Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 29th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seio Nage, Double Ankle Sweep, Butterfly Hook Sweep
Students: Daniel, Ben, Bob, Frank, Jess

Had Bob teach a version of seoi nage where we took a lowered collar grip and squared way down. I am feeling pretty good about my kazushi. Working with Bob on the details is paying off.

Some tips on the hook sweep:

  • It's important to control both your posture and theirs
  • Use the underhook to lift their shoulder 
  • Use your overhook to pull down their other shoulder
  • Fall directly to the side not back.

Rolling: Closed Guard, Butterfly Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Daniel, Frank, Bob

Went for the butterfly sweep from the bottom every chance I got. During free rolling, I mostly started on the bottom, but attacked for a sweep and tried to push the pace.

Office Hours Partner: Daniel

Worked with him on butterfly sweep mostly the things mentioned above. He helped me with making my crucifix from turtle better. I've gotten there regularly lately but they've been able to escape by stepping over my legs.  Once I trap their arm I need to move my hips toward their head instead of hips.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28th 2016 - Gi Advanced

Theme & Techniques: Straight Ankle Lock Series to Leg Drag
Partner: Clint

Mike showed a sequence of the basic straight ankle lock to switching their leg to the top side.  Then if we couldn't get the tap there move to a leg drag position.  This showed another use of the butterfly guard walk motion.  Leg drag is still something I need to put some time into as I know it works on me, I just haven't found entries that work for me yet.

Rolling: KOTM Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Mike, Clint, Patty, John, David, Henry

Class kicked my ass tonight.  It's been a while since I attended an advanced class and I'm not used to all of the talent.  I'm going to have to go a little harder when I roll in the all level day classes to challenge my cardio and get back my edge.  Not to say that I did poorly in class, I think I rolled pretty well, but I did gas toward the end.

Grip fighting was probably the most noticeable difficulty and my fingers are feeling it.  So I will be focusing on that a little more, getting the grips that I want and going for it.  I also found myself in de la riva a few times and I might need to narrow down a few go to techniques from there because I feel like I pause when I get to the position.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

December 27th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Knee Bar Setup from Half Guard & Defense
Partner: Henry

Mike disiminated some good information today on the knee bar.  Some details that I liked were:

  • Grab the heel as soon as possible and put it by your head
  • Once in the seated position, you can go in any direction 
  • If it goes south maintain the seated position and look for a crossface and start passing guard.

Rolling: Knee Bar Sitting position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Henry, Jess, Andy

Starting from the position was tough. I ran into some trouble attacking a few times as I didn't feel confident in inverting. Defending went pretty well, I'm doing better at keeping my feet out of danger.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We rolled a lot since I'm on vacation today.  We ended up in a lot of different situations, he had my back for a while at one point. He mentioned to someone else that he has yet to submit me. I thought he had, but it may not be too much longer before he does.

We did some deep half entries, the waiter sweep, and some rolling back takes. A lot of the practice was about shucking and getting under the opponent.  I think he was picking it up at the end.

Friday, December 23, 2016

December 23rd 2016 - Gi All Levels (Comfort Zone)

Theme & Techniques: Kneeling Guard Break, Double Under Pass
Partner: Jess, Matt (New)

Mostly helped Jess and Matt on some minor details of the techniques.  Mostly hand position and posture. Matt is a friend of Jess and used to coach wrestling.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Craig, Ryal, Matt

Felt good about my rolling today. Did a lot of hand fighting and pushed the pace to make up for yesterday. I helped Matt with some basics while we rolled.

Thoughts: Comfort Zone

I had a thought on the drive home about progress and getting over plateaus.  What I've noticed during my journey from blue to purple (hopefully) is that I'll get to a comfort zone with my game and feel like I'm stagnating, then I'll find something to work on that is outside of my comfort zone. I'll research, drill, and troubleshoot the subject until I feel like I'm safe in my comfort zone again. Then I'll feel like I'm not learning anything new and search for the next thing.

Most of this year was about being more assertive and imposing my will.  I've just started familiarizing myself with leg locks and related positions.  Another aspect that has presented itself that I've seen others like Jerad doing is stringing techniques together.  Often when I sweep or pass guard there will be a pause as I collect myself and decide what to do next.  Occasionally though everything will come together and I'll escape, sweep, pass the guard, and attack a submission without a break in the action. Improving this will be my goal for this year.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

December 22nd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense against Wall, Kneeling Guard Break, Double Under Pass
Partner: Jess

Tips on techniques of the week:

  • Guillotine Defense: Once you've regained your posture, keep it. Don't let your posture lapse and allow them to drag you back down.
  • Kneeling Guard Break: One thing that Mike pointed out that I've noticed others doing is focusing more on the elbow between the legs rather than the hand on the hip to keep them down.
  • Double Under Pass: Mike and I discussed coming forward to stack, where I've been advocating pulling them back exclusively.  We talked about keeping low as you come in which I'll have to play around with.

Rolling: Guard
Rolled With: Jess, Ben, Bob

I was a little too lazy today. Not that I went easy on anyone but I wasn't pushing the pace or imposing my will.  Ben was able to keep me from opening his guard with good hand fighting. Bob was able to get to double unders and pass right at the buzzer.

Office Hours Partner: Bob, Tom

After class the topic of hook kicks came up and everyone, including me, were showing off their kicks.  My flexibility felt pretty good for not kicking for a while.

Bob helped me with some more details on tia toshi. Mostly around keeping my posture and bending my knees more.

Tom and I rolled and I spent a good portion of the roll on his back as he defended. I felt like I had the most control with my bottom hook in and then crossing my other foot between his legs. He's really good at defending the back.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

December 21st 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Deep Half: Entering from Mount, Side Control, Half Guard; Homer Sweep, Shin Sweep, Kick Sweep to Double Unders
Students: Morgan, Andy, Justin

Small class today and the regular material for the week was pretty basic with kneeling guard break and double under pass which I knew both Morgan and Andy were familiar with.  I've been working with Morgan a little bit on deep half so he requested to work on that some more.  I'm feeling like I'm developing a seminar type format for this position as I've taught it occasionally.  I'm figuring out the best progression which starts with escaping mount to deep half, I think this is a pretty direct approach to getting to the position.  Then I'll introduce the Homer Simpson sweep and the students will attempt that through the other entries. 

From there I go to side control and finally half guard.  I usually teach to get an underhook with the knee shield before going to the position but there are several ways to get the underhook.  Finally I add in some additional sweeps using the lapel and the butterfly hook.  I hardly ever make it to the waiter sweep and may make that and back takes a part of the advanced seminar.

Rolling: Deep Half Lab, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Everyone

Had everyone go a little lighter on the deep half 2 minute rounds.  The person on top went easy on the entry then raised the intensity once they got to deep half to try to prevent being swept.  I think this was a good way to get them to work with the position.  We finished with a few free rolls and I worked my way to deep half a few times just to challenge myself and prove that it worked. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

December 20th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Closed Guard: Double Under Guard Pass, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Bhuvana

Small class for a Tuesday.  We had Caleb returning from last week and he brought in his friend Mike who has some wrestling experience.  Greg showed the guard break that I usually go for if I can't open someone's guard in no gi.  Make enough space to fit both hands through to break the guard.  The bottom guard stuff wasn't much different than the gi class.  The biggest piece of advice I can give anyone on the hip bump/kimura is work on sitting up and putting your hand where your shoulder was for stability.  This is something you can work on by yourself and the faster you can get at getting that post the better.

Rolling: Closed Guard Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: John, Mike (Visitor), Caleb, Bhuvana

Some good rolls.  John was able to sweep me today so I will have to prevent that from happening again.  Mike was pretty strong and was good at pressure, but I don't think he understands how to pass the guard yet.  There were a couple of times that both Caleb and Mike got to double unders but I was able to widen out my knees enough to prevent the class.  I also ended up in some triangle situations but had a hard time completing them and moved on to something else.  Talked to Greg about it afterward, his advice was to grab my ankle and then push myself away with my foot on their hip.  I was doing that but I was trying to push them back instead of myself.

* Added later: Forgot that I got a bloody nose while rolling with Mike. Wasn't a big deal but it wouldn't stop bleeding. We also did some stand-up. He took me down the first 2 times but I was able to turn them into better positions for me. The last roll I went for an arm drag and turned into a drop shoulder throw. I guess it made Greg message Bob since he missed it.

Office Hours Partner: John

John helped me drill some 50/50 stuff from Ryan Hall's DVD.  We did a defensive drill where they attack straight ankle lock, heel hook, or Texas clover leaf (which we kept calling different names like Texas Flywheel, Texas Chainsaw, Texas Sharpshooter, etc).  We would then defend with the appropriate responses of RNC grip, pushing the bicep with the foot and triangling or crossing our feet.

We rolled a few times after that, and we had some back and forth.  He had my back for a while and was able to trap my arm with his leg.  I was impressed by how he set this up and we practiced it a few times after rolling.  I was able to setup my Shelving NS choke setup, some day I may have an instructional DVD on it.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

December 17th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Henry, Mike, Patty, Craig, Nick, Mo
Game Plan: Deep Half and Z-Guard

It's been blizarding the last couple of days, but we still had a good group for open mat. Mostly because the tournament was cancelled that a few were planning to attend.

Henry: Great challenging roll like usual. We both had our moments of telling the other no when we went for one of our signature moves, like when he sees me setting up deep half or when he tried to guillotine me.  I made a terrible mistake when I was in side control and he made a kimura grip. I thought I could take his back from there but I was wrong and ignored Mike telling me to step over his head.

Mike: We went over the kimura defense and I realized I should have known better. I had a really good moment where I felt like things came together. I escaped to deep half, waiter swept, passed and moved right to NS choke, but his neck always seems too small for me to finish here.  He was able to catch me with a wrist lock.

Patty: He seems to be becoming a regular open mat partner.  There is a lot of back and forth between us and he's competent at defending my deep half. We ended up stalemated and quit rolling out of exhaustion.

Craig: We talked a bit about dealing with low posture in the guard.  We had a good roll, I've been trying to work on escaping side control as quickly as I can when I get there and was able to attempt a couple times here.  One thing that he's good at that most aren't is stiff arming to avoid be passed.

Nick: Started out getting caught in his rubber guard with my arm locked in but I kept his foot between my legs. I got out somehow, I was able to get to a top position for a while and attack a bit.  He eventually choked me from side control using his gi.

Mo: I played some Z guard with him and used it to help sweep. He had a few tricks up his sleeve too as he almost took my back. We discussed some of the lapel stuff after and Mike gave some advice with dealing with the crossface.


I left open mat not feeling great about my progress. I don't know why though, I rolled relatively well.  I wonder if the feeling will ever go away that I'm not as good as I should be?  Probably not.

Friday, December 16, 2016

December 16th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Side Control: Tripod Escape, Kimura
Partner: Jess, Jesus

Another week of getting the beginner techniques taught by 3 different instructors.  The details were not too different between them though.  One thing that Conan emphasized during the kimura was to put armbar pressure to get the arm off of your shoulder by using the forearm and shoulder to straighten it.  We also discussed kizushi and I'm feeling like my Judo is getting better with the help of Judo Bob and trying to work on off balancing whenever I can.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jesus, Jess

I feel like I should have been more insistent on escaping side control today.  I kind of protected myself until I saw my chance to escape, I feel like I need to jump on the escape faster at this point.  One of the good things about Jess is that he likes to go to turtle and I've gotten a lot of practice lately floating and staying in a dominant position and attacking the back.  I am working on moving to the finish after that though.   

Thursday, December 15, 2016

December 15th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Side Control: Tripod Escape, Kimura
Partner: Bob, Ben

Greg had Bob teach the throw of the week and I think he "threw" everyone for a loop.  The footwork especially was challenging for some.  Bob teaches to step to the top of the triangle with their feet making the other two angles of the triangle.  From there we meet them half way and pull them forward into us before bending our knees to get under them as we reach around their head and throw. 

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bob, Jordan, Ben, Jess

Bob did a good job keeping me down in side control, 2 minutes wasn't enough for me to escape this time.  I melted my way into NS choke when it was my turn to be on top.  With Jordan and Ben I felt like I used a little more wrestling after getting the underhook from bottom side to come up on a single leg.  Feeling a little more confident with that.  Ben was fighting hard for grips and I felt like I had to turn up the intensity a bit to match him.  Jess was dog tired when he got to me.  I decided to start from the bottom and work on my escapes to hopefully catch a breather.

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Morgan

Jess had asked me about situp guard yesterday so I showed him a few things that I knew with the single leg and shin on shin to single leg-x.  I meant to show him the lapel stuff from Faria but we got off on a tangent about grip fighting and starting a roll in general.

Morgan asked for some help on SQL (database language) for his new job.  My SQL-Jitsu is strong since I work with it every day at work.  It is tough walking into an unfamiliar database though and trying to learn the schema.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

December 14th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Side Control: Tripod Escape, Kimura
Partner: Jess, Tom

Some tips on the techniques of the week:
  • Koshi Guruma: Don't grab the shoulder, squeeze their neck.
  • Tripod Escape: Once you get the underhook try to bump yourself down so your head won't run into their knee when you bridge and tripod.  This has helped me the most when trying to complete this technique.  
  • Kimura: You can't do this setup unless their hand is on your neck and you need to trap it there.  A couple of times during rolling people attempted this on me and when my hand wasn't there they weren't able to lockup the kimura.

Rolling: Side Mount
Rolled With: Jerad, Tom, John

Did well escaping side control.  I avoided getting submitted during this portion today but was unable to get out of Jerad's dominant positions. I went to deep half a few times or used an underhook to escape to turtle.

From the top I setup NS Choke and baseball bat choke.  Jerad again did a good job regaining guard.

Office Hours Partner: John, Morgan, Jerad

I confused John a little bit with my z-guard where I wrapped his lapel around his leg in a half guard.  I've been picking up a few things from the Bernardo Faria DVD that I recently purchased so look forward to more of that. 

Tried some different things when rolling with Jerad. Instead of going to half guard like I normally do I played some de la Riva and general open guard. It resulted in a sweep and I was on top for a while and passed his guard but I couldn't make anything happen submission-wise.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Mount: Armbar with Breaking grip options
Partner: Bhuvana

Mike taught setting up the armbar by going off of their reaction to an americana attempt from mount.  We went to technical mount while maintaining a grip on their wrist until we could step over the head.  From there we dealt with them clasping their hands and the bicep grab defense.

One of the biggest things that I worked with Bhuvana on was to sit first instead of falling back too soon and creating momentum for them to get up and stack.

Rolling: Mount
Rolled With: Daniel

The best thing that happened in the roll from the top was my reaction to his bridge where I transitioned right into shin across neck armbar (I've got to figure out a better name for this). From the bottom I escaped to deep half a few times.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Had some high intensity rolls with Mike, which is what I needed. We finished with some takedown sparring. A couple of good details came out of this.  With the arm in guillotine I was trying to pull up uniformly on his neck and arm, he made one adjustment of keeping my choking hand higher and using the elbow and it made a huge difference.  The other was a single leg defense with a kimura to kind of a butterfly sweep or Judo throw.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

December 10th 2016 - Open Mat & Mike's MMA Fight

Open Mat
Rolled With: Bruce, Nick, Ben L, Dave, Greg, Patty, Bhuvana
Game Plan: Bottom - Deep Half Waiter, Top - Over/Under Pass, NS Choke

Bruce: I watched him whoop up on Henry before we rolled so I knew this visitor had some skills.  Apparently he is an instructor from from Sioux Falls who was here to support one of his fighters. I've also seen him on Reddit and he was part of the Fight works podcast and he told me about training with some notable people.

Had a short feel out period and ended up in half guard trying to pass. He swept me and I spent the majority of the roll on the bottom of half.  He was able to apply an enormous amount of pressure with his head on my chest and made it difficult to move. The best thing I did was a waiter sweep from deep half but was unable to hold him down after that.  He eventually took my back and caught me with an RNC.

Nick: There were a few moments of hope that I was going to catch Nick in the beginning of the roll.  I was able to pass his guard for a second and attempt a few attacks. He came back though and eventually setup the truck and worked his way into the twister. He gave me some tips on getting out of the truck position with trying to turn away and get the underhook in the process.

Ben: I felt like he did a lot better than the last time we rolled, his guard retention especially.  I gave him some pointers on defending against the NS choke.

Dave: He says that he's going to start training on Wednesday mornings in the near future.  We rolled a few times and then I gave him a crash course in over/under pass.

Greg: Both a physically and mentally exhausting couple of rolls. There are more things I need to worry about as he can attack me from anywhere and he's doing things that no one else is doing. He is catching me a lot with a half guard back step to leg lock position.

Patty: We had a good roll and he did a few movements that I'm not used to. It's always great to have a skilled visitor come in and we can assimilate a bit of their style. Unfortunately in our second roll he was in the process of taking my back when I bridged and I heard a bone crunching sound. The back of my head was under his jaw and made him chip his teeth a bit. He seemed to be okay and not in any pain.

Bhuvana: I gave her some pointers on Over/Under Pass along with Derek M.  We also covered loop choke and I think something else that I forgot.

Mike's MMA Debut:

Some great fights last night. We had a whole section of tables for LBJJC. At one point I looked back to see our large group wearing our school shirts and had the strange thought that I was a member of a cult. I mean if anything it's a good cult.

The first fight was with Lucas, a guy that came and trained with us a few months ago. He had lost his previous fights and wanted to improve his Jiu-Jitsu. He ended up taking his opponent's back and finishing with an RNC!

Mike walked out to Bruno Mars which my wife appreciated, especially when his opponent came out to the unoriginal "Let the bodies hit the floor" Greg and Nick were in his corner.

I was on the edge of my seat. It's so different watching a fight that involves someone that you know and helped prepare for the fight. My heart was up in my throat as I watched unable to help in any way.

This is all from memory so I may have some of the details off.  Mike came out with a vicious leg kick and his opponent kept his distance. Mike threw a few more kicks until they closed the distance. Mike took his back on top and punching. He was losing the back a little and transitioned into a triangle. He took a few shots while locking it up but kept from getting picked up or slammed. Close to the end if the round he turned it into an armbar that was super tight and got the tap. Our section exploded and I could relax again. Mike had won his first fight!

There were some pretty good fights the rest of the night most of them finishing. Mike got submission of the night. It was great meeting some wives and training partners that I don't see as often. There was some backseat fight analysis going on but at least we're more educated about the fight game then the people yelling "rip his head off!"

Link to fight

Friday, December 9, 2016

December 9th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Mount Americana, Side Control Bread Cutter
Partner: Craig, Jess

Light class as I expected with the cold weather.  Unfortunately Jess had to sit early because he tweaked his back. 

We had a bit of a discussion about the bread cutter and Conan showed it one way and I showed it another. The major difference had to do with how deep of a grip that you take. Both work and can cause a tap so no worries just 2 different ways to do something.

Rolling: Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Conan

Had some good rolls with Craig and he's continuing to show improvement with his passing and guard retention.  On our last roll I played a little more defensively from the bottom and had a few points where I was able to recover from being in trouble but maybe wasn't the best technique at times like holding on to a straight leg butterfly hook for too long.

Conan and I have tough battles which often go his way.  He has a way of getting on top and stripping away my defenses and making pressure along the way. It makes it important for me to get the upper hand early. I'm finding this to be a forced change to my game with trying to deal with him and Jerad.


I felt a little more bold trying to pass Conan's guard and threw some torreando and x-passes in there.  Mostly because I've been drilling x-pass lately.  I felt like they were almost there but I still wasn't passing his guard.  So what's missing?  The techniques are sound and high percentage.  From my understanding I'm doing the passes correctly, but I obviously could be doing something better.  It very well could be details I'm overlooking or that I could be doing it faster or that I need to set it up differently.  It all amounts to drilling more and not settling for lazy subpar techniques.  It's part of the rabbit hole of BJJ being a lifelong pursuit.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 8th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Mount Americana, Side Control Bread Cutter
Partner: Jess

Light class today, must have been too cold for some people. Tips for this week's techniques:

  • Double Leg: After you have turned the corner I've been given the advice to try to look behind their back.
  • Americana: I like to use my head on the back of my hand to keep their arm pinned while I setup my grips.
  • Bread Cutter: Make sure you grab the collar with your hand under the collar, don't settle for the shoulder.

Rolling: Mount, Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Daniel, Tom

Jess was able to bridge out of my mount the first roll so I took him more seriously after that. I think I missed an opportunity for the shin armbar.

I've noticed Daniel improving in his half guard. I'm having a hard time passing it at times.

I tried the moves of the day a few times but was only able to use them to setup other things.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

Tom has been doing great with his defense. We discussed this with Jerad yesterday as I remember going through a phase like this where I could give people a hard time submitting me but I also wasn't actively escaping at the same time. It's cool to see relative milestones in others.

We discussed the spiral armbar position from half guard and a couple of possibilities from there. Greg also showed me how to complete a bow and arrow when they've grabbed their collar above my grip. I needed to grab their hand with my free hand to change my grip to even higher than theirs.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 7th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Grip Fighting: Standing, Guard, Back Mount
Partner: Jordan, Tom

It's great that we've had more than a couple people in Wednesday morning class lately.  I was starting to question if the class would stick around with the attendance being so low. 

Since everyone was pretty experienced Jerad taught a class on grip breaks that he got some good feedback on before. It's one of those parts of BJJ that took a while to realize how important it is.

Rolling: Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jerad, Jordan, Morgan

Had to do some maneuvering a few times to get past Morgan's guard.  Close to the end of the round, I looked up and saw 20 seconds left and told him that he was down on points and needed a guard pass.

Office Hours Partner: Tom, Jerad

Rolled With Tom and he did a decent job from top half guard. It slowed me down quite a bit. We discussed inverted triangle and avoiding it.

I can't seem to get the upper hand on Jerad or if I do it's not for long.  I did feel like I frustrated him at times with some of my lapel guard attempts.  I have to come up with a different mindset when I roll with him and look for securing the little victories especially hand and grip fighting right from the start.  As I was getting changed I heard Jerad giving Tom advice on how to beat my half guard.  I told them to stop it.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

December 6th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Shawn William's Guard: Armbar, Omoplata
Partner: Jess, Ben

Good training session on SW guard.  I have yet to do this position effectively in rolling and I'm not sure why.  Might be because I'm usually not in closed guard that often in no gi.  It was nice to work on an omoplata technique during regular class as that doesn't happen often.  We had a little trouble at first getting our legs in the right position to complete the armbar but it had to do with straightening our bottom leg to get their elbow to raise and then move the hips around to get the leg around the head. 

Rolling: Closed Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Mike

Had 2 rolls with Jess and did my best to take it to him.  I think I'm going to start using him to improve my wrestling, aggression, and pressure game.  He gives pretty good resistance and I do well playing guard with him, but I think it would be good for me to play more toward his strength to learn from it.

Mike is fight ready and we had a lot of scrambly type stuff with some light punching mixed in.  He was especially hard to hang on to today.

Office Hours Partner: John

Great roll with John and he gave me more trouble today than he has in the past.  There was a point when he was attempting to escape my side control and Mike kept telling me to heel hook him, but I didn't know what to do.  He showed us the setup from the basic side control recover.  I really need to get better at my leg locks.  Mike showed us After rolling I showed him some of my north/south choke specifics and he seemed to like it.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December 3rd 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Daniel, Greg, Will, Craig, Frank
Game Plan: Bottom - Loop Choke, Top - Spiral Armbar, Armbar with Shin across neck

Daniel: I suggested he drill Japanese necktie as an alternative to arm in guillotine from top half guard that he was having trouble with.  I drilled going to armbar from mount as they bridge to shin on neck.  I'm finding myself in this situation a lot lately and would like to defend it better.  We rolled a few times that.

Greg: We worked on a side control escape sequence that he got off of a video.  It's similar to escaping a kesa getami by swinging your legs, you then push on their armpit and eventually recover to a dog collar like grip and finally, butterfly.

Will: During our first roll, I ended up catching him in an inverted triangle that took a long time to finish. Afterward, we looked at my calf which had his ear imprinted on it.  We had another tough roll after that.

Craig: He's getting better at both maintaining and passing guard.  I realized this because I got a little frustration trying to pass his guard and maintain mine at other times.

Frank: We rolled no gi for a while and then discussed avoiding guard passes and some tips to maintain butterfly guard.

Friday, December 2, 2016

December 2nd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Armbar from Mount variations
Partner: Craig

Conan had us do a few setups for the armbar to isolate the arm and go to s-mount, then to recover if they get their elbow free, then we worked on breaking the grips and preventing other defenses.  I tried my best not to put all of my weight on Craig's chest for the whole drilling portion, because S-mount can be brutal.

Rolling: Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Jesus, Jess

Felt good about my attacks.  I got to play around with the armbar where they bridge and push with a straight arm.  Its not quite belly down armbar but kind of a hip switch with the shin across their neck to a kimura grip.  I'm feeling better about going to this position and not as worried about kicking people in the head as I do it.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

December 1st 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Headlock Escape to Hammerlock, Mount: Armbar, Elbow Escape
Partner: Bhuvana, Byrav

Got in late again today, hopefully this work stuff will get back to normal soon.  I missed working on the headlock escape and warm-up.  Well, I didn't actually miss them, I just wasn't there to do them.  Not much to say about drilling techniques.  Greg showed a few grip breaks for when they clasp their hands for the armbar.

Rolling: Mount, Free Rolling

Felt good about all of my rolling today.  Went to deep half waiter a few times while escaping mount.  I'm feeling pretty good about the changes I've made to the technique recently.  I feel like Jess is getting better all of the time and can be difficult to deal with.  He doesn't threaten to submit me at the moment but he is explosive enough at times to get out of positions, I'll have to keep an eye on him.  Another technique that has been pretty solid for me lately is the Japanese necktie, it's a lot easier for my short arms than the darce especially if I'm already in half guard.

Office Hours Partner: Frank

I rolled a few times with Frank and then gave him some tips on the leg drag pass position as he almost had me there but didn't staple my leg and I was able worm my way back to a guard.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 30th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Headlock Escape to Hammerlock, Mount: Armbar, Elbow Escape
Partner: Jess, John

Didn't even realize it until I was writing this entry, but today was an all "J" class, having Jerad, Jess, John, and Josh in class.  Jerad and I played around with our new clock timer, it's awesome and we used it to time our rounds.

Jerad gave some good details on both techniques and we added an extra armbar technique for John and I to break the grips apart. A couple of quick tips for the techniques of the week.
  • Headlock Escape: A huge part of this is when you get a hold of their wrist, push it into your body instead of trying to pry it off.  
  • Armbar: Take your time with the mounted armbar and don't fall to your back without having stepped over their head and you have control over their arm.  You shouldn't have your back on the mat trying to pull their arm down.
  • Elbow Escape: Once you get your elbow in place it should be treated as a point that you are going to shrimp away from.  Originally I thought you were supposed to shrimp and also push with your elbow, but it's much more effective to shrimp away from it. 
Rolling: Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jerad, Jess, John

I always enjoy mount position training as it's tough to escape and I've been on a quest to make the top a good place to finish.  One thing that I need to work on more is transitioning to the shin across belly down armbar when I encounter a big bridge.

I had a couple good rolls with Jerad during and after class.  At one point we were stalemating each other with grip fighting and while it may not have looked like much to someone from the outside I was looking for a certain knee grip and he kept denying it or stripping it.  He made the comment afterward that whoever won that battle for that grip would have determined the outcome of the roll which is an interesting thought.  In a different roll I had snuck in a loop choke from half guard.  I felt pretty good and solid about it but he did a great job of keeping me from freeing my legs.  I kept trying to get my butterfly hook free but when we talked about it later I should have put my foot on the mat and backed my hips up and it probably would have freed it.  I just had tunnel vision on trying to get it free, but I think I learned an important lesson.

John asked about butterfly guard and we had a lengthy discussion about many facets of it.  We covered posture, not reaching with your feet, being on one hip or side rather than being straight on, and grips and stuff.  It was a cool little mini-chat session that got pretty technical without doing too much technique.  Great stuff!

November 29th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Front Headlock: Movement to Side Turtle, Anaconda, Recover Guard
Partner: Jess, Frank

I got jammed up at work for a bit and missed the warm-up and I'm okay with that. Anaconda is one of those techniques that I understand and can teach but have rarely ever hit rolling.  I feel like my arms are too short or I don't always feel strong when I'm grabbing my bicep.  During drilling it's fine and I'm effective with the choke, but while rolling I can't make the connection.

Rolling: Front Head Lock Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Gavin (New Guy), Daniel, Mike

Gavin came to us with some wrestling experience and he seemed a little out of sorts that he didn't exactly know the goals during the rolling portion.  Mike and I both did our best to set him at ease that his wrestling gives him an advantage and he would just have to make some minor adjustments.  At the end of class he thanked everyone for helping him out.

Mike wore his MMA gloves as we rolled and asked if we could shadow strikes.  It was fun and exhausting to have to think about also defending getting punched.  My instincts are still there as I've done some of this training in the past and I think I avoided quite a few blows with my open guard and covering up movements. 

Office Hours Partner: Jess

We rolled a few times because I had to get back to work.  He's pretty good at going to turtle which helped me work on attacking it to take the back. I also had to improvise getting RNC from some unorthodox positions while trying not to lose position. This felt like a good training day for me.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

November 27th 2016 - No Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Chair Sit to Back Sequence
Partner: Chris C

Got in to work off some turkey along with 16 other guys. Biggest class I've attended in a while.

We worked on going to a chair sit when they turn away to turtle up from side control then a few defenses and contingencies.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Side Control

Had some challenging rolls but did well.  I generally escaped with an underhook to half guard but didn't feel like I was able to come up to dog fight. From the top I attacked with N/S choke, kimura, and farside armbar.

Office Hours Partner: Henry, Tom, Mike

Had a good roll with Henry my goal was to defend against kimuras and guillotines and I did well for quite a while.  He was mostly on top of my half guard or scrambling.  I think I need to make an effort to focus on wrestling again because I was not winning those battles. I had a great deep half to waiter sweep but felt like once I got to the top I couldn't hold him down long enough to pass the guard may need to seek out some details about possible passes after the waiter.  He finally caught me with a kimura in the end.

Had a good time rolling with Tom.  We both thought our rolls have been going longer and longer as we're used to each other's techniques.  I was able to hit another waiter sweep in the process.

I asked Mike about the quarter guard spiral armbar position and he gave me a few options like going for an omoplata, one handed kimura, or doing a gift wrap to stretch them out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

November 23rd 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

I was happy to get in a workout before three days off due to the Thanksgiving holiday.  Small class as per usual on a Wednesday but everybody was there to put in the work.  Tips on techniques from this week:
  • O-Goshi: My main focus with throws has been working on the off balancing.  Working on looking at the watch keeping posture and using the elbow to kind of raise them up before getting my hips under them.
  • Wing Choke: I prefer this choke from technical mount rather than back mount.  So if you are having trouble getting this particular choke try it from that position.  Jerad showed it this way today.
  • Bow and Arrow: Probably the biggest piece of advice I give with this technique is the thinking of turning your hips like an armbar and it should feel like a trap door for your opponent when the leg is no longer under them. 
Rolling: Back Mount
Rolled With: Frank, Drew, Jerad

From the bottom my goal was to get to deep half and sweep with waiter and I accomplished it a couple of times.  One thing that I'm not sure about is if I'm letting people get their knee on the floor while I'm in deep half (kind of quarter guard with my arm inside).  I usually recover from this back to deep half but sometimes someone good will improve their position at this point or at least a scramble occurs.

Office Hours Partner: Frank

We went over wing choke a few times and then rolled some. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22nd 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard Twist Sweep
Partner: Bhuvana

Twist sweep was a tough technique for me to learn.  I remember several instances where Greg tried to teach it to me and I couldn't get the leg configuration down to complete it.  I think it's finally starting to become a viable technique for me but I don't get into a situation to use it very often.  It is a little different movement in that you have to close your elbow and clamp your knees together at the same time and push your butt and your knees to the side.

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Greg, Mike, Tim

I hit the twist sweep a couple times and got stuck there a few times.  I think of my half guard as being pretty good but Greg is on a different level and I don't even know what he's doing differently than me. I had more success from the bottom than the top due to being able to get to deep half.

Fun roll with Mike. I have to work really hard to keep him in front of me, protect my feet, protect my neck, and try to initiate my own attacks. He consistently pays me compliments after our rolls, like today he said he couldn't prevent my granby from turtle.

Office Hours Partner: Bob, Tim

Did a couple tia toshis with Bob no gi and they felt pretty good. I've got to remember to lift the arm as I am doing the footwork to setup the throw.

Tim asked me about the hip switch pass and we went over some other half guard stuff.


An interesting thing that I've noticed is how compliments have affected my personal game.  There have been several times when someone that I respect told me I was good at a technique or position. A seed was planted and I would start researching that thing and feel more confident using it while rolling.  So be kind to a white belt and throw them a bone by paying them a compliment.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

November 19th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Tyler, Bob, Conan

Tyler: Another complex roll with Tyler. More than a few times I feel like I'm past his guard and he's able to wedge a knee in, then I have to start over or deal with his DLR to berimbolo. I'm looking at that as a new challenge to learn how to defend it.

Bob: Spent the majority of open mat with Bob. We went over clock choke from turtle and took it from there with different contingencies from turtle to side control usually asking what I'd do or if he did something well.

We then worked on fit ins and throwing with tia toshi.  I'm working on my posture, looking at the watch, stepping into the top of the triangle. I may try to drill this at home.

Conan: It was a standard roll between the 2 of us. I spent some time on the bottom of side control where he pinned my wrist and crossfaced me with his body.

We discussed this a bit after how I can take my time to defend side control against people that I'm not as worried about submitting me. But with someone as good or better than me I'll get into trouble waiting for my moment. I determined that I should start escaping side control earlier and use some energy up front to prevent it.

Friday, November 18, 2016

November 18th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Kesa Getami Escapes
Partner: Craig

Every time this position comes up I mention how much I hate it and hate working on it both top and bottom.  Then I qualify it with, yes some people do it well and it's important to learn how to defend it, blah blah blah.  But not this time, I'm going to avoid saying anything negative about this stupid position.  But seriously, Fuck Kesa Getami, I hate it.  

Conan had us do a couple of escapes besides the one from this week.  Focusing on getting under their ribs and using other ways to get our elbow to the floor or control their far arm.  He also showed a submission that I didn't know about from when they are trying get under your ribs, you can kind of kimura them by hooking their elbow. 

Rolling: Kesa Getami
Rolled With: Craig, Jess

Felt decent about my bottom game, was able to keep my arm safe and maneuver my way around to eventually escape.  Maybe some day I'll experience Ray's Kesa again to see how awful it can be.  From the top I did fine, but when I started to lose the position I felt like there was no good way to recover besides trying to hang on to the position and get back to it. 

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Conan

Had a good roll with Jess.  One key thing that I took note of was at a point I had him in turtle and handed off his wrist to my other hand and basically did the lap belt turnover using his hand to take the back. 

Had quite a fight with Conan with quite a struggle from deep half.  He's been focusing on my free arm a lot I was able to sweep to top position but he eventually got me into his butterfly and swept me.  Then he was really mean to me and eventually got me to tap out with an armbar.  I asked him why he was being so mean afterwards and he basically laughed and said, "yeah I was being kinda douchey"

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Defense Leg Over Head, Lap Belt Turn-Over: Side Control, Back Mount
Partner: Tom, Jordan

Once again don't have much time to write today and will give my take on the techniques of the week tomorrow.  One thing that Jerad brought up during the turnover from turtle was you can go in 2 directions either direct to the side or in a circular motion.  I believe I've seen Ryan Hall demonstrate this in his back take dvd. 

Rolling: Turtle
Rolled With: Jerad, Tom, Jordan

Had to leave early today due to a meeting at work so I only got to do some rounds of turtle.  I remember writing in this blog at one time that turtle gave me a lot of trouble but lately I'm feeling pretty good about top and bottom.  The front head lock position is another story...for now. 

Probably the biggest thing that I worked on today was to try to setup the RNC or collar choke during the transition of taking the back.  It worked a couple of times but I think I need to ask Greg about things to do to recover from them grabbing your choking hand.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 15th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Front Headlock Position: Sit out, Arm in Guillotine
Partner: Bhuvana

Not my favorite position from top or bottom, but it's always good to work on things that I'm not the most versed in.  This position happens a lot more when working with takedowns and wrestling so it's understandable why I haven't had as much experience with it.  When sparring I usually protect my neck and then wait for my opportunity to get back to guard or sit out. 

The guillotine version that we did was a little difficult for me to control their inside arm.  I think I saw Greg grabbing both his hand and triceps when demonstrating the technique.   

Rolling: Front Headlock Position
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Mike, Bob, Ian, Jess

Great training with every roll being from head lock position.  From the bottom I was able to prevent being choked but was caught in an ankle lock by Mike after a pretty dynamic scramble.  From the top I had the most success with controlling their chin and setting up the Marcelo Guillotine.  Mike gave me some good advice to push down on their head as you are changing hand positions.

Office Hours Partner: Jess

We had quite a few rolls after class.  He's a good partner for me for when I get into a wrestling type position if I'm not tight enough he can get the upper hand positionally but I'm then able to recover and try again.  I went for crucifixes a few times today but not much came out of it.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

November 12th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Josh J, Marlie, Austin, Dave, Jess, Tyler, Nick, Bhuvana

Lots of good rolls today and I'm already feeling sore in my fingers and legs.

Josh: I practiced a few crucifix setups that I've been working on. I helped him with some cross guard specifics. During our roll I made it to crucifix position but couldn't make anything happen from there.

Marlie: She is the wife of our new black belt, Nick and this was her first time training at our school.  She did a great job for only training a year. She did her best to prevent me getting grips and moved around very quickly.

Austin: I'm not sure what changed but he has improved greatly since I rolled with him several months ago. I think he's being more persistent and direct with his guard passing.

Dave: When I saw Dave on the mat I tackle hugged him since it's maybe been months since I trained with him.  After rolling we worked on a spider guard pass that he asked about.

Jess: He's starting to become a regular at our school and doing pretty decent for a new guy.  Hopefully it keeps his interest going forward.

Tyler: He was on point today and was frustrating to roll with.  Everytime I felt like I was past his guard he was able to get a leg in the way and make space. He's getting good at DLR to berimbolo and I don't have a good answer for it now besides trying to be heavy and smash.  I may have to take him more seriously.

Nick: Great tough rolls as usual. I felt like I was doing well with my over/under pass. He caught me with a nasty collar choke, I had to leave the mat while I avoided puking.  In the following roll he caught me in a spiral armbar position as I was going for deep half. I think my underhook was too deep as I needed it under his leg instead of his armpit.

Bhuvana: Had a good discussion on grip breaks and loop choke.  She's going through the stages of learning a technique, almost getting it during rolling and then troubleshooting and correcting mistakes.

Friday, November 11, 2016

November 11th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard Stuff
Students: Morgan, Jess

As part of the warm-up I had them do a few of the partner exercises that I like.  Standing guard break to situp, side control 180 rotations with and without arms, and using harness grips and butterfly hooks to kick them to the side and regain back mount.

Just the three of us this morning so we worked on some other half guard stuff per Morgan's request.  I showed some stuff from Ryan Halls Deep Half DVD. 
  • Use the knee shield to to get an underhook.  
  • Knee shield twist sweep
  • Knee shield twist sweep to arm drag
  • Hip switch pass from the top
They seemed to appreciate these different techniques that I have success with in half guard and they both got a lot of good reps in.

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling

Had some great rolls round robin style and we each got a round on top and bottom with each other.  I saw both of them successfully attempt the hip switch pass which has been one of my highest percentage half guard passes. 

I free rolled with Morgan a few times after class and almost got caught in a triangle that he threw up.  I showed him a defense for over/under pass as I used it a couple of times during the day. 


It's becoming more apparent to me that my game is relatively unique within our school.  Not a lot of people attempt deep half guard, cross guard, attack from knee on belly, and do north/south choke.  Greg and the purple belts have been helpful in me developing these positions and techniques but ultimately I've been in control of my progress and forming my game. 

This is a major difference I've observed between BJJ and other martial arts that I've practiced in the past where it seemed like everyone stuck to a curriculum and wanted to look the same as the instructor.  A lot of it has to do with being required to make things work for you in sparring.  You're going to naturally gravitate to those techniques that work for you or solve problems that you have during the Jiu-Jitsu journey.

Of course the fundamentals that we learn in beginner class are the most important to understand and get down first, but I'd say after 2 or 3 times through the curriculum a student should start to form their own game.  Don't wait for anyone to tell you what you need to work on. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016

November 10th 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

I kind of hung back today and didn't partner up but helped a lot of people during the drilling portion of class.  Here's some of the pointers I gave today:

  • O-Soto Gari: Your first step is very important, your foot needs to be next to them so you can line up your hips with theirs as you sweep.
  • Half Guard Knee Slide: Greg gave a good detail that I don't think I've seen him taught previously, he backed away so they would chase him a bit with their frame making it easier to karate chop into the underhook.
  • Granby Roll: Try to avoid rolling forward and roll under yourself, makes it difficult for them to stack you.  If you are having problems with this technique please find me and I'm sure I can help you. 
Rolling: Half Guard Up/Down/Out, Turtle position
Rolled With: Jordan, Jess, Daniel, Tom, Ben, Shane, Ian

Half guard was business as usual for me.  I gave people a couple of pointers.  One of my biggest ones lately has been for top half guard to keep your elbow on their hip.  If your elbow comes to the inside an armdrag is pretty easy for the bottom person.

From turtle bottom I was killing it with the granby, I have even more confidence with this than before.  I did have tough rolls with both Jordan and Ben.

I've also gained confidence in my lasso guard recently.  I think this is my open guard (if you don't count cross guard as an open guard).  I think I'm going to be researching this for the foreseeable future.

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Tom

Had a good roll with Jess and talked a bit about passing guard after.  I tried to get him to focus more on technique rather than the always stack and move forward that he's good at from prior experience.  I think it sunk in today.  Tom and I also had some good rolls and discussed mount escape and deep half afterward.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 9th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Granby Roll from Turtle
Partner: Ben, Tom

Had a good session today but not a lot of time to write so I'll talk more about techniques of the week tomorrow.  Jerad had us do the o-soto a little differently by making them step forward to help off balance them.  I got to show off my granby skills since Jerad's neck is bothering him a bit.  We both hit on that a huge part of the technique is believing that you can do it with someone on you giving you pressure.

Rolling: Turtle Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Ben, Tom

Had some great turtle battles and was surprised a few times by both of them.  My strategy from the top was to get to the back after getting some grips.  One of the big parts of this is that the bottom leg is the more important hook to get in.  From bottom I spammed trying to granby every time and got it a few times but had to resort to half guard the other times. 

De La Riva came up at one point and Jerad showed us some details to the back step pass that I kind of liked and didn't know about.  I may look into this further although not many people at the school play DLR.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We worked on some cross and spider guard and I showed him the lasso version of the shin sweep which I prefer to the spider guard version.  We rolled a few times where I used the lasso and a modified cross guard a few times.  

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Attacking the Back: RNC, Kimura Grip to Armbar
Partner: Jess

Great class on something that I'm always striving to be better at.  I'm getting there as I do feel more in control in back mount and I'm able to transition and keep a dominant position if they start to escape.  I'm not quite there yet with the hand fighting and arm trapping aspects of it.  The kimura grip to armbar was very solid and is a much better version to armbar than what I was doing before which was pretty much just framing against side of their head as I kick my leg over. 

Rolling: Back Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Mike

Was able to control and escape pretty well from back mount today but didn't come very close to finishing.  I think it has mostly to do with my partners being able to control my attacking hand so I have to think on what I'm doing to allow this.  Butterfly hooks from back mount have become a staple in me keeping a dominant position and am glad that I attended those classes where Greg showed the transitions to maintain back mount.

Office Hours Partner: Mike, Jess

Frank and I did a shark tank for Mike and apparently we're going to be doing this more often until his fight next month.  I did the stand-up rounds with him and Frank started in top positions on the ground.  We worked hard to wear him out and I think we succeeded.  I reinforced my belief that I suck at takedowns which is kind of a self fulfilling prophecy. 

However, Mike gave me some pointers to attempt more wrestling takedowns from a clinch rather than try to shoot from too far away.  This finally sunk in because I've had it wrong in my head for a long time.  I felt like I had to attempt shots if I was at a distance and then go for Judo type throws if I was clinched up.  We talked about the duck under and arm drag and I'm feeling some inspired about doing no gi stand-up next time.

Practiced the waiter sweep with Jess and showed Mike that I'm changing the direction I take it to direct the my leg more toward the knee.  This should prevent the ankle lock positions I've been falling into while performing this sweep and also makes it easier to sprawl into the over under pass.  Rolled with Jess a little after that with a focus on trying to catch him in a trap and being more flowy (also being a little lazy). 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

November 5th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Andy, Derek, Brian G, Craig, Austin, Henry

Almost forgot to write this. I had a good day of rolling but didn't feel very strong or aggressive.

I had my very tough rolls with Henry and Derek. I was a little more relaxed with both of them than usual.  I think it helped and I need to find a happy medium of how much energy I use during different parts of the roll.

I did a lot of coaching through the other rolls and gave a few peaks into things that I do or techniques that other people catch me with.  Brian said that he appreciated it which is nice to hear as I also want to avoid being patronizing.

All in all it was kind of a blah day. I'm questioning if I should continue using waiter sweep as it seems to be putting me into leg lock positions with people known to do those techniques. The shin sweep may be the more valid attack for me.

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 4th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense to Von Flue, Half Guard with Underhook: Take the back, Regain Guard

Since there were uneven groups and I'm a big time important instructor, I didn't really partner up today but helped with the techniques.  Probably the detail I helped with the most was pulling their body across to help with getting back to full guard. 

Rolling: Half Guard, Full Guard, Open Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Morgan, Jesus, Jess

I tried to be flowy today and also played a bit of lasso guard. 

Morgan just recently returned and I was impressed that he still knows stuff.  He still has some guard skills and did a good job avoiding my passes and hunting triangles. 

I was playing some loose open guard with Jesus, and he jumped on a nice straight ankle lock.  I was in trouble but he just didn't have my toes in the right place and putting the boot on saved me.  I will have to take him a little more seriously going forward.

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Conan

Rolled with Jess a couple times and my goal is to break him of his always move forward in his opponent's closed guard to stack.  I think it works for him a little bit against white belts as he's decent at stacking but it would serve him a little better to work on breaking open the guard with posture. 

Conan and I had a couple of good rolls.  I tried to relax a little bit and look for stability in framing.  I had a pretty well timed side control escape that he was impressed with.  In the process of attempting to pass his guard at another point he turtled up and had control of my far arm and we had a circular battle trying to get top position.  I ended up gassing soon after that. 

Just saw a totally awesome deep half to calf cutter that I can't wait to try.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November 3rd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense to Von Flue, Half Guard with Underhook: Take the back, Regain Guard
Partner: Ben

Before starting class I went over some posture control from closed guard with Daniel.  I think I gave him a few pointers that I like to use while playing closed guard.

Apparently my left shoulder is better at Von Flue than my right.  Ben kept saying I was choking a lot better on that side.

Ben noticed that I was going for the RNC during the transition to back mount instead of securing the position first and then going for the choke.  I helped him work through that to and we figured out that you kind of let them fall into it as you are hip escaping. 

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Ben, Frank, Daniel

Had some good rolls from half guard and tried to be as diverse as possible and attempt some different things.  I made it to deep half a few times and was able to use the shin sweep effectively.

From the top I avoided the hip switch and wanted to transition to x-pass or smash pass more.

Office Hours Partner: Frank

He asked about possibilities to defend my x-pass setup to which I showed some de la Riva.  Greg saw us working on it and asked if I was becoming a DLR guy kind of excitedly which makes me wonder if I should dabble in it a bit more.  Most of what I know about it came from Alejandro.

November 2nd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard with Underhook: Take the back, Regain Guard, Plan B Sweep
Partner: Jess, Daniel

One of my favorite weeks in the beginner curriculum, mostly because we get to do positional sparring from half guard.  Some pointers on half guard bottom in general:
  • Always control the inside space
  • Avoid being flat on your back
  • Monitor their cross face arm
  • Always be searching for an underhook with your elbow
  • When getting an underhook try to get their armpit over your shoulder
  • Use your legs, don't just triangle your legs and try to hold them in place.  Use your legs to move your opponents around.

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jerad, Tom, Daniel, Ben

Jerad and I both gave each other a hard time. He joked that 2 minutes may not be enough time to pass my half guard.

With the other rolls I did my best to play a pretty straight forward game from top and bottom and didn't resort to deep half.

I showed Daniel how to get to butterfly half a d saw a light bulb form over his head when he I showed him that I plant my foot and move their leg over the top of it.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We rolled a few times as I attempted to setup lasso guard and he didn't let me.  I continued to be in open guard until setting up an arm drag. His sife control defenses are getting quite good and I had to use an unorthodox method to finish my baseball bat choke with my knee to assist.

We worked on cross guard for a while and to help him get the omoplata I had him exaggerate the movement a lot to get his hips up high enough to push the wrist into place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

November 1st 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guard Break, Split Pass, Lumberjack Sweep
Partner: Bhuvana

Great class today.  I'm slowly working my way into doing split pass while rolling.  It's not completely a part of my game unless I just find myself there.  There was quite a bit of concern with standing to break guard and avoiding the double ankle sweep. The lumberjack sweep is not my favorite.  I seem to have a hard time keeping my guard closed through the whole technique.  I especially focused on that today.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bhuvana, John, Mike, Tom

Had a couple of things in mind while rolling. On the bottom if half guard occurred I was going to attempt Krab guard first and go to deep half if it failed. Then waiter sweep.

On top I wanted the guard break of the day or tozi pass.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We played around with krab guard for a while and I showed him my idea of going to it from a failed scissor sweep.  I think it's doable.

We rolled a couple of times but it all seems to run together from rolling earlier.  At some point I hit a shin sweep from deep half and turned it into single leg-x.  I lost position when attempting to switch to full x-guard.  He showed me that I should have reaped the knee to go for a heel hook or during the transition I should have pulled on his knee to keep him from back stepping.

There were a couple times when we were rolling in guard that a sweep happened but we didn't notice because we lost a sense of it from fighting for leg locks. 

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Eric (Visitor), Henry, Greg, Tyler, Nick
Game Plan: Kimuras, Deep Half & Omoplatas

Eric: No easy rolls today and this was a great way to start.  Eric has visited are school a few times in the past when he was purple and now he's a brown belt.

Felt like I did pretty well, was able to sweep from deep half but had a difficult time passing.  He had a slick lasso sweep that had me defending the rest of the roll.

Toward the end of open mat we shared some cross guard omoplata stuff. I showed him my guard pull and he showed me his lasso setup to omoplata. I think I finally figured out what I've been doing wrong with this. I've been trying to bring my head to close to them as I rolled. We also talked about the lawn mower position which was the name he used for the sitting on the shoulder position after an omoplata sweep.

Henry: My major objective was to avoid guillotines and kimuras. Difficult task with Henry. We rolled for quite a while and I'm happy with my performance even if he did eventually get the guillotine. We had a good discussion about using kimuras for control and I think I'm beginning to understand. The major thing is to push into their body with straight arms while trying to get in position and sucking the arms in when submitting.

Greg: Felt like I had some good movement during our roll. He caught me with a few leg locks. The one setup that I'd like to work on is from when the bottom person gets an underhook and you step back to setup the inverted heel hook.  I was able to catch him in a kimura grip but he kept a good hold of my leg to keep me from using it.

Tyler: I respect how frustrating his guard can be. I'm not sure how he does it but every time I attempt to get close he's able to push me away or threaten a back take.

Nick: My rolls with Nick are always great and just like the other good guys I roll with he has techniques and attributes that make his game different.  He put me in a couple omoplatas that I had to work hard to defend, not many people put me there but I think being good at a position helps you be good at defending it.

Friday, October 28, 2016

October 28th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass, Knee Over Pass, X-Pass
Students: Craig, Tom, Ryal

Was the instructor today and added some throw fitins to the warm-up.  We then went right into Koshi Guruma. 

We did quite a few reps with the standing guard break and switched out the pass.  I liked showing some other options from the standing guard break.  I've gone over the x-pass with a few people lately and have enjoyed adding it to my teaching repertoire. 

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling

Made sure to try the standing guard break as often as possible when on top.  The topic came up with Ryal if it was good to come up with them or not and I mentioned that it's possible to just stand-up and turn it into some judo.  I've been thwarted with this before and would like to think of some go to throws to deal with this.

Played some more cross guard today from the bottom and focused on transitioning to back roll or triangle.  Went over being stacked in a triangle with Tom and how I treat it like defending a double under pass and spread my knees out onto their arms until I can get my posture back and lock up the triangle again or go to guard.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We drilled some cross guard and helped him with some specifics of getting to the position and getting the wrist to the other side.  We rolled a few times and had a good discussion about progressing in BJJ.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

October 27th 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

Tips for techniques of the week:
  • Koshi Guruma: Try not to grab anything with the arm that's around their neck just make it a fist and squeeze their head.
  • Standing Guard Break: The answer is on the ceiling.  Get your grips keep your posture as you stand and pull up on their sleeve.
  • Torreando Pass: We did a cool variation today that Greg said the ATOS guys do.  If they grab your ankle as you stand to break you turn your foot and walk to the side, then push their knees to the other side as you walk back in.  Hard to explain in text I guess.
Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Jess, Jordan

Bhuvana did some good things and was setting up a nice tozi pass before time ran out.  I gave her some pointers on it later, because she needed to switch her hips at the end in order to open the guard.  Jess has some good instincts and is doing well, I think he may need to slow down a bit and think about things as time goes on.

Did some experimenting with cross guard that worked out pretty well.  Jordan was doing a good job at posturing and I tried to hang off of him more and bring my cross guard up kind of high.  It felt like I was playing around with the position a bit and was able to have some fun with it, if that makes sense.

Office Hours Partner: Greg

We worked a bit on a throw that Greg and Bob were working on.  Kind of Makakomi o-soto gari to kimura throw.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

October 26th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Blue Belt Curriculum Page 1 and some Cross Guard
Student: Ben

Only Ben showed up today and I was so thankful to have at least one.  The real curriculum of this week included Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass, and Koshi Guruma which we covered a little bit of during the process.  I had him do a couple reps of each techniques and then gave him a few pointers if I saw some things.  A lot of the things were pretty nit picky but I think a few of the things he said were helpful tips. 

We talked a bit about cross guard as a position and getting the omoplata.  He was skipping over the position a little bit to get to the omoplata which makes it more difficult to get the wrist into the opposite hip. 

We rolled a few times with some breaks to discuss a couple of options from positions.  He said he liked rolling this way with a little bit of instruction mixed in.  I think it has it's time and place and definitely don't want to be the guy that stops a roll for instruction because I'm going to get caught in a submission and I do my best to avoid being patronizing to anyone. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

October 25th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Arm Drag, Butterfly Sweep, Knee Tap
Partner: Jess, Phil

Greg gave his classic class on butterfly guard and it was a good refresh.  I think I understood the knee tap so much better than previously.  Mostly because I had to explain a lot of details to Phil and Jess.  I think they came away with a good understanding of the position though. 

Rolling: Butterfly Up/Down/Out & KOTM
Rolled With: John, Bhuvana, Mike, Tim, Phil, Jess,

Mike obviously gave me the most trouble today.  We got into a couple of leg locky positions and I threw up a heel hook attack from top half guard that I've been working on.

Had some other close moments with others that became a little scrambly.  I'm striving for that a little to get a little better cardio workout and I like the aspect of trying to just work and not think as much.

On my last roll with Bhuvana she complained that it would probably get over too quickly so instead of going for the pass right away I went to half guard first and then a cross face.  Purposefully trying to make her a little uncomfortable, I then tried to help talk her out of the bad spots and had her look for underhooks and stuff.  She seemed to appreciate the nature of the roll.

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Mike

Helped Jess with some basics of guard breaking to get out of closed guard without a gi. 

Rolled with Mike a few times with a couple of moments of acrobatic scrambling on Mike's part.  We went over some leg lock stuff and he helped me with some hand position stuff on the half guard heel hook.  We also discussed deep half and transitioning to tornado guard as an option to attack legs if deep half doesn't seem to be working.  I think I'll do some Youtube research on Cyborg Abreu to get some ideas.  I like what we experimented with quite a bit.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

October 22nd 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jess, Henry, Tyler, Andy, Bhuvana, Josh J
Game Plan: Bottom - Waiter Sweep, Top - Baseball Bat choke

Jess: He did pretty well today. Had some decent escapes. We rolled gi and no gi.  He'll be a handful once he figures some things out.

Tyler: Another tough roll, I don't know how he is able to maintain and attack from guard so well. There always seems to be something in the way.

Henry: We ended up in a lot of ankle lock positions. I enjoyed it quite a bit even though I didn't do well it makes me want to focus on them more. He's also doing great with kimuras lately which I will have to work with him on.

Andy: I showed him some tips from Nick on the inverted triangle that we worked on last week. The specific thing was lifting the head instead of pushing it down to setup the choke.

Bhuvana: We rolled from butterfly guard. She wanted to work on guard retention. Her big takeaway was to get collar sleeve and either collar drag or put a foot on their hip.

Josh: Man what a roll to finish the session. We went back and forth a lot and he defended so well. I tested my resolve to keep being technical and not get impatient.

Friday, October 21, 2016

October 21st 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up variations
Partner: Tim (New)

Conan made a class out of the technical stand-up and showed some sit-up to single leg guard type stuff to use the same motion.  Tim is pretty new and I had to instruct quite a bit but by the end I think he gained some knowledge.  Hopefully he sticks with it.

Rolling: Combat base, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tim, David

During rolling I switched between cutting to the chase with a pass or sweep and letting him work and talking him through things. 

Had a good roll with Dave, I played guard for most of the roll and we went back and forth between me attempting submissions and him getting close to passing.  We ended up going the whole round without a sub.  I did attempt to triangle the triangle guy. 

Office Hours Partner: Craig, Conan

We took turns rolling.  I was able to pull off the new side control escape that Conan and I have been working on (see video below).  I was able to pull it off too.  Conan was really in a pressuring mood and I felt like I had to fight my heart out to gain any ground.  There was a point where I was in deep half and he was trying to isolate my arm where usually I find it quite easy to retain but it was very difficult to fight him off and get my arm back.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

October 20th 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

We worked quite a bit on the technical standup.  The main thing emphasized today was that you don't have to do all of the steps depending on the space your opponent gives you.  You may be able to stand-up after the first kick, you may have to kick them attempt to stand up they move in again, you lay on your back, repeat until you get enough space.  I think the most important thing to practice once you have the ability to stand-up down is knowing how far away they need to be for you to stand-up safely.

Bhuvana and I went over a few different kimura setups and some different ways to trick them into putting their hand on the mat in order to jump on the kimura.  She seemed to appreciate this exercise.  We also did a kimura from half guard and I was telling her to go to half butterfly but Greg said to just stay in half guard, so I was a little mixed up about that and will have to collect my thoughts. 

Rolling: Guard KOTM
Rolled With: John, Bhuvana, Bob, Jordan, Chris, Anthony

Had a lot of fun rolling and appreciate being able to roll with other blues like John and Jordan.  Apparently David is coming to early morning class tomorrow.

Didn't focus on any techniques in particular, I did hit a hip bump or two.  I tried to stay away from cross guard from the bottom and did more collar grab to open guard.  From top the focus was on floating and hip switching after a standing guard break.  I resorted to over/under a few times but might need to expand my passing game a bit more. 

There is always the dilemma of working on my best stuff or trying new things to challenge myself.  I'm planning on experimenting with some new things in the near future.  Just not sure what yet.  Ankle locks are on my list for sure.  Maybe a different guard like De La Riva.

Office Hours Partner: John

Watched John and Jordan roll and gave John some pointers on going to butterfly half when under hooked and cross faced in regular half guard and an entry into deep half from bottom of mount that he could have capitalized on.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

October 19th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Guard: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Chris C

Another small Wednesday but Chris and I put the work in.  We didn't spend too much time on instruction since he was already aware of the techniques but we stopped occasionally to make small adjustments to his technique.  The big thing was getting his hips back and coming up and over my shoulder.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Chris, Jerad

Before doing positional sparring we discussed standing guard break.  There was definitely a difference in the way the two of us played and maybe there is something to that.  I was more than willing to open my guard where he seemed to want to hold me in his guard tight.  Probably just a thing that happens over time but I do remember caring a lot if my guard got opened.  He did take me by surprise at one point when I attempted spider guard and he stacked me and I had to turtle and he went right in to trying to take my back.  Didn't get to follow it through as time ran out.

Had a great roll with Jerad and felt like he dominated me afterward and said as much to him.  But, I was only really thinking about the last couple minutes of the roll where I was trying to escape mount and back mount.  I did quite a few things before that in pulling off a omoplata sweep and a good attempt at a loop choke.  I should follow my own advice and celebrate the little wins.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half guard hip switch pass & back take
Partner: Henry

Mike had us work on one of my favorite pass positions from half guard. One detail that he emphasized was to get behind their triceps with your triceps. It wasn't something that I considered that important as I'm attacking the kimura if their arm is in or trying to pass to mount if their arm is out. Getting behind the tricep helps prevent them framing and is more desirable. Henry and I went off in tangents a few times with rolling back takes and other setups.

Rolling: Half Guard
Rolled With: Henry, Tom, Jesus

Had some good rolls. Henry did well with his inversions from the bottom and guillotine attempts from the top.

With both Jesus and Tom I was able to get to deep half from the bottom as they left too much space with their knee.  I also helped Tom isolate an arm and crossface to get mount.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We rolled a few times and he shut down my NS choke. When I commented about not getting what I wanted he said something like, "I'm still on the bottom defending." We worked on the hip switch a bit more along with getting and underhook and coming up to the dog fight position.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 15th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Craig, Tommy, Andy, Nick, Chris, Mike

Craig: We did some flow rolling before actually getting down to business as a little warm-up. I feel like his guard passing is improving since we've been working on it.

Tommy: Tommy was on his second day and he had a few people including Jerad and Nick work on some stuff with him. He had just watched his daughter do the kneeling guard break in the kids class so we worked on that mostly. Then I gave the typical shpeel about what positions are good and bad, position before submission, and posture and grips. Probably a little overwhelming.

Andy: He got me a little hung up in inverted triangle from side mount. I gave him a tip on grabbing the inside wrist to tighten it up which he seemed to appreciate.

Nick: Had quite a few rolls together. He complimented me on not making very many mistakes.  We went over the spiral armbar position as he caught me in a gogo plata armbar choke thing of a miserable submission.

Chris: I helped Chris with some guard passing and knee on belly transitioning to mount then Americana. I think this helped him put some pieces together attacking wise.  He gave me the impression that he felt like he was wasting my time. I just want to throw it out there that my time only feels wasted if the other person isn't interested in learning otherwise I'm game to roll with anyone and I think i can say the same for the purple and blue belts.

Mike: Quite a few rolls no gi style at the end of the session. He had my number today as he caught me with heel hook after heel hook. We discussed me not feeling pressure with it and maybe not tapping when I should to avoid injury. Luckily he's not looking to hurt me. The rest of the rolls consisted of guillotine and NS choke attempts with some deep half and waiter sweeps thrown in there.

Friday, October 14, 2016

October 14th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Back Mount: Cross Collar Choke, Bow & Arrow
Partner: Jesus, Jess

I helped Jesus and Jess on some of the finer points of the B&A along with escaping it. That technique is feeling really smooth especially my feet transitioning. I may start going for it again more often.

Rolling: Back Mount, Side Control
Rolled With: Jess, Josh J, Jesus, Tom

Transitions are feeling better than usual lately. Not trying to brag but flowing between mount, side control, and back control attacking my goto subs along the way feels very natural. Of course all of that changes against someone equal or better than me.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

Had an interesting cross guard omoplata sweep without actually having the omoplata locked in as he was hiding his elbow.  We also drilled some cross guard and omoplatas.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

October 13th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seoi Nage, Cross Collar Choke from Back, Guillotine from Closed Guard
Students: Bhuvana, Shane, Jess, Anthony, Frank

Had them do a standing arm drag to the back to valley drop drill for part of the warm-up.  With Seoi Nage I tried to incorporate some of the stuff that Bob has helped me with.  Stepping into the tip of the triangle and getting them off balance.  One thing I also emphasized today was the importance of falling correctly.

The cross collar choke or sliding lapel choke has actually turned into one of my highest percentage chokes.  At first I discounted it because I liked the bow and arrow so much more, but now I go to this first and then if I can't finish it will transition to bow and arrow.  I consider this choke pretty direct and I don't have to work as hard.

With the guillotine Bhuvana actually pointed out something that I forgot during instruction which is how Greg gets his hip off to the side.  It's a really great detail as you really get out of their way as their head falls to the floor.

Rolling: Back Mount, Guard, Free Rolling

I didn't get to roll that much today due to even number of students.  Saw some good stuff and was surprised by Anthony as he just came back from a long break.  He was using his flexibility and redirecting bigger guys pretty well.  Jess the new guy was doing some good things too but also gassing himself out a bit, won't be long before he gets used to it. I saw Shane setup an awesome triangle and when he got stacked he underhooked the far leg and took total control of his partners posture.  So cool to watch people improve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 12th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Single Leg-X: Entry from kneeling and standing, Tech Stand-up sweep, Transition to full X
Students: Frank, Chris C

I was a little worried that no one was showing up at 5 till.  Frank and Chris mosied on in and I was so happy.  After some basic floor exercise warm-ups we did some standing guard break drills and everyone's favorite 180 side control movement drills.

I decided to work on single leg x since I was pretty sure they haven't practiced it and I feel it's pretty useful. The cool thing was that both of them said they had been on the receiving end of it several times but didn't know how to do it.

Rolling: Single Leg-X, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Chris, Frank

Had them roll with each other starting from the SLX position and while they didn't do great from there I got some satisfaction seeing them get to the position without thinking about it every time.  I got some rolling in too with a focus on open guard.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October 11th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Turning Pass, Knee Slide Pass, Guillotine
Partner: Jess (New Guy)

Great material today with all stuff I like to use. The guillotine that we did is commonly referred to as the marcelotine and it's one that I need to incorporate more into my rolling.

Rolling: Butterfly Guard
Rolled With: Jess, Greg, Ian, Jesus

Jess did pretty well for being new. Having a wrestling background helps.  Had decent rolls with Ian and Jesus. Didn't have much success with playing actual butterfly from the bottom but ended up with a lot of half guard and an occasional arm drag. Top was pretty straight forward over/under pass.

Felt pretty good about my roll against Greg came close with a couple things like hip switch pass and kimura from half guard. We were talking later and he gave me the impression that I needed to work on controlling with the kimura more.

Office Hours Partner: Frank

Frank and I rolled a few times and then went over rolling back takes and the twister side control position since I pulled off one off earlier in the roll. Seemed like I taught him something new today.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October 8th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Ross, Henry, Kevin, Bauer, Bhuvana

Ross: Great to see him after such a long time. He did a few things that seemed new. He rolled from bottom of turtle and attempted some knee bars and we ended up in 50/50 for a bit. I felt like his hip escapes were a lot better too. Always cool to see how people progress when they train somewhere else and wonder how different their skill would be if they stayed. He did pay LBJJC a compliment and said that he likes how the upper belts are more willing to share techniques and give technique advice.

Henry: Great roll with quite a pace.  We had some back and forth a lot of it from half guard.  One thing that he does that I admire is his ability to invert to escape side control, it's very tough to deal with. I'll have to have him show me how to do it some time.

Kevin: Felt a little better about my performance with him this week but gassed out in the end. One thing I'd like to figure out is options from when I go for a belly down armbar with the shin across the neck and they hide their arm, I feel stuck when I get there lately.

Bauer: Good rolls with Bauer. Had one bit of advice for him as we started both times he kind of pushed me into closed guard, so I suggested to put a knee up to start passing right away. I also showed him my new NS choke setup. I think I'll call it the shelf setup or something like that.

Bhuvana: She requested a shorter version of the 8 minute drill since she's never done it before.  I'm pretty impressed with her defenses as I may have only submitted her once or twice during the exercise. We also worked on loop choke and arm triangle.

Friday, October 7, 2016

October 7th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Kimura basics from guard
Partner: Evan

Did some basic kimura stuff from guard.  Instead of focusing on just the technique we dealt more with when the opponent defends by trying to tuck their arm under their leg.  We then usually ended up with a sweep or a folded arm type of kimura that Conan has taught before.  I especially like the half guard stuff as I hook up the submission from their more often but am not always able to finish it.

Rolling: Guard, Half Guard
Rolled With: Evan, Ryal

Took a deliberate sloth approach to rolling with both of them.  Tried to focus on structure and very slowly working for the pass that I wanted.  It takes a little bit of trust in my grips and posture to do this.  Helped Evan out with some guard passing toward the end.  Ryal jumped right on the kimura from half guard a couple times and I had to be careful not to get it pulled away and isolated.  I told him to keep working on that because it seemed to be pretty natural for him.

Office Hours Partner: Josh

Rolled a couple times after class and Josh did a good job at giving me a hard time.  He attempted a brabo from knee on belly and I had to wait for my moment to escape.  We went over transitioning to knee on belly and I discovered something that I didn't realize that I was doing but is very effective.  He was coming up to knee on belly with his shoulder turned where when I went to knee on belly I would turn my shoulders so my chest would face him and it makes the position so much more unbearable.  People probably teach it but I just hadn't heard it verbalized or realized that I was doing it.