Saturday, April 30, 2016

April 30th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Tyler, Craig, Jordan, Adam, Tom, Darijo, Jerad
Game Plan: Deep Half

Tyler: His guard is getting so difficult to pass.  Plus he is consistently working on berimbolo so I think he'll be a real handful soon for me.   

Craig: He's been dealing with an issue with his leg so we didn't roll that many times.  I don't remember too much from our roll, could be because we've rolled together so many times in the past.

Jordan: We had a discussion not too long ago about using strength and athleticism with his techniques and it seems like he took that too heart.  We had a much more relaxed roll than usual.  We talked about some mount escapes at the end and I showed him the knee in one that Mike likes to use and I showed the escapes that I like to use. 

Adam: It's been a long time coming but I finally legit submitted Adam for the first time ever.  I focused on getting the grips that I wanted and was able to pass guard but got put into half and tried to stay on top. Eventually I ended up on the bottom in full guard.  I transitioned between cross guard and 2 on 1 and eventually was able to sink in the omoplata.  I had to deal with a little stacking but was eventually able to finish the submission.  I normally don't like to call out my subs on here but I feel like with all of the times that he's submitted me over the years, I had to mention it.  In the following rolls he dominated me quite aptly.

Tom: I was pretty wiped out after my rolls with Adam and Tom wanted to go light so it was a good couple of rolls.  I was able to get to deep half a few times and work some sweeps and also fought from the bottom of side control. We went over some side control escapes and how I approach it.  He said he'd like to do more drilling after weekday classes in the near future.

Darijo: I see improvements in his game since we last rolled and saw him doing some good things when rolling with others recently.  He made the comment that I feel much heavier than before and he meant it in a good way.  After rolling, we discussed along with Jerad grip fighting and how important it is to be first to get the grips you want. Jerad shared some of his ideas and how Alejandro was able to pass his guard.

Jerad: Saved enough energy for a battle with Jerad.  I started off well using single leg-x to go to full x and then sweep.  We went back and forth for a while until I ended up in an open half guard.  I pulled out his lapel and wrapped it around his leg to emulate Bernardo Faria's situp guard.  I'll have to research it some more because I at least slowed him down a bit but wasn't able to sweep. Eventually he broke my grip and it went downhill from there.

Friday, April 29, 2016

April 29th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing RNC Defense to O-Soto Gari, Backmount: Escape, RNC
Partner: Jesus

Jesus asked about this blog today, so I guess people are talking about it.  Since I just passed the 5 year mark of training Jiu-Jitsu I should probably go back and look at a portion of my old posts.  I probably won't go back to the beginning as I've gone over those posts a couple times, but maybe 2 years back.  Just to get a feel for what I was working on and what struggles I was having.  Probably make fun of the grand epiphanies that I was having.  

A couple notes on the techniques of the week:
  • RNC Defense: Make sure you are leaning over and trying to pull their shoulder down as you turn, you don't want to be standing up straight before you throw or you're likely to get O-Soto Gari'd right back
  • Back Mount escape: You really have to learn on doing 2 things at once.  Trying to free your legs with your lower body and defending the choke with your upper body.
  • RNC: So much to say about this.  Start your squeeze slowly and gradually raise 10% percent in intervals.  Don't gas yourself out by squeezing as hard as you can and then letting up to try again.

Rolling: Back Mount Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jesus, Ryal

My back control felt pretty good.  There were a couple times with both Ryal and Jesus that they were able to roll over and I had to stay with them and try to secure the armbar or return to back mount.  I was hoping my escaping would be better.  I tried to do a few things that Greg showed the day before with controlling the choking hand but didn't quite go as planned. 

Office Hours Partner: Conan

I'm liking that Conan has taken some interest in deep half.  I've been able to work through some parts of the positions with him and try some new things out and get his opinion on them.  We did some light flow rolling from deep half and had some great fun.

One cool thing that he brought up was that he saw Bernardo Faria in a competition video trying to pass a high level players guard with his over/under pass.  To make his over/under pass even deeper he went to deep half for a second and then came back.  It seems a little unorthodox but with the little we did with it I think it's genius!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

April 28th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing RNC Defense to O-Soto Gari, Backmount: Escape, RNC
Partner: Chris (New Guy)

Skipped a few of the warm-ups to prevent back strain but felt pretty good regardless.  Chris had been to 3 or 4 previous classes and was having a bit of trouble falling with each O-Soto Gari.  I gave him some tips on tucking his chin a little more and rolling the hips up to disperse the energy a bit.

Gave a few more tips when working on back control mostly to do with hips and harness grip.  One of the worst things is trying to teach the RNC while being choked.  I find myself trying to give little details like "just push your chest forward a little bit, hack, cough" and then gagging and having to tap.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Back Control
Rolled With: Chris, Chris C, Megan, Greg, Ben, Tom, and probably others

Had some good rolls.  Felt good at the beginning of defending Greg's back attack as I was controlling his choking hand for a while, but he eventually got it back and then bow and arrow choked me.  I set up a couple cross collar chokes, a technique at one point I never thought I would be good at.  Ben and I had quite a roll where he came close to putting me into half guard but I kept it to quarter and tried to get back to his back.  By the skin of my teeth I was able to escape to side control and setup a baseball bat choke.

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Ben, Tom

Asked Greg what to do when I controlled the choking hand and he showed me a couple options.  One that I knew already of putting the arm on the other side of my neck in kind of an armbar position.  The other was to push away from it and go the opposite way to get your shoulders to the floor.

Watched Tom and Chris C roll for quite a while hoping they would get done so I could roll with one of them, but they never got done.  We ended up talking about passing and not relying on bad habits to break the guard open.  We went over how I get my grips and I tried to emphasize posture. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

April 27th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Backmount: Escape, RNC, Bow & Arrow
Partner: Frank

Glad I went to class today even though my back has been sore again.  The muscles on the other side of my back decided to tighten up this time.  Been thinking about trying to incorporate some yoga or some other type of training to strengthen my back and I think I have some muscle imbalances that need taken care of. 

Since there was only 3 of us, Mike was nice to me and we did some different warm-ups and skipped doing stand-up stuff.  We did a few minutes of front and side planks. 

Mike had a few details that he mentioned when teaching the back mount escape.  The major one was I was staying flat on my back after scooting my butt off to the side.  He pointed out the turning into them at that point was stronger which I now agree with. 

We had some time so we worked on Bow & Arrow and armbar from back mount.  I liked the addition of making a kimura grip before stepping over their head to get the armbar.

Rolling: Back Mount Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Frank, Mike

We had the same person defend for 4 minutes while the attackers switched out every two minutes.  I'm feeling better than I did previously about my control from back mount but it still needs some work and I need to review Greg's drill to recover the back. 

We had a discussion about choking with the gi or with the wrist and he's pretty much pro-wrist every time where a lot of what Zac does is collar most of the time.  I see room for both, but need to nail down when each one is appropriate for me. 

Did a free roll with Frank and my back held up fine.  I worked pretty hard to setup a spiral armbar and lost it once but was able to finally finish it the second time.  Most of that was because I just went for it instead of waiting until everything was perfect.  I think sometimes I miss my window with this technique because I try so hard to make it perfect.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike and I had a little workshop where I showed him some deep half stuff I've been experimenting with and he showed me a really slick double under pass defense.  I'm pretty stoked about my resurgence of this position.  I think I may look into leg drag next because some of these deep half sweeps are ending up in this position.

We discussed being a fighter and what that means to Mike.  It made me want to go back to the aggressive mindset that I was working on before the last tournament.  Ultimately the desire to be on top and win the wrestling matches.  Something else that Mike mentioned was that I give up sometimes when I'm being overwhelmed by a stronger opponent when I need to keep fighting and overcome this adversity.  I know those moments of course and I'm working to make them occur less often.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

April 23rd 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Ty, Ben, Fuji, Bhuvana
Game Plan: Deep Half

Kid's had class today too but I don't have much to say about it. They worked on 2 on 1 to scissor sweep and the back take.

Ty: Had a few good rolls with him to get the day started.  I had to keep an eye on his flexibility and not allow too much space. One cool thing I was able to hit was the back roll sweep from cross guard. After we rolled I worked on a couple deep half things.

Ben: I've had to turn up the intensity lately with him as he's getting better at defending my submissions.  He went to deep half a couple times during our roll but I was able to prevent him from sweeping.  I attempted to setup spiral armbar and cross collar choke from mount.

We worked on a lot of deep half stuff since he's been interested in it since I taught it a few months ago.  We started with getting to deep half from quarter guard and from there went to overcoming getting cross faced.  We discussed why he wasn't able to sweep me earlier and my struggle with the same position previously.

Fuji: I had a pretty tough time with him as usual.  I managed to maintain some semblance of guard longer than usual but I eventually would get passed and have to deal with side control.  I'll probably be thinking about this all week but I need to come up with strategies to try out when we roll again next time.  I thought about the same thing with Jerad and Derek recently.  What do I need to do differently with them?  Where do I need to put the most effort?  Guard retention, attempting to sweep, keeping distance, trying to be faster or more aggressive? 

Bhuvana: She just wanted to work on north/south choke and then allowed me to drill some deep half.  It was a little difficult at first because a lot of people that are unfamiliar with deep half seem to fall over while I'm transitioning into the position, but she got over it.  I got to work on some of the back attack transitions that I've been watching videos of and I'm feeling pretty good after this week of experimentation with it.  We also worked on the twist sweep and she seemed to like that and did a few reps herself.

Friday, April 22, 2016

April 22nd 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg Takedown, Mount Upa Escape & Cross Collar Choke
Partner: Ryal, Craig

More double leg help with my partners today.  I feel like having to go over the steps with so many people this week has helped me even more.  Especially when I demonstrate it I feel like I need to make it look at least like I know what I'm doing. 

For the cross collar choke I feel good about it sometimes and then other times I don't.  Most of it, I think, has to do with different collars and how I grip them.  Often times it just feels like I can't get good grips without having my wrist bent or my fingers displaced.  So I'm still working on figuring that out, but at least now I think I know when I have it. 

Rolling: Stand-up, Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Ben (visitor), Ryal, Josh J

We did some stand-up sparring again and I felt pretty good.  I went for double leg but I was too far away and Craig was able to sprawl on me.  I was able to get a hold of his leg though and turn the corner and eventually finish it out.  We talked about being a little more gassed with stand-up mostly because we aren't as comfortable there.

Ben is visiting from Colorado and has trained there for a while and was the one that got Josh J. into training.  We trained the mount position together and I ended up giving him some advice about moving higher from the top and some things that help me like floating and letting the bottom person move a little bit.  Always cool to have visitors from other schools.

Josh has been getting better at defending the submissions that I'm good at.  So I either need to get sneakier or find other submissions to setup and get good at. 

Office Hours Partner: Josh, Conan

After class Conan drilled a few butterfly guard transitions to x-guard and then led into some of my deep half stuff.  He had a couple of ah-ha moments and seemed interested in going over more deep half in the future.  Hopefully I can get him into it.

Rolled with Josh again and decided to be a little more aggressive this roll and try not to give anything up.  I worked my way from sweeping to passing guard to mount and then started working on an armbar.  He was able to defend it and then stack me so I ended up in guard.  In the past I might have taken this as a regroup and start over point but I was able to transition right into a pendulum sweep and regain the top position again.  Now I need to figure out how to not get stacked in the first place.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 21st 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

Good sized class today compared to the other day classes this week.  Had a good time working with Jesus, he's got a great attitude!  This may have been his first time doing a double leg so I took some time explaining the penetration step and let him take some of my reps.  By the end he was getting it a little better and it helped yesterday's post hit home for me with how far I've come with this technique.  Just trying to pass on the knowledge.

Rolling: Mount Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jesus, Derek, Jordan

During rolling with Jesus I went over a little bit of what he wanted to accomplish in mount, from high mount to technical mount, and isolating an arm etc.

Had a good roll with Jordan like always.  He's getting a lot tougher to pass and keep from passing. 

Rolling with Derek has been a good experience as well.  At first when he showed up I was a little nervous about losing to him because of how big he was and his wrestling experience.  I know this is the wrong way of thinking and it's ego driven.  I think on our first roll together it kept me from really trying anything for the fear of failure but since then I've loosened up a bit and accepted that the only way I'm going to improve is to allow myself to try and make mistakes and then learn from them.  If I just play to not lose, it may work but I probably won't get much training out of it.  Today when I ended up on the bottom I worked hard to maintain distance and use my legs more in the process. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 20th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg Takedown, Mount Upa Escape & Cross Collar Choke
Students: Mike A, Jordan, Byrav

I had an idea for a warm-up that we've done in a past competition class.  After the usual down the floor stuff we did 2 minutes each to drill a guard sweep of choice.  Then 2 minutes to practice their ideal tournament scenario.  So starting with a takedown then transitioning to a dominant position and completing their best submission.  I worked on my cross guard pull to omoplata and then finish the omoplata either straight away or with a second roll to the crucifix.  I had Byrav do techniques that he was familiar with like O-Soto gari to side control and finishing with an americana. 

I would suggest everyone have a plan like this in mind or 2.  Your best takedown or guard pull to your best submission.   Mine are either my guard pull above or drop seio nage to north/south choke or knee on belly baseball bat choke.

I feel like my double leg has been getting better.  It's been a process and a techniques that was very difficult at first.  I went from leading with my head bent over at the waist trying to tackle someone.  Then I started to learn about changing levels and penetration steps and turning the corner.  Posture was still my biggest problem but now that is getting better I feel much more confident in my double leg and it doesn't feel as awkward as it did before.

Rolling: Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jordan

I went to cross guard and Jordan gave me a bit of a hard time from there, which I was hoping for.  I had to reset a couple times but eventually got what I wanted.  He did a pretty good job following that after my guard was open of trying to pass.  I did have to turtle and he was in the process of trying to take my back when time ran out.  From the top I attempted

Office Hours Partner: Mike

I reviewed Ryan Hall's deep half guard DVD last night and thought I had found some answers for Mike's step over.  I think I looked at too many things because some of the specifics were fuzzy by the time I tried them.  But there were some important realizations about using the butterfly hook to help off balance and defending the knee bar during the waiter sweep that I think will be good additions to my game.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

April 19th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Front HeadLock: Regain Guard, Spin To Behind, Anaconda, Arm in Guillotine
Partner: Ben

We repeated last week's class which was fine with me as I need to work on this position a little more.  There was an addition with the arm in guillotine which is probably not the right name because the hands connect closer to the armpit and it's more like an arm triangle.  This is the first time I've seen this technique.  Very cool! 

Rolling: Headlock Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Ben, Mike, Tom

My main objective from the bottom of the headlock position was to complete a set out.  I attempted it several times and finally hit one.  What I was having the most trouble with was not being able to get my head to the side and behind my partners armpit, then it finally worked and it was smooth. From the top I was not able to setup the anaconda but would usually end up in side control. 

Had some great rolls with Mike but they felt a little repetitive.  We keep ending up in inverted half guard with him going for a knee bar.  Sometimes he gets it, sometimes I escape.  We had some other exchanges with guillotines and 50/50 position.  I feel like I'm scratching the surface with understanding leg lock positions but I still have a long way to go.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We talked about some deep half guard stuff and he pointed out that I needed to rock back more when setting up the waiter sweep so they go onto their hands.  Practicing it a couple times helped, I'll have to look into it more and probably watch Ryan Hall explain it several times. 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

April 16th 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Craig, Derek, Bhuvana, Mike A
Game Plan: Deep Half and Bottom Half

Craig: We looked at the curriculum again and went over the throw section with just fit ins. We rolled a few times and I was on point with setting up the North/South choke. I had him take the top of half guard with the underhook and crossface and then tried to work my way out of it.  It was some good training.

Derek: Super tough roll that made me want to improve my cardio and framing in half guard.  He started on bottom which I commend him for.  As I was attempting to pass his guard he turtled up so I took a collar grip and attempted the cross choke. But, when he figured out it was sinking in he was able to roll me off the top.  Should I have let it go and tried to stay on top? Yes.

I ended up in guard and tried to play my game.  Every time I felt like I gained some ground he would center back up and I'd have to start over.  I attempted cross guard omoplata but he was able to step over my head which almost never happens anymore, I recovered and somehow ended up in a triangle.  I couldn't lock it in though and ended up in half guard.  Eventually he isolated my arm and finished an americana. It was a good reminder that I need to be more persistent in my framing and try to stay ahead of the game in half guard.

Bhuvana: She wanted some pointers on guard retention and half guard.  The advice that I've been giving out lately for retaining guard is to cover the places they want to grip with your hands, that way I can usually prevent their grips and usually get sleeve grips. When we practiced she has noticeably improved in getting a spider hook.

Then we worked on some half guard stuff and she decided knee shield is something she wants to improve on.

Mike: Had some great technical rolls like usual. The first couple he caught me pretty quickly with heel hooks. After a flurry of twisting and turning I finally caught him with one as he was attempting a calf cutter.  I'm still having issues with finishing the waiter sweep with him as he'll attack a knee bar as I go for it, I think I need to hold his hip tighter and commit to going for over/under pass.

Friday, April 15, 2016

April 15th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Head Lock Escape Valley Drop, Kneeling Guard Break, Single Under Pass
Partner: Bob, Craig

Bob and I met 15 minutes early to do some Judo before class.  I'm pretty impressed with his ability to make Judo work and have only experienced this with a few other people.  He threw me a couple times and it felt pretty smooth and effortless most of the time.  A couple of times I felt glad that I know how to fall well because the ground was coming fast.  Major take aways were to use my elbow more when creating kazushi and to take away the slack of the sleeve.  We also went over a way to do o-soto gari but setting it up with more of a mahki komi.  If you get a chance I'd encourage anyone to work with him on throws.  You could work with Ray too if you see him in class.

Nothing new to report on the techniques of the week. 

Rolling: Several Rounds of Different Positional Sparring: Closed Guard, Half Guard, Turtle, Side Control
Rolled With: Craig, Jordan, Jeff

We got done with the techniques fairly quickly and had a lot of time for rolling, which is why Conan had us do so many different positions.  Turtle was where I got stopped the most.  Craig did a good job of grabbing my ankle or pants to keep me from rolling.  Jordan was pretty aggressive in half guard with some good pressure.  He would get a crossface but eventually let me get the underhook, so I tried to give him some pointers on that.  Otherwise it was business as usual. 

Office Hours Partner: Jeff

While rolling in side control I talked to Jeff about blocking and preventing the cross face and turning it into an underhook escape or stiff arm escape.  He seemed to appreciate this and some of the other things we worked on.  He pointed out quite a few times that some of the things I was telling him to do were kind of mean like knee on belly.  I can understand his position there are somethings I avoid doing (unless it's Adam) because I think they're mean.  I tried to explain to him that we're all big boys and girls and can handle some pressure, cross faces, and some meanness.  

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April 14th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Head Lock Escape Valley Drop, Kneeling Guard Break, Single Under Pass
Partner: Derek, Bob

Busy with work lately, so I don't feel like I've been doing this blog justice.  I don't have much to say about the technique portion of the class.  Just little things for the techniques of the week:
  • Head Lock Escape: Try to spin your opponent around during the takedown instead of trying to drag them straight down
  • Kneeling Guard break: Keep your thigh as vertical as you can for as long as you can before stepping back.
  • Single under pass: Take it in 3 different directions, push straight in using your toes.  Once they can kiss their knee turn 90 degress, push straight again to push their knees to the side.
We had some fun with the headlock escape and attacked a few times like we were pro wrestlers.

Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Bhuvana, Derek, Bob, Dave, Andy, Harvey

Had great fun rolling today and had some good success.  I attempted the single under pass a few times and had to abandon it a few times for over/under.  In closed guard I feel like I've been researching transitions between 2 on 1 and cross guard.  I'm not sure if I should feel guilty because it's my a-game or if I should be trying to work something else, but I don't feel stagnant with the progress right now so I'd like to keep working it.

During my last roll with Andy when I was on the bottom I attempted to setup the baseball bat choke from the bottom.  Mostly to try to get him with his own technique.  He said I almost had it, but I couldn't figure out a way to make it any tighter.  He went over some specifics about setting it up and some troubleshooting that he does. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 13th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Head Lock Escape Valley Drop, Kneeling Guard Break, Single Under Pass, Over/Under Pass
Students: Mike A, Frank, Jordan, Byrav

Had a good time teaching today.  Added some grip fighting and throw fit ins to the warm-up and then got into techniques.  I felt like we breezed through the techniques today so I decided to teach the over/under pass.  By the end everyone understood it pretty well and I saw a few attempts at it in sparring. 

Rolling: Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jordan, Byrav

I sat out of rolling the first couple rounds and was able to jump in at the end.  I played it a little different with Byrav because he was being a little too passive with me.  So I tried to talk him into executing techniques.  For instance I had him in the bottom of side control, I would say something like, "okay how do you get out of this?"  Then he would attempt the side control escape I'd give him just enough resistance to make it difficult then have him try it again until he could escape.  Hopefully this helped.

Jordan's doing a pretty well at maintaining guard and passing guard.  I had to turtle up at one point to prevent being passed and he almost took my back.  Mike pointed out a couple things he needed to work on when trying to escape side control and getting caught in north/south.  We also talked about defending north/south choke as well.  That being said, I felt pretty good about my switching sides when someone turns in to escape side control.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

April 12th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Front HeadLock: Spin To Behind, Anaconda, Regain Guard
Partner: Bhuvana

I haven't worked on the anaconda for a long time and was happy to work on something different today.  I always look forward to no-gi Tuesdays to work on some different things.  Some pointers on the techniques from today:
  • Spin to behind: The main detail from switching from front headlock to the side of turtle was to put your hand behind their shoulder to keep them from grabbing your leg as you move around.
  • Anaconda: My biggest piece of advice for this and darce is don't fall into the choke until your hands are secure.  It is difficult to tighten this choke once you fall to your side so make sure you have your hand secure on your bicep.
  • Regain Guard: The hardest part of this for me was freeing my head or figuring out which way to step.  Eventually it made sense to make it like a sitout.
Rolling: Head Lock Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Greg, Harvey, Tom, Mike A

Had some good success with rolling from the headlock position.  I didn't feel like I had a chance to attempt the anaconda at any point.  As soon as we started everyone I rolled with pulled my hand off of their chin which was my first action as well.  Although I would usually try to grab with the other hand. 

From both Greg and Mike I'm seeing some different attacks with trying to separate get my elbow away from my knee to isolate that arm to get a crucifix.  A couple times I had to try to get ahead of the back take and try to bridge and get my shoulders to the floor as quickly as possible.  When I was on top with Greg he was able to easily stand-up a few times right away because I wasn't putting enough shoulder pressure down.  

I feel like Mike and I are ending up in the same positions each time we roll.  He'll stand and try to run around me to pass my guard.  I'll grab his leg and try to go shin on shin.  Often I'll pull deep half after that.  He'll step over or I'll attempt a waiter sweep then we may end up in a leg lock battle. 

Office Hours Partner: Harvey

We went over armbar from guard again and made a few minor adjustments and then he asked me if there was anything I wanted to work on.  I did some half guard stuff with the goal of getting to deep half and sweeping.  However, he wasn't really doing anything about my underhook so I kept taking his back.  I gave him some half guard top pointers and showed him some things that I do to pass and prevent the underhook.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

April 9th 2016 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Knee Over Pass
Rolling/Game: Guard, Free Rolling, Sharks & Octopuses

My boys had a good day today.  Conan led the warm-up and did a few extra partner exercises with dragging your partner across the floor and wheel barrows.

By the end of training the technique everyone was doing the guard pass well.  When my kids first started with it they were a little mean about putting their knee on the thigh.  Not really on purpose, at least I hope not, but they just didn't understand the staple and where their weight should go. They worked with different partners which helped keep them in line.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Craig, Will, Robert, Derek W, Josh J, Jerad
Game Plan: Bottom Turtle

Craig: Between the kids' class and open mat we worked through the 2nd half of the blue belt curriculum.  He was familiar with most of it and I just needed to give him a few small sometimes medium sized critiques.  As an instructor now It'd give me a sense of accomplishment to see the people that I help out, get their blue belts.  We had a few good rolls before I requested to work on bottom turtle.  I mostly wanted to attempt sit outs and I did but still don't feel confident with the technique. 

Will: He came out pretty strong in our roll with some spider guard and eventually swept me.  I played some cross guard and eventually completed a sweep when he raised his leg.  I'm glad to see Will back on the regular.

Robert: I finally completed a waiter sweep.  I feel like I get to deep half so often with Robert but never complete any sweep especially this one, and this time it clicked.  Otherwise I feel a little weak against him most of the time.  He's definitely more aggressive and makes me work hard for everything I get.

Derek: He has done some improving since we last rolled.  His defenses and his composure were a lot better and he was making a lot fewer mistakes.  I did pass his guard a few times with over/under pass so I showed him how to do the pass and how to defend it.  Derek seemed to take to it pretty well.

Josh: I called out Josh from across the room since we had talked about working on cross guard yesterday.  I think I helped fix a couple things that I usually help people with in this position.  Think of cross guard as another guard position, go 90 degrees twice, don't push them away so much and use the underhooked leg to help pull you into position.  We had a few good rolls after that.

Jerad: At the end of the roll he told me that I made him work hard for the submission that he caught me with.  So there's that.  I had him on the ropes a bit in the beginning as I was able to pass guard and get to a north/south choke.  But, he rolled me over with a trap that he showed me after we rolled which was some great information.

I feel like I'm in kind of a cycle with him.  I try the things I'm good at and he shuts them down, so I learn something new and it works a few times but he eventually shuts it down again.  So back to the drawing board.  

Friday, April 8, 2016

April 8th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Closed Guard Cross Choke & Armbar
Partner: Craig

Another week of the same techniques taught by 3 different people, each with their own variations.  At this point in my development I'm liking this, because I get some insight into the train of thought of my colleges and why they like to do things a certain way.  I'm not sure if it would be frustrating if I were still learning the basics of the techniques.

Rolling: Takedown Sparring, Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Josh J, Jesus

I was surprised when Conan announced that we were going to do some stand-up takedown sparring.  I felt pretty good about some of my attempts and defenses.  I tried to keep moving and attempt to off balance my partner.  A lot of my takedowns were not pretty but I'm happy that I did more than stiff arm.  I hit a few valley drops and some drop seio nage.  What I'm most happy about is that I hit my best attempt at a double leg.  I changed levels well and my penetration step was right on, however my partner pushed my head to the side as I was going for it which turned it more into a blast double with my forehead in the middle of his chest.

During rolling I attempted to do the cross choke and armbar from guard as often as I could.  Otherwise I was resorting back to 2 on 1 and cross guard.  It seemed like everyone was wore out from the stand-up sparring and I tried to match intensity with my partner.  From the top I wanted the tozi pass really bad and attempted it when I could.  Having a lot of failure with that technique but just needing to reset not being put into trouble.  I'd really like to figure this out because I think it's a good option to have in my back pocket when I can't break the guard the conventional way.

Office Hours Partner: Josh

I passed Josh's guard a couple times using the over/under pass, so I showed him how to defend it.  We rolled a couple more times and talked about some other specific things from the roll.  He's becoming quite fun and challenging to roll with and I like to see his growth and feel somewhat liked I've helped with that.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

April 7th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Closed Guard Cross Choke & Armbar
Partner: Bob

Worked with Bob today and got to experience his Judo.  I can't articulate what he does differently than the average person but there were a couple things I noticed.  My shoulder seemed to hit the ground sooner or the floor would come quicker.  I'm not sure if that's a product of how he leans or how he's doing it, but it seemed like he was driving me downward instead of throwing me on my back.  His hip movements were a lot more snappy, where he would kind of run into me and bump me quickly before the lift.  I might ask him to critique some of my throws if we have some time before or after class in the future.

Rolling: Guard Position & Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bob, Sam, Brian G, Greg, Ben

Good day of rolling seemed to go by too quickly though.  I was able to complete a few triangles today really working on avoiding getting stacked, shoulder walking, getting a hold of my shin, and pushing on the hip.  I played some cross guard and 2 on 1 which seems to be my bread and butter lately.  They're so comparable to each other. 

I rolled in the guard with Greg and setup 2 on 1, went out to butterfly, attempted the back take, he tightened up so I went for butterfly sweep and got it!  Yeah I swept Greg, only I didn't because as soon as he fell to his back he jumped right back up and I was in guard again.  Oh well, I'll count it as a win for the day.  He was attempting the tozi pass and I would defend it by pushing his head away, then he would try the pass again, eventually he got it.  From the top I don't remember doing much good.  I tried the tozi pass too but didn't come close.  Later on Greg said I should keep my butt down a little more.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

April 6th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Closed Guard Cross Choke & Armbar
Partner: Tom

Mike had us do a pretty cool additional warm-up that combined sprinting and O-Goshi.  2 people stood on either side of the mat and you would throw 1 and then sprint to the other and throw them and back and forth.  We did a similar exercise with wrestling takedowns in advanced no gi class a while ago.

A couple things I took note of today during techniques:
  • Mike showed the cross choke with the second hand on the shoulder and he moved to the side instead of keeping them straight ahead.  I'm used to doing it the other way with both palms up but this seemed a lot easier
  • He also taught the armbar differently than I do it and I had a little trouble with my back trying to lift my hips high enough.  He also had us do a flower sweep if they defended the armbar.

Rolling: Closed Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5)
Rolled With: Tom, Jerad, Frank

Jerad made me work a lot harder than I do on an average Wednesday.  I didn't feel like I could accomplish anything against him today.  He passed my guard a few times and swept me a few times.  When we free rolled I tried to turn it up a bit and felt like I was doing a decent job trying to pass guard for a while but it eventually went down hill.  It made me feel like I'm not prepared for purple, but Mike and Jerad both reminded me that he's been training 3 more years than me.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We talked a little bit about loop choke and he said that he doesn't push down on the head but controls their posture and lifts his elbow until I can secure my hand.  We also talked a little bit more about passing guard with the guillotine.  Before leaving I showed off some of the silly belt techniques that I learned through Hapkido.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Upa Escape from Mount, Americana from Mount
Partner: Bob, Ben, Justin

Got there a little late today due to work being crazy right now.  Hopefully I'll be able to sneak away and train tomorrow.

Greg showed the upa escape 2 different ways as he usually does.  The first with the arm around the neck so they kind of trap it for you and the second using a bridge to make them put their hand on the floor in order to suck their arm in to trap it.

I started off training with Bob and Ben until Justin showed up.  I think he had only been to one class previously so Greg had me catch him up with the techniques.  He was a little tight and muscly at first, but started to relax as we drilled the techniques.  

One thing that he asked that stuck with me after I showed him the upa was, "does it work?" I responded with something like "yes but it takes some practice." The question took me off guard because I don't think about if things work anymore that Greg has us do in class. Maybe I'll consider if it should be a part of my game and if it will work well for me but never if something would work or not in general. Mostly because of the nature of Jiu-Jitsu that we prove stuff works through rolling.

Rolling: Mount (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (5 min)
Rolled With: Justin, Bob, Mike

So naturally I had to prove that the upa escape works during positional sparring. He wasn't the easiest to bump over though as he has some wrestling experience, but I was able to roll him over a few times and regain guard the other times.  When I was on top I eventually helped him complete the upa with some resistance.

Bob was interesting to roll with because of his Judo background he feels much more comfortable in side control so he tried to transition there a few times. When I was on top I went over some things that I look for when on top like getting a high mount and trying to isolate arms.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike seemed to let me get away with more than usual today due to some nagging injuries.  We went back and forth a few times and at one point he caught me with a heel hook and I heard Greg yell at me from across the room, "Josh, why aren't you doing anything?" He was right, I had stopped defending and was just waiting to tap. I think there is still some fear in me concerning ankle locks that I won't always fight them because I'm worried about getting hurt before I'm able to tap.  However later on I was able to roll and kick out of one.

Mike also brought up jumping on a guillotine to pass the guard in no gi which I think is a pretty good concept that I haven't heard of, but pretty close to the diving kimura.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

April 2nd 2016 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Standing Guard Break to knee over pass
Rolling/Game: Guard Position, Free Rolling

I led the warm-ups which some of the kids enjoyed.  My boys had a bit of a tough time, not sure if they were tired, but they haven't been attending classes enough lately.  They weren't on their best behavior for the remainder of the class.  Being brothers, sometimes they just can't work together.  They did get some good reps in with the pass though. 

Jace was doing a pretty good job during rolling and getting the top position or passing the guard most of the time.  Jayden just didn't have the drive today to get after it.  He did try a few times at least but for the most part acted a little sheepish.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Fuji, Craig, Tyler, Mike A, Greg
Game Plan: 50/50 Research

Fuji: I didn't actually roll with Fuji, but I asked him if he would hook me up with a massage to help my back out.  Holy shit was it painful but worth it.  He showed me a couple of stretches that he does as he has a similar problem.

Craig: We drilled the long step pass out of half guard with some help from Conan.  I was a little lost at first but once we figured out that the knee on their hip was very important we both got better at it.  We rolled a few times and I saw some opportunities to go for the pass but decided not to try it and do my normal thing.   

Tyler: We rolled a few times and I kept passing his guard with the over/under pass.  Eventually I decided to show him how to defend it by sticking his arm between my head and his leg to keep me from turning the corner.  I asked if he wanted to work some 50/50 since I've seen him and Mike fight from there a few times.  Eventually we got Mike to come over and give us some pointers.  I definitely feel like a fish out of water when it comes to leg attacks.  I'm getting better but I need so much more work just to understand the possibilities.

Mike: We did some more 50/50 work in no gi and he handed me my ass several times, but I got some good training in and tips on the position.  One major point was finishing the heel hook by extending my legs near his knee to stabilize the joint.  Another good tip was to get my knee free by controlling their hand and then turning away so my knee would point down and keep spinning to escape.

Greg: I feel kind of bad because right before I rolled with Greg, I told Jerad that I wasn't going to avoid rolling with the big dogs because I didn't want to hurt my back further.  I didn't want to pass up a roll with Greg though.  Before I rolled with Greg I told him I'd probably not be rolling up to my full potential because of my back issue.  Low and behold I jump on a guillotine in his butterfly guard almost immediately.  Then a lot of things started going through my head.  "Am I really going to get Greg to tap for the first time?", "Did I just pull a 'let's roll light' and then go HAM?", "How am I going to feel about this later?", "Can I celebrate?" by that time he was escaping.  I'm not sure if he escaped because of my wandering mind or if he just escaped.  He did tell me it was a good choke, so I got that going for me, which is nice.  We rolled several more times and I think he got his quota of heel hooks for the day.  I remember also defending from the bottom of mount and getting RNC'd from back mount a few times.  Oh well, I will catch him another day. 

Friday, April 1, 2016

April 1st 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing RNC defense using Seoi nage, Farside Armbar from Side Control
Students: Craig, Morgan, Jesus

Small class today and I felt a little guilty not being able to participate in all of the warm-ups.  I feel better today but getting up and down still causes some discomfort.  I think it bothers me the most because I like to participate in the classes that I teach and don't always feel like I'm a part of the class if I just hang back and tell everyone what to do. 

Techniques went well today.  I also fit in some time to cover breaking the hands for the armbar with a couple variations.  I always say that Greg can make a full class out of this topic.  The main thing I wanted to get across was how important it is to use leverage and angles here and shouldn't take that much strength.

Rolling: Side Control (2 x 2 min), Guard (4 x 2 min), Free Rolling (2 x 5 min)
Rolled With: Everyone

Rolling went well as I did the same as yesterday with nursing my injury. Morgan and I rolled after class and then discussed a few things about knee on belly, transitioning to mount, and taking the back.