Monday, February 23, 2015

February 22nd 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Sweep Follow through, Butterfly Guard with Collar Grip

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: O Goshi, Back Mount Collar Choke, Bow & Arrow
Partnered and Rolled With: Robert, Brian (Volley Ball), Jordan, Zack, Dave, Conan

No problem with practicing the techniques this week.  However while being demonstrated on, Greg showed what would happen if he didn't grab the leg at the knee during the bow & arrow.  I went to my usual escape and he was like no no just roll.  So I went the other way and he was like no no just roll, finally after the third time I figured out what he wanted me to do.  I got validated though when Robert had a hard time doing the same thing.  On Friday, Greg came by and showed Brian and I a variation on the bow & arrow to drop the underhook all the way to the ankle.  Neither of us could make it that far without tapping.

Had some good rolling sessions from the back.  I didn't get too many submissions but I felt pretty good about my control.  I did have to switch to mount or side mount quite a few times but tried to keep the harness grip.  When I did lose the position it was because I let my partner's hips get too high.  I've got to figure out a way to control that better.

Zack and I rolled with Greg on Tuesday shark tank style.  I felt pretty good about my performance in the beginning.  There were a few close calls where I thought I was getting somewhere and then he took it away.  He attempted a submission possibly an armbar and I was able to escape and come up and start passing guard.  Eventually he worked his way to side control and knee on belly and grinded me out until he got the baseball bat choke.

I made an observation while Greg was rolling with Zack.  After he passed his guard Zack was stiff arming him.  Greg's response was to do a back stroke like motion and grab the pants of his lower leg and then move his knees to the other side and the stiff arm went away.  It's a simple thing but it's huge for my guard passing because this is something that stops me every now and again.  I used this a couple of times during open mat.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jerad, Adam, Ross, Austin, Ben, Bhuvana

Jerad: Had my weekly rolls with Jerad.  He is consistently in the top 5 people that can make me feel like I'm not as good as I think I am.  Saturday was one of those rare occasions where I caught him, and with a loop choke no less.  Our last roll went quite a bit longer and it entailed our usual pattern event though I felt improvement in some places.  He eventually submitted me with a triangle that I was attempting to bust out of and maybe something else after that but I don't remember.

Adam:  We fought for a long time and most of it I spent on my back in side control, but I do feel like I'm improving.  I regained guard a few times and got to omoplata position and then triangle and then baratoplata but couldn't seal the deal.  The granby roll was working well for me all day.  Eventually I got worn out and he was able to complete an americana.  I made the comment that it was so demoralizing to work so hard to get guard back all of those times and then just to have it passed again.

Ross: Before we started rolling he said that he'd try to be a good partner for me.  Not sure where that came from; he's always a challenge, but he may have been tired from competition class.  We went over some ways I set up the north/south choke after I caught him a couple times.  He almost caught me with an ankle lock but I was able to stand and get out of it.  We went over some 2 on 1 from guard and I gave him some pointers on things that I do from there.  We did some positional sparring to practice it.

Austin: I worked on my butterfly guard focusing on the collar grip.  At one point he made the comment that I was doing blue belt magic.  He attempted the tozi pass on me but put himself right into an omoplata.  We went over the pass a little and I told him the reason I was able to do that was because of head position.  We rolled a couple other times and I remember him defending my armbar pretty well with the RNC hand position that I showed him a while ago.

Ben: We started out and he was being pretty hanzy with his grip fighting so I decided to take it to him.  I got a good collar grip and went for the butterfly guard pass and kept on him until he was swept.  I spent a lot of time in KOB trying to setup the baseball bat but I couldn't get him to tap to it. Not sure how the roll ended but he appreciated the extra aggression that I put into the roll.

Bhuvana: She requested earlier to work on the bow & arrow since she missed all of the classes this week. We went over the basic way from back mount and I showed her a few variations to get an idea of how else it could be done.  We rolled and she did a great job of avoiding being submitted.  I spent a lot of time in mount trying get an arm free.  Eventually I setup a mounted triangle and then switched to armbar when she attempted to stack.

Monday, February 16, 2015

February 15th 2015 - Weekly Review

Missed a couple of classes this week.  I've decided to temporarily suspend Wednesday advanced classes to spend more time with my family.  Friday morning however, I either turned my alarm off in my sleep or it didn't go off.  I was pretty upset about that.

I returned to the gym to swim a couple days this week and it felt pretty exhausting. 

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Head Lock Escape Leg Hook to Armbar, Turtle Turnover to Side and Back Mount
Partnered and Rolled With: Harvey, Bhuvana, Nic, Brian (Backdraft), Anthony, Ray, Sam, Greg

Bhuvana had a little trouble using the technical standup to get to the armbar in one move.  Apparently many did because Greg stopped us and demonstrated that part again.  Probably the most important thing that I showed her though was to focus more on the pulling lower shoulder under our bodies when trying to get the elbow on the floor.  Then being willing to twist multiple times until the elbow is free.

For attacking turtle, I showed her my trick for grabbing the near side lapel and then switching sides.  I don't know why everyone doesn't do this.  One thing that was missing from this back take from turtle was I wasn't rolling them up a bit to free my bottom leg to be a hook.  I would generally just end up in side control or a half assed back mount that could be escaped.

We did some up/down/out from turtle and Anthony was the only one person that was able to escape my turtle with a granby and got to guard and I was like "good job, totally legit."  Otherwise I granbied my way out of most turtles or pulled guard.  I have a lot of trust in the granby now especially after seeing Greg do it so much and succeeding.  I was telling other people to have more faith in the technique and heard that Bhuvana and Harvey both were able to complete it a couple of times.

Ray and I had a good bout where I almost took his back.  He tried to leg lock me, to which I attempted a bow and arrow that I thought was close.  I ended up in closed guard in the end after a failed stacked armbar but would have liked the tap or back mount instead.

After class, I showed Nic how I usually stop the granby roll by mostly holding the far hip and keeping ahead of them.  I realized that the room was silent and everyone was watching us.  I guess I was instructor like at that time but didn't plan on being the center of attention.

Zack and I did another shark tank for Greg.  We started from standing with 6 minute rounds.  I fought as hard as I could and surprised myself with a few things.  I don't think I ever scored any points though.  I regained guard a few times though.  The first round I held off being submitted until the final seconds, he caught me with a straight armlock.  I was trying to be funny and ask if the clock was going to run out but Ray and Zack thought I was trying to tap and panicked a little.

A couple of cool things that I did were: Regain half guard to butterfly half guard to full butterfly but he was able to pass it soon after.  Regain half guard from mount to deep half but wasn't able to complete the sweep.  Greg pulled guard at one point and I fought pretty hard to pass but I couldn't get out of his spider.  Otherwise he used spider guard, single leg-x, and butterfly to sweep me and then attacked a lot from side mount.

Open MatRolled With: Jerad, Dwight, Ben, Fuji, Mike

Jerad: We slow rolled for a while in the beginning and messed around a little bit.  Mostly he dominated me like usual but I had my moments.  I passed his guard and fought from the top for quite a while and came close with a darce choke.  I think I messed up when I went for a mounted triangle.  Then I was on the bottom for the remainder.  I ended up in the torque sweep position a couple times but couldn't seal the deal.  He knows what I'm trying to do because Greg has been doing it a lot lately.  One thing that he did was to use a brabo grip to pass my guard in place of the underhook because he said that it is difficult to get the underhook against me.  I'm having a hard time remembering what submissions that he got on me.  I know one was an americana that he hit during a scramble where I made a huge mistake of pulling his arm up over my head. 

Dwight:  He doesn't bring his gi to open mat to I went no gi with him.  I was a little concerned that I'd have a hard time with him but it turned out not being that bad. We rolled for a good 20 minutes.  I usually started in butterfly on the bottom and there was also a lot of half guard.  I mostly dominated the matches or at least kept him out of good positions.

Ben: He was having calf cramps and looked tired.  I guess Bauer gave him a run for his money and sucked out some of his soul.  I mostly played guard until I could sweep.  I was a little lackluster and he was able to pass my guard a few times and I eventually got back to guard.  I eventually caught him with the omoplata using the new finish trick. 

Fuji: He asked me if I wanted to roll or do the side control stuff and I just said roll.  I was way too sloppy and loose while trying to setup my cross guard omoplata and he stacked and I gave up guard.  He worked his way to the brabo (which translates to mean) and after several feeble attempts to escape he finally choked me.  We discussed my guard and got Mike involved a little bit in discussing my options and how to deal with Fuji's attack.  The baratoplata seems like a pretty good option but I also need to not be so sloppy with my technique.  

Mike:  He drilled some berimbolo stuff before we rolled and it was very technical.  He was able to pull it off during our roll as well.  Somehow I was eventually in the guard passing position on top.  I made it to quarter guard and did a rolling back take but only went to side control.  I went for another rolling back take and finally succeeded in somewhat taking his back.  I attacked bow and arrow and then armbar.  I made it to mount and started to work toward the baratoplata and we had a little laugh when he realized what I was trying to do.  Somehow from there I ended up putting him in an inverted triangle (inverted isn't the right word but I'm not sure of the triangles name where your body is above and behind them).  I tried to make it tighter but was unable eventually I trapped one of his arms in a kimura and got the tap.  We went over the rolling back take and he gave me some pointers on going to the truck position. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

February 8th 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: No Mind

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Half Guard Pass, Turtle Escape - Granby Roll
Partnered and Rolled With: Josh (New), Jeff, Zack, Anthony, Conan, Bhuvana, Greg

I had a little trouble with this half guard pass on Tuesday.  During drilling it was fine but during rolling I didn't feel like my foot could get on their thigh to push down for the initial knee slide.  Friday I did feel better about it and figured out my major problem was keeping good pressure on their thigh and moving my hips way to the side.  Previously I thought we were doing more of the tripod pass during this week of the curriculum but Greg seems to favor this one.

Zack manufactured a friendly rivalry between us during the teaching portion of Friday's class.  He made a comment while Greg was teaching the granby that I was getting the better of him while rolling from the turtle and asked some specific questions on how to make the roll work.  I was a little flattered but played it off by saying that it helps that I knew the technique he was going to try.  He also requested that Greg put me with him during the turtle portion again.

Greg is preparing for Pan Ams and asked Zack and I to shark tank him.  We did 4 x 6 minute rounds alternating with little rest in between for Greg.  I decided to take a really aggressive mindset and throw caution to the wind and just attack at a fast pace.  I feel this did a couple things for me.  First I turned my brain off and didn't over think things.  I just kept trying to move and insist on whatever I wanted.  Next I went for things that I don't normally go for like ankle locks.  I don't know how much Greg got out of it but I got a lot and I hope we do it more often in the coming weeks.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Fuji, Jeff, Mike (Tumbleweed), Brian (AF), Bhuvana

Had some good rolls on Saturday and I felt faster than usual.  I think the tournament prep for Greg helped me loosen up quite a bit and not think as much.

Fuji: He wanted to resume his pure side control defense that we did a while back.  Which was great for me as well but I felt a little guilty for all of the smashing that I did on him.  No fuck that, he's smashed me more than I could return the favor in the past.  I focused on my knee on belly and kept constant movement and tried to stay ahead of him.  I feel pretty good about the improvements that I made from previously. 

Jeff: I worked with him on some half guard knee shield stuff that we talked about on Friday and he seemed to take to it pretty well.  The shaolin sweep is still something I'm trying to perfect but I showed him what I knew of it.  Then just using the knee shield to kick and get the underhook was good info to share too.  We may have only rolled once but I stayed pretty light with him and after passing with a over/under he kept trying to push my head into the inverted triangle but I wouldn't allow it.  We went over setting up the kimura after that from side mount and some guard stuff too like omoplata.

Brian: He asked me if I used any tricks to remember things for my blog.  I said no it just got easier over time and I would make mental notes in class about the things that I was going to write about.  He's thinking about writing his own blog or a training log.  Our first roll went pretty quickly and I caught him with an wristlock after an omoplata sweep.  Then he jumped around me and on my back and almost got me with a bow and arrow.  I grabbed my own gi and held it away from my neck and weathered the storm.  I told him after the roll that he should have went for the armbar because my arm was in the right position but he had tunnel vision for the choke.  After getting out of the choke I recovered deep half and swept to side control.  I worked my way to north/south choke but he had a hand in.  I started to work back to side control when he made a huge attempt to escape and brought his hand out.  I went right back into the north/south and finished it.   

Mike: We did some barato plata work but I didn't feel great about it.  I'll have to review some more info.  However, I felt great going up against Mike rolling-wise and I attribute this to the rolls with Greg this week too.  He was attempting to pass standing and I was all over his legs and went to deep half.  I was able to get a double unders pass and went right into side control.  From there I worked for the kimura but settled on the armbar.  John made a comment that he'd never seen Mike submitted before and was surprised that it happened.  Mike said something like he's never seen him go against someone better before to which I said thank you!  In our second roll I started dominating as well.  I prevented some ankle locks and worked my way to a north/south choke but Mike timed his escape well.  He submitted me with something but I don't recall what.

Bhuvana: I attempted an omoplata on her first off and she defended it well with posture.  I went for a triangle instead and she kind of pulled me into mount to escape it.  Somehow I made my way to her back and she panicked a little bit and looked like she was preparing to tap.  I talked her through the escape and tried to calm her down a bit.  I then had her work to submit me with an americana from mount.  We went over the back mount escape and found some solace in realizing that she wanted to escape toward the underhook side.

Esteemed Collegues and Honorable Mentions:

A few of our guys competed last week in Circle of Iron and all placed.  Mike took 2 silvers, Jerad took silver and bronze, and Brian took silver.  Great job guys, way to represent!  There would have probably been more hardware but there was a pretty bad snow storm.

Ray returned for a few classes this week and his ankle seems to be treating him well so far.  It was awesome to see him back and hopefully he returns to full strength soon.

Henry had an exciting grappling match Saturday night in Missouri.  Henry dominates the match but it must have been submission only because they call it a draw: Grappling Match

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 1st 2015 - Weekly Review

Focus of the Week: Maintaining Half Guard Frame and No Inches Given

Theme & Techniques
Beginner/All Levels: Standing Guillotine Defense, Bottom Half Guard to Back or Full Guard Recover
Partnered and Rolled With: Brian (Backdraft), Bhuvana, Harvey, Austin, Zack, Greg, Conan, Anthony

It is kind of weird to work with people that aren't familiar with the position and don't realize how important the underhook and the whizzer are.  I remember it being a huge epiphany at the time and for quite a while everything was about the underhook.

Greg was having us push them forward with our back leg once we had the seat belt grip to knock them over before getting the hooks in.  I don't recall if we did it this way last time or just pulled them to the side, but I do like this.  For the guard recovery he shared another tidbit that when switching the feet we could put them together instead of crossing them.  I was getting my feet tied up during that part so it helped.

During Rolling Greg surprised me with some tricks from bottom half guard to acquire the underhook.  He was using the twist sweep as a way to open me up to base out.  Then he was moving right into the torque sweep.  I didn't feel like I had a chance of keeping him from getting the underhook.

Brian helped me work out the torque sweep under Greg's supervision a little after class Tuesday.  I was missing a couple of things that make it immensely easier.  Grabbing the leg and stiff-arming the knee is a necessity and then doing a roll over the head like the kesa getami escape is also very helpful.

I have a note not to mention submitting Conan with a north/south choke on Friday ;). I think I'm breaking through to the point where he'll take me more seriously.  In our second roll he went more on the offensive.  I made it to x-guard but he had his knee on the ground and I couldn't do anything about it.  Greg gave me some pointers the following day.

Advanced: Alternatives to Triangle - Armbar, Twisting Armlock, Americana, Stacked Armbar
Partnered and Rolled With: Adam, Conan, Jerad, Gina, Sara, Jordan

Adam and I were pretty okay with this class since we normally don't get the triangle anyway these were options for us.  Conan received a crash course on the techniques before Greg left for the night.  I kind of wish we had gone over the barato plata but I know that wasn't on the agenda.

We did some guard king of the mat which I always enjoy.  I was really impressed with Jordan's guard.  He was relentless with his grips and his push/pull felt strong.  Hopefully he feels like he's back at 100% since his injury.  I had a couple of wars with Adam.  I came so close to passing his guard but he was able to get to his knees and double leg me.  It's good because it makes our technique better but it can also be frustrating.

I got very close to sweeping Conan.  I threw out a lot of tricks attempted scissor sweep went for omoplata, he defended and then I went for it again and I started doing the new submission setup but somehow he got free.  At one point I attempted to do the back roll escape when he stacked me but it failed.  I think I need to drill this again as it seems to be the thing that makes me fail the most.  I also think I need to be a little more rough with this submission when I attempt it on someone standing.  I go too easy and am not acting confident enough in it.