but opponent does Lasso not completely locked in, walk to the side of the arm that is lassoed, put shin pressure on ribs and grab belt, pry the elbow loose.
  • Same as previous but locks Lasso in, walk to other side push leg down and staple, push knee down and use your chest for pressure and get them flat on their back in side control.
Open Guard
  • Lasso sweep using outside pant grip, free leg moves across.
    • This lasso stuff was great as I've been experimenting with it lately, I'll take it as a sign to continue working with it.
  • Lasso sweep opponent posts leg up, hook free leg under their leg to sweep.
  • Lasso opponent posts other leg. Lasso foot moved under opposite armpit free leg goes to the ground and helps shrimp, then hook sweep.
    • I wish I could have made this look as good a Tinguinha was doing it.
  • Lasso opponent hunkers back to pass, move to turtle and front roll into omoplata
    • I shouted "Yes!" when he showed this technique
  • Lasso opponent stands, inside cross pant grip, free leg goes on opposite side of opponent's body for sweep
Side Control Submissions
  • Side control pull gi skirt out and bring across neck, cross face arm grabs gi, switch to other side and choke
  • Upside down collar grip and knee on belly, opponent escapes KOB, switch sides and grab other side of baseball bat choke.
    • I meant to ask Greg if he knew about this before the seminar as this is some dangerous stuff for my white belt rolling partners of the future.
During the drilling portion I had an on and off headache that I attributed to forgetting my morning coffee.  I might have been a little dehydrated from the night before also.  I think the mixture of beginner and advanced techniques and concepts was perfect for the crowd.  That's probably a difficult part of planning a seminar for a diversely skilled crowd.  The quarters were a little cramped and 3 hours is a long time.  Craig and I kept a pretty good pace throughout and I think we got in sufficient reps on everything.  

Close to the end I saw an opportunity and asked Tinguinha to critique my cross guard.  I showed him the basic omoplata, the armbar, and the omoplata sweep.  He seemed to be happy with it and asked me if it worked for me during rolling and said that was the most important thing.  I showed him what I was doing from standing to pull the cross guard and he liked it although it was a little different than what he showed in the video.  The one major compliment he gave was on me getting my hips up high which was a common mistake.  I'm glad I took the opportunity!

After the seminar we had stripe and belt promotions.  My sons, Jayden and Jace, excitedly received their grey and white belts.  I'm very proud of them.  I received a second stripe on my blue belt, while Jerad and Mike received their third.  Brian AF moved up to blue belt (I had been his partner for testing the night before), he is the first blue belt under Greg to do all of his Jiu-Jitsu training at LBJJC.  Conan dawned a purple belt and the school went crazy.  Finally Tinguinha gave Greg his first degree stripe and certificate. 

Conan: First LBJJC Purple Belt

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 2nd 2014 - Weekly Review

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Basic Open Guard

This is only the second time working on this particular position as it was new to me last May when we worked on it.  I have used it in rolling off and on since then but the major thing that was impressed upon me from the last time was the importance of the push/pull concept in open guard.  I'm also happy with the submissions and sweeps available from there.  Triangle (which I've been making an effort to improve on), scissor sweep, sickle sweep, and of course omoplata.  Had some great rolling sessions with all of my teammates and the open guard served me well.

Advanced: Half Guard Gordo Sweep, Wizzer Sweep

It had been a while since I worked with Fuji and I was glad to see him back on Tuesday.  He still didn't roll but hopefully he'll be back in at full strength soon.  Training with him was really good for me as at the beginning I was having a problem with getting into a good position to complete the sweep.  With his help and Greg's I became a little more comfortable with rolling him over me a little to get down low enough to get the sweep.

I had some great rolling throughout the rest of the class.  I rolled with Bauer, Conan, Greg and Jordan and left feeling great.  I feel like my regular half guard is back on track.  A while ago I thought half guard bottom was my thing but then that feeling went away and people started smashing it, shutting it down, and I was constantly getting passed from there.  I feel like my options have increased along with my confidence from the position.

My major takeaway from rolling was to search for videos for some ideas concerning dealing with someone covering up really well in mount.  I had Bauer in mount and as much as I tried I wasn't able to isolate an arm or get any kind of a choke.  I haven't really found anything noteworthy yet or at least anything that I wasn't already familiar with.

Esteemed Colleagues and Honorable Mentions

Fuji: Currently his name in my phone is Fujitsu.  He's been there since the beginning of my journey and a constant resource for Jiu-Jitsu related links and that which interests him on Facebook.  He's also known for his fantastic cooking.  Like many of the other blue belts I feel like he respects and appreciates Jiu-Jitsu as much as I do.

During lunch the other day he mentioned that he didn't submit anyone for a whole year when he first started and it wasn't until I showed up, that he started submitting people, namely me.  From my perception he's always been better than me and on par with most of my seniors.  In the recent past he's been destroying me with his lasso guard and repeatedly brabo choking me. 

He also mentioned that he and Mike would laugh about my persistent fake rivalry with Bauer, which was interesting to me.  It was mostly about how we match up physically and technically.  This gave me a little bit to think about, mostly concerning being in my own head and wanting my technique to be so perfect that I sometimes don't act timely or at all.  There are times when I need to stop thinking so much and just do.