Thursday, March 31, 2016

March 31st 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing RNC defense using Seoi nage, Farside Armbar from Side Control
Students: Jordan, Bhuvana, Dave, Byrav, Derek, Kirk (visitor), Chris C.

Been out all week since I've been suffering from a back ache.  I hurt it doing something benign as sitting on the floor and setting up our kindle fire so my son could watch a Curious George video.  I just twisted to reach a bit and felt something was a little wrong.  My back got progressively worse Saturday and Conan and I were pretty worthless trying to teach the kids class, because he also had an ear infection the day before.

It felt good to get on the mat today.  I am not 100% but I was able to demonstrate most of the exercises for the new guy and didn't have too many problems with the techniques. The shoulder throw was probably the most difficult thing for me.

Here are some tips for this week's techniques:
  • Shoulder Throw RNC Defense: The bits of advice I gave out the most were to use their belt knot as a guide to how low you need to get your hips.  I like to get my shoulder as high as I can into their armpit.
  • Farside Armbar: Keeping the knee up while switching sides is very important.  Don't let them sit on your leg.  
  • Scissor Sweep: Make a connection with your opponent.  One you have your grips and get to position sit up into them and when you fall back take them with you so you can scissor their legs easier.

Rolling: Side Control (2 x 2 min), Guard (2 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Kirk, Bhuvana, Dave

Rolling went okay.  There were a couple moments where I didn't feel like I could bridge nearly as well as I normally do so I chose my moments of when to exert myself.  I rolled with Kirk and did my best to explain the positions and talk him through some things.  At the end of class, he seemed very interested in returning, very cool.

Bhuvana and Dave were good rolls and presented some challenges with my back.  I let a few things go that I normally wouldn't have like a guard break and pass but I kind of liked the idea of choosing techniques to overcome an injury.

Friday, March 25, 2016

March 25th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Side Control Basic Escape to Guard, Americana from Side Control
Partner: Craig, Jesus

Conan threw in a few of the advanced warm-ups like side rolls and butterfly guard walks.  During the throw training, Jesus had a little bit of trouble with the upper body work of the throw.  I think he was more trying to push Craig back rather than put his weight down on the foot that he's going to kick out. 

Rolling: Side Control (4 x 4 min), Open Guard King of the Mat
Rolled With: Josh J, Justin, Jordan, Craig, Jesus, Tyler

Had some good rolls today and I'm going to have to take a couple people more seriously.  I'm glad to have Justin in these Friday mornings as he's also a blue belt and he's gotten better since he's been attending the advanced classes.  Hopefully he'll continue to show up.

Jordan surprised me during king of the mat open guard.  He came close to passing so I turtled.  He immediately went for the turn over and got my lapel and switched sides and pulled me on my side and went for the back take and got it.  Executed perfectly!  So he's moved up a category of someone that I will not take lightly.

Office Hours Partner: Josh J

Josh really surprised me today.  He took it to me and prevented quite a few things that I would normally get easily.  There was a point when I was in deep half guard and went for the normal homer sweep and came up but I was being lazy and brought my arm to the inside right into a triangle.  It took a little while and made me question if I should gut this out or tap.  I attempted the knee in escape but he was too high on my chest and eventually I tapped and told him great job.  He played it off that I wasn't trying my best or screwing around, but honestly I made a lazy mistake that I shouldn't have made when coming up from deep half and I paid for it.  It made me think that I can get lackadaisical when I roll with some of the junior guys and I should really be striving for perfect technique all the time.  I don't have to always go hard but I need to cut down on simple mistakes just because I can get away with them most of the time. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

March 24th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Side Control Basic Escape to Guard, Americana from Side Control
Partner: John, Tim, Derek, Bhuvana, Byrav, Bob, Morgan, Chris C, Harvey, Andy

The biggest class that I've taught to date.  I taught everything pretty much the same as yesterday with some stand-up grip fighting, pummeling etc.  Then right into O-Soto Gari and having them focus on the upper body instead of the trip. 

One thing that I noticed a lot while they were working on the americana was too much use of the arm to push their opponents arm to the mat.  Connect their arm to your chest and use your legs to get their arm to the floor. 

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Side Control, Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Most of the class

Saw some good things in rolling.  I was surprised that I didn't see very many people making it to mount.  That may be something that I could put a class together on in the future as I feel like I am developing my transitions into mount pretty well. 

I had a tough roll with Derek that pretty much ended in a stalemate.  I pulled guard and tried to sweep or choke him and he kept not letting me.  When it was over and I stood up, my thighs were fatigued from trying to keep him in guard. 

Office Hours Partner: Harvey, Chris

Went over armbar from the guard with Harvey and we got into a short discussion about trigger positions.  He said he understood how to do the armbar and which way to turn when we are drilling it but under pressure he couldn't think about the same things clearly.  This is the reason that we need to drill things and come up with the positions that trigger these techniques for us.  In this case when the arm goes across my belly and their elbow is near my hip that is my trigger to start the armbar process. 

Rolled a few times with Chris and we worked on some mount defense and offense.  I showed him how to isolate an arm using his body more than arm strength and how important taking a higher mount is. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March 23rd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Side Control Basic Escape to Guard, Americana from Side Control
Students: Mike A, Tom, Jordan, John, Byrav

Felt good about the information that I dispensed today.  Of course it helps that I'm comfortable using these particular techniques in rolling.  did a couple standup rounds with grip fighting, fighting for thai clinch, and alternating throws. 

I tried something new when teaching O-Soto Gari and had them not do the trip the first time around.  Instead they were just supposed to do the step and the steering with the arms to focus on this part of the throw more.  I think too many people (myself included) focus so much on the tripping part and don't do enough with the upper body.  I may try teaching it again this way tomorrow.

Tips on the other techniques:
  • Side Control Escape: bridge like you are going to knock them over, make them react to your bridge.  Keep your foot engaged with the floor
  • Americana: Once you are in the position to finish this technique keep your own wrists straight.  Have your hand on their wrist instead of half on their hand.  Lock everything in with your elbow in their neck.  Drive their arm down as you lift their elbow keeping the back of their hand on the floor.
Rolling: King of the Mat Side Control, Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Everyone

Had some good rolls and attempted the side control escape when I could.  I wasn't able to pull off any americanas.  Both Mike and John foiled my side switch baseball bat choke because my posture was too high.  So new part of this is I have to stay low and not let them get their legs involved.  Can't have people get wise to my technique.  I did setup a darce, some north/south chokes and some back takes. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

March 22nd 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Attacking Turtle to Back Mount
Partner: Bhuvana

Good topic for class today as I don't think we've covered turtle in this Tuesday no gi class.  Some basic things to remember for the top person:
  • Keep your weight low and over their hips draping your across their lower back
  • Always be trying to weasel your hands either into the spot between their hip and leg
  • Harness grip needs to be tight, I like to think about squeezing my elbows into them rather then pulling straight back on my hands.

Rolling: Turtle Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Mike A, Derek M, Tom, Harvey, Morgan, Bhuvana, and others

I felt unstoppable with my granby roll today.  I'd bide my time and keep my defenses tight and then blast into a roll when the coast was clear.  One of the big keys was something that Tom and I talked about after class, when I start on the bottom of the position, I don't let anyone have any grips before we begin.  It's easier to prevent them than it is to remove them. 

Mike did give me some trouble when I was on top.  I felt like I was so close to taking his back but I got my weight just a little too high and he shrugged me off.  Otherwise I was attacking the back pretty consistently with the technique that we did today.

Office Hours Partner: Harvey, Tom

I showed the guys that hung around how I do my granby roll and some basic tips for it.  Mike gave some pointers on crucifix stuff that I've been wondering about and Tom helped me practice that a few times.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

March 19th 2016 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Farside Armbar, Paint Brush
Rolling/Game: Side Control, Stand Up Sparring, Sharks and Octopuses

Helped teach with Jerad today so attended both kid classes.  I always get a bit of a workout in the little kids class because we do the break falls with them but we also worked on the footwork for the double leg shot.

For the older kids class, Jerad said if they wanted to spar more than everyone would need to do warm-ups quicker. I think this encouraged Jayden to go a little faster.  They did get to spar more and do some stand-up sparring.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Adam, Derek W, Mike A, Bhuvana, Bauer
Game Plan: Bottom - Cross Guard Top - Spiral Armbar

Holy crap there was a lot of people training today, probably the most I've ever seen in an open mat. Luckily Dwight thought of taking a picture. There was almost no room between people training. I think we're gonna need a bigger boat.

Adam: We rolled for over half an hour but I felt pretty strong throughout our roll.  Today was the closest I've come to submitting him with both an Ezekiel and a loop choke but he got out of them.  He's made me better at escaping side control and  avoiding his butcher.  I need to work on preventing his smash and kick out guard pass.  I'm going to catch him one of these days.

Derek: He had a great attitude toward rolling as we probably went 8 times. Had to give him pointers on guard passing and going for pant grips. I should write an FAQ and post it on the wall.  We talked a bit about bottom half and creating space with framing.

Mike: We rolled twice and with the first roll he caught me with a kneebar from inverted half guard. In our second roll he attacked a wristlock and became focused on finishing it, but flexible wrists are one positive things about 20 years of Hapkido.  He focused on it so much that I was able to take his back. It wasn't over yet, I tried to secure the RNC but he fought it well, eventually I ended up in mount trying setup arm triangle ended up in side mount and set up the switch side baseball bat choke.

Bhuvana: We talked about some strategies from bottom midrange half guard, as she had a little trouble from there. My suggestion was knee shield. If there's space in half, I'll always go for it.

Bauer: We didn't roll but he let me drill some deep half stuff and put a little resistance in there.  It was pretty tough drilling with his flexibility in this position.

Friday, March 18, 2016

March 18th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Kesa Getami Roll Over Escape, Straight Foot Lock
Partner: Morgan, Josh J

With Conan teaching I was able to get some reps of this week's techniques since I taught the last 2 days.  Conan emphasized a couple of things that I did not.  I will have to go over the technique again with Greg to iron a few things out.  Do I want their toes secure before I lay to the side?  Do you bring my back leg up after breaking the guard?  Otherwise I'm feeling confident in finishing the straight footlock where previously I felt it was hit or miss.

Rolling: Guard (4 x 3 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Josh, Jesus, Justin, Morgan

Some good rolling occurred.  Josh tried to catch me with cross guard omoplata with me responding with an "nah uh uh" you're not catching me with my favorite thing, at least not until he practices it more.  He did a good job with hand fighting and preventing me from a lot of the grips that I wanted. 

Justin and I had a good roll as well.  I thought I had him there for a little while but he escaped my side control to turtle and then I went for a crucifix but was a little too high on his shoulders, I should have rolled more over his back.  Eventually I'll put some time into researching this position.

Office Hours Partner: Josh

We went over cross guard per his request.  Something that helped him was when I said that the cross guard was another guard.  He seemed to want to quickly get to the omoplata but I think it of more like going 90 degrees twice.  So I helped him tighten the position and gave a few contingencies.  We talked about how my game developed and I gave my usual story that it didn't start really developing until our first competition class when Greg assigned me the techniques to drill (Cross Guard, Over/Under Pass).  He also paid me a huge compliment saying that he couldn't imagine that I was ever as lost at Jiu-Jitsu as he is.  I tried to get across that it felt like I spent my first year on the bottom of side control and that I felt like he is pretty good for how long he's been doing it.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March 17th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Kesa Getami Roll Over Escape, Straight Foot Lock
Students: Bhuvana, Byrav, Megan, Chris C, Dave, Harvey

Got some positive feedback on my teaching today which always feeds my ego a bit.  I just have to roll with some of the people that normally beat me to remind me of how much more I need to learn. 

My additional warm-up today was having everyone pick a throw and then work their way into a dominant position once they finished it.  So if you chose O-Goshi instead of stopping once your opponent hits the ground go right to side control or mount.  Then the next round was focused on the other person trying to gain guard or turtle up.  Everyone seemed to enjoy this and get something out of the concept.

It seemed like most had a problem with the headlock defense.  Their partner would kind of release the headlock and then be too flat to roll over their shoulders.  I was able to mitigate the problem a little bit but I think some were still frustrated with this technique in the end.

Teaching the footlock and defense went pretty well.  I shared a few extra defense basics that I've been picking up.  Hand fighting, pushing the foot down on your hip and getting over it.

Rolling: Closed Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Harvey, Dave, Chris

From the top of guard I attempted the footlock on everyone and was able to get it a few times.  I noticed a few of them tried to set it up on me too when I was on the bottom.  Had a little underhook discussion with Dave about when is the wrong time to do it or when an underhook can put you in more danger. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 16th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Kesa Getami Roll Over Escape, Straight Foot Lock
Students: Morgan, Byrav, Mike (Visitor)

Had a visitor today who had done some traditional Ju-Jitsu a few years ago.  He seemed to have some experience with some stuff like falling and rolling etc, so he didn't have to be taught everything from the ground up.  I felt pretty good about my teaching, but unfortunately I wasn't able to get to defending against the foot lock.  Tips on today's techniques:
  • Headlock Escape: this is when someone has a pretty low profile and you can't get the hook for the back attack.  Take a low grip on their ribs and bridge them onto their head.  KEEP the bridge and roll them onto their shoulders, don't try to roll them over the top of your chest
  • Straight foot lock: I've gained a lot more confidence in this technique since Greg changed a few details in the way he taught it recently (may be a year ago).  I used the analogy today to think of it like a walking break fall when putting your heel into their hip and falling more to the side instead of back.  Then put your bicep over their toes and then I think about systematically start to get the elbow under the ribs and then my shoulder moves under and then look down and arch.
Rolling: Guard (6 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Mike, Morgan

Like usual when going with someone on their first day I completed a couple sweeps and passes before talking him through some stuff to help him out.  Mike was pretty easy to work with and was willing to try to learn everything the correct way.  I showed him scissor sweep as an option from guard and talked about desired grips a little bit.

Rolled with Morgan and he had a few tricks up his sleeve that gave me a bit of a hard time.  He did a good job of not giving up once I was almost passed his guard and went the extra mile to try to maintain it.  After one sweep I was coming to the top I ran into his knee and bit my tongue a bit (still hurts a bit).  This plus a black eye that I got from Jerad on Sunday is making me feel a little beat up this week. 

Office Hours Partner: Morgan

Morgan wanted to drill the straight foot lock a little more and I think we made some progress on some of the details.  I did my best to feel where he could change it and make it hurt more and then say, "yep feels good."  I drilled a few deep half guard entries and sweeps and felt good about my ability to flow with it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

March 15th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Tozi Pass
Partner: Tom

This is a pass that I've struggled with for a long time and when I think I understand something about it I'm proven wrong.  Greg did show some different details that I didn't know about today though.  First he had us put a lot more pressure with our shoulder on their upper body.  I thought it was supposed to be low and more with the hips.  The other part that I've had the most trouble with is how to get their feet open in the end.  Depending on which foot was crossed on top your top leg either hooks the heel or pushes under the foot.  From there we would windshield wiper to avoid half guard, but it's okay if you end up there because you have a deep underhook.

Rolling: Closed Guard (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Tom, Jesus, Mike, Josh M, Harvey

There was enough time for everyone to get to roll with everyone.  I did my best to try the tozi pass on everyone.  I didn't hit one of them, but I felt like I was able to recover back to the center every time and stay out of trouble.  I think the hardest part about the pass is keeping their hips off to the side as everyone struggled to center back up.  I did the same to most of the people that tried the pass on me as well as push on the side of their head. 

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike and I had some good rolls today.  I'm pretty happy with my performance.  There were quite a few scrambly positions and leg attacks.  However, there was one point when he was setting up a heel hook and I just kind of stayed there and let it happen.  Part of it is that I don't want to get hurt and was searching for a way to hand fight, but I should have done what Greg told me to do which is roll with it.  I might not have gotten out of it still but it is the proper defense.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

March 13th 2016 - No Gi All Beginner (Back in Town)

Theme & Techniques: Triangle from Closed Guard
Partner: Mo, Clint

I'm back after a week of vacation sans any training, so I was really jonsing for a BJJ fix. It is good to take a break every now and again to recharge the batteries and let some minor things heal. The one training I did benefit from was playing twister with my wife and kids. I actually got sore from holding a few crazy positions.

Jerad taught some basic triangle setups and I started working with Clint who was on his first day. We were of similar build so he had some trouble at first completing it just like I did with my stubby legs. But, I was able to give him some pointers that made a difference in the end.

Rolling: Closed Guard (4 x 2 min)
Rolled With: Clint, Shane

Clint had some wrestling and football but wasn't really familiar with closed guard. I tried to give him some active instruction by putting him close to being swept or close to having his guard passed and then talking him through how to recover.

Shane did a good job hand fighting making it tough for me to do what I wanted. I focused on trying to get 2 on 1 from the bottom and I had some success with it. To pass I attempted the double under guard break that Tinguinha showed us a long time ago.

Office Hours Partner: Shane, Gregory, Jerad

Shane said he hadn't seen the guard break before and also wanted to go over how to defend the double under pass. Seemed like he found both things useful.

I rolled with Gregory for the first time I think and he seemed to appreciate me going light with him.  We discussed the turtle turnover and also some of the double under pass defenses.  He's a good guy.

I saved up some energy to roll with Jerad and felt pretty good about my performance. I need to find a way around his ability to stop my deep half. We talked about a few half guard techniques and passing in no gi.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

March 3rd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position, Sweep, & Triangle
Partner: Byrav

Another class in the books.  I feeling good about the open guard and I will go there occasionally during rolling but feel that using the foot on bicep without a grip really isn't my style.  It seems to work fine though when I did it during rolling.

The only tip that I would give is that the sleeve grip is probably the most important part when I'm trying to pass.  If I can get my elbow down under the thigh and then pin their leg I will usually get a pass out of this.  So controlling that sleeve is paramount.

Rolling: Open Guard (6 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Byrav, Dave, Ben, Greg

Had a great free roll with Greg and felt that my movement and defense were on point for the most part.  I was able to defend quite a few of the grips that he was going for and escaped back mount.  Granted I ended up in mount and had more defending to do but I at least stopped a few submissions that he went for.  I also put him into half guard from full mount but he turned that into a back take so he may have wanted that to happen.

Dave gave me some compliments on my grip strength and that he felt like I was in control of the roll.  I've heard a couple people say that my grips have been tough to deal with lately. 

Office Hours Partner: Greg

We worked a bit on a single leg x escape that he wanted to trouble shoot and then a pass spider guard.  I saw Chris do this pass where he dipped his head under one of the legs to try to beat spider guard and Greg and I worked out some of the details on how to make that work with regrabbing on one side and bringing the knee up to keep them from recovering.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

March 2nd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position, Sweep, & Triangle
Partner: Ben

Good class by Mike today.  We did some grip fighting and stand up sparring which really got me warmed up.  I'm glad Chris was there as he was able to to take me down a couple times and it reminds me how much I need to work on it. 

Gave Ben pointers on the triangle from open guard as I feel like we're similar body types and I finally feel like I'm having a little success with the triangle.  The main focus being on lifting the hips high and raising the knee as high as you can.  This helps get the shin or lower leg at a better angle to lock up the triangle. 

Rolling: Open Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Chris, Ben, Morgan

I'm really enjoying having Chris around because I feel like he's strong where I'm not, wrestling obviously.  He's always tough to pin down so I have to be extra tight with my game.  We had an awesome fight when I went for an omoplata and went back and forth between him stacking me and me getting the correct angle.  It was pretty fun.

Office Hours Partner: Ben

We went over the knee over pass as it came up during drilling and he was unfamiliar with it.  He seemed to like it and thought it could fit into his game. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March 1st 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Guillotine from Butterfly & Turtle
Partner: Tom

I apologize to all that attended today, I was the one to request the guillotine as the topic for today's class.  Greg had us do both of the techniques with the high elbow which I've had success with during rolling.  One thing that was a little tough for me to get my mind around was that I didn't need my legs in half or full guard but Greg just wanted a knee in and a leg over their back. 

I enjoyed the second technique as we did a response to someone turtling after a knee slide pass.  It was pretty brutal on the throat but I've seen Greg snap this on many times and feel better about it now. 

Rolling: Butterfly Up/Down/Out & King of the Mat
Rolled With: Greg, Mike, Brian G, Tom, Ben, Jesus

Even thought Mike and Greg were able to get the sweep or pass each time I feel pretty good about the way I rolled with them.  I at least felt like I made them have to work.  Mike caught me with a couple ankle locks and we had battling toe holds at one point.  I avoided getting butterfly swept from Greg but had to fight him in half guard.  There was a time when I had a great position with an underhook but he made enough space with a twist sweep to take it back and eventually sweep. 

With the other guys I tried to keep it with butterfly and sweep from there and accomplished that a few times.  From the top I'm liking to attack the over/under from butterfly guard.  As long as I clear the foot and get my head to their thigh I'm pretty well off.  I saw a lot of guys going to combat base and Mike and I kept trying to tell them not to.  Going to have to hit some more shin on shin to single x I guess.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

Worked on the over/under pass with Tom, trying to mold his game to be similar to mine. I probably could have done a better job of explaining the techniques because I kept having to correct him on little things that I didn't tell him about in the first place.  It is a bit more difficult in no gi but I've still been having success with it.  I think he understood it pretty well by the end.