Friday, July 31, 2015

July 31st 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Back Mount Wing Choke & Bow and Arrow
Partner: Zack

Conan had us focus more on the kuzushi when doing the throw.  I still don't feel like I'm able to make it work that well.  Like I always say, I do the throws well but it's setting them up that doesn't seem to come together.  Nothing new to say about the chokes.

Rolling: Back Mount (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Zack, Dave, Ross

Zack kicked my butt from the back.  I tried my normal escape stuff and even felt like I was getting him off of my collar but he would find a way to turn it into a tight choke.  This was making me a little perturbed, but I'm glad that another hole in my game has been exposed.  I didn't do much better on his back and I never really feel good about starting this way.

Dave had very strong back control.  I had heard people say that he was very strong but never really felt it until today.  He just kind of latched onto my back and I had to work really hard to move.  Once I did escape the back but he ended up with side control.  Dave is definitely getting better.

Ross gave me a tough roll and jumped on me right away.  He was trying pretty hard to get the darce but I was able to get a 2 on 1 position out of it and went to take his back.  He allowed the sweep to prevent that and I stood and went right into an x-pass and then knee on belly.  Conan said something like "Hey Ross, you know Josh just did a 7 point move on you."  There was another point when I was attempting lasso to turtle to omoplata.  But he grabbed my free leg to prevent me from going to turtle.  Conan went over dealing with the lasso a little after our roll.

Office Hours Partner: Zack, Greg

We went over defending the bow and arrow a little bit that he caught me with during rolling.  When getting my hips down to the side to escape I was going over his forearm which made the choke better for him. 

I went over a spider guard pass with Conan and Greg.  It seemed to be pretty cool when I saw it in the video below but Greg was concerned about freeing the outside arm.  It's pretty unconventional, hopefully I can make it work.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July 29th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Back Mount Wing Choke & Bow and Arrow
Partner: Kat, Morgan

Couple things to mention on the bow and arrow.  I have been trying to stay up but Greg specifically mentioned to fall on your side.  I asked him about it and it has a lot to do with compressing their defending arm.  It also allowed for the leg to push their hip better. 

The other part was the use of the wrist on the choking arm.  I find it's much better to have a strong wrist and flex it away with the fishing pole cast motion right from the start.  If the wrist is bent it takes pressure off of the neck.

Rolling: Back Mount (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (3 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Kat, Ross, Jordan, Morgan, Greg

Some great rolling today.  I'm continuing my quest to be insistent on what I want.  Difficult to do while defending the back but when we did free rolling I felt a difference.  Jordan was a good partner to do this with as he is athletic and he has some wrestling skills.  So getting up to attack where I would usually try to lay back and pull him in is not comfortable for me.  I fought a lot more from bottom turtle which I need to get used to. 

My roll with Greg was especially tough.  Putting more energy into the roll makes things go faster and more difficult to remember.  He had me hung up with a spider hook and I couldn't get around it.  I was preventing him from getting under me pretty well but eventually I lost balance and ended up on the bottom.  He's been going for arm triangle lately and I was able to defend that but kind of got stuck there.  In the end I recovered half guard right before the buzzer.

Office Hours Partner: Kat, Greg

I helped Kat with some things from back mount.  Like using my head position to help escape with.  Greg wanted to work on a back attack using a kimura grip to transition to an armbar. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Back Mount Wing Choke & Bow and Arrow
Partner: Robert

Greg wanted to save some extra time for the positional sparring at the end so after the floor exercises we got into the technique.  There was a new detail to the wing choke that he added this time around.  Instead of just pushing the arm up and behind their neck we would push their arm out and away in kind of a circle to make their defense weaker.  This is something that I always saw as a downside to the choke and wrote it off. 

One thing that others seemed to have a problem with on the bow and arrow was not scooting their hips to the side enough.  Once you get your collar grip and the pant grip move your feet and bump your hips over so you're lined up like you're doing an armbar.  One thing that Robert had trouble with was people on top of his leg and I showed him to roll them forward to free your leg and then complete the choke.

Rolling: 10 Minute Defensive Position Drill (2 x 10 min)
Rolled With: Robert

We did the 8 minute drill of 2 minute rounds with one person on the bottom of Back Mount, Mount, Side Mount, Turtle and then added an extra round for back mount.  I started on the offensive side first and did pretty well in both areas.  I was glad to be working with Robert because I think we challenge each other pretty well.  Not too many things of note.  I felt a little better about my top game and holding positions on him.  On the flip side he put me into trouble more than once but I also escaped a few times.  

Office Hours Partner: Robert

We did two 5 minute rounds of rolling.  I was trying very hard to be more assertive and aggressive.  I think this helped a lot at a couple of points where I usually would have laid back instead of getting up.  I was actually able to complete a legit sweep on him and was happy about it.  In our second round Greg wanted me to start from single leg x.  I didn't feel strong in this position at all but it was more to help Robert learn to deal with it.  At the end I asked Greg about it and saw him do the position.  I realized that he was raising his upper back a lot more than I was and he had the top person's shin in his armpit rather than on the hip.  It made all of the difference for this position. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July 26th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class Technique: Half Guard Back Take 

Rolling/Game: Half Guard Position, Sumo

Jayden seemed a little sluggish today but made it through the class fine.  They both did a lot better today with the back take than on Wednesday.  It did seem like a lot of steps.  Probably the biggest detail that I helped the class with today was to use the underhook to get under their armpit and shrug them up a little more. 

During rolling I noticed quite a few kids had trouble with keeping their opponent's leg in the half guard.  It's a common problem for adults as well.  During sumo I saw some good match-ups and the kids attempting a lot of cool throws.  I'm still amazed at how the kids seem to be willing to attempt more techniques in stand-up than I see adults do. 

Open Mat
Rolled With: Henry, Greg, Dave M, Jordan, Bhuvana, Alejandro
Game Plan: Deep Half, Insisting on what I want

Henry: We started off with some deep half stuff and he seemed to have some light bulb moments.  We've also been working on a type of shin sweep that he showed me a few days ago.  Henry kicked my butt pretty thoroughly when we started rolling.  I don't think played really any offense with him.  

Greg: I don't think I did anything well against Greg either.  He did give me a good piece of advice though.  He pointed out that often I will not work too hard to prevent transition to mount in hopes of catching people in half guard.  He said that he knew because he used to do it and Tinguinha would yell at him about it, so he was passing it on.

Dave: We had a pretty good roll.  I started in butterfly and ended up pulling him into full.  He was pretty grounded and difficult to move from there.  I attempted to go to cross guard a couple times but he was able to smash it.  Eventually with some work I was able to displace his weight a bit with a scissor sweep.

Jordan: He gave me a run for my money today.  I spent a lot of time in his side control and had to scramble quite a bit to avoid submissions.  He even made me go to turtle to attempt to escape.  Eventually I recovered half guard and did my best to not let it go. 

Bhuvana: She just wanted to work on the omoplata from cross guard.  Had a few bumps along the way that we had to iron out.  The most important thing was that she wasn't raising her hips and instead pushing me away.  Once that got a little better the sweep came pretty easily. 

Alejandro: I didn't feel like I had anything for him today.  I don't remember much about our roll except that I didn't feel like I could do anything to him.  The cool thing was that he showed me some of his deep half.  He likes to go right to the waiter sweep and then to x-guard.  I really like this as an alternative to when I can't sweep from the waiter.  When we were sitting around talking after open mat, Alejandro made the comment that he didn't see me taking a rest in between rolls.  It's true I try to use every moment of open mat that I can and not take too many breaks.  Greg kind of took it a different way and said that when I roll I keep an even level of energy throughout my rolls.  I start relaxed and keep the same level throughout.  Not sure if this is good or bad, because I have been wanting to be more aggressive lately but may not be accomplishing that goal yet.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Armbar, Turtle Turnover to Side Mount & Back Mount
Partner: Zack

Not much to report on this portion of the class.  During the demonstration of the judo turnover Conan showed that in no-gi you can put your fingers in their hip flexor and being the demonstratee it surprised me a little bit when he jammed his fingers in my hip.

I felt pretty good about my sliding under and getting my hook in for that portion. It's something that I've been working on lately while acquiring back mount.

Rolling: Turtle Position (4 x 2 min), Side Control(2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Zack, Jordan, Ben, Grant

Had some good rolling.  Everyone that I rolled with did some good things.  From the top I do well but on the bottom, I really need to act quickly because it really only gets worse.  Zack is tough in turtle and I always have to worry about my collar with him.  Jordan made it pretty difficult to pass his guard.  He did a great job at keeping my hips down in side control.  I went over passing from transitioning from side control to mount with Ben and showed him some ways to prevent me from catching half guard in the transition. 

Office Hours Partner: Conan, Zack

Conan rolled with both Zack and I twice.  While he did get winded a few times, he was still kicking our asses.  Zack seemed to fair better than me but I had some good moments.  When I asked Conan if he had seen anything that could be improved in my rolling, he just said that I need to insist on what I want more.  This is something I struggle with still.  How much effort do I need to put into a certain technique or position before I go for something else.   We talked about dealing with top half guard when they have the underhook. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

July 22nd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Armbar, Turtle Turnover to Side Mount & Back Mount
Partner: Jordan

Only had a few tips for Jordan today. 
  • Emphasis on pulling the shoulder back when escaping the headlock
  • If you're pulling to side control it's better to let go of the sleeve on the second pull.
  • When getting the bottom hook in just roll them a little bit to point your knee at like 45 degrees.  So when you go to put your hook in they almost fall back down to the floor on the correct side. 

Rolling: Turtle Position (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Jordan, Ben, Austin, Will, Ross

It felt pretty hot during rolling and I had a tough time with cardio.  I attempted a granby with everyone I rolled in turtle with at least once.  I'm way more successful if I attempt it right at the beginning.  I did feel in danger a couple times and had to bide my time until I could find a reasonable escape.  From the top I attempted to get my hook in for the rolling back take.  I came close a couple times but never committed to a roll. 

During free rolling Will and I pretty much stalemated.  I started down in guard and eventually went to full guard.  He kept a good base and attacking grips and I had a few attempts at sweeps and a kimura but no position changes occurred.  Ross and I had a good roll as well.  I was a little more cautious since he rolled so well the other day. 

Office Hours Partner: Ross

He worked on the granby with rolling under himself.  We rolled a little bit no-gi and ended up in a mounted guillotine.  We talked about that for a bit and how tightening up half guard from the bottom can make it worse.  We went over the darce a little while as an option from top half.  No training tomorrow, ending a 9 day streak of training everyday. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

July 21st 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Armbar, Turtle Turnover to Side Mount & Back Mount
Partner: Bhuvana

Had a big Tuesday class with quite a few people that don't usually attend.  A couple things I noticed while doing the head lock escape.  Don't come at it with your elbow already bent to push away.  Make it more like a punch motion and go across their cheek.  Next after scooting your hips out, you have to lift your hips off the floor with both legs.  Use your raised hand to hand off their head to your leg. 

Rolling: Turtle Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Josh (Beard), Alejandro

I think some time spent on turtle may be in my future.  I know from rolling with Aquila, Adam, and Greg last week that there is more to the top position.  So I need to learn how to do those things and defend them.  Josh and Bhuvana both gave me a hard time while I was on bottom.  I was able to roll through a couple times but only if I tried it right away. 

Rolled with Alejandro again.  He swept me right from the start with de la riva right over his head.  Wow, no one else plays that.  The only thing I seem to do reasonably well against him seems to be deep half guard.  I get there I feel a little safe.  I start to sweep, but he pulls me into an armlock.  He made the comment later that deep half was one of his favorite positions so I plan to pick his brain about that.

Office Hours Partner: Alejandro, Zack, Robert

Robert wanted some 5 minute rounds so the three of us each took one.  I rolled again with Alejandro and it was more of the same.  He passed my guard quite easily with an x-pass.  I tried to push his knee away and Greg warned me to grab his sleeve instead.  I think that roll ended with a brabo choke. 

Zack just wanted me to attack his back.  I think I did a fairly good job controlling although he eventually ended up in the bottom of mount.

Had a decent roll with Robert in no-gi.  I was mostly on the bottom the whole time in some type of half guard.  Whenever I would get close to sweeping I felt like he would threaten a guillotine and slow me down and take me out of position. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20th 2015 - Gi Advanced & Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Rolling Back Take
Partner: Jordan, Jerad

This will be my last evening class for a while so I figured I'd do both of them to finish off my tough week of training.  Greg took my suggestion from earlier in the day to heart and we worked on some back take stuff.  I agree with him that doing the rolling back take from quarter guard is a great way to learn it.  It's the way I have the most success with using it during rolling anyway. 

I focused mainly on grabbing the foot during the roll and the switching of grips.  Sometimes I'm a bit lazy and don't replace the hip grips as efficiently as I think I should. 

Rolling: Quarter Guard Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (3 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Jerad, Henry, Alejandro, Gina, Jordan

Rolling starting from quarter guard was difficult.  Sometimes when we start from an advantageous position I feel a little guilt that I have the upper hand and give the other person the first move.  This will get me into trouble.  If I got there during the course of a roll I feel like I'll fight harder to keep the position.  Regardless I had some success even attempting the rolling back take a few times.  From the bottom, I had some success with getting to deep half.

I got to roll with our new brown belt, Alejandro for the first time.  It was very interesting.  I didn't feel much resistance to start with, he more like led me down a path kind of making me put myself into trouble.  I was able to go to deep half a couple times to escape.  I attempted a sweep and thought I might succeed but he was able to beat my grip and put me into a triangle.  The other thing that I noticed was that he controlled my knee quite a bit in side control, instead of going for the underhook.  I hope to roll with him more in the future.

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Armbar, Turtle Turnover to Side Mount & Back Mount
Partner: Helped teach

A couple of tips for the techinques:
  • When freeing the elbow it's okay to use your legs multiple times, also move the shoulder away underneath you instead of just spinning in place.
  • For the turn over most students didn't pull tight and down to the hip once they got the grip across the belly.  It's so important.
  • When going for backmount make sure you only roll a little bit to get the bottom hook in and then roll back to that side.  The underhook side should be the up side in back mount.

Rolling: Turtle Position (4 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Henry, Brian (Firefighter), Phil

My back attacks are feeling pretty good lately.  I feel like the concept of the bottom hook being the most important has improved my back mount exponentially lately. 

Greg worked with me a bit on attacking the turtle by getting to the crotch lock and roll as Ryan Hall teaches by grabbing the far ankle and then getting my hook in and then maneuvering their other leg into a hook.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19th 2015 - No Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Knee On Belly: Position, Farside Armbar, Escape, North/South Choke
Students: Henry, Craig, Bhuvana, Ross, Berly, John, Kyle, Shane, Moe

This was my first no-gi class to teach at LBJJC and also my largest class.  I wracked my brain for a few days trying to figure out something to teach that was no-gi specific and something that I feel like I'm good at.  I finally decided knee on belly was a good position with enough techniques to build a class around. 

I meant to teach knee on belly to mount first but for some reason it skipped my mind.  Other than that the class went pretty well.  I taught how to pop up, where to put your knee to be mean and where to put your knee to be a very mean.  Then switching sides and popping up as a bit of a warm-up exercise. 

I showed Farside Armbar as a response to them pushing with the wrong arm on the knee.  I figured the knee on belly escape was a logical next step.  As expected everyone had a little trouble regaining guard using the knee and leg over the head technique. 

Finally I saved my favorite technique for last.  I hoped it wouldn't be too difficult as I know it took me a while to figure out how to finish the choke with regularity.  I also didn't want to give to overload everyone with details.  I think I hit a good balance. 

Rolling: Knee On Belly Position (2 x 2 min), Side Control Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Everyone

This was pretty fun.  I tried to encourage everyone to attempt knee on belly and the techniques that we did today.  I tried my best to do the same and hit a few NS chokes or transitioned to mount.  I did my best to throw out pointers or coach people through bad positions. 

Office Hours Partner: Kyle, Shane, Moe

I showed some defenses for the NS choke which basically boils down to turning your head into their ribs and/or getting your hands in the way of the choke.  I also showed the guillotine follow ups that I like to do when people attempt the escapes.

Moe and I rolled a few times and then worked some more on the NS choke.  I was pleasantly surprised with his skill level since we last rolled together.  

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July 18th 2015 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Ross, Jerad, Henry, Morgan, Austin, Ben
Game Plan: Be first to act and go after what I want instead of being reactionary

Ross: He was very tough today.  Probably the most difficulty I've had rolling with him.  He was much more aggressive than I remember.  We fought quite a bit from half guard and he maintained good pressure from the top.  I made the comment that I didn't think my first roll would be so difficult.  There are mixed feeling about him moving to New York.  

Jerad: I almost got him in deep half guard.  I guess I was there but it wasn't usable to sweep from before he was back to passing.  After our first roll he insisted that I move more from bottom side control to keep my opponent from focusing all of their attention on submitting me.  Our second roll I did more of that while on the bottom.  It helped but he still submitted me eventually. 

Henry: I tried to stay on the attack more with Henry instead of my usual reactionary style.  It seemed to help a little bit and I gave him some competition.  It still puzzles me how he can stand up and knee slide out of my half guard at will.  We had a couple of interesting position changes with some rolling back take attempts.  I had to fend off his gi choke pretty seriously at one point.  In the end I was able to catch him with an omoplata.  However, not soon after in our second roll we were in half guard and attempted a kimura.  He began to posture up and I attempted the kimura back take, but somewhere in the middle he turned it into an armbar very slickly.

Morgan: He is doing very well for how new he is, very strong and has a natural ability to recover guard.  Within my guard he made a few mistakes by putting his hands up too high.  I do think he's going to get good quickly. 

Austin: Some good rolls were had between us.  He is pretty difficult to submit.  There were a couple times I felt like I had him in chokes that I should have successfully completed.  I was able to setup the spiral armbar that I've been working on though.  We worked on the technique after that and he seemed to like it. 

Ben: I made a mistake at the beginning and Ben passed my guard.  I spent ample time in his side control.  He worried me a few times as he attempted to isolate my arm.  Eventually he went to mount and I caught him in half guard during the transition.  Eventually I ended up in top quarter guard.  He had a little trouble getting out of the position.  I showed him the basic half guard recovery and it seemed to help. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

July 17th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Granby Roll from Turtle
Students: Bhuvana, Zack, Dave

I thought since it was a small all levels class I would interject a few of the advanced floor exercises.  We did butterfly guard walk, side rolls, and homer simpsons.  Everyone was able to do them as well as expected for their first time. 

Class after that went as usual, I did my best to teach the techniques as Greg does adding in a few things that I've found helpful for myself.  I showed the tripod pass last using the "taking off the skinny jeans" phrase to free the knee. 

Rolling: Half Guard (2 x 2 min), Turtle (2 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Dave

I attempted the shaolin sweep a few times and succeeded, great feeling to complete something new that I've been working on.  We took a quick break to go over regaining the underhook from half guard using the bridge over the shoulder movement.  After denying Dave the granby roll a few times I helped him roll under himself a little more and keep his outside leg out of reach. 

Office Hours Partner: Zack

We went over the shaolin sweep a few times and then did some positional rolling from half guard.  We discussed games and adjusting them for certain people.  It was an interesting conversation and it appears that we have some differences in our way of thinking. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

July 16th 2015 - Drilling Open Mat & No Gi Advanced

I'll make this post quick since I have to be up to teach in the morning.  I'm feeling pretty good after these 3 days of enhanced training.  It was great to get some no gi in as well.  

Drilling Open Mat
Partner: Henry
Techniques: Deep Half Position, Head Lock Turtle Position

Deep half felt pretty good.  The waiter sweep is being a little elusive, I thought I was getting good at it but sometimes I get stuck with it not able to complete the sweep.  I helped Henry with taking the back a bit.  Then he helped me with dealing with wrestlers a bit.  He made the comment that I was probably trying to maintain side control too long and instead sometimes it's better to accept that turtle is happening and transition to deal with that.  We went over some headlock stuff as well and I found it all very helpful. 

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard Arm Drag, Hand Fighting to Hook Sweep, Kneeling Knee Tap
Partner: Adam

I feel pretty good about my hook sweep in general, but there were times that it didn't feel right against Adam.  Not sure if it's because he's so wide or because he's heavier than most that I roll with.  The knee tap was a little difficult for me, but I think that is mostly because I wasn't hanging off my opponent like Greg told me after class. 

Rolling: Butterfly Guard (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (3 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Adam, Caroline, Henry, Mike, Greg

Had some good rolls with everyone.  I ended up in some interesting leg lock positions with Mike and after some back and forth he submitted me with a knee bar.  My roll with Greg probably stands out the most.  It's amazing how easily he was putting me into the smash pass position when I thought I was in a decent guard.  He submitted me with head and arm choke twice, not sure if that is something he's working on now or something that I'm being more susceptible to.

Office Hours Partner: Greg

I asked Greg about the underhook in butterfly guard and why people are able to stand up in my guard some times.  He helped me with some minor adjustments on the position.  One thing was that he is kind of hanging off of his opponent or falling to the side once he gets the underhook.  This is something I could feel, I'll try to replicate when I get a chance to work on the position again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 15th 2015 - Gi All Levels & Gi Advanced

Morning Class
Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Granby Roll from Turtle
Partner: Mike, Brian (Back Draft)

My lower back was a little tight this morning but felt better after the warm-up.  Had some trouble with the knee slide and I think it had mostly to do with my knee pads.  I keep forgetting to hold the sleeve.  We did some trying to power through if they got the gi grip and it was a little tough. 

Rolling: Half Guard (4 x 2 min), Turtle Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Mike, Morgan, Greg, Austin, Brian

I felt better with regaining guard or half guard from turtle rather than granby rolling.  Although I did make some attempts.  From the top I had some success with getting the bottom hook in while attempting the Judo turnover.  Mike had shown me a little trick yesterday that worked well for me where instead of placing my knee and pulling them over, I get on the toes of that foot and pull them over my leg and then the hook can pop right in. 

Office Hours Partner: Brian, Mike

I worked with Brian on the shaolin sweep variation and he seemed to like it.  Hopefully I don't share it with too many people before I get good at it.  I think I just need to get it to a point where I get my grips and then can pull them into it.

Mike and I had a conversation about position and submission and how they don't have to necessarily be separate things.  He used Greg's back control as an example how it starts as back mount position and then it just gets worse and worse until you have to tap, but there is no point where you would say okay now he's going for the choke it's more of a process.  I'll have to gather my thoughts on it more.

Theme & Techniques: Spider Guard to Single Leg X against Combat Base
Partner: Adam

It was great to get to an advanced class and work on something outside of the beginner curriculum.  Had a few problems with this at first.  To get a butterfly hook on their up leg I had to shrimp out more.  I also had some trouble getting my other leg into x-guard.  After that we would end in the split pass.

Rolling: Spider Guard (6 x 3 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Adam, Gina, Robert, Henry

Had some success with spider guard from top and trying to pass it.  I felt like a few times I was putting myself into the double ankle sweep.  Probably the best thing I did was a lasso sweep with Robert.  Mike was watching and made a comment about what Robert could have done to defend to which I said something like "come on, can't you put it in a positive way and say good job for me?"  Only joking of course.  Henry whooped my butt pretty good in free rolling. 

After class I went over a few deep half things with Henry mostly concerning hooking the foot.  He's been watching the Ryan Hall DVD so anything that I can share I will.  Hopefully I get him to help me get better at defending wrestling.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

July 14th 2015 - Gi Beginner, No Gi Takedowns, Drilling Open Mat, All Levels

My wife took the kids on a little vacation this week and I'm going to try to get in as much Jiu-Jitsu as my body will allow.  I'll probably try to keep these posts short so that they're not too time consuming.

Noon Class
Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Granby Roll from Turtle
Partner: Shane

I feel like I've seen O-Soto Gari a lot lately because the kids just did it the last 2 weeks.  Shane was a good partner, maybe a little spazzy at times but he has a good attitude and is willing to learn.

Some things to remember for this week's techniques:
  • For O-Soto Gari: punch around their head and pull down on their arm (drive the bus) putting their weight on the leg you are about to sweep
  • Half Guard Pass: practice this pass a lot with lifting the knee and sliding your hip down, this will be useful for other situations as well. 
  • Granby Roll: Figure out which side your head should go based on which side the opponent is on
  • Roll under yourself instead of rolling forward
  • Once you have that stuff down, trust this technique.
Rolling: Half Guard Position (2 x 2 min), Turtle Position (2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Shane, Bhuvana, Robert

Rolling felt good today with no joint problems holding me back.  Shane did pretty good in half guard for being new.  Bhuvana was a trooper from turtle.  She kept trying the granby even though I would put her into side control, I don't think she was diving her shoulder deep enough and rolling under herself.

Had a good roll with Robert and did some good things.  Wrestling is still a problem for me and I think I may need to commit to sitouts and sprawling and practice them more. There was a point when I swept him from half guard at one point but as soon as I did he got up and caught me with a single to double leg. 

Office Hours Partner: Robert, Zack

Did a couple 5 minute rounds for Robert.  I had some success with a triangle to omoplata setup.  He eventually rolled out into side control but he got up again and took me down with a single leg again.  I really need to find an answer for this.

After that with Zack I worked on a shaolin sweep variation that Greg showed me it's coming along, but I need some confidence in it before I use it during rolling.  We did some positional sparring from half guard and Zack did very well against me, I'll have to up my top half guard game.

No-Gi Takedowns
Theme & Techniques: Hand Fighting and Positioning, Single Leg
Partner: Henry

This was a tough class mostly because I'm not used to doing standing up lately.  After some floor exercises Adam had us partner up with 1 partner being defensive and the other on the offense.  The former was just supposed to maintain their stance and keep from getting tied up.  There were times when I felt awkward mostly not knowing what to do with my hands or when was the best time to move in. 

Rolling: King of the Mat Takedowns
Rolled With: Tyler, Mike (New), Henry

I had some success mostly with guillotine chokes or reversals once I got taken down.  Adam reviewed an ankle pick off of a tie up that I like.  I could feel my lower back tightening up a bit, I'm really not used to this but it was still fun and I think I learned some things.

Drilling Open Mat
Parter: Adam
Drilled: Shaolin sweep, Spiral Armbar

The sweep felt great.  It helped that Adam did the sweep as well and me and Greg had to help him with it a little.  The big takeaway was that Greg is not trying to load the opponent on top of him but trying to push him over past him. 

All Levels
Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Granby Roll from Turtle
Partner: Adam

I really started to feel tired during drilling.  We had a tough time at first figuring out how to get our knees free but with time we saw the value in smashing their leg down. 

Rolling: Turtle Position (4 x 2 min), King of the Mat Half Guard
Rolled With: Adam, Mike, Greg, Darijo, Casey, Jerad, and Others

I had a tough time in turtle with both Adam and Mike.  Adam scraped my face across the mat a couple times and Mike was putting me in the crucifix.  I definitely need to be challenged from this position more.  King of the mat went well.  I surprised myself a couple times with recovering guard.  I didn't see an opportunity to hit the new shaolin but I was on the lookout for it.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 11th 2015 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: O-Soto Gari, O-Goshi
Rolling/Game: Sumo

I helped teach with both classes today.  Classes have been somewhat small lately probably due to summer vacations.  My boys have been doing great lately and I think this is partly due to us not having them work together as much.  They can get pretty silly when they're partners at times.  The throws went pretty well, I've seen quite a few of the kids do well with the o-soto gari.  The other throw is going to need a lot more work though.  There were some good fights in Sumo.  With the kids more than the adults they seem to try the throws that they've learned over and over again instead of trying to prevent being thrown like I've seen many adults do. 

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jerad, Roland, Bauer, Henry, Jeff, Ben
Game Plan: Butterfly guard, Baseball Bat Choke

Jerad: I didn't feel like I mounted much of an offense against Jerad today.  I ended up on the bottom and defended armlock and choke one after the other.  I was able to recover guard a few times.  He submitted me with an armlock off of a mounted triangle I think.  He complimented me on my defense but I felt pretty worn out after all that.

Roland: Had a few good rolls with him.  He mentioned after open mat that he was looking to getting back into MMA and I offered to help him with half guard the next times we worked together. 

Bauer: I practiced the turtle choke that I learned from Zack yesterday with him before we started rolling, I think Bauer enjoyed it as well.  We had some wars today.  He dominated me in the first roll and squashed me in bottom half guard.  I just couldn't get anything going.  Eventually he was able to mount and submit me with an americana.  On our next rolls I decided to avoid half guard and played more full and butterfly instead.  I had a pretty cool combination of omoplata to triangle back to omoplata and flower sweep attempt but ended up back in full guard where we started.  I attacked a spiral armbar from mount at one point but even though I thought I got my foot position right he was still able to come up into it. 

Henry: He was just as difficult to deal with as always.  We went no-gi and had quite a battle.  I defended some darce and bread cutter type chokes and was pretty much on the bottom the whole time.  There was a point that I was in butterfly guard and swept but he turned it into a guillotine which really surprised me, I think part of my problem was that I went to my back instead of following up on the sweep. 

Jeff: He was returning after having a broken thumb for the past few months.  After we rolled a few times we got on the subject of guard passing and how to start a roll.  I went over my usual spiel of the 3 main guard passes that I use (toreando, knee slide, and leg drag), the leg drag seemed completely new to him but he learned it pretty quickly. 

Ben: I joked that since I was tired that he was going to get a passive easy going Josh.  He said that seemed insulting so then I said I going to be former Marine Killer Josh instead.  That roll ended pretty quickly.  Our second roll lasted a little longer and I mostly fought from the bottom.

Friday, July 10, 2015

July 10th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard Underhook to Back or Recover Guard
Students: Zack, Josh, Jordan, Austin

I did a couple extra warm-ups today with adding in Homer Simpsons, sitouts, armbar drill from guard, and the single under pass recovery to triangle drill.  Had a few problems teaching the last one but I think toward the end of the warm-up everyone was doing it acceptably. 

Once again I tried my best to relate the half guard knowledge that I think I have.  I showed a few things that I use to get the under hook and stressed that using your legs are so important in half guard. 

We went over the 2 techniques and it seemed like everyone had been to class throughout the week.  I didn't have to point out too many changes.  A few still kind of pulled them on top of their hips instead of letting them fall into the back mount position. 

I taught the beginnings of deep half but it might have been a bit of a mistake because it slowed the pace of the class down a bit.  It would really need to have more time dedicated to it instead of an afterthought.  If anything hopefully it showed them some different possibilities for half guard.

Rolling: Half Guard Position (2 x 2 min), Half Guard Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: Everyone

I had them go one round of positional sparring but I didn't really want to sit today.  So we did up/down/out with the 5 of us, so the person on rest didn't get too much resting.  I had more trouble from the top than the bottom which is good.  Everyone was pretty adamant about getting the underhook so I went for other things.  I almost got into trouble with a kimura that Zack slapped on but I kept my posture and kind of floated until got to side control but it could have gone either way. 

Office Hours Partner: Zack

I practiced the kimura from half guard to back take a few times and then we did some rounds of half guard position.  We got into a discussion about our games and weaknesses and I mentioned that I'll have issues with the person I'm rolling with going to turtle from side control.  He showed me a pretty cool loop choke variation that I haven't seen before.  I really took to it and think I may try to cultivate it more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8th 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard Underhook to Back or Recover Guard
Partner: Josh (Beard)

Woke up feeling a lot better today.  At least I could walk normally.  I took some of my maintenance medication and I think that helped and hopefully I'm on the downward slope. 

Small class today and it went by super fast.  Half guard again and Josh gave the impression that he's been struggling with getting the underhook.  Well let me just saddle up here and give you all of my underhook knowledge.  I may have posited a couple nuggets of info by the end of the class.  I showed him that I use my legs a lot and search for the underhook with the elbow instead the hand.  Mike had a good comment while teaching the technique to control the relation of our hips kind of like in backmount. 

I realized that I had taught the backmount differently the day before.  I forgot that Greg had us get our harness grip before pushing them to their shoulder.  I was a little more loose and did kind of a Judo turnover type technique.  It still works but it's not the way Greg teaches it in the curriculum. 

Rolling: Free Rolling Starting from Half Guard
Rolled With: Josh

He had to leave early so we didn't roll for too long.  I made sure to keep him from getting the underhook off the bat and eventually passed.  He almost reversed me with his side control reversal he's been working on, but I was able to float and base to prevent it.  Probably the highlight of the day after that was that I setup the situp back take from north south that I've been working on and it went very well. 

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Rolling with Mike made me realize how much cardio I've lost in the last 3+ weeks of being injured.  I did some good deep half things, I had a sweep at one point, and we had a pretty cool leg lock battle but I eventually hit a wall.  He caught me with a mounted inverted triangle and a mounted triangle that turned into an armbar.  Despite him submitting me a few times, it was good to get a decent roll in mostly injury free.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

July 7th 2015 - Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense, Half Guard Underhook to Back or Recover Guard
Students: Zack, Harvey, Robert, Shane

Went to the Dr this morning to try to get my gout figured out.  He took some blood and we're going to see where my levels are before we change anything with my medication.

Small class today, and it went by fairly quickly.  I added one exercise to the warm-up.  We did the 90 degree turning exercise where you go from all fours bear crawl position to crab walk position around the circle. 

A couple minor things that I had to point out today for each technique:
  • After grabbing the choking hand and grabbing over the shoulder move to the other side of the body
  • As you take them down ensure you don't end up in half guard because they can still choke you 
  • From half guard lead with the elbow instead of trying to get the underhook with the hand.  
  • When getting to the knee when doing the back take don't wrap the leg so deep and move their knee out with your knee.
  • Treat the guard recovery pretty much like the back half of recovering guard from side control.

Rolling: Half Guard Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (4 min)
Rolled With: No One

Due to there being even partners for the class I didn't roll during this portion.  I saw some good things and did my best to give advice.  Pretty much from top my goal is to prevent the underhook and get them flat on their back.  The opposite from the bottom, I control the cross face hand and work to get the underhook.  One thing that most beginners take a while to get is to relax the legs a little bit.  If you just triangle your legs together and use your upper body, you're missing out on some possibilities and will usually get passed.

Office Hours Partner: Harvey, Zack

Zack and Harvey rolled with Robert and then rolled with me in half guard between rounds.  Zack was able to get a hold of my trapped leg foot from within his half guard.  He ended up getting the sweep out of it by holding my instep.  We played around with that a bit and tried to find some good counters like going to reverse mount and doing leg locks.  Not sure if anything will come of this, but I'll be sure to avoid it from the top.

Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Students: Conan, Emily, Josh, Dave, Morgan, Austin

My feet are still bugging me so I made an appointment with the doctor for next Tuesday to hopefully get my medication figured out.  Regardless I was able to do everything today without any noticeable pain.

I was assuming Conan was going to take the reins, but he said it was my class since I was scheduled.  Everyone seemed to do well with the techniques besides little hints here and there.  One thing that was important to get across was a proper knee on belly for everyone.  Many were putting their knee down or were on their toes when the non-knee on belly leg should be straight with the foot turned sideways so it's flat on the floor.  Posture is very important as well. 

Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Conan, Emily, Josh, Dave, Morgan, Austin

I had quite a bit of fun with up/down/out, it's been a while since I've done it.  I did some pretty good things including a sickle sweep that I setup off of a standing guard break.  I tried to keep an eye on Emily as she's pretty new, but everyone treated her well from what I saw.  I didn't participate in the free rolling but did some coaching when needed.

Office Hours Partner: Josh

We went over the hip bump sweep and why it wasn't working for him.  I pretty much said it was about timing.  We also went over some attacks from side mount when they turn away.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1st 2015 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Partner: Ben

Mike had us do some kuzushi with partners as a part of our warm-up.  I enjoyed it but still don't feel like I have a good grasp on setting up throws, just need to do it more because I think I have the techniques down.

Mike had some good details on stiff arm position during the standing guard break.  He turns sideways a bit once he gets the collar grip to put more shoulder into it and ensuring the arm stays straight.  I definitely use my shoulder during this technique but I haven't thought about the turn as being a factor.

One thing that I pointed out to Ben that made a difference for him was that he was driving my leg down too far as a part of the break.  This was kind of messing up his posture as he was leaning over way too much trying to drive my knee to the ground which isn't necessary.

I went over the side control bow and arrow variation quickly with Ben as he was ending up in the position for it after the pass.

Rolling: Guard Position (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 4 min)
Rolled With: Ben, Ross, Burly

Had some good rolls.  I attempted the standing guard break from the top a couple times.  I was able to break but ended up going for double unders many times rather than torreando, it's like these guys are looking for it.  I was also able to pass with a tozi pass.

I talked Burly through some things like getting to side control and going for an americana and rolled pretty light with her.  She seems to be understanding when shes in trouble because whenever I went to mount she would say, "oh shit!"

I hit a waiter sweep on Ross, however I didn't do it good enough because he was able to turn it into a straight ankle lock.  I was thinking, "wait a second, you're not supposed to be able to do that!"  Regardless props to him because it was a legit technique.  

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We went over the waiter sweep and what I probably did wrong.  Most of it has to do with follow through.  I just need to get up with a lot of these types of sweeps.  Also I should have sprawled my leg back as well.