Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25th 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Aggressive Guard, Knee On Belly

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass
Partnered and Rolled With: Harvey, Ben, Jeff, Riley, Anthony, Greg, Zack, Ty, Adam, Dave, Mike (Lawyer), Austin

I was surprised at how many people I got the chance to train and roll with this week.  Good stuff!

One thing that Greg mentioned during the teaching portion was taking short steps back as you push their knee down.  This is something I've struggled with in the past as I wasn't sure if I should take a big step back instead.  One thing I noticed a couple people doing was moving the front leg towards the free arm too much.  I tried to let him know that's where I can get an omoplata or sweep.  I noticed after that Greg's leg was never close to the free arm while he was practicing.  In the Friday class we went off on a bit of a tangent to deal with someone grabbing the ankle.

During rolling it seemed like Greg was on a mission to do the Sao Paulo pass to everyone.  I was inspired and tried it a few times as well.  It was actually a perfect thing to do against people that keep their guard so tightly closed with strength.  Greg attempted the pass on me and I kept him from finishing it a couple times by keeping his head away.  He eventually got it though.  He showed me a couple tips on breaking the guard open that I'll have to practice.

We did king of the mat for rolling Friday morning and I had quite a few challenging rolls with the likes of Adam, Ty, and Zack.  Ty actually puzzled me the most because I put him into a couple of omoplatas and he countered by grabbing my collar with his free hand.  It's not something that anyone else has done to defend my omoplata so I shall ponder.

Kids' Class

The boys went to their first older kids class and they did great.  It was pretty similar to an adult class and they jumped right in.  The hip escapes and front and back rolls were no problem but there were a few things they weren't used to like walking break falls, alligator walks, and bird dogs.

The technique of the day was the double leg.  Not my personal best technique but I could give some pointers to the kids.  The boys did some rolling from the knees and it was very rough.  Jayden is not very aggressive and Jace is a little too aggressive.  I kept trying to tell them that they wanted certain positions like guard and mount but they had tunnel vision on each other.  They finished the day with the other kids doing rolling starting from standing but my boys did sumo and foot tag instead.  They both said that they would like to go back next week but that it was difficult too.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Fuji, Jerad, Ty, Bauer, Felipe (New), Kat

While Friday was all about omoplatas I may have only done one Saturday, strange. I had quite a bit of interaction with Fuji because he wanted to work on bottom side control.  That sounded great to me after he crushed me in his side control.  Mike gave me some advice about my knee on belly that I'm going to look into this coming week.  I was keeping my back knee on the floor too much and too close so it could be grabbed.  I also wasn't really trusting the position.

Bauer and I had an epic roll as usual but this time in no gi.  We went back and forth several times he even foiled my north/south choke at one point.  A couple times I got to mount and realized that I did not have many submissions in my toolbox for no gi.  Sure there's armbar, americana, and mounted triangle but what else?  So a future research project may be no gi submissions from mount.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 18th 2015 - Weekly Review

Personal Focus of the Week: Back Takes, More Aggressive Guard, Beginnings of the Barato Plata

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Technical Stand-up, Closed Guard - Hip Bump Sweep & Kimura
Partnered and Rolled With: Bhuvana, Mike (Lawyer), Riley (New Guy), Ben, Greg

I haven't had much confidence with the hip bump sweep lately.  I've tried it off and on during rolling but I must be telegraphing too much because I seem to get shut down pretty easily.  I think the creating space part is the hardest for me.  I don't want to give that space up but I need it to get the leverage.  I just need to go for it with a little confidence.  I may try to incorporate it more as it is different from the stuff in my usual game. 

Kimura is fine and it comes every so often for me, more so from half guard.  I watched a video of passing the half guard with the kimura that gave me some ideas that I tried during rolling a couple times this week. 

After class Greg gave me some details on the omoplata finish that he learned from Tinguinha.  Grab their pant leg and stiff arm.  Next hip out away from them driving them down and making yourself heavy.  Reach up with the free hand and grab the far hip.  Then pull them over.  I did it once or twice this week and it's an instant add to the game.

Advanced: Triangle Setups: Basic, Overhook, Scissor Sweep
Partnered and Rolled With: Conan, Adam, Greg, Fuji, Gina

Had some good things happen in advanced class, working on the triangle with Adam wasn't one of them.  I just couldn't find an angle that would allow me to lock it up.  I still got him to tap but that wouldn't have happened if he was resisting.  Conan I could lock up and he said a couple times that my triangle was very tight.  Pretty much because I have no choice with my short legs.  I prefer the overhook setup to the others at least that's what I've practiced the most.  Greg said we'll be working on the triangle for 6 weeks so I have that to look forward to.  Hopefully we cover the mounted triangle at some point because that's something I can do.

My crowning achievement was when I passed Adam's guard during king of the mat.  The first time I almost did it but he was able to get up to turtle and then take me down.  I attempted a guillotine but it was all for not.  I think I need to be a little more aggressive with my guillotines.  The second time we rolled I avoided some wrist locks that he tried and waited for him to open his guard.  I attempted the over under but got sucked into his half guard.  I avoided his lock down by keeping my heel tight to butt.  I went back and forth from the hip switch to the tripod pass and eventually I isolated his arm and was fighting for the kimura.  It allowed me to get my leg free and I just had to keep good pressure so he couldn't get up.  Yes!  Although I expect it to be much more difficult next time.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Ross, Ben, Jordan

Didn't roll with too many people yesterday, but not on purpose.  I ended up giving out a lot of advice and help to my partners.  The competition class is screwing up my flow.  After it was over people just kind of sat around, even guys that weren't in the class.  I posted myself in the middle of the mat and waited for someone to look interested in rolling.  I could tell Conan and Gina were talking about me because after peering at me and talking Gina came over and said that she was going to leave and come in for no gi Sunday.  Eventually I just said, "is anyone going to roll today?" and Ross volunteered.

I emphasized my aggressive guard with all of my partners by going for grips and staying up instead of just falling back and waiting for them to come to me.

I assisted Ross with 2 on 1 stuff and how to take the back and some of my strategies for the top half guard position.  I helped Ben with some advice on how to make good pressure in side mount.  He was using his chest way too much and not connecting his knee to my hip.  I also walked him through the butterfly guard and the hook sweep.  I was a training dummy for Conan and Zack while they worked on the arm triangle.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 11th 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Back Takes

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Seoi-Nage, Cross Choke from Back Mount, Guillotine from Guard
Partnered and Rolled With: Brian (Backdraft), Gina, Will, Anthony, Dave, Bhuvana, Harvey, Greg

It was nice to work with Brian on the throw and watch his footwork.  It's hard to describe but he steps very lightly when getting into position.  He was also getting very low.  I never really have any problems drilling the throws but I would like to get a better feel for setups. 

During the cross choke I practiced the grip break that Mike showed me last Friday in conjunction and got Brian to do it a few times too.  For the guillotine I did my best to make space efficiently.  That part feels a little sluggish so I will continue to experiment with that.

Greg helped me a bit with a key detail to his seat belt from back mount after class on Friday.  When he did it to me he was saying that he wanted to keep my body more canted and not bring me all the way to the side.  When I practiced it I asked if I should pull down more on the opposite shoulder and he realized that was a big part of it.  Keeping them off the ground but turned is huge.  I also noticed his seat belt was high on my neck at that point and that is another thing that I will change.  

Advanced: Standing Guard Break to Knee Over Pass, Over/Under Pass, Smash Pass
Partnered and Rolled With: Jerad, Fuji, Greg, Brian (AF)

The standing break was a little different than the norm in that we didn't switch the hand grab like we normally do and went push down the opposite leg.  This fed right into the knee over pass position.  I need to keep my elbow in close as I was having trouble remembering to do that.  The follow up knee slide from here was brilliant when they got some type of half guard.  I am starting to see the knee slide being available more often that it was before.

Greg had us chose a kneeling and a standing pass to drill with our partner.  So I chose Over/Under which I'm already quite good at and the x-pass/smash pass as I'm still working on them.  Jerad chose to do the over/under as well and I gave him a few pointers on keeping his head tight and keeping his butt down both things I had a problem with when I first started them.

The x-pass is always fatiguing on the legs as I have to squat quite a bit to get it done.  Jerad gave me some good pointers on going for the mount if I don't get a good underhook off of the smash pass.  He showed me from there you either get the mount or they raise their arm to block and you get the underhook, seemed to work like a charm.  
Open Mat
Rolled With: Conan, Brian (AF), Andrew, Darijo, Jerad

Had a decent day in open mat with some challenging rolls.  It seems like Brian has jumped in skill recently and he's defending some of the things I would catch him with a lot better.  Jerad really has my number lately and it's really making me want to train more to catch and keep up with him.  Conan was nice to me the first part of our roll but turned it up towards the end. 

I was able to get to back mount a few times and tried to work.  I've been reviewing Ryan Hall's back take instructional as well as some of the deep half guard back take stuff.  I think I'm going to cool it on deep half guard for a while and let it happen when it happens.  I'll pick it up again in a few months fresh.

Mike gave me a quick instructional on baratoplata and I worked on it a bit today.  I'm liking it but need some more time to commit it to muscle memory.   

Sunday, January 4, 2015

January 4th 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Back Takes, Deep Half, Keeping It Playful

I've started studying some back takes as my next focus and this was the perfect week for it.  With the RNC this week and I've been reviewing the deep half back takes from Ryan Halls DVD.  I also have his back take material so I'll be perusing that soon as well.      

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Standing RNC Defense - O-Soto Gari, Back Mount Escape, RNC from Back Mount

Tuesday noon was a very small class with only Bhuvana and I.  Friday there were only four of us and I was told that two of them were there because of the Facebook post that I made the night before.

Maintaining back control has become more and more of an elusive problem for me.  I can feel that when Greg has my back how different it is, but I'm not sure what specific things he's doing.  We discussed it a little bit Friday morning and he said that while the position is pretty dominating it is different than side control and mount because your weight is not on top of the opponent.  That made me feel a little better about it and I've been contemplating what I'm missing in my control. 

I had a couple of takeaways from these classes.  The first was a grip break that Mike used on me during rolling to free my wrist grab.  You take your underhook hand and reach through grabbing the choking hand.  Then twisting in a way that makes them remove their baseball bat type grip.

The other was we talked about them pushing back or being on one side or the other.  Generally they want to move to the underhook side to escape but Greg said that he felt that this side was easier to do the arm trap from and get the choke.  The final part was having to roll up a bit to get the underhook arm free to complete the choke.  From the other side he would trap the underhook arm with his legs instead.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Fuji, Mike (Tumbleweed), Ross, Henry, Conan, James

I rolled with Fuji quite a bit and felt pretty good about how I did.  I did some attacking for once but there seems to always come a time where I'm stuck and unable to move until he submits me.  I did do one pretty cool move when we were next to each other in turtle and I rolled for an omoplata with the sleeve grip that onlookers seemed to appreciate.

Henry and I had an awesome no gi match.  I feel good about my gas tank as in the past I've been submitted by him due to giving up from exhaustion.  I went to deep half a lot in this roll but had a little trouble controlling him from any position.  I escaped many submission attempts by him mostly because I could slip out of them without the gi.  Eventually he caught me with a guillotine during a scramble. 

Mike and Conan were both tough to keep it playful with.  Conan took me apart piece by piece and asked if I was tired after rolling because I didn't seem like my usual self.  Mike caught me with some good things and danced around me quite a bit from side control.  I was a little nervous with grabbing his legs at a few points because I didn't want to get put into a crucifix.  He caught me with a couple things.

I attempted quite a few back takes with Ross but he did a good job of escaping whenever I got close, but I'll count it as good practice.  He asked me for help with his single leg and I tried my best to assist.  Mostly I commented on his head placement and posture.

James is a new guy that I don't know much about.  Greg and Fuji were going through some basics with him and eventually I was put as his partner to work on the side control escape.  We worked on the side control escape as well and he did fine with that with a few pointers but used quite a bit of strength at first.  Then we rolled and he turned it up to 11 right away.  I was still in lazy mode and recovering from my other hard rolls and tried to take it in stride but he did worry me a little bit.  I eventually got to full guard but he was trying to cross collar choke me.  It was rough and strong and I wasn't able to swing for an armbar or anything.  I kept my cool but thought I was maybe going to have to tap.  I used my legs on his hips to keep him down and then he let go and said he was tired and asked what he should have done.  To which I said he should try to pass the guard but I didn't feel like explaining how at that time.  At the time I wished he hadn't have quit so I could have swept him to top position.