Archive for March, 2018

805BJJ Class 111: half guard passing, rolling

Saturday, March 31st, 2018

Coach Mark brought us through this one solo. He had TJ warm us up, and then we got into it.

The first pass was the one I do ALL THE TIME! Cross your far elbow over their body and put it down in their armpit. Put your free knee into their hip and sit down next to their near arm, so you’re facing their legs. You can then wiggle your leg out from between their legs, or even break their legs apart (holding their chest down with your knee on their hip makes it hard to keep the legs together) and go on to pass.

You can also do a little tripod and then knee slide through.

Rolling was all about energy conservation. I rolled with Leo, and he kept recovering guard on me. I rolled with Ray, and he hip bump swept me to mount and I again couldn’t reverse or escape. I rolled with Jose and got my only submission of the day – a sloppy north-south choke. Jose has gotten a lot more calm, and didn’t give me as much as he used to. Then I rolled with Nolan, who was a new guy who’d done judo before, and he was pretty sound positionally. I did reverse him once with a single leg takedown, but he managed to reverse me too. Again, I wasn’t going too hard, and he commented on his luck in getting me after a bunch of hard rolls. I told him not to be so sure about that. Really, I was just about as soft on roll #2 of the day.

805BJJ Class 110: osoto gari, hip toss, hopping osoto, randori

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Another morning class taught by 3 black belts. Mark said that for the next month or two, we’re going to focus on stand up techniques, drilling throws and takedowns.

We did osoto gari again, with a machine gun line for the drill on the crash pad.

We did hip toss again.

We did hopping osoto gari too. Reach over the back with your sleeve grip hand (from standard grips) to defeat the stiff arm. Hook your near leg behind the opponent’s far leg (away from the back grip), then hop toward your knee, pressing them off balance with your chest. Once they’re sufficiently unbalanced, sweep the leg and land on them.

We drilled the combo of back grip hip toss, back out, then enter for hopping osoto gari.

We did a light, cooperative randori. I teamed up with Andrew and we took turns setting each other up for throws. He walked me through the fireman’s carry throw, which I’ve learned before a couple times, but he brought me up to speed quickly.

Then we did live sparring starting on the feet. I started off with Mike the purple belt. I held my own and didn’t get destroyed. Survived a few submissions from the bottom. Next I went with Mark, and he laid on top of me in kesa gatame and showed me what can be done with the position. The pressure was so intense that I wanted him to choke me out just to escape the pressure. Last I went with Christian, who tripped me a couple times and I locked him up in my guard a bit until he passed and the round ended.

805BJJ Class 109: flow roll, cooperative randori, hip toss, o soto gari, randori

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018

It was a very small class today. Just me, Andrew, and Matt as students, with Mark, Christian, and Greggo as instructors. Pretty good instructor to student ratio!

We started with an informal bow-in (just a circle of hands and 1-2-3-Oos!) We then did a couple of 8 minute flow rolls. First was with Greggo, and he coached me a bit on getting the over-under when securing the back. Next roll was with Andrew, and he walked me through the butterfly guard sweep.

After that, we did a few rounds standing, with maybe 30 seconds max on the ground before standing back up. I started with Matt and we actually went kind of hard. I was bad at cooperative randori. I found this out when I next went with Mark. He described it as “holding mitts” for me. He chastised me for playing an outside game. Instead, he said I should just get some grips and work with those. Of course I didn’t take him down once, but I did make him laugh when I attempted a makikomi. I guess he likes those.

Then we did some drills with the hip toss. We all lined up on the crash pad and took turns hip tossing everyone twice. That was fun. You’re really just squatting their hips and then rolling them off the side of your hips.

After that, Christian taught us Osoto Gari. We practiced that a few times, then we did another drill with the elbow and over-the-shoulder back grips, where we would first do kazushi and then osoto gari, then with the same grips we’d do the hip toss. You can get the grip and do them in combination, too!

805BJJ Class 108: back take from turtle, rolling

Thursday, March 22nd, 2018

Four black belts on the mat today. Mark, Christian, and Greggo taught. Pat participated. We started with a slow job for a few laps and then a 10 minute flow roll. I rolled with Dave. I think we’re getting better at flowing.

The lesson was an intervention into Cowboy and his addiction to slinky Jiu Jitsu, and an emphasis on taking the back. So we focused on pulling turtles onto their back.

Rolling went okay. We always started in turtle. I rolled with Dave and we were even. I rolled with Christian and he gave me some half guard pointers. I rolled with Tom and he bow-and-arrow choked me, then I tried to take him down with a clock choke and failed. Then I rolled with Cowboy and he got me in a weird arm lock, but complimented me on being able to switch from one submission attempt to another that became available.

I came out with an even more aggravated thoracic back muscle, and a broken left pinky toe and smashed big toes from all the wrestling.

805BJJ Class 107: wrestling concepts and connections, single leg with hip heist, double leg with shoulder heist, cross face sprawl, clock choke, rolling

Tuesday, March 20th, 2018

First class as a blue belt! I went in early to try to replace my size A-2 blue belt with a more size-appropriate A-4. Coach Greggo obliged, and I belted up and got ready for action.

We had a long, slow warm up before getting into the action. First, we got tight on a single leg, with a gable grip or a grip/hook combo. Just lean that leg to the outside to plant them on the side of their butt. You also plant your head on the mat next to their hip, and heist your hips over to the other side. When you land, you roll your hips up toward their midsection while maintaining a hold on their leg. You then grab the back of the pants and hold them down to the mat while you switch your hips down and then switch your arms to a standard cross face grip as you work your way up their body.

The next technique was taking them down the other way with a double leg takedown. You gable grip their single leg and pull it into your chest, then let go with one leg and reach across to the far leg. Press their midsection with the side of your head, tipping them over the far leg that you’re blocking. Once they’re down, you get a grip on their hips, facing away from their head, by doing basically a hip heist with your shoulders. From there, you can switch your hands and work your way up their body.

Next technique was a defense to these leg grab takedowns. You get butt control as you drive a mean cross face across their eyes and nose, then sprawl out on them to break their grip before solidifying your top position.

From there, we went to the clock choke. Far hand feeds the far side lapel to the close hand across the neck, then takes a grip on the near side lapel. Walk forward around their head with your hips turned skyward to tighten the choke. You can also reach under to pull the far hand, collapse them onto their far shoulder, and do a one-handed clock choke by sitting forward and walking around their head.

Then we rolled. I started with Andrew, who just got done running a desert marathon in Nevada. He got me down, I got guard, he passed and set up kesa gatame. Greggo was yelling “Oh no, look out!” but I reached across Andrew’s back to grip his belt, then hipped into him to align our bodies before pulling him over me and getting out on the other side for side control top. Greggo yelled “Wow, where’d you learn that move?” but I couldn’t answer. Andrew turtled and attacked me with the move of the day, and got me down before I could sprawl. I slipped out the side and he turtled again. This time I tried to take his back, and that’s how we ended.

My next roll was with Matt. I got him in my guard and sat up to hip bump sweep him. He recovered guard. I passed. I did the shoulder heist move too, to the delight of coach Mark. Ended on top.

Next round I sat out.

Next I rolled with Ed, and I mainly coached him on breaking base. Greggo counter-coached him to recover guard. I like my way better. I was giving him sweep opportunities but Greggo told him to shrimp out and recover guard.

After that I rolled with Daniel. I got on top of him and was attacking. Low mount Ezekiel choke attempt got stuck on his chin, but he was in some trouble. He had good defense and my offense is not that sharp, so no submissions.

Next I rolled with Skyler in the back corner. We were both sore so we took it easy on each other.

After that it was 320 sit-ups and bow out.

805BJJ Class 106: kimura, rolling, blue belt promotion!

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

We had all 3 black belt coaches on the mat today, along with Professor Pat. We had a quick warm up.

Coach Greggo taught the kimura from guard again, with extra emphasis on the wrist throttling. Same as earlier this week. I paired with Ray for the drills.

Next was again kimura from bottom half guard, with emphasis on the wrist throttling and also pinching their trapped leg between your legs to control their hips. Also, it helps if you stretch them out by pulling their elbow away from their body while keeping the 90 degree bend and wrist throttling down.

Next was the sweep as they pass to side control. Ray had trouble with this, but I helped him by pointing out that you need the north-south angle to align your rotational axes and that makes the roll easier.

Next we learned how to finish the kimura from side control. It involves pressing the arm to the mat as you roll them onto their back, but also keep your weight on them by rolling your hip onto them. Step over their head with your top foot to keep them from sitting up, and lift their shoulder to get the tap.

The last trick we learned was if they’re gripping their gi and you can’t separate it, you can lift their head and windshield wiper your same-side leg under their neck. Put your top leg above their neck and fall to your side, crossing your feet and scissoring your knees together on their neck. You use your kimura grip to pull against your scissor grip on the neck to pull the head away, so they feel it in the neck and the shoulder, and they’ll tap to whichever hurts worst first (usually the neck).

After that we rolled.

My first roll was with Ray, who started in guard, scrambled away from my guard pass attempt, got in my guard, and passed to mount, where he stayed for the entire round.

Next roll was with Curtis. He also got on top of me, but I eventually reversed him and got on top, where I finished the round going for the kimura.

Next roll was with Desi, which was mostly her defending my half guard pass.

Coach Mark called for gi-tops off, and no-gi rolling (no pants grips). I rolled with Steve for the first time ever, starting in his guard. I managed to pass to half guard, then scrambled to mount, where I grapevined his legs and got heavy. Then I slid off to side control and got the kimura grip. He defended pretty well, and even knocked me over and got on top, but I used the sweep of the day to get back on top. I got my knee on his free arm to pin it down, and that allowed me to get the tap from the kimura.

Next I rolled with Coach Greggo, and he coached me through the move of the day a couple of times before finishing the round with me in a D’Arce setup.

Next I rolled with Corey. I passed his guard, got mount, got heavy, got a guillotine, and flattened myself out on him for the tap. Then in his guard I swept him with a hip bump, got the kimura grip, and finished with the move of the day.

Next I rolled with Anna, who mostly defended my half guard pass the whole round.

Last round was on the feet with the gi on, and I paired up with Cosmo. He got me up against the wall before flubbing a takedown and I ended up in half guard top. He tried for the kimura but I postured up and started to turn it into a kimura of my own before he let go. I finally got to side control and was working for the move of the day when the round was over.

Coach Mark then had us circle up and got the Rosales family up front, and complimented them on their recent promotions to blue belt. Then he called me up and promoted me to blue belt as well!

805BJJ Class 105: collar choke from guard and from mount, rolling

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Coach Greggo taught this Thursday morning class. I was apprehensive going in (what’s new?) because I’d been sick for 5 days, and started 3 new meds in the last 2 days. Not sure how my body would react.

Standard warm up. Collar choke from closed guard. Cross collar grip deep on the label, wrist to the neck. Other hand sneaks under to get a corresponding palm-up grip right next to the first hand. Pull your elbows to the mat as you push your wrists/thumbs into the neck for the tap.

Next variation was the thumb-in version. Same first cross grip, but you pull their head down to your chest in guard, keeping their posture collapsed. Reach your second hand thumb-in to the collar, then shuck their head over toward the cross grip as you pull the thumb-in hand across their neck. Similar finish.

Collar choke from the mount involves again getting that first cross collar grip deep, then putting your hand across the neck and resting your elbow on their sternum to get their head off the mat. Reach your other hand around and shave their chin with your elbow and forearm as you slide your hand up to the shoulder with your forearm/wrist on the other side of their neck. Put your head down to the mat on the side of the top hand. Lower your hips and push your wrists into the neck for the tap. To do it extra hard, you can push yourself forward with your toes. This tends to raise their chin and expose their neck more, which is what you’re after.

Then we rolled.

I first rolled with Professor Pat. He got on top of me and pinned me in side control, trying to isolate my arm a bit before I got free. He took me down again and again got on top. The end.

Next I rolled with Dave. As usual, it was a fun roll. Dave got me in his guard. I started passing and he got that Z-guard that he’s been working on. I went to pass and he swept me and mounted. I upa’d and started another guard pass. We got into a bit of a scramble and I got into a triangle position from the top, but Dave countered it and used that to pass my guard. Again on top, he defended future upa’s so I started to shrimp out while he sunk the cross collar choke. I was able to sweep him and get top half guard while he was still trying to finish the choke, but he didn’t have good leverage or a good angle, so I felt pretty safe. That’s where we ended.

Next I rolled with a new guy. I had him show me the techniques he’d learned in the class, and I gave him a tip on how to be heavy in side control top. He wanted to see the arm bar from mount, so I walked through the steps on him, but it’s too complicated to drill in a 4 minute round. I then gave him a crash course in guard passing before time ran out.

Next I rolled with Matt, the recently promoted blue belt. I had a hard time passing his guard, as I kept getting stalled in half guard (I guess that was last night’s lesson, which I missed because of work) and I tried the Escrima pass but I’m terrible at it and he was able to sweep me. We had a nice scramble. I ended up again in half guard, only this time he tried to collar choke me from half guard bottom, which is where Dave had ended up too. The round ended there with Matt as well. I guess my defense from half guard top is solid.

I sat out the next round. Last round was with Daniel. We had an easy, flowy roll where I just tried to chill within his guard, and pass if he gave me anything. I again ended up on half guard top, only this time he locked up a kimura and actually finished on me. I feel I should have been able to get out of it but I didn’t think to posture up and back away until after I tapped. Almost survived the day untapped!

805BJJ Class 104: arm bar from mount, rolling

Saturday, March 10th, 2018

Greggo taught the Saturday morning class, with Mark watching and occasionally chiming in with details and refinements. We did a few laps and then a 10 minute flow roll to warm up. I got paired with a new kid named Christian. He had goofy eyes and told me me has seizures. He was floppy, and this was his 4th BJJ class ever. I talked him through some basics, and we got warmed up.

The technique of the day was arm bar from mount. We started for the case where the bottom person was keeping the elbows nicely tucked, but that enables you to get a collar grip across the neck with your thumb in the gi. It’s kind of an overhand grip, and you can use it to start a paper cutter type choke to turn their head. Once they reach up to prevent the choke, you can slide your knee up under the arm and tuck it behind the head. On the other side of them, you slide your foot forward and under their arm to make sort of an underhook with your leg. You squeeze your knee toward your foot to hold them in place, keeping a hand free in case they try to tip you over forward, and keeping your hips pressed forward so they can’t roll you over your own knee (that’s how Greggo’s knee got damaged).

If they’re protecting their neck, you don’t need the collar grip. You can just scoot your knees up under their elbows and it makes them a gift wrapped present with an elbow bow. Hold their wrists or their elbows to collect them as you scoot up. Sit on them and PUSH THEIR FACE/JAW AWAY as you shift your weight to switch your leg position. I guess you ideally want their shoulder on the mat, your legs jamming your groin into the upper arm to keep it there, and that gives you the best leverage to finish the arm bar.

Then we rolled a little, to try to flow through the positions. My training partner was newly minted blue belt Carlos, and he’s a little wisp of a guy, but he was able to take my weight with no complaints. We went back and forth with the roll but settled eventually on trying to finish it with minimum resistance.

After that, we got to the real rolling. Mark paired me up with new guy Natan, who’s a 17 year old high school wrestler. He wanted me to give him an easy roll, but he changed his mind and told us to wrestle hard but no submissions. It took the pressure off me, and I let myself try things, give up good positions, and then recover from bad positions.

Next I rolled with Jose, who gave up submission after submission. I got him with the arm bar of the day, an Americana, and a mounted guillotine after I used the guillotine from guard to get the hip bump sweep and finished in mount.

Next roll was with Cowboy. He tried the kimura sweep on me but I postured up to defend it, and he cursed that it didn’t work like they said it would. He basically then coached me through an Americana. He also repeatedly chastised me for not being heavy enough. He said it was stunting my game, and that I shouldn’t be scared to put weight on people. They’ll tell you if it’s too much, especially if you cue them at the beginning. Not only side control, but also north-south. I should be laying my belly on their face to smother them, and they should be very uncomfortable being down there.

My next roll was with Leo in the back corner. He’s such a little guy, I didn’t even realize. Anyway, he was trying to do some weird half guard stuff to me that he learned from videos, but it wasn’t working. I had to stop him from pulling my finger off at one point as well, as he was ready to use it to get me off him. I started feeling guilty for using my weight on him too.

Well after that I got paired up with Shabbar. Haha! Here’s my test for using my weight. I got a good takedown from the knees, he turtled and I put him back in side control a few times before somehow we got a scramble and I tried a takedown from turtle but he sprawled and underhooked me away and ended up mounting me. I was then able to employ defenses against the arm bar of the day, finally upa’ing him over. We ended with me passing his guard after a failed triangle attempt which led me to a double under pass.

My last roll was with noob Christian again. I talked him through general concepts, and let him do a collar choke on me from the guard. I emphasized for him that he needed to use his legs and his arms and his whole body to crunch up and choke me. I actually don’t think he was strong enough to choke me out even if I let him have my neck unimpeded, but he needs technique first and the strength will come with practice and use of the muscles.

It was a good practice. Mark told me I was firming up. Rick told me and the other guys around me that I was way tougher than when I first started training. Jose told everyone that he wants to be like me when he grows up. I told him “2-3 more weeks of training and you’ll be there.” It was funny.

805BJJ Class 103: exercise, double leg takedowns, ABC randori, turtle recovery to half guard, rolling

Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Christian ran this Thursday morning class, and he made us work hard. We started running, doing high knees and buttkickers, then the shuffling and backwards running. Reverse, do it again, and then sprints around and around, trying to touch the shoulder of the person in front of you. Then it was tandem drills across the mat. First you’d lie flat on your back as your partner stood over you. You’d both get sleeve grips, and the bottom person would do 15 pull ups, then shrimp across the mat with the top partner stepping to your armpit each time to give you something to push off of. I paired with Christian. The next exercise was pulling our partner up and balancing them on our hands and feet above us, doing a squat to lower them and raise them back up, then return them to their feet. After that we did double leg takedown entries, where we’d step in, lower level, drop step, head up, shoulder drive into the waist, grip the legs together, hooking behind the knees, step in, and drive with the head in the torso over the blocked leg/knee. My toes don’t bend backward without serious pain, so no drop steps for me.

Then it was just double leg drills. I paired with Andrew. I actually did alright with shuffling in instead of doing the drop step.

Then we did ABC Randori. It was me, Andrew, and Rick. Haha! Yeah. That went well. At least I never got thrown, though I did get put on the bottom a few times.

After that we learned what Christian does when he’s turtled. He crosses up his arms to grab the pants of his opponent’s back leg, to limit their mobility. I did not find this at all useful. Then he lays down and spins like a lawnmower blade to recover half guard or guard. I found that when I do this on the left side, it hurts my ribs A LOT! None of that for me, thanks.

Then we rolled. I started with Andrew. He started in bottom turtle, and I pushed him over into side control. He recovered half guard and I passed to mount. I threatened arm bars and such, and at one point he rolled me, but I defended well and ended up sweeping him and getting back on top, where I ended the roll.

Next was Matt, who just got his new blue belt last night. I again started on top and got side control. I locked up a kimura but couldn’t finish because 1) he kept dropping to his back, and 2) he kept holding onto his gi, and 3) I wasn’t strong enough to separate his grip and finish the kimura while maintaining him in the position.

Next was Dave. He started on the bottom and I went for side control right away again, but he got me in half guard. In fact, he got me in a really interesting half guard, where he pinched his legs on my trapped leg, and kept his knees in my torso so I couldn’t close the distance. I figured out how to get out by lifting my leg out of that mess, but it was enlightening. Dave swept me and got kimura control, but when he went to lift it and finish, I spun out of it.

Next was Dave again, only this time I started on bottom. I don’t remember this roll, as it blended in with the previous roll.

Next I rolled with Rick, and my goals were 1) don’t get injured, and 2) don’t panic. I did well. Got tapped about 5x but maintained composure.

Finally I rolled with Daniel. I started on top and tried to push him over. He recovered guard and swept me. I turtled. He tried to sink his hooks but I shook him off the front and slowly slid on top while controlling his leg to prevent triangles and arm bars. Good roll.

805BJJ Class 102: Kimura from everywhere again with a sweep

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Got up early for a fasting blood draw, and came back to find out that tomorrow’s meeting had been rescheduled for this afternoon at 1pm. Well, that impacted my training schedule, but I decided to go anyway. I’ve been missing a lot of rolling lately, but at least I got to drill today.

We warmed up with a very brief set of laps and shrimping, followed by a 10 minute flow roll. I got paired with Coach Greggo, and found out that I don’t know how to flow roll. Over 2 years and nobody ever told me that flow rolling is just allowing sweeps and releasing submissions and minimal resistance.

We learned more details of the kimura. From the closed guard, pull them with your legs ans you swim your hands in and pull his elbows out, getting him to put his hands on the mat to stop his forward collapse. Grab one wrist (monkey grip no thumb) as you shrimp away and out a little, then reach the other arm over his shoulder and grip your own wrist from behind his arm. This grip secured, clamp it is you roll back onto your back, turning your torso perpendicular to your opponent’s, keeping their elbow bent to 90 degrees, and clamping their upper arm tightly. Bring your near side leg over their belt line to immobilize their hips, and rotate their shoulder joint to get the tap.

From the half guard, I learned a couple of important factors in establishing a half guard. First, block the cross face. Second, make the knee shield with the other knee to keep their torso from smashing you. I really need to practice those two things. Anyway, when you’re blocking that cross face, you can grip it and reach over it and lock up the kimura grip just like from guard. Roll back onto your back and control their hips by pinching your thighs together on their leg that’s in your half guard. Put your feet on the mat to scoot your hips farther under them to let you rotate your torso farther. Keep their arm bent 90 degrees and throttled down. Rotate their shoulder to get the tap.

The last technique we did was to counter the defense of grabbing their own belt. From bottom half guard, you don’t really have the leverage to break that grip, but you can turn it into a sweep and get the finish from the top. Let them pass to side control, and as they do, you walk your feet to north-south, use your kimura grip to roll them over, and you come up on top and in position to finish the kimura from the top, same as Saturday. Cool!

Then I had to leave before I could roll.