Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 - Week #1 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Knee Escape, Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control

O-Soto Gari
Video: Yamashita O Soto Gari Part 1

This is probably one of the most straight forward throws.  The problem that most people have with it is they focus more on the leg kicking part and not enough on the upper body.

Make sure you step very close to their base foot, just enough space for your leg to go through. Drive the bus pulling down on their arm and up on their collar to get them leaning on the leg you are about to kick out lean forward as your leg reaps through for the throw.

Basic Side Control Knee Escape
Video: Side Control Escape Recompose Guard.mov

Side control escapes are some of the most sought after techniques. A lot of posts on BJJ subreddit have the subject of "How do I get out of the bottom of side control?", "Stuck in side control, any tips?", "In the bottom of Side control, I guess this is my life now."  There's a reason that side control, mount, and back mount are dominant positions.  They're supposed to be difficult to escape from.  To add to that, I think Side Control is an easier position to learn and maintain than mount and back mount. 

A couple of things that I help people with on this technique: bridging, breath control, and more hips less arms. 
  • Bridging: Bridge into your opponent in a way that would make them fall over if they didn't adjust their base.  This is what is going to create the space to fit your knee in between you
  • Breath control: Avoid taking that huge inhale before you bridge.  It gives away your intention to the person on top.  I try to bridge during an exhale.
  • Hips: I keep my arms on my chest when I bridge.  If you try to push them away it actually doesn't help create the space you want.  If you use your arms too much you're more likely to get put into knee on belly.
Bonus videos
Side Control Escape #1 - SIT-UP with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #2 - ELBOW PUSH with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #3 - HIP ROLL with Marcelo Garcia

Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control
Video: Americana Submission from Side Control - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The only major difference between the way we do it and the video is that we keep the first arm under the triceps as we push their wrist to the ground so it's ready to grab the wrist as soon as it hits the ground.  I like to use my head to help keep the hand on the floor as I'm locking up the wrists. Use a throttle motion to get their pinky knuckle to the floor. Slide their elbow toward their ribs and you should only have to lift very slightly.

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 2017 - Week #23 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense
Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense

Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll
Video: How to Escape Kesa Gatame and the Headlock This week's escape is near the end around 4:30.

This is a good one but it must be done right to avoid back strain and make it easier in general.  You have to bridge and maintain your bridge throughout.  I know you want to come back down but don't!  Next focus on putting their own weight on their shoulders as you turn to get on top.

Straight Footlock and Defense
Video: JiuJitsu.com || How To Finish a Straight Ankle Lock || Roli Delgado

I've been taught this technique a lot of different ways.  I'm by far most confident with the way that we teach it now which is very similar to the video above.  One thing that he mentions on the video that helps me a lot is collapsing the elbow.  I've helped a few people recently with tucking that elbow under before you're ready to finish the submission and it's made a huge difference.

I wasn't able to locate a defense video.  It has worked for me quite a few times during rolling. The biggest tip that I can give is to put your foot on the floor first before trying to hook their knee.  Otherwise it seems hard to catch it. 

Bonus Videos
Straight Ankle Lock by Dean Lister

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

July 2017 - Week #22 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Guillotine Defense from Guard, Ezekiel Choke from Mount & Half Guard

Guillotine Defense from Guard
Video: Valhalla vs Ryan Hall

This is the best video for this technique.  She shows it exactly how we do it and a surprise happens at the end of the video.  So be careful when you're on the bottom.

A huge tip that I like when I teach this is to try to push them to their back.  Don't wait for them to pull you down with them after you get your hand over their shoulder jump to your feet and take control over how fast they go to their back.  Also once they loosen up go back not up.  You can hurt your neck if you try to pull upward too hard with your head.

Ezekiel Choke from Mount & Half Guard
Video: Rafael Lovato Jr Teaches Ezekiel Choke From The Mount || Roger Gracie, Setting Up the Ezekiel Choke: Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, Issue #27.

I had a lot of success with this technique a while back but don't hit it as much in recent years.  It's something that I'll threaten now and again and it will setup other submissions in mount.  I probably hit this most often from the half guard pass now.  People in general in our school are getting better at defending their neck I think.   

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

June 2017 - Week #21 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard Position, Sweeps, and Submissions (Collar Sleeve Guard)
Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position
Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position

Basic Open Guard Maintaining Position
This is an intro to open guard.  One of the big lessons emphasized this week is using push/pull to control your opponent and maintain your position.  I'm pulling in on his sleeve and collar and pushing on his hip and bicep.  When my opponent moves I reset my position by lifting my hips using my grips and foot position to center back up.  I start to get into trouble if the top person eliminates my controls by pinning a leg or removing a grip.

Here are a few other pointers:
  • Remain on your side to keep your foot on their bicep mobile and active.  
  • Gripping the leg of the foot on your hip and smashing it to the mat is probably the best way for the top person to initiate a pass.  Strip this grip as quickly and often as you need to.
  • Play around with the push/pull.  Always be trying to affect their balance
  • Keep your hips centered on them
  • Relax, you don't need to have death grips and try to keep your opponent in place.  Once you understand the push/pull this becomes easier.
Example Videos:

Basic Open Guard Collar and Sleeve Set up BJJ Guard
Collar and sleeve triangle | How to BJJ Techniques 
Rafael Mendes | Collar & Sleeve Guard Study | Art of Jiu Jitsu Academy

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 2017 - Week #20 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Basic Triangle Setup

Koshi Guruma
Video: Judo - Koshi-guruma

This has been covered in previous weeks.  Personally I've been focusing on the kazushi for the forward throws and feel like I've come a long way in the last year since Bob has been with us.

Basic Triangle Setup
Video: Keys to an effective triangle part 1. & Keys to an effective triangle part 2.

The only major difference between the videos above and what we do is instead of getting the deep overhook we'll grab behind the collar on the neck and bring our foot up to their hip to get a similar effect.  Then when punching the wrist to the chest, getting our hips way up high is important.  Once you lock up the ankles you can't release them without having a grip on the ankle over their neck.  Check out the bonus videos below for some other triangle ideas.

Bonus Videos:
52 Triangle Choke Set Ups In Just 8 Minutes - Jason Scully BJJ Grappling
No Gi Triangle Choke From Closed Guard
JJM 22 Shawn Williams - Triangle Choke From Williams Guard.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

June 2017 - Week #19 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Escape to Back Mount, Kneeling Guard Break, Knee Slide Pass

Headlock Escape to Back Mount
Video: Escape from Hon-Kesa-Gatame

This is probably the one that I get the most often or feel is straight forward.  Throwing the hook in seems to be the easiest thing to do.  Different than the video we don't pull them over the top of us but instead bridge them forward and base our hand out to free our head.  Then harness grip and bring our knee up by their shoulder to roll to the other side to secure the bottom hook (the most important hook).

Kneeling Guard Break

We did kneeling guard break recently in Week# 17.  Here are some other types of guard break videos that I like:
Ostap Closed Guard Breaking Tips
Oli Geddes: Sao Paulo Guard Pass

Knee Slide Pass
Video: Knee Through Pass vs Closed Guard

I searched a lot of knee (cut/slice/slide) videos and I couldn't find one similar to the way we do it.  Regardless whether we stand or kneel to break the most important thing after that is to close off the side of your body your knee slide knee is on.  You don't have to get an underhook but you do have to prevent the bottom guy from getting one.  In the gi I prefer to grab the lapel and make what I call a bully grip where you twist your hand and bring your elbow against your hip/ribs as you point your knee perpendicular to your opponent's body.  Don't forget to collect up the sleeve or wrist to finish the pass.

BJJ Scout: Leandro Lo Knee Slide Study Part 1 - Active Posting
BJJ Scout: Leandro Lo Knee Slide Study Part 2 - the Face Crank

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 2017 - Week #18 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Seoi Nage, Double Ankle Grab Sweep, Butterfly Hook Sweep, Butterfly Guard Pass

Seoi Nage
Video: In-depth analysis of Ippon Seoi nage by Matt D'Aquino of Beyond Grappling

A couple of pointers when executing this throw.  Don't put their armpit over your shoulder, it should go closer to the crook of your elbow.  Judo Bob says that this throw is more like a hand technique rather than a hip throw.  After working with Bob on this and other throws I'm only scratching the surface with understanding it.

The drop seoi nage is the throw that I've had the most success with.  The morote has also been

This is the Morote Seoi Nage that I've been working on lately: Moro-Te-Seoi-Nage-Omote-Eingang (Tokio Hirano-Lehrgang 1984 in Papendaal, Holland)

Double Ankle Grab Sweep
Video: Double Ankle Grab Sweep-BJJ Blue Belt Requirements Technique #18

Not something I hit on a regular basis, I think it's because I'll transition to an open guard before someone is able to stand and break it.  But I've seen quite a few people pull it off and I've had it done to me before.  I think the hard part is maintaining the momentum and getting up and keeping the opponent's leg pinned in the process.  You have to beat the opponent popping up, grab their collar and widen your legs before they can get back to their knees.

Butterfly Hook Sweep
Video: The Most Important Butterfly Guard Sweep...

This is one of Greg's favorite techniques and I would say at first glance it's not what you think it is.  Everyone sees the end result of the leg kicking the other guys thigh over to complete the sweep, but really the sweep is way more about the upper body and controlling posture.  2 things I start with for the basic sweep.  A high underhook and I hang off of their other arm, this should change the angle of their shoulders.  Then you need to get out of your own way by getting your shin under your other leg, so you can fall to the side (not back).  The kick should be the last thing and just a helper.

Bonus videos:
BJJ Scout: Adam WardziƄski Butterfly Guard Study Part 1 
I've already seen some success with the techniques in this video because I play butterfly half often when I'm forced to.  The idea of switching and sweeping to the other side was new to me and I've really liked playing with it.

Andre Galvao, Butterfly Guard Sweep: Jiu-Jitsu Magazine #23
I haven't got to play with this one yet but I like the idea of where he puts the hand.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30th 2017 - Week #17 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Standing Guillotine Against Wall Defense, Kneeling Guard Break, Double Under Pass

Standing Guillotine Against Wall Defense
Video: Standing Guillotine Choke Defense With 2 Takedowns

Couldn't find a good video of how we teach this.  A couple of points that make this technique easier.
  •   Good posture: Keep your head up at all times. Bring your hips under your shoulders and then scrape them up along the wall.  If you don't have good posture all the pressure will be put on your neck
  • Maintain posture: Once you are standing straight up and start to reach over their back, you cannot let your posture falter and let them take back control. Keep standing straight as you put them in the neck crank.

Kneeling Guard Break
Video: Beginner BJJ Fundamentals - Opening Closed Guard from Knees Concepts - Jason Scully

The kneeling break is not as preferable to the standing. It can be difficult to keep the hips in place on a decent guard player.  The basic premise is that we want to make so much space by turning our body that the ankles can't hold the guard.  Keep the hips down, the knee on one sit bone and the other leg will make a right angle.  Lower yourself and twist to create the space.

Double Under Pass
Video: Double Under Guard Pass

There seem to be some arguments about the best way to do this technique.  We have been pulling the opponent onto our thighs before stacking.  The other method is to move forward standing into the stack.  Personally I've had more success with the former, but that is only because I've used it more.  Alternatively I feel good about my defense for this technique with either widening my legs or transitioning to the elbow escape during the pass.

Bonus Video: Ryan Hall Passing the Guard - Fundamentals, Grip Fighting, Passing Sequences & Specialty Situations
Ryan Hall demonstrates the double unders a little differently.  Instead of grabbing on the sides he grabs under the belt in the middle of the back.  He'll also do a sitout to pass. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

May 2017 - Week #16 Technique Companion

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

Koshi Guruma
Video: Judo - Koshi-guruma

Not much to say about this technique that I haven't said about the other forward throws.  This one in particular you want to make sure that you don't push their hips back when you wrap your arm around your neck. 

Tripod Escape from Side Control
Video: Bridge Escape vs Side Control, Single Leg vs Side Control It's MG so I had to include it, it's not exactly like we do it but close enough.

The detail that has helped me the most with this technique was to do a little front shrimp before going to the tripod.  Otherwise my head was always getting stuck by their knee.  So get to the underhook on the far side then bump yourself down a bit.  Also tripods are a good exercise that you can practice on your own.  Make sure the correct leg is going under the other leg for stability.

Kimura from Side Control
Video: Increase your success with Kimura from side control Again not the same as we do it but some good details in there

This has been a good setup for me lately.  I think that a lot of people feel safe with their hand on the shoulder in the bottom of side control.  That can be used to the top person's advantage to kind of trap there, move north/south and then isolate the arm to get the kimura grip.  From here the most important part is to keep their upper body from moving as you pry their arm forward and up and then behind their back. 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

May 20th 2017 - Purple Promotion and Tinguinha Seminar

Had a busy weekend. Greg's coach, Tinguinha was in town for our belt promotion ceremony.  He taught a no gi class Friday night, a kids seminar Saturday morning, followed by the promotion and adult seminar.

No Gi

No Gi was packed with somewhere around 38 people.  With the limited space I was still able to get in a good workout. I partnered with Justin for a slick pummeling to armdrag series.  It included going to the  back and finishing with a takedown.  We also did some rolling back attacks from the turtle

We split up into 2 groups for positional rolling from turtle.  Then finished with 2 free rolls with Derek and Conan.

Kids Seminar

The kids seminar introduced a few techniques that they hadn't done before and a fun game using the belt.  They did kind of a butterfly guard pull right into the sweep takedown, then armbar from mount transitioning from americana, and some basic open guard to triangle.

The kids all kept up well and had some fun in the process.  I was impressed with my son, Jace, as he was partnered up with a boy from the younger class. He helped him with the techniques that he could and showed him how to tap.

The kids got promoted after this with most of them receiving new belts.  My sons are now grey belts with black stripes with yellow coming next.


For some reason this was the most nervous I've been in a long time. Something about getting the recognition and being the center of attention.  It really wasn't anything to be concerned about. My name was called, I went up to the front took my ratty blue belt off. Greg put the new stiff purple one on and shook my hand and hugged.  I was choked up a bit but didn't have to talk so it wouldn't have shown. Then I hugged Conan and shook hands with Tinguinha.

There was applause, a lot of congratulations, many telling me that it was "well deserved" and "about time."  I also witnessed some training partners receive their blue belts (Ben, Derek, Josh, and Tyler)  and several get enough stripes to hopefully receive their blue next time.  I'd like to think I've helped and mentor many of them along the way.

Adult Seminar

We covered quite a few sets of techniques. Tinguinha stated at the beginning of the seminar that with the distribution of many different belt levels this time he wanted to focus on some transitions between techniques.

I had a good time working with Jerad. We were able to figure most of it out without issue. By the end my knees were probably the most fatigued. I would have liked to have rolled but understood why we didn't.

Here is the list of Techniques:

  1. Half Guard Butterfly 
    1. Hook Sweep
    2. Underhook and Knee Grab takedown
  2. Turtle 
    1. Arm Trap and Roll
    2. Grab knee headstand kick hips over to the other side
    3. Tripod to free head in kimura or attack turtle
  3. Omoplata 
    1. Ankle and Hip Control to get them flat
    2. An armbar counter when they try to get away
  4. Spider Guard 
    1. Kite Sweep
    2. Opponent recovers from sweep back up to omoplata
    3. Combat Base hook shin sweep
    4. Opponent recovers from sweep back up to Triangle


I feel like purple was very difficult for me to attain. I remember about 2 years ago not being able to fathom how I could get any better than I was.  I thought maybe my mind wasn't built for Jiu-Jitsu.  There were also quite a few times where I felt lost and didn't know what to do to get better.

I struggled with getting out of my comfort zone.  I worked on getting out of my head as much and to be more assertive and believe that my techniques would work when tested.  I had a problem with trying to make every technique be perfect and would often fall apart when something failed. I believe I developed a decent game along the way and enjoy being the guy in our gym known for deep half, cross guard, north/south choke, over/under pass and hopefully crucifix soon.

My confidence in Jiu-Jitsu is at an all time high.  I can't​ imagine how badly I would destroy my 4 years ago fresh blue belt self.  The work I've put in has paid off. That said, I'm exited to see what I'll be like when I'm ready for brown.  I've still got quite a few deficiencies, takedowns and leg locks being major ones.

I'm on a good path now.  I've got techniques and positions that I'm working to master  I still have several mentors in the gym to keep me humbled and give me guidance.  I've got a larger target on my back now so can't wait to break my belt in next week at open mat. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

May 2017 - Week #15 Technique Companion

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

Double Leg
Video: https://youtu.be/wyCy26uZqPg An interesting gi version of the double leg that I might try sometime.  I like ChewJitsu as well.
Video: https://youtu.be/RLfaOI4bJQA I've seen this type of fake guard pull to double leg or ankle pick and like the idea of it.

I couldn't find a video that teaches the grip breaks for the gi like we do.  Basically with standard judo grips we get rid of the one on our chest so they can't stiff arm it.  Go 2 on 1 with grabbing the sleeve and grab the meaty part of their thumb.  Now the hard part, the front leg needs to take a little step so the knee can penetrate the line between their heels.  If you keep a hold of their sleeve you can pull them over the top of you a bit.  From here turn the corner 90 degrees so your hips and feet turn.  One tip that Adam gave me from here is to look behind their back at this point.

Mount Americana
Video: https://youtu.be/WLqWGE4YgT8 Usually avoid Howcast but this looks the closest to how we do it.

I huge part of this technique that took a while to sink in for me is that you want to have straight arms and push down into their shoulder.  It's not correct to try to push forward as their shoulder can make some good resistance.  Put both hands on their forearm, straighten your arms, then bring your shoulders up over your hands and push straight down.  Now this can be a little painful for the person on the bottom so once you understand it you don't have to drill it hard all of the time but it is necessary to get it against someone resisting.

Once you get their wrist flat on the mat, I like to use my head on the back of my wrist to keep it pinned, while I'm getting my other hand under their elbow or bicep.  Often this technique results in an armbar or back take when the bottom person tries to defend by turning, lifting their shoulder and getting their other arm involved.  Probably the person that gets me with this technique the most is Conan, but usually from side control.

Side Control Bread Cutter
Video: https://youtu.be/h4rvtpNAoN0 There are some details that are different here, we start from side control and get on our side more, but most of this video is the same as how we do it.

This is probably my first go to submission in the gi if I end up in standard side control.  To me it's important to get the collar and not just settle for some gi material on the shoulder.  If you can't reach, it's okay to slide your shoulder down on their ribs to get a better path to the collar.  The choking grip placement is also very important.  Don't go too deep or too shallow.  I put my thumb a little higher than the collar bone.

A good tip that Mike gave today is to drop your hips in the end especially if they are working the near arm in the way for space. 

Bonus Videos:

https://youtu.be/tWiPWh1S2sw This is a cool alternate setup that I haven't played around with too much but I think is pretty cool.

https://youtu.be/HDcmw4_l6YE Another good video with some side control attacks including the bread cutter from Osiander

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

May 9th 2017 - Week #14 Technique Companion

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

Standing Headlock Escape to Hammerlock
Video: https://youtu.be/iMN0bzGtyu0

One of our standard headlock escapes.  A lot of the self defense techniques that we do are to prepare for common attacks from an untrained attacker.  In Jiu-Jitsu we wouldn't normally grab the headlock because it's not an effective or efficient attack.

Like with many self defense techniques we avoid getting punched first. Stiff arm the bicep and hand it to the other hand behind the back.  Now the important thing is to pin their hand to your chest as you make the stepping movement to the back.

Bonus Video: https://youtu.be/9Bxb9N-9ZmI

Armbar from Mount
Video: https://youtu.be/71EZLc-vyXw

There are many setups for this technique the main goal is to get their elbow across and get your hips around behind their shoulder.

The part of this technique that was most difficult for me to get over was making too much space.  Something to avoid is laying down into the armbar. It generates too much momentum for the person on the bottom to come up and stack.  What helped me was to sit on their shoulder as I maneuver to s-mount.

Breaking hands apart from there is a whole different subject.  I like to make an RNC grip on their wrist as my first option, but there are also a few others I have success with.

Bonus Video: https://youtu.be/Xwc1jnUb3jQ

Elbow Escape from Mount
Video: https://youtu.be/3frGHU0xnf0

I usually don't get this escape on my first try but it comes after a failed upa and if that fails I go to the foot scrape trap.

The most deceptive part of this technique for me was the elbow stays in place and I hip escape away from it.  Thinking of it as the center of the technique was key.  You also need some confidence in your hip escape, you're trying to straighten one of their legs.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 1st 2017 - Week #13 Technique Companion

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

Video: https://youtu.be/ZmSML5kb65w

Something that I've been working on with Bob a lot is to keep my posture and back straight during the beginning of throws of this type.  I would generally tend to lean over too soon and it would make the throw so much more difficult.  When I've done it right it feels so easy to throw someone.  So execute your kazushi and get them coming up bend your knees but keep your back posture straight as you get under them. 

Wing Choke
Video: https://youtu.be/TL7rRWO4rXw?t=1m57s

Greg has evolved this technique over time.  Where we used to kind of pull on the bicep, he now moves the trapping hand down closer to the wrist where the opponent is weaker to resist the movement behind their head.  I still don't have it down completely from the back but I'm more likely to get this from a technical mount.

When I get to the position of having my hand behind the opponent's neck and the collar grip, I work to snake my hand further around their neck.  Pulling on the collar in one direction and pushing their neck forward from the back.

Bow and Arrow Choke
Video: https://youtu.be/B3eRddYiHH4?t=43s

This is one of the most reliable submissions for all skill levels.  A couple of things that are important while executing it:
  • Grip can be a little lower at like the collar bone
  • Keep your elbow pressing down and behind their shoulder
  • Don't let them lay on your leg
  • Be prepared to reset and sit to the choke if you get out of position
  • Use your free leg to smash or pry off their defending arm
  • I like to start with a pant leg grip and then switch to under the leg
Defending the bow and arrow:
  • Monkey grip on their wrist with one hand and other hand grabs sleeve by elbow
  • Try to force your head into their armpit
  • Use your legs to bridge your hips up over their leg and pin it to the floor
  • Work your head under their armpit and try to get your shoulders to the floor.
This escape has worked for me sometimes, but you're still behind the ball if they've started the Bow and Arrow process.  Don't let them get the collar grip if you can help it.  Don't get put into back mount for that matter.  In fact you put them in back mount, that will show them.

Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24 2017 - Week #12 Technique Companion

Theme and Techniques: Leg Over Headlock Escape, Turtle Turnover to Side Control & Armbar

Headlock Escape
Video: https://youtu.be/Cr_e3_3Rlec

The video linked has quite a few of the escapes we use. The particular one for this week starts around 1:40.  He doesn't finish it with an armbar like we do and he grabs the collar instead of straightening his arm.  Regardless I like the video and it has some good stuff.

2 things that kind of go together that seem to help people out with this particular technique. 1. Walk your hips out to get a better angle for your leg to get around their head.  2. Keep your other leg straight and swing it out of their way so it doesn't get trapped under their body.  For the armbar portion, don't use your neck to pull out of the headlock if it's still there, use posture.  Make no space as you cross face them and bring your knee across their back to secure the armlock.  They shouldn't get a chance to put their hands together to prevent the armbar.

Turtle to Side Control
Video: https://youtu.be/XhUbvpql2b4

Another week where I couldn't find videos that were close to what we do.  This is the closest that I could find and it's Osiander so that's a plus.  One thing that he does that I like to do is get the near side grip and jump to the other side to help pull them over.

One thing that's very important that people miss practicing this technique the first few times is that the you need to pull the lapel deep into their hip and lock your elbow on their hip.  If you just go around their waist, you'll have a harder time rolling them over. 

Turtle to Back Mount
Video: https://youtu.be/oo_7NF4jh9s

Again I couldn't find a good video for this, I included a video from Tonon that I'm interested in trying out.  I like the walking around that he does rather than just jumping over like I've seen and practiced in the past.

As an extension of the previous technique when someone tries to not be put into side control and struggles to get back to their knees they leave some space open for us to slide under them.  Maintain your gi grips on the lapel and collar as you do this.  As soon as you can get your knee pointed up and put the bottom hook in, then secure the harness grip or begin to choke.

Pro tip: The bottom hook is usually the most important when taking the back.  The person escaping wants to get their back and shoulders on the mat and removing that hook and pinning your leg makes that all the more possible.  If you lose the bottom hook either switch to the other side or keep your harness grip and reset your back mount.

Monday, April 17, 2017

April 17th 2017 - Week #11 Technique Companion

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

O Soto Gari
Video: Yamashita O Soto Gari Part 1

This is probably one of the most straight forward throws.  The problem that most people have with it is they focus more on the leg kicking part and not enough on the upper body.

Make sure you step very close to their base foot, just enough space for your leg to go through. Drive the bus pulling down on their arm and up on their collar to get them leaning on the leg you are about to kick out lean forward as your leg reaps through for the throw.

Half Guard Knee Slide Pass
Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdex6rpFkNc

Video isn't exactly how we do it.  Greg would like us to actually step on the top of their thigh if you could and also try to put your head on the other side away from the underhook as soon as you can.  It's important that you keep their leg pinned before the knee slide.  

Bonus video that I found interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMZ5fz0nmJo

Turtle Granby Roll
Video: Couldn't find one

I have been told I'm pretty good at this technique.  It happened in stages. First I had a hard time knowing which way to turn my head depending on which side my opponent was on.  Next I focused a lot on plugging up holes in my turtle to avoid grips.  Another factor is learning how to roll under yourself instead of forward.

Finally a big step in learning the technique​ was having confidence in it.  I witnessed Greg roll through my grips several times until I believed that I could do it too.  Now my goal when I do it is to clear there grips and go.

I couldn't find a good video of the granby the way we do it, so as a bonus here are some other escape from turtle videos that I found interesting while searching:

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

April 12th 2017 - Week #10 Technique Companion

I'm going to try this out as a weekly thing.  I'll try to do it sooner in the week going forward.  I'll provide tips and include videos that I find interesting concerning the techniques of the week for the beginner/all levels curriculum.  Let me know if you have suggestions on how to make it better.

Theme & Techniques: Week #10 Standing Guillotine Defense, Half Guard: Back Take, Recover Full Guard

Standing Guillotine
Similar Video I could find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gARA3_h0oIk

As with any choke, protect your neck first. Monkey paw their wrist and hold it to your chest. Don't try to pull it down.  Next you are reaching over the opponent's shoulder to control their posture and keep them from leaning back on you.  Pull their shoulder down. For the takedown just make their knee bend, you don't have to trip them.

For the cross face get a deep grip and pull them into the bicep. Here you can put enough pressure until they release or attempt the Von Flue choke.


Half Guard Back Take
Similar Video I could find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXWSl2SZkGc

Could probably spend a class just on ways to get the underhook. Personally I prefer to work with a knee shield to kick through and lead the way.  One concept that is important is to fight for underhooks with your elbow and not with your hand.  Reaching with your hand is a good way to get kimura'd.  You want a deep underhook, the closer to your shoulder the better.

Another part of half guard is using your legs in conjunction with your upper body.  If you can get their body moving upward it can make your underhook that much deeper and make them base on their hands.

Once you start to get the back basing on your knee is important.  Give yourself enough stability so you can easily make your harness grip.  Try not to climb over their back here but bring them down and hip escape until you can get both hooks in.

Pro-tip: Attack the choke in transition rather than waiting until the back is secure.

Half Guard Recover Full Guard
Similar Video I could find: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Sd98SryeG4

This motion is commonly used during escapes. Similar to elbow escape from mount and the basic knee across escape from side control.  It's all about getting your hips from one side to the other.  Get your knee up in their pocket as soon as you can.

This is often a good thing to do when they widen their base to prevent a sweep.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

April 8th 2017 - Open Mat & Blog Change

I'm thinking about tapering off on the blog a bit. Maybe one or 2 posts a week. It's become a little monotonous and I'm not sure if it's helpful to others. I kind of just want to be free of it.

I'm thinking of doing a weekly recap and give pointers about the techniques of the coming week. I'm open to suggestions.

Open Mat
Rolled With: Andy, Patty, Derek, Jerad, Josh J, Conan, Justin

Had some tough rolls today and felt pretty worn down.  The humidity was also killer.  I was a little disconcerted because I didn't do as well as I thought I would.

I'm preparing for the master world's in Vegas which will be the most significant BJJ tournament or event I've participated in.  I'm trying to come up with a game plan to get ready.

I need to up my aggression and cardio.  I need to be focused during classes where I'm not as challenged.  I can't have lazy rolls.  I need to set aside my ego and just roll.

Derek and I drilled our respective techniques, didn't work on the foot sweep though.  I had some trouble with the z-guard and will be watching the DVD again soon.  He also helped me by giving a little resistance on the crucifix.

Friday, April 7, 2017

April 7th 2017 - MMA

Theme & Techniques: Controlling the Center of the Ring
Partner: Fuji

We did a couple of drills with trying to step on our partner's foot kind of like thumb war. Pretty fun.  This was Fuji's first session and it was nice partnering up with him again.

Then Nick got out the small cones to represent the center of the ring for each group.  We then worked on maintaining the center or attempting to take the center. He also emphasized the FU Grip as a safe spot to control.

Sparring: Controlling Center Games, Stand-up Sparring
Sparred With: Will, Mike, Jerad, Fuji, Nick, Henry

We did some up/down/out style sparring trying to take the center.  Then we padded up and it got more serious. I think I need to use more control on my front and side kicks as I'm still a bit rusty.

We worked a takedown by sliding in behind their leg. Didn't feel that good with it.  We sparred a few rounds and I was exhausted.  I did some good things and made some mistakes. I'm getting better at keeping my hands up but I have noticed that I drop my hands when I attack.

April 7th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 9 Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Partner: Quinn

Had a good group this morning and Conan had us do a couple of cool things for class today.  We walked down the floor to generate the kazushi to setup the throw.  We played with the torreando and responding to someone trying to prevent the pass a little bit.  We also did the stiff arm on the sleeve to regain guard.  This may have been an eye opener for some of the guys.

Rolling: Closed Guard, Open Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Quinn, Jesus, Jeff

Had good rolls with everyone.  I think Quinn felt a little dejected after our roll but I tried to assure him that I have years of training on him.  We talked a bit about having confidence in your frame and when it's best or okay to stand especially if they're hand is occupied.  

Open guard was fun with Jesus, he attempted to grab my ankles a few times to flip me to my back but wasn't getting off to the side to pass quick enough.  I used the single half guard a few times to help sweep.

As an experiment I decided to try to get sweeps as quickly as I could on Jeff and go a little competition intensity from the bottom.  I wasn't trying to force anything but move quickly and directly.  I felt pretty good about it and got a few butterfly sweeps out of it. 

Office Hours Partner: Jeff, Conan

Craig asked me to help Jeff with smash pass so I showed him a few setups and some of the things that I think are important for the technique.  First being keeping the hips down.  It seems pretty common that people want to raise their hips to get over the legs but it just gives the bottom person space to get some leverage back.  We covered windshield wiping the legs after that.

Had 2 great rolls with Conan.  At the end he made the comment "sometimes you're the hammer and sometimes you're the nail."  Today I felt like the hammer while most other days he does.  The main takeaway was that I felt pretty strong attacking his turtle setting up the crucifix or taking the back.  I'm really glad I decided to focus on that recently.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

April 6th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 9 Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Partner: Jordan

I enjoy working with someone more advanced once in a while.  Jordan and I got to play around with troubleshooting the pass and follow ups. I also showed him the pistol grip trick Jerad taught yesterday. Plus half of it we discussed his trip to Europe.

Rolling: Closed Guard KOTM
Rolled With: Jordan, Jeff, Jesus, Daniel

I challenged myself during rolling by attempting the z-guard when I could.  The person that gave me the most trouble with it was Jeff.  I just couldn't get around to hand off the lapel for the single leg half guard.  I had a little tunnel vision in only wanting one thing and I eventually abandoned it when Greg said we had a minute left.  I'll have to think about the setup more.

Office Hours Partner: Jordan

Jordan let me drill the foot sweep a few times after class. I'm feeling better about it but I'm not ready for live yet.  No one else wanted to stay and roll.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April 5th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 9 Koshi Guruma, Standing Guard Break, Torreando Pass
Partner: Tom (New), Jess

Glad to have a few weeks in a row with more than 2 people in class.  I asked Dave to work with me a bit on the Judo sweep and he seemed to enjoy it as well.

Jerad made a cool realization today with something that he uses. While doing the standing guard break he would start with a pistol grip and then hand it off to the other hand with an umbrella grip. It makes a whole lot of sense.

Some tips for this weeks techniques:
  • Koshi Guruma: Don't grab their shoulder and don't push their hips back when you put your arm around their neck
  • Standing Guard Break: I would suggest that everyone do some reps with this with a partner where they do 20 in row.  One of the best exercises that we've done in the competition practices.  You can also add a situp for the bottom person.
  • Torreando: I prefer doing this pass more like an x-pass.  I won't push both legs equally back but the closer one back and the far one out.

Rolling: Closed Guard
Rolled With: Jess, John, Jerad

Jess's open guard is getting quite good and I think I need to take it more seriously.  He was able to sweep me today with a spider guard sweep. Then on my turn I got him with a waiter.

John went to a long step pass from the start and almost completed the pass. We did some back and forth with half and deep half.  I don't remember what happened when I was on top.

Jerad and I had quite the battle. When I was on bottom I recovered a few times from almost getting passed.  My collar grip saved me with some loop choke attempts.  When I was on top I did the standing guard break and as I was trying to pass I got pulled to half then he got 2 on 1 and started to arm drag. I put pressure on his opposite shoulder to prevent back mount but he used it to sweep.

Office Hours Partner: Jess

Jess let me drill some crucifix and I think I figured something out with the armbar from the top.  I could get a lot more leverage if I kept my knees a little closer and brought my hips down.  We rolled after that and I had a tough time with his open guard but eventually passed. I have to work on my spider defense.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April 4th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Passing Butterfly: Guillotine Step Around, Knee Slide
Partner: Ben

Great class today.  Not that I need to say it because I rarely have a bad class at Jiu-Jitsu.  Although as many know I dislike classes based around kesa gatame. 

The first pass that we did often ended up in north/south choke for me, which I enjoy.  Greg did point out that I wasn't controlling the chin as much as he wanted me to.  I really enjoy the knee slide pass and was able to give Ben a few pointers.  I think everyone's first inclination it to smash the other person's leg down during the pass.  It's not really necessary, you just need to get your knee to the ground and turn your hips through.  I found myself having my head up more than I should of too often and need to keep an eye on that. 

I found a video instructional that is very similar to what we practiced today.

Rolling: Butterfly Partner and Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Bob, Ben, Sam, Richard, Jess

I hit quite a few guillotines today and it mostly had to do with the other person's posture and hand fighting.  Keep your head up in butterfly, both top and bottom.  Or think of it like keeping your head above your hips in alignment.  I also used the kimura a couple of times, once to pass with the front roll sort of motion and once for the spin around back take. 

Office Hours Partner: Ben, Jess

Gave Ben some tips on deep half with the shin sweep and preventing kimuras.  Shin sweep has become one of my gotos although I haven't drilled it too much.  Had a few good rolls with Jess and after catching some guillotines we discussed the grip that I was using.  He thought my one arm guillotine grip felt strong so I tried my best to explain the concept of pulling into your body. 

With many grips like defending the harness in back mount or defending a guillotine I'm not trying to use muscle to pull their arm away, rather I'm pushing their wrist into my body.  This goes for sleeve grips as well.  Find a way to use your body to support your grip or your frame.  If I'm on the bottom of side control against someone stronger I try to bring my elbows into my body.  When someone tries to isolate my arm I move in a way that they push against my body instead of just my arm muscles.  Of course I don't have it all figured out because I still get caught, I get my arm isolated, I lose guillotines, but I feel like I'm figuring it out.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

April 1st 2017 - Open Mat & Mike's 2nd MMA Fight

Open Mat
Rolled With: Bob, Nick, Adam, John

Bob: He asked if I'd like to work on some throws but I wasn't sure since it was pretty crowded with visitors hitting pads and getting ready to fight tonight.  I asked him about foot sweeps and he gave me a good lesson with the opening the door like kuzushi.  I should ask him the name of the sweep we spent the most time on so I can watch some videos on it.

We also did some ground work and covered a lot with arm drag, escaping bow and arrow, and escaping/maintaining side control.

Nick: It's been a while since we rolled.  I felt like I did pretty well.  I was able to recover to deep half a few times and sweep.  He had me in the truck and twister for a while and I miraculously defended a calf cutter and a twister.  In the process of escaping my contact folded up in my eye and I tried to roll with my eyes closed and he Americana'd me soon after.

Adam: Had a good roll with Adam.  I had some successes with escaping his side control to butterfly and then to full guard. I worked some collar and sleeve stuff but kept getting reset.  Eventually there was a point where he went over/under pass and I went for a kimura grip at the same time.  I got the grip but he had too much weight on me to do the spin and I didn't have any guard.  Eventually he got free of it and submitted me with a kimura.  Henry and Craig were trying to tell me that I was bleeding because there was blood across my face.  It ended up being from my nose, most likely from an Adam cross face.

John: Rolled no gi with John. Went to deep half a few times and failed at taking the back from there.  I don't think we had any leg entanglements.  I did have his back at one point and switched to one leg over and one leg under with feet crossed.  John thought I could do a twister from there so I gave it a shot. We worked on some DH entries after that.

Mike's 2nd Fight

My dad got some tickets for one of the suites from his work.  I brought my wife, Craig, and his wife.  It's definitely the way to go, more private, seats were more comfortable, there was food, and great seats.

The thing that I missed was being around my teammates and the unity created when watching one of us fight.

Kodi fought first to a decision.  There were some exciting moments, mostly from the feet but he wasn't able to make something happen this time. He'll come back stronger next time.

Mike's fight was super fast. He came out in his gi with Greg and Nick in his corner. There was some feeling out between Mike and his opponent.  From what I remember Mike's opponent attempted a strike, they separated and Mike's opponent came into him and Mike put on a guillotine and then walked his guard up his back. He readjusted his position once they hit the ground and the choke got tighter.  We could read Mike's lips saying, "He's out, he's out." The ref checked to make sure and it was over.

Friday, March 31, 2017

March 31st 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #8 Technical Stand-up, Closed Guard: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Jeff
Pretty small class today but we got our work in.  Both Jesus and Jeff were in yesterday's class so we breezed through the instruction portion pretty quickly.  Only had to give Jeff a couple of pointers on hip bump and kimura about body position.  Also demonstrated how I would probably get a hand on the mat because it's not always going to work as perfectly as when we practice the wipe. 

Rolling: Guard
Rolled With: Jeff, Jesus, Conan

My mission was to hit a hip bump sweep on Jeff.  It didn't work out but came close a few times.  When his default mode is moving forward with pressure it's difficult to trick him into going back.  I did setup a kimura out of the deal so that's good.  I did feel him try to go for over/under pass a few times and let him know since we've been working on it.  From the top I tried my best to be calm and use structure to break the guard and pass. 

Jesus did some good things and worked some spider guard and almost put me in a triangle from it.  I did give him a few hints that he wanted to be more on his hip in spider guard and not centered up with his hips.

I felt like I was doing a cardio workout trying to maintain guard and then pass Conan's open guard.  He turned it up today and was just ahead of me on a lot of the exchanges.  It was super fun and a learning experience.  I think the winner between us was generally who acted first and was persistent in what they wanted.

Office Hours Partner: Jesus, Conan

Jesus asked me about spider guard after class.  I showed him the basic sweep from the knees and then said that I go to lasso generally if someone stands.  Other's in our school are far better at spider than me.  We worked on the lasso sweep a few times and I think he could work with it.

Conan let me drill some crucifix stuff and he gave me some different resistance than I'm used to which is good.  He also seemed miserable when I went for some of the chokes.  One thing that he helped me with was when I can't isolate their hand, I can put my foot on my knee until I can force their arm to be isolated.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 30th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #8 Technical Stand-up, Closed Guard: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Bob, Jeff

We did the hip bump a little more dynamic by pulling out partners posture down and then following them up as they postured.

Gave a lot of pointers to Bob and Jeff on getting their hips in the right position to use their body more for the kimura.

Rolling: Closed Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Shane, Bob, Jeff

Had some good rolls.  Shane's guard is getting pretty difficult to pass and he's not doing too bad from the top either.  Jeff almost passed with the over/under pass that I showed him last week.

Bob and I had fun. I used the z-guard to sweep him and come to the top and said, "That's a sweep" to which he responded, "Nope, I was winning." So I asked him if he was a Trump supporter. Luckily he thought it was funny.

Office Hours Partner: Jeff

Went over over/under pass several times making sure he kept his hips down and head right to my thigh. I also showed him how I set it up from closed and open guard and no gi.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #8 Technical Stand-up, Closed Guard: Hip Bump Sweep, Kimura
Partner: Jess

For beginners I think this is the week where they get introduced to techniques that can flow into each other if the other fails.  I use kimura to hip bump quite often if they defend.

Rolling: Closed Guard
Rolled With: John, Jess, Dave

Rolling went good. I was able to hit a hip bump and did some cross guard from the bottom. From the top I went for a few standing guard breaks. Had to work hard to avoid open guards from John and Jess.  Dave prevented me from attempting a tozi pass.

Office Hours Partner: John, Jess

Worked with John on some deep half stuff that works for me.  Went over waiter and shin sweeps.

Jess asked to work on de la Riva which I'm not good at but helped him with the basic sweep.  We rolled a few times.  He had a good foot lock attempt that I was just barely able to squeak out of.  Once I got out I went for the back but ended up in side control. He was pretty gassed and I felt him give in a bit and pointed it by saying, "oh, he's giving up!" We discussed gassing out and working through it and the many times where I've been in situations where I wished the other guy would just hurry up and submit me.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Butterfly Guard: Arm drag, Hook Sweep, Knee Tap
Partner: Richard (new guy), Nate

Worked with 2 of the new guys as they were partnering up with each other and would have been pretty lost left to their own devices.  So I would do each technique to each of them to show what it feels like and then I coached them through doing the techniques to each other.  One of the difficult things with new people is to not overwhelm them with too much details but still get them to do the technique generally correct.  They did fine for their first time with butterfly.

Rolling: Butterfly Gaurd
Rolled With: Greg, Bob, Richard

Felt pretty good about some of my attempts to pass and sweep Greg, although I didn't accomplish much.  There was a deep half waiter attempt that was close and a few over/under passes that were almost there (or were they). 

Bob gave a good couple of rolls.  We had some good back and forth and he said he liked rolling with me in no gi better because it was more forgiving. 

Rolled with Richard last and after sweeping and passing a few times I helped him out with some things that he should do.  He thanked me for helping him out today.  

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Justin

Greg asked if I'd do another round of butterfly and of course I would.  It went a lot worse for me than our earlier rounds.  He heel hooked me most of the time.  There were a couple of times where I thought I was getting somewhere but it just led to the ankle lock positions.  Asked a quick question about crucifix and they suck your leg up.  Greg told me to triangle when that happens which isn't something I thought of before. 

Rolled with Justin a few times and he didn't kick me in the head today.  We had some good exchanges and I found myself in positions to do rolling back takes.  I didn't succeed at them all but felt good about my timing.  He wanted to work on some half guard and did well from there.  I gave him some tips on working with his legs a little more instead of just locking them up. 

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Derek, Josh J, Ryan (Visitor), Justin
Game Plan: Crucifix

Derek: We did some drilling on our respective techniques. He said that my z-guard felt better than the last time I drilled with him.

When we rolled it started out well for me, I mostly kept control and was in good position to attack from turtle and side control. I couldn't get him to tap though and eventually I started to gas after several failed attacks and he eventually double legged me out of turtle and transitioned into side control and threw on an americana.

Josh: Had some great rolls with Josh.  He's been working on smash pass and did everything right except get the underhook.  At another point he had me in the bottom of side control but felt hesitant to attack. We talked about it afterward and I gave him the suggestion of switching sides to setup attacks.  At one point I was able to setup crucifix but ended up with back mount and his arm trapped.

Ryan: He was in town visiting a friend and trains elsewhere.  We rolled no gi and it can be exciting figuring out a new person and their game.  He hasn't been training for as long as I have, so while he did present some challenges for the most part I controlled the rolls.

I went over north/south choke with him and my setup.  Also some knee slide stuff.

Justin: He asked me to roll before calling it a day. We started standing since people were clearing out.  He's so low to the ground though and I had a tough time making anything happen on the feet. He was able to get me down with double and single legs while I threatened guillotines went for guard.

On the ground I was being pretty flowy and playful until I was in a donkey guardish position and Justin accidentally heel kicked me in the jaw.  I was fine and my mouth guard saved my teeth but it was a hard shot.

On our last roll I was attacking from turtle and was able to goad him into reaching between my legs for the crucifix.  He kept a tight hold and put his hands together but I was able to weasel my hand around his neck.  Crucifix is really becoming a go-to position for me.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24th 2017 - MMA

Theme & Techniques: Thai Pad Combos
Partner: Mike

I don't have much experience holding pads especially the Thai variety. I felt bad for Mike as I had difficulty timing strikes and putting the pad in the right position.  I did get better toward the end.  It's pretty amazing when Henry and Nick do some.

We did some jabs into an elbow strike followed by knees and finally a round house.  Mike was good at pushing off after the knees.  I could improve my timing and distance control quite a bit.

Sparring: Simulated Matches, Stand-up Sparring
Sparred With: Clint, Mike, Cody

Cody and Mike did 2 rounds each with a couple opponents and I was Mike's 2nd round.  Unfortunately he wore MMA gloves and I wore 16 oz ones so when we hit the ground I couldn't do shit.

After that we did a few rounds.  I let loose a few times and tried some more dynamic kicks, but also had some moments of fatigue where I needed to guard up.

March 24th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 7 Seio Nage, Back Mount Lapel Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Students: Jess, Jeff, Max

Did some different warm-ups today.  Max is pretty new so I didn't want to do drilling.  I had us do some takedown fitins, grip fighting, and clinch work.  We had a lot of time to work on techniques so I added both the wing choke and we looked at bow and arrow. 

Looking back probably the tip I gave the most often was concerning the wrists and canting them out as you choke.  With the guillotine it was about moving the hips back enough to make space.

Rolling: Back Mount, Closed Guard
Rolled With: Everyone

Had some good rolls, Max is pretty green so after a few times of executing the technique of the day I helped him defend some stuff.  I had a conversation with Jess about this after class and how I usually deal with someone that is pretty new.  I'll usually go for what we worked on during class a couple of times, mostly to show that it works and for my benefit of practicing it.  If it's too easy I'll then help them defend what I'm doing and give some basic pointers.

The rest of the rolling was good.  Controlled Jeff from the back and worked on maintaining the back.  In guard with Jess I worked a little cross guard and 2 on 1.  When I was on top, my goal was to stay out of his spider guard, so I stayed kneeling and worked for pressure passes.

Office Hours Partner: Jeff, Jess

Went over the over/under pass for both of them and showed some details as they both worked on it with me a little previously.  Jess and I got a good roll in.  We ended up in turtle again and I tried for crucifix as I'm wanting to do.  While he was defending I was able to trap his arm as I went for back mount hook and setup the sliding lapel choke. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23rd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 7 Seio Nage, Back Mount Lapel Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Partner: Bob, Frank

Greg had Bob teach the drop shoulder throw today and I was pleased.  However, he makes the floor come quickly when he throws me.  Both Bob and Frank did a good job with both chokes and there were only some minor adjustments that I made mostly with body position, elbows etc. 

Rolling: Back Mount, Guard KOTM
Rolled With: Frank, Jess, Andy, Nate, Tim, Jeff

I think I only made one grave mistake today and it was when I was setting up a choke on Jess and he almost passed my guard.  I had to recover to turtle and granby to get back to guard.  Otherwise I had a lot of success with sweeping and passing.  I probably should have went to half guard and attempted some z-guard sweeps.

Office Hours Partner: Jeff, Jess, Greg

Jeff asked to work double legs again and I did my best to show him what I know about it.  Focused on the penetration step, changing levels, keeping posture and turning the corner.  It looks like he's taken this on as a personal project to improve on. 

Rolled with Jess 3 or 4 times.  Had a good time.  I was lazy somewhere in the middle and he caught me in a straight ankle lock.  It felt like it was a little low on his body and I was going to wait it out, but there was a little pop so I tapped.  It turned out to not be anything and I wasn't in any pain.  I should have been actively defending the footlock though instead of thinking that he'd eventually let go of it.  Did some good things in the roll, had a nice spider guard sweep, attacked for crucifix from turtle but he hid his arm well so I went to the back. 

Greg wanted to work takedowns and although I gave him two rounds, my congestion didn't make me very competitive for him.  I did feel good about changing levels and moving around a bit, but it kind of felt like anything I extended myself for Greg was ready to pounce on.  I did hit a nice butterfly sweep at one point after he took me down but the rest of the times he got me with the takedown that he's been working on.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22nd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 7 Seio Nage, Back Mount Lapel Choke, Guillotine from Guard
Students: John, Frank, Jess

Got to teach class today.  Had everyone drill something as the 2nd half of the warm-up, I chose crucifix.  I'm liking adding this section to the classes that I teach, I may need to include some neck exercises too though.

I taught drop seio nage after showing the standard way we teach it.  I showed it with the leg grab setup that the kids also are taught.  Everyone looked pretty good during reps.

Everyone did well with the sliding lapel choke right away so I showed the bow and arrow too and only gave out a few critiques here and there. 

Showed the guillotine as a precursor to next weeks techniques of hip bump and kimuara, as all of these techniques have the same setup.  The big tip that helped everyone was to move the hips back enough to make the space needed to get your hands together properly.  We also discussed the Marcelotine variation.

Rolling: 8 Minute Escapes, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, John

Since we had a lot of time after drilling and it was on my mind from yesterday I decided to do the 8 minute escapes drill.  I believe I was defending first and did my best to not get submitted.  Jess did come close once with an armbar from mount as I executed the bridge and roll.  I was able to stack and get out of it but his intuition to attempt it was right on.  Felt good about my turtle attacks and got to crucifix a couple of times.  The last one ended up with Jess arms trapped and then he trapped my legs with his.  As I worked for the choke it put the armbar on.

Rolled with John next and he said something like "my goal is to not get choked from north/south."  I started with a z-guard and swept, but I kept it for too long and he eventually got the underhook from half guard.  He ended up in mount and I had some ground to recover.  Somewhere along the line I made it back to the top and just as I was setting up the NS choke the timer goes off so he completed his goal.

Office Hours Partner: John

We went over a lot of stuff after class, maybe teetering on over-information.  We discussed my series from 2 on 1, some stuff that I do from mount, and even some deep half stuff. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21st 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Escape from Back Mount & Granby from Turtle
Partner: Ben

We worked on 2 things that I feel like I'm relatively good at.  Escaping back mount had a few different details for no gi.  Since we can't stiff arm the leg, Greg had us do a kind of a half guard on the leg that we didn't smash to the floor.  Then we would use our knee and foot to slowly pry it out once we were in a good upper body position to move to side control. 

I tried to give Ben all of my tricks for doing the granby roll as he started out rolling forward a little too much.  Things like try to kiss your knee, try to get the back of your shoulder on the floor as quickly as possible, try to fold under yourself.  I feel like he improved on this a lot today.

Rolling: 8 Minute Escapes
Rolled With: Greg

We did the 8 minute drill and I was ecstatic that Greg asked me to be his partner.  I started on defense and was actually able to escape a few times from each position except for back mount.  From turtle the first time I was able to use the granby roll to get back to guard.   

Attacking was a different story, I didn't submit him although I was able to go from turtle to side control once.  I did take note of some of Greg's escapes from mount, he's great at getting his knee in for SLX.  Mount was where I felt like I couldn't do anything to him.  Regardless, I feel pretty good about my performance and he told me that did a good job.

Office Hours Partner: Mike

We discussed some half guard kimura stuff and we had a good discussion on positives and negatives from transitioning shin across from turtle.  He had some good arguments to avoid the position and won me over in the end. 

We had a couple of good rolls that were fast paced.   I ran into my waiter sweep then attacked his standing leg to attempt an ankle lock again that he was able to roll out of.  We discussed this after and I have some things to think about.  He had a great idea of an alternate leg position that I should use while doing this to prevent the roll.  We also discussed the truck and who is winning or in control of the truck by who is closer to the opponent's knee. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 18th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Josh J, Ray, Bauer, Craig, Jerad
Game Plan: Conserve energy

Since I've been sick I tried to take it easy today although no one that I rolled with is an easy roll.  I just have some bad congestion now so it can be difficult to breathe.

Josh: Both he and Bauer pulled out things while we were rolling that I taught them recently.  Josh picked an opportune time while in my half guard to go to x-pass position, I wasn't expecting it and told him "good job!" but immediately saw an opportunity for a loop choke. Mike gave me shit for giving a compliment right before going into my own sub. We had a few other good rolls after that.

Ray: Had a few tough rolls with Ray. He gave me a lot of compliments afterward for my sleeve and collar gripping and my general ability to see moves ahead. He's still damn difficult to submit and can bring the pressure from the top.  I was happy to prevent some of the ankle lock stuff that he looked for that he's caught me with in the past.

Bauer: We rolled no gi and I definitely had a tougher time controlling him without grips. The underhook from half guard became more important.

Craig: Craig showed me a couple of things that he saw off of videos concerning side control and asked for help on NS choke. I had him do the choke to me and noticed that his elbow was off the floor. Generally I plant my elbow and move away from it to make the choke tighter. I also tend to wiggle back and forth to get their neck and chin in the right place.  Something that I didn't tell him that might have helped is that I don't squeeze until I'm in a very tight position.

Jerad: Did a no gi roll with Jerad although I was pretty well exhausted. Still did about my average. I got pretty far on top in half guard but my base wasn't solid at one point and he overwhelmed me with a sweep. The rest was trying​ to keep half guard but I don't remember what I tapped to.

March 17th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #6 RNC Defense with O-soto gari, Back Mount: Escape, RNC
Students: Jeff

I've been sick the last few days, unfortunately it's on my bachelor's week.  Pretty much gave Jeff a private class as he was the only one to show up. Since he missed the previous week we did a few reps of this week's stuff and then went over the double leg and mount stuff from last week.

We had some good rolls but he's still trying to move straight through my guard, so I chastised him a bit for that and showed him the over under pass.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #6 RNC Defense with O-soto gari, Back Mount: Escape, RNC
Partner: Jeff, Giovanni

Small class tonight, what happened?  I want to get some sleep so I'll make this short.

Tips on techniques of the week:

  • O-soto gari: Take them down
  • Back Mount Escape: Get out of back mount
  • RNC: Choke them

Rolling: Back Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Everyone

Had some good rolls. Both Jeff and Giovanni are strong and have decent body control. I helped them both a bit with back mount related stuff and some guard passing for the gi.

Mike and I had a couple of good battles from the back. He had a nice toe hold attempt that he turned into a knee bar when I defended it.

March 14th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control: Arm Triangle Choke, Tripod Escape to Half Guard
Partner: Jess, Mike

Got a good detail about the arm triangle today.  I've been having a hard time getting their arm in the right position before going over.  Mike helped me figure out the angle and how to push with my head to get their arm up.  Feeling good about it.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Mike, Bob, Jess

Good rolls by all.  Mike and I had a "Leg Lock Bonanza" (his phrase, not mine).  He caught me a couple times although I'm feeling like our leg lock battles are becoming more involved and I'm sort of keeping up although behind the curve.  During our last exchange I was in a position to waiter sweep but he stood up.  I went to the other leg with single leg x and he turned and I attempted to setup a knee bar but wasn't sure which

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Mike

Mike and I did a couple of standup rounds for Greg.  I have some congestion and found it hard to breath through my rounds.  I did some good things, had a good series where I got around his back and attempted valley drop.  I got him down but I couldn't get to the top, eventually I tried to drag him into back mount but didn't respect his kimura grip and he locked that out.  I was feeling okay about my posture and my hands but he also completed his favorite takedown 3 or 4 times on me.

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13th 2017 - Gi Advanced

Theme & Techniques: Deep Half Waiter Sweep!
Partner: Henry

I'm on a bachelor's week with my wife and kids out of town for their spring break. I really miss advanced classes.

Greg has been teaching deep half lately and tonight was waiter sweep.  Henry sought me out to be his partner and said I might have some things to share.

A couple of small suggestions that make a difference are:

  • During the entry protect against the cross face until your head can get to their hip.
  • After that extending your arm to move under them instead of pulling them over you.
  • During the sweep direct your pressure toward their knee

Rolling: Half Guard KOTM
Rolled With: Henry, Ben, Adam, Greg, John, David, Jerad

Rolling was tough, everyone was dangerous and had a chance to sweep or pass. I had quite a few close battles. Unfortunately I didn't go for deep half very much, I was looking more for the z-guard, knee shield twist sweep, and loop choke.  I had some successes and some learning experiences.

I probably will keep most of the posts short this week as I need to get more rest than usual to do a couple classes a day. Oh and I swept Greg today, so there's that.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12th 2017 - No Gi Beginner

Theme & Techniques: Crucifix: Setup from Turtle, Armbar, Choke
Partner: Chris C

I requested crucifix since I've been working on it lately.  It's nice to get some different approaches from others.  Chris hadn't worked on the position before so I got to help him learn it a bit.

One thing that we worked on was recovering the crucifix if they rolled over while in the seat belt.  I think the key to this is staying a bit ahead and keeping a tight harness.

Rolling: Turtle Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling
Rolled With: A lot of people

Huge class today and we had the mats full while rolling.  Everyone was super tight defending against the crucifix. I did go for the back when they hide their arm.  I did attempt and fail at the recover after getting rolled over, might need to work on that.

Had some good rolls with Chris and Matt.  I told Matt afterward that he was driving forward too much in my guard, which wasn't helping him pass. So we talked about posture and breaking the guard open before passing.

Office Hours Partner: Matt, Conan, Henry, Mike

Rolled quite a few times with Conan and felt good about some of the things I did.  We got into an arm drag battle early on that I came out on top of.  I attacked some guillotines and N/S chokes. We both took turns starting from the bottom of side control.

I joined Henry and Mike who were training with strikes from guard.  I'm really getting the hint that I don't know the best thing to do in situations with striking. Some stuff that I do is fine but there are some bad habits that get me punched in the face. The best thing that happened was when I got Mike to turtle and setup a crucifix. I wasn't able to finish but it was cool.

I asked Mike about the finer points of kimura from half guard. He gave me some good tips about getting butterfly hook or knee shield first. If they start to move over my knees then I have to push my hips out from under them.  A lot of good stuff.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 11th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Josh J, Craig, Justin, Clint
Game Plan: Bottom - Z-Guard, Top - Crucifix

Josh: Did some drilling for a warm-up. Worked on my usual techniques lately. Playing around with switching the grip to my other hand in z when I can't get the pant grip, might be time to run through the DVD again. Crucifix is feeling good the combination of being able to attack the armbar and the choke at the same time is awesome.  Josh drilled X and smash pass with some of my help.

We rolled a few times. I worked especially for Z and got it a few times. He actually took an opportunity to do the smash pass at one point and I couldn't be happier.

Craig: The mat was pretty crowded and I had to do some catch and release a few times.  He commented that he liked my knee shield grip stripper (patent pending) and I gave him a little instructional on it.

Justin: My goal was to get him to turtle and crucifix. From side control I've been trying things like cross facing excessively or giving enough space encourage my partner to turtle. I haven't found the magic formula yet but I did get Justin to reach out for an underhook that I pushed between my legs and rolled for the crucifix, it was awesome.

I showed Justin the back take from North/south using the lapels under the armpits. He seemed to like that.

Clint: I think I was too worn out for this roll because I got gassed pretty quickly.  He does a good job of applying constant pressure from the top, not sure what his guard is like though.  As I got tired I had trouble maintaining my half guard and eventually he was able to pass to side control.

As I was contemplating whether to quit from exhaustion or see it through, I developed a plan to get back to close guard and go right into cross guard and omoplata sweep. That was my best option to sweep. I turtled, he went to head lock position, I sat and pulled him into closed guard and right into the cross guard barrel roll sweep. I was so relieved that worked.

One thing that Bernardo Faria says a lot in his DVDs is to find ways to get to your sweeping position from anywhere.  Generally I sweep from 2 places deep half or cross guard.

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #5 Double Leg, Mount: Cross Collar Choke, Upa
Partner: Matt

Probably a combination of the cold whether and too many cross collar chokes this week but my fingers were aching this morning.  Not much new in the technique portion of the class for me.  It was fun working on the double leg with Matt as he's a former wrestler so we went at a pretty good pace.

Rolling: Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Matt, Jess, Jesus, Conan, Bauer

Attempted the collar choke several times but couldn't pull it off.  It didn't get me into trouble either.  I also attempted the upa when I could and hit it often or got an elbow escape.

Free rolled with Bauer and had to deal with his base when I was attempting to sweep.  His flexibility allows him to widen out quite a bit to prevent sweeps, although I am having more success than I have had in the past.  He's also good at smothering in half guard.

Conan took me apart pretty handily.  He's been working on tying up my hands with my lapels while in side control.  It is so frustrating to deal with.  I wasn't able to escape this time, but on our second roll we had about 20 seconds left and he gave me side control.  I went right to knee on belly and he turned away a bit so I went for a toupee lock and got him to tap right away.

Office Hours Partner: Bauer

Bauer wanted to start rolling from half guard bottom to work on it.  He was able to sweep the first time and hooked up a kimura later.  I was able to turn the tables most of the time but we had some good back and forth.

After rolling I showed some of my knee shield concepts and kimura from half with the butterfly hook and the spinning back take.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #5 Double Leg, Mount: Cross Collar Choke, Upa
Partner: Jess

Some tips on the techniques of the week:
  • Double Leg: It's so important to get down the penetration step and level change.  I feel like it's coming around for me now I just need to figure out when to do it.
  • Cross Collar: Something that I noticed today that I hadn't previously was that Greg put his head to the mat before attempting any type of choking motion.  I think this may have costed me the submission in the past.
  • Upa: One thing that still sticks with me is how Greg does this in live rolling.  Everything happens at once with trapping the arm and foot and bridging.  My upa improved exponentially after working on that.

Rolling: Mount, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Tim, Frank, Greg

Had a couple of opportunities to go to the shin across armbar/kimura position during the mount exchanges that I had.  I'm feeling better about the transition but still need to tighten it up.  From the bottom transitioned between my 3 main escapes of upa, ankle drag to deep half, or elbow escape.

Frank is improving on his grip fighting although he may have overemphasized on trying to control my arms too much where he should have probably been focusing on controlling my legs when trying to pass.  But he addressed any collar grab which is a huge improvement.  

Got to roll with Greg and had a good couple of exchanges.  There were a couple of times where I felt like I was getting somewhere but something would happen to turn the tables and everything would unravel and I'd be defending from the bottom of side control.  I was able to get to the z-guard and transfer the lapel but he went to reverse half guard and then came back and drove his hand through to get the under hook. 

Office Hours Partner: Greg

Greg asked if I would do some standup sparring with him and I couldn't have been happier.  We did two 3 minute rounds.  I had a few "almosts" with some drop seio nage attempts, double leg attempts, a decent single leg, and a cross guard pull but he figured out a way to stuff them all.  He also hit me with the takedown that he's been working on at least 3 times, which I may switch to in the near future.

I asked Greg about people hiding their arm when I was going for crucifix and he told me to just start going for their back and hopefully the arm will present itself again for crucifix.  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 8th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #5 Double Leg, Mount: Cross Collar Choke, Upa
Partner: Jess, Dave

For some reason I was excited to work on double leg this week.  I'm always feeling better about this technique in practice but don't have too much success hitting it in sparring.  Mostly because I hardly do any takedown sparring but also because wrestling has always been difficult for me. 

Jerad had us do both the palm up way and his way for the cross collar. I have a lot more success with his way.  It feels right when I practice the palm up way, but I just can't seem to get the grips I want during rolling.

Rolling: Mount
Rolled With: Dave, Jerad

Rolled with Dave first from mount.  I attempted both techniques as often as I could and completed each a couple times. We discussed coming up to the armpits while on top to help isolate arms. He has such a great attitude.

Jerad whooped me from the bottom. It was odd but I couldn't keep him in mount today. The hip push was key, I don't think I have a good answer for that, yet.

Office Hours Partner: Jess

Jess and I had a good couple of rolls after class. I saw an opportunity for crucifix from turtle at one point, but he defended it well and pulled his arm way inside. I'm so intent on the crucifix but I should probably put my hook in for back control at that point.

Jerad gave some pointers to lift their shin to get them to base out on the arm that I want.  I drilled the crucifix a few times and I'm feeling better about the armbar from the top.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

EBI Slap-Jitsu Champ: Nick Honstein

Nick participated in the first Combat Jiu-Jitsu 4 man tournament in EBI 11 and came home with the belt.  He won both of his matches the first in over time by RNC and the second with a Twister after one of his awesome double legs.  This is huge for Nick and our school. 


Theme & Techniques: Half Guard: Underhook Pass, Regaining Underhook from Bottom
Partner: Daniel

Greg showed the pass that he seems to always do to me when we roll.  He seems to always be able to blow through my half guard.  So I have a lot more to learn about this pass as I don't even come close to passing people as smoothly with this pass.  I think my knee pads also affect my success with this pass.

Rolling: Up/Down/Out Half Guard
Rolled With: Mike, Frank, Daniel, Jesus, Bob

Greg had us start the first several rolls with the top person having an underhook. Attempted the pass a several times but ran into some lockdowns or leg entanglements that prevented it.  From the bottom it was business as usual with knee shields to underhook to deep half.  Mike gave me the most trouble and we ended up in some leg lock battles.  One of our rolls was at a pretty intense pace for 2 minutes. 

Office Hours Partner: Bob, Justin, Mike

Greg and Bob worked on a half guard pass where you knee slide through a knee shield.  I drilled it a few times too and thought it was a pretty good pass that I'd like to incorporate.  We took it past the pass a few times and he complimented me on being smooth.

Rolled with Justin and he gave me a hard time in a few places.  There were times when I had him and due to no gi and his explosiveness he'd get out of a bad position.  It was a nice roll for me to get in some extra cardio.  I was hunting for crucifix but missed my chance in the scramble.  Hard to work on the position when I haven't figured out how to get to it.

Mike drilled an outside single leg that I liked.  Then we discussed some leg lock stuff.  I feel like I'm focused too much on getting my hands right for the submission and need to get to the leg lock position first before securing the heel hook or toe hold.