Archive for July, 2018

805BJJ Class 146: double under stack pass, forward pressure pass, rolling

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018

Tuesday morning. Feeling weak and fragile. Went anyway. Paid for it.

Mark started the class by having Tom warm us up, then he lectured us on how the candy-ass slinky BJJ phase of our school is over. Greggo wasn’t there either. So Mark showed us how to set up in guard, how to break the guard violently, and how to change tempo and go 100% hard and smash/stack pass by going double under, grabbing the belt, lifting their hips over their head, dumping them to the side, and passing the guard.

The next refinement is what to do if they get heavy on their legs. Move your hands under their hips instead of under their legs. If they do manage to push away from you enough that you’re worried about losing the position, you step way forward with one foot, and push back to stand quickly on your other foot, and basically deadlift their belt until you can dump them to the side and pass.

Then Christian taught us how to break tiedowns and posture up. Basically you bob and weave under their grip, and use a hand on their bicep as you posture up to break the grip. If you can’t break the hold down, he then showed us how to press forward, move to the side, break open the guard with your elbow, and do a slide or knee cut pass.

I had a hard time rolling. I rolled with Sergio, then Brandon, then Cowboy, then Matt, then Christian. I tapped a lot. I had no energy and no strength. I’d try moves and run out of energy halfway through, leaving me flopping around in horrible positions. I think I need a break.

805BJJ Class 145: wrestling attacks from the knees, low mount maintenance, collar-fist choke, rolling

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

I came into this Saturday morning class with a deeply bruised left heel. Warm ups were a painful challenge, especially the hopping, but I managed.

Mark taught us some takedowns from the knees. Get low, grab their knees, jam your forehead into their breastplate, and knock them back. Switch to your shoulder on their chest as they go down, and control their legs with your hands as you assume side control. You can also come in at an oblique angle with your shoulder to their midsection and drive them down, again controlling their legs as you assume side control. We learned to knock down the turtle, grabbing the opposite leg’s knee and ankle as you put your shoulder into their ribs to take them over. We learned to scramble off the turtle and get that takedown too. Then we learned to do the same thing but from behind the turtle, pushing their butt with our shoulder or head, and pulling their knees back to put them flat on the mat and get on top of them.

Then Greggo taught the low mount again, with emphasis on pointing the toes up instead of hooking, and lifting the head off the mat by the crown rather than the neck. He also taught the fist and sleeve choke again, which is very versatile. You can put your fist into their jaw or neck or wherever and it works. Brutal!

Then we rolled, each round 3 minutes and starting from mount. After 3 minutes, top goes to bottom. After 3 more minutes, switch partners and start again with smaller person on top. I started with Jose. I was able to reverse him from the top almost immediately and get on top, but I couldn’t submit him. Then 2nd half I let him start on top again, and I recovered guard but was unable to submit or sweep him. He’s getting better, though I might be getting weaker and wearier.

Next partner was Shabbar. I started on top of him and was unable to submit him. He wiggled out and eventually I got lazy and he reversed me and submitted me. Then he started on top and submitted me quickly with the submission of the day. I was able to get a couple moves on him, but he’s fast to recover and stayed ahead of me for most of the roll.

My next partner was Craig, the new-ish white belt. I was able to work him pretty well, and submit him, but he’s a ton better than when I last rolled with him. He was glad to hear me say that.

My last partner was Sean. I think I managed to survive against him despite all his tricks.

805BJJ Class 144: arm bar from mount, proper mount technique, low mount sleeve fist choke, rolling

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

This was a Thursday morning class. I felt okay going in, but it was hot. Warm up was very brief.

The first technique Greggo taught was arm bar from the mount, starting with a collar grip. It starts with pressing the forearm to their chest. Hard. It lifts their head off the mat, and it feels horrible from the bottom. Next, you press their elbow across their body and hold it across their body with your collar gripping arm. Then you stay low, creep forward, slide your knee behind their head, and slide your other foot into their arm pit. Push their face down as you let go of the collar grip and hook their elbow with yours, lifting them onto their side (while still fully sitting on them). Then lean your weight over their body as you slip that foot over their head and tuck the heel into their neck. Then you finish by squeezing your knees together, grabbing their thumb, and breaking their elbow off with your crotch.

Mark went over proper mount posture. A-frame with the knees pinched and an inch or so of space to ride the hip bumps. Or you can get low, hook the legs, underhook and lift the head, and base your hand out. You can make them pee if you press your hips into them too.

From the low mount, we learned to modify the Ezekiel choke to just drive the fist into the neck. It sucks. That’s what Rick did to me as a new white belt, and that neck was bruised for a month. Ouch. Dick move, for sure. In fact, that’s all Mark teaches, really. Like that turtle lift to get the hooks in. That’s brutal.

Anyway, we also learned how to reach under the head and grab the collar with the head lifting hand, then shuck the elbow around and push it to the ground. Then you can slide your knee up behind their head and your other foot into their arm pit just like for an arm bar, but this time you drive your rear hand behind their neck and feed the top collar to the hand coming out from below their neck. With that gripped (like a bow-and-arrow choke) you can lift their arm with your free hand and shoot it behind their head for a nice collar choke.

Then we rolled. I got to start with the new guy from a valley dojo. His name was Sergio, and he was a nice guy. He put it on me and eventually kimura’d me, I think. I spent 6 minutes on the bottom.

Next was Andrew, who also put it on me pretty heavily. His feedback afterward was that I could have escaped at one point if I’d just been a little stronger or had more energy. I was pretty done at that point.

Then I rolled with Jared (Taco) and he put it on me too. He tapped me with a Japanese necktie and a foot lock. Dude has skills.

I took the following round off, but then Greggo grabbed me and reset the round timer so everyone else got an extra long round. I felt so weak, but I managed to stick him in a position and I was able to not get too destroyed for a while.

The last round I sat next to Jeremy, who had hurt his back again.

After class I talked with Sergio. Mark thanked me for my leadership.

805BJJ Class 143: upa escape, upa escape counter roll, rolling

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Greggo taught this Tuesday morning class.

We learned the upa escape from mount again. This time we did it from the collar grab. Then Mark had us take off our gi tops and do it for self defense style. Then the gis went back on and we learned to recognize when we were getting upa’d from the top, and to trap the arm and do sort of a scissor sweep to continue the roll to regain mount. Cool.

Rolling started with me vs. Cowboy. He started mounted on me. I reversed and Americana’d him. The I mounted him. He escaped and I managed to get him in guard and then scramble to the top. I somehow injured his damaged shin, probably when I was doing a butterfly pass.

Next roll was with Colt. We rolled by the benches, so Mark was watching us. Colt said he thinks I got a lot better. I have been practicing. So I managed to get on top of him and had a kimura locked up. Went for an arm bar and was trying to break his grip when the round ended. Mark was impressed with my thinking and assured me that it’ll start just clicking eventually. I still have to think a lot.

Next roll was with Christian. He’s been out with a rib separation and a groin pull, and he’s trying to get back up to speed. I felt it. I was able to secure positions that I ordinarily would feel him wiggle out of. I managed to fend off his gi choke until the round buzzer.

Next roll was with Greggo. He finished that gi choke pretty quickly. I think he was trying to prove that even though Christian couldn’t finish me with it, he could. Anyway, then we had another go and he tried it again, but I was able to spin out of it a couple times. I really need to bone up on my knee-on-belly escapes.

Last roll was with Chris. His back was bugging him, and I was able to lock him down and keep him from wrecking me too badly. Finished the round puzzling over how to finish a D’Arce in the gi.

Then I bought a new blue gi from Christian.

805BJJ Class 142: knee on belly, arm bar

Saturday, July 14th, 2018

Greggo’s Saturday morning class. He taught us about knee on belly, which is good because I suck at it, both top and bottom.

Transitioning to knee on belly from side control involves gripping the collar with the crossface hand, and gripping above the hip with the other hand, pushing up with the knuckles, putting the knee into the solar plexus with the foot hooked on the side of the body, and the other leg based out of gripping range.

From there, you can do an arm bar when they try to reach across to push your knee off. You underhook that bicep and lift them onto their side as you push their face down. Step your bracing leg around their back, by their belt, and use it to hold them up on their side. You then grab their leg and arm at the same time, raise your leg-grabbing arm up so their leg has to straighten as you sit back, and extend both for the tap.

Then we rolled a bunch. I got wrecked by a purple belt named Mike, then by Brandon, then the deaf guy. Had a light roll with Jose, then Greggo. After that I had to sit a round out, finishing the final round again with Jose.

805BJJ Class 141: last no-gi, butterfly guard, sweeps and passes, rolling

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

It’s been a long, tiring day.

After morning meeting at UCLA, I went home early and made it to 6pm class. It was the last no-gi class for a while.

We started with some butterfly guard drills and everybody sucked, but I sucked a little bit less than usual. Then Greggo went over some butterfly guard techniques, and everybody caught up to me.

So the idea with the butterfly guard is to hook your feet behind the opponent’s thighs and jam your shins into the front of their thighs to control their legs and hips. At the same time, you need to hold onto their torso, either with an over-under grip or double-unders. You can also jam your head into their sternum to make a more solid connection. To sweep someone with your butterfly guard, you need to scoot their knees back and out from under their trunk, so you need that solid trunk control and then you can alternately scoot your legs forward to drive their knees back using shin pressure on their thighs.

At the end, Jose called me out for acting like a jerk at Costco gas last week. I remembered the time he was talking about after I left – it was when I got stuck in the middle waiting for the slow guy to drip gas into his motorcycle.

805BJJ Class 140: arm bar from the guard, rolling

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

Mark and Greg taught this Tuesday morning class. It was a first for me in many ways.

  1. First class since the girls went to Nepal last Thursday
  2. First class in a week
  3. First class since my toes were injected with cortisone

We had a slow and easy warm up because Mark led the show. He’s participating because he’s trying to get into better shape, and his cardio isn’t all that great. So we very slowly eased into our exercises.

The lesson was the arm bar from the guard. Isolating one arm and bringing it across the body. Moving your hips away from the shoulder of the arm you want to attack, so that you can make space for your leg to come up and make a wall on that back side, foot on the hip to help control posture. Frame with your near hand to control the head as you lift your near side leg up to their arm pit and clamp it across their shoulders. Pivot your body perpendicular to their body so you can swing that outside leg over their head and clamp it down on the back of their head.

805BJJ Class 139: guard passing, rolling

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2018

Greggo taught this Tuesday morning class. I came in a little early to find two pairs of students rolling around wrestling with each other, holding tennis balls in their hands. I got into the 2nd round vs. Chris, and immediately he dropped a ball. Then I dropped a ball. Damn. It made grips not very useful so we had to use other control mechanisms. Chris got my leg and twisted me over, but I don’t think I got injured. We’ll see…

The lesson was passing the guard. It started with collecting the lapels and gripping them, pulling the neck off the mat as you tuck your elbow down to their hip. The other side grips the pants at the hip (as I learned later, you have to grip close to the leg to put pressure on the hip). The pass involves you stepping back with your far-side foot and pushing the knee down to the mat. The added detail is that you back away to force their legs farther apart, and it makes the subsequent knee slice much more difficult to defend. The knee cuts across the opponent’s opposite hip and comes down to the mat right next to their hip and you secure side control.

The next lesson was standing to pass. Step up on the side you have the lapel grip, and stand to let them hang off of you until their guard opens. Then you immediately step your foot opposite your lapel grip back to avoid their gripping for a takedown, and you get your elbow connected to your forward knee inside their knee asap. Pass according to what they give you.

The next lesson was how to counter the takedown attempt where the guard player opens their guard, drops their hips, grabs your ankles, and tries to take you down backwards. The idea here is that you squat low and get a two-handed lapel grip on them, using that as reins to stabilize yourself as they try to push you back. It feels like you should be standing a little farther back. To pass from there, you get one hand tucked behind the leg and put it across to grip the collar above your opposite lapel grip, and cinch their knee pit up to your neck pit and force their knee into their face. Then reach your other hand around to hook their other leg as you drive forward to stack them. They’ll either tap or break or let you pass.

We also learned how to counter the unnamed takedown when the guard player drops and grabs your ankles and pushes you back on your ass. When you fall, squeeze your knees together and push your hips up. This keeps them from popping up and coming over the middle to mount, and also collects their legs right there in front of you. So you grab one of their ankles and straight arm it so it extends up in the air. This gives you space to do a technical stand up and come up on top.

To counter this counter and actually get the takedown as the guard player, you need to move and adjust your position and angle, trying to unbalance the top guy, and when they do go over, grip their lapel or neck to come up with them to get mount.

Then we did a guard passing gauntlet. I didn’t once use the techniques of the day, but I did pass Jared’s guard once. Mostly he swept me.

Then we rolled. Pretty competitive with Chris, who I wore out. Jared destroyed me. I did whatever I wanted to Derek. Then Jared destroyed me again. Fun times. I never did attempt any of the day’s techniques.