Archive for the ‘Martial Arts’ Category

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

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

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.

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

Saturday, February 17th, 2018

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.

805BJJ Class 95: spider guard, rolling

Thursday, January 25th, 2018

Greggo’s Thursday morning class started quickly. We had a good warmup because it was cold outside.

Then we got into the technique of the day (same as last night): Spider Guard!

We started with spider guard entry. Pull up grips on the sleeves. Hip out, get the knees inside the arms and the feet on the hips. Get the knees inside their arms and keep their elbows stuck to your shins so they can’t slip loose over the knee. Keep your hips off the mat so you can maintain mobility. From there, you can step your foot up to the shoulder, then the other foot to the other shoulder, then step the first foot to the crook of the elbow, then same with the other foot, and from there you can put your lower foot back to the hip to return to hip control.

There are a lot of things you can do from the spider guard. We learned a twisty sweep where you get a lasso guard and then start to let them pass on the opposite side. This traps their lasso’d hand between your legs, and you can then lift their hip over for the sweep.

Then we rolled. I started with Matt, with him in my guard. He wanted to practice breaking guard, but he couldn’t get out of my guard. I kept breaking his posture and attacking him. He was good at breaking grips, but I just kept getting other grips. We did the whole roll with him in my guard.

Next roll, we got stuck together again, so we started with me in his guard. I was able to pass to side control. He recovered half guard a couple times but I was able to finish the roll in side control.

My next roll was with Carlo. He was much harder to control, and I got caught in an arm bar eventually and had to tap.

Next roll was with TJ, who kept overhooking my arms and pulling them onto the mat, then holding them with both hands so I couldn’t get out. It was pretty frustrating. He’s also really good at breaking your posture when you’re in his guard.

Then Greggo called me over. I did the elbow grab from closed guard that we did the other night. I got on his back, and he coached me through choking him out. When we restarted, I got a leg cramp and had to walk it off. I was done.

805BJJ Class 94: closed guard, side escape hip bump sweep, collapse the kickstand, regular hip bump sweep, Rick’s brown belt, drilling with Ray, light rolling

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2018

Class started with Rick doing the warm ups. It was unusual, with a bunch of leg swings (which I really need to practice because that was rough) and running and tumbling. Then we did closed guard stuff. I partnered with Ray, who was chosen as the dummy for the first technique.

Suppose someone is in your closed guard and posturing up with their hands on your belt. You can grip their elbows and pull them in to break their posture by twisting their elbows while pulling with your arms, simultaneously pressuring them with your legs to bring their head down. Then you can slip one of their elbows across your chest and off onto the mat on the side, hip out, and then hip bump them over, keeping heavy on that trapped arm to keep them from getting it free.

If they’re not letting you get their arm over, you can just do a regular hip bump the other way. Or a Kimura or a guillotine.

Once the lesson was done, Coach Mark got up and gave a speech about BJJ progression. Then he awarded Ric his brown belt! We all lined up and threw him on the crash pad. That’s not something you see every day.

The first 2 rounds of rolling, I drilled with Ray. He’s practicing passing from headquarters when the bottom person is wiggling their legs around and making it difficult to get grips. I was practicing guard breaking and getting the knee up to start stapling for the pass. I’m still awkward at that but at least I got some drilling in.

I rolled with Chase (last guy w/o a partner) and I let him work. He was setting up some attacks but I was too heavy and had too much base to really get caught. I told him that if he had my bodyweight he’d wreck me.

Last roll was with Jose, who I gently wrecked. Kimura from closed guard. Americana from side control. I advised him to 1) keep his hands off the mat, and 2) keep his elbows tucked close to his body by default. Lessons I’m still consciously trying to learn.

805BJJ Class 93: Same sweep as last time, sumo, rolling

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

We did the same pendulum sweep as last time. Cosmo and I practiced it together.

After that we paired up and did back-to-back scrambles. I still can’t believe I was the biggest guy in the class, but I think that’s why I didn’t get destroyed on these. Then we switched to sit-up starts, where I also did okay.

Then we lined up against the wall by size did sumo, going up the line and then back down. I was the biggest so I only had to go once (against Cosmo) and lost easily. Leo won on the way back down. After that we did sumo with shoulder gi grips. I did better against Cosmo but I again lost. The last time we were back to regular sumo, and Greggo was going to see how far he could go against the class, but he didn’t get past Cowboy.

Then coach Mark announced that it was his youngest daughter’s birthday, so we sang “Happy Birthday” for her. After that, Mark gave Dave a stripe on his blue belt. Then Mark left and we rolled. 8 minute rolls!

My first roll was with Dave. He started in my full guard. I tried the pendulum sweep but didn’t quite land it. Needed better momentum to get him over. But I got on top of turtle and pushed him over into side control. He kept getting half guard but I pressured and kept transitioning between mount, side control, and occasionally 1/4 guard. Finally he tapped because he was out of breath and couldn’t get me off the top. He was very complimentary, and for that I’m grateful.

My next roll was with Taco (Jared). He rolled very soft, and I got side control on him, but I let off when we got near the cement. He then got on top of me and arm barred me. I complimented him on how good he is.

I stayed for the last roll and got paired up with Corey. I started in his guard, broke it open, and passed. He recovered half guard a few times and I spent most of the time getting past his half guard. Curtis came in and was coaching him a bit, but it didn’t help. I almost got a collar choke on him but he rolled me to guard, where I failed to finish the choke. Darn. Oh well, we finished with me breaking his posture and him resting.

I left with mat burn on my left foot. That messed up spot above and behind my big toe. Stingy!

805BJJ Class 92: Pendulum sweep, arm bar

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

Coach Greggo’s Tuesday night class was the first time I’ve done training on two consecutive days, but I felt good and enthusiastic after Monday night’s class so I was eager to get back on the mat. Warm up was typical. Then we got into the technique lesson.

First, Greggo went over the closed guard posture break, collar lift, grip, push the head through, secure the elbow grip and pull it tight. From there, you lift your hips (pushing your opponent away a little bit and pulling your head away from your elbow gripping arm) and, releasing your collar grip (which was apparently only there to control posture) you reach that hand under their legs as you pull them in toward you by squeezing your legs together.

I rolled with Leo, who got me in a wrist lock with me on top of half guard. I rolled with Ricardo, who I destroyed by sitting on his back with his belly flat on the mat. I rolled with Zack, who gave me a chance to work on some moves that I’m not doing well. Still need to work on ways to get out of the turtle quickly.

805BJJ Class 91: Spider guard, Lasso Sweep, rolling

Monday, January 15th, 2018

This was my first and only evening BJJ class at 805BJJ, and it was taught by coach Christian. We had a fun warmup that concluded with berembolo rolls, which was not as hard as I thought.

Tonight's Assignment - Get an A

From there we went into spider guard, where you get sleeve grips and put your feet on the distal ends of the biceps and puppet the guy in your spider guard. You can use these holds as leverage to move your hips.

You can go from there to a triangle by shooting one leg under their arm and across their back. Boom – triangle!

You can also go to the lasso, where you circle your foot outside-in and that gives you great leverage on that arm. You can pull it down while lifting their other arm high, then rock your body to give them roll-over momentum to sweep them and get on top of them in mount. Even if your lasso gives out, you can still use the free leg to trip/lever them over with the puppet arm high.

After that we rolled. I started with Jose, who got to my half guard but I used a butterfly hook to sweep him and collar choke him. Next time I swept him with the move of the day (lasso sweep) and caught him with an arm bar.

Right after that, Curtis called me out. I started in his guard, and almost passed but he defended half guard really well, eventually pushing me to turtle. He guillotined me but got my face, and pressed my bottom lip into my mouth guard and crushing the lip to a pulp. I got my head free, and he adjusted his grip and finished the choke for the tap. After that, he noticed I was bleeding and I told him how he’d done it. I started on the bottom of open guard next, and he tried to push my legs aside and pass, but I GOT A FRAME AND PREVENTED THE PASS! I grabbed his collar and kept him at bay. He ended up just pushing into my frame, so I collapsed it as I rolled under him, letting his momentum carry him over me and I got on top of side control. I was staying heavy and moving well when the time ran out.

805BJJ Class 90: guard sweep, guard drills

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

Big class on Saturday. All 3 coaches were present for the start of class. We’re still figuring out how to best do the 2 lines across the mat when we do hip escapes or whatever.

I paired up with Mike, the small blue belt who I’ve never seen before. Must have been a Greggo invite? Anyway, he was cool. We did a leg lift sweep, which is mostly like a flower sweep. Start from closed guard, get a cross collar grip and an elbow grip, let go of the cross collar grip and grab the pants leg, then put your feet on the ground while still squeezing with your knees, then lift the leg on the same side as the pants are grabbed. As you lift your leg, it pushes them off the leg you’re grabbing by the pants, letting you lift that up too and roll them over so you can mount them.

Next, Mark intervened and pointed out the detail of posture breaking and getting the collar grip. If you use both hands on the collar and pull down with your legs, you can get them to collapse past their hands which limits their ability to push back up. Lift their collar away from their neck and slip your hand in on the same side, then push their head under your gripping arm to make it a tight cross collar grip.

We then lined up and did a guard pass challenge drill. 5 guys went to spots on the mat, and then the rest of us formed a line to take turns replacing people. I was in the first 5 and I got paired up with Ray. The goal of the drill was to start in closed guard and either pass or get swept. Once that happened, the one who was passed or swept went back to the end of the line and the winner would stay on bottom for the next challenger. Well, Ray and I went for most of the time, and I was working hard for a wrestling double leg or single leg, but Ray defended and I ran out of energy and collapsed, despite Christian coaching me.

I got back in line and next got to go against Curtis. I kept him from sweeping me, then pressure passed him. He went back in line and I got Cosmo Jr. I was toying with him and maintaining guard when the drill ended.

Then we got into groups of 3 and did top bottom out. I was in the group with Matt and Casey. I’d go on top of Casey, and Matt would go on top of me. Well, I hip bump swept Matt once and mounted him, but didn’t try too hard from there because what the heck it’s a guard drill right? I never passed Casey’s guard and he never swept me. Matt did get me in an awkward spot where we got locked up, and I felt how crazy strong that guy is! Also, I got very tired.

When that drill ended, we had to immediately jog a few laps. Then I was toasted. I got off the mat and changed clothes. Coach Mark gave a speech about getting back in shape for the new year and to listen to your body, then he came over to me and complimented my Catmilton tshirt, and told me about a movie I should take my family to see, and that he was glad to see me in class. Thanks, coach.

805BJJ Class 89: wall work, scissor sweep, knee push sweep, rolling

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

Back at it on a rainy Tuesday morning. We got an epic warmup session where we had to go all the way down the new long mat. Unfortunately, it narrows at the end so you need to steer and be aware of your surroundings down there.

Coach Mark started us off by showing us how to use the wall for pressure and takedowns. Turn your opponent to put their back into the wall, then press them with your shoulder and head in their torso. Control the hand on the side you’re facing. Get comfortable switching directions, like shoulder pummeling. When it comes time for the takedown, grip your hands together right under their crotch, lift their pelvis while pressing them to the wall, then when you relieve the pressure they go down and you proceed to knee-on-belly. I always got my legs jumbled and had to do a little dance to get into ground position.

Greggo taught the scissor sweep next. Use your legs and whatever grips you can get to break posture. Lift their gi and get a cross grip on the label. Control their arm on the grip side. Squeeze your knees together as you hip out away from your grip/armhold, and slide your knee across their chest toward the grip. Use the grip-side leg to trip them as you pull them into your knee and tip them over.

If they have a wide base and you can’t scissor them over, cock your bottom foot back and use it to push their knee out. Use your top leg as a hook across their body to keep them from re-guarding and also to help you pull yourself on top of them for the mount.

Then I rolled. We started in guard. I got passed a lot. I tapped just about every roll. Learned a bunch though, I think. Didn’t get injured. Success!

805BJJ Class 88: new studio, half guard sweeps, rolling

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

First day of training in the new year! They’ve opened up the mat by removing the back room walls, so it’s continuous mat all the way back now, punctuated only by the heavy bag pillars. They keep one heavy bag by the posts, as sort of a pad and a visual cue. It was also very very dirty. I swept up the small back part of the mat, and warmed up before class.

Class started with a nice warmup. Then we did some half guard stuff. Basics are to block the cross face with your frame, and establish the knee shield. From there, slip that top hand to get the underhook as you give up the knee shield. Dive your head down to the belt as you reach your underhook over their back and pull them down, forcing them to put their hands on the mat. From there, our first technique was the OG sweep, where you reach your bottom hand through and grab their far side foot or shin from underneath. Switch your feet so you can lift their trapped foot with your outside foot, and that lets you get your bottom leg out. Get to your knees and push them over that far side foot that you’re still holding to prevent them from basing out.

The second technique started the same way, but in that scenario you’re unable to reach under and grab the foot. So instead you push the far side knee out, grip the pants, and when they try to recover their interrupted base, you hip into them and use the knee grip to lift it as you roll them over you.

Then we rolled. I started with Matt, and I taught him stuff. He showed off his collar grip frame with his fist in my neck, which made it very difficult for me to do anything at all.

Next I rolled with Colt, who’s recovering his back. Good roll. After that we didn’t have partners so we just talked for the final round.