Tuesday, May 31, 2016

May 31st 2016 - Drilling Open Mat, Gi All Levels

Drilling Open Mat
I worked on some deep half to waiter sweep and helped some of the other guys out with it too.  It felt pretty smooth today.

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Half Guard Knee Slide Pass, Turtle Granby Roll, Turtle to Crucifix
Partner: Darijo

Darijo and I went back and forth with the kazushi on o-soto gari, I was already impressed with his, but felt like his timing of stepping and turning the wheel was just a little off.

For the half guard pass the major thing we improved on was getting the underhook and driving the shoulder to take up the space. I would also often transition right into the spiral armbar after getting to side control.

Granby is always pretty easy for me so I liked the addition of the crucifix setup. I'd worked on it a few times but I really felt like I understood it today for the first time.

Rolling: Half Guard, Half Guard KOTM

It was so hot and I was sweating so much that my gi was drenched, so I changed out with my spare gi top from the car.

Had quite a few good rolls. A couple times I felt like a professional bull rider as I tried to take the back of some of the bigger guys. Jerad gave me a hard time when I attempted to pass his half guard. It turned into a game of strategy and he eventually got the advantage and swept me.

May 31st 2016 - No Gi All Levels (Bachelor Week)

Noon No Gi All Levels
Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Guillotine Pass, Knee Slide Pass, High Elbow Guillotine
Partner: Will

I'll be training as much Jiu-Jitsu as I can this week as my wife and boys took a week long trip out to western Nebraska to visit my father-in-law.  Conversely my posts are probably going to be brief as I don't want to spend all of my time outside of class writing about class.  I'm keeping a close eye on my back as it's still kind of tight.  When I'm training it's fine but if I'm just sitting around it aches a bit and I have to adjust my posture and stretch out. 

Had some trouble being a good partner for the guillotine today.  I feel like I have some congestion in my sinuses that is causing me to gag after being choked sometimes, I think some of it is in my head too.  Otherwise I enjoyed the passes and the guillotine.  Probably the biggest piece of advice I could give is dip your elbow of the choking arm in order to get the other arm over their shoulder. 

Rolling: Butterfly Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Will, Ben, Dave, Mike, Robert

Butterfly guard felt pretty good, I focused mostly on breaking my partner's posture as that was something Greg mentioned several times during the instruction portion.  I was able to use the guillotine pass and the high elbow guillotine a few times.  Ben and I stalemated when I was on the bottom of butterfly.  It mostly turned into a hand and posture fight as neither of us got over extended.

Mike and Robert gave me a hard time as per usual.  There were a couple times with Robert where I could have come to the top but I didn't feel confident in my wrestling with him and felt like the effort might have been wasted.  In these situations I just need to go for it because I'm not going to learn from mistakes if I don't.  Mike and I had a pretty crazy roll with a lot of position changes and ankle lock avoidance. 

Office Hours Partner: Robert, Mike

I asked Robert about the wrestling thing and he gave me some good ideas that he called his plan b and c.  From situp guard grabbing the far hip and coming up to a single leg and kind of pulling the pipe and then if that doesn't work go for a double. 

Mike and I had a tough roll and talked about defending ankle locks a bit and how he thought I was improving.  I mentioned that I noticed earlier that I was preventing them sooner with some people by moving my foot down to their hip out of leg lock danger.

So much for shorter posts.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

May 28th 2016 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Single Leg
Rolling/Game: Push/Pull Game, Stand-up Sparring, Free Rolling

Conan and Jerad had the kids do the warm-ups the same as the adults without having to be separated into groups. Seemed to work well. Jayden had to be motivated a couple times.

While working on the single leg they had a bit of trouble with pulling so the leg they wanted stepped forward, but otherwise they enjoyed the technique.

Stand-up sparring went well I saw both if my boys get after it.  There was a bit of a scary moment when Jayden was on his stomach and Jace went for back mount like he does when the other person is in turtle but with Jayden's legs straight it bent his back pretty good. Luckily he was okay and just needed to walk it off. Jace was pretty upset though. We'll have to talk about it later.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Conan, Tyler, Bauer, Bhuvana
Game Plan: Lapel Guard

Fuji, Clint, Derek, and Jerad did some wrestling before open mat. I took some guilty pleasure in seeing Fuji get thrown around a bit. Unfortunately, I didn't feel like my back was up to participating.

Conan: We took turns working on some lapel guard stuff. I feel like I'm getting a good feel for it but just need to get down some contingencies for when things don't go as planned. We rolled after that and I starting out getting the better of the roll but I eventually lost ground and he got on top and submitted me.  While defending I did attempt some of the lapel guard stuff but was unable to use it.

Tyler: I asked him to teach me some berimbolo stuff as I think it would be fun and probably surprise a few people if someone my size was good at it.  We rolled a bit after that and I had to avoid all of his inversion stuff.

Bauer: Always great to roll with him as we haven't in a while.  A few interesting things happened. I tried to set up the spiral armbar from mount and he was able to roll me over the first time. The second time I set it up he attempted to roll me over but I adjusted position to stay on top but I lost the armbar.  I still have some work to do on this technique.

He gave me quite a few compliments afterwards and like usual I'm terrible at accepting them. The one that I took to heart was when he said that he enjoyed when he comes in seeing how much I've improved.

Bhuvana: We rolled and worked on a few things.  She was doing a decent job with the lapel guard and seems excited about it.  There were a couple times I set something up like the bread cutter or the baseball bat and she asked to rewind and figure out how to defend against it.

Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense Takedown, Half Guard Underhook: Back Take, Reguard
Partner: Morgan, Bob

Techniques went pretty well.  Conan did a couple variations on getting the underhook from the top person having the underhook and crossface and recovering guard by getting up to a knee and pulling the foot out.

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bob, Jesus, Morgan

Conan had us start with the top person having the underhook and cross face so it was a little difficult for the bottom person, but it's something I like to work on.  While rolling with Jesus I showed how to knee slide from top half and he seemed to take right to it. 

I attempted the lapel guard a few times today and had some success with it.  I'm looking forward to trying it more.  I was also still on the hunt for the shaolin sweep but no luck today but did get the underhook out of it most of the time. 

Office Hours Partner: Morgan

We both worked on a couple things.  He wanted to work some basic open guard like entering into x-guard and sweeping from there.  We then went over the omoplata sweep and my guard pull using the cross guard to omoplata sweep. 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

May 26th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense Takedown, Half Guard Underhook: Back Take, Reguard
Students: Sara, Robert, Bhuvana, Megan, Harvey, Camille, Dave, Morgan, Ben, Shane

Nice big class for me to teach today.  I did the ideal tournament scenario drill with 2 rounds of 3 minutes.  I think when I do this next time I'm going to give the option that if you don't already have one then do O-Soto Gari to side control and americana as a baseline.  At least that's what I instructed Megan through when I worked with her today.

I felt very confident teaching the material today, which of course because it's half guard.  I don't think I missed anything and gave a few extra tidbits on getting the underhook. 

I was accidentally a little harsh with Dave's top half guard when I came over and said, "I don't like what you're doing there."  It came out wrong but I think he got something out of it in the end.  He was tucking his elbow inside too much which was providing a path right to the back.  It's something that I struggled with too because Zac used to arm drag me repeatedly from this.  So just make sure you have some type of elbow control over their hip.

Rolling: Half Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Morgan, Ben, Robert

In half guard before attempting to get an underhook or go to deep half I've been trying to setup the shaolin sweep.  I've had a little bit of success but it hasn't really been pretty yet I think I just need to load them up a little bit more.  I've also been working with the twist sweep from the short half guard and I think I might start showing that to people as a viable sweep from half guard.

Free rolling with Robert was tough and I feel like we're stuck in a loop.  It's mostly half guard with me on bottom.  Avoid the guillotine try to sweep flattens me out, recover to the side get to butterfly guard, he jumps over to pass, go to turtle, front head lock, recover half guard, maybe deep half guard, defend guillotine again, etc.  I've got to figure out something new to break the cycle.

Office Hours Partner: Morgan, Harvey

Showed Morgan the short half guard and twist sweep and I think he liked it.  He was almost there when we were rolling previously so I thought I'd show it to him.  We also talked about passing with the hip switch.  Worked with Harvey on the same thing and some other half guard stuff.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

May 25th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Defense Takedown, Half Guard Underhook: Back Take, Reguard
Partner: Chris

Half guard is completely it's own animal.  It is pretty difficult to liken it to any other position besides maybe open guard because there are so many variations.  Basic half guard can have different foot positions with which foot you hook their leg and different hand positions with how you make your frame or how you grab.  Then there is deep half, butterfly half, hip switch half, knee shield, and others plus variations on those others.  

Some tips on the techniques of the week:
  • Standing Guillotine: Once you get to the ground switching the grip from their back to their shoulder to get a deep crossface is important.
  • HG Back Take: Opening up their knee after getting under their arm works wonders while getting the harness grip
  • HG Reguard: I have a lot of success with this after trying to sweep them quite often.  After they wizzer I'll try to turn them onto their butt which usually lifts their weight enough to bring my leg into butterfly position sometimes I'll get a butterfly sweep but if they come back I'll get full guard at least.
Rolling: Half Guard
Rolled With: Chris, Drew, Tom

Felt good with my half guard as usual and did what I could to help the other guys with their framing and going for underhooks.  I went to deep half a couple times and hit a waiter sweep one of the times so pretty happy about that. 

When free rolling with Chris I was setting up a spiral armbar from side control.  As I stepped over and planted my hand he tried to knock my base out by kicking my arm, but it locked it out a little bit and was pretty jarring which made me actually put more pressure on the spiral armbar than I had anticipated.  So we both kind of went "awe fuck" at the same time.  My elbow seems fine now but I was a little worried about it at first.  Chris had an existing collar bone injury that I hope this didn't make worse. 

Office Hours Partner: Chris, Mike, Tom

We went over some ezekiel stuff with Chris.  I showed the technique from quarter guard as my preferred option but Mike argued that mount was the better place to learn the technique first.  Which I think we were both correct.  Probably better to just worry about the choke at first from a safe position like mount before having to deal with setting it up from a less stable position, but the choke seems to be more high percentage in the transition than from a static mount.

On that topic, Mike showed me an option to setup the spiral armbar from the top of quarter guard that I am interested in playing around with.  You couldn't finish the armbar from there very well without freeing the leg but that wasn't too difficult.  Then Tom practiced a few spider guard sweeps before calling it a day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control to Mount Transition, Arm Triangle, Transition to Back Mount
Partner: Frank

My back was super tight going into class today, like I had a huge knot in the middle and couldn't do anything about it.  Some time with the roller helped but then Mike had us do some partner carries up and down the floor.  They were piggy back, fire fighter, double leg, and the worst the bride carry.  I was worried that this would fuck up my back for sure but I was fine.  Then we did 3 sets of 50 triangles with other exercises in between and Fuji wasn't even in attendance.  I think all of that actually helped my back relax because I feel good now.

The transition from side to mount that Mike taught is something I use often.  Getting my hips turned away and controlling their top knee to step over works very well.  From mount we worked on getting a deep cross face and then walking their arm up to get the arm triangle.  The detail that helped me improve this the most was that Mike had us stretch our legs out like grape vining while walking the arm up.  Then if they were to bridge away, letting them move a bit and transitioning to the back.

Rolling: Bottom Mount KOTM, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Robert, Mike, Tom, Frank, Harvey, Ben

The person on the bottom of mount was the king today which makes it interesting.  I was able to maintain the crown for quite a while being dethroned by Mike and I wasn't able to dethrone Robert but had great matches with both of them.  Most of the time I was able to escape to deep half by catching the foot.  Where I went wrong with both Robert and Mike was when I attempted the mounted triangle they were able to create a frame.  So I'll have to think of better ways to set that up.

Robert and I did a free roll and it was a pretty good match.  By this time it was super slippery and we both had some troubles with slipping.  He stayed on top mostly and we both had some good attempts at guillotines and did some half guard and butterfly work.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We rolled and he did a good job of keeping me from submitting him with my normal stuff.  I think his defenses have improved a lot lately.  I kept trying to setup spiral armbar but I'm still having a problem with getting their arm into position and keeping it there with my step up. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

May 21st 2016 - Grapplethon, Kids, Open Mat


There was a 24 hour Grapplethon for charity at Pinnacle Sports. Myself and several others attended at various times. I was there last night from 10:30-12.  Got in some good no gi rolls and also showed off some of my fancy kicks on the heavy bags.

After a quick warm-up roll with Jerad, Henry asked me to roll and to his surprise I was able to use some cross guard and pull off some omoplatas.

The weird thing was that the round clock was set for 3 minutes and 1 minute off which wasn't something I was used to.  I rolled with a mix of our guys and their guys and had a great time and felt pretty good even though I attended the 6:30 am class that morning. Of course there was a bit of apprehension in the back of my head with visiting a new place and grappling with people that I haven't met, but I found everyone to be pleasant and happy to have us there.

Kids Class
Technique: Triangle
Rolling/Game: Guard, Stand up, Sharks and Octopuses

Jayden had a tough time with the running warm-up today as I tried to motivate him as best I could.  After a little refresher on the triangle they were doing fine with it.

Jace had a tough time rolling with his partner as be was a little more rough with collar chokes and attacking than he's used to. I saw that he was upset but he kept trying which is good enough for me.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Drew, Henry, Austin, Josh J.
Game Plan: Deep Half & Cross Guard

Drew: After a few rolls I helped him with some guard retention and we talked about spider guard a little bit. Don't have much to offer there but I helped him with the basic sweep.

Henry: Had a tough roll with Henry after both of us confessed to being worn out from the grapplethon.  There was quite a bit of back and forth where we both had our moments of attacking, defending, recovering guard, sweeping, and rinse and repeat. At the end he caught me with a turning choke using his own lapel and we both collapsed finally able to rest.

Austin: It's been a long time since I rolled with him and I'm glad to see him back. There was a point where I was transitioning from a failed kimura to north/south choke where he said something like, "I knew it wasn't going to be an armbar" because he thought don't normally do them. Then I made it my mission to try and armbar him. Unfortunately when I got to armbar position he was able to defend it very well to where I had to make multiple adjustments to try to keep ahead of the game.

Josh: He had some questions on cross guard that I was more than happy to answer. After having to troubleshoot the position for so long I enjoy sharing my findings. The 2 things were things that I have struggled with too.  When they pull their leg away so I can't underhook it I go to 2 on 1 and look for the back take. When I'm attempting the back roll sweep I let up on the underhook to give my head room to back roll.

We rolled and I felt like I spent 10 minutes attacking in back mount until he was finally able to escape.  I've got to get better at attacking from there.

Friday, May 20, 2016

May 20th 2016 - Conan and I

Theme & Techniques: Guard Stuff
Partner: Conan

No one else showed up so Conan and I watched a couple interesting technique videos and tried to figure them out.  We looked at some lapel stuff with closed and open guard and I think we both learned some valuable things.  I'd like to play around with it a little more before I share that I'm working on it. 

We rolled a few times and were both able to use what we were working on to some degree.  Conan also helped me with my side control defense and helped explain why my arms are getting trapped up high. 

Sorry, not much to this post but I feel like I learned a lot today.  I'm planning on going to the Grapplethon tonight and should have a good time rolling.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19th 2016 - Gi All Levels (Threat Level: Alejandro)

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass
Partner: Chris (new guy)

Working with the newer guy I took quite a bit of time correcting things today.  I try to be a little choosy in what I say though because I don't want to be talking the whole time and want to get reps in myself.  So I'll let some things go in order to keep the pace going during drilling and maybe if the other things are good I'll mention the minor details. 

Rolling: Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Chris, Ben, Ian, Jordan, Shane

Going to keep striving to act first and be persistent on the guys that can take it.  So with Jordan and Ben I went after it a little bit more than I normally would.  I would generally consider myself a counter fighter and like to take what I'm given and respond to it.  That gets me into trouble with the purple belts as if they get what they want I often don't have the opportunity to recover or have to work a hell of a lot harder just to reset. 

Office Hours Partner: Dave, Ben

After class Dave asked me to roll and I asked him how much intensity that he wanted from me.  He said Alejandro level, to which I responded with a fervent "alright!"  So I did my best impression of Alejandro got my grips swept, passed to side control and hunted for a submission while putting a lot of pressure and ended up with a kimura all as quickly as I could.  He thanked me and hugged me and headed to the locker room.  I thought the request was pretty cool and trying to take on the mindset of someone else even though I really wouldn't know how to implement his game.

Worked with Ben on some deep half stuff and focused on getting to the position by moving himself more than pulling the opponent on top of him.  We also worked on the kick sweep to double unders which I think he will find very useful.  I'm enjoying sharing the stuff I'm good at as I have Ben and Conan working on deep half, Josh J working on cross guard, and Bhuvana working on north/south choke. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Toreando Pass, Knee Over Pass
Students: Mike A, Morgan, Byrav, Jordan

Did a couple of different exercises during warm-ups to mix it up.  I had them do the gorilla and spider animal walks but I don't think they were appreciated.  When we started working on the standing guard break I took an exercise from our competition class and had each person do a minute and a half of just getting grips and standing up and then going back down and repeat.  I felt like doing that previously made me a lot more confident in standing to break the guard.  I noticed that Byrav has improved greatly in being able to stand-up from when he started several months ago, awesome.

Some tips on the techniques of the week:
  • Koshi Guruma: Emphasized the use of the arm around the neck today.  Don't settle for a grip on the shoulder or grab any part of the collar. 
  • Standing Guard Break: Once I get my grips I like to emphasize looking up to help keep my posture as I stand.  It helps me keep my body aligned and shoulders back and keeps me from getting pulled down.
  • Toreando Pass: The main thing I noticed today was finishing in knee on belly was a little sloppy for some.  It's okay to take an extra step to make the kob more stable and keep your back knee off of the mat.
Rolling: Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jordan, Byrav

I have been working on being more aggressive and having a sense of urgency during rolling and Jordan is a good partner for that as he'll give quite a bit of resistance.  Mostly I kept reminding myself to keep trying things rather than wait and react like I normally do, so I tried to control the pace and be the one to act first. 

I pushed Byrav a little today and tried to talk him through some options when I felt like he was a little overwhelmed.  I didn't just let him do it, he had to work through what I was telling him.  Goal is still to make him a killer.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Had a couple awesome rolls with Mike.  We both caught each other a couple times.  During the last roll I ended up on top and attacked from side control for maybe 5 minutes.  He really displayed a fighters mentality and kept attempting to escape even though I could tell he was out of gas.  I kept going from kimura to north/south choke to guillotine to attempting a collar grip and not being able to complete anything while worrying about him regaining guard and trying to stay tight.  Finally I went to mount and got an americana grip and turned it into an armbar.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control: Underhook Escape to Single Leg, Arm Triangle Choke
Partner: Justin

There were a couple of times when drilling the escape that Justin wanted to make sure that it worked. I had to stop us from actually turning it into a roll a few times.  It's good that he wants to make sure stuff works but too much can be counter productive.  I'm also a bit of a sucker for it too because I want to prove stuff works, luckily I do most of the time but I should probably try to stay on task a little better. 

I enjoyed working on the arm triangle setup because I know it's something new that Greg has been figuring out.  The cross face using the armpit grip is awesome.  I love this setup but I think I've only hit it once in rolling so far.  I still need to work on the angle needed to put my head to the mat but once I figure that out this may be another avenue in my side control.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Justin, Ben, Tom, Greg

Was not able to setup the arm triangle today but made the effort to.  I feel like my no gi control is getting better and I'm finding myself automatically going to certain hand positions to prevent side control escapes.  I was able to try out my new found sitout detail and it's been working for me and I couldn't be happier. 

Rolled with Greg and had some good exchanges.  I got caught with a couple ankle locks and a cool setup from top half guard that he wind shield wipered my leg and turned it into a heel hook.  I felt pretty good about maintaining my guard and resetting.  I had to put my feet down and hip out a couple times where in the past I may have tried to push away with my feet instead. 

Office Hours: Mike A, Morgan

Watched Morgan and Mike roll several times.  It pretty much became a leg lock clinic by Mike and I took joy in watching Morgan go through what I've been through so many times.  Mike showed me a Marcelo Garcia trick to get out of open guard leg lock positions while standing.  He just takes a huge upward step to pull his leg straight out.  I've seen him do it in videos but didn't realize that it was so effective.  Mike and I tried it a couple times and saw a lot of value in it.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

May 14th 2016 - Kids & Open Mat

Kids Class
Technique: Jiu-Jitsu Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep
Rolling/Game: Guard Position

Kids have been doing great in class lately and I think a lot of it has to do with some work we've been doing at home.  I'm working with Jayden to lift his butt more during shrimp walks.  We've also been doing push-ups every night which have also noticeably improved.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jorge, Jerad, Gina, Adam, Greg, Drew, Bhuvana
Game Plan: Deep Half, No Gi Training

Jorge: Tough first roll with Jorge. It's been a long time since we've rolled and he's gotten tons better.  We had a true back and forth where I would sweep and get to top side control and he would recover to turtle and sweep me.  This might have happened 4 or 5 times. I wasn't able to hold him down.  We both kept the other from submitting and eventually decided to take a break.

Rolling with him made me want to improve my side control escapes and figure out how to flow more from top to deal with escapes to single or turtle.

Jerad: I decided to not try for deep half in this roll and see if I could instead make him think I was and use it to sweep with.  It didn't necessarily work but we did end up in some different position scenarios from half guard. He was able to consistently transition to knee slide from my half guard. I need a better go to solution when someone stands in my half, DLR? He eventually caught me with a kimura from top half.

Gina: Had a good couple rolls. Realized part way through that I wasn't as worried about crushing her as I used to be.  After one of the rolls she asked me if I thought she made any glaring mistakes. I realized how much I may put Greg, Conan, Jerad, Mike on the spot when I ask this question because I couldn't think of much to say besides clear the collar grip that I had.  We discussed a little about the knee slide doesn't require a full underhook but you need to put your hand in some way that prevents their underhook.

Adam: Decided to go no gi with Adam and started off pretty well on top in hip switch half. Later he said that position was very dominant for me.  I had a few attempts at regaining guard and legceeded with half and got passed again. He eventually did a slick setup on north/south choke, one of the few people that could catch me with it.

I asked him about some things to do from the bottom front headlock position and he showed me the sitout to double leg which I already knew about but the key piece that he mentioned was to push into them a bit more where I was always trying to pull my head away from them to make space. This made so much sense!

Greg: More no gi and I didn't feel like I accomplished much. Got caught with several ankle locks as I tried to figure out what the hell I need to do to defend I seem to constantly do the wrong thing.  I did go to deep half a few times and had a good attempt at the waiter sweep but didn't follow through like I should have.

Drew: After rolling a few times I showed him the north/south choke since I caught him with it a few times.  We also went over the knee over pass.

Bhuvana: She only wanted to work on the omoplata an pendulum sweep from closed guard.  We did the omoplata from an overhook so not using cross guard like I normally would use for both of these techniques. She had a little bit of trouble conceptualizing the swinging motion but eventually she had a light bulb moment.

Friday, May 13, 2016

May 13th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard
Partner: Craig, Justin

Not much to say about the technique portion.  Just emphasize to get up to your hand on the hip bump and jumping off to the side in the kimura.  Also work on using your legs a lot more when trying to get their hands to the floor.

Rolling: Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Justin, Jesus, Jeff

I was able to complete a few hip bumps and a kimura during rolling.  I had to be a little more sneaky about them and focus on something else before going to them.  I'm getting back to focusing on the technique of the week during rolling.  I helped each of my partners out a little on different things.  With Jesus and Justin talked about the importance of the stiff arm while in the top position to prevent collar grips and keep their hips down.  Jesus said he was having success with moving to pant grips after the guard was opened and thanked me for showing him that.

With Jeff I noticed that he attempted arm drag on me a couple times from butterfly so I showed him a few things to make it stronger.  Jumping hips to the side rather than straight back, and using the collar drag as an option as well.  

Office Hours Partner: Conan

Had a couple of tough rolls with Conan where he shut me down pretty well from side control.  I had a couple to good sweep attempts from deep half and butterfly but he seemed to be a step ahead of me today.  He said that I'm probably keeping my hands up too high in the bottom of side control and it's the main reason he's getting americana's on me.  There were a few times that I made a good effort to bridge and escape but reset back to the original position where I should have kept trying to escape.  I knew that I made that mistake as soon as I collapsed back down again.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

May 12th 2016 - Gi All Levels

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

Bob and I got a bit out of hand while working on the technical stand-up.  It turned into some pseudo rolling.  I think he's in a phase of wanting to know how much of his previous training applies to BJJ.  Which is quite a bit but he may benefit from just going with the flow and not worrying about it for now.  I went through this too when I quit Hapkido for this. 

Later on when we were practicing the hip bump sweep we talked about isolating an arm after the sweep where Greg was teaching to center up to avoid being rolled over again.  We discussed it for a bit and I tried to make clear that this is kind of a baby step and establishing the position is more important for the beginner and then later work on moving right into a submission.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Closed Guard
Rolled With: Frank, Greg, Bhuvana, Ian, Jordan, Dave

Good tough rolls today and quite a few people made me work. 

I had another almost success with Greg.  I fought for my life to get cross guard, I switched sides, I went for collar grips, I tried to underhook the leg, I couldn't get under his thigh, rocked him back and forth, got the underhook.  He centered back up, so went to the other side started cross guard, he grabbed my foot and controlled my toes so I couldn't turn into the omoplata.  He goes for an ankle lock I pin his leg to get over it, he gets back up, I go to dlr he goes for knee slide and I center back up and I grab a cross collar.  I secure the loop choke over his head and try to keep his head from circling out.  It feels nice and tight but he's not tapping.  He's starting to get free, maybe I'll try to sweep, I come up he's free and stands.  I say something like, "can't you just let me win once!" to which he replied no and we started over from closed guard. 

Office Hours Partner: Frank

Frank asked about some options from butterfly guard and I shared some things quickly that I have success with.  Hook sweep, arm drag, collar drag, guillotine, etc. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

May 11th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Technical Stand-up, Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura from Guard
Students: Jerad, Tom, Andy, Chris C

Had them do some double leg and the sit outs as an extra warm-up and then we went right into the technical standup. A couple of observations from the techniques of the week:
  • Hip Bump Sweep - I emphasized the importance of getting to your hand.  Don't settle for just the elbow.
  • Kimura - A huge detail for me lately has been jumping the shoulder off to the side to get perpendicular to the opponent.  From there I hold their elbow really tight to my body and just move my shoulders to complete the lock.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Everyone

We did a round of guard and then had one person sit out and did 5 minute rounds.  Jerad challenged me quite a bit like usual.  I was able to pass his guard and after some work in side control setup a north/south choke.  For a while I thought I had it and was hearing him have trouble breathing a bit and even asked if he was out.  He wasn't and as soon as I adjusted he exploded out of the submission and then I was scrambling to not let him get too far ahead.

One major positive from rolling today was that I hit a deep half back take that I've been working on. The coolest part was Tom wasn't sure what I did.  It's cool to be in the beginning stages of adding something new to my game.

Office Hours Partner: Jerad, Tom

We rolled a couple rounds after class.  I rolled with Andy and Jerad.  Then Jerad and I went over some guard passing with Tom.  I feel like I've been getting some great rolls in lately.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

May 10th 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Sean Williams' Guard: Armbar, Triangle, Omoplata
Partner: Ian (New Guy)

More work with SW guard.  I worked with a new guy and felt pretty good about explaining everything to him.  I'm not sure if it will be my guard any time soon as I need to do a lot more drilling of just getting to the position and keeping it. 

Rolling: King of the Mat - Closed Guard Edition
Rolled With: Andy, Frank, Josh J, Greg, Ty, Tom

I had hopes of trying the SW guard, but everyone seemed against letting my try it.  Maybe I'll revisit it a few weeks from not when it's not fresh in everyone's mind.  I was able to pull off some cross guard stuff and used the guillotine when that failed to either sweep or as a submission.  I was able to go to deep half a few times and did some work from there. 

Once again I'll count my almost with Greg as a success as I was in half guard and got a kimura grip.  I looked for my moment and tried to make space with my butterfly hook and then did the magic trick to the back take.  I was there, I got my hooks in he fell right into back mount.  But, I couldn't secure his upper body and he immediately escaped.  Maybe I should have hung on to the kimura a little longer, not sure. 

Office Hours Partner: Josh J, John, Greg

Got my money's worth rolling today.  Great to be able to do a couple serious rolls after class and the heat/humidity is starting to affect me so the sooner I can get used to it the better.  Greg wanted to get some rolling in too so he had us do 5 minute rounds and then switch partners so we would roll with everyone.  It was great but I felt super sweaty and kind of gross when I was done. 

There were a couple times that I was able to actively slow the pace down at opportune moments.  Like getting to the knee over pass position and securing it and then taking my time and not giving any opportunities to recover guard. 

I worked with John and Josh on some no-gi guard passing showing the over/under pass and the guillotine post pass type stuff.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

May 6th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seio Nage, Back Mount Cross Collar Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Partner: Sam, Craig

Didn't get to bed at a reasonable time last night and felt a little low on energy this morning.  It also felt a bit humid today which I'm not excited about this summer. 

For the throw Conan had us practice with the 3 step setup.  Where you get your grips and you and your partner side step 3 times and then throw on the third to try to catch them as they're stepping.  I find it to be a difficult exercise but felt like I did it successfully today. 

Craig and I had some discussion on the guillotine and where the wrist should be.  In this version my wrist is more on the side of the neck rather than on the throat, where something like the Marcelotine is more across the throat.  Then we also worked on getting the hips back more to make it easier to connect the hands.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Craig, Sam, Josh J, Morgan, Conan

Opportunities for omoplatas were coming out of the woodwork.  I'm kind of feeling like practicing the cross guard omoplata so much has led to me finding ways to do it starting from other positions or during a scramble.  From the top I was all about trying to pass with the tozi and accomplished it a couple times.  The last time though Sam was able to sweep me somehow, I think I must have brought my head up or something because I was almost free.

Josh was pretty challenging today and was able to keep me from submitting him during free rolling.  I'm having to use more and more energy when rolling with him, which I need.  The more people to challenge me in class the better. 

I rolled with Conan last and felt winded before we started.  I gave it my best but felt like he was a step ahead of me regardless.  I made a good effort at getting to deep half and then was close to sweeping but was a little late and he was able to bounce back to his knee and catch my arm and turn it into a kimura.  I really need to get better sleep on Thursday nights, or any nights for that matter.

Office Hours Partner: Josh

We worked on bridging from the bottom of side control.  So Conan and I both kind of said the same things in that we're trying to bridge in a way that would put them on their back if they didn't adjust to prevent that.  Once they do move is when you hip escape and drive your knee across to start regaining the guard.  I also emphasized not to use his arms and I'd actually usually just put my hand flat on my chest.  He felt like this was key because he thought he was using his arms too much. 

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May 5th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seio Nage, Back Mount Cross Collar Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Partner: Bob

Bob gave me a few pointers on the shoulder throw, one being to turn my pinky in while putting their arm on the bicep. I returned the favor with some details on the ground.

Rolling: Back Mount, Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bob, Jesus, Harvey, Ben

As usual I attempted the techniques of the week. I was able to pull off a guillotine but didn't create the opportunity for the cross collar.

Office Hours Partner: Harvey, Greg

Greg asked me to roll to which I gave an emphatic "Yes!"  I feel like I did pretty well considering I have no idea what effort Greg was putting into his performance.  A couple of positive things happened for me.  From mount/quarter guard I transitioned into deep half and almost swept.  From there we moved into an inverted position where I had some paths to the back but couldn't figure it out.  I almost passed with an x-pass but was too far away to seal the deal.  I spent a lot of time in the bottom of side control and knee on belly and then he finished me twice from back mount and getting an arm trapped for the RNC.

In the middle of the roll I realized that everyone was watching us which maybe added a little pressure to at least give a good show.  Dave afterward gave me a lot of praise for making it look like I was doing Jiu-Jitsu against Greg (he said it nicer than that).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

May 4th 2016 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Seio Nage, Back Mount Cross Collar Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Partner: Harvey

Tips on Techniques of the week:
  • Seio Nage: with the shoulder I emphasized that he needed to connect me to his upper body a little bit more before leaning forward.  It seemed to help Harvey a lot.  We also worked on drop seio nage which is my probably my highest percentage throw when we do stand-up (not saying much).
  • Cross Collar Choke: has been working for me a lot lately.  When previously I thought the bow and arrow was king, I've gone to making this my goto from the back.  It's more direct and requires less movement, but I also have the bow and arrow in my back pocket in case I have the collar grip but can't finish the choke.
  • Guillotine: The major thing that we emphasized today was getting the hips back to get the right angle with the choking arm.
Rolling: Back Mount, Guard
Rolled With: Harvey, Tom

I feel like I'm starting to figure out back mount.  How to use my legs, how tight to hold my harness grip, when to let them move, when to come to the top, etc.  I'm pretty good with escapes too except lately it's been more difficult to bridge into them without my back bothering me a bit.  Today was good but damn Harvey really can hold on to a grip.  I helped Tom with tightening up his harness grip and using his chin on my shoulder.  In my opinion it's a necessity to get cheek to cheek with your opponent to maintain back control.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike and I had some great rolls after class.  The first couple ended fairly quickly after he set up some straight ankle locks.  He insisted that I needed to keep defending rather than try to escape or at least do both at the same time.  So I'm not totally sure of the mistakes that I made.  On our third roll we had a lot more back and forth and ended up in some pretty crazy positions.  These type of rolls hold the true meaning or why I consider this sport fun, I have to challenge myself both mentally and physically to attack and defend until one of us makes a mistake.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 3rd 2016 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Sean Williams' Guard: Armbar, Triangle, Omoplata
Partner: Justin

Huge class of 14 today to work on the SW Guard.  I wish all the day classes could have at least half the attendance.  I'm familiar with this guard although I haven't had much success with it so far.  Most of it has to do with being able to get off to the side and establishing that frame.  I'll have to put some more work into it. 

Justin had a little trouble with the triangle, like me he has short legs and I have wide shoulders making it more difficult.  We spent some time working on getting to the finish and had him do the technique on Jesus a few times so he could connect his legs.  Omoplata was much easier for him as it has been for me.  I helped a few groups with movements to help finish the omoplata.


Rolling: King of the Mat - Closed Guard Edition
Rolled With: Quite a few different people

Had some pretty tough rolls but managed to maintain royalty sufficiently.  I attempted to go to SW guard as often as I could but could never really get off to the side enough.  I loosely played some 2 on 1 and cross guard but without the sleeve grips it's not as easy. 

From the top I had huge success with the tozi pass today.  I worked on getting off to the side and pinning their leg and maintaining good head pressure more than I have previously and then windshield wiping to get my legs free was also successful. 

Office Hours Partner: Tom

Tom was interested in the over/under pass and we drilled it several times as I gave little adjustments and my thoughts.  The no gi version is a little tougher so we had to focus more on hip movement to keep their leg trapped.  He was getting pretty good at it before we quit for the day.