Wednesday, December 30, 2015

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

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

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

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

Rolling: Guard King of the Mat
Rolled With: Everyone

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Tom

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

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

December 29th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Mike

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

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 26th 2015 - Open Mat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

December 23rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

December 22nd 2015 - No Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Harvey

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

Monday, December 21, 2015

December 20th 2015 - No Gi Beginner

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

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Tate

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

Friday, December 18, 2015

December 18th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

Rolling: Half Gaurd
Rolled With: Craig

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

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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

December 17th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

December 16th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Mike

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December 15th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Morgan

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

Saturday, December 12, 2015

December 12th 2015 - All School Training and Belt Promotions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 11, 2015

December 11th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Conan

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

Thursday, December 10, 2015

December 10th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Casey

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

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December 9th 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

December 8th 2015 - No Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 5th 2015 - Submission Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

Second Match part 1
Second Match Part 2

Thursday, December 3, 2015

December 3rd 2015 - Gi All Levels

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

December 1st 2015 - No Gi All Levels

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

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

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

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

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

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