Getting ready for competition. Little more intensity, and a lot of rolling. The KoB rotation transition finally clicked for me tonight during partner drills, and we also worked on breaking grips from standing.
Love having Norm as a partner for drills. He pushes the pace and doesn’t give me anything. Plus he’s able to tell me when technique slips. For instance, at the end of my turn breaking grips I was wearing down and not using my hips.
“Hips can go all day long, but arms get tired.”
Technique was a flow for a seated guard pass
When everything goes as planned
Push down on passing knee, spin with other hand on opponent’s hip
Backstep around foot to KoB/Side Control
When caught in half guard when trying to pull through
Hand on OUTSIDE of knee and push to opposite side
Weight heavy on top leg and sprawl
Use leg-side hand to thread legs and kick out to side control
When opponent sits back up after initial push
Hand behind head, hand behind triceps
Slice knee down along hip, making space with triceps hand
Sit through with weight heavy on stomach/diaphragm and opposite arm tight to body
NOTE: keep that elbow and butt off the ground. All the weight goes on the opponent.
Worked from bad positions. Couldn’t hold Norm from his back, and got choked out once. My bad position was mount with Rudy and Ana. Rudy got an armbar once, but I did ok after that.
Norm got an 8 minute roll with fresh people every minute. We went two rounds each with bad positions on the second rotation. He’s pretty beastly.
8 minutes with Ed at the end of the night. Another stalemate. Legitimately lost top position this time instead of choosing the bottom. Spent a lot of time trying to get to top. Threatened a triangle once and finally got the sweep for the last minute or so.
Stop Stealing Dreams – Here's why we homeschool. Should turn into a longer post at some point. I think I've linked to the download before, but now it's available on Medium and a little easier to read. It's long, but not as long as it could be.
Really awesome training today. One of the upsides of being on the ground floor of a new gym I guess–when a new class time starts, it will be small and more individualized. Worked out for me this morning since I was the only one there.
While we were stretching, Coach Frank asked what I’d like to work on. I said, “You’re the coach…fix something that’s broken. LOL.”
We rolled for a couple of rounds and he said, “Alright…cool…I know exactly what we need to work on.”
Technique–Simple Mount Escape
I think he saw this watching me roll a few times, then felt it when we rolled. My only real effective option when mounted has been to upa and shrimp/twist to get to a hip and hope I can get a knee in. He gave me a better option today:
Trap arm on the side you want to go to
Foot on that side outside of their foot
Other foot with active toes under butt
Twist upper body away from trapped arm
Roll head to the gap between shoulder and head while pushing up
If using an underhook on the other arm, be aware of that because you roll into full guard
Pretty much like the first one demonstrated here, but with a little more space created with the head/shoulder to make the roll easier.
Technique was a triangle with a different set up. Instead of push-pull with wrist control we:
Posture control and trap arm
Sleeve control on other arm and shrimp to foot on elbow
Knee to the ceiling and foot to the floor
Kick foot out to set the leg for triangle
Figure 4, then hand to shin
Wiggle for the angle and deepen the figure 4
Pop the posture to get the arm through
Wiggle for angle
And the defense:
Answer the phone and pressure
Other hand to opponent’s hip
Both hands to hips an posture up
Free arm to collar grip
Drive shoulder through leg to the collar
Enjoy side control
Andre–tough to get past his guard. He’s young, flexible, fast, and strong. Got to half guard once and was looking for side control but he regained guard
Ed–tried to pull guard and he got around. Worked from the bottom for top position and tried for Ezekiel. No dice. Went back to side control at 30 seconds and KOB, pulling up leg and head for discomfort. Still no tap.
Norm–focused on staying out of his full guard and trying to pass. Got around once (gift) and didn’t tighten up the side control so I lost it quickly and got choked. Went again and got one leg through. Stayed tight and got side control again (another gift), but tightened it up this time and was able to keep it longer. Was defending an arm bar when time ran out.
Ed–Was able to pull guard from the get go (finally). Held him and threatened the few submissions i have there. Was able to work my way to a triangle threat. Couldn’t finish, but was able to roll it to mount. Going for Americana when time ran out.
Started off with my own vicious cycle and got a good sweat going quickly. Rolled with Frank after that with the expected results.
Rolled with Alicia after that–first roll with her, and it was really good. Trying to not use strength and weight for offense. Not ashamed to use it for defense though because she was constantly attacking. She had my back a couple of times, and when I was in side control she was consistently grabbing my foot with her feet. None of the guys I’ve rolled with have the flexibility to do that.
Then Ed showed up. Another marathon session. Same result–arm bar on me after about ~30 minutes. Still unable to finish arm bar twice and had what I thought was a really deep triangle but couldn’t get it ended. I was completely on empty at the end. I was literally laying on my side with my eyes closed happy that I was able to defend that position for several minutes before I got caught. Afterwards I was happy to lie on my back in a pool of my own sweat.
Went to the beach after for more of the same. Realized after I got some food in me and my head back that I was completely calorie depleted. No more rolling without any food. Rest day earned.
For technique, we learned three chokes when opponent is in turtle:
No gi d’arce choke (no gi brabo choke?)
Slice knee in to split opponent and hand on head for control
Open lapel by placing hand under belly, then remove hand from head and grip lapel
Baseball slide through and roll opponent to hip, walk top leg to trap opponent leg
Defended, so go to the other side
If opponent closes his side to block the knee, reach around to the openside of the body and get the same choke on the other side
Head hand grips lapel 4 out
Control opponent’s hips and step over
Continue rotation and throw step foot over opponent’s head
Fall to mat, get ready for a quick tap (This one really hurts)
Had a pretty good roll with Norm. Of course, he still dominated me, but I felt like I was a little tougher to deal with. That was probably manufactured by him. I got to side control for a couple of seconds before he got right out of it. It’s hard to tell how much he’s giving me and how much I’m earning, but I’m getting better I think.
Next up, I rolled with Joe, who is a lot quicker than me and also dominated me for the most part. Was forced into a turtle defense with him and he was much more effective at breaking it than others have been–definitely showed me what someone with more technique could do with where I am right now.
Made it to the morning class today–got started a little late, but it was just Louis and me. After stretching we went straight to technique and got to work on three different things. This was cool, because Tuesday night training was a total beat down, and we were still feeling it 12 hours later.
Side Control to Mount #1
Body side elbow tight to the hip with hand in armpit for hip control
Roll hip to reverse kesa gatame
Drive off of foot and scoot hip to fold opponent’s knees over
Hand to legs and knee on quad
Slice knee to mat and flop foot to avoid quarter guard
Slide foot under opponent’s leg
Side Control to Mount #2
C cup, pull close thigh up and punch it forward, stacking legs.
Step into the hole between legs
Remove hand, and he’ll naturally turn in, allowing to slice the knee and flop foot
Gi Choke from Side Control
Remove lapel from belt on the hip side and take out the slack
Burner. We picked the wrong day to spend at the beach before class, because this one tore me down. Awsum.
Warmups got a lot tougher today with shots and sprawls mixed into the usually light jog. Technique was a butterfly guard pass and a butterfly sweep.
Hands grip outside knee and label (same sides as hands)
Snake knee hand side foot in, then drop step around when foot hits mat. Causes an X with the arms–leave it until knees are positioned
Switch hands to side control
Cuff grip and punch opponent’s hand down
Reach around and grip belt with other hand
Drop cuff side knee down and under
Lift belt side leg, rolling to shoulder
King of the mat with three down and four up, so not much break there. Then we went into rolls starting in bad positions and just roll from there. I had Norm’s back to start, which didn’t last long, but it’s the only time I’ve ever had that. LOL. Next Joe had me in side control. Took me a while, but I was able to get out. He was about 2 seconds away from finishing a triangle, but I was able to escape.
Then we actually rolled. Had two really good rounds with Ed and Louis. Pulled guard with Ed to start and he passed pretty easily (which means I need to work more) and got me in side control. Defended the mount and eventually worked up to one myself. Attempted baseball bat choke and seated triangle but could finish neither.
Went next with Louis–we were already pretty spent. Took me about half the round to pass his guard (also need to work on). He was able to work me back into guard and sweep me, but I immediately got a good triangle attempt. I was focused on stuffing the arm before pulling the head and thrusting, but he told me later I had it deep and could have finished. Dang! Ended the round with an arm but not able to finish. Pattern developing here.
Ana and I did a little bit of drilling. I’ve been landing in good spots for submissions but unable to finish them, so I want to try out the details of a couple of chokes. I did discover that the reason I’m having trouble finishing rear naked chokes is because of the width of my shoulders and lack of flexibility leave a lot of space on the grab arm. We figured out a variation I could use to get the pressure with the blade of my hand by a different method, and then Coach Frank showed me an even better option that would be harder to defend against.
We also worked on two armbar escapes. Ana’s needed a little more movement than mine (surprise), but they are both good depending on the situation.
Another cool thing I realized is that I can use a small foam roller or a large pool noodle to simulate someone’s neck and really feel where the pressure is being applied. Should help me improve the small angles and hand positions for chokes.
Then I tested out a fitness drill I’ve been thinking of–Circle of Death with jiu-jitsu drills for six rounds. For this one I used thrusts + figure 4s, sit-throughs with rotations, hops from knees to feet, and one-armed get ups (still need some kettle bells to make this one legit).
Then I rolled with Frank. A bunch. Lost count of how many times he could have submitted me and how many times he gave me an opening to see what I would do. For instance, he mounted and grapevined me, but when I put my hands on his hips he released my legs and let me work the escape he taught us last week. I didn’t get my knees pulled to chest and butterfly, but I did get one in to turn and shrimp.
He dropped some knowledge in between rolls too
Slow and tight is better than fast and leaving space, so don’t worry about feeling like I’m plodding
Top positions are working great for me, so start off in guard and give up those positions with equal training partners–work to get there to improve the other side of the game
But don’t give up top position if I’m ever in a competition. Time is limited, and I’m way stronger on top than on bottom at this point since I don’t really have any submissions I can reliably finish from my guard
Defense is improving, so being frustrating will hopefully cause opponents to open up opportunities
I had to miss on Tuesday night, and I already felt a little behind.
Technique was an escape from side control:
Inside elbow to the ground and hand on hip
Outside hand across face and grip the trap
Oopa and get the underhook with outside hand
Reverse shrimp through the hole created with underhook
Head pushes down arm and transition to their back
Option from the oopa is to bring blocking knee across the lap and hook the hip to regain guard
We did King of the Mat, and poor Norm got stuck for the whole duration because nobody could pass his guard. I made it down a couple of times against Ana and Ed, but then lost my spot to Rudy. Got arm barred by Rudy once and triangled by Norm once. Lost my back and side control all the other times.
Had a good roll with Ed and was able to attempt 4 different submissions in 6 minutes–guillotine, baseball bat, arm bar, and arm triangle. Unfortunately could not finish any. Have to get better at the details that allow the finishes. Especially the baseball bat. I have no idea was I was missing there.
Had another good roll with Rudy. He tapped me pretty early by just driving all the air out of my chest and getting me locked up so that I couldn’t breathe at all. After that I was able to pass and maintain side control for a while. Sensed his escape attempt and adjusted to North/South when he went for it.
We worked on the mount escape again, this time finishing it off with a sweep.
Elbows to ground to prevent high guard, head up
Make ‘L”s with hands on opponent’s hips
Inch active toes up to booty
Oopa with toes and hands, bringing knees to chest
Opponent lands in butterfly guard
Gable grip around back
Kick legs and sit up
Overhook elbow tight
Kick opposite leg and roll 45 degrees to shoulder
We also worked an armbar from there if they post the hand, and this was pretty cool–duck head under the post arm and fall backwards–head on elbow and lift wrist.
This was by far my best night of rolling–was still mostly in survival mode, but was far more offensive against better opponents, and the survival was working much better as well.
I need to focus on finishing chokes. I’m getting into good positions a lot–hands in the right place in good body position to start, but I’m not finishing. I’m guessing it’s the little stuff like how I twist my elbows in each one, shifts in body weight, and angles. I tend to get excited about the positions and forget the little details involved.
Fun warmup with some of the tougher things added today. We did a trip down the floor with shots, which my knees just can’t do any longer…at least not until I’m ready to buy a new ACL. The jumps from knees to feet are pretty easy for me now, and even the sit-out-and-rotate is a lot better.
For technique tonight we worked on the smash pass again along with a choke we can work if we’re caught in quarter guard when sliding through.
Get to passing headquarters with the foot in deep. My shin to their hamstring.
Punch down the opposite hand with cuff grip and cross collar grip to pull them up.
Elbow tight to knee with the collar grip. Smash opponent sideways and start the lawnmower
Why Rugby Players Should Train Jiu Jitsu – Because rugby players are famously always hunting for challenging physical activities they can do outside of rugby training. Off-training days are jam-packed full of extra physical activities.