Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Training Log, Pan Ams Training, & Stuff I've Been Using in Rolling Lately

1) I keep a training log.
2) I try to update it while eating dinner/before bed after each night of training. I don't do this religiously, but I try to update it no later than 24 hours after the rollsies on the mat (this is the best grappling related habit I ever started. I have nearly 2 years worth of data/trends recorded).
3) I track not only submissions but sweeps, what I get submitted by, and some other particulars like "head and arm control with gable grip" and notes like "conceded the underhook and got swept" as reminders to monitor my fundamentals like "knee elbow - combat base when breaking the guard" etc.
4) At any rate, each week or 2 weeks I look back at the trends.
    - am I finishing by armbars rather than triangles? am I finishing by armbars from the guard or from top position?
   - how often am I getting to the back?
   - am I working my guard passing like I should?
   - what takedowns have I been landing?

**I used to put down 3-4 things I wanted to hit on the mats each night.
I can only speak for myself, but this is too much to effectively incorporate while rolling. I've found much better progress by setting goals like "get the kimura grip and sweep from however many positions as possible" and then the following week setting a goal like "get the kimura grip and sweep or transition to armbar". By setting a basic goal to attempt, then adding one component after a week I've made considerable progress in placing elements/tactics/grips into my game like the above mentioned "kimura grip to transition and/or armbar" (the kimura series mentioned above I started after attending a Dave Camarillo seminar - who btw, gives AMAZING seminars on not only a set of techniques but the theory and rationale behind them).

For the Pan Ams, I set forth some basic goals for my training:
Because I'm a Judo black belt, the ideal match for me is grip fight to takedown/opponent pulls guard b/c he feels uncomfortable in the grip fighting phase, pass guard, transition into dominant position, possibly finish if available - *preferrably collar choke from mount

As a result, my training has been broken into a general gameplan I drill during my 6 minute timed rounds:
1) grip fight, takedown, attack/pass the guard into dominant position (it later became clear I most often attained mount rather than the back).
2) on a daily basis, virtually all of my rolls I am aggressive in guard passing and fight for top position

Things I've been using in Rolling Lately ---->
Terrere/Gerson Sanginitto Guard Pass

Tripod/head & arm control to knee cut through pass

Arm across/calf roll sweep and/or back take
(not a fan of the set-up, but this shows the sweep)

Happy Trainingz!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Tuesday Sucks, but a Kurt Osiander Leglock from Side Control Doesn't Suck

The inimitable Kurt Osiander shows a leglock from a position you should find yourself in fairly often.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't watch many technique videos, but when I do they must 1) address a common position (stuck in half-guard, armbar position, addressing the closed guard), and 2) be relatively simple in application.

As usual, Kurt Osiander's explanation is deceptively simple and easy to follow and addresses what should be a relatively common position/question for many a BJJ/Judo/Grappler/player.

3 Simultaneous Hockey Fights: New York Rangers Versus New Jersey Devils

Hockey, other than Rugby is one of the few team sports I occasionally watch.
As such, the fisticuffs from this recent game between the Rangers and the Devils is classic.
3 fights that happen simultaneously about 5 seconds after the puck is dropped.

I'm glad some sports are different than soccer and the NBA where "drawing fouls" is the norm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Beating Kron Gracie: By Zak Maxwell at Abu Dhabi Pro San Diego 2012

Kron Gracie
- (son to the storied Rickson, purple and brown belt World Champion, Pan American Champion, Mundial medalist)
Zak Maxwell
- ( 2009 Brown Belt World Champion, Pan American and previous Mundial medalist)

Abu Dhabi Pro Trials: San Diego 2012

Kron opens with a lapel grip to inside foot sweep (kouchigari), then quickly follows up with a 2 on 1 cross grip, he follows with some half-hearted uchimata and sumi gaeshi attempts, but ultimately results in pulling guard.

Kron quickly hunts for an armbar (jujigatame) then keeps the arm dragged across his body with a high/shoulder guard.

Maxwell makes space and Kron smartly goes to stand and base, briefly flirting with the idea of a loop choke..and they're back to their feet.
Kron against immediately controls a sleeve end grip and sets up his 2 on 1 cross grip with the power/strong hand over the back, grabbing the belt.

Kron pulls guard. Again, Maxwell has been largely reactionary (defensive perhaps?) up until this point.
Referee restarts them, Kron again gets the stronger 2 on 1 cross grip/over the back, but Maxwell pulls guard this time.
Kron stands to pass, eventually breaking open Maxwell's guard.
Maxwell begins quickly hunting for hooks and such with deterity in his feet/legs and find an omoplata while Kron is standing.
(One thing I have noticed about Kron which strikes me as different from other high level black belts is how often he pulls back/out of submissions etc. Also, why he so often ends up with his Gi pulled over his head or losing his sleeve/arm in matches: go back and watch some of his other matches and you'll see what I mean).

As Maxwell looks to transition into side control, he leaves/Kron creates a bit too much space and escaped, then immediately hunts for the takedown with an outside trip which he follows with an attempt to transition to the back. Kron's hips are a bit high and without the far side hook, Maxwell peels him off and looks to transition into side mount or knee on belly. As Kron defends the pass and goes to all 4's down, Maxwell spins and takes the back.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Guard Pass: Terrere (and Gerson Sanginitto) Style

I watched the following video over at Graciemag yesterday morning.

I then used it about 30 min's later at open mat.
I like things that are relatively simple and apply to common situations in rolling.
Passing the guard and specifically this pass fit that criteria.
It also has a lot of similarity to a guard pass taught by Gerson Sanginitto on his "Dynamic Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" DVD/instructional he put out.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Ryan Hall & Using BJJ for Self-Defense (Against a Drunk guy)

In case you haven't seen the video circling the interwebz, check out Ryan Hall "putting the choke to heem, main," and using his BJJ for self-defense.


Happy Trainingz!

End the Week by Warming Up, The Arm Collector, & Xande Versus Galvao

Still prepping for the Pan-Ams and still tired from the traveling to Brazil and the like.
Still on the grind.
On to some links for your Friday -

From over at Graciemag, a variety of Jiu-Jitsu warm-ups from the likes of: Saulo, Almeida, Nova Uniao and others.

An article about Giva "the arm collector" Santana and his current run in Bellator.
The guy has 13 wins by armbar in MMA.

Xande Versus Galvao at the WPJJ Tryouts in San Diego

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Enemeis of Jiu-Jitsu: Sandbagger Edition

In watching the IBJJF Episode 3 from my post yesterday, you  may have noticed Eddie Wineland talking about his "four wins" in the white belt division.
He also acknowledges in the interview he's wrestled most of his life.
I then realized in the Matt Horwich picture I featured in yesterday's post, he's competing in what appears to be the blue belt division.
Matt Horwich who submitted Thales Leites ( a black belt in BJJ) in MMA.
Matt Horwich who has 20 wins by submission against other professionally trained athletes, fighters, and grapplers.

I'm not here to say MMA is the same as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or Mixed Martial Arts.
As the rules exist, yes, you can compete in the white belt divisions despite MMA/fighting experience.
But being able to do something does not make it right or just.

It's ridiculous to think some white belt shows up to an IBJJF tournament, pays the IBJJF registration fee, pays his tournament fee, and his first match after 6 months or 1 year of training is against a professional MMA fighter with dozens of wins by submissions.
Say what you will, argue it however you want, but it's f*cking b*llsh*t.

Some selected sandbaggers from a post over at Sherdog:

You would hear shenanighans if a black belt in Judo competed in the white belt division. Or if the equivalent in Sambo competed in the white belt division, but we give professional MMA fighters a pass on doing the white belt division because......why?
B/c they haven't worn the Gi a whole lot?
C'mon, bro. Be serious.
Be a man, man the f*** up, and do the blue belt division or the purple if you've submitted BJJ black belts in MMA.

Coming from Judo, the temptation to enter the white belt division, slam some guy on his head and hit a flying armbar or whatever was there. For about 5 seconds. Then I realized it wasn't a test of my skills, it wasn't fair to him, and it wasn't representing my coaches or teammates in a way that was appropriate.

Happy Trainings.....and don't be a f*cking sandbagger.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Andre Galvao despises Stallers, I'm Back from Brazil, & IBJJF TV - Episode 3: Chicago Winter Open

Matt Horwich if I'm not mistaken (from the IFL and other organizations, in the Gi).
Btw, here's a quick segment on Mr. Horwich, who is truly, a one of a kind individual.

From over at Graciemag, Andre Galvao says, "...Jiu-Jitsu is made for fighting, not stalling. Jiu-Jitsu these days is full of stallers who fight to be able to say they didn’t tap to so-and-so".

Settled back in from my trip/training in Brazil.
Back full swing into the grind for the Pan Ams.

The biggest thing I took from training in Brazil was the attitude that in large part, it's better to roll hard 3 rounds, then rest for 5 then go hard for another 3 rounds than just roll for 30 min's straight at about 70%.
I was told at both gyms I trained at to rest and then come back again strong ("forte", in Portuguese I think), rather than bullshit around and roll super relaxed.

When it comes to training for tournaments, this was made very clear to me.

I'd heard and been told that Gracie Barra is uptight and anal retentive about stuff.
My experience in Pernambuco was positive. Off the mat, most of the guys were friendly and welcoming. On the mat, however, when it came time to roll, the vast majority were playing for keeps. Friends would roll with a more relaxed pass, but the rest were rolling full out. Despite the heat and humidity, the rolling was pretty much 100%. They're more particular about things like keeping your Gi/Kimono top on while you're on the mat (and off), but a number of the higher belts took the time to ask me to roll and work with me.
I'm surmising that the reputation Gracie Barra has gotten is largely exaggerated. Their BJJ is legit. Their blue belts were all good. Every one of them. The purples and above were completely  beyond my abilities.
Their attitude and training is professional. They had extensive warm-ups, the class was structured, the white belts were separated, and my hypothesis is that in large part they are reshaping the poor reputation Jiu-Jitsu had for a time in Brazil as being troublemakers and fighting in the streets. Ze Radiola, took the time to personally come over, shake my hand, invite me back, ask about my trip to Brazil.

On to some video/BJJ/grappling goodness for your Wednesday:
IBJJF TV - Episode 3: Chicago Winter Open

Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Morning Blast From the Past: Jordon Schultz (versus Lucas Lepri)

A complete breakdown of my thoughts/review of training in Brazil is coming.
Got back yesterday afternoon, spent the day packing up my apartment as my significant other and myself are also moving out of our apartment in a day or so.
Busy couple days after more than a week abroad.
And I'm back at work bright and early this morning.

At any rate, on a grappling note, awhile back I featured an insightful/motivational interview (Click Here for the interview/omoplata sweep he details) with Jordon Schultz (Click Here for his website) of Team Lloyd Irvin.
My []Dost of his featuring the interview (originally from Submission Control) and a sweet omoplata/Gi sweep I've managed to used in training is above and worth going back over. He suffers no excuses and places the locus of control for a grappler's motivation squarely on the grappler. 

Recently, up north at the World Pro Trials, Jordon had a match with Alliance's Lucas Lepri.

It's good to see him in the mix at the elite level and running up against a guy like Lucas Lepri (who won the Mundials his first year as a faixa preta).

The game-changing moment comes near 2:31, when Lepri drags the right leg past, briefly into side control as Schultz turns away/gives the back and Lepri immediately sets his first hook while having at least one lapel grip with his right hand, then eventually finishes with what appears to be a double lapel choke from the back after trapping one of Schultz's arms.

Good stuff and good to see someone I profiled/featured popping up at the elite level against a former World Champ like Lucas Lepri.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mais Gianni Grippo & mais training in Brazil

Again, one to can only assume his faixa preta is on its way.
Been training as much as I can here.

It's not much in the way of tips or tricks or moves, but details.
Been hearing every 5 min's that my hips/but/d*ck are not low enough.
Pressure and squeezing and active hips are the 3 secrets to solid Jiu-Jitsu from what I keep hearing.

Been rolling a lot with purple, brown, and black belts.
The lower belts are actually outnumbered by the higher belts where I'm training here in Brazil.
Former world champs, pan-am champs, cbjje champs et cetera. it's pretty humbling, but good to see the fundamentals and positions I learned back home were well taught and effective.

The guys here have been super welcoming and super friendly. The lower belts roll like it's the mundials. Not sure if this is b/c I'm a gringo or just in general. The upper belts match however I roll and if I start to advance, quickly do just enough to put things back where they want them.

The juice, and the meat, and the vegetables all seem to be much more fresh here. I haven't been taking protein or weight gain or anything else as a suppplement other than my usual vitamins and some fish oil, and glucosamine/chondroitin, but I feel good.
The toughest thing to adapt to is the humidity/heat during day training. A single weave is the only way to go if you're training during the day. At night, a double weave is passable, but I'm used to long Judo workouts in wrestling rooms with a double weave. I definitely wouldn't recommend it for everyone.

Missing training tonight, going to a soccer game. But back at it again early tomorrow.

Bom dia and happy trainingz!

Monday, March 5, 2012

First Time Training in Brazil

Some quick observations on my first time training in Brazil:

1) it's hot as ****. wearing my double weave Judo Gi was a mistake.

2) it's interesting training on tatame that's covered by a roof, but the walls on at least 2 sides have several feet that are open to the outside up until the ceiling. it's different from opening the door, or the windows, or whatever and training. A much more semi-outside training type of feeling.

3) Judo is much more accessible (economically and physically) in Brazil. I've seen a bunch more Judo academies than BJJ. In fact, where I'm training, I only saw/found b/c I was looking for it. Otherwise I'd have driven right past it. After 4 days here, I've yet to see anything other than the occasional T-Shirt advertising Jiu-Jitsu.

4) The guys I've rolled with have been super friendly. Asking me about my fights, how long I've trained et cetera.

5) The heat made an hour of rolling feel like a serious work out.
I'll have some video coming soon :)

Some traveler/tourist observations from outside the world of grappling:1) the driving/traffic is chaotic. I wouldn't get a license to drive here even if I could. the bicyclists and scooters and motorcyclists all seem to have a death wish.

2) English is not very commonly spoken by many of the people you come across. It may be better in larger, metropolitan areas, but I'm in Recife (still a pretty big fucking city).

3) The bad and the REALLY bad neighborhoods sorta pop up/transition without being super obvious. Poverty is real and Crime is common from what I'm told. Knowing where to go, where not to go, how to get there, and when NOT to go places is important. This is always stressed to me by anyone that I meet here who is from here and/or lives here.

4) eating out is expensive as &%$#. if you plan on visiting/staying in a hostel, plan on figuring out how to prepare your breakfast and lunch or dinner to save money. It is very easy to drop 30-50 bucks on a meal, esp. for dinner. Again, that's how it is in Recife, I cannot speak for even larger cities like Sao Paolo or Rio.

5) again, from what I'm told by those who live here, the bus is to be avoided, ESPECIALLY at night, as is the subway/metro system. The airport in particular is confusing as ****. Again, food options in the airport are passable, but fast food here is much more expensive than to what we're used to in America (and you don't get nearly as much). Taxis are readily available, but they will take the long way if you don't have a map, have a general idea of where you're headed.

    - Happy Trainingz!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MindMap for your Thursday & I'm going to the Motherland

Found a cool blog with some visual aids breaking down different high level guys and approaches to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from over at a new (to me) blog I'm perusing. Click Here.

I'll be flying to Brazil later today. Spending about 11 days there. Hopefully training twice a day as much as I can the whole trip.
I'll be sure to post my observations about training there while hopefully debunking some of my own pre-conceived notions about training abroad.

Happy Trainingz!