Monday, April 24, 2017

April 24 2017 - Week #12 Technique Companion

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

Headlock Escape
Video: Escape from Hon-Kesa-Gatame

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: Kurt Osiander's Move of the Week - Attacking the Turtle

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: Garry Tonon • Taking the Back from Turtle Position at Dante Rivera Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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 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: Half Guard Pass Reverse Knee Cut

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:
Kurt Osiander's Move of the Week - Turtle Technique
How to Escape the Turtle and Get Safely Back to Guard

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: How to get out of a Standing Guillotine

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.

Von Flu Choke

Half Guard Back Take
Similar Video I could find: Half Guard Underhook Escape

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: BJJ Half Guard 101 - How to Recover Closed Guard

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.