Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 31st 2017 - No Gi All Levels (Deep Thoughts in Deep Half)

Theme & Techniques: Closed Guard: Break to Double Unders, Stacking Variation on the Pass, Kimura from Guard
Partner: Justin

My nuts had a tough time during the guard break today.  Usually I don't have any issues but this particular guard break was uncomfortable every time. 

Greg gave an alternative way to stack for the double under pass where you grab their shoulder to keep them from shoulder walking and then stack and get way under them. I'll have to play with it more but I think it has some potential.

Rolling: Closed Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Justin, Jeff, Morgan, Ben

My goal from top was to complete a tozi pass and I didn't complete any of them.  I had a hard time keeping my head in place next to theirs. I don't consider it a wasted effort though.

From the bottom I played some Z-Guard and hunted for triangles.  I also setup a few kimura traps and ended up in 50/50 and other leg entanglements.

While stretching I spaced out a bit contemplating what to tell Ben about defending the kimura from deep half. Greg noticed and we got off on a tangent about deep thoughts with Jack Handy.  I guess Deep Thoughts from Deep Half with Josh Cather would be a decent podcast title.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

January 28th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Josh J, Ben, Daniel, Mike A, Will
Game Plan: Bottom - Half Guard Sweeps, Top - NS Choke

Had a good day of rolling that kicked my butt.  The roll with Will especially took its toll as I had to dig deep a couple times to keep going.  Mike also gave me a tough roll but I took advantage of him getting over being sick.

I found several opportunities to attempt the NS choke mostly because I wanted to try the way Marcelo teaches it. The main difference being that he keeps his head on his opponent's chest where I usually put my head behind their shoulder on the floor.  I can't seem to make his work as well for me and I'm not sure if I should keep trying it or just accept that my way is better for me.

I gave out a few pointers to Josh. Shared some of my bridging "secrets" which seemed to trigger a light bulb moment.  I enjoy seeing that happen as an instructor. We also worked on some cross guard when someone stands up in it.

Friday, January 27, 2017

January 27th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Guillotine Defense from Guard, Ezekiel Choke from Mount & Half Guard
Partner: Mike G, Jeff

We had 9 students in class this morning where we're usually lucky to get 6.

Here are some tips on the ezekiel:
  • Make sure you get all 4 fingers in your sleeve.  You'll destroy your finger joints if you don't.
  • Line up your shoulders with the choke.  If I'm attempting the ezekiel and my head and shoulders are above my opponent the angle is off a bit.  I want to shove my fist directly into their neck but not in a downward angle.
  • I get this choke far more often from the threat of the half guard pass or directly after getting the mount.  I'll also use it in mount to help me move up on their chest and isolate their arms for other submissions. 

Rolling: Mount & Half Guard Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jess, Jeff, Jesus, Justin, Conan, Craig, Ryal

Not a lot different from yesterday.  I did have a good exchange with Jess where he turtled up and I stayed on his back and transitioned into armbar/kimura position.  I think he's been helping me with that position set since he seems to be able to get to turtle most of the time. 

I free rolled with the new guy Jeff and had to rely on technique a few times as he has some strength and great body movement.  Even though he was making rookie mistakes of trying to bench press me all over the place he was still difficult to handle.  I think I calmed him down a bit after a while and helped talk him through what he should do instead, but I could see how a less seasoned student would have a lot of trouble with him.

Office Hours Partner: Conan

Conan had the better of me today and once he swept me with butterfly I wasn't able to escape.  I made a good effort I thought, but I need to work harder to avoid the bad positions in the first place.  It's also good to get a reality check and spend some time on the bottom being smashed.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

January 26th 2017 - Gi All Levels

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

Ezekiels are my jam and I felt like I did a good job of giving Jess some good details.  I don't feel like I hit is as much from mount anymore as people are wise to it, but passing half guard seems to still catch people off guard.  I'll try to write some more tips on the technique tomorrow when I have time.

Rolling: Guard KOTM, Mount
Rolled With: Jess, Jordan, Tom, Daniel

Had to work harder today than I was prepared for.  Both Jordan and Tom gave me a hard time in my guard.  I attempted sweeps and went to 2 on 1 but they were both insistent on wanting to pass.  I had to turtle and prevent getting my back taken.  I did end up coming up into a single leg at one point which is something that I need to do more often. 

My mount both top and bottom felt pretty good today as it has lately.  I would say if you are one of those people that says that mount sucks and side control is better, you may be right for your style and body type, but give mount a chance.

Office Hours Partner: Greg, Chris

Greg had Jordan and I roll hard with him after class.  We started standing and he pulled guard on me both times but swept soon after from butterfly.  I was on the defensive for the rest of it I think.  I felt like I escaped quite a few submissions until he finally caught me in an armbar.  Afterward he told me that my defense is good but he doesn't feel threatened by me.  So my new goal is to be threatening to Greg.  Greg showed me a trip takedown that he's been working on off of an arm drag.  I kind of like it but would need to drill it to get the leg part down.

Helped Chris a bit with grip fighting from butterfly and holding their arm to his body after he breaks a grip instead of letting them regrip right after.  Seemed to be surprised that he hadn't known that already.  To me those are the best kinds of lessons because once you feel like they're obvious, you can use them right away.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January 24th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control: Tripod Escape, Arm Triangle Choke
Partner: Jeff (New Guy), Jess

Was glad I got to escape train today, as I'm a little stressed from work.  I like how BJJ can put things into perspective and clear my head but I am a bit of a bitch if I miss a workout.

The new guy, Jeff, has the build of a wrestler but he said that he runs Ironman races and stuff like that though so he'll probably be a terror after he learns some technique. 

I worked on perfecting my tripod and trying to find the best way to get to my head and shoulder and maintain my bridge.  For the arm triangle I focused on keeping my head on the floor and copying the way that Greg did it to get their arm in place.  Helped out both Jess and Jeff a lot with some basic side control things aside from the techniques of the day.  They both had pretty tight arm triangles by the end of the session. 

Rolling: Side Control Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Jess, Jeff, John, Morgan, Daniel, Ben

My North/South choke was delivered plentifully today as many of my brethren left their necks unprotected in side control.  I explained to a few people how to defend it but pushing my chin to make me look away which helps make space for them to turn their head.  I also had some success with the waiter sweep today, feeling especially good about coming up after the sweep.

Had some good rounds.  Jess was hard to hold down in side control as usual and I was transitioning from side to turtle, trying to take the back, trying to get crucifix, then eventually got an arm in guillotine using the method that Greg showed us a couple of months ago.  He is so difficult to control in no gi.

Office Hours Partner: John, Morgan

Rolled with both John and Morgan and experimented with some single leg-x and full-x.  I looked for more leglocks on John, but had some trouble finding good technique to finish the heel hook.  Probably have to go over that with Mike or Greg again. 

There was a point with Morgan where a toe hold presented itself and I put it on to kind of show him it was there and for my own muscle memory.  From his office Greg said, "Are you toe holding a white belt" to which I let it go and responded "NO! I was just um...showing him it was there."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

January 21st 2017 - Open Mat & Sparring

Open Mat
Rolled With: Jerad, Romero, Henry, Justin, Mo, David

Had some tough rolls today and felt exhausted after the first roll with Jerad.  We had some good back and forth and I was happy with my performance even though he eventually got me.

Romero was one of a few guys visiting that I hadn't met before.  He's a very good wrestler and I had trouble dealing with him.  I had some sweeps from deep half but never felt like I had a good position. He had me in back mount for a while and I eventually escaped but it took it's toll. I eventually gassed and had to call it good.

Henry was a step ahead of me with guillotines and kimuras.  I'll have to get him to show me how he maintains his guillotines and sinks them in. I want to be able to do that.

Haven't rolled with Justin in a long time. He did a good job of attacking me in turtle. After we rolled I showed him some attacks I liked from knee on belly.

Made a mistake of trying to do the rolling back take on Mo and he turned it into back mount for himself. I eventually got out of it but I don't think I'll try that on him anymore.

David and I both had our moments and only quit because he had to go. I was a little gassed too.

MMA Sparring
Trained with: Richard, Mike

Knocked some rust off today and did some standup punchy kicky sparring.  It's been at least 5 years since I sparred like this and I've been wanting to jump in since they started to prepare for Mike's fight. Henry gave me a quick tutorial on putting on hand wraps and he and Will were nice enough to lone me some gear.

It was as tough as I thought it would be. 3 minute rounds are exhausting after 2 hours of open mat.  I felt like a lot of my timing and distance control were still right on but my flexibility was not as good as it used to be.

I took a solid shot to the face and some leg kicks from Richard who just recently came to us with some MMA experience. Mike kept his distance out of kicking range. He would move in and out and I felt like had to chase him every time.

I had some good leg kicks and some decent side and front kicks to the body.  The gloves felt unnatural and heavy and everyone kept reminding me to keep my hands up.  I think some pad work would help me out.

Friday, January 20, 2017

January 20th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard: Maintaining the position, Tripod Sweep, Sickle Sweep
Students: Jesus, Matt, Quinton, David (New)

David did pretty well for this being his first class.  Like I said in my last post, I would consider the basic open guard to be advanced basics.   I enjoyed teaching the sickle sweep and it seemed like everyone got it pretty well.

Rolling: Open Guard

I didn't get to roll during this time due to even numbers.  The skill levels of everyone was evident though while watching everyone roll.  It was a tell on who has played more guard with Jesus and Quinton having some success with it but Matt and David were getting passed relatively easily.  I was really impressed with Jesus, looks like he's figuring stuff out.  I remember getting frustrated with strong wrestlers coming in on their first day and giving me trouble and a few months into blue belt I felt like I started figuring things out. 

Office Hours Partner: David, Quinton

Rolled a few times after class but it wasn't enough to be fulfilling. I'll have to make it up tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

January 19th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard: Maintaining the position, Tripod Sweep
Partner: Bob, Ben

Was especially paying attention to what Greg taught today because I have to teach this class tomorrow.  I'm thinking about doing the Tripod sweep too and adding in the omoplata with probably a mention of sickle sweep. 

Rolling: Open Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Ben, Tom, Justin

Had some good rolling.  For the most part I was able to maintain open guard, but did have to turtle once for Tom when I failed a triangle attempt.  He's pretty good at posturing through that.  X-Pass has been pretty reliable the last couple of days for getting around the basic open guard after I stuff their free leg between my legs.

Justin did a good job in our free roll of getting to the open guard position at the start of our roll, I was pretty surprised he went there.  All of the guys in the day classes are getting more difficult to submit.  Maybe they're just getting used to the things that I'm good at.

Office Hours Partner: Justin

After class Justin and I rolled a bit and I gave him a little tutorial on S-Mount and how crappy it is to be under it.  In our next roll, I went to s-mount but he got his arm free but as he pushed up with his other arm I switched sides to attack that one.  We then talked about keeping elbows in and bridging and escaping without using the arms that much.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

January 18th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Basic Open Guard: Scissor Sweep, Triangle
Partner: Jess, Tom

Apparently this is Jerad's favorite week in the beginner curriculum.  I also like it because it could be considered "advanced basics" where things like scissor sweep and upa would be basics.  It's a pretty dynamic position and requires some knowledge of push and pull in order to control the top person. 

The triangle setup that we did by folding the shin over their arm is a setup that I haven't messed around with too much, but it felt pretty natural today.  I may look into it further.

Rolling: Open Guard Position, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tom, Jerad, Jess

Was able to setup a few triangles from the open guard but had some troubles finishing them.  Jerad got me pretty good with a double unders pass and I was able to pass his guard with an x-pass. 

We stretched and bowed out of class but everyone decided to stay so we all got a roll with each other with 5 minute rounds.  Each of them presented challenges for me.  I attempted lapel guard with Tom and he was able to pass it quite easily, I may need to watch another tutorial on that.  Jess is pretty good at escaping from the bottom of side control.  Jerad was on top and attacking from the get go, and while I defended well, I never saw an opportunity to escape.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

January 17th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

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

Felt good about drilling the SW guard like usual but am still not good at using it during rolling.  I'm happy that Greg had us start in the position while rolling.  I don't feel the best about doing the omoplata from here either, not sure if it's flexibility or if I'm not making space correctly. 

Rolling: SW Guard Up/Down/Out, Closed Guard KOTM
Rolled With: Mike, Darijo, Ryal, Jess, Daniel, Bob

I didn't have many problems with passing the SW, I was able to get over their free leg most of the time.  The best thing I did in class was setup the triangle from SW, which surprised Greg.  I guess he hasn't seen me complete many triangles.

Had a battle from guard with Mike where I defended quite a few ankle locks and knee bars.  He gave me some props for it after that.  I am feeling more competent in keeping myself out of locks now by triangling my legs at the right time or hand fighting at the right time.  Something that I recently felt oblivious to has turned around for me.  Now I need to gain some attacks.   

Office Hours Partner: Jess, Mike

Had a great roll with Jess.  I kept thinking I was going to submit him and then he'd shrug me off or bridge really well.  I had him in side control, he turtled, I started setting up crucifix and got him stuck for a bit but eventually he shrugged me off, I went for an armbar and he stacked it, eventually I ended up in a triangle.  Mike seemed impressed with my transitioning into the next thing when something was thwarted.  Jess did a great job of keeping me from submitting him.

Mike and I talked about setting up the reverse kimura and barata plata.  We both didn't feel as confident with the barata plata from the top which is something I've been thinking about looking into as another mount attack.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

January 14th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Clint, Daniel, Jerad, Craig, Mo, John
Game Plan: Z-Guard, Crucifix

Clint: Showed Clint some of the Z-Guard stuff I've been working on before we rolled.  Then pulled it off a few times during our roll.  Afterward I gave him some pointers from side control on converting their underhook into a kimura.

Daniel: After we rolled he gave me some compliments on my off balancing in half guard.  Personally I feel like his defense is getting a lot better recently.

Jerad: Toughest roll of the day.  Wasn't able to put much of an offense together against him today.  I was able to escape his mount once though.

Craig: His guard is getting more difficult to pass.  Something that we talked about after was when he's about to be passed he tries to hang on too long when he should hip escape or turtle.

Mo: He complimented me before we rolled on being a good partner for lighter people.  There were a couple of times when he was on top and was doing an interesting setup to get my arm in kimura position.

John: We went no gi and there were some good leg lock and back take exchanges.  Probably the highlight of my day was when I went to x-guard from a failed butterfly sweep.  From there I stepped over to his hip to situp the heel hook.

Friday, January 13, 2017

January 13th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Triangle Setup, Mounted Triangle
Students: Morgan, Craig, Jesus, Jess, Matt

Had everyone partner up and we did some grip fighting during the warm-up.  We had odd numbers so I jumped in to partner up on the throw.  Helped Matt with the stepping and mostly his foot placement.

Felt good about how I explained the triangle and showed some tricks that I use being a short leg guy.  I think they appreciated my ratchet technique but who knows.  I then offered up the bonus technique of mounted triangle saying that this is how I first started completing triangles and threw the armbar in as a bonus bonus.

Rolling: Triangle Position, Closed Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jesus, Matt, Morgan, Craig, Jess

Used Jared's idea of starting from the triangle position.  It really shows that you can still have a long way to go to finish even if you get to the position.  I did feel a little more giving today during rolling, being the instructor does that I think.  I helped people finish triangles on me and gave them tips to escape mine.  Rolling felt good today and felt like I could flow pretty well.  I allowed myself to be put into a couple of bad spots so I could work my way out of them.  I tried to get to crucifix a few times but nothing today, may focus on that tomorrow.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

January 12th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Triangle Setup
Partner: Ben

Some tips on the techniques

  • Koshi Guruma: Kazushi has been my focus lately with these throws.  The combination of stepping in, pulling up on their elbow, and pulling in their collar all at once helps put them into a place to throw them.
  • Triangle: One of the big things that seemed to help Ben was my explanation of ratcheting when I can't lock up the triangle.

Rolling: Closed Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Ben, Jess, Justin

Everyone did well with grip fighting today, I was able to work my way to stand to break the guard but not using the preferred method.  I was able to complete one triangle and attempted one during each roll.

Office Hours Partner: Justin

We rolled once and then discussed maintaining guard.  Sometimes it's better to hip away and make space rather than try to hang on to something that isn't there.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January 11th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Koshi Guruma, Triangle Setup
Partner: Tom

Work has been hectic again lately so I missed Tuesday and showed up late today.  I heard they worked on heel hooks yesterday in no gi so I'm very disappointed.  I'll keep this short as I'm writing it late and I have more work to do before bed. 

I'm feeling great as of late with my kazushi in throws.  At least a little somewhat competent.  Jerad had us do regular fit ins and then walk down the floor to create some momentum to setup the throw.  I feel good about drilling triangles but still have some work to do with attacking triangles in rolling. 

Rolling: Loose Triangle Position, Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tom, Chris, Frank

Which is what we got with our first round of rolling.  Jerad had us start with a loose triangle.  A little unfair for the person on top but great training for maintaining and finishing the triangle.  Finishing them is getting better but what has really been good lately has been my transitioning from a failed triangle. The thing I'm most proud of today was a really smooth spiral armbar setup from side control. 

Office Hours Partner: Jerad, Tom

Had a heck of a roll with Jerad and went into with an attitude that my techniques are going to work.  That little shift in belief helped I think or I just had a good day because I avoided Jerad getting to dominant positions.  This is something I need to think more about and may post about more in the near future.  Had a good roll with Tom too.  Jerad and I both commented on his mount defenses.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

January 7th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Frank, Daniel, Chris, Nick, Bhuvana, Greg, Brian
Game Plan: Bottom - Z-Guard, Crucifix; Top - Spiral Armbar

Frank: We ended up in quite a few different positions.  I worked to setup the spiral armbar position, crucifix, and a rolling back take from quarter guard.  

Daniel: Got to use my up and coming crucifix skills again.  To add insult to injury Daniel had just helped me troubleshoot the position the other day.  I'm enjoying doing the cross feet armbar from this position and I'm feeling more comfortable about rolling to my back.  I showed him some of the z-guard stuff that I've been working on and he seemed to like it.

Chris: Had a pretty light roll and helped him with butterfly sweep.  Then Nick came and grabbed me.

Nick: Got my cardio in with Nick and felt good about keeping up with the pace.  I had some success with deep half and over/under pass.  It seems like whenever I start to make something happen though, I'm allowing too much space and he's getting his guard back or recovering in some way.  He paid me a compliment after open mat that he's impressed that I attack a lot in half guard and it's inspired him to do the same.

Bhuvana: Great training, she only wanted to work on guard retention and a quick deep half tutorial.  We had a different type of roll where I would put her into positions and then coach her out of them, which she said was very helpful.  

Greg: It's fantastic that I can roll with 2 black belts in one day.  I was discussing with a few people the other day, how I don't think I've ever passed Greg's guard.  I've come close and failed, I've swept him and regained guard from bad positions, but I've yet to submit him or pass his guard.  That didn't change today but I did feel more relaxed and confident in my rolling with him.  I'm going to keep chasing that dream of passing his guard though.  One thing that we discussed after was that there were moments when I did good things but had to pause to think when I would get to a position that I'm not as versed in, de la riva in this case.

Brian: Had a fun couple of rolls and then caught up with Brian.  During one of the exchanges I had passed his guard but he was able to put my head in a leg scissor. It was tight like a vise. Afterward I told him his legs had Karate strength.

Friday, January 6, 2017

January 6th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Back Mount, Kneeling Guard Break to Knee Slide, Knee Wedge Guard Break
Students: Jesus, Craig, Ryal, Matt, Morgan, Jess

Got to teach this morning and was happy to see a good size class for a Friday morning.  I had them do the standing guard break drill where one partner just did the standing part 10 times in a row.  This drill helped me immensely with my guard passing when we did it in competition classes in the past.  I added in the knee wedge guard break that I usually call the violator.  I think it lends itself especially well to transition right into knee slide pass.  It went pretty well but like usual a few people had trouble getting their knee in the right place.

Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Everyone

Saw some good rolls and people attempting the standing guard break and knee slide.  I saw some successes and a lot of good hand fighting.  I witnessed Jess pull off a cross guard omoplata sweep.  Something that we worked on recently.  Gives me warm and fuzzy instructor feelings seeing someone complete a technique that I taught them.  I don't remember doing anything out of the ordinary during rolling, I mostly attempted the standing guard break and knee slide.

Office Hours Partner: Morgan, Jess

Had a good couple of rolls with Morgan, then watched him and Jess roll.  Talked about Jess leaning forward to much allowing for people to put on kimuras.  We talked a bit about tournament rules and scoring and likes and dislikes about submission only vs points.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

January 5th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Back Mount, Kneeling Guard Break to Knee Slide
Partner: Bhuvana

Worked on some finer points of standing guard break with Bhuvana.

  • Turning the elbow slightly during framing helps with pressure 
  • During the knee slide move the elbow and knee together and allow no space for them to get the underhook 
  • Pull on their sleeve to your hip as you slide your knee out.

Rolling: Closed Guard
Rolled With: Jess, Justin

I rolled with both of them during and after class.  They both are on the aggressive high pressure side which is what I need.  There were a couple times when my guard became compromised and I had to turtle.

Hit a couple of sweeps that I was happy about.  Went for an cross guard omoplata and was stood up on, so I went for a star sweep and focused on getting my posture right away, felt great.  I think the funk roll might be a safer approach.  The other was a shin sweep from half guard.  I also had success from crucifix and was able to use the armbar with the legs.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

January 4th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape to Back Mount, Kneeling Guard Break to Knee Slide
Partner: Tom, John

The thing that came out of drilling today was a discussion about arm placement during the knee slide.  Jerad likes to keep a hold of keep his elbow on the outside by the hip where I was releasing one lapel and bringing my elbow across their hips.  We didn't determine which one was better by any means and goes to personal preference.  Jerad's prevented someone putting their knee over your forearm but may allow a little more space for the passee to put in an underhook. 

Rolling: Closed Guard
Rolled With: John, Jerad

Good rolling like always.  John gives me some different looks on guard passing and retention.  I'm glad he's been attending some day classes lately.  I tried really hard to setup the z-guard on Jerad and got close to sweeping him with it.  He hopped around a bit and fought off my knee grip and pushed my head away.  I've got to watch some more Faria to see what he does when he meets that type of adversity.

Office Hours Partner: John, Tom

Worked with John and Jordan on shin to shin to single leg x.  They both seemed like they didn't have much experience with it, so it made me happy to introduce them to it.  With Tom I tried out a omoplata sweep to step over to the spiral armbar position.  This may be my goto technique to attempt for a while as I like the idea of it.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 3rd 2017 - No Gi All Levels & Review of 2016

2016 Quick Review

I trained by far more classes last year than any previous year.  A lot of that has to do with being able to attend multiple day classes a week and it was common that I trained 6 days a week.  My growth feels pretty steady and I don't feel like I spend too much time on a plateau.  I had a lot of fun teaching and watching people use techniques and positions that I showed them.

2016 Improvements:
  • I got in a lot more no gi training this year since we started the noon Tuesday class last November.  Here is where I've dipped my toes (ha ha) into leg lock positions and submissions mostly with the help of Mike but also because I've felt like his dummy for him to practice on.
  • I had a huge push to get better at dealing with athletic people.  I've improved my attacking, aggression, wrestling, and ultimately my attitude when rolling.  
  • With the inclusion of Judo Bob earlier in the year, I've also come a long way with Judo throws and have narrowed down my focus to Tai Toshi, Drop Seio Nage, and foot sweeps which I'll continue to work on. 
  • I've continued to improve my "A" game with cross guard, omoplatas, deep half, over/under pass, north/south chokes
Looking ahead to 2017
  • Continue with leg lock stuff
  • Improve my back control and finishing
  • Feel comfortable with the Judo throws that I outlined above
  • Flowing during transitions from sweeps and guard passes

Theme & Techniques: Tripod Escape from Side Control
Partner: Bob

Got some good drilling in and got some good resistance from Bob.  We got off on tangents a few times but it was better than just being a push over.  The most important detail that I worked on today was during the pass and moving to smash pass/dope mount.  I didn't totally get it figured out, but could feel what Mike was doing when demonstrating it on me.  The twist of their spine is important.

Rolling: Free Rolling
Rolled With: Bob, Mike (Visitor), Justin

I took the attitude of attacking from butterfly guard, but it didn't work as well as expected.

Nonetheless, I performed fine and eventually ended up in good positions.  Bob and Justin both presented similar challenges with their strong base and their ability to put pressure effectively.

Mike was pretty good at keeping posture and had some strong positional work.  Never know what to expect with a visitor especially since I didn't know what belt he was or how long he trained.  I had a good deep half waiter sweep but in the transition from sweep to pass he got his knee free, will need to figure out how to prevent this.

Office Hours Partner: Justin, Mike A

Mike and I discussed butterfly in no gi and how my approach to butterfly was crap. I should just hand fight with good posture and be patient like MG.  So I'll work on that.

I attempted to apply the butterfly stuff with Justin as we rolled and it took some mental effort to avoid bad habits.

Rolled with Mike and he mostly whooped me, but I'm happy with an exchange that we had with 50/50.  We were there for quite a while as I attacked heel hooks and toe holds. I applied a lot of what I've picked up from the 50/50 DVD like "rule of thumb" and pushing the free leg away. He also commented that my choices for when to attack and defend were feeling more natural.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

December 31st 2016 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Henry, Patty, Conan, Jerad, Mike, Frank, Cat
Game Plan: Overcome Gassing Out

Had many tough rolls today. It was awesome to get to roll with 7 different people on the last day of 2016.  Since I had some gas tank problems on Wednesday, I wanted to find that point and work past it.  A lot of it is mental and I need to train myself to not just give up when the going gets tough.

Henry: It's always difficult to do a warm-up roll with someone so close in skill. It was a battle of kimuras and guillotines with a lot of position changes and back and forth. I was definitely warmed up by the end.

Patty: Our skill levels are also very close. I find these to be the toughest rolls for me as getting one small edge first can make a huge impact on the roll, while someone of greater skill can beat me without much effort on either of our parts and visa versa for someone of lesser skill.  I spend a lot of time in deep half with him and he does a good job of defending it.  He also seems to have a good wrestling base and is difficult to hold down.

Conan: I was worn out from my previous rolls but rolled anyway.  I was put on the defensive and tried to defend with minimal use of strength, which didn't work.  He was working on a modified Mir lock the whole day and caught me with it.

Jerad: Rolled with him in both gi and then at the end of open mat no gi.  Had some really good moments and was able to sweep from a deep half scramble.  I used the gi grips between the legs quite a bit.  We talked a bit about a variation on butterfly sweep where he didn't have a high underhook but as he went or the sweep he moved to the side and turned the corner a bit to make the underhook better before sweeping.

Mike: I had to let go a little bit and try to just act and not think so much.  He moves too fast and if I wait for my moments I will be too far behind when they come.  We had some really good interactions where I defended a lot of his attacks.  He was killing me with back mount though.  He said that my posture in butterfly was lacking and I was falling to my back too much.  I was surprised by this because I had just given others this advice in the past week. 

Frank: We went over defending the north/south choke, which may be a mile stone for several people that roll with me.  I've gladly given away secrets to defeat my good stuff to anyone that asks like NS choke, deep half, over/under pass, and cross guard.

Cat: She started off with some good hand fighting, I found it difficult to get my initial control.  Which comes back to Mike's comment about my butterfly guard posture and laying back.  I think I'm pretty used getting grips and getting my legs involved in gi.  Hard to do without grips.