Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Competitors I Currently Watch Daily

Lucas Lepri - guard passing and sweeping. In particular the lapel grip he uses and buffers with his knee/elbow connection as the basis of his passing game

Tanner Rice - wins over guys like Tanquinho et al.

Keenan Cornelius - lapel guard/guard retention, active legs and hooks and control

This Week in BJJ Episode 55: Jeff Glover

I don't do much embedding here for the only real Jiu-Jitsu show/internet show that exists which I should probably do more consistently.

At any rate, enjoy.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

2014 Mundials Black Belt/Faixa Preta Division Breakdown/Competitors

Can't wait for this.
Read it HERE at Graciemag.

With 18 competitors, the male black belt roosterweight features favorites Caio Terra and Bruno Malfacine and a little spice in the form of João Miyao, in his first Worlds as a black belt. There’s also strong contenders such as Fabio Passos, Milton Bastos, João Pedro Somália, Koji Shibamoto and Ivaniel Cavalcante.
In the lightfeather division, which gathers 32 athletes, Gui Mendes is going for his forth title in six years. This time, the biggest threat should be Paulo Miyao, also debuting as a black belt in the Worlds. Rafael “Barata” Freitas, Bernardo Pitel, last year’s champion Gabriel Moraes, Carlos Holanda, Samir Chantre and the Japanese battalion also make this one of the hardest light-feather divisions of all times.

Since 2009, they meet at this time of the year in the featherweight division of the Worlds. Rafael Mendes and Rubens Cobrinha, holders of seven titles, are once again in collision course in a bracket that adds up to 45 athletes. Last year’s champion, Augusto Tanquinho, kept his promise and did not register to dedicate to MMA. Nevertheless, two-time champion Mario Reis, debuting black belt Gianni Grippo and always dangerous Osvaldo Moizinho, Theodoro Canal, Denilson Pimenta and Leonardo Saggioro can easily create a lot of trouble for the favorites.

Leandro Lo climbed one weight division and will be competing as a middleweight in 2014. With that, the lightweight is another bracket lacking the 2013 champion. The truth is that it does not matter a bit once there are other 56 beasts hungry for gold. Michael Langhi, Lucas Lepri, JT Torres, Roberto Satoshi, Francisco Iturralde, Rodrigo Caporal, Philipe Della Monica and AJ Agazarm are all a guarantee that thrills will be abundant in the bracket. If all that was not enough, three-time world champion Celso Venícius decided to interrupt his BJJ retirement (he’s been more than active in MMA) and jump in once again.

With 67 athletes, the male black belt middleweight is an universe by itself. The sitting two-time champion Otavio Sousa will have to work the hardest he ever worked to keep his post. Completely adapted to the new weight, Leandro Lo wants his third gold medal in a row (he won in 2012 and 2013 as a lightweight). Claudio Calasans Jr, Lucas Leite, Victor Estima, Vitor Oliveira, Clark Gracie and Marcelo Mafra are the usual suspects to threat the two favorites.

Romulo Barral almost gave up competing in 2011, but changed his mind and came back stronger than ever. The 2013 champion is after his fifth title overall and third in a row in the Worlds. To get to that, Barral will have to fight through a jungle of 45 competitors in the medium-heavyweight division. GB’s teammate Braulio Estima is his ally for another close out, just like in 2013. Guto Campos, Keenan Cornelius, Murilo Santana and Renato Cardoso will do their best to prevent that from happening again.

The heavyweight division is liberated. After three years of complete domination, Rodolfo Vieira decided to go to super-heavy, an strategy to have more pressure against Marcus Buchecha in a possible face off in the open class division. Relieved, the 36 competitors will go at each other to see who comes out on top in the end. Andre Galvão stands out as a possible favorite, but is closely followed by strong names such as Rafael Lovato Jr, Jackson Sousa, Yuri Simões, Tarsis Humphreys, Luiz Panza, Tarcisio Jardim, Felipe Pena and Roberto Alencar.
The superheavy division has 18 competitors and Rodolfo Vieira. The three-time world champion (not counting the 2011 open class gold) is clearly the favorite here, but that doesn’t mean he will have any kind of easy path to the gold. Two-time world champion Bernardo Faria and world champion Leonardo Nogueira are the biggest stones in Rodolfo’s metaphorical shoe (once no one wear shoes in Jiu-Jitsu). Igor Silva, Gustavo Pires, James Puopolo and Lucas Sachs cans also present some kind of trouble for the favorites.

The ultra-heavy division has 27 competitors. Obviously, Marcus Buchecha is the man to be beaten, as he goes for his third title in a row. Rodrigo Cavaca will work hard to be in the final again with his pupil, just like last year. Alex Trans will also work hard to spoil the party and secure a place in the final. Abraham Messina, Ricardo Evangelista, Thiago Gaia and Bruno Bastos are in the mix and hope to be around Sunday, for the quarterfinals.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Keep Training: Jiu-Jitsu by Stuart Cooper

Just came off training 7 days in a row.
Now I rest.
I find the last few days of a long stretch of training are when I learn the most. I lose my athleticism and strength (not that I have a lot of those attributes). I have to press through and stay focused and not let doubt and fear creep into my game. I have to let go of my ego and pride. What I lose in speed or energy or strength I gain in my reaction time and sensitivity and timing. The machine is running ahead of time, ahead of my own awareness. It becomes far more subconscious and my game unfolds naturally rather than clouded by my insistence on move X or move Y while ignoring the current situation unfolding between my partner and I.
I personally advocate over training.
I advocate training to the point where there's nothing left and then going past that.
You will be surprised by what you find on the other side. On the other side of fear and doubt, you'll find peace and far more success than your negative self doubts and beliefs would have you believe.
I train until I have no desire whatsoever to train, then I take a day sometimes two off and put Jiu-Jitsu far from mind as I can (it's never far), and return refreshed.
Keep training.
Enjoy your memorial day weekend.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

JiuJitsu Lab Breaks Down Keenan vs Jackson Souza (& some Lapel Guard)

Because Your Takedowns & Throws Suck Volume II: Developing the Pull for Cross Grip Shoulder Throw/Seionage

Having gone over the basics for the cross grip shoulder throw/seionage, an essential component for the throw is the pull. It's also called "Kuzushi" in Judo, meaning unbalancing or something vaguely to that effect.
There's 3 parts to an effective throw (massive generalization, but bear with  me) which I emphasize: advantageous grip, throwing with movement, and making space for my entry.
The failures in throwing virtually all stem from the absence of one or more of the above. Either you're throwing from an inferior grip or neutral grip and thus your opponent easily counters.
You attempt to throw from a static position and your opponent is heavy in base and easily defends.
You attempt to throw and you haven't opened up the space necessary for your entry and attempt to pull him across you or from behind or never slide into optimal throwing position.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Gianni Grippo NY Open Absolute Division Bracket

I like watching a player go through a whole division. Whether they win or not, I'm just interested to see a player march their way through a division match after match rather than errant matches from various events against different competitors.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Credit where credit is due: Tito Ortiz actually fought, and actually won

I have to eat crow on this one. I didn't think Ortiz would even show up for this fight. Literally. I thought he would pull out at the last minute.

He didn't. And he won
By stoppage/submission.

UFC 173: Countdown Videos for Dillashaw vs Barao, Cormier vs Henderson, Lawler vs Ellenberger

I'm actually pretty interested in this trio of fights. I felt Lawler exposed Hendricks as what he has become a largely one-dimensional fighter unwilling to more effectively utilize his wrestling and rather just wing a big shot occasionally in an attempt to win.

I say that as an admitted Lawler fan but not one invested emotionally in the idea of him having become champion.
I think this fight will say a lot about Lawler and whether he will get another shot at the belt. Cormier has a chance to face a non-TRT Henderson in a fight I see involving a lot of Henderson trying to tie up Cormier against the fence and a lot of Cormier trying to get the fight to the ground somewhere around the center of the octagon. Dillashaw, while more impressive with each outing, I have a hard time believing has the chops to dethroned Barao who just looks too good in every single aspect of fighting inside the cage.

Anyhow, enjoy:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Paulo Miyao gets it done at the Brazilian Nationals in the Absolute

At 5:50, Vieira goes for the ankle as Miyao hits his Berimbolo, and quickly takes the back, and fights briefly to put in his second hook then quickly finishes around the 5:20 mark with a lapel choke from the back.


UFC 173: Extended Preview - Dillashaw vs Barao, Henderson vs Cormier & Picks

Some great fights on this card.
The poster has Dillashaw looking like the consummate contender/challenger and Barao looking like Dracula.
I don't think Dillashaw has the salt and pepper for Barao.
I think Cormier can outgut and out athleticize old man Henderson, but perhaps not. Henderson has shown the ability to end it whenever and wherever inside the octagon.
Barao will top Dillashaw by 4th round stoppage in an increasingly one sided fight.
Cormier will outlast Henderson in a fight with some scary moments for Cormier, but he will ultimately push Henderson against the cage and perhaps put him on his back.
Lawler will KO a tentative on the feet Ellenberger who will try to bum rush Robbie and put him against the cage. Lawler may even spend parts of the first and second round on his back.
Mizugaki will take down, control and ultimately finish Rivera in the 1st round.
Varner will TKO Krause in an entertaining scrap that ends in the 3rd round.
On the undercard, my favorite Japanese fighter, Katsunori Kikuno will pick up a win with his unorthodox style and effective takedown game.


You can click HERE for the extended Preview.



Return of Crouching Guard Passing: Paulo Miyao @ Brazilian Nationals

It was only a matter of time.
Whether it was Galvao vs Leandro Lo, or watching Gianni Grippo in some recent matches, persistent top players are now avoiding much of the dreaded berimbolo by refusing to pass form an even semi-standing position.

As you'll see below, Saggioro, around the 3 minute mark stays standing a bit too long and Miyao almost immediately inverts, and topples him over: making it to the back by the 3:38 mark.
Miyao hunts for the choke but loses back position by 4:38.
We see a couple minutes of closed guard work by Miyao and finds the window to Berimbolo around 6:30 followed by a leg drag to a 2nd back take.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Life Off the Mats

If I'm being honest, I've cut back my training lately. Cutting back for me means something like training 4-5 days on, with a day, or sometimes 2 consecutive days off.

I haven't been strict about my diet or even making the most of training time. I'm in class, I'm paying attention, but emotionally, I'm just at a plateau with Jiu-Jitsu. I feel there is so much depth to the application of even a very small set of moves in my passing or sweeping game, and yet, this maddening frustration at how disconnected my game feels as of late. I haven't been strict about waking up to train in the mornings before work whereas in the past I always found time to do so at least once or twice a week.

A nagging hip flexor injury, followed by getting sick, then a shoulder injury have all kept me from hitting a stride in training and overall, just a serious plateau. My game felt disconnected, forced, and ultimately ineffective in general while rolling. Moreso than those things, there's just a sense of ennui currently that I feel.

I've been keeping a close eye on a white belt on my team and working with them whenever they're at the gym. It's helped me get out of myself and focus on something other than what feels like a stagnant phase in my game. I hit the wall hard.
After grinding it out for quite awhile, it's pleasant to sometimes skip the gym and see a movie with  my girlfriend or go out to dinner.

For a number of years, virtually nothing came between training and I.
It was all encompassing and the single most important thing I looked forward to each day. Stagnant or not, I was grinding.

Call it what you will, but after fighting in MMA, overcoming ACL reconstruction, accepting I'm likely done competing in Judo due to the new rules, and just an overall plateau and sense of diminishing returns, it was time to just have/make Jiu-Jitsu as a small part of my life, as a hobby, the way a lot of people do. I'm waiting and will be ready when the fire returns, but right now, it's not the smoldering inferno it has been for the past 4-5 years when I moved from focusing on Judo and Muay Thai to really wanting to get good at Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu is the most addictive hobby/pursuit I've ever encountered and that will return, but for now, I'm just acting like a normal person and it's a hobby.

UFC 172 - Fight Motion/Phantom Cam - Super Slow Motion