805BJJ Class 133: rolling

All we did is roll. I got chain submitted by the black belts (Greggo and Scott), and Andrew pretty much dominated me. Even Jeremy was a handful, so I had to slow him down by reminding him to breathe and focus on his technique.

Now my foot hurts and my neck is tweaked.

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805BJJ Class 132: Tarzan single leg takedown to double leg, arm bar triangle omoplata drill, rolling

Christian is back! He taught this Tuesday morning class.

Warm up started with simple gripping, sticky hands, and grip breaks, interspersed with a normal warm up’s drills. Then we circled up and learned the Tarzan single leg takedown. From a high lapel grip, drop step the opposite side knee while maintaining a HARD downward pressure on the lapel. Hook the other hand behind the knee, get to your feet while lifting their leg, and then drive them toward their planted leg while maintaining the downward pressure on the lapel, keeping it firmly planted and taking them over. Be mindful of how you finish, avoiding their legs and getting to side control. If you have trouble getting them down, or if you lose your lapel grip, you can reach your lapel hand across to the far knee and go for a double leg.

We did a randori with our 6 classmates, going with each opponent twice. My first with everybody I basically was defensive, stuffing their takedown attempts and then getting behind their resultant turtle. The second time through I got aggressive, dropping Phil with an uchimata, and wrecking Jose freelance. Christian said I was finally coming into my time, and I finished the sentiment “…after years of sucking!” “You have to be the nail before you can become the hammer.”

Next we did some guard drills. These are drills I think we should be doing all the time, but we really don’t. From closed guard, setting up the arm bar, triangle, and omoplata.

Then we had some rolls. I rolled with Phil first, starting in closed guard. He passed my guard slowly, and I did the chewjitsu side control sweep on him, dumping him up against the pole. We kept working, and I tried to fend off his kimura from the bottom and pass his half guard, only to run out of time. It was a good contest.

Next I rolled with Matt, who’s coming back after 3 weeks of recovering from “getting snipped.” I passed his guard and got on top of him in side control, and was chasing submissions for the rest of the round, but he was able to escape them all.

Next I rolled with Jose. He started in my guard. I locked up a triangle and he tried to stack me. I fought the stack and kept cinching up the legs, because they started out barely connected. Each adjustment got them a little tighter. I finally tapped him, then showed him how to keep the triangle from getting locked up, OR how to stack really brutally in a race to pressure the bottom guy enough to want to bail out of his triangle attempt.

EDIT: I really wrecked my left toe in this class. A week later and it’s getting worse when I walk.

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805BJJ Class 131: stack guard pass, top bottom out drills, Kohaku tournament

After I watched the entire kids’ class, it was my turn. We did a standard TJ warmup and then learned the stack pass. Essentially it starts with the guard break. Step a foot back to get your body long enough to break open the guard. From there, you’re underhooking the leg you broke open, and tucking it up onto your shoulder while the other elbow holds down the hips. With this locked in place, you step forward with the foot you stepped back with as you reach your guard breaking hand up to a deep far collar grip (assisted by your tuxedo gripping hand) and you simultaneously drive their trapped knee to their nose. You can kneel with the forward leg and bring the rear leg up to boost their butt higher and put more pressure on their neck. It’s a lot of pressure, and they’ll usually help you with the pass just to relieve the pressure. You can also just smash down on their neck with the paper cutter choke set up by the far hand.

Then lined up against the wall and arranged ourselves by size. I somehow got paired up with Ted and Jose, who are both a lot smaller than I am. We drilled very short sessions starting from all sorts of bad positions – mount, back mount with choke grips in, turtle with seat belt and hooks, and full guard, and standing. Top bottom out. Poor Jose. But I got the worst of the standing, as they were both able to take me down.

After that we lined up on the wall by weight, and we did a Kohaku takedown tournament. Logan was honored for his performance on Thursday, but Ted stole the show today. I got 0 takedowns but gave a good fight both times I went out. Ted got several wins and finished the line. Double win!

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805BJJ Class 130: guard breaking and passing, half guard passing and surfing, rolling

I got to class just as they bowed in and started to warm up. I changed and jumped in just as they started running backward. TJ did warm ups, then we got down to Mark teaching us some closed guard passing basics.

The first technique was to get from fully broken down to postured up in a broken guard. Grip the gi in the arm pits and push up while you knee them in the groin (I’m not making this up) and slide your body back, hopefully breaking open the guard. Once you’re back, you sit up quickly, moving one hand to the belt and the other to the knee away from the one you’ve still got shoved into their butt crack (again, not making this up) and you pop that knee down to open their guard. From there you can pass.

Next, Mark taught us a pass. From the broken guard, you lace your arm around one leg and take a double-hand-grip on their lower leg’s pants. Sprawl out your legs, leaving your chest to press their knees together, and work your way around until you can slide into side control.

Then we learned the bull rider break, which is just a different way of controlling the guard player’s upper body as you break their guard. From broken posture in someone’s closed guard, collect their two lapels at breastbone level, grip them in one hand, and tuck that elbow into their gut. Put the other hand on their belt right next to your other elbow. If they try to sit up, you can straight arm them in their neck (I am still not making this up) and then go back to your bull rider grip. Slide your body back as you knee them in the ass crack (still not making it up) and simultaneously move your bull rider grip hand to the belt knot as the other comes down to pop the knee and open the guard.

We also learned half guard passing again. Basically, when you’re in the half guard, you jam your knee into the outside of their hip, then lean your whole body across their face to keep them on their back. Grip their top pants leg, and mule kick their bottom leg out. Once you’re free of their half guard, secure side control.

Then we rolled. I started the session with John, who has been training a couple of weeks. He started in my guard, and I triangled him but let it go as I swept him and secured side control. I taught him how to recover guard. I let him pass and then I recovered guard. I broke his guard and passed to side control, then had him recover guard again.

Next was Randall. I got him in my guard, and played with him there. He was able to break out and almost pass a few times, but I recovered. He tried to smash me while in my guard but I was able to move him off to the side.

Next was Jeremy. He was trying so hard that I became alarmed. I told him he needs to calm down, because his instincts are telling him he needs to try as hard as he can, but that’s a recipe for exhaustion. Later, TJ and Andrew told him the same message.

Next was Chris, the black belt from HQ. He went to half guard and grabbed my cross face sleeve and shoved it to his belt. I knew he was going for the sweep but I couldn’t extract my hand and he moved into the sweep and got it. Then I spent the remaining 3 minutes of the round trying not to let him take my arms off. He would get hold of one of my arms and he’d yell at me to protect it and to not give up, and it was exhausting but by the end I had recovered guard and we were both panting.

Next round was with Phil. I was able to pass his guard into half guard, and he locked up a kimura but I was able to keep space and posture, preventing him from using it and forcing him to let it go. It was a good roll.

Next was TJ. We started neutral, he took me down and got on side control, and tried to do the paper cutter choke that Mark taught us a couple weeks ago. I turned on my side and grabbed his shoulder to limit his mobility, and he was not able to lock it up. I survived!

Last was Andrew. He started in my guard. He postured up, slowly broke the guard, and started passing. I tried to break his elbow knee wall but that didn’t work. I scrambled out and he tried to take my back but I was sideways. I tried to turn in but he got my arm twisted up. I slowly managed to untwist my arm but had to give up the mount to do it. Eventually I was able to upa him over very slowly, and ended the roll in his guard. Good roll!

Here’s a picture of me falling asleep in Phil’s half guard. Embarrassing!

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805BJJ Class 129: side control escapes: frame and shrimp to recover guard, frame and underhook to takedown, frame and underhook to roll, Z-guard sweep, Z-guard kimura

Mark was there for this class, but Greggo actually taught it. Standard warm up led straight into Mark’s motivation for teaching side control escapes. This is great for me because I keep ending up here and it sucks.

The first technique is just framing, shrimping, and recovering guard. The key here is to make the frame, MOVE YOUR FEET AWAY, move your hips out from there as you push with the frame, and insert your bottom knee and then recover full guard.

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805BJJ Class 128: Saranya’s birthday, repeat of side control submissions

Greggo taught this Saturday morning class. We warmed up with a flow roll. Professor Pat paired up with me and did some ankle locks and leg locks. He said that you can defend an ankle lock by planting your weight on that foot and sticking it to the mat. Anyway, Greggo then went into the sequence of submissions he did last Tuesday morning, and I was able to try them out on Pat, who is much shorter than I am, and with a much more muscular neck and arms. Quite a change from doing them to whoever I did them to on Tuesday. Anyway, I learned some refinements and I also lost confidence in my ability to ever do those moves.

Then we did a side control drill. I won two battles and lost about 8.

Then we free rolled. I got tapped out 3 or 4 times, didn’t get injured, and kind of did okay.

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805BJJ Class 127: Sleeve control from guard, leading to sweep, arm bar, scissor crank, and bow-and-arrow choke

Greggo’s Thursday morning class. We warmed up with a cooperative roll. I took turns doing two position advances with Daniel, who returned after a long absence.

Then we learned how to remove the kick stand. Double sleeve grip, raise hips, punch both hands away while lowering the hips, then pull the arm across their body. At the same time, you’re hipping out away from that arm, reaching a hand over to grab their lat and hold them down. Once they’re down, they aren’t getting that arm back, so you can get up to your elbow, then up to your hand, and elevate your hips. With your far leg blocking their far leg at mat level, you use your near foot and arm to hip bump them over, keeping pressure to keep that arm across their body.

From there, you can do an arm bar. Reach your lat-holding hand over to grab their crossed-over arm’s wrist, then slip your near hand under that arm to grab your own arm in a figure-4 grip. Bring your back knee to pillow their head, and tuck your other foot into their armpit. You can pull up while scissoring your forearms together for a neck crank, or you can clear your lower arm from around their head and use it to push their head down as you lean your weight onto their chest to get your foot from behind their head around to the front, hooking their face/neck and squeezing your knees together on their trapped arm. Then you simply unfold it and hyper-extend the elbow for the tap.

If the hip bump doesn’t work, there’s a complex move that takes the momentum generated by their resistance to sweep them the other way. For this one, you do the same setup as before and try the hip bump sweep. If it doesn’t work, reach the lat hand around to grab their near collar at the neck. With that grip secured, you dive your shoulder under them and grab for their near leg, essentially doing a pendulum sweep on them, coming up in an S-mount with the near collar of their gi wrapped around their neck and held by the hand under the neck. Hook their far arm with your foot as you maintain control of their near leg with your pendulum sweep grip. You can choke them by simply pulling the collar, or you can get the arm bar while holding their far leg.

We rolled after that. I started with Daniel, who promptly took my back and choked me out. Then we started over and I struggled to pass his guard, got on top of him, and almost finished a kimura on him. I should have held his head down to keep him from turning in, I guess.

Next I rolled with Pat. I felt like I did pretty good at maintaining my guard. I kept a pretty good elbow-knee frame to keep him from securing side control, and went for a kimura from the bottom, but he defended and I let it go. I was able to recover guard twice (though I’m sure he let me – he was not working hard) and mostly felt pretty good.

Next I rolled with Greggo, who wanted to try the move of the day on me. I was able to defend it by putting both of my arms on one of his, and eventually stifled his attempt. He reset his guard and again controlled my sleeve. This time he swept me, but I was able to (he let me) sweep him. From side control, I gripped his far elbow like we learned on Tuesday, and he was about to talk me through the straight arm bar when I stepped over for the step-over arm bar. He was impressed. :)

Next I went with Jeremy, who was having his 6th class. I asked him to show me what he knows, and he started applying an Americana from my closed guard. I showed him why that was a bad idea by sweeping out his leg and taking his back. I showed him how to do that, then how to apply pressure from the back, and how to do a RNC.

Next round I sat out, and the following round I went with Andrew. We had a good roll but he got my neck. I tried to get a Von Flue choke but he turned under and cranked the choke. As I was tapping, my neck cracked and the muscles spasmed. I had to sit out the rest of the roll and put ice on my neck.

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805BJJ Class 126: submissions from top side control – step over arm bar, americana, straight arm bar, americana trap, arm triangle; side control sweep

I came in 15 minutes early to find workers in reflective outfits climbing ladders to work in the overhead of the building space. They were removing the sprinkler drops. The next thing I saw was that Tom and Greg were the only other two guys there for class. To remind you, these are the two who destroyed me for 1.5 hours on Saturday. Great.

We started early and got straight into the step over arm bar from side control. No warm up, no instruction, just go. I let Phil go first because I’d never done these before. So the key here is you get the guy’s arm isolated over your shoulder. You cup the elbow and pull it up, planting your own elbow on his midsection and turning him on his side (he’ll want to relieve the pressure) so you keep the pressure on him by extending both your feet (you don’t need your knee to control his hip on the near side if you’ve got his arm trapped and your weight’s on his midsection). Step your foot way above his head, turn toward a sort of north-south position with the arm trapped, then step that foot under his butt, at the same time grabbing his pants at the knee, at the same time hooking your other foot over his neck, at the same time as you lean your under-butt foot over to squeeze his trapped arm. Lots of stuff has to come together there at the end.

The Americana was next. This time he’s got a cross face, but you again cup that elbow and put your own elbow on his midsection to pressure him. Extend your feet away and roll side to side on his chest. As you lean toward his waist, lift your head a little and bring your other hand across wrist-to-wrist, pushing his forearm across while you’re cupping his elbow. This gives you the Americana grip. You don’t even have to hold onto his wrist if you’ve got that wrist blade on him. Roll your chest toward his head as you push his arm flat to the mat, then finish normal if he hasn’t tapped already.

The straight arm bar is something you get when they’re wrapping their arm around you. Again, you grip the elbow, but this time you roll your hips to face toward their head, and it’s like you’re sliding for kesa gatame, but instead you step your foot over their head and pull it away from their isolated arm. Monkey grip your hands behind their elbow and crunch their joint backward for the tap. If that’s not quite there, you can set the Americana trap. Put your arms in a figure 4 with your cross arm palm open near your face, ready to catch their wrist as they try to save their arm from the straight arm bar by moving it around your head to frame again. It just slips right into the Americana, which you finish as before from side control (i.e., step back from the head overstep back to side control.)

Next we learned how to set up the arm triangle. With them framing, you have an underhook, which you can use to separate their arm and creep it up toward their head. With this pressure and distraction, you can press your knee across to mount. Keep heavy pressure on the mount – knees wide and hips low. Use your cross face grip to grab their upper arm, so that you can use your underhooking arm to tuck it into the sweet spot next to your head. From this position, you can finish by squeezing your arm and pushing their arm with your head, maintaining forward and downward pressure from mount. If you can’t finish from here, you can dismount to the side of their trapped arm and do the same thing but getting your body low as you squeeze. Works pretty good.

We did some very short rolls, armed with these techniques, starting from side control. I went with Andrew a bunch of times. I started on top, and tried to get a paper cutter choke, but he survived and got to guard, where I transitioned to a triangle, then to a kimura, but he escaped. It felt good to know things to try as the position evolved. More of that, please!

I rolled with Christian, and he taught me to address the cross collar grab immediately. Don’t leave it hanging there because it’s just waiting to choke you. I told him Saranya’s wrist is better but now she is suffering from a lice infestation.

Next roll was with Greggo. I set up an arm bar, he escaped, and tapped me out. He liked my pressure.

I had a slow roll with Chris, because his back was hurting. Mostly just reviewing techniques.

Last few minutes I rolled again with Andrew. He almost got me in a triangle, and I barely got out because he was tired. He said if I’d stacked him more, he would have had to let go earlier.

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805BJJ Class 125: guard passing drills, takedown drills

Class started this Saturday morning with Mark chewing everyone out for not showing up for Friday/Sunday classes, and then getting worked when we did show up. I *can’t* show up to those things so whatever.

He taught us not to reach forward to the lapel until we cleared the legs, then got us in pairs to practice doing that, while the white belts went off to learn the basics. I should have gone with the white belts rather than pair up with Shabbar. He smashed me. I didn’t win any battles.

Then we all lined up against the wall. I started down and Shabbar filled in on top. We did pass or sweep drills. I didn’t win any battles.

Then we got in groups of 3. I got put in with Greggo and Tom. Guard pass or sweep, odd man out. I didn’t win any battles.

Then we did stand up takedowns. Odd man out. I didn’t win any battles. In fact, I got smashed down several times and I jammed my toe on a sacrifice throw attempt that failed. I spent the rest of the time trying not to get hurt, but I failed there too.

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805BJJ Class 124: rolling

It was a small Tuesday morning class with Mark, Greggo, and Christian. Mark decided that we were just going to warm up and then roll, and that’d be it.

We started with running and shrimping, then we did a 10 minute warm up roll. I started with Phil, and he taught me the uppercut defense to the kimura. He was going on about keeping weight on, but I was leery of the sweep.

Then we went to 4-minute rounds. I started against Greggo. He did a Z-guard sweep on me, and wrecked me. We started over, and he coached me through a guard pass. I got on top, grabbed his arm, and he fought it off. I used my leg to separate his hands, and he pushed my legs up over his face. I tucked my bottom leg behind his head and locked his head down with my top leg, then pried his hands apart for the tap. I was pretty proud of my finish, even though he mostly let me get there.

Next round was with Mark. He started leaning on me and I pulled guard. He stayed low and heavy and controlled my arms and prevented me from controlling his arms. Whenever I got too wiggly, he’d advance position until he passed my guard, got side control, threatened a bunch of submissions until he locked in an arm triangle. I defended it for a while by answering the phone, but I wasn’t getting out. He finished by just smashing through my defenses.

Next roll was with Jeremy in his 4th class. I taught him how to do side control and how to do an Americana.
Next roll I had off, so I helped Phil help Jeremy. Then I watched Christian destroy Brandon.

Next I rolled with Brandon, and I saved time by letting him start on top of side control. I tried to escape but nothing worked. I couldn’t unbalance him toward my feet, and I couldn’t get my knee under to recover guard, so I was stuck.

Next round was with Phil again. I told him I had 2 goals – train again on Thursday and learn something today. He told me to pick one. I said “flip a coin”. Anyway, Phil started in my guard, stepped up and stacked me. I underhooked his leg and, with a little leg momentum, got the pendulum sweep! I got mount, Phil started recovering half guard, I moved to side control, he grabbed the kimura near side, I postured up and grabbed my gi, then I tried to uppercut to escape. He blocked me for quite a while, but eventually I got free and went back to side control. He immediately grabbed my arm again, but the round ended.

Next round was with Greggo again. He did a spider guard sweep on me and it made me laugh how easily he took me over. I ended up turtling and he went for a Japanese necktie but let my head slip free (maybe minus some hairs). I missed a bunch from this roll but whatever.

Last round was with Christian. He let me start in mount, but that didn’t last long. He recovered half guard, then scrambled out and got to mount, and eventually arm barred me.

EDIT: I was not able to train again on Thursday. I had a strained muscle connecting the right side of my neck to somewhere down the inside of my right shoulder blade.

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