Friday, August 29, 2014

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Adds AJ Agazarm vs Bruno Frazatto, Samir Chantre vs Baret Yoshida et al

Click HERE
Other superfights include:

"Seven other  superfights are also already confirmed:
Gianni Grippo vs. Augusto Tanquinho
Nino Schembri vs. Vitor Shaolin
Robson Moura vs. Marcos Parrumpinha
Tim Spriggs vs. Leo Nogueira
João Assis vs. Rolles Gracie (no-gi)
Caio Terra vs. Jeff Curran
Samir Chantre vs. Baret Yoshida"

I'm honestly far more excited about this card than the last metamoris.
More Gi matches, and more high level grapplers by far. The return of Robson Moura, some of the up and comers facing proven world champions.....Tanquinho vs newly minted Gianni Grippo et cetera. Can't wait.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Deconstructing the Fail: Transitioning from Blue Belt to Purple Belt

There's a critical moment in every loss that has to be determined if you're going to learn from that loss and avoid (hopefully) losing the same way again.

For me, it can be a lazy grip (as will be shown later in the next post on this topic), or it can often be accepting a sweep and not fighting until the end to avoid conceding position, or perhaps being late in a transition.

At white belt you put your hands on the mat, your base is weak, you have poor posture.

As you progress, these holes get smaller and sometimes a crafty opponent, a bigger one, a better one will trick you or goad you into making one of those mistakes. But often, the end of the match is not the important part. The bow and arrow choke you tapped to was really just the end of a chain of moments or missed transitions which led to your defeat (be it by points or by submission).

I could look at my bow and arrow choke defense if that is how I've lost recent matches (it is, 2, in fact), or, better yet, I could additionally look further back in the match, and figure out where my mistake was that led to the sweep, then what led to the passing of my guard, then what led to the advancing of my opponent to an even more dominant position.

Sometimes, if you're really looking at the larger picture, you realize, "y'know, my leg lasso sweep wasn't really tested in the gym to be tournament ready" or perhaps "my spider guard hasn't really been put through its paces" to be ready for the speed of a tournament match."

At blue belt, I began winning matches consistently and winning my division (the adult and the old man 30+ division) for the first time. Prior to my ACL reconstruction of my left knee, I'd closed out brackets/divisions with teammates, but never actually won a blue belt division by myself.

Coming back from ACL surgery, I had done a lot of drilling. I mean a lot.
At least twice a week I drilled for close to an hour in addition to regular training. I also had a very specific game because there were positions I simply knew I had to avoid because of the lack of range of motion in my knee and also, in part, out of fear.

My game was essentially: pull half-guard, get to deep half guard, sweep, over/under pass, knee mount, brabo or lapel choke of some kind.

I drilled this series endlessly. The day before a tournament this was pretty much the only sequence I would drill. I began winning. I would win virtually all of my matches with something that resembled the above sequence.

At purple belt I've found, that the first bullet in the gun or even the third or the fourth doesn't always hit the bullseye.

I've also found, your go to move must now not work only in isolation but as part of a well-rounded attack/gameplan with back-ups and responses to the most common reactions to your initial action.

It sounds obvious and even "beating a dead horse," but knowing it, and seeing your losses as a result of this are two very different realities in terms of your approach to training.

Neil Adams, the famous Judo commentator often says "Action! Reaction!" when a competitor does the ole' 1-2, the move that sets up the move and perfectly exploits the opponent's reaction/response. Great Jiu-Jitsu thus also takes advantage of someone doing the "right" thing. It's why in some ways, blue belts are easier to roll with than white belts. White belts do spastic, unexpected, and explosive moves at unexpected times.
Back on July 26th, I competed at US Grappling's Grapplemania. I lost both matches and did not place. My first match, I spent the better part of 5 1/2 minutes trying to butterfly sweep my opponent. Insisting on a sweep is not the death knell, but the insistence on a sweep which is not a collaborative part of a cohesive bottom game is problematic. I would try the sweep, fail, set it up, try the sweep, nauseum. I never transitioned to x-guard, to another open guard, I never looked to stand and base and play on top...I kept shooting the same gun with the same bullet over and over and grew increasingly frustrated as I missed the target entirely until this insistence gave my opponent the easy opportunity to pass/advance position. At one point in the match, several teammates had wisely pointed out to me that I should "go to something other than the butterfly sweep" but I remember thinking, "No, I'd rather lose than give up trying to get this sweep." Well, I got my wish.

 In the bigger picture, I've walked away with more to work on, pay attention to, drill, and learn about in my 8 months or so at purple belt than I feel like I did in however many blue belt divisions I won the year before I graduated to purple. In fact, I have what feels like a mountain range of things to address.

- starting my first match in high gear, avoiding being cold.

- getting to where I want to be first - being proactive rather than reactive

- combining the parts and pieces of several open guards into a preferred series/sequences of attacks & accompanying grips which leads into the next area below....

- inverting while avoiding the leg drag counter(s) that exist in myriad and in general working on my guard retention

- adding strength and conditioning back into my routine and being DILIGENT about it

- returning to Judo competition for more mat time, and the confidence I gain from the high pressure, relentless pace of Judo competition

VIdeodrome Thursday: Zenith Jiu-Jitsu Documentary - Drysdale & Cavaca

Buddy of mine (and recently turned professional MMA fighter) trains with them out in Vegas and I've only heard good things.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

UFC 177: Dillashaw vs Baro - Picks & Prognostications

I'm taking a rare weekend off from my side job and will be taking in a full night of fights on Saturday. The card itself, outside of the main event is not particularly thrilling. I say that just out of abject honesty: the main event is a real toss up as we have several questions to consider:

Who doesn't love an underdog? Who doesn't love an upset? This Saturday we see if Renan Barao simply had an off night on the Dillashaw's night of singularity or if Dillashaw is just the next generation of fighter that dethroned Barao as he closed out the long time peak of his career? IN other news, highly touted (but not making weight) wrestler Henry Cejudo debuts against Jorgensen. Jorgensen is a stern test for a UFC debut,  but Jorgensen is about as low as his confidence probably could be coming off of several losses and stoppages at that. .
There's honestly not a lot else on this card that interests me. Girls fighting, woohoo. Brunson vs Larkin will be a good fight with some athleticism definitely on display. Castillo who I've watched since the WEC will be a good test for Ferguson as he tries to move up the ladder at Castillo's expense.

I've got Dillashaw beating Renan Barao by 4-1 as an increasingly desperate Barao gets taken down by coming forward in an effort to not lose twice to the same man.
Castillo will grind out a tough win over Ferguson by winning 2 out of the 3 rounds.
Nijem will beat the guy he's fighting by TKO in the 2nd round.
Medeiros will win by submission in the 1st round.
Larkin will TKO Brunson with sharp and accurate punches and picks by the 1st round.
Cejudo will take down and grind out an unimpressive win over Jorgensen, dominating the scorecards.

T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
for bantamweight title
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 7:30 p.m. ET

UFC Countdown 177: Dillashaw vs Barao Part Deux

The rematch to the upset is coming.
Many, myself admittedly included, gave Dillashaw the proverbial snowball's chance in hell of beating Barao and his nigh unbeaten streak.

That being said, if you do something long enough against the best of the best, you may just very well falter.

That being said, the countdown video's are below.

The Full Card from
"T.J. Dillashaw vs. Renan Barao
for bantamweight title
preliminary CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 7:30 p.m. ET

Judo World Championships 2014 - Highlights from Day 1 and Day 2

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Adds Caio Terra vs Jeff Curran

      World Jiu-Jitsu Expo adds another superfight: Caio Terra vs MMA veteran Jeff Curran. Oddly enough, it's in the Gi. I find it hard to believe it will go the 15 minute distance/time limit but stranger things have happened.

Other announced superfights include: "Five superfights are also already confirmed – Gianni Grippo vs. Augusto Tanquinho, Nino Schembri vs. Vitor Shaolin, Robson Moura vs. Marcos Parrumpinha, Tim Spriggs vs. Leo Nogueira,  João Assis vs. Rolles Gracie (no-gi)."



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Bishop BJJ Deconstructs Gianni Grippo

Grippo has come on the scene at black belt in the past year. Bishop BJJ breaks down his game: passes, sweeps, positions, and submission focus over in the following post.

It's interesting to begin to see data and analysis in Jiu-Jitsu. For a long time, in Judo, there's been publication of data about the winning throws, % of matches won by weight class with pin or throw, strangle or armlock, and it's refreshing to see that imported into sport Jiu-Jitsu.

Without further ado, read the Bishop BJJ Post HERE.
Gianni Grippo's blog with insight and frank truth about what his life as a high level competitor entails (complete with doubt, struggles, setback, and triumph.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

What I'm.....Listening to, Reading, Watching.....

Excited to compete and referee and support my teammates this weekend at US Grappling Virginia Beach.
 Found this through BJJ News, it's the Podcast over at Bishop BJJ (they have some awesome stuff on their site in general) - Features one of the founders of Metamoris, then Travis Stevens offers some sobering truth about BJJ sponsorship versus the IOC/USA Judo money available in Judo (though to hear Rousey say it, the money isn't really for the athletes either).

Osvaldo Queixinho Moizinho, instructor at Caio Terra's school, has been confirmed from the IBJJ Pro League coming up in October.

In the event you weren't aware, Gary Tonon is some kind of NoGi Grappling wizard with some truly unique parts to his game and very clearly a man who looks to finish as he does not necessarily ascribe to the hierarchy of positions mindset but rather gets to places where he can finish and do so quickly. Watch the BJJ Scout breakdown below to see what I mean. Bananas.




Monday, August 18, 2014

All the UFC's This Weekend!: UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs Le, UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs Ros Anjos - Picks and Prognostications

This weekend shall be busy.
I work my side job Friday night until 2am; supervising adults who don't always act like adults while they socialize and perform the inebriated version of the mating dance. Then I wake up and head to Virginia Beach for US Grappling's all day affair there.

If you're a purple belt featherweight, come compete!
US Grappling is hands down one of the best tournament experiences I continually have as a competitor.

I'll be refereeing as well.

That night, I'm taking a rare night off from my side job and will be enjoying UFC Fight Night 49: Benson Henderson vs Rafael Dos Anjos. That morning, however, from Macau, there will be UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs Le with a full card of fights as well (though the names you'll recognize prove sparse indeed).
There's some interesting climbing the ladder or go to the back of the line type stuff occurring throughout the day.
Bisping comes back from an injury layoff and Le gets a real fight, not just a crowd pleaser type one for us to see his wild kicks and such.

Onto the picks and prognostications!
I'm actually having a tough time calling Bisping vs Le. Le is a sharpshooter and any kick could end it, but Bisping's wrestling has continually improved since he graduated from TUF. I'm gonna go with Le by split decision for laughs.
Woodley dropped the ball in his last outing, but Kim's haphazard swing for the fences style of late (see his fight with Erick Silva) will get him taken down endlessly by Woodley so I'm going with Woodley by decision.
I literally have no idea who the other guys on this card are so they're all a toss up for me.

UFC Fight Night 48: Bisping vs Le
"main CARD
UFC Fight Pass, 9 a.m. ET
Michael Bisping vs.                                                                                                                                                                                                       Cung Le     

Ning Guangyou vs. Jianping Yang
"TUF: China" featherweight tourney final

I like Dos Anjos but he has dropped the ball when he's moved up in competition and Benson's ability to win the majority of rounds by narrowest of margins is historically proven. I'll go with Benson in a close affair where he wins 4 out of 5 rounds.
Mein will falter against Mike Pyle who has the grappling chops to stifle Jordan Mein, but Mein has some slick transitions and submissions he goes for, but I think Pyle will get on top 2 out of 3 rounds and grind out Mein.
Leites will have trouble with Carmont who even Jacare couldn't finish from back control and significant time on top. I see Carmont picking apart Leites and getting a stoppage in round 3.
Max Holloway by decision.
Beneil Dariush will rebound from his last loss and finish some guy I've never heard of in the first or second round.
Killa-B has come back from the B-squad in Bellator (and some entertaining scraps) and will blow out some guy I've never heard of who doesn't have as much experience on bigger stages.

UFC Fight Night 49: Henderson vs Dos Anjos
"main CARD
FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET
preliminary CARD
FOX Sports 2, 8 p.m. ET

UFC Fight Night 47: Bader vs St. Preux - Full Video Highlights

Friday, August 15, 2014

Throwback Friday: First Judo Tournament Post ACL Surgery

13 months removed from ACL surgery, I competed in Judo. I hadn't intended to compete, only to help coach and support some teammates, but being at the venue, with my Gi to warm up with teammates, I realized the only reason I wouldn't compete was not out of fear of injury, but fear of losing and that wasn't acceptable.
It's been a long road back to form after ACL Surgery, but the rule changes to Judo have seriously taken a bite out of my desire to compete. The sport truly does feel different, and winning doesn't feel as good as it did before I left competition due to surgery. I've competed 3 times since my ACL surgery, medaled each time, but the winning just doesn't feel the same. It's a much, much, much more narrow range of throwing techniques nowadays and I truly do miss the versatility of freestyle Judo as it now exists.

That being said, about a year ago:
So I signed up for the 66kg and the 73kg divisions. I took got DQ'd off of a kouchimakikomi/leg touch in the first round of the 66k6 but came back to win 2 matches. I then lost in the semi-finals of the 73kg due to flat out referee error.

At any rate, I do miss Judo, and I do miss the pre-hansokumake-for-leg-grabbing rules:

Friday/Weekend Combat Sports News Mash-Up

Women have returned to Bellator, in the event you watch women fight who aren't named Rousey.

UFC Fight Night 47 is tomorrow.

We've reached critical mass in terms of filling cards with whoever is able to fight: Bader vs St. Preux and Pearson vs Maynard is co-main event-ing this bad boy. I'll be working my side job downtown and hopefully simultaneously catching most of the fights. The good news is there's 6 fights and I forsee a good number of finishes given the names on here: Bader vs Preux will end by stoppage, Maynard and Pearson even if they don't finish one another will slug it out stand n' bang style, Boetsch vs Tavares will be a grinder but both guys always show up to fight win or lose. Shawn Jordan will KO some heavyweight you've never heard of or continue his slip from HW title consideration, but that fight will also end by stoppage. Thiago Tavares will finish Robbie Peralta as I've admittedly not seen Peralta fight.

"main CARD
FOX Sports 1, 10 p.m. ET

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Grappling Blog Master List

I got this over at The Grumpy Grappler's blog, and he got it from Slideyfoot.
Much appreciated.

Tuesday Truth: Excuses & Negativity


World Jiu-Jitsu Expo Adds NoGi Superfight: Joas Assis vs Rolles Gracie

Read up on it HERE:

Other awesome stuff going on at the expo includes: "
Marcus Buchecha, Leo Veira, the Mendes Bros and Roberto Cyborg will be teaching seminars.
All seminars at the WJJE will be in the gi.
Three IBJJF events will take place during the Expo: IBJJF Pro League, the American Nationals Kids and the Long Beach Open.
Three other superfights are also already confirmed – Gianni Grippo vs. Augusto Tanquinho, Nino Schembri vs. Vitor Shaolin, Robson Moura vs. Marcos Parrumpinha."

Negative Nancy's Metamoris After-Thoughts & Considerations

Thanks for telling me you would start at 7pm EST and the day of it becomes clear that means an hour of pre-show commentary then actually starting at 8pm EST. I had hoped I'd see most of the card before I had to head in to my other job but such was not the case.
My primary beef resides with competitors on the card rather than any of the production woes that have plagued the Metamoris in the past.
Gary Tonon asked for Kron. Cyborg has since through facebook and instagram said he wants a shot at Barnett.
Jeff Glover was less high than usual which was welcome.
Ralek was less overbearing and Rorion was nowhere to be seen which was also a huge plus. You could tell they were dumbing down some of the commentary for semi-casual grappling fans (they exist?) but it's fine. We all have a white belt or two in the family or as a roommate as the case may be.
Gary Tonon vs Kit Dale
Other than that slick guillotine, Gary Tonon calling out Kron was bonkers.
Maybe Gary is the Kryptonite to Gary's Superman? They're ADCC match was bonkers, why not roll it back for a high profile match on PPV? I would absolutely watch. Kit Dale's reputation took a hit as he got completely hosed by Gary Tonon once Tonon went for the kill. Kit Dale is funny and his beard is cool or whatever, but you gotta back up some of that with performance in this sport.
Comprido vs Ribeiro
There's a reason why rules regarding gripping and defensive grips exist in Judo. Would have liked to see more of them on the mat, but it's not a perfect world, it's a 20 minute submission only match and with Saulo's background in Judo, of course he wanted to play on top of the larger man.
Saulo did show that he is a monster because when he was on top, he advanced position almost immediately.
Keenan vs Magalhaes
Magalhaes was clearly irritated and frustrated by Keenan's guard and Keenan slowly but surely took over with precision toward the end. Keenan really poured it on toward the end, putting Magalhaes in some legitimate trouble, and Vinny also had a very tight looking leg lock relatively early on in the match as well.
Yoshida vs Glover
Glover's antics irritated Yoshida at times, but I'll say this, Glover would get after it in a split second to set into a leg lock or whatever his flavor was in that moment. Entertaining to see Baret Yoshida out there as I remember watching highlights of him ages ago when I first got into grappling.

Lister vs Barnett
I cannot unsee Josh Barnett's wardrobe from this match.
That is all.
Well, that and he tapped Lister with a diaphragm crush, basically a fat man squeeze a smaller man choke. Impressive, tapping someone almost with position kinda.

Galvao vs Sonnen
Galvao with the submission from the back. Good to watch and see, fun for the whole family.
I'd say this card was the second best they've put on. I had a blast watching the last one, and this was a good card as well. Good times with training partners and good, competitive matches for the most part.