Tuesday, February 28, 2017

February 28th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Back Mount: Chair Sit, RNC
Partner: Frank

Good info on the chair sit position and transitioning to the back.  It's such an important movement that I use anytime to get to the back or regain control as someone is escaping.  We did the standard arm trap by controlling the underhooked hand and pushing the other hand into a leg trap.  Apparently on my left side I wasn't lining up the elbow properly or getting the choke deep enough.  Made some small adjustments and will watch that side in the future. 

Rolling: Backmount Up/Down/Out
Rolled With: Mike, Daniel, Ben, Frank

Our first round we started from the harness grip with the goal of getting to the back.  Great exercise and I feel like I excel there from offensively and defensively.  Offensively I find a tight harness in combination with my butterfly hooks to be very important.  Defensively I try to bridge into my opponent and get my back flat to the mat and get off to the side.  During that process I monitor my arm to watch for the head and arm choke and I start looking for half guard. 

During the up/down/out portion Mike and I had some tough exchanges.  There was a point when he had my arm trapped in his legs and he started to work on my other arm.  I saw a chance to escape and stack but an armbar came on fast and I had to yell "tap!".  I hate it when that happens as I want to avoid injury at all costs and sometimes things change in a split second.  Everything is fine though.  Later on there was a point when I was on his back and was able to get the cross wrist grab and went right for the RNC.  We fought grips for a while and I almost swallowed some of his hair but eventually I got the choke locked in.  For a while I was over his face and he said he likes to bring the choke down to the chest when that happens to kind of lock their jaw in there. 

There was another situation where he was escaping and I started with an arm triangle and somehow transitioned to a guillotine from half guard.  I fell to my side which felt like the right thing to do but it helped him escape. 

Office Hours Partner: Mike

Mike and I discussed the guillotine from top half after class and he gave me some ideas for how to finish it.  I should be using it to pass more rather than fall to the bottom.  Also when he put on the marcelotine as a demonstration I was miserable. 

We had some good rolls after class with a lot of transitions and him coming out on top.  His positions were solid and he kept himself just out of reach of where I feel my strengths are.  It was a good reminder that I still have a lot to learn.  We had a few leg lock entanglements are more attacking for the back. 

After rolling I asked to drill some crucifix and I felt pretty good about my transitions from armbar to choke.  He seems to favor the choke where I have been focusing on the armbar.  He gave me a tip on controlling the far arm at the hand more and also using my knee more to separate the arm from under them to help get the position.  I think my leg control over the arm is coming along very well. 

We discussed our individual improvement over the last year with our additional training per week.  

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February 25th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Derek M, Morgan, Jerad, Josh J
Game Plan: Bottom - Z-Guard, Top - Crucifix Armbar

Got in some good drilling today.  Started with Jess and worked on crucifix armbar. Bob came over and I showed some details for the over/under pass.  I think it will serve them both well.

Derek and I both drilled the things we've been working on.  I did z-guard and felt really good about the ankle pick variation when I can't reach their knee and they stand. I also drilled more crucifix to armbar and feel ike I'm getting a feel for doing the armbar from the top. Spreading my knees after crossing the feet is the key.  Im going to incorporate more drilling into open mat

We rolled once with me starting on top and entering into his half guard. I went to the hip switch but wanted to avoid the reversal that he's been working on so kept my foot in tight and attacked the kimura to help pass. I used the kimura trap and was able to step over his head and fight from there. We drilled a few more times after rolling.

Had quite a few rolls with Morgan next.  I was unable to get him to crucifix position although I tried.  I was able to setup the z-guard during a knee slide pass.  He had a good attempt at a rolling back take and played some de la riva, after we rolled we worked on DLR a bit.

Jerad and I had an epic roll.  I was actually able to mount some offense a few times which doesn't always happen. At one point I attempted a kimura from half guard which transitioned to head and arm choke from the bottom that I didn't feel like I could finish. I also had a few escapes from knee on belly and mount. I'm getting more comfortable in the modified deep half that I'm ending up in with him.  In the end he got me with kimura.

Josh was a little negative about our roll before it started. It's definitely something I struggle with thinking I'm going to lose before a roll even starts.  Honestly though he is among the few white belts that give me a hard time. He's difficult to submit and his fundamentals are solid.  Regardless, I mostly controlled the roll from back mount. I wasn't able to get a choke though as he did a great job of escaping.  I got to use the kimura trap again to attack some collar stuff, but he was able to get free. We discussed back mount escapes afterward and why going to the correct side is important.

Friday, February 24, 2017

February 24th 2017 - MMA (G & P)

Theme & Techniques: Stance Work, Ground and Pound: Guard break, Working to technical stand-up
Partner: Clint

I had asked about doing ground and pound type stuff at the end of last class and my request was fulfilled.  We did some movement stuff on the feet avoiding being in a side stance and kept our posture in an athletic stance.

Then we did a standing guard break by popping up to the feet and using our knee to open the guard and throw some strikes and finally pass.  It seemed to be natural for me to move to neon belly.

From the bottom our objective was to control the elbows and climb up and pull them down in close.  Then work to make space kick away and technical stand-up.

We also did a super secret technique that I will not divulge.

Sparring: Guard
Sparred With: Jerad, Mike, Will, Nick, Henry

Rolling was more stressful any bad mistake results in getting punched in the face repeatedly. I did some good things but also made some critical mistakes.  There were a few times I should have tried to stand up rather than attempt submissions from the bottom.

February 24th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #3 O-Goshi, Armbar from Guard, Cross Collar Choke
Partner: Bauer

Bauer's making a resurgence at the gym and it's good to see him around again.  Was happy to work with him although we were forced to choke each other repeatedly.

I noticed that Conan taught each thing just a little differently or with different details than I gave the day before.  I think this is great because I know when I teach I usually will say some of the tips that helped me finally make a technique work and those things can be different for everyone.  Part of being an instructor is also being able to tailor your instruction to the best way the student learns.  So the more ways I hear a technique presented the more ways I can teach it to someone else.

Rolling: Guard, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Conan, Jess, Jesus

Had some good rolls, my goals were to look for turtle and crucifix or Z-guard.  So while I was in full guard I worked my way to half and started controlling the collar to loop it under the leg.  I was able to complete the sweep with it twice although I had to work through Conan's cross face.  Try as I might I wasn't able to find a way to crucifix but was in turtle at one point trying to isolate the arm.  My partner tried so hard to prevent the crucifix that I was able to go for a regular back mount hook, which may be my go to. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

February 23rd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #3 O-Goshi, Armbar from Guard, Cross Collar Choke
Students: Bob, Jess, Frank, Shane, Jesus, Tim

Thought I'd try something different for the warm-up and had everyone drill something for 3 minutes after the regular floor stuff.  Probably wouldn't have done it if we had a first day person but it worked out pretty well.  I remember some side control escapes, an omoplata, an o-soto gari, and a loop choke.  I was able to get in some crucifix work while a partner went to the restroom.

Here's some tips on the techniques of the week:
  • O-Goshi: I had Bob teach this and probably the biggest point he got across was distance control in your step during the fit in.  You want to step at the tip of the triangle as you off balance them and get your belt (hips) below theirs for the throw.
  • Armbar: The tip that I gave today that I was told was the most helpful was raising the leg into the armpit to bring their head forward and make the angle better to get your leg over.  DON'T CROSS YOUR FEET (most of the time).
  • Cross Collar: The first grip needs to be very deep.  The other thing that was important to me was the position of the wrist.  Don't let your wrist bend around the shape of their neck but jut it into the direction of your neck.
Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Everyone

Had 2 groups and it moved along pretty well and I was able to get in and work as well.  From the bottom I was able to hit one cross choke and one armbar and tried to set up each of them a few times.  The rest were

Office Hours Partner: Shane, Frank

During my last roll with Jess he had stood up at one point and I had an opportunity for a sickle sweep but he was against the wall so I had to switch to something different, but made the comment that I wanted it.  So Shane asked me to go over the sweep after class.  I showed it from feet on hips and also as a response to the standing guard break.  Frank and Shane drilled it a few times.

Rolled with Frank after that and was hunting the crucifix big time but couldn't find a way to make him turtle or the side control setup that I saw in the Cobrinha video below.  I don't think I got the grip on the arm quite right to control it.  Frank said afterward he thought I was hunting something in particular because I was skipping other opportunities for submissions.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

February 22nd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week #3 O-Goshi, Armbar from Guard, Cross Collar Choke
Partner: Dave

There was only me and Dave today so we were kind of free form and worked on some different things.  We started with O-Goshi and then I switched to working on morote seio nage.  Which got Dave working on drop seio nage and we gave him some pointers on that.  Jerad showed us some setups using a leg sweep motion to get them into position.

Then Dave asked to work on over/under pass and I gave all of the details that I could.  In the end he was doing it pretty well and we got over some initial bad habits.  I think if he repped it a couple 5 minute rounds he'd be hitting it on white belts consistently.

I then switched it to me and showed him my z-guard basics and taught that.  Jerad helped me with some of the problems I've been having with the takedown and keeping my head tight to their body as I hook it up.  I'm going to review Faria's DVD again and find some alternate solutions.

We rolled a round and I gave him some room to work.  He also saw the opportunity at one point to use the z-guard and he went for it and got Jerad to ring the bell for it.  Very cool thing to teach someone something and see them use it.  I could have used more rolling but I'll make up for it tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

February 21st 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Half Guard: Clothesline Sweep, Get Underhook, Knee Slide Pass
Partner: Jess

Justin brought his dog into the school today and he went around getting petted by everyone during the session.  Scoob was our mascot for the day.

Jess and I got quite a few reps in as we rolled from one side of the mat to the other then switched half guards and rolled back the other way.  Because once you sweep, you end up in the same position so the person on the bottom can do the same sweep.  Then if they were to base out, they should make enough space for you to base out.  Finally we worked on passing with the key of putting our head on the other side of theirs to flatten out for the knee slide.

Rolling: Half Guard
Rolled With: Jess, Mike, Greg, Justin

We started our half guard rolls with the head and arm control.  I didn't have many problems from top or bottom half guard.  I did move to the double underhooks pass at one point and like the control, but haven't passed using it much.  From the bottom in this position, my goto is to get a butterfly hook in.

I felt like I did a pretty good job against Greg in the beginning.  I transitioned between guillotines and even had a kimura locked up for a second.  Didn't matter he turned the kimura around on me and went for an armbar that I had to escape.

Mike wore some MMA gloves and threw some shots whenever he was in a position to.  I tried to respond accordingly and did put myself in trouble a few times I wouldn't have if we were just grappling.  I did grab a kimura in the process and us it to sweep to the top.  I also went for the heel hook from half guard but botched it up. 

Office Hours Partner: Frank, Jess

Frank has been working on the butterfly sweep with me the last couple of times we've rolled.  He's getting there but still has the problem with using the underhook to control my posture so I've been focusing on him improving that.  We rolled a few times after that.

Jess and I rolled and it seemed like he was trying to put me into straight ankle lock position and I just didn't want to deal with defending it.  He did use it well though as he was able to pass to side control at one point.  Otherwise I was mostly in control.

Asked Mike and Greg about the half guard to heel hook setup and got more details on it. Mike helped me with finishing the heel hook.  The major takeaway was my wrist on their achillies tight was important.  I was too high on the forearm. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Tyler, Tom, Jerad, Nate (new), Will, Josh J, Derek M
Game Plan: Bottom - Z-Guard, Top - Finishing from Back Mount

Tyler: He does such a good job with his legs. I've got to be on the top of my game with him. I was able to sweep him with z-guard and attack some things but ultimately he had a good omoplata attempt and finally caught me with a triangle. I'll have to rethink how I roll with him next time.

Tom: We had quite a few rolls, where I played a lot of half and z-guard. He was working hard to pass with the leg weave that I've worked with him on but he wasn't quite getting over my knee to smash it down.  So we worked on that pass and windshield wiping to complete it.

Jerad: I did some good things, but I was primarily defending the whole time.  I did use some Z-Guard, but he was able to sprawl through it.  I must need more reps with it.  I don't recall how he submitted me, must have been from mount or back mount.

Nate: He is pretty new to Jiu-Jitsu but said he was serious about wrestling in highschool.  It showed, he knew how to make pressure and avoid some submissions.  We talked about BJJ and MMA.  He said we had a good training environment and everyone had been friendly and helpful.

Will: Difficult roll as usual. There were a couple times where I felt like an armbar was there for the taking but as I set myself up to go for it, he raised his torso to prevent it.  Not sure what the contingency is for this.

Josh: Had a very tough roll with Josh.  He did such a good job of defending and my strength felt like it was giving out.  I spent a lot of time in back mount trying to setup a collar choke but he stripped my grips.

After we rolled I showed him that he needed to try to get his back to the floor and his hips above mine to escape more effectively. Stupid, I know.  Then I showed him my new answer for people standing in my cross guard.

Derek: I was just about ready to go when Derek asked me about cross collar from mount.  I showed him the way Jerad and I do it with thumb in and palms down. I've had way more success that way than the traditional. Once I told him to do it with straight arms, he got it super tight right away, so we may have another convert.

Friday, February 17, 2017

February 17th 2017 - MMA

Theme & Techniques: Punch & Kick Combos

Rough night of training, we mostly just sparred.  I'm really not sure if I can sustain the 6:30 Am class along with this one because I was suffering throughout.  Had some new faces to the class with Henry, Jerad, Mike, and Mo. Clint and I were the returning customers.

Sparring: Back and Forth Combos, Light Sparring

We did a few rounds of trading off 2-3 punch combos and a kick, then we set the timer for 2 minute rounds and 1 person would sit out while everyone partnered up and sparred.

I did some things well had some good kicks and punches. There were times that I froze and flinched.  Several times I couldn't keep my hands up.  I probably sat out the most of anyone and felt terrible about that.

Besides cardio, I have goals to improve my footwork and head movement.

February 17th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 2 Standing RNC Seio Nage Defense, Farside Armbar From Side Control, Scissor Sweep
Students: Craig, Jesus, Jeff

Got to teach today and had a good time as usual.  I added in a few things to the normal curriculum without trying to be overwhelming.  I did the farside armbar from knee on belly and also as a defense to the kimura from side control.  I think these were all similar enough that everyone picked up on it. 

I also showed the loop choke as Jesus was asking me about it the day before.  We did it from butterfly guard but I also showed that it could be a counter to when they drop their hips back during the scissor sweep.

Rolling: Side Control, Closed Guard
Rolled With: Everyone

We had enough time that we each got to roll with each other in top and bottom of both side control and full guard.  I was hunting for the techniques of the day but everyone seemed savy enough to avoid them, I'll have to be a little more sneaky in the future.  I did hit a scissor sweep but no farside armbars were to be had. 

For some reason the cross collar choke from guard has been presenting itself pretty often.  Not sure if I'm doing something different to make this more available.  I don't always get it but it does lead to other things like 2 on 1 or gift wrap when they try to prevent the choke.  Kudos to Craig for surprising me by transitioning from side control to full mount. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

February 16th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 2 Standing RNC Seio Nage Defense, Farside Armbar From Side Control, Scissor Sweep
Partner: Jeff

Not that many people in class today, where's everyone been at?  At times I felt like I was giving Jeff too many details but he asked me good questions and wanted to make sure he was doing things right.  Helped him with landing better during the shoulder throw.  For the scissor sweep we worked on both the regular way and the knee push way.    

Rolling: Guard Shark Tank
Rolled With: Jesus, Jeff

Since there were just 3 of us rolling we each got 7 minutes in the bottom of guard with the other two switching out half way.  Saw Jesus do some good things as far as setting up triangles and maintaining guard, but he had a hard time finishing the triangle.  I gave him some pointers on underhooking the leg and stuff like that to prevent getting stacked. 

I didn't have too many issues rolling from top or bottom. Jeff's size and strength are a factor but it gives me confidence that I can handle someone like him.

Office Hours Partner: Jeff

Showed Jeff the standing guard break as he was pretty much just trying to go straight through guard instead of trying to break it open. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February 15th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week# 2 Standing RNC Seio Nage Defense, Farside Armbar From Side Control, Scissor Sweep
Partner: Tom

Good day of training and I was happy that there were even numbers of us because I usually end up in a group of 3 or having to hover and help out lately.  After Tom and I did several reps with the armbar from regular side control we switched to the same armbar from neon belly.  He hadn't practiced it that much.  It's really a slick technique when they use the wrong (far) arm to push your knee off of their stomach. 

Jerad also through in the hitch hiker escape which is not something I practice often.  The key I felt was in the bridge to tripod motion to work up to top and kind of a smash pass.  Thinking about it I don't feel like I get stuck defending armbars that often, I'm either avoiding them all together or I don't have any chance of escape with someone like Greg. 

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tom, Jordan, Dave

Rolling went well for me although I don't remember much.  I think I need to be a little more aggressive with my bridging in side control.  Generally I attack the cross face arm, look for the underhook or elbow push escape, bridge if I feel like I can, or collect up the leg in half guard if they attempt to transition to mount.  I feel like Conan has a different approach that he kind of attacks the position and makes it difficult for the top person to do anything.  Maybe I do that too but can't see it from that perspective.

Office Hours Partner: Tom

We went over single leg-x and x-guard and I showed him the things that work for me from these positions.

We also discussed some deep half stuff and I showed him some entry movements with using the raise your hand method and some bumping front shrimp type movements to make it easier to get under people.  I think I saw a little light bulb form out of that.  I know I had trouble with getting under bigger guys at first but over time these movements have developed, I just have to find a good way to teach them to others. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Collar Tie Snap Down: Front Headlock to Turtle, Guillotine, Jump to Guillotine
Partner: Josh J

Just me and Josh today and Mike had a tough time giving us coaching advice while we were rolling.  "Josh get an underhook" or "Josh, don't let him do that" usually I assumed that he was talking to Johnson. 

We worked mostly from standing with the snapdown.  I felt like I was doing pretty well while drilling the move.  We controlled the chin and the bicep and tried to snap them into the headlock position.  Once we started sparring from that position it seemed pretty easy for both of us to strip the chin grip off.  Sparring from the position was good for me and we had some good back and forth scrambles.  I'm shit at no gi takedowns and mostly jumped on guillotines when they presented themselves.  I think I just need to put myself out there a little more and try and fail and single and double legs, I just always feel like I'm too far away when I attempt them.

Josh wondered how we were good at remembering and recalling what occurred during rolls.  In the process of writing this blog I've gotten very good at making mental notes while rolling to talk about later in the blog.  Sometimes I struggle and can't even remember everyone that I rolled with during open mat.  I definitely remember my failures more than my successes unless it's something that I'm working on to improve specifically. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February 11th 2017 - Open Mat

Open Mat
Rolled With: Dave, Daniel, Telly (sp?), Josh J
Game Plan: Bottom - Z-Guard, Top - Crucifix

Dave called to me from across the room and asked if I would show him the over/under to which I said "no, stay over there." We worked on the pass from standing and then from butterfly guard.  The big point being to control one leg between yours and the other with your head and shoulder.  We rolled several times after.  I tried to be very slow and deliberate with my movements and helped him with a few things on the way and helped him setup the pass a few times.

Worked on a mount escape to deep half with Daniel. He's looking for more escape options from mount and he said something about not liking being in mine.  I don't remember too much about our roll except his leg weave pass is coming along pretty well.

Had quite a roll with Telly. He's fairly aggressive on top with probably a wrestling background.  I was on the bottom of side control for a good portion of the roll but was able to prevent submissions and get an underhook or attack the elbow push. I eventually recovered guard and got on top.  Using a lasso sweep, I tried to setup an armbar/kimura but didn't get the right angle and got pushed off. We had some scrambles and I felt confident in going to crucifix position from there.

Josh asked to work on brabo grip from side control and we also went over my gotos from top as well as cross choke from mount.  I played some Z-Guard and was persistent in getting the double leg even though he gave me a lot of resistance.  This is what I need to work through and figure out because someone pushing down on my head slows my progress.

Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10th 2017 - MMA

Theme & Techniques: Roundhouse
Partner: Richard

I can already tell I'm going to be sore tomorrow.  Today was all about the roundhouse and to add insult to injury we did several laps of different types of lunges.
Nick taught the roundhouse a little different than I'm used to from my Hapkido days. The kicks that he has taught so far are more straight legged where most of my past kicks were done with a tight chamber.  I have to relearn some things.

We did some back and forth with 1-2 combo to clinch to shoulder push to hook, then kicking the legs, and adding in checking the kick.

We ended up not sparring but did 5 times up and down the mat with roundhouses and it was super tough cardio wise.  Robert helped me out with some encouragement.

February 10th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week 1 O-Soto Gari, Side Control: Knee Across Escape, Americana
Partner: Jesus, Craig

Not much to add to previous posts this week.  Mostly helped with bridging and hip shifting with the side control escape.  Conan added a little to the americana by rolling weight down when their arm is greater than a 90 degree angle.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Conan, Ryal, Craig, Jesus, Morgan

Conan was on point with his side control escapes.  Only toward the end was I able to get somewhere.  I escaped his side control once within the time limit and he got mount the other time. 

Other rolls went well, and I don't think I was in danger of getting submitted.  I hit a lasso sweep, an americana, had a good transition to back mount and then bow and arrow at one point (or maybe that was yesterday?).  I also had a nice exchange with Jesus where I attempted several submissions and ended up in an armbar from the bottom of guard.  He said "that was cool" and I had to agree.

Office Hours Partner: Morgan

Worked with Morgan on loop choke after I caught him once.  He seemed to like it and do it well.  He complimented my half guard and said I felt like a rock in that position (I think that's good). 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

February 9th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week 1 O-Soto Gari, Side Control: Knee Across Escape, Americana
Partner: Jess, Jesus

Greg asked to drill an ankle lock setup on me before warm-up.  The Estima lock always scares me, I have to make sure to tap quickly.

Felt good about my O-Soto technique and off balancing.  I'm still putting together the timing of it all.  Helped Tom a bit with putting my weight onto the leg to be reaped.  Greg gave us a new setup for the Americana where we were in a farside armbar position and put some elbow pressure on their jaw to get them to bring their arm in to defend.  It then put the arm in the right place for the americana.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Tom, Daniel, Jess, Frank

From the top I setup a few NS chokes and transitioned to mount.  I also attempted a few head and arm chokes that I wasn't able to finish.  I did run into a pesky quarter guard occasionally.  From the bottom I mostly fought for underhook or elbow push and didn't see any good opportunities to hit the basic escape. 

Office Hours Partner: Frank, Greg

I showed Frank an escape and avoidance of the ezekiel from quarter guard.  We rolled for a while and then took a break to go over butterfly sweep.  The big thing was controlling the shoulders taking a high underhook and going sideways instead of backward. 

Greg wanted to drill a takedown that he's been working on that I'm really liking the look of.  He then let me drill cross guard and I worked on some variations of going back to closed guard after underhooking the leg.  He gave me a huge tip against people that stand to break the guard.  I need to hand over the sleeve to my underhooked hand and then control their collar to break their posture.  Seems like a great option.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February 8th 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Week 1 O-Soto Gari, Side Control: Knee Across Escape, Americana
Partner: Jess, Morgan, Jordan, Dave

We started over the curriculum this week.  So if you attend a beginner/all levels class each week from here until we reach Straight Footlock again you will be exposed to everything you need to know for the blue belt curriculum.  Or in general it's the basics of BJJ.  Each time I go through the curriculum I pick up a couple of new things so just because they're basics doesn't mean they're simple or easy.

Some tips for this week:
  • O-Soto Gari: Make it more about being a hand technique rather than focusing too much on the sweeping leg part. 
  • Knee Across Escape: One tip that seems to help students is using the harness to pull them across to help get the foot to the floor and knee in the hip.
  • Americana: I like to involve my head to help keep their hand on the floor as I secure my grips.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Jerad, Morgan, Jess

Had a fun roll with Jerad where we both did some good things. We were both able to escape the other's side control.  Morgan came fairly close to escaping my side control with the knee in leg over escape I had to go north/south to unravel it.

With Jess I took extra care to avoid the bad side of a leg entanglement, he's been getting good at them lately.  I attacked some loop chokes and kept my feet in butterfly hooks and away from the hip.

Office Hours: Discussion

We had a good discussion about our school and how things changed from the old place when we opened up. We have beginner and advanced classes, we do positional sparring, and we have great class times.  All things we didn't have at the old school.

We also talked about competing and how to develop a game. I shared my experience with preparing for tournaments and how my game got better from the tournament prep sessions.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 7th 2017 - No Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Side Control: Tripod Escape to Half Guard, Darce from Top
Partner: Mike A

Got to work with Mike for the first time in a long time.  We improved our darce technique today as we both were doing it more neck cranky.  Greg was having us push on their shoulder with our body where I was primarily pushing down on their head with my ribs to push their neck into my arm.  Mike and I were choking each other pretty well by the end and didn't have to fall onto our sides as much as I thought.  The other great thing about working with Mike was that we would play during techniques, maybe give each other a little resistance here and there and respond to it naturally.  Obviously a newer person isn't going to be able to do that well.

Rolling: Side Control, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Mike A, Mike G, Daniel, Jess

Aquila and I had some good rolls from side control.  I started out with a choke series going from NS to guillotines but never able to get the tap...maybe if he had a bigger neck.  He gave me a lot of props for the exchange and transitions.

Most of my side control escapes ended up in half or deep half guard, I'm getting better with taking the back from them stepping over in DH but I could use a rewatch of Ryan Hall's DVD.

I got to crucifix position with Jess and felt like a bull rider trying to maintain it and not get thrown off. I couldn't quite get my hand in the right spot for the RNC though.

Office Hours Partner: Jordan

Rolled with Jordan H several times.  We had trained quite a bit together when the school first opened and we were both working on cross guard.  I was pleasantly surprised that he maintained some skills since he's been out injured for quite a while.  I had a hard time passing his guard.  I did however look at it as a way to attempt leg locks since he's a fellow blue belt. I felt like what Mike must have when I wasn't any good at defending heel hooks, and I'm trying to figure out how to attack them.

During rolling he told me that this was his last class with us as he's moving away.  Just when he was making a return to LBJJC too.  It's always tough when fellow students move away and become part of our extended family.  The upside is that I'll have some place to train if I visit New Mexico.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

February 3rd 2017 - MMA

Theme & Techniques: 1 through 6 punch combo, Teep Kick
Partner: Will

We had 8 in attendance to start off our first LBJJC MMA class.  I was excited but also wasn't sure what to expect.  We did some movement drills to get started (lunges and rolls). The one I need to improve on is the back roll to handstand to standing thing.

We got our gloves on and were moving the majority of the class.  He emphasized level changes and switching between Muai Thai and wrestling stances.  A huge point that Nick made was to make our elbows support our arms in a fighting stance. That's going to be important for me because keeping my hands up was the toughest thing of the class.

Sparring: Attacker/Defender, Light Contact, Just the Body
Sparred With: Will, Richard, Patty

Just defending was tough for me, might have been because I wasn't taking Will's reach into account at first. The teep was different than kicks that I'm used to as we did it with a straight leg, but knowing when to throw it was still there.

During the body shot sparring, Richard got me pretty good making me lose my wind for a moment. It was a good reminder that I need to breath and tighten my stomach with each strike.  A couple of other take aways were: I need to keep my chin down, relax more, and work on head movement.  It's definitely a different workout.

Friday, February 3, 2017

February 3rd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Escape Bridge Over, Straight Footlock: Setup and Escape
Students: Craig, Ryal, Jesus, Jeff

Did a few extra partner warm-ups instead of circling up.  I had them do the standing guard break to sit-up, the armbar drill, and then some sitouts.  When I taught the ankle footlock, I also had them attempt it from the standing guard break and made sure to mention the points from yesterday's post. 

Rolling: Guard
Rolled With: Everyone

Had them do a few rounds as partners before jumping in myself and doing an up/down/out with only 1 person getting some rest.  Jeff the new guy is doing pretty well, he has the common big guy tendencies of wanting to drive through someone's closed guard.  What's funny is that I've had a couple of people finish rolling with him and tell me that he's so strong, where in my opinion they've displayed similar tendencies. 

Office Hours Partner: Jeff

Jeff stayed after a bit so we could roll.  I caught him with some things and gave him some pointers.  Mostly about keeping arms and elbows in and respecting the cross collar grip.  I showed him the knee over pass because he got close to the position a couple of times. 

I often head to the YMCA after morning classes to get a shower before work.  Unfortunately their boiler was broken and they had no hot water.  I had a flashback of taking canteen showers in the field as a Marine. 

Ready for MMA class in a few hours.  Luckily went to bed early last night, but I'm not sure what to expect out of the class.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February 2nd 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Escape Bridge Over, Straight Footlock: Setup and Escape
Partner: Bob

Had some good practice with Bob.  He didn't seem to favor the kesa escape until I told him to slow it down and bridge and turn rather than be explosive, seemed to make all the difference.  He can definitely make the footlock tight, but I only had to give him a few pointers to make the technique more direct and to the point.  A few things:
  • Once the foot is in place, treat the stepping like you're doing a walking break fall.  Don't fall back but fall to the side.  
  • Look away.  He had a similar problem that I had that I wanted to see my partners face to see when I went too far with the ankle lock.  It's pretty much required that you have to look away to turn the shoulders correctly to get the tap.

Rolling: Guard Up/Down/Out, Free Rolling
Rolled With: Shane, Jess, Justin, Jesus, John, Ben

Once again, I tried some tozi passes but wasn't able to complete them.  I think I'm going to have to do some research on it. 

Shane did a good job of maintaining guard and grip fighting, I had to really work to pass his guard.  With Jess I had to keep him from foot locking me and I mostly did that by keeping my heel on his ribs or hip and not let my foot get pulled to the side.  I didn't see much of an opportunity to setup my own footlocks, maybe that will be my goal for tomorrow morning.

Office Hours Partner: Justin

Justin asked some questions about what I would do from the top of side control and we went over bread cutter, NS choke, and farside armbar.  We rolled a few times and then discussed pieces of the rolls a why they happened and what he could have done to defend or prevent them. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

February 1st 2017 - Gi All Levels

Theme & Techniques: Headlock Escape Bridge Over, Straight Footlock: Setup and Escape
Partner: Morgan

I was a little tired today and struggled with the warm-up.  Jerad did a good job of laying out the unwritten rules of the school as it relates to leg locks and other techniques.

White belts are pretty much limited to straight ankle locks while rolling.  At blue belt it opens up a bit allowing toe holds and knee bars, although most tournaments won't allow them at that level.  Reaping the knee and heel hooks in gi is off limits for everyone. More things go in no gi.

Rolling: Guard
Rolled With: Morgan, Jess

Jess was pretty persistent with the ankle lock and even got me to tap once.  I've noticed in the past that I let the lock go too far before I start defending.  I need to fight it off from the start.  Good on Jess for catching me.

Morgan's guard is getting more difficult to pass. He's doing some extra things to regain guard on the verge of being past that are great.

I rolled a few times with Jess after class and did my best to avoid another ankle lock. I attempted some loop chokes, also utilized the gift wrap for a pendulum sweep.