Archive for the ‘Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’ Category

805BJJ Class 50: turtle dumping, turtle lifting, rolling

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

I got in late after waiting behind very slow people at the Costco gas pumps, being chased off the road by fire engines, and getting lost in Simi Valley.

Anyway, I jumped into the warm ups, which were long. Coach Mark ran us long, then got us in a circle and told us how to hold a turtle. He used Dave as a demo dummy, and he was wrecking the poor guy. The first technique was pulling the turtle and then pushing it over with the hip, pressing it into side control.

The next part was standing and lifting the turtle, dropping in the feet for hooks, and driving the crotch into the bottom person’s lower back. That’s a killer, but then you can come in with a scissor choke or a trachea bar arm choke. They were all very vicious techniques, and Chad and I were going really easy on each other. I tweaked my right big toe during one of the moves, and I bet it’s going to haunt me for a while now.

After that, we rolled. Starting with Victor, who I got in a collar choke from guard, and then an arm bar from mount. I was about to get an arm triangle when the round was over. Easy work.

Next I rolled with Aaron, and he got on top of me and I could not budge him. Actually, whenever I budged him, he got into another stable position. I was very complimentary of his movement. Also, I was worried about him after Tuesday, but he was alright. Glad for that. :)

Next I rolled with Chad. He messed me up in his guard (arm bar) and later he turtled. I thought about doing the move of the day but worried about him and my feet both, so I didn’t do it. Round over.

Coach Mark then stopped the rolls and gave Dave his blue belt. Well earned, and I kind of knew it after the harsh treatment in the demos.

I left 15 minutes early to come home and deal with the crazy situation in the lab.

805BJJ Class 49: single under pass defense and sweep, kesa gatame transition, arm bar and americana from kesa

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Christian’s Tuesday morning class. Saranya came with me and sat at a table in the front, because Sangeeta was off running in Moorpark and didn’t make it home before I had to leave for class.

Our black belts went to a Ralph Gracie seminar last Sunday and they were really excited to bring back some of the ideas they picked up there. So we did a warm up where we were starting from an open guard position, and the top person would scoop a leg and try to go for an over-under pass, while the defender would get heavy on that leg (preventing the pass) and then transition into a sweep. Next we did a drill where we’d do a kick sweep on one side, then a scissor sweep on the other side when they got back up.

Then we did a standard stretching sequence before getting down to the lessons.

And the lessons today were centered around kesa gatame, which I first learned a freakin’ year ago (sort of). We did modified and standard, and I had the most trouble transitioning to the standard kesa. Giving up that far side underhook was difficult. I had a relatively easy time getting the arm bar and the americana, as I’d seen them a bunch of times.

We did sparring, and I started rolling with Chad (whose wife ran with Sangeeta this morning in Moorpark) and of course today we started in side control. I started on bottom. It was a good roll. I managed to sweep him but he recovered guard. He locked onto my collar, but I got 2 hands on it and would not let go, at the same time maintaining pressure and trying to pass so he couldn’t move around to a solid submission. That lasted to the end of the roll. I survived!

Second roll was with Em. It was a little scrambly, and I was able to muscle some stuff, but she was able to recover guard a lot. I did manage to get half guard on her a few times, and mount once, but no subs of course. We had a funny conversation mid-roll.
Em: You have hair like mine.
Me: You mean on your stomach?
Em: No, on your head.
Me: Gray?
Em: No, long and curly. It’s annoying.
Me: At least yours is falling out slower than mine is, so you’ve got that going for you!

Next I rolled with R/N whose name I had to keep practicing. I was able to easily sweep him once I let him get into kesa, because his base was awful. I had him restart on top again and coached him to have a more solid base.

After that I rolled with Dave, and that was an adventure. I was able to mount him and go for a gi choke, and when he defended that I latched onto his arm and went for an arm bar in a crazy roll that saw him keep going belly down and stacking me to try to get out. I never did get it, and ended up tapping when he dove for an arm bar while my fingers were tangled up in his gi. I was hoping the dive would dislodge them, but they remained stuck and I verbally tapped. I fixed my belt for the remainder of the roll.

Last I rolled with Aaron, who was suffering with a bruised knee. I found him impossible to hold down, and kept ending up under his north-south pressure. At the end, I was turtled and managed to roll under him, but his arm was trapped and he both wrenched his shoulder and hit his head. I was actively trying not to hurt him, but it didn’t work out that way. Poor guy. Hope he recovers quickly.

805BJJ Class 48: Blocking, standing open guard passing, rolling

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

We started late, with a small class and self-warmup. Em just got her wisdom teeth out. She tried to do class anyway though.

We started with an illustration of the guard perimeter. Approaching the open guard, you put your hands on the knees or feet and hold them solid while you move around them. You have to immobilize the hips, then drop a knee next to their hip to secure the side control position. If they get a wide open guard, you can get motorcycle grips inside their knees, push their knees to pin them down, then pull their feet to the ground and put the knee into the hip for the pass.

I rolled with Jen first. She’s really good at open guard where she eliminates an arm. It was fascinating to try to do moves I knew only to get stuck because I couldn’t use one of my arms. I took her back once from turtle but coach Mark coached her out of it. I was able to use the move of the day on her twice.

I rolled with Dave next. He wore the pink belt of shame today because he forgot his belt. I was able to do pretty well against him.

After that was coach Greggo. He left me openings, leading to an S-mount arm bar. He walked me through the details at the end to finish it. Thanks coach! :D

Following that, I took an extra minute to catch my breath and then rolled with Rick. He smelled like ammonia. He got me in an arm bar, but walked me through the escape rather than finish it. Thanks, Rick!

I took the last roll off and talked with coach Mark. I told him I can’t do back-to-back Krav and BJJ yet because my conditioning isn’t up to snuff, and the Krav tires me out too much so I don’t get enough out of my BJJ class other then injuries. We talked about book publishing too.

805BJJ Class 47: half guard pass, kimura from half guard top, kimura to pass half guard, rolling

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Christian’s Tuesday morning BJJ class started for me in the small room, flow rolling with Chris. He taught me that defending the guard pass will involve me curling up pretty tightly (more tightly than I was used to). After that, I tried sweeping the mat when the Krav class took over the small room, but I only made it halfway across before I had to put the broom away and line up.

Greggo started us on the warm up while Christian changed into his gi and talked to Darla about Krav. Then we went over passing half guard. Avoiding the lockdown starts with hiding your foot if you’re on top of half guard. Turn the foot out and away from the bottom guy’s feet. Cross face to turn their head away, and apply some chest pressure to flatten them. Without moving your upper body, put your forward knee into the hip while sitting down sideways and sliding your lower foot to the butt, your lower shin vertical now. This makes it difficult for the bottom guy to hold your leg with his. Grip his shoulder with your cross face arm, and grip the inside of his far knee with your other arm to force his legs open. Whip your leg out and swing it way back to establish your base, then drive it forward and into his hip to secure your side control.

Sometimes though, you find you’re unable to separate the legs. In those cases, you release your cross face and move the elbow to the far side of the head, under the shoulder. Use your lower hand to pull that far arm’s wrist out and down, low enough that your other arm can grip it in a kimura grip. This is a solid threat and a skilled practitioner will recognize it and release the half guard to defend it. As soon as you feel that release, you can pull your leg out and secure side control. Otherwise, continue and finish the kimura submission by pulling the elbow up while inching the hand toward the shoulder.

Rolling started with Chris. We had fun. He messed up in the half guard and let me mount him, but he reversed pretty well. At the end, he got me in an arm bar, but it was a competitive roll.

I rolled with visitor Amos next. He was a twitchy little white belt, and he submitted me twice with gi chokes, but I did manage to reverse him several times. I never seriously threatened him.

I rolled with black belt Eric, and he went through everything really slowly and methodically. I was able to recognize a lot of what he was doing, but I was unable to stop him. It was brilliant. I felt like I was improving in my pattern recognition, even if I didn’t have the vocabulary to participate in the dialog fully.

I rolled with Yas, and he’s so passive and soft. I had to coach him to keep me from getting on top if he could. I put some pressure on him so he’d understand why.

There was another roll too, but I forgot who it was or what we did.

I got through without injury and feeling like I’ve improved!

805BJJ Class 46: rolling with kids

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

Coach Mark was recovering from a cold (just like me!) and didn’t participate much in the class. He got us started running around the mat and then turned the warmup over to TJ. We did basic stretching and then we just rolled.

I noticed there were a bunch of kids in the class. Skyler and Aiden, Desi, Joshua and some other guy I didn’t recognize.

My first roll was with Tom, the new blue belt. He went real easy on me and I was able to get good positions on him.

Next I rolled with coach Greggo, whose open guard I was unable to pass. He was able to wreck me consistently.

Next I rolled with Dave, who worked me hard.

After that, I had to take a round off.

I rolled with Matt and showed him a couple of side control bottom techniques to try.

I took another round off.

I rolled with Cosmo, who kneed me on the top of the head and submitted me twice.

I rolled with Andrew, and we had a good, even, competitive roll. I twisted my ankle a little but didn’t stop.

I found I was getting to turtle instead of having my guard passed, which is a huge improvement over previous rolls. Now I need to learn a bunch more stuff to do from turtle, because the stuff I knew how to do was super ineffective when I was planted to the ground with the top guy’s weight.


Monday, March 27th, 2017

Last Wednesday I started feeling sick. I went home a little bit early. Thursday it got worse, but still not bad, but it was still worsening, so I took Friday off and stayed home. Good thing I did! Friday night was horrible, and when I woke up Saturday morning I felt like I was dying by choking on thick phlegm. It took me quite a lot of effort to feel like I had coughed it all up. I took Saranya to BJJ, where she was awarded her BJJ yellow belt. I went home and suffered, trying to distract myself from the awful congestion.

Saturday night was worse. I slept for an hour and woke up choking. I decided I was done trying to sleep at night. I stayed up and played Minecraft, Empire, watched Youtube videos, watched a movie. I was cold but I didn’t want to wake Sangeeta up by running the heater so I just wrapped myself in my bathrobe. I did get a couple hours sleep in the morning, but Sunday was another awfulness. Sunday night I got another hour of sleep.

Monday, again, no work. I slept 3 hours in the morning. Starting to feel some improvement in the congestion! Stayed up until about 8pm, when I finally crashed out. Woke up at midnight, still congested but not dying. Went back to sleep at almost 4am and slept until almost 8am, so that makes two stretches of 4 hours each.

So Tuesday morning dawns and I’m feeling slightly congested but rested and optimistic. The scale says I gained about 5 pounds during the cold, and I’m not sure what that’s about. Probably all the salt from soup and pretzels.

805BJJ Class 45: shrimping, shoulder rolls, body lock takedowns, 1 round of sparring, bailout

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

Coach Mark was back and teaching this one. I got on late because KM97 went long (thanks Christian). I changed quickly in the back room, doing a pants swap very fast while Em was changing in the bathroom. The black rash guard was very hard to don over so much sweat. Finally I jumped on the mat in time for some torso twists, then shrimps, then shoulder rolls.

Coach Mark then taught us the body lock takedown. Don’t do a body lock with both underhooks, because you’re going for a ride if your opponent knows how to suplex. Trap at least one elbow to their body, get an S-grip in their lower back and snug them up, then you can just turn them and they’re going down. We did it standing on the crash pad too, only there you slip your opposite leg between theirs and use it to remove their base on the side away from where they’re going down (because then they have to shift their balance the way you want them to go down, in order to not go down the other way sooner) and twist them down, securing side control at the bottom. Then we went back to doing it on the knees, only basing out our opposite leg for extra leverage.

We learned that if they resist too hard going down the way we start taking them initially, we can take them down the other way easily because they’re already helping us. When we were drilling this, I gave Chad a half-assed resistance by posting my foot out, but he kept taking me down the same way, and I rolled my ankle and bent my toe back as I fell. Noooo!

After that we rolled. I paired up with smooth headed Matt and we started. I was wiped out but he was fresh, and he used the body lock takedown on me. I rolled him over from side control after I felt my ribs complaining from Krav and from all the falls I’d already taken in the class. He got out and we scrambled to our knees, where he got me AGAIN with the body lock takedown. I realized I was scared to push off my sore ankle or to fall on it or mess it up, so I was just going down. Side control bottom again. Rolled him over me again. Scramble again, this time to his guard. Stood up, hands in his armpits, and he pulled them out by the sleeves just as the round ended.

I left the mat, took off my gi, dressed for the street, and went home dejected.

805BJJ Class 44: flow grappling, takedowns, rolling

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

After KM96 I changed in the small room and jumped on the mat just after Greggo explained what flow rolling is and they all partnered up and got started, so I got to partner with Greggo! I felt like I was letting him down by not recognizing the opportunities he was leaving open for me, but we wobbled around a bit and he taught me an open guard sweep of a standing opponent. Cool!

Then we switched partners, and everybody switched around, leaving me and Greggo without a partner, so we flowed again. I almost got him with the sweep he taught me! I’ll just say that I went easy on him because he’s doing a tournament on Saturday. Right?

After that, we learned to move our opponent around with grips on lapel and sleeve. Greggo taught me to really lift that sleeve gripped arm when steering wheeling someone.

Our next drill was just taking grips. I felt a little more confident this time than I did last time. Still not good, but I did okay.

We then used standard grips to do a snap down to blast double leg takedown. We practiced just the entry for a bit, and then we tried it on the crash pad, first just getting them down, and then moving on to side control.

That done, we did some take down sparring. I partnered with Matt, Yas, Josh, Jen, and TJ. Yas is a sparring dummy. Matt’s back was tweaked. Josh did a fun flying back take and I dropped him (slowly). Jen practiced her hip toss on me, even though there’s no way she’s ever going to hip toss me with my long legs. Other people tried to hip toss me, but I was able to move my center of gravity back just far enough that they couldn’t lift me.

After that was over, we did rolls from side control. I rolled with Matt, and he tapped me from squeezing my jaw. Hope that doesn’t bother me later. I tried to tap early, but maybe not early enough. He’s really good at getting his legs in, and he uses his arms to push you toward his legs.

Yas is a grappling dummy. I taught him how to make his side control heavy and to control the head with his shoulder.

Andrew was a fun roll. We were pretty evenly matched, though I was able to get into dominant positions with him. I was really careful with his arm because he was severely injured and out for months with a tendon tear.

Last roll was with TJ, who swept me beautifully, and arm barred me before teaching me a good Americana setup. Also fun. :)

Overall I was quite happy with my performance. I’m still terrible, but I was able to put to use some of the stuff that Rick taught me on Saturday. That gave me a lot of confidence, though I did find myself having difficulty finishing passes, especially with Matt. I’ll figure him out though. Eventually…

805BJJ Class 43: scissor sweep, push sweep, arm bar from mount, rolling

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

Coach Greggo taught this Saturday morning class. I came in after KM95 and a C2O coconut water. Sangeeta picked up Saranya and took her home after her class, so I was able to change and keep training. Oh and catch my breath too. I got onto the mat just as Greggo started to teach the scissor sweep.

I partnered with Cosmo to practice the scissor sweep. I kept forgetting to grab the sleeve, and my sleeve grips were very rudimentary, but I was able to do the sweep pretty well.

Next we learned the push sweep, which is like the scissor sweep but it’s more useful when the opponent maintains a more solid base. You use your lower scissoring foot to push the knee back and out from under the top person as you pull his weight forward to allow the angle of the knee to facilitate the push. If it’s too far forward, the angle of the upper leg will just make the knee push jam the knee into the mat, so you have to pull the weight forward to straighten the leg a bit.

If you keep the grips on collar and sleeve, then when you come up into S-mount you can immediately go for the arm bar, or any of the chokes we learned last week.

We started rolling after a speed drill of that that got me tired. Luckily, I rolled with Carlos first. He’s a teen yellow belt, and he’s very skinny. I was able to use my weight on him to keep him from destroying me, but he was able to retain guard pretty consistently.

I rolled with Ray next. He got a triangle set up on me, but I was able to stack him and slip right out of it into side control. He stopped the roll and asked me to show him that move, so I did. It was a competitive roll even though he ended up mounting me.

Next I rolled with Jen, and she did some open guard magic on me. I was able to keep her down and stuffed, but she controlled my arm and was able to shut me down at the same time.

Next I rolled with Shabbar, and he used the very last of my reserves of energy, submitting me 4x and leaving me gasping on the mat.

I sat out the next round, but the “last round” Rick came over and said “Let’s go 25% and I’ll show you stuff.” Okay! He showed me how to do a standing guard break with hands in the arm pits. Stand up, switch both hands to one knee, push it down, and pin it with your knee. At the same time, get your underhook on the other side, and get head control. Then you can finish the pass by moving the legs into side control position. He also told me how to transition to knee on belly from side control. Then he showed me a way to take down a kneeling opponent (grab the front foot and push their shoulder).

805BJJ Class 42: double leg takedowns, attacks from mount, rolling

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Christian sent us to the back room to start warming up while KM was finishing up on the big mat. We did some standing warm ups and stretching, then started scooting across the mat on fists and knees (transition to high S-mount practice) before going into drop step drills, then into double leg entries on the wall dummies. My toes were not immediately painful but they did feel odd and I’m scared that they’ll be a problem later.

Once we’d done that a bit, we moved to the big mat and started practicing snap down to double leg entry with partners. I started with big Victor, and then paired up with Em. Christian and Em both liked my “Periodic Table of BJJ” rash guard. Anyway, Em’s takedowns were smooth and were smooth and efficient, while Victor’s were clumsy and awkward. Mine were somewhere in between.

Then we did some work on attacks from mount, starting with collar choke. Starting with a high collar grip, use that to slide up into high S-mount. Get the other hand onto the other side of the collar, flex your wrists to press your bones into the neck, and lean over the top hand to get the tap.

The next variation was where you can’t get your hand into the collar, so you instead grip the slack of the gi behind the shoulder and do the same movement. Easy peasy.

Finally, if the collar was too well guarded, we learned how to transition to the arm bar. I drilled them with Aaron.

Then we rolled. I started with Victor, and was able to get the collar choke. From the bottom, I was able to sweep him consistently. He was baffled, so I told him I took away his base.

I rolled with Chad next. He was easing into it so he just did defense and I tried to land the attacks from mount, as we drilled. I finally got a grip on his collar and then gave it up, and he stopped me to tell me not to ever give up that hold once I obtained it. Anyway, I tried for an arm bar and failed, falling to guard. He let me sweep him back to mount and try some more. I eventually secured the arm bar and finished it!

Then I rolled with little Matt, who has a mustache now. He was a wiggly animal, and I was unable to secure side control against him. We basically stalemated and I burned myself out.

Last roll was with Victor again, and I again swept him off the top of me easily. Then I spent the rest of the roll teaching him how to maintain balance in the mount.

At the end, we took a picture, and then mustache Matt got his first belt stripe. I’m pretty sure he’s better than I am already. Not sure if I’m getting better or not.