805BJJ Class 100: triangle defense

Finally hit my 100th class. Greggo taught triangle defenses.

The first defense is controlling the latch leg with your in-arm. Grip the pants of the leg across your neck, press it to the mat, then look up as you posture up. If they pull your head down, good luck!

Next defense was to grip the cross leg and turn it out to try to survive. Good luck!

Next was a pass/submission based on getting your posture and removing your arm. Once you get your arm out from between, reach your free arm forward and across to grab the collar thumb-in. Then you can stack them and press that forearm into their neck for the submission, or let them fall to the side and establish side control.

We did some situational rolling where we practiced either finishing the triangle or getting out of the triangle. I finished Phil once and Andrew twice. Jen finished me twice, but I couldn’t get a tight triangle on her at all. Shabbar finished me at will, and crushed me with stacking pressure when I tried to triangle him. Then I had to leave to pick up Saranya from her short school day.

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805BJJ Class 99: spider guard passes

Greggo’s Saturday morning class. I had to leave early to get cleaned up and go to the valley, so only an hour of training, but it was good.

We started with a basic spider guard break and pass, but it included some very important concepts for approaching someone’s spider guard. For instance, spider guard is pretty useless against a standing opponent, unless they’re really short and you’re really tall. Another idea is that being on your knees is useless against spider guard. You should at least get up to one foot.

So the first pass involves getting tight grips on the outside of the pants, right near the knees, so you can also control them and move them around. They want to lift you and tip you over, so you want to move over toward the lifting side and roll them onto that side, so their extended leg is more horizontal than vertical, nullifying their advantage. You can then break their grip by lining their heel up with your knee to slide their foot off your bicep, allowing you to slip your hand under their leg and pin it down to the mat, then break their other grip somehow (I forget how) and pass under their other leg while you keep the original leg pinned to the mat.

The next pass involved standing and pulling back (again with the knee grips) and then getting into the pass we did last week, where you hold their feet to the mat as you step around them and slide into side control. You can also leapfrog their legs into mount, if you’re feeling spry.

The last pass was seriously brutal, but fun. Again, grip and stand, but this time you want to aim your grip to the back of the knee. Step back and pull your elbows together, and yank them forward so their butt slides down between your legs. You then sit on their hamstrings, which are pressed to their chest below you. From the bottom, it really sucks, and my sore rib was crying as Greggo used me to demo the move. Anyway, once you’re sitting heavy on them, you reach across their feet to push their shin away from you as you kind of body surf down onto them and into side control.

We then did a guard passing drill from spider guard, where 4 people were in the middle and the rest lined up to try to pass their spider guard. If they got passed, the passer stayed in the middle and the middle person had to get back in line. If they swept, the passer got back in line. I gave and got a bit. Good fun.

Then we did top-bottom-out. I got grouped with TJ and Jared the blue belt. I actually did very good in that drill. TJ again got frustrated when his lasso sweep didn’t work on me (I was able to reach over with my free hand to keep him from tipping me over.) Before that fun was done, though, it was noon and I had to run.

TJ gave me his extra copy of Texas Holdem with Zombies, so I get to learn how to play that.

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805BJJ Class 98: Back take and choke against turtle, rolling

Coach Mark taught this Thursday morning class. TJ led the warm up, and then we got into the drill. First drill was just the standard cinching up the gi choke from behind. I paired with Ed, who’s kind of a new guy. Lots of reps.

Next drill was finishing the choke with the chicken wing. Put the back of your hand into the crook of the elbow, pull it back, then lift it over their head before sliding the arm behind their neck to tighten the choke. It’s devastating.

Mark then switched me from training with Ed to training with Eric, who’s just back from knee injury after 5 months off. Mark showed us how to tip the turtle over and take the back, and how you usually aren’t able to get the bottom hook in, so you can get the top hook in and use it to pull them over so that it becomes the bottom hook. Lots of neck exercise there with all the choking. I’m going to be stiff later, I bet! Mark went outside to talk on the phone and left us to drill for about 15 minutes. Eric had to take a break because of his neck, and I guess it was a good idea. I didn’t start feeling my neck until after I got home…

Mark came back in and had us put in mouth guards. TJ set us up for 6 minute rolls. I started against Eric, who’s both big and skilled. He’s like 90% of a Brandon, without all the Krav Maga. Anyway, he choked me with a one handed clock choke, which he then showed me. Come to think of it, that’s probably how my neck got tweaked! Anyway, you get the gi grip across the throat, and then you sit forward, sort of holding yourself up with the gi slack, and it makes for a really nasty choke. We rolled again and he got me in a really uncomfortable north-south but when he went for the arm bar I was able to slip out of it by the end of the round.

Next roll was with Ed. I was able to get out of an arm bar attempt from him and then get on top, but he swept me and he ended up in my guard. I was able to slide out the side and take his back. He rolled to his back so I took mount, and then took his arm, and finished an arm bar slowly and cleanly.

Next roll was with Matt. I started in turtle and Matt got me me down, but I got half guard, blocked the cross face and got the underhook, and was able to use that to scramble on top. From there, I kept passing to mount and he kept recovering half guard until I took his back. He could have slid me off his head but he didn’t, however I couldn’t finish because I was out of energy.

Next round I was back with Eric. I got on top, but he folded my leg over and got on side control over me, and I tapped from pressure. Not sure the rib can handle his pressure, so I was being safe. I sat out the rest of the rolls.

EDIT: My neck stiffened up when my body cooled down after training. It made for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.

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805BJJ Class 97: guard passing, details, elbows to the face, rolling

We had 3 black belts on the mat this morning. It was the school’s first day of 0530 class, so there was some discussion about its utility and proper form. I can’t take advantage of it, the same way I can’t take advantage of the MWF evening classes.

Anyway, I limped into class and walked out later. Warm up was fine. Drilling paired me with Greggo, and we went over guard passing by holding the knees and walking around, then diving into half guard. That’s what got my rib separated at UCLA in 2011, but I wasn’t as nervous as I should have been. Turns out, my rib wasn’t my problem.

So I sucked terribly at the drill. We were supposed to grip the INSIDES of the pants at the knees, hold the legs down with the feet on the ground, walk around to the side, slide your farthest knee into the apple of the hip AT THE SAME TIME as you reach your front side elbow over their opposite shoulder. Then you press them down to the mat and take your lower and and grip their pants to control their hips.

We had a little competition drill to do this. I was pretty good on bottom. Jen elbowed me in the face twice when trying to do the move. Oops.

Then we rolled. I rolled with Phil first. In a scramble, he hit me in the cheekbone with his elbow, so that was 3 elbows in the face during this class before the first roll was over. I managed to stay on top of him.

Next roll was with Christian. Mounting him is like mounting a medicine ball full of oiled midgets on speed. He got me in an arm bar and I almost got out. He complimented me on one scramble where he had to try three different things to get me rolled over on my back. I guess that shows that I’ve got good movement.

After that I rolled with Dave. He started out by passing my guard. I fought and nearly recovered a few times, but he secured side control. I inched my way to recovery, ended up sitting up and sweeping, and finished on top.

I sat out the next round, coming back in to roll with Greggo. He did his sit-up guard and he let me roll around with him. I did alright.

The final round was with Dave again, because everyone else left. It was pretty even.

At the end of class, we did 3 rounds of sit-ups. 240 individual sit-ups.

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805BJJ Class 96: back collar choke, rolling, 5th stripe

First day back after gout and flu. First training day this entire month. I’ve been wrecked lately, and have been doubting my ability to get back on the mat. But I tried it today, and it went pretty good.

I wore my new hemp gi today. It’s so soft and pliable. Turns out it makes for an excellent weapon for my opponents to use against me!

Anyway, warmup was standard and not that hard. Coach Mark taught us the collar choke from behind, then the chicken wing, then the chicken wing on the rack. Stuff from a year and a half ago that I had kind of forgotten.

Then we rolled. I started with Joe, the hippy purple belt guy. He got me with a one handed clock choke.

Next was Ray, who mounted me and stayed there.

Then I rolled with Leo, who I kimura’d from the top after a long fight. Coach Mark was appreciative.

Next round I took off before rolling with Cowboy. He choked me out 3x with my new gi before he started coaching me to keep my elbows in tight.

Next roll was with Matt, and we were pretty even.

I took the last round off. Then I got my 5th stripe on my white belt. 17 classes in 4 months since my last stripe.

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Saranya got sick after I started getting better. Sangeeta made me take her to the doctor. They did the tests and the flu test came out positive. They prescribed Tamiflu, and Saranya made me get it, but then she refused to take the medicine.

Anyway, that means I also had flu. Or I’m about to get flu…

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