Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June 30th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Students: Ben, Robert, Shane

Small class today, people must be on vacation.  I added a couple things to the warm-up like the sit out, the armbar from guard drill, and a side control pressure drill. 

The teaching portion was a blur.  I imagined teaching stuff much better in my head but I pretty much got to the point and went over each technique a couple times.  The couple things to note:

  • During the throw pull their head forward don't push their hips away by pushing on their shoulder with you elbow
  • For me the fight for the standing guard break is mostly in getting the initial grip, once that is done I have practiced the technique enough that it's automatic
  • Once you've broken the guard your elbow placement is very important.  I like to place them down by the opponents calf or under their shin bone to keep the legs from getting into omoplata position or spider guard
  • Don't be concerned if you have to try the torreando pass several times going back and forth

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

I did my best from the top to do the guard break and pass that we worked on.  I pulled it off a couple times but ended up knee sliding instead of torreando.  From the bottom I helped Shane through some things like letting him know he didn't want to lift his leg on my free arm side first.  In the end I talked him through the complete guard break and pass with a little more resistance than drilling.

Office Hours Partner: Robert

After class we went over setting up the hip bump a little bit because both Ben and Shane had attempted it.  I showed them that there was a back take there for the person on top if the timing wasn't right.

When going with Robert I felt pretty sluggish.  I'm still not 100% so I played pretty passive and I'm just not good enough to do that with him.  His pressure was able to break through some of the frames that I made and then I couldn't regain any space.  I did a couple good things using deep half but still was never able to fully sweep.  There was one point when he was going for a head and arm choke from half guard and I regained full guard to escape it.  I kind of felt like I was beat mentally before we started which is never good, but it was good to get a roll in with a fellow advanced person.  Hopefully my body feels 100% again soon.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura 

Rolling/Game: Guard Positional Sparring

I helped teach today along side Jerad.  First class was only 1 but her brother was there and helped with some of the games and techniques.  Jerad had them work on the arm drag which I think should be added to the kids curriculum it plays into so many of the games they play in class like flag tag and sumo.

My boys did great today.  Jayden was still a little behind on some of the floor stuff.  They both seemed to have picked up on the hip bump the kimura still has a few problems, mostly with securing the grips.  Rolling is still not strong for either of them, but I'm seeing them try things that they've learned.  They're also figuring out how to maintain position.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Conan, Austin, Jerad, Jordan, Caroline
Game Plan: Bottom - Deep Half, Shaolin Sweep, Top - Spiral Armbar

Conan: We rolled 2 or 3 times.  I don't remember too much about it besides trying my best to keep him from passing and then trying to defend from side control.  He caught me with an americana and probably something else. 

Austin: I went to deep half a couple times while we were rolling and showed him some of the basics of the position afterward.  One of the difficult things to explain about the deep half guard is that you want to have your back flat on the floor, instead of turned like you would escaping side control you keep both knees up with feet on the floor.

Jerad: It was good to get some rolls in with Jerad again, it's been a while.  He caught me a couple times once with a cross collar from mount and the other was a triangle from mount.  I did have some time on top and attacked from side control and mount.  I thought I had a decent ezekiel at one point but I found out later that it was more of a wind choke, I think I need to research this choke a little more.  He eventually reversed me and got out of it.  The highlight of our roll was when I took his back after a leg drag pass.  I hooked up a collar grip for a bow and arrow and kept trying to tighten it.  We did some hand fighting and rolled over and as we did I secured the other collar grip.  I tightened the choke and eventually I started to hear him gargle a bit.  I asked him if he was okay, but he made the snoring sound and he was out.  I scooted out from underneath him and made sure he was okay until he came to a couple seconds later.  Haven't had that happen before.

Jordan: I worked some half and deep half and some cross guard with him.  I had a little success with the shaolin sweep.  I think my new over commit setup is working pretty well.  After rolling a few times we talked about grip fighting from butterfly guard and my goals when passing.  We went over the leg drag and then some of the cross guard stuff that I've been working on.  One thing that seemed to help was he was kind of pushing away when attempting the omoplata instead of rotating himself around my leg. 

Caroline: She was a little more difficult to deal with than usual.  She almost took my back as I had to turtle up.  She attempted to pull me up by my collar and then slap on an RNC which I think was an interesting idea and reminded me of the north/south backtake that I've been working on.  I think if she would have done the same thing but put a hook in and fell to the side she would have had me. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

June 26th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard, Hip Bump to Triangle
Students: Zack, Dave, Josh, Roland, Mike (new)

Taught again this morning and everything went well.  I decided to add the sitout to the end of the warm-ups just to do something a little different.  We worked on the techniques and everyone did fine with having to make some of the same corrections from Tuesday.  One thing I would suggest to everyone is to try to always get up with the technical stand-up.

With it being a all levels class I had everyone work on the contingent of when they stop your hip bump and then they stop your kimura and finally you get the hip bump.  This is the way I usually use these techniques. 

Rolling: Free Rolling (3 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Dave, Josh, Roland

I had them do a few rounds of guard position because Mike had to leave early and we ended up with even partners.  After that I had us rotate with 4 minute rounds of regular rolling.  I feel like the rust is finally coming off from my 2 weeks of inactivity.  Probably shouldn't be too surprised, I've been consistently attending classes for quite a while.  I played butterfly or half guard from the bottom until I could sweep and then played lightly on the top to work more on transitioning smoothly.  A couple of techniques that I'm happy with hitting were a waiter sweep and a shaolin sweep that was a little sloppy but felt worked.

Office Hours Partner: Zack, Josh

Zack and Josh rolled a few times and Zack was giving him pointers and answering his questions.  I rolled with Josh a bit and then we went over how to put pressure from top side control and some attacking options from there.  He asked about developing his game and both Zack and I agreed to let it just happen naturally. 

Zack was laying complements about my skill level on pretty thick.  For those that know me I'm terrible at accepting compliments, plus I kind of feel like in many ways Zack is just as good or better than me in several aspects of Jiu-Jitsu.  I got some other compliments about my teaching and Dave made the comment of how having different teachers can give more perspective on the same technique. 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

June 24th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard, Hip Bump to Triangle
Partner: Harvey

Small turnout today but we got some work done.  Mike taught and had us do a grip fighting drill as part of the warm-up.  There were a couple of times when it wasn't clear to me who had the better grips but it was a good exercise all the same.

He taught well and with confidence as I would expect him to.  With the first 2 techniques I mostly focused on getting up quickly and the timing of it.  I've come to the conclusion that this is a difficult technique to drill because you need to depend on your partners reaction to get the best hip bump but if they already know what you're going to do it kind of takes the surprise away.  The triangle setup was pretty slick though I found that I gravitated to just going to the omoplata.

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

Rolling was fine today, just a couple of uncomfortable spots with my feet and elbows that I had to endure.  I attempted a couple of the techniques today, but didn't finish them.  I ended up in a weird omoplata position with Jordan where he was kind of sitting and I worked back and forth on the omoplata and the triangle.  Eventually it worked itself into a sweep but he did a good job defending until the end.

I ended up in some deep half situations with Mike.  I didn't feel up to our usual caliber of roll and I think he recognized that and took it easy on me.  I did sweep him with DH and ended up in double unders.  I didn't feel like I was going to pass and as I was transitioning into a single under pass he pulled me into a triangle.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We talked about some deep half stuff and some wrist locks, but didn't roll any further.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

June 23nd 2015 - Gi Beginner (First Adult Teaching Gig)

Today I taught my first official adult class at LBJJC.  I think it went well, at least I didn't have any complaints.  It all felt pretty natural as I used to teach Hapkido (martial art) before I started BJJ and I've attended my fair share of beginner classes.  I'm just coming off of a 2 week break due to the new gout medication I've been taking.  Hopefully the worst is behind me and I'll be back to 100% soon.

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard
Students: Robert, Bhuvana, Sam, Harvey, Grant, Jerad, Shane

I pretty much ran the class as I perceive Greg to do it.  There were 2 students that I wasn't familiar with but they both seemed like cool guys.  I thought about adding in some extra exercises to keep people on their toes but I might save them for Friday morning.

Only a couple students had very minor problems with the technical standup mostly having to do with placement of the foot during the standup and figuring out how to kick with the foot turned sidewise instead of with the toes up.  I didn't really keep track of time but it just kind of felt like everyone had worked on the technique enough and got it.

I might not have taught the hip bump in the most optimum way in the beginning.  I have to think about the best angle to show everyone the technique but I got around to all sides eventually.  Common corrections I had to make with this technique were:
  1. It's much better if you can get all the way to they hand
  2. The leg on the side you are going to sweep to must drop to the floor
  3. Bring the other foot close to your butt and point your knee straight up
 I was a little unsure how Greg taught the kimura.  If he grabbed the wrist first or if he got up like the hip bump and then grabbed the wrist.  It's correct either way, I just went right for the wrist for the purposes of the technique.  Common corrections to this technique were:
  1. No thumbs, once you make the figure 4 grip
  2. When you lay to your back bring your leg across their back to make the 90 degree angle with your opponent.  
  3. Hold their arm tight to your chest and rotate your body to finish, don't push their arms away from you.

Rolling: Guard Position (6 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Harvey, Grant, Bhuvana

With an odd number of students I got to partner up and play too.  Since I didn't know the new guys too well I thought it best not to put them together and did my best to strategically match up partners.  I think it went well.  I didn't fight too hard myself, I went for the techniques that we practiced but didn't want to push myself after the layoff.  I talked Grant through some things and let him know a couple times that he didn't want to do certain things.  Bhuvana was attempting the omoplata today and was happy with making some progress on that technique.   

Office Hours Partner: Bhuvana, Harvey

We went over the omoplata a couple times from cross guard.  The main ingredient she was missing was to punch my arm into her hip during the transition.  She felt super stoked that the technique seemed to come natural to her.  She also worked the tozi pass a little bit but I'm not proficient in this pass yet and didn't have much advice to give besides she needed to pin my leg more.

Harvey asked about the hip bump and why it didn't seem like he could do it to anyone.  I tried to explain that it was a difficult sweep and timing and explosiveness was a huge part of it.   We worked on being more efficient in getting up to his hand and that seemed to help.

All in all a successful first class.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

June 9th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: RNC Defense O-Soto Gari, Basic Back Mount Escape, RNC from Back Mount
Partner: Bhuvana

My knee has been bothering me just slightly the last couple of days so I took it a little easy today.  Not a big deal but I want to make sure it doesn't turn into something.  I think it's just bruised and I may have caught an elbow or knee defending guard passes.

The main pointers that came up during training:

With the standing RNC:
  • When you are being pulled back go with it a little bit.  Bhuvana made it a little worse on herself trying to stand back up straight
  • Don't try to pull the choking arm down or away from your neck, instead hold the choking arm against your body
  • Use going with the choke into your turn, remember you have to drive the bus and get their shoulder down
Back Mount:
  • Head position is so important for both offense and defense.  
  • I always start my escape by putting my head to the side I want to escape or if I'm on the back I'm putting my chin on their shoulder and going cheek to cheek.
  • Something that I learned today was that the harness is more important than hooks.  It's okay to let a hook go to push on the floor to shrimp or to help move your partner to the other side.

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

Rounds seemed to go by too fast today.  I escaped a few times from back mount using the escape that we learned.  From the back I didn't go for collar grips and just hunted for the RNC.  Bhuvana was able to get to get to her back but I went into mount, probably should have reset so she could get more practice escaping back mount but we usually say keep fighting from mount and side control.  I got to choke position a few times on Grant but never finished the choke, he must have panicked a bit because he tapped before it was sunk. I walked him through the escape during our last go.

Office Hours Partner: Zack, Mike

Mike discussed controlling the back and how it's okay to let a hook go in order to move the hips or turn the person to the other side.  This helped as I feel like lately I've held onto my hooks no matter what until they escape.  This is something I think I knew but didn't pay as much attention to it as I should.  We'll see how well back mount goes the rest of the week. 

Zack and I did some closed guard sparring and it was pretty even where we both got some sweeps or passed.  I showed him some basic deep half stuff after that, similar to what I showed Ross on Saturday.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June 6th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Techniques: Double Ankle Grab Sweep, Standing Guard Break
Rolling/Game: Closed Guard Position, Sumo

My boys started going 3 times a week again and I can see some improvement already.  The warm-ups are getting a lot better and Jayden completed the front shrimps down the floor for the first time.  They were also doing better with the techniques since we worked on them throughout the week.  They both get a little upset when they lose, I just wish I could get across that they're improving and practicing the moves is making a difference.  I'd just like to see a little more aggression from Jayden when rolling.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Henry, Greg, Adam, Ross
Game Plan: Bottom - Deep Half, Top - Spiral Armbar

Henry: Had some success with Henry.  I got a few sweeps and had some top positions that I usually don't complete with him.  The technique that I'm most happy about was a waiter sweep that I hit.  However, he used my gi against me proficiently and caught me with a couple brabo type choke.  The major thing that I need to take away is holding a wrestler down in side control.  If I give Henry, Adam, Robert, and others any room to turn over in side control they're going to get up and reverse the position on me. 

Greg: I had some good moments rolling with him for once.  Not sure if it was because Mike was watching and giving me some encouragement.  I did some good guard recovery utilizing a deep collar grip and some fancy leg work.  He setup the side control transition to triangle a couple times but ended up finishing with the spiral armbar.  He also submitted me with a brabo arm in choke. 

Adam: I passed his guard and I swept him once!  Doesn't happen often so I'm happy to report it.  He played some spider guard to pretty good effect but we still ended up in half guard.  I passed from there.  I wasn't on top long though and eventually ended up back in guard and then into half guard.  Like always I ended up in bottom side control and we had our usual he switches from side to side, I work like hell to keep my elbows in until he gets a kimura.  He keeps asking me when I'm training because he wants to roll with me more.  I really don't feel like I do well against him besides a few things.

Ross: Had some good rolls with Ross.  He caught me by surprise at one point.  After I went to all the trouble of getting to mount and then doing a rolling back take and then attacking for an RNC he switched sides and then caught my feet with his.  I was pretty conscientious of crossing my feet but they must have just crossed for a moment in transition and he got it.  I did better in the following rolls and in the end caught a spiral armbar.  I did almost get stacked and Greg said I should grab their leg before completing the armbar.  By Jove, I think I'm figuring out the spiral armbar.  It's a great addition to my mount.  I went over some deep half basics with Ross as he was interested.  We covered posture, hiding the inside arm, and the homer simpson sweep.

Friday, June 5, 2015

June 5th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

Double leg has been feeling good all week.  I just need to build up the confidence to use it in rolling.  During one of the mount escapes, Ross's elbow was pointed just right in my thigh and gave me a bit of a charlie horse.  Still feeling it a bit.

Greg had us only do the alternate version of the choke with one hand in the collar and the other hand on the shoulder.  This was pretty brutal because in order to get under the jaw we would start with our elbow against their cheek then push their face across our other arm.  This felt pretty solid or at least more usable than any other cross collar choke that I've attempted.

Rolling: Mount Position (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Ross, Michelle, Zack, Conan, Dave

Alas I didn't pull off any cross collar chokes during positional sparring.  People were covering up way too much.  Otherwise I was able to maintain mount and escape pretty well.  Ross kept me from submitting him from the top and I just barely escaped before the timer went off going to deep half.  Zack gave me trouble from the bottom he did a good job of escaping.  There was a visitor, Michelle, that I worked with on mount.  She asked some good questions and had a good attitude.  

Had a good roll with Conan.  It seems like for both of us we do much better against the other while passing guard rather than playing guard.  I took the bottom open guard and while I held him off for a little while but he eventually flattened me out in side control.  He attacked and finished an americana.  Our second roll I was able to attack from the top of side control until the timer went off.

I took it pretty easy on Dave and let him work a little bit.  He took my advice from last time and went right for pant grips and into a pass.  Greg and I saw that his knees were a little too close together for side control and we helped him with that a little bit.  In the end I made it to side control and attempted the transition to mounted triangle but just made it to mount.  I attempted to setup the spiral armbar but I couldn't seem to get him on his side.  I have been running into this a lot lately.

The thought crossed my mind that maybe I shouldn't allow people to pass my guard.  I don't think Greg does, as far as I know.  Am I being lazy?  Is it condescending?  Part of it is that I often want to work from bad from positions and the other part is that sometimes I feel bad if I submit someone too quickly.  That does seem condescending.  What do you guys think?  Do you have a level that you go with for each partner?  Do you sometimes give up sweeps or guard passes to training partners?

Office Hours Partner: Ross

Ross wanted to work a bit on the split pass.  He gave me a good stretch with this pass.  I worked on the spiral armbar and had him give me a little resistance.  Greg suggested I should move to a higher mount before lifting my leg up.  That seemed to help.  I also changed the direction that I was pushing them, instead of trying to lift their shoulder I would push them on their side more.  We rolled a bit no-gi and it felt pretty good even though I haven't rolled no-gi in a while.  Changing from grabbing the collars to grabbing around the neck was natural.  Many of my submissions are gone, but guillotines seemed more accessible.  

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

June 3rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg Takedown, Mount Upa Escape, Cross Collar Choke from Mount
Partner: Mike (Lawyer), Jordan

There were 5 of us today and class seemed to fly by.  My double leg felt pretty good with people my size.  Still focusing on the penetration step and knee.  Turning the corner felt fine.  Greg had us do the overhand grip for the cross collar choke as well as the standard way.  It is a different feeling and you have to angle the forearms to still get under the jaw.  I showed Mike and Jordan the technique of getting offline to get your second grip on the choke and they seemed to get results from it.

Rolling: Mount Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Jordan, Josh (Beard), Austin

I attempted some cross collar chokes but was fended off of that particular sub.  I was very happy to hit a spiral armbar today that I setup from mount.  Also some NS chokes, some ezekiels, a baseball bat and a regular armbar.  After writing that out it seems like there were much more than I thought and now I'm bragging. 

Jordan did a great job with insisting on recovering guard.  I was impressed with his leg movement.  He even did a decent butterfly sweep.  I'll have to start taking him a little more seriously. 

Had some deep half success today.  Several times lately I've been going to the position and my partner will give his base up right away.  At first it was a little off putting because I want to work on specific things, but since I've taken a stance on flowing through the position just trying to sweep with any means necessary, it's been a learning experience.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2nd 2015 - Gi Beginner

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

Worked with a really young new guy today.  I believe he said he was just getting out of 9th grade.  Good on him for starting so young, hopefully he sticks with it.  Too bad he had to be paired with big old me.  I was pretty nice to him.

For my double leg I felt like I wasn't doing my penetration step well and kind of just going straight down to my knee.  Could be because of our size difference.

For the mount Greg mentioned to prevent the grapevine it's a good idea to at least have one leg straight.  I'm pretty mindful of grapevines and will often step on their heel if someone tries to do it.  The worst grapevine I was in recently was with Ty and I've been pretty watchful for them since then.

The recent additional details to the guard cross collar choke apply here as well to get good grips.  It was much easier to get my second grip if I lined up my arm with my shoulder and do the princes wave to get it in.  A couple problems that Grant had were common.  He wasn't rowing or pulling his elbows back like he should which put more pressure on my collar bone rather than my neck.  Once he started crunching up and getting the deepest grip he did fine.  I also emphasized choking with percentages.  Once you get your grips, start off with 30%, then go up 10% steadily.  This should mess with your opponents head because it should steadily get worse and they shouldn't get the feeling that they weathered the storm but instead that it will never get better.

Rolling: Mount Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Grant, Ben, Zack

With Grant I worked in the techniques that we worked on in class as much as I could.  During the last seconds of our rolls I talked him through completing the techniques himself.  Hopefully I wasn't being too heavy for him.

Ben is back and seemed to be in good spirits and completely healed without having to go through surgery.  It was in my head a little bit that I didn't want to hurt him again but once we started rolling it was business as usual.  He was a little rusty which is to be expected.  I went over how I view mount and gave him some pointers on what I try to do and how I prevent being rolled over.  From the top I keep my shoulders back.  I'm looking to get their elbow away from their body.  If I separate their elbow from their body then I'm going for americana or armbar.  If they turn I'm trying to get behind their elbow and work for an gift wrap or collar grip.  If they completely shut down all my attacks and have their arms well hidden, it usually opens up the ezekiel or mounted triangle.  My new addition will hopefully be the spiral armbar when I get their hand on my hip, but I've had some trouble getting to the position when I insist on it. 

Office Hours Partner: Zack

I rolled with Zack at the end and after class.  Had some success with him today but like usual he's difficult to deal with.  He's gotten a lot better at butterfly guard but I realized that when I've been trying to pass it I'm usually kneeling so I've decided to start standing passing with him.  Still had to work hard but I eventually get by.  Once I got passed I still had trouble because he did a good of controlling my sleeves to keep me from sinking into position.  We spent some time in half guard and I was trying to setup the shaolin sweep but he was telling me to keep going in the setup direction, where I was hoping he was going to push back into the sweep.  It gave me the idea that one of the reasons that I fail at this sweep is because I'm not making the other person want to push back because they're not worried about being swept.  I had a pretty good transition from turtle to back mount, the getting the bottom hook as a priority has been helping a lot lately.  I also played some mount and attacked an ezekiel and a kimura that changed into an armbar.

All in all I felt like I controlled the roll mostly today which is not always the case.  We talked a lot about each others games and how we're going about learning this Jiu-Jitsu stuff.  He commented that he likes how I move a lot and don't really stall.  I kind of boil that down to my motto of no regrets in BJJ.  I remember times of seeing a move that I could do, but being afraid to try it because I didn't want to give up position and lose.  Now I pretty much try anything that comes to mind during a roll in class.  I learn a lot more by trying things and failing rather than just holding a position until time runs out.  Of course I'll probably more conservative in a tournament or self defense situation and go for my tried and true A-game.