Wednesday, December 30, 2015

December 30th 2015 - Gi All Levels (Drilling Open Mat)

Theme & Techniques: Drilling Open Mat
Students: Mike A, Ben, Tom, Tyler, Cassie, Morgan

Right at 10:00 there was only 2 students and Mike and I.  I decided we should just have a drilling open mat class instead.  After I said that everyone else showed up but since I already announced it I decided to go through with a drilling class.  Unfortunately there were an odd number of partners and I ended up having to sit out while everyone else trained. 

I ran it like a competition class with 5 minute rounds for each partner to work their technique.  Each set of 2 rounds had a theme 1. guard pull or take down, 2. guard sweep or submit, 3. and guard pass.  I went around and gave assistance where I could. 

Rolling: Guard King of the Mat
Rolled With: Everyone

Had enough guys to do some king of the mat too.  I had everyone pick their own guard as the king.  I ended up playing some half and closed like usual, but also tried my hand at butterfly and spider which I rarely do exclusively.  After one of my rolls I was heading back to the line when I heard, "Hey, Josh, Look!" Ben was in deep half guard and wanted me to see.  It's very cool for a teacher to have an experience like this.  It's immediate feedback that something that I taught is useful to someone else.  What more could I ask for?

Mike and I had a couple of good rounds.  He passed my spider guard immediately to leg drag but then gave me some pointers on it.  He also complimented me on my back defense to which I say "it ain't easy."  I saw some good things from Tyler today, I'm really impressed with how fast he's learning. 

Office Hours Partner: Tom

Tom is becoming more of a challenge, I think he's figuring out how to defend my main stuff so I'll have to start being more creative.  One thing that I'm still trying to figure out is the lasso roll to omoplata.  I'm so close but always seem to get stuck or I'm too far away and I end up rolling back into closed guard.  Have to probably drill this instead of keep expecting it just to work.  I showed him some cross guard stuff before calling it a day.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Deep Half Intro
Partner: Mike A, Jordan A, Dave M, Morgan, Tom, Ben, Tyler

Great turn out for our noon class today!  I decided to try my hand at introducing a position that I feel competent in but many have no experience with.  I've taught the position to a few people like Mo so I had down how I wanted to teach it.

I showed the basic way for using a knee shield to help get an underhook then bypassing the cross face to get your head close to their body.  Next, and this is the tough part, you straighten their leg as you bring yourself under them.  Finally the importance of hand positions with hugging onto their thigh tightly and burying your free hand under their knee.  What I should have mentioned and will mention in the future when I teach this is that the top person also has to be a little active.  All too often the top guys goes with the flow letting the bottom guy work and is swept way easier than they should by the bottom guy just trying to get into the deep half position.  So we had to break for a little while and tell the top guys to base out with their hands a bit and try to stay up.

Everyone was having a little trouble getting underneath their opponent, so I thought I might simplify the entry and teach it as the mount escape.  This is actually a pretty high percentage mount escape for me that I hit often.  You start with getting quarter guard from the bottom of mount.  From their you use a teeter totter motion to get them to raise their knee a little off the floor, this should provide enough space to work with.  From here I put my opposite elbow to the floor and eventually reach around their leg and walk my feet out in a circle to straight their leg into the deep half.  Teaching it this way seemed to help get people into the position quicker without a lot of extra movements.

Finally, I taught the Homer Simpson sweep.  One of the things everyone had to get over was wanting to triangle their legs in some way to keep control of their opponents leg.  You need your feet on the floor for the most mobility.  The next big thing to focus on for this sweep is you want to get them to put their butt on the floor and making that a trigger for when you roll to the top to complete the sweep.  Mike and I were both impressed that everyone was getting it by the end.   

Rolling: Half Guard King of the Mat
Rolled With: Everyone

When I was on the bottom I made it a mission to try to get to deep half on everyone and try to show the position off.  I succeeded quite a few times and was happy with my rolling.  I also witnessed a few people attempt deep half and some complete the sweep, this really makes my day.  I would also suspect that at least 1 of them is going to use the mount escape that I taught, can't wait to see that.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Watched Mike and Morgan roll for a while and we are both impressed with his progress.  He's one of the few that will hang out after class and is willing to ask questions and find answers to problems that he's running into while grappling.  Then Mike and I rolled and we ended up in a leg lock battle a couple times.  I mentioned afterward that I'm still having some trouble figuring out when to focus on defense and when to switch to offense.  I am enjoying this process though and feel like I've already gotten my feet wet with foot locks but have so much to learn.  The main tidbit today was finishing the heelhook in the 50/50.  He told me to pinch my knees together right above his knee and then to stretch out his leg instead of trying to compress it all.  Then I needed to sit up and turn to get the best position on the heel.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 26th 2015 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: James, Adam, Chris, Mo, Henry, Jerad
Game Plan: Hunt kimuras, Finishing from Mount

Had almost a 3 hour long session today and I needed it after Christmas festivities. A couple notable things happened.  I was able to complete the half guard kimura with a step over that Mike covered Wednesday.  I also submitted someone with the crucifix omoplata that I wasn't able to complete in the tournament and have been working on finishing.

James: We had about a 20 minute roll to start open mat off.  I had a hard time sweeping him but was able to retain guard for the majority of our match. When I was able to take the back he was able to scramble out of it rather quickly.

Adam:  I think confidence plays a big role in how I do against Adam, that or is amazing wrestling ability. Everytime I try to escape side control he puts the butcher on me and pulls me back down again. I was able to keep him from submitting me for a while but it's pretty miserable down there. In the future I need to fight harder to keep guard rather than waiting until side control to fight harder.  I also need to trust my techniques and just go for them too often I think I'm going to fail at something so I only half ass it.

Chris: He just wanted to work on escaping mount so I was happy to oblige.  At first I was catching him with ezekiels because he kept putting his arms down to push my hips. Then we went over some basic defense stuff and it continued in cycles from there.  I'd attack something and succeed and then show him a defense or an opening and then when he understood it I would move on to something else. I respect him for willingly taking a crappy position in order to get better. Most guys who have trained as long as him would just want to roll during open mat.

Mo: We had kind of a interesting roll where we fought for position. Once he was close deep half guard I saw an opportunity for him so we stopped and worked on that position for a while. He's also having trouble with the sweep, so I showed some tricks to get around people attempting to triangle. people attempting to triangle. This was a part of deep half guard that I struggled with as well.

Henry: He was stalking me like a tiger after I finished rolling with Mo. It's been a while since we rolled and it was really challenging mentally and physically. We spent a lot of time and half guard and I was happy that I could keep him from standing up by using my knee shield on his hip bone. There was a point when he attacked me a lot from turtle and back mount and it to everything I had to defend all of the attacks he was throwing at me.

Jerad: I have been looking forward to rolling with Jerad.  I don't think we've rolled for at least 2 months. I was curious to see how well I would do with all of the training that I've been doing. It started out well but we got to a point where he was shutting me down at every turn. He gave me some advice on turning my body instead of lifting my head to defend chokes from mount, as he is catching me with mounted triangle most of the time.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Kimura from Bottom Half Guard Attack and Back Take
Partner: Mike, Morgan

Before class I was asking Mike about attacking the kimura and taking the back.  I've been getting the kimura grip lately but unable to finish it or improve my position before they posture.  I've also had others like Alejandro control me quite a bit with the kimura and turn it into an armbar or back take.  Part of my problem is that I haven't yet grasped when I need to push it away from me or hold it in and how much torque I need to put on at any given time.  Mike demonstrated it and I could feel it, but it's going to take some experimentation to figure it out.

We did the half guard pass for a little while with using the free leg to hook their thigh and then knee sliding.  The thing that we focused on the most was moving our head across away from the underhook and grabbing the elbow.

I think we were supposed to work on the granby roll next but since it was such a small class Mike had us work on kimura from half guard.  Some really good details came out of this. 
  • The first being when they defend by hiding their hand on their thigh and posturing up.  I usually lose the kimura here.  Mike showed us hip out and then step all the way over to their opposite hip, this provided a lot of leverage to pull their hand out.
  • Next we worked on the back take if they stay down.  The major new thing with this was getting the butterfly hook to help push away.  Then Morgan and I both had trouble keeping our legs close to the floor and tight together.  So this gave me some things to work on and perfect.
I think I found a new focus to put some effort into.  The kimura grip is something that I'm finding myself in lately which I can finish often the standard way from the top with either the normal way in side control or by transitioning into armbar but anywhere else I don't feel confident.  So I'm excited to see a new path open up.

Rolling: Half Guard Position (6 x 3 min)
Rolled With: Mike, Morgan

We each took our turn on the bottom.  One thing that stood out, pertaining to the theme of the class, was I was able to get the kimura grip at one point on Morgan and swept with it.  I was still in half guard and instinctively let the kimura go to push on the knee to pass the guard as Mike was telling me not to let it go.  After class he showed me to put my free knee on his hip to help pry my leg out while I keep the grip.  Mike and I had some great exchanges when we rolled, some koala guard, some attacking the back, some inverted half guard, etc.  It was great fun and really cerebral fast rolling makes my day.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 22nd 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Arm Drag to Single Leg, Knee on Belly North South Choke setup, Follow-up with no arm darce or guillotine
Students: Harvey, Ben, Dwight

Coming into class today I had a few ideas for what to teach.  I had 3 things in mind depending on who was going to be there: Deep Half Guard, Omoplata, and North South Choke.  I think NS was probably the best choice as just setting up Deep Half can be a lot of information, much less sweeping, but still I may do it next week.  Some tips on the techniques:
  • Posture and head position is very important during the single leg.  After armdragging, I like to keep my head really close into their armpit and Dwight made the comment that I liked to listen to their heart.  Don't lean over.
  • The most important parts of getting the north south choke are getting their hands out of the way and keeping their head straight up.  
  • When they turn into you I switch to a grip on their chin and move to a modified knee on belly ready to go to mount.  From there I base with my head and make some space to connect my hands for the guillotine choke.
Rolling: Side Control (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Harvey, Ben, Dwight

With both Harvey and Ben they got stuck on the bottom of side control and I planted my hand by their hip and then switched sides.  It came up later when Harvey asked why it was happening.  I showed them the offense first with how I was blocking their hips and putting some shoulder pressure down as I scrambled to the other side. 

Dwight and I had a good roll.  He's visiting for the holidays and we talked about his training schedule in Sacramento.  I can tell that he's a lot better than the last time we rolled.  I wasn't able to submit him.  We had quite a few position changes and it was a fun roll!

Office Hours Partner: Harvey

After class I showed them that they should not be laying on their side without their feet engaged into the ground.  I remember Mike A. telling me over and over that I was hanging out on my side too much in side control and he would always be switching sides on me when I was on the bottom.  It took a while to sink in or to understand what I was doing wrong.  I had in my head that I need to be on my side to escape, but if I don't have my feet engaged with the floor I'm a dead fish.

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 20th 2015 - No Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Single Leg, Mounted Armbar, Bicep Slicer
Partner: Darijo

Went to class today since I missed open mat yesterday. Still didn't get enough rolling though. We worked on setting up the armbar by getting the opponent to lift their elbow then moving into S mount.

I don't have too much experience with slicers mostly because they're usually not allowed in gi, so it was nice to get some reps of them.

Rolling: Mount (4 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Darijo, Shane

Mount escapes felt solid. I feel like I have a lot of options for escaping and even ending up with a deep half sweep in the process.  From the top I seem to cycle through americana, no gi Ezekiel, to guillotine and then mounted triangle. I still don't feel strong with my attacking but I do feel good about maintaining the position.  I gave Shane some pointers on technical mount and some deep half.

Office Hours Partner: Tate

Was glad Tate stuck around for a little bit. We had a good roll. I find it difficult to get to a good position on him as he always finds a way to squirm out.  He caught me with a calf cutter from the truck and I found myself without a defensive answer for it. I did some good things as well with an omoplata sweep and a toe hold attack that I need to improve.

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense, Half Guard with Underhook: Back Take, Guard Recovery
Partner: Craig

Small class with the usual Conan and Craig, and then Bhuvana and Byrav making a rare Friday morning appearance.  Interestingly, I've been through the same material with 3 different instructors in the last 3 days.  They each had their differences with how they taught each technique and details that they would emphasize as important.  This shows that there is more than one way to do a technique and can also spark interesting discussions about why something is done a particular way. 

This can be difficult for me to deal with as I feel like I pay pretty close attention to the details and want to make things as perfect as possible.  But I also don't want to be the guy that says, "But, Greg taught it this way yesterday!" Sure there is a time and place to do that but it has the potential to interrupt the flow of the class; after class is probably the best time for this discussion.  In fact, I've seen Greg teach a technique one way a couple months ago and then add in a detail or say something different the next time he teaches it.  This could also be my perception as memories are flawed.  It could also be that the teacher has discovered something new about the technique. 

One thing that I like about the BJJ instructors that I've learned from is that they usually have a practical answer for everything that they do.  You'll never hear a phrase like, "that's just the ways it's done, we've always done it this way." The instructor will usually speak from experience about what works for them during rolling or will have a troubleshooting session to try to figure out the answer.  

Rolling: Half Gaurd
Rolled With: Craig

I was doing a good job of shutting down Craig's game from both top and bottom half guard when we did a couple of 4 minute rounds.  He was doing a lot of straight arm pushing and trying to hold me in place.  We stopped for a bit and Conan gave him some pointers on relaxing a bit more and moving in a way to make me move then finding the open space to move into.

Then we did some half speed rolls where Conan or I would give him certain resistance to set him up for certain defenses.  Occasionally I would say, "okay now underhook" or "use your legs"  It seemed to help as he was piecing things together.  He stopped using so much energy and was having better results.  One of the main things that I've noticed with people learning half guard is that they mostly just fight with their arms and completely forget about their legs.  Using my legs is a huge part of my half guard.  You're wrong if you don't do it.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense, Half Guard with Underhook: Back Take, Guard Recovery
Partner: Byrav

Worked with Bhuvana's husband today who is pretty fresh into the sport right now.  He did great of course but it was really noticeable to me how much work I had to put in to explain everything.  We just don't have similar reference points at the moment.  The great part is though that I will get to see him improve within the next couple of months from not being able to keep himself from falling over in half guard to hopefully understanding some positions and having a little defense.  By the end of the session he was getting the techniques down of course.

Rolling: Half Guard (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Byrav, Ben, Harvey

Like usual whenever I roll with someone new, I'll try to complete the techniques that we worked on in class as efficiently and smoothly as possible to show that it can be done.  Then after a couple times of that I'll walk them through things they could do to defend it with a little more resistance than we used during drilling.  Seems to be working for me so far.

I can count on Ben and Harvey to give me a little more muscle.  Ben appears to be challenging himself in that he sat to guard when we did free rolling.  Usually he'll take the top position.  He did a good job with hand fighting and preventing some of the grips that I wanted.  I see some improvement.  Harvey is returning after taking some time off.  He may be a little rusty but still has some skill and was aggressive but with decent control.  Good to see him back at it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 16th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense, Half Guard with Underhook: Back Take, Guard Recovery
Partner: Ben, Jordan

We did some animal walks for a warm-up which got me breathing pretty hard even though I showed up a little late.  Pretty small class but still a good group.  Some tips on this weeks technique:
  • Guillotine Defense: Posture is very important when defending this guillotine, it's not enough to just hold their wrist, you should also be raising your head.
  • Half Guard: Your elbow is very important in getting the underhook.  It points the way and don't reach with your hand.  
  • When regaining guard don't try as much to move them but move yourself into place. 

Rolling: Half Guard (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Ben, Mike, Jordan

Half guard is one of my better positions where I feel pretty comfortable.  Mike made a good point while he was teaching that there are a lot of different types of half guards as opposed to other guards.  Like ways you can configure your legs whether you cross your ankles stepping on their calf, or using a knee shield etc.  Something interesting that I never really thought about.

Rolling went well I tried to setup the shaolin sweep a couple times but never felt like I could pull it off.  Arm drag has been a viable half guard technique lately, I think because my partners want to defend the underhook so much that they let their arm go across my hip too much. 

Jordan gave me a tough time again during free rolling and I had to reign him in a bit.  He was able to shut down my cross guard with really good posture but I was able to do other things.  He's good to go up against because he's strong, athletic and pushes the pace pretty well, so I have to be smart with choosing my moments and try to stay ahead of him when he's attempting to pass my guard.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We rolled a little bit after class and got into a leg lock battle again and I was able to defend pretty well today. I'm really happy with the regularity that we've been able to roll and having him around on Wednesday morning is helpful.  We usually have good discussions after class about Jiu-Jitsu and politics.  We mostly agree but it seems like we'll argue about word definitions. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 15th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control Tripod Escape to single leg or half guard, Farside Armbar
Partner: Abdul

Did my best to help Abdul through the technique portion of class.  The tripod escape is a little difficult especially for someone that hasn't really experienced being on the bottom of a strong side control before.  The half guard was a little more troublesome because he kind of fell over a few times when I didn't want him to and it's difficult to relate what he's supposed to do from the bottom when this happens.  So it was kind of slow getting him started but I think he understood the techniques we were working on in the end. 

Rolling: Side Control (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Abdul, Tom, Will, Greg

During rolling in side control I attempted to use the escape that we used today most of the time.  I feel like my bridge to help escape side control has come a long way and I'm getting better at timing it rather without telegraphing with my breathing. 

Had some good rolls with both Tom and Will.  It's been quite a while since Will and I rolled, hopefully he'll be back regularly.  I felt like I had some opportunities for armbars with both of them but in no gi it seems pretty easy to slip out of.  I wanted my spiral armbar setup but it just never seems to happen any more.  Will was looking for some ankle locks but was hesitant and gave me some time to prevent them.

I had a great roll with Greg where I felt more competent and more aggressive than I'm used to.  I had some opportunities to go to deep half and almost pulled off a guard pass.  Hopefully I made him work a little more than I usually do.

Office Hours Partner: Morgan

Morgan stayed after and rolled a bit.  I was able to pull off a couple armdrags on him, but each time I must have been lazy because I pulled his knee right into my balls.  I was supposed to turn off to the side to start taking the back but instead I kept my shoulders and hips square and probably since he has longer legs hit me just right.  So a good lesson to be learned there. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12th 2015 - All School Training and Belt Promotions

As is our tradition at LBJJC we have a an all school training before belt promotions twice a year. Each time it becomes more and more crowded which is a good problem for us to have.

My boys tested earlier in the day and I'm very proud of how they did. Our practice really paid off leading up to this because they looked good with all of the techniques on the curriculum.  During the promotion they were promoted to solid grey belt.

I received my forth stripe on my blue belt putting me in line to get purple belt next.  I feel like I've made the most progress working up to this particular stripe vs the previous ones. It may feel that way at every stripe but I had some major improvements working up to the tournament.

During the training, Greg gave each teacher 15 minutes to teach a sweep and have everyone drill it.  Greg taught a half guard sweep, Conan taught a overhook guard pass, and Mike taught what looked like a de la riva spider guard ankle grab sweep.  I chose my bread and butter, the omoplata from cross guard.  I went through it pretty quickly and didn't necessarily get all of the details across that I wanted to, but it seemed like everyone was able to complete it in the end.

During up/down/out later I saw a few people attempt it and a few even complete it. Phil was about to get his guard passed with the standing guard break and he pulled it off. I let him know that he made my day!

The kids alternated between doing techniques and playing games like foot tag and sumo and seemed to have a good time.

Unfortunately I didn't get to train much but I got some satisfaction out of helping everyone.  Hopefully I've also planted some cross guard seeds and I'll be able to share some of that with others.

I had the honor of standing up front while stripes and belts were handed out.  Very cool!  Jerad, Mike, and Adam received their purple belts and Mo, Darijo, Brian G, Phil, John, and Justin received blue belts.  A great day for our school and shows how much we're growing.

Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass, Over/Under Pass
Partner: Craig, Katie

Katie is a friend of Craig's and decided to try out class today.  She did pretty well for it being her first martial arts class.  Of course having to back up and realize that a new person has very little idea about the terminology that we use much less why someone would even want to pass the guard, makes me realize that there is quite a base learning curve.  My piece of advice to her and what I say to most people I talk to on their first class is that the first thing to focus on is knowing what the positions are and learning when you are in trouble.

Rolling: Guard (4 x 4 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Conan, Andy, Katie

Conan can really get in my head sometimes and it's not really his fault.  He wasn't really warmed up when we started rolling so he went a little lighter than usual.  I of course tried to pass as well and as fast as I could and I pass.  As we rolled he got more difficult to pass and swept me a couple times.  When he does this I'm not sure sometimes if I should go slower and down to his level or keep trying to do my thing.

Had a good positional roll with Andy and took all the precautions necessary to prevent a baseball bat choke of some type.  I was pulling off the knee through the middle guard break and pass and showed him that he was making it easier by climbing his guard way up. 

Office Hours Partner: Conan

Conan went over a mount escape that he was researching and it seemed pretty cool but still in development stages.  We discussed my tournament matches a bit and talked about my new omoplata finish. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass, Over/Under Pass
Partner: Casey, Chris C

One thing that I questioned about doing the toreando pass today was what roll do my elbows play.  I thought I needed to control their calves with my elbows but I notice Greg doesn't do much of that.  I'll have to talk to him about it later.  Otherwise I worked on getting my grips and getting up as efficiently as possible.

Rolling: Guard KOTM, Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Casey, Chris, Brian G, Bhuvana, Byrav, Dave

Had some good rolls and did the standing guard break and toreando when I could.  From the bottom I felt a little sluggish with some of my sweeps like they weren't clicking today.  I also got stuck in the omoplata position with the arm tapped behind the back and couldn't finish it just like in my tournament match.

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Casey

Greg went over the 2 on 1 with Casey and then showed me how to finish that omoplata.  My problem was that I was pushing down on their arm but coming up with them when I should have been pulling on their shoulder more.  Also doing a couple hip escapes really tightened it up.  This is going to be great [Wrings hands and laughs maniacally]

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 9th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass, Over/Under Pass
Students: Alejandro, Jordan, Ben, Mike G, Mike A

Good group of guys today, good to see Mike G back.  It was my day to teach and decided to follow what Mike does a bit sometimes and did some grip fighting and takedown fitins.  It was a pretty good workout in and of itself.

The biggest advice I can give on the standing guard break is that posture is very important.  I time my step up with putting their hand into their hip.  Then when grabbing the other sleeve I stand way up.  After that I start to bring it down.  I don't grab the pants yet but catch the knee and take little steps back.  During the toreando I try to not have my butt up in the air at all and bend at the knees more.

The guys there had all done the standing guard break and toreando pass many times so we had some extra time and I showed the Over/Under Pass.  After some individual help everyone seemed to understand it pretty well.

Rolling: Guard KOTM
Rolled With: Alejandro, Jordan, Ben, Mike G, Mike A

Sure Alejandro and Mike were able to sweep me, but my roll with Jordan probably stood out the most.  He was on top and relentless with trying to pass.  He prevented a lot of my sweep attempts and from me getting the position that I wanted.  We went back and forth a couple times but in the end he was able to pass my guard.  Great job Jordan but know that I'll work to make it more difficult next time.

Mike and I talked about deep half a bit after class and said that I need to off balance more and not to expect to have a black belt level deep half now and make it look a little dirty for now.  I think he's right because I'm currently expecting to do the techniques perfectly that I've been practicing.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 8th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Armdrag, Hook Sweep, Knee Tap
Partner: Ben

Felt pretty excited about coming into class today and starting fresh.  Coming off of this tournament I don't really have anything pressing that I want to work on right away.  I need to think about it more, but one thing that I learned is I need to tighten up my game plan and stick to it.  Even though the toe hold was there I was probably better off not attempting a submission that I didn't have much practice finishing.  Greg said he was happy with my performance which goes a long way and gave me a few specific things to think about like a toe hold from the omoplata position. 

We actually went through these techniques recently, but it was a good refresh.  I did a little better today on the knee tap.  I focused on hanging off the side and getting a deeper underhook during the hook sweep like I have been. 

Rolling: Butterfly Guard KOTM, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Mike A, Robert, Bhuvana, Tom, Brian G, Ben, Chris (New)

Nice to do some king of the mat.  I tried my best to set up a hook sweep but had a difficult time finishing it.  I was able to go to x-guard once and attempt some arm drags that turned into sweeps.  I don't feel as confident in my passing or at least I don't feel like I've nailed down my specific go to passes like I have with gi pants involved.  I had some pretty tough but interesting rolls with both Mike and Robert. 

We switched to a 5 minute free roll and I went with Tom.  Apparently he had some help from Conan and learned some defenses to some of the submissions that I have caught him with in the past.  It really made a difference as he foiled several of my attempts.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 5th 2015 - Submission Challenge

The day finally came and it was a long day.  All of the anticipation and nervousness and it felt like it was over fairly quickly once I started rolling.  I weighed in right at 205 with all of my clothes on so I made it into the weight class that I hoped for.  However, I ended up being the only one in my division so I was bumped up to 206 and up anyway.  This isn't the first time this has happened after I've attempted to drop weight for a tournament but it's still discouraging every time.  Another downside was that I got put in a division with 2 of my teammates (Fuji and Bauer).  I can roll with them any given Saturday.

After we weighed in and attended the rules meeting a group of us went out for breakfast at Village Inn, where we discussed creating a Jiu-Jitsu system based around car terms.  We hurried back to catch Tyler and Chris's matches.

Tyler was bumped up to the adult division and he did great.  Won his first match with a cross collar choke but lost his second to an ezekiel choke.  Chris did well in his first tournament.  He was in a dominant position for the majority of both of his matches but eventually got put on the bottom and submitted.  I didn't see much of David's matches I think he might have lost 2 matches.  Bauer did no gi against Patrick (I think that was his name).  It was a fairly quick match that ended with Bauer getting caught with a toe hold.  Then our division finally started Fuji and Bauer faced each other but I didn't pay much attention.  I think Fuji caught him with something from side control. 

My first match was against Patrick.  I looked for him to grab my right sleeve and then went for my cross guard pull into omoplata.  I could have probably swept but I decided to go for the submission instead.  I was close with it but let his elbow get out of it too much.  I ended up on the back of turtle and then back mount and attempted some collar chokes and finally an armbar as he attempted to escape the position.  A toe hold presented itself so I went for that and we rolled around as he also went for a leg lock.  He ended up cinching up a straight footlock and turned over too his belly and got me to tap.  I'm happy with my performance I just wish I could have finished one of those sub attempts.

Fuji went up against Patrick next and worked his way into side control and finished with the brabo.  I faced Bauer for 3rd and we went the distance.  It seemed pretty even, I had some good positions and some submission attempts but I don't think I ever put him in real danger.  We went to the overtime round and he was able to escape my armbar and then armbar me on his turn.  Mike had a really fast paced technical no gi match with his purple belt opponent.  Mike ended up losing but they put on a good show. 

So no hardware to bring home this time.  My ankle is a little sore as I wasn't able to tap as quickly as I wanted to, but it's nothing serious.  I'm still trying to figure out what I need to focus on next.  I'll consult with Greg and see what he thinks, but here are a few thoughts:
  • Work on finishing submissions
  • Omoplata sweep and rolling to another omoplata
  • Mount attacks
  • Ankle Locks
Here's a video of my first match:

Second Match part 1
Second Match Part 2

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Dave

Good to work with Dave today, he looks a little more rugged after not shaving for a while.  He seemed to figure a few things out with the sweep as we went and was appreciative for the help.  I worked on the cross guard to hip bump setup after drilling the regular way a few times and it felt like a good transition when my omoplata doesn't work.  Here are some tips for this weeks techniques:
  • Technical Standup: Be ready to fall back down to your side if they start to rush you as you are getting up.  Learn to figure out what is the optimal space needed to allow you to get up with the stand-up.
  • Hip Bump Sweep: On your own you can work on getting from your back up to your hand and scooting your butt back as efficiently as possible.  The smoother you can make this the more you can focus on the timing of "when" to attempt the sweep.
  • Kimura: A detail that Greg has been saying recently is either new or I wasn't paying attention before.  After getting the kimura grip while falling back you want to throw your shoulder and kind of jump off at an angle.  I think this does a couple things by keeping their weight off of you and probably preventing them from grabbing clothing to prevent the kimura.
Rolling: Guard (4 x 3 min)
Rolled With: Dave, Ben

Greg wanted me to limit my rolling so I sat out of the free rolling but did some positional sparring.  Not much to say about rolling, things are going pretty well for me right now and the focus on training is really showing.  I feel ready for the tournament and I'm glad that I decided to do it.  However it turns out I feel like I've jumped in skill and improved on things that I've been needing to focus on. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1st 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing in guard: Sweeping, Knee Bar
Partner: Mike A, Robert

Not my favorite technique choices today, I was a little bit worried about hurting myself as I have felt some weird knee pressure from the sweep in the past.  It turned out to be okay and I never really felt any discomfort.  I did have some issues with finding the angle to use my hips to sweep with.  Also Greg emphasized that we needed to keep our guard closed throughout the whole sweep.  It is something that I've seen Xande use so it is worth looking into. 

Robert and I had some trouble with the knee bar but we were getting it close to the end.  I needed to focus on dropping my knee first and then kicking the leg way over and getting on my head and shoulder to roll them over.  We kept landing on our outside leg.

Rolling: Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling
Rolled With: Greg, Tom, Mike

Greg had the top person stand up to pass guard to give the bottom person more chances to do what we worked on.  I did a few good things against Greg but ultimately was foiled by single leg-x. 

Mike caught me several times with leg locks.  I feel like my defenses are getting better but he still eventually gets ahead of me.  He also hit a really cool reverse kimura that I may have to research. We talked about some deep half stuff after trying to figure out how he could step over my head every time I go to deep half.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

November 25th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seoi Nage, Cross Collar from Back, Bow and Arrow, Guillotine from Guard
Partner: Chris

Mike and I decided to teach 2 weeks at a time so we would each get a throw and a self defense technique to teach.  For Seoi Nage I decided to focus more on the drop version as I've had more success with that in rolling.

My gag reflex really bothered me during practicing all of the chokes.  Being demonstrated on can kind of suck at times as you can sit there with the choke half way applied while the teacher explains some of the finer points, it's not always comfortable.  I stopped using the bow and arrow for a while and I feel like I lost a step in it a little bit, but it didn't take long to get it back. 

Rolling: Back Mount (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling
Rolled With: Chris, Ben, Bhuvana

Rolling went by like a flash and for some reason I don't remember much of what happened today.  I felt pretty good about attacking the back and maintaining harness grip. Ben made the comment that we helped improve his back mount last week in class.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike and I rolled probably 4 times and there was a lot of back and forth.  Quite a bit of it ended up being ankle lock and 50/50 centric.  He's feeling a little beat up from all of the training with us bigger guys so be let me have a few things he normally wouldn't. I told him afterwards that he is solely responsible for improving my leg lock game. Hopefully I can return the favor to someone else.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 24th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Arm Drag, Hook Sweep, Knee Tap
Partner: Jordan A

Always good to have a butterfly guard refresher, especially since it's one of Greg's best positions.  I have some success with the position as well.  Some tips:
  •  Arm Drag: don't try to pull your opponent or pull yourself do both and adjust to which ever happens.  If you start taking the back focus on getting the harness grip and then pulling them down and hip escaping instead of crawling on top of their turtle.
  • Hook Sweep: trying to hang off my opponent has been the most recent thing that I learned that helps from this position.  I do tight shoulder pressure and try to hang in the direction of their base out leg so they can't lift it.
Rolling: Free Rolling (4 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Jordan, Greg, Morgan, Ben

Rolling has felt better than ever lately.  I feel like things are really clicking and I have a sense of urgency.  Competition prep has been pretty good to me this time around.  I got to roll with Greg and was able to keep him from submitting me but it was only because we were close to the wall and the time ran out just as he was working on a head and arm choke. 

In my other rolls I felt like half guard and guillotines are kings of my no gi game.  I can use guillotines to help me get better positions and to submit while half guard from the bottom to recover and sweep.  I've also had some success with the over/under pass in no gi even though I have to modify it because of the lack of pant grips.  I also got to attack the back a little today and work on hand fighting from there.

Office Hours Partner: Greg

I got a huge pointer on the spiral armbar after class.  I've had many people escape while I'm setting up the submission.  Greg showed me to step up a little higher and them put some inside knee pressure and start to turn the corner.  This will help a lot because when I get some of the better guys in this position they've been able to get their shoulder back to the mat.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 21st 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Bridge to Tripod, Single Under Guard Pass
Rolling/Game: Guard, Side Control

Kids had a good day. Greg has been mixing up the warmup with some different obstacle course type exercises and some partner stuff.

The tripod movement was a little difficult for them but they did improve.  They did well with the single under pass. Working on the techniques of the week at home is helping.

Jayden surprised me and Greg by pulling off an omoplata sweep, it was awesome but I don't think he knew what he accomplished.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Mike A, Fuji, Anthony, Mo, Gina, Jordan H
Game Plan: Work for top position, A Game

I was so sore and beat up from competition class yesterday.  It was a lot of hard work and I'm feeling pretty good about my progress. I feel like I'm transitioning a little faster and have a little extra get up and go.

Mike: More and more Mike is challenging me with positions and attacks that others don't. It's good to have him around because I can see my defenses improving especially with ankle locks and back takes.

Fuji: He's challenging himself with bottom side control and trying to escape with better technique. We went a few rounds then worked on some half guard and deep half entries.

Anthony: We rolled no gi and he surprised me with his posture and positioning.  There were a couple times when we stood up and all I did was sit back down, not sure if I should have attempted to fight a little bit from standing or not.

Mo: Had some good rolls, he said he felt a little off his game though after taking some time off.  He came close to getting deep half and I gave him a few pointers mostly focused on moving himself instead of trying to move me. Then we drilled Homer Simpson several times.

Gina: Went as light as I could with Gina because of size difference.  Luckily I didn't hurt her this time.  We ended up in half guard and we discussed arm placement and avoiding the arm drag.

Jordan: I mostly played top and had to resort to half guard to pass. We talked about defending the hip switch and I gave him some tips on attacking from open guard.

Friday, November 20, 2015

November 20th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: HeadLock Escape to Tani Otoshi, Basic Escape from Backmount, RNC
Partner: Andrew

Conan's back and we got to roll a little bit today!  This was Andrew's second time visiting and he did pretty well.  He has a bit of a background in martial arts and wrestling so that helped.  Felt pretty good about trapping the hand today, I need to work it more but I feel like I'm starting to figure it out.

Rolling: Back Mount (4 x 4 min), Free Rolling
Rolled With: Andrew, Conan

Rolled a few times in backmount and gave Andrew some pointers.  He was doing what most beginners do with the position by clamping down tight and trying to hold me in place.  After Conan told him to let the other guy move a bit and just try to stay under him he improved.

Conan and I rolled after that and he gave me a lot of trouble.  A good reminder that often he's not rolling to his full potential with me.  We'd roll for a while then discuss the good and bad things that happened and then roll again. 

Thursday, November 19, 2015

November 19th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: HeadLock Escape to Tani Otoshi, Basic Escape from Backmount, RNC
Partner: Bhuvana, Ben, Robert

Bhuvana had a little trouble with the takedown at first but by the end it all came together.  Dealt with escaping to the overhook side since I usually go to the underhook side when drilling.  Worked a little more on trapping the arm during the RNC.  Robert was having a little trouble with getting around my shoulders to hook his feet together. 

Rolling: Back Mount (2 x 2 min), Shark Tank 8 minute Hell Drill
Rolled With: Robert, Ben

Robert and I rolled back control and I felt pretty good about both my escapes and attacks.  Then Bhuvana had to take off so Greg had Ben and Robert start with me on the bottom of mount, back mount, side mount, turtle and then a roll from the knees.  I was able to keep from getting submitted and only felt in trouble of one once.  I was escaping back mount but Robert transitioned into an arm triangle, however I was able to get half guard and pry myself out just barely.  I noticed my breathing quite a few times but felt like I kept up the pace pretty well.  My main objective was to get on top as efficiently and as quickly as possible.  Not very easy to complete with Robert.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 18th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Escape from Backmount, RNC
Partner: Tom

Mike taught today and had some good insight on the techniques.  Some tips on the techniques:
  • Escaping, head control is huge.  I like to drive with my head in the direction that I want to escape to.
  • Backmount in general, harness grip is more important than hooks.  Bring your wrist up higher more across their neck and use your elbows more to press against their shoulder and ribs. Use your chin on their shoulder.
  • RNC, this is not an easy submission in the gi but it is one of the most used in MMA to finish.  The part that I'm focusing on right now is getting under the chin and keeping it as I grab the shoulder.
Rolling: Back Mount (2 x 2 min), Shark Tank Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tom, Dave, Ben

Had some great rolls.  I focused on going after what I wanted and being a little more aggressive with trying to get to the top position.  Cardio held up pretty well.  Mike and I rolled together after class and there were some 50/50 position moments that I felt lost with, but it's good practice. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Hip Bump Sweep, Double Under Pass
Partner: Derek

Derek came back and says that he will possibly join and is looking for a gi.  Always good to get some more big guys to roll with.  We trained together again as I was the closest to his size. 

Greg showed us the guard break that Tinguinha showed us at the first seminar that he put on at our school a few years ago.  Instead of trying to control their hips you turn to the side and then put both hands under their legs.  From there you break to double under position.

For the double under pass, Greg gave us the option of using the sit through instead of smashing.  I liked it but we had some trouble with finishing by putting the elbow on the far side of their body.  I'll have to look into that version more.

Some tips on this weeks techniques:
  • Hip bump sweep, make sure you grab or control low on the wrist.  If you go above the elbow they may still be able to base
  • Guard break, get under their ribs and hide your elbows.  You won't get much time because it's easy to prevent this in no gi
  • Double under pass, I say this everytime but pull them back into you instead of trying to move forward into them.
Rolling: Guard (4 x 2 min), Shark Tank from Bad Positions
Rolled With: Derek, Mike, Jordan, Robert, Morgan

Derek was pretty good at keeping me from doing what I wanted to do.  I kept guard and just barely swept and passed right before the time was up.  Mike and I had a good roll from guard.  I was trying to setup the barato plata but he used posture to prevent it.  He ended up catching me with a heel hook.  From the top I ended up getting to the double under pass to which Mike scrambled and ended up in half and then deep half to which I slowed down with a cross face.

Greg had Jordan, Robert, and Morgan shark tank us from bad positions until the end of class.  I've been a little under the weather the last couple of the days so I'm not sure how much being tired or dealing with that affected my performance.  I was able to keep from getting submitted but didn't do too much from the top.  I felt like my guard was passed a little too easy a couple times and discovered that I'm not used to no gi anymore. 

I'm considering not competing in no gi this time.  I think with the longer time limits and my conditioning isn't the best right now maybe I should just focus on one.  Then I'll focus a little more on no gi and try to get more in shape for the next tournament.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

November 14th 2015 - Open Mat

We had a bit of a situation Friday morning that I avoided talking about until I had more information. We had to call an ambulance to take Conan to the hospital for a minor stroke event.  Craig and I were there getting warmed up when I went to ask Conan if he was feeling okay. He was having trouble finding some words and was not himself.  Craig called the ambulance while I stayed with Conan. Help came fairly quickly and took him within a half an hour.

I heard from him a few times throughout the day as they ran tests and discovered he had a hole in his heart. When I saw him today he seemed like himself again.  He said that they were going to get his heart taken care of in a couple weeks and and that I could let people know what happened.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Craig, Bauer, Mike A, Jordan
Game Plan: Cross Guard Stuff

I helped teach kids class today but my kids weren't able to attend. After class Bhuvana and I rolled a bit.  She took me a little by surprise with a little aggressiveness and I had to scramble to stay ahead a bit.  We went over turning a kimura from the bottom of side control into a farside armbar.

I rolled with Craig and spent some time attacking in mount.  We spent some time on mount defense after that.  Told him to keep his elbows in and use them as much as possible.

Bauer and I drilled several techniques to prep for submission challenge. I gave some pointers on what I could and worked on some cross guard.  We had quite a roll with a lot of position changes and was at a decent pace.

Had some good rolls with Mike.  I ended up in deep half a couple times and waiter sweep is really coming together for me I just need to work on finishing it.

Jordan's back after recovering from knee surgery. Hopefully for good this time. He's interested in working on half guard so maybe I can assist him with that.  We rolled and he was a little rusty but still knows his stuff.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

November 12th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Upa Escape, Cross Collar Choke from Mount
Partner: Ben

Techniques felt fine today, nothing out of the ordinary.  We worked on some of the alternate setups to the upa.  Greg gave the advice that if their arms are above your head then pull it down onto your chest.  If their arms are off to the side grab the sleeve and put it down on your hip before bridging.  We also worked on the s-mount choke variation that Andy showed the day before.

Rolling: Mount (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Ben, Megan, Robert, Morgan

Made a concerted effort at the cross collar choke but couldn't pull it off today, I just can't get the second grip, but I'll keep working on it.  Maybe I'll watch some Roger competition footage to see how he sets it up.  Free rolling was fine and spent some time in deep half.  It seems like the waiter sweep is really coming along for me. 

I rolled with Megan for the first time and switched between trying to set stuff up slowly to walking her through a couple techniques.

Office Hours Partner: Robert

I rolled with Robert twice during class and then we did a 10 minute round after class.  He is very difficult for me to roll with, his pacing, strength, and technique makes him very difficult deal with.  Exactly what I need to prepare for the competition.  I attempted a star sweep but couldn't complete it but ended up in half guard.  I also ended up in deep half a lot and was able to sweep once.  From side control I was able to pull off the elbow push escape back to guard, but I never got much offense going and Robert was on top most of the time.

We did the overtime rounds after the 10 minute rounds and he was able to submit me there.  I burned out my forearm trying to bow and arrow choke him and then went right into the armbar position and couldn't hang on.  So something to think about for the overtime rounds.  The biggest thing that Greg said I need to work on is my conditioning.  I need to challenge myself in upcoming classes and do some extra workouts before then.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

November 11th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Upa Escape, Cross Collar Choke from Mount
Students: Cassey, Tom, Andy, Jordan

Mike felt under the weather so I taught this morning.  I added a few warm-ups like shooting

A couple of tips on the techniques:

  • Double Leg, controlling the grips in the gi is going to be key.  If you can't do that it's going to be difficult to shoot
  • Upa Escape, a tidbit that I gave today is to think about it like a back roll.  You turn your head to the opposite side so you can get a bigger bridge.
  • Collar Choke, I like to tell people to use the princess wave to get the second grip deeper, seems to help.

Rolling: Mount Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Cassey, Tom, Andy, Jordan

I had them roll with their original partners for the first 2 rounds then I got bored of sitting and had us do some up/down/out with only one person out at a time.  I attempted the cross choke as much as I could and completed it once.  I was able to upa a couple times as well. 

Gave some pointers to Casey for mount.  I think he was trying to hold his opponent down too much and needed to float a little more.  If you hold them too tight with your legs it makes it easier for you to get rolled over.

Office Hours Partner: Tom, Andy

We discussed some collar choke variations and then rolled a couple times.  I gave some pointers to them as they rolled.  I'm finding myself watching out for collar chokes from Andy.  He's giving me some of the alarm bells that Zac would.  Hopefully Zac comes back soon.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Novemeber 10th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Upa Escape Mount, Arm Triangle Choke
Partner: Derek (Visitor)

In an effort to spread the word of our fine sport, Bhuvana brought another coworker to Jiu-Jitsu.  Although, Derek wasn't completely a newbe because he had wrestled for a significant portion of his life from a early age.  We got quite a few reps in and he seemed like a pretty good guy.

Some tips from the techniques:
  • For the Upa Escape, when I've had Greg do it to me it's a sudden explosion, where he takes out my base arm and bridges at the same time pretty violently so I've been trying to develop that timing.  I would say first develop it with the steps but realize that the explosion is probably the way to go. 
  • For the arm triangle a big mistake is that people often push too high on the arm where they should be focusing their pressure on the shoulder.  Keep the elbow on the floor on one side and put your head on the floor on the other side.

Rolling: Mount (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Derek, Robert, Mike A, John

Had a good day of rolling and got a compliment from Mike on my mount escaping.  I do feel pretty good about getting to deep half from mount as I really only need quarter guard and then an arm under their leg.  I had a heck of a time with Derek when I was on top of mount, any time I tried to make a submission happen and shifted my weight up high he was able to buck me forward and get free, and I'm not confident in going to armbar from there. 

There was some half guard stuff with Robert and Greg even witnessed me hit a Jedi mind trick out of nowhere but as I was coming up I almost got guillotine choked.  John and I free rolled and he defended quite well.  Greg had to tell him not to sit to his butt once I got deep half guard.

With Mike it was a leg lock fest and I am starting to feel confident in my defenses.  I still tap as early as I can when I feel a hint of trouble but I'm triangling my legs better, hand fighting, or going for my own leg locks to help me escape.  We had a couple of cool exchanges and even went for a rolling back take. 

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We went over a couple leg lock things and I showed him a technique from Tinguinha's DVD with the crossguard. 

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 7th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Recover Guard from Half Guard, Hip Bump Sweep
Rolling/Game: Side Mount Position

Greg was busy signing a new student up so I led the warm-up.  Fun as usual but I got a warm-up as well.  Kids have been doing better with the techniques as we work on them before bed almost every night.  Jayden is still disappointed in his sparring but he is getting better.

Open Mat
Rolled With: David K, Chris, Mike, Adam, James, Jerad
Game Plan: A Game techniques, being more assertive

Drilled some techniques with David before rolling. I mostly played guard during rolling and almost finished an armbar. David's ear started bleeding and we cut our roll short.

Went over hip bump and attacking the back with Chris before rolling.  He's coming around with understanding positions I think.

Mike is definitely getting the better of our exchanges lately. He's taking my back or going for ankle locks and I feel like I'm constantly on the defensive. It's really good for me but a little frustrating.

I felt pretty good about my performance with Adam. I didn't sweep him or come close to submitting him, but I did regain guard way more times than normal.  Still working on dealing with his butcher technique.

James and I rolled no gi and it was interesting as he has a little different style than I'm used to. Which is a great thing the more different types of grapplers I can roll with the better I'll be.  I was able to catch him once and he caught me the second roll. He said I felt a lot stronger since we last rolled which was at least 2 years ago.

I had nothing for Jerad.  He systematically got past my defenses. I kept looking for him to make a mistake that I could capitalize on but I never saw one. Before I knew it he was in mount.

Friday, November 6, 2015

November 6th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: RNC Defense to O-Soto Gari, Kneeling Guard Break to Single Under Pass
Partner: Craig

Always fun to work with Craig.  I don't think I treated him very well with the pass though but helped him do it better so he could get me back.  Definitely want to reiterate when doing this pass go straight forward and put them on both of their shoulders, then turn 90 degrees.

Rolling: Guard (4 x 4 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Criag, Josh, Dave

Rolling went well I went for the single under pass when I could and hit it a couple times.  I'm also trying to do more of my A game to prep for the tournament.  I'm also trying to be the initiator instead of the counter fighter that I usually am.

Office Hours Partner: Andy, Conan

After class Conan and Andy were working on the pendulum sweep and I showed him my cross guard stuff and we rolled for a bit.  He seemed to appreciate it because it was similar to what he was already doing.

Conan and I had a heck of a roll. I spent most of the time on top trying to pass guard, sometimes succeeding only to be put back in guard again.  It was both physically and mentally tasking but also fun.

Competition Class

I came back at 5:30 for our competition class to prepare for submission challenge. I won't go into the details but we worked on some rule specific things concerning the overtime rounds and then some submissions, sweeps, and guard passes that we wanted to drill. I'm pretty sore from this entire week.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

November 5th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: RNC Defense to O-Soto Gari, Kneeling Guard Break to Single Under Pass, Over/Under Pass
Partner: Fuji

Have to make this post quick.  We spent most of our time with the over/under bonus technique that Greg had us do.  Gave Fuji some advice with that and eventually he was doing it pretty well and my guts can attest to that.  I've noticed this in the past but I'm pretty comfortable with my arm entry into this pass and it seems to be something difficult to grasp for many at first.

Rolling: Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Fuji, Robert, Shane

Really tested myself today and it was a little discouraging because I got very worn out.  I'm going to try to force myself to be the aggressor in my rolls to get a good workout with whomever I roll with.  I think usually I'm a little too laid back.  Fuji and Robert are both good for me as if I accomplish anything it's got to be with good technique.  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 4th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: RNC Defense to O-Soto Gari, Kneeling Guard Break to Single Under Pass
Students: Mike A, Tom, Austin, Daniel

Mike and I started our first alternating teaching collaboration today.  Him and I are switching off teaching the Wednesday noon class and I got the first one.  Went pretty well, we were a little worried as the start of class approached and no one was there but eventually a few straggled in.

Did a warm-up progression with practicing the double leg, then sprawling, and finally sitout doing some reps with each exercise.  Some tips for this week's techniques:
  • When moving to the position to throw with O-Soto Gari, hold their arm tight to your shoulder and be leaning forward as you make the short steps
  • For the single under pass, your arm with your elbow on the inside is your triangle prevention arm.  Pay special attention to it and make sure they don't get under your elbow in the process to triangle you
  • I like to think of angles during this pass.  When you are under their leg push straight forward and go to a plank position.  Once their hips are off the floor then turn 90 degrees.  Then push forward again to bring their legs to the floor.
  • The elbow of the reaching hand is also important as there are some easy escapes if you flare that elbow when grabbing the gi collar.
Since we had some extra time Mike and I showed the split pass.  There were some pieces that Mike helped with that I didn't know like windshield wiping over the knee, so I'm glad we worked on it. 

Rolling: Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Austin, Mike

First couple rounds I observed.  I was impressed with Daniel as I had no idea how much experience he has and I made the comment that "he has some skills."  He had to sit out at the end of a roll with Austin so I jumped in and had a quick roll.

I rolled with Mike after that and it was a leg lock defending back take battle for me.  He had my back when the time ran out and gave me some pointers about how I could have escaped during the rolling back take.

Office Hours Partner: Tom, Mike

Tom asked about retaining guard and Mike and I gave him quite a bit of information.  I recognized his problem as something that I got over not too long ago.  He was laying on his back trying to use his legs to prevent getting passed.  We went through sitting up, breaking grips, getting grips before laying back again or scooting under.  We also talked about shin to shin guard for entry into single leg x. 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3rd 2015 - No Gi All Levels (Put Out)

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Cross Body Straight Ankle Lock
Partner: Andy

Had a good turnout for our first noon no-gi class.  Greg gave a little speech about how ankle locks would be more emphasized and who was allowed to do what.  Great, while I'm not good at ankle locks I've been wanting to focus on them and have taken a special interest lately. 

Double leg felt decent, I'm still working on improving the penetration step but feel good about turning the corner.  I feel like I'm gaining confidence with the straight ankle.  I think Greg explaining where to put the toes has made a huge difference. 

Rolling: Guard (2 x 2 min), Side Control (2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Andy, Fuji, Ben, Mike

Well it had to happen sometime, Andy choked me unconscious today for the first time in BJJ.  I was in the process of passing his guard when he grabbed his hands around my neck and setup a no-gi baseball bat.  I remember thinking that I just need to posture and keep my head up, oh wait maybe I should tap, but then I woke up with Fuji slapping me on the chest.  I'm pretty sure I said something like, "what happened?"  It took a while for me to remember what had occurred.  Oh well life goes on and hopefully I'll defend that better next time.

Had some other good rolls and went on as usual.  Fuji with side control and free rolled with Ben.  Had some ankle lock fights with Mike and while I did okay and almost caught him in one but he actually caught me with 2. 

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We went over some ankle locks and discussed defending the choke Andy put on me.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

October 31st 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Triangle
Rolling/Game: Rolling, Blob Tag

Small class today as a few of the kids were at the Circle of Iron tournament.  I ran a special holiday warmup with some different exercises and some extra stuff. We worked on the triangle yet again so hopefully my kids don't forget it.

We did a couple tournament style sparring matches at the end. Jayden has been more into sparring lately and it's heart breaking when he doesn't score any points. I can see him getting better though and try to tell him that.

Jace is also doing well and picking up new things all the time and he's willing to try anything.  He's really into knowing how many points he's scored and tries to carry his points over to other matches.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jordan, Andy, Chris, Jerad, Bhuvana
Game Plan: Look for Cross Collar

Had some good rolls with Jordan and went light to keep tabs on my knee. No problems today although it was a little tight.  I attempted a few cross collar chokes from mount but had a hard time getting around his headgear.  We worked on some mount escapes afterward.

Andy was a student at the old school but had to move out of town.  He's back and actually signed up today!  He was still pretty good for not training as often.

Jerad was the most difficult match of the day as usual we rolled and while we had a good discussion after rolling about what happened I don't remember much about it now. I feel like the back and forth is better lately and I'm able to match him move for move for a while but I eventually make a mistake that he capitalizes on.  It is very difficult to escape his mount after that. He submitted me with an armbar and a mounted triangle.

Chris was told by Greg to get with me to prepare for the submission challenge tournament coming up since we are of similar size.  We went over some of his game plan with a sweep, and a guard pass.  I did my best to share what works for me. I think it will be interesting to see how much he improves before the tournament.

Bhuvana just wanted to work on omoplata from cross guard. I'm a little picky with the technique since it's my go to.  We also worked on troubleshooting getting the underhook from half guard with Jerad.

Friday, October 30, 2015

October 30th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Armbar from Guard, Cross Collar Choke
Partner: Craig, Dave

Went and got my knee checked out yesterday with a chiropractor that visited class a few weeks ago.  He moved my leg in every imaginable way and made sure that everything was okay with my knee.  He gave me some exercises and said a couple muscles in my leg were pretty tight.  I felt like I had been through a workout after this session. 

Felt pretty good when I got up this morning, but was still a little hesitant to push it too hard during class.  Had a couple of times during the day where it felt weak or moved around a bit, but there was no pain. 

Dave was pretty impressed with the armbar from guard and for some reason Craig and I tried to talk him out of it.  To me it's a pretty tough submission to complete.  We showed him how easy it was to pull the arm out if it wasn't tight enough and maybe dissuaded him a little bit, but I felt bad about it. 

Rolling: Guard (6 x 4 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Dave, Craig, Josh, Anthony

Rolling went well, I did my best to attempt the techniques of the day.  From the bottom, I did get an armbar during a sweep but not technically the way we practiced it.  I was able to complete a couple collar chokes which really surprised me.  I think just going for the technique of the week has made me be a little more innovative on the fly. 

From the top I wasn't too active to make sure I didn't hurt myself but also to give my partner a chance to work on the techniques.  Most of the passes I did complete were from the knees.  I did attempt a tozi pass but wasn't able to open the guard in the end.

Office Hours Partner: Dave, Josh

Went over the drop shoulder throw some more with Dave.  He hasn't been working on it long but seems to do it well.  He was a little concerned with people telling him to just pull guard.  They're probably right, it's safer to pull guard but it would be cool to see him do the throw. 

Helped Josh with getting the overhook from guard.  Then went over troubleshooting dealing with my top guard game when he was on bottom.  I was pretty much not giving anything up and hunkering down.  My advice for him was to open his guard on his terms.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 27th 2015 - Gi Beginners

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Armbar from Guard, Cross Collar Choke
Students: Jerad, Abdul

A rare occurrence of Jerad in noon class and until Abdul showed up, I thought we were going to be the only 2.  Very odd as last week we had quite a few students in class.  Unfortunately my knee is still a little tight.  I demonstrated the techniques and did fine with that, but didn't want to chance messing it up rolling.  I'm hoping to be back Friday morning though.  It was a little odd being the instructor while Jerad was the student, but I just went with it.

Some tips on today's techniques:
  • When doing any of the hip type throws I like to think of focusing on getting under their belt knot.  So if a person is much shorter than you, you have to get your hips lower than someone who is taller.
  • For Armbar from Guard it seems like the people have the hardest time rotating their body.  I had 2 things that I think about to deal with this.  One is the bend in their knees.  If they are sitting back on their heals they are harder to armbar or sweep.  When turning you kick them in the armpit to drive them forward.
  • The other point I make is that I try to make it as easy as possible to kick my leg over their head.  If it's difficult to get around their head I need to turn more and I'm not at the correct angle.
  • For the collar choke the biggest thing that helped me get it right was keeping my wrist as straight as possible after getting the deep grip.  If you bend your wrist backward it might feel strong but you are actually conforming to their neck instead of shoving your forearm into it.
Rolling: Guard Position (4 x 2 min)

I came close to deciding to roll but decided against it.  I did my best to coach Abdul through rolling but it was kind of difficult.  It was a lot of basics and common problems that beginners do.  Leaning forward too much in guard, crossing the center line with his hands, trying to submit in the closed guard, etc.  I tried not to harp on things over and over and Jerad took it easy on him.  He did do some good thing and started to almost pass his guard at one point.

Friday, October 23, 2015

October 23rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder Throw RNC Defense, Farside Armbar, Scissor Sweep from Guard
Partner: Ethan

Ethan was a pretty good partner, I haven't seen him around that much but he seems to have a natural ability.  Maybe he wrestled a bit previously. 

Unfortunately I tweaked my knee a bit while doing the farside armbar.  It doesn't hurt or anything just feels kind of tight.  I'll keep an eye on it and hopefully it will heal up soon.  I'm thinking about doing the submission challenge tournament and want to get some good training in leading up to that.  Plus I want to lose 5 pounds at least so I'm not in the "and up" division (206 and up to be exact). 

Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out, Side Control King Of the Mat
Rolled With: Conan, Craig, Ethan, David, Anthony, Justin

Since we had a large group I suggested up/down/out.  It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to do it.  I remember hitting one scissor sweep, which was difficult to setup as everyone was expecting it.  I had to use the knee push one.  I think I got around to rolling with everyone which was nice.

When we switched to side control I didn't get much of an opportunity to do the farside armbar.  I did see Ethan complete one though which was cool.  A couple times when I would bridge my knee felt a little off still so I decided to sit out of a couple rolls.  No pain but I didn't want to risk anything.  Now as I sit here writing this, it's a little tight but I'm walking without a limp so I think I'll be okay.

Office Hours Partner: Dave, Anthony

I saw a couple things for both Dave and Anthony in half guard.  They were getting an underhook but they were pretty shallow.  I went over getting it all the way to the shoulder and scooting the butt out so their weight isn't on you.

I helped Dave with some tournament prep and showed him some guard pulling and a drop seoi nage.  He seemed to take to the throw and I resisted a couple times and he was able to switch to pulling guard out of it. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

October 20th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Shoulder Throw RNC Defense, Farside Armbar, Scissor Sweep from Guard
Partner: Anthony

Almost forgot to write this. Took a week of vacation to use up some days and I'm getting lazy I guess.

This week's techniques are some of my high percentage ones. I'm pretty decent at scissor sweep and often get farside armbar from knee on belly. Some pointers that I use:

  • For the shoulder throw getting them on your hips is a big part of the battle. There was a recent video with Rickson where he described using a sitting back on a couch motion to help load them up, I like the analogy.
  • For Farside Armbar, I like to emphasise a tight knee squeeze. As soon as I rotate I'm squeezing enough that even if I don't use my arms they couldn't get free.
  • For Scissor Sweep, I think of it like a Judo throw. I pull them forward and load them up on top of me and then do the kick.

Rolling: Side Control (2 x 2 min), Guard (4 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Anthony, Jason, Brian

Had some success with attempting the techniques during rolling.  For the armbar I think I need to focus on securing the arm to my head during the transition.  That's where some can escape by jerking their arm out at the right time.

I rolled with Jason on his first day and tried my best at giving him a crash course on positions.  It's very interesting to roll with someone on their first day.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 18th 2015 - No Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Darce, Japanese Necktie
Partner: Conan

Conan added some movement exercises to the warmup. We did armbar from mount and guard and hip bump sweep.

We did the Darce from half guard and for a few of the students it was their introduction to the technique.  Some things to remember:

  • Controlling their posture is the most important thing. Don't let them arch their back.  
  • Don't settle for crappy grips before falling to your hip. Secure the grip in the bicep
The Japanese Necktie is basically working from the same starting grip but then bringing the forearm behind the neck and putting your shoulder to the ground.  Not sure if I figured it out but I'll recognize it as an option.

Rolling: Half Guard (4 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Ken, Tyler

It's been a while since I rolled with Ken and he's still challenging.  His ability to explosively shrimp from anywhere.  I did do better against him than in my younger Jiu-Jitsu days though.

I felt a little bad for the size disparity between Tyler and I.  I did my best to try to use only technique but he's pretty skillful.  We talked about passing knee shield and we both have each other problems with it.

Office Hours Partner: Mo

Had some good bouts with Mo. He's becoming more like Mike in his guard passing.  He prevented my one legged x-guard entries and had some other fancy footwork to get around my legs. Oh I hope he doesn't figure out the leg drag.  I messed around with setting up some ankle locks.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Double Leg, Triangle
Rolling/Game: Guard, Free Rolling

Good but small kids class today. Greg gave out some stripes but since my kids have 4 already they didn't receive any.  Both of them tried hard today with both the warmup and the techniques. We got there a little early and had some time to work on front rolls with Jayden and made some progress.

We've been doing some techniques each night before bed and that has been good for them.  This is the first week they've worked on the triangle and while they aren't great at finishing yet the steps came naturally.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Roland, Fuji, Mike, Travis, Conan, Lucas, Jerad
Game Plan: Look for Ankle Locks

Had a rough day of rolling today and several rolls reminded me that I'm not as good as I sometimes think I am.  I'm writing this on my phone so hopefully this doesn't seem poorly written.

I did do some nogi and went for some ankle locks but didn't have much success. I defended some as well.  I did see some of my reps come through in my attempts I think I need to work on finishing.

Roland is getting better. I had a harder time dealing with him than in the recent past.

Fuji was difficult to navigate and during our first roll I played as safe as I could and tried not to over commit to anything to retain the top position. There was a lot of turtle and shifting sides.  In our second roll he ended up getting a leg and taking the top position.

Today was Mike's day to dominate. While I did a few good things he seemed to get to leg drag position pretty easily. He attacked my back a lot and had me in crucifix after I attempted the funk roll.

This was the first time that rolled with Travis and it was fast paced.  I didn't feel like I could pin him at any point which is rather frustrating and kept me from Controlling the pace.  I had the bulk of the leg lock battle with him.  I attempted a straight ankle, a heel hook, and a toe hold on him and he caught me with a heel hook.  I used up a lot of energy in this roll.

Conan and I rolled pretty light.  I played some top side control and had to deal with his guard retention stuff that he's been showing to me.  I had to have patience. After we rolled we had a good discussion about ankle locks and what he thought of them.

Had a hell of a roll with Lucas. I started out with some shin on bicep guard but his pressure was immense and constant.  He passed my guard once and I regained. He eventually passed again and I was too weak to stop the americana.

I had nothing for Jerad. I tried but he went through me like butter.

Friday, October 16, 2015

October 16th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Escape, Side Control Americana
Partner: Craig, Visitor

A friend of Craig's attended today and did pretty well. I guess he had a little bit of prior experience.

Kept focus on the things I've been working on.  Big bridge along with timing my breathing in the side control escape.  Keeping a low profile and not flaring my elbow while setting up the americana grip.

Rolling: Side Control (2 x 4 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Craig, Josh

I felt like I used a lot of knee on belly during rolling.  I went for the techniques of the week and was able to succeed sometimes.

Looking back on my mission to use the techniques of the week  was pretty fruitful and I could see some improvements in setting them up.  I think doing this every week is going to help shore up deficiencies I have with the fundamentals.

Office Hours Partner: Dave, Josh

Did some more tournament prep with Dave. We worked on the throw he wanted to work on and Conan gave some tips on kazushi.  Then we went over 2 on 1 for a while.

I put him through a tournament roll starting from standing and put some pressure on him. I put him in some bad spots and talked him through escaping them and not giving up.

Rolled with Josh also starting from standing and I realized I really need to take control and try some things from standing. Once we were on the ground I gave him some more knee on belly so much so that Conan said he'd go over defending it on Monday morning class (message me if you're curious about this).  Josh and I went over escaping kimura afterward and I think I helped him with an epiphany on moving shoulders to get your back flat in mount it north/south.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

October 14th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Escape, Side Control Americana
Partner: Ben

Had a good session with Ben a couple things came up and Ben commented a few times "That makes so much sense."  So I'll take that as experience points on my teaching skill.  The main pointers were:
  • Time your bus driver movement with your step in o-soto gari
  • When trying to get the grip for the americana put squeeze your hand into position by sliding it across your own chest and then flipping your hand.  

Rolling: Side Control (4 x 2 min), Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Dave, Morgan, Ben, Austin, Tom

I had a really good day of rolling.  I pushed myself to do the techniques from class and I also wanted to hit the straight ankle when possible.  In side control top I had some success with the americana I found that going to north/south and then returning to the side gave me a little bit of time to get the grip I wanted. 

From the bottom my bridging felt very strong.  I'm feel like my breathing is syncing well with my bridge and I'm having to think less about it.  Morgan probably gave me the best compliment when he asked me what he could do to prevent himself from flying off of me when I bridged.  I think the biggest thing was he wasn't using the crossface effectively to turn my head. 

In the bottom of guard I focused on the cross guard in the hopes of hitting a funk roll that I've been looking into recently.  I came pretty close once but I need to experiment with it more.  Otherwise I was using omoplata and flower sweep when it presented itself.  I got caught in turtle a couple times and relied on the granby to get back.  I've been trusting it more lately and realize I just need to go for it to get it.  From the top I was all about going for the straight ankle lock but ran into the putting on the boot defense whenever I went for it.  Greg explained later that I need to get their leg bent again using my free hand behind their knee. 

During free rolling I spent some time in lasso and was looking for the turtle to omoplata setup but always seem to have my distance off.  I may need a outside opinion to watch me do this this because I think it could be a viable part of my game and I am just missing a minor detail. 

Office Hours Partner: Dave

Greg gave both Morgan and Dave some things to focus on for the upcoming tournament I think.  Dave was looking at the 2 on 1 to scissor sweep which I like myself.  I'm not sure how Greg chose that specific technique but Dave seemed to do well with it after a few reps.  It was pretty cool to witness the beginning of someone's personal game.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Escape, Side Control Americana
Partner: Bhuvana

I believe that this is week 1 of the beginner curriculum if anyone is interested.  Here are some things that came up today for these techniques:
  • For O-Soto Gari step so you are hip to hip and time the hook movement with your step
  • For Side Control Escape drive your knee all the way to their other hip.  When kicking in the end to free your foot don't try to lift their leg off the floor push their leg back across the floor.
  • For the americana once I get the wrist to the floor I like to use my head to control their wrist until I can get my grips set.

Rolling: Side Control (4 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Robert, Ben

So I went through with attempting the techniques from class.  It was very difficult for my brain to adjust to not doing my usual responses to certain things.  I had a pretty tough time because both Robert and Ben aren't slouches.  Attempting the americana on Robert was difficult because if I let go of the crossface he was able to turn into me and start looking for the single or double leg.  I at least put the wrist to the floor but wasn't able to fully finish. 

From the bottom I was able to at least get my knee in and regain half guard and butterfly.  The thing that I'm focusing on most is not telegraphing with my breathing before I bridge and it's getting better. 

Office Hours Partner: Robert

Had 3 five minute rounds with Robert after class.  I tried to push myself to stay active throughout the time but did find myself stopping on the bottom of side control a few times.  I spent most of the time on the bottom and he was able to submit me near the end with a kimura.  I played some half guard and used some butterfly to regain.  He's so difficult to move and I often end up on the bottom during a scramble. 

I'm glad that he's around because he's different than the other guys that are better than me.  Actually everyone that's better than or challenges me has something unique in their rolling style.  Greg, Conan, Jerad, Mike, Adam, Alejandro, Fuji, Henry, Zac, Robert all give me trouble in different ways.  If I didn't include you it's because we don't roll enough or you need to step up your game ;)  

Sunday, October 11, 2015

October 10th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Paint Brush, Double Leg Trip
Rolling/Game: Side Control, Stand up Sparring

Kids have been doing well lately. Jayden has been timid to count during warmups.  Greg has been trying to work with him on that. He also has not been doing well with front rolls which he was previously good at, but everything else is fine.

They had a little trouble with the double leg trip. They would shoot fine but then fall backwards when trying to step up.

Sparring was good, they are picking up the importance of position. It's been a while since they've done some standup.  The main thing that they need to focus on is grip fighting.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Josh M, Austin, Henry, Chris, Ben, Moe, Jerad
Game Plan: Attempt Ankle Locks

Had a great day at open mat after missing it for 2 weeks.

Josh and I drilled the twist sweep for a little while. I still don't feel comfortable with it but got something out of the training.  We rolled later on and I could see some improvement from our previous rolls and wasn't able to freely push him around.

Austin's skills have also increased. I attempted the ankle lock a few times but he foiled me with the defenses that we worked on.  I may have reaped the knee a couple times on accident.

Henry and I had an epic battle. I had to dig deep a couple times to talk myself out of giving up and taking the easy way out.  A couple of common things came up. He's one of a few that can stand up in my half guard. Also there were a couple times when I came up into the dog fight position but didn't feel adequate to out wrestle him from there. The main thing I did well was to prevent his collar choke attacks as soon as possible to not allow them to get too far.

With Chris I was pretty laid back.  He walked right into my closed guard and did a decent job of keeping forward pressure. Eventually I swept with a flower sweep he gassed out soon after that.  We discussed what he wanted to do in the guard and how he was wasting energy.

Moe gave me a hard time while attempting to pass my open guard. It made for quite a technical battle with grips and shins.  Once I swept and got on top I worked for a guillotine.

Ben and I did no gi and apparently he hasn't had much experience with it. After rolling a few times we went over some passing possibilities without using the gi pants.

Saved the best roll for last with Jerad. We had some back and forth where both of us controlled the fight for a while. Once he got to mount though I wasn't able to escape and he finished me with an armbar. He gave me a few compliments saying that he's noticed improvement lately. The extra work I've been doing has been paying off!