Sunday, March 24, 2019

Cross Collar Snap down to Back Take from the Spyder Invitational (with Tournament footage)

*ignore the angle/position of my right knee, I'm 5 weeks post op from ACL reconstruction

From the Spyder Invitational match, the snapdown forces the opponent to post to avoid getting run over for the takedown finish with shoulder pressure and the collar/sleeve grip. This allows the opponent to step over the back and throw in hooks:

The key here why it works, is the movement which precedes the snapdown. All too often, guys from square, forehead to forehead and neutral grips try this as a one off, then spend 5 minutes here never really getting close to a takedown.

There's advantageous grips (the attacker has the cross collar and the opponent does not have equal or neutral grips), there's circular motion to load the opponent into the throw, and there's the snapping of the hands/wrists to disrupt and facilitate getting the opponent moving = an actual snapdown and angle which leads to the back take.

1) breakdown
2) Spyder Invitational
3) from a Judo tournament where I counter a foot sweep with a cross sollar snapdown, cut the angle and drive with the shoulder and keep my head higher than the opponent

Saturday, March 23, 2019

July 27th - Craig Jones vs Gilbert Burns @ Grappling Industries Tampa

Anyone else find it odd burns is out here doing thrnse grappling matches with no MMA fights booked? Curiouser and curiouser...sure is....interesting. 

Stylistically, it's interesting in the sense that Burns was previously heel hooked by Garry Tonon after hitting all manner of takedowns and such. Craig Jones is coming off of leg locking Tim Spriggs who frankly, I expected to do better against Craig. Spriggs for all his time spent working on his top game, and wrestling, ended up in some bad spots while trying to pass pretty quickly. I expected him to do better at the Matheus Diniz completely parallel to the mat, on both knees, hand fight and maybe flail/jump to half-guard to then pass style, but Spriggs found himself leg locked after trying to extricate his leg standing and turning. 

Anyhow, Craig Jones is considerably bigger than Garry, and I expect will submit Gilbert once there's a couple prolong actualy grappling on the mat exchanges. 

My Competition Submissions Volume 3

Almost all of these are from the past year and a half or so with a couple exceptions, but all at purple belt or Advanced NoGi. Most are -145 & -155 with a random Absolute match win in there and an -162 Gi combined weight class match finish at purple belt as well. I used to do the Absolute but after hurting my neck a few years ago, because they often run the Absolute first thing in the morning and there's not adequate time for my body to warm up for the size difference, and because several times I got the 250 lb+/biggest guy in the bracket first round despite my being the smallest competitor, I've quit doing the Absolute.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Students Takedowns in Competition Vol. 2 & the Evolution of Throws/Takedowns I Emphasize Per Grappling Sport

From the beginner takedown curriculum I teach to folks with no takedown experience: ankle picks, foot sweeps, single legs, & Sumi Gaeshi. There's also a brief 20 second or so gripping exchange where a student of mine is gripping for control, securing the cross collar grip, and stripping the grips of her opponent.

The longer I coach and teach and continue to compete, the more the challenge becomes not only what can I teach you how to do from my own game and from the game(s) of others, but how efficiently can I streamline this process for a competitor and can I do this with someone with little no no previous background? Efficiency and speed of skill acquisition has become the new litmus test for skill implementation in competition rather than simply - can they do the technique, but rather, how quickly can I structure training to make skill acquisition as efficient as possible without sacrificing technique/cutting corners?

Once I feel the core set of basics along with footwork and grips is taught, we can then begin to specialize. Student will begin to branch off in various directions with takedowns and throws based on preference, taste, et cetera.

Loose description of the evolution of which takedowns I utilize depending which sport:

I was originally a shoulder throw/seionage-centric competitor because my Judo coach was. Beyond a certain point, he asked what I wanted to be my next study. I asked what was one of the hardest throws/falls to take when done correctly - he said Tai Otoshi. So began the next 6-8 years of focusing on Tai Otoshi with some spare time devoted to other throws along the way. Later, I had several coaches as part of a college club sport and there I picked up other throws along the way: kata guruma, uchimata, haraigoshi, tomoenage.

None of them truly stuck with me as core things I look for when implementing my A game. On the feet, against another competent thrower, I am ultimately looking for Tai Otoshi in one of the many forms I've practiced.

The transition then to MMA offered the chance to pick up wrestling, and find out the hard way through trial and error what throws worked best in fighting and against wrestling-centric opponents. I picked up bodylock variations of the inside and outside trip, uchimata and haraigoshi from a whizzer and tricep grip, and a kimura reversal as part of defending the single leg.

Then moving to Brazilian JiuJitsu Gi competition I started implementing for foot sweeps and variety of throws designed to take advantage of bent over/defensive posture, bad habits often seen in Gi competitors on the feet, and designed to simply hit the best throw for however they approached me, be it right or left foot lead/whichever grips, et cetera. Gi competition taught me to emphasize a wider variety of throws depending on their posture/stance and to get the takedown early as at any point they can sit to guard by barely making contact. My core set of attacks were: foot sweeps, uchimata, sumi gaeshi, and kouchigari.

Finally, moving over to submission grappling, I again began to work on my wrestling-centric and alternative grips without the Gi. At this point continued knee problems and instability along with a periodic string of small knee injuries/tweaks limited the amount of wrestling and stand-up fighting for the takedown I was willing to do and toward the end was even limiting my ability to pass to my right side, which is why in no matches from the past year and a half in NoGi have you seen me fight for the takedown. I'm excited to have my right leg back in action when I return from recovery and implement both what I used to be able to do and some new theories I have about the Gi and NoGi takedown game for Gi and Submission grappling competition.

This is a challenge I appreciate. Folks who aren't full-time athletes. Folks who don't live off their parents bank account and train twice a day and play video games and smoke weed.

Folks who train maybe 2 or 3 sessions a week sometimes, and have to fit in training after running a business, picking up their kids from school, et cetera. To be sure, I appreciate test lab working on the finer points with folks who actually have high level takedown experience, but this is rare, and so often, it's sport centric - it's tuned to a high level in what they spend a decade plus. Less often do I find someone who's translated a takedown skill into several disciplines.

I learned through trial and error how to translate my Judo (freestyle it's called now because it included things like ankle picks and double legs) into my MMA fights, submission grappling, Brazilian JiuJitsu competition, and even as a bouncer working the door for several years downtown.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

BJJ Scout's BJJ Digest: Tonon Recalls How Hard to Watch Gi JiuJitsu is, Craig Jones at RGA, Nic Cage SciFi JiuJitsu Film....

The best thing about Nic Cage is that I think he literally says yes to whatever movies happens to come across his desk. I saw his film that he did after Mandy which was basically a poor man's version of Mandy with a guy dating a woman who can see the dead if she nearly dies (so the movie opens with her being strangled in a truck stop bathroom), in doing this, she tries to bring her child back from the afterlife, but inadvertently brings back Nic Cage's dead wife if I recall correctly. Long story longer, a JiuJitsu SciFi flick is right up the alley for the Wicker Man.

God bless the man and his willingness to take on all manner of scripts.

Tonon shares my sentiments of how brutally boring Gi JiuJitsu can be and how the win by the narrowest margin of Gi competitors doesn't translate to much of a professional grappling career, though, the Famous names I've harangued on my Igram account like Mir, Canuto, Vagner, Akbari, DJ Jackson, et al all seem to still get booked for oftentimes atrociously boring superfights.

This Weekend's Softball Bellator Card & Thompson vs Pettis UFC - The ESPN+ Era?

I'm usually a big fan of Bellator and it's linear approach to belts with the grand prix/tournament bracketing, but this card feels like total fluff with only the headliner of Kharkanyan remotely being worht tunning in. Gerald Harris also fights on the card and that's basically all I can say. We're all just basically waiting for the next welterweight bracket fight to take place.

UFC Thompson vs Pettis:
I'm concerned for Pettis because he's been starched by guys at 155, and I suspect Thompson will look a solid 2 weight classes bigger than Pettis. If this isn't the guy for Thompson to do less hopping and fencing and circling away from then there will never be another chance. Thompson has said much of finally learning that he can't fight on the backfoot and win close fights (you're telling me there's a chance Dumb & Dumber reference) but the likelihood of him abandoning something as ingrained as that I find...well, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn or a tower in Paris to sell you.
Pettis must really just have resigned himself to not fighting for the belt again if this is the fight he's taking at 170 rather than someone in one of the other weight classes suited to his frame. I've wondered if it is his refusal to leave Roufus Sport to blame, or did becoming the champ lead to him spending time distracted, or the opening of a gym with his brother, or simply does he not have the style in the current ether or talent to win the belt again? It's hard to say for a guy with the level of striking and JiuJitsu that he possesses. Is it just the accumulation of training camp and fights? I don't know and I can't really lean toward any one puzzle piece. Thompson had become one of the guys I absolutely loathe to see in a 5 round fight. I know I'm going to get 4 rounds of hopping time and about 1 round of fighting time, if that. Call it many things: tactical, strategic, sport, karate, point fighting, cerebral....whatever. It's maddening to see the volume output that low in the fighting sport with the lease restriction on legal attacks.

I honestly hope Pettis outworks Thompson en route to a decision because I simply can't stand seeing Thompson fight anymore.

Blaydes will attempt to rebound from his title shot trajectory after a stoppage loss in the first round to always dangerous Ngannou. I expect Blaydes to get the win over Willis via decision via repeated takedowns.

Violent Bob Ross looks to rebound from a loss last November with his return fight. I expect him to win another decision and get back on track. His opponent is 1-1 in the UFC and I think is a gifted rebound fight for Pena who made the most of this time on his TUF season and has likable persona for casual fans and hardcore fans alike.

Frankie Saenz vs Marlon Vera in what will be a back and forth high energy fight. Marlon Vera will gut this one out in a close decision.

Overall the card is pretty underwhelming but we've had a slew of solid events since the ESPN arrival and we're all actually just killing time with events until the March 30th card with Barboza vs Gaethje in a definite CTE/brain damage scrap at the end of the month.
Elsewhere on that main card with get David Branch vs Hermansson in a fight I expect he'll win as he's beaten a bevy of tough guys already and fought former title holders & contenders in competitive fights.
We also get Josh Emmett vs Michael Johnson as Emmett looks to pick up some of the steam he lost by losing to Jeremy Stephens after beating Ricardo Lamas.
The rest of that card is pretty underwhelming as well as the UFC/ESPN flagship fights have been mostly made to get us into the ESPN fold/app world and a shortage of meaningful fights until we hit some PPV's in April.

April 13th we get Holloway vs Poirier for an Interim belt & Gastelum vs Adesanya for an Interim belt on a card that should be fireworks. After and between all that is pretty much few and far between PPV cards which is a bummer, because somehow, it feels like the cards are accordingly midling level events. But, we are into a new era so we'll see how this all unfolds.