805BJJ Class 165: back control, collar choke from back, rolling

October 23rd, 2018

Limped into Tuesday morning class. I’d been dreading it, and sort of yearning for release from suffering through any means at hand. I still went to class.

My 49th year has gone downhill already. The high point was my birthday class. Since then, the Kings have been heavily into a skid, I’ve been crippled physically and emotionally, and nothing is going the way it should. My feet are ruined, my neck felt like there’s a taut guitar string running from behind my left ear down to my lower back next to my spine. My wrists and elbows hurt. My head hurt.

Anyway, coach Mark taught us (again) the collar choke from behind, then back control with the hooks, then racking the arm and slotting the hand behind the neck instead of reaching across to pull the opposite side lapel like a doorbell rope.

Then we rolled. I started with Christian, and he just gets under me and flips me over. I actually can’t remember all my rolls, but we did have 3 white belts in the class today. I taught Mike (works with TJ, 2nd BJJ class today) the very basic concepts of BJJ. I refrained from wrecking Jose’s neck when I took his back. I guillotined Jeremy from guard. I survived Chris’ knee-on-belly. I remembered how to do a half guard pass with Christian. I walked out better than I walked in. Win!

805BJJ Class 164: elbows to the mat arm defenses, rolling

October 18th, 2018

Birthday class!

Learned to twist and pull my elbow to the mat if anyone tries to lock it up with a kimura or arm bar. Lesson made specifically for Jeremy (according to Jeremy) but useful for all of us to review. I’ve been tapped from an arm bar recently (TJ) where this defense would have let me escape. I used to do it all the time, but it didn’t even occur to me last time. Gettin’ rusty in my old age, I guess.

After class, I got hip tossed by everybody, and they sang me the Happy Birthday song. :)

805BJJ Class 163: takedowns from the knees – over/under body lock and twist, elbow hook and take the head off, reach under, whizzer twist

October 16th, 2018

Mark taught today’s class. I came in feeling sore and brittle, but I’ve been out a bit and need to get back into regular training while I can.

Mark taught us how to attack takedowns from the knees. Using head pressure to offbalance our opponent, we moved close to get an over/under body lock with an S-grip behind their back. Step in with the underhook hand side’s foot, snug their hips to line up with yours, and twist them down on the trapped arm side (overhook side).

You can also do an osoto gari from the knees by stepping across their body and twisting them over your leg.

If you can’t step across, you can instead reach it under to block the leg as you twist them down.

If they get you in a body lock, you can always switch to the elbow grip on your overhand side, bringing your other arm around to clothesline their head and take them down. Violence helps the move but not the training partner, as with most of Mark’s techniques. It’s kind of surprising that guy still has students, now that I reflect on it.

If they get you in a body lock with their head down, you can whizzer the arm on the opposite side of where their head is, and turn your body away (toward the whizzer), stepping out on that side to twisting them down.

Rolling sucked. I started with Chris, going 50%, and that was all good. Then I went with Dave, and once he escaped my kesa gatame and got on top of me, I was scrambling to survive. Next was Cosmo, who got on top and smashed me into the mat for the entire time, almost tapping me with neck strain. Then Sergio tapped me a couple times, then TJ did the same. I did manage to entertain TJ with my omoplata escape, where I got under his hips and rolled him to the other side of me. Anyway, after that was Jeremy, who had some serious issues with his base in side control top. He noted after the round that his white belt tricks just weren’t working on me today. That’s when I realized I was the junior blue belt, and every roll was with someone better than me (except Jeremy, who got his first white belt stripe at the end of class!)

805BJJ Class 162: side control top spin, ghost escape, rolling

October 11th, 2018

Christian and Mark couldn’t make it to teach the class, so TJ got us started with something that Rick taught him. When on side control top and your opponent starts to shrimp and get their knee in, you can spin around to the other side. If they stay up on their side, you can gift wrap them, lift them, and take their back. I need to work on that.

Then TJ got called to work. I did the drill with Matt for a bit, then asked if there was anything he wanted to work on. He said he has a hard time getting out from under side control. I asked him what his options were from down there, and he said that all he really does is shrimp to get his knee in and recover guard. So I taught him the roll over reversal, where you’ve shrimped and they’re pushing you down and across really hard, you can turn with their momentum and essentially hip toss them over you.

The other one I taught him was the ghost escape, where you start with your hands out of framing position. Get a strong overhook of their far arm (you can grip the gi material if they’re wearing a gi) and you insert your other arm under their whole body to essentially underhook their ribs. Then you hip bump and walk your legs out while your upper body follows your underhook out. You can then go to your knees or wrap up for the Darce choke, whose details I could not remember properly.

Then Dave and Cosmo wanted to know what we were going over, so I showed them as well. Then Dave talked about leg wrapping to pass the guard. Then we put up some 5 minute rounds and we rolled.

805BJJ Class 161: Arm bar from guard, rolling

October 9th, 2018

Tuesday morning class. First time back in a couple weeks after being sick. Feeling cold, weak, fat and brittle, but I need to see if that burns off after a good workout. I’m trying some tape around my left foot’s toes to see if that holds them together a bit during training. First try I taped them too tight but by putting weight on the foot between wraps I was able to figure out a good size to make the wraps and it feels more comfortable now.

Got in early. Washed my mouthguard. Light warmup before class. Bowed in. Running warm up. 2 regular shrimp, 2 cross shrimp. Circle up around Christian. Arm bar from guard. Oh man. I paired up with Jeremy, and we’d both been out for 2 weeks. We did the arm bar drills, but we were not very good. I kept letting my opposite side leg go wild when I stepped my same side leg onto the hip, preparing for the pivot. Jeremy kept going the wrong way. Our shortcomings really became obvious when we started doing it at a pace.

Then we rolled. I mostly sucked. Slacked off a lot on the pace. Didn’t go for any submissions except against the coaches, and of course those didn’t work out. I did manage to get on top of Cosmo, Dave, and Matt. Mostly I didn’t let them escape.

When I was too tired to do proper rolling, I taught Matt how to do the hip bump/kimura/guillotine from guard if someone’s trying too hard to posture up. Last roll I took Jeremy out on the mat and showed him how to finish a collar choke even if he gets swept off the mount and ends up in guard.

805BJJ Class 160: headquarters, toe, rolling

September 25th, 2018

Greggo has family obligations, Mark is working, Christian is out of town, so they got Rick to teach the 6pm BJJ class. He had us doing an hour and more of headquarters drills. I didn’t even want to go today, because I’m feeling sick, but I had to get gas in anticipation of my new doctor appointment tomorrow, so I decided to drop in and maybe leave early. Well, that was a stupid idea.

805BJJ Class 159: guard recovery via turtle, 2-in-1-out

September 20th, 2018

Very small Thursday morning class today. Christian instructed, and he warmed us up with movement drills – shrimping, then cross legged shrimping, then cross legged shrimping to orthogonal turtle, then cross legged shrimping to orthogonal turtle to stepping up and shooting a leg through for guard but oriented perpendicular to your original alignment before the shrimp (also orthogonal).

The technique was basically to respond to an inevitable guard pass by hipping out to turtle and then shooting the legs in to recover some kind of guard. In the last few weeks, we’ve also learned that you can attack the legs from turtle instead of falling back to guard, or you can sausage roll out to reset. I need to practice all of these things. This is what I was asking Greggo about earlier this year and he showed us a way to boost them past you and take their back.

805BJJ Class 158: flow rolling, side control, frame to knees to takedown to side control, gimp rolling

September 18th, 2018

We had all 3 black belts on the mat, but Mark did all the instructing. First, he told us how to do threes in a flow roll. Each person gets the opportunity to do 3 moves, and then the other person gets a chance to do 3 moves. I paired up with Sergio, and we did alright.

Then we got to the move of the day, which was something to do from side control bottom (or in fact from when your opponent is about to pass your guard!). Basically, you build a frame, move behind the frame to get your hips out, hip heist to flip them over, reach for their knees and pull them as you pull your knees underneath yourself, then drive forward on your knees like a toddler, tipping them over along the axis of their shin. You can also get your knee in to make space, as though you were about to recover guard, but then spring the knee out as you flip your hips over and go to your knees. If they try to defend it by tying up your lower leg with their hand, you can just donkey kick it off and immediately spring back to your knees.

So then we rolled. I stuck with Chris except for the last 2 rolls, when I went with Jeremy. Chris has some slinky moves, and we sort of flowed around and were relaxed. It was good, and he reminded me how to do the damn butterfly sweep. You see, you have to lift the underhook and the leg on the same side. Duh! I was trying to lift with an overhook. It didn’t work.

Anyway, I pulled off the move of the day on Jeremy! Coming back the other way, he almost finished me with a collar choke from guard.

At the end, Mark was enthusiastic about how well I did during the drills, and pointed out that I’m reaping the benefit of regular attendance.

805BJJ Class 157: “flow” rolling, Q&A, leg locks, rolling

September 15th, 2018

Mark taught this Saturday morning class. He warmed us up with a flow roll. Shabar paired up with me and proceeded to SMASH ME freakin’ hard, shutting me down and holding me down, not letting me do ANYTHING! Ugh!

Anyway, then he opened the mat up to questions, and he called on me first. I asked about basic leg lock defense, because Cowboy has been getting me with them lately.

Mark gave a leg lock history lesson, and bragged that he’s good at avoiding leg locks. Then he taught us a basic leg lock defense, only to discover that NOBODY COULD DO A LEG LOCK! We were complete noobs with the leg locks, so he had to teach us how to do the leg lock before he could have us practice how to avoid them.

Basically, he taught Ashi Garami, with one shin between your opponent’s legs to keep them stretched out, and the outside leg planted with the foot on their hip (also to keep them stretched out). The ankle is gripped in a guillotine grip. Finishing involves falling to your side on top of their foot, and then stretching them out, so that their foot tries to bend too far forward.

Mark also showed the calf slicer, which is basically a guillotine on the calf-achilles junction.

Escaping the basic foot lock involves hooking the outside foot off of your hip, monkey gripping the central leg to sit up and post on their now-removed ankle, and scooting your butt outside that foot. The final escape is sausage rolling to your belly and ripping your foot loose of their grip.

Then we rolled. Mark had intended to let everybody ask a question, but my question took too long to address.

I rolled with Shabbar and he crushed me again. He’s another of these guys that I can’t let get into side control. I need to practice getting the hell out of there whenever they start passing! Anyway, I tried to knee shield from my back and he cut through it like a hot knife through a cliche. Once I was under his side control, I was just waiting for him to get knee on belly, and then I was done.

I don’t even want to talk about it anymore.

805BJJ Class 156: single leg defense, arm bar guard drills, triangle from guard drills, rolling

September 13th, 2018

The Medina show! Christian taught this Thursday morning class by himself. We started with some pummeling, then some partnered kazushi, then some partnered hopping, holding our partner’s leg and keeping our balance. We used this to transition into single leg defense, where you hook a whizzer on the same side, turn to face parallel to your opponent, hook your foot to the outside, and kick your leg back and out.

That really hurt. We did takedown drills for a few minutes. Then Christian taught us the arm bar guard drill, where you rotate from one side to the other to do the arm bar. Then we did the similar triangle drill. We rarely do drills in our gym so it was a good experience.

Then we rolled. I went with Jeremy, Cowboy, TJ, Jose, Jeremy, and Jose again. The hardest was TJ. He arm barred me, then he got on top of me and tried his best to demolish me, but I survived the onslaught and was breathing heavily afterward. That left me gassed vs. Jose at the end. I did almost get his back from the 3/4 mount by doing the shoulder roll with the leg hook, but I didn’t secure the back quickly enough. Anyway, at least now I know that works. I also got rolled on my knuckles when I was trying to choke him out, and that still hurts.