Archive for August, 2010

31 Aug 2010

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  • The Zero Subs Project…Me vs. Ego

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    I’m giving up submissions. That’s right! I’m going on a total submission diet. Between now and October 1st, I will be attempting absolutely zero submissions during training.

    Introducing the….

    Don’t worry…I’m not a defeatist. There is a method to my madness.

    My reasoning is thus: if I am not allowed to submit my opponent, I’ll be forced to roll with only positioning, control and defense in mind.

    It’s part of my new experiment to develop my positioning game, which I feel needs a lot of work. My coach knows about the project, and I’ve asked him to help me do some analysis on how my game changes during this period of time. At the end of the month, I’ll do a write-up and let you know how it turns out.

    There’s an ulterior motive, too. I’m trying to buck Mr. Ego.
    (…)
    Finish reading The Zero Subs Project…Me vs. Ego.


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    30 Aug 2010

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  • Two Unconventional Guard Passing Techniques

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
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    We worked on two unconventional guard passes this Saturday, along with a painful catch wrestling choke and some Greco arm drag / takedown techniques. Dave substituted for Brandon, who will usually be conducting the Saturday class. Brandon’s training partner taught the Greco portion, which was worth of it’s own post…maybe tomorrow.

    At least once every few months, Dave will go over a technique for passing the guard that more resembles catch wrestling than BJJ. In fact, he learned this technique from Mark Schultz, an Olympic wrestling champion who studied BJJ with Pedro Sauer.

    The technique uses momentum to flip the guard player onto his stomach when they won’t open their guard. The person on top does a “box jump” (posts off of the guard player’s hips and hops to his feet), keeping the weight low and the feet back to avoid an easy leg trap. Then the top person drops down to one knee (either side), posts with the hand and kicks the other leg over their opponent, deftly planting it on the mat. This rotates the opponent’s hips around and plants them on their stomach. You should have trapped a leg in this process, which opens up an ankle lock, calf cutter or other painful submission. Or you can pass the leg and take the back.

    I’ve learned this one before, but when trying to apply it I always had problems because instead of keeping my posture up while kicking the leg over, I would effectively just turn around to my hands and knees. It’s crucial that your hip movement is powerful and the kick rotates your opponent’s hips 180 degrees, but your hips only rotate 90 degrees.

    The guard player can counter this move by blocking your kicking leg with their hand, so it may be wise to trap the hand before you kick the leg over.

    Another unconventional guard break is what Dave calls the “Mowgli” after the Jungle Book character. The Mowgli accomplishes the same task (flips the guard player onto their stomach). If someone has you in closed guard and they will not open it, box jump, then pick one of their shoulders and do a powerful bear crawl, keeping your hips low, toward and over that shoulder. The movement will flip them onto their stomach and break the guard.

    Now for the real pain.

    Ever been like me in this video… in the position for an anaconda or a D’arce, but unable to get the angle to finish? Enter a catch wrestling strangle hold that both cuts off blood and hurts like crazy. This is another Schultz move, and can be done from standing or kneeling, and uses this exact setup. And it doesn’t matter if their arm is defending and preventing the triangle…it attacks the neck on the opposite side of the trapped arm.

    To perform the move, thread your arm clear around his trapped arm to the point where your radial bone is cutting across the neck of your opponent. This may require quickly twisting your torso around and pushing your arm through, to the point where your head is more or less in your opponent’s armpit. Yeah. Now your squeezing power is all focused on the far side of your opponent’s neck. Either grip your wrist or gable grip, then pull your forearm into the carotid artery by squeezing. You’ll get the tap either from pain or from the choke.

    Dave said that particular move is not fun when an Olympic wrestling champion performs it on you. I can only imagine.

    We didn’t really roll today, just practiced these moves. I did, however, experience practicing with a female grappler for the first time. Since I am horrible with names and I don’t want to print the wrong name, I’ll forego that this round. It was definitely an interesting experience, though, since she was at least two feet shorter than me. We found out rather quickly that the first guard passing move does not work well with an opponent who is a lot shorter than you. When I tried to flip her by kicking my leg over, she just stuck to my torso and moved with me instead of flipping. When she tried it to me, I could easily keep my guard closed even when she rotated. The best move for both of us was the Mowgli, which seems to work regardless of the size difference between training partners.

    I was grateful for Georgette’s post about rolling with women. The practice went well regardless of the height difference and my inexperience in training with a female training partner.

    PRINCIPLES:

    • By shifting your angle, you can attack different areas with from the same position.
    • Power comes from the hips. Yet again.

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    28 Aug 2010

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  • BJ Penn Claims Frankie Edgar Greased

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
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    bjpenn post fight

     

    Shortly after being soundly defeated in his rematch with Edgar, BJ Penn released a statement claiming that Frankie had done some serious wrong doing.

    “It’s clear to my whole camp and me that Frankie greased his head and all the air molecules around it.  You can literally see the way my punches are gliding off a cushion of greased air, never even touching his face. If it wasn’t grease it must have been reverse-polarity punch magnets, installed in his brain, physically pushing my hands away from connecting. Whatever it was, it was utter bull****.”

    When asked if the total assbeatery he received at the hands of Frankie qualified Edgar to be the lightweight champion, BJ Penn responded saying, “If you want to have your teammates pick you up on their shoulders for the judges, trying to steal the decision, then fine.  Then that’s the guy you are. He’s starting to think he’s this great fighter, the all time best. Take those delusions of grandeur and flush them down the toilet with your anti-damage spray and your excessive-win creams.”

     

    Frankie Edgar’s camp has not yet  responded to these allegations.


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    27 Aug 2010

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  • Escaping Scarf Hold

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Great class tonight by Dave. We worked on side control escapes, which gave me a great chance to apply the things I’ve been learning from Gerald lately.

    We worked three escapes from scarf hold. These sort of assume your opponent is controlling your head and one arm (judo scarf hold or kesa gatame), not both arms (what BJJ players call scarf hold), although I imagine the techniques can be modified for if your opponent has both your arms.

    Rolling today was position training, and I paired with Ben and Matt (white), then Jerry and Jason (blue). The goal was escape from side control or submit from the top. I was on top nearly the entire time. Since I’m not doing submissions (more on that later), I focused purely on shifting my weight and position to maintain control, and experimented with moving between side control styles.

    I was particularly happy with my roll with Jason. First, he helped me tighten up my side control by spreading my knees apart. This both helped trap the hips and helped trap the head, a double whammy! Later, I pulled off a slick crucifix hold. But the best was, I had a definite moment where a principle sank in and the angels sang “hallelujah!” As Jason was struggling to get out from under me, I found myself being pushed up off the ground and nearly swept a couple of times. I countered this several times by shifting my hips and allowing my body to roll with his efforts instead of against them, sort of like staying on top of a ball (am I sensing a reason for the popularity of Swedish exercise balls in jiu-jitsu training?). I was honestly very proud of myself for doing that intuitively. Six months ago I would have been swept.

    TECHNIQUES:

    1. Create a frame. With the opponent in scarf hold off to your right, create a frame with your left forearm against their neck and your right elbow against the floor, connecting in a gable grip. You may have to hip out and fight to free your elbow and place it on the floor, but this is the best place for it (keep control of your own elbows!)
    2. Sweep One: Hip out and backward repeatedly, creating greater distance between your and your opponent’s hips, pushing with the frame until you can basically sit up and pull your own legs into a kneeling position, having reversed the side control. You can assist yourself with your left leg at this point by hooking it around his head and kicking down, like leg wrestling. If your hips are right, the momentum of kicking down helps you reverse and can bring you up into a kneeling side control.
    3. Sweep Two: Gable grip right under their ribs, pull up sharply and arch upward and over your opposite shoulder. This rolls them and reverses the side control.
    4. Sweep Three (my favorite): This is a new sweep that I don’t recognize from any previous classes. Which is cool since it’s been a while since Dave has taught something that I haven’t seen at least once.

      To execute the sweep, you hip out strong, then come over with your top leg and hook your opponent’s top thigh, much as if you were throwing in hooks to take the back. Use the hook to pop your bottom knee through, and close the figure four on the leg. You can then arch your back while gripping your opponents head or gi, while rolling to the left. This does two things – it breaks down your opponent’s offensive posture and even their grip, and it allows you to defend from kesa gatame and go straignt into back control or mount. A very sweet sweep. I imagine this one would be a lot harder if your opponent does a BJJ-style scarf hold and not judo kesa gatame (the difference is in BJJ we trap the far arm and lie across the chest, instead of trapping the head and the near arm. Probably to avoid sweeps like this.)

    5. Another technique I learned today from Jason. If your opponent has side control and is trapping you with his knees in, the basic tendency I have is to hip out. At this point, Jason switches very quickly into scarf hold. But there is a window of opportunity there. When hipping out, I can simultaneously put my lower knee into the space created when he switches positions. It’s a quick movement and preempts his attempt to close the space by switching to scarf hold.
    6. </ol

      PRINCIPLES:

      • Hips are everything. Move, move, move the hips.
      • A failed effort in one direction can result in an opportunity for another direction. For example, failing to execute sweep one – let’s say your opponent follows you and keeps his hips close to yours so you can’t push him over – can create an opening for sweep two. He follows you, so when he comes into you, use the opportunity to hook the leg and go for sweep two.
      • Every transition leaves an opening (but you need to be fast and smart to exploit it!). Using this principle, I will be adapting my shrimping drills to include bottom knee in.

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    26 Aug 2010

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  • Arm Bar Escapes

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Last night had another no gi class with Gerald. We worked on some basic escapes from the straight arm bar – starting with rolling the wrist out and twisting out over your opposite shoulder (I forget what it’s called…the basic arm bar escape illustrated in this YouTube video).

    For the last couple of classes, I have been pre-empting techniques in my mind. Meaning, I have found that as we review a technique, I am just barely beginning to see the fundamentals the techniques are based on, ask questions and see outcomes using those fundamentals.

    Today I realized that to execute a straight arm bar, your opponent has to have your head trapped with his leg.

    Of course I already knew this and have drilled these types of escapes. But but it never really sunk in that this particular fact represented an opportunity. What if I prevent him from getting that leg over? What if I sit up before he can catch my head? What if I block his leg with my arm? What if I push his leg back off once he has it there? I’ve seen and even practiced some counters that involved this, but for some reason tonight this principle really grabbed hold in my brain.

    As it turns out, this was the direction the lesson went. The next escape was to still twist your caught wrist to avoid the lock, but also to bridge and throw your arms up, which puts the leg on the floor above your head. You then trap it by scooting onto it with your neck and shoulders, and sit up into guard.

    Attendance was small and for some reason felt super-informal. Partially that was because I was running on my last 10 percent. Having stayed up till odd hours of the morning working on gi ideas for Seymour’s dang gi-design challenge, I was wasted.

    I ended up practicing techniques with two other white belts: Clint, who I met for the first time tonight, and Matt, who came over from U.C.T.C. and is basically at the same level as me in the learning process.

    The insanity began, though, when a high school wrestler, Adam, got paired up with me for sparring. I just knew he was going to try and break me in half.

    And he did try. I was determined to remain calm and not get into the muscle game. I really, really didn’t feel like getting into full-fledged fight just to show him that I knew a little jiu-jitsu.

    He started to sink in a guillotine almost right away by pulling my head down with breakneck speed. That’s wrestling training for you. Fast and strong. Luckily, I’ve defended a million guillotines and while he out-paced me, I was able to work into a safe position (recover guard) and work out of the hold. Since he was obviously not going to roll casually, I did not really try to submit him or defend myself. Maybe that’s being a schmuck, but I didn’t care. I didn’t feel like rolling that way. He proceeded to climb onto my back and try and rip my head off with a rear naked choke, which I tapped to.

    After I tapped I (hopefully kindly) reminded him we were just training, not actually competing, and told him I wasn’t really up for sparring full out. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to work on instead of spar. He didn’t know much guard passing, so I showed him the basic guard passes I use – I don’t know if it helped him but hopefully it was useful.

    From there I rolled with Matt, and it was a great experience. We talked a little about how we are starting to really understand the value of rolling slowly and flowing in order to learn the balance and leverage principles. I was able to pass guard using an opposite side toe hold and hold him fairly well in side control, but when I tried the barbed wire arm bar setup we learned the other day, he escaped every time and reversed me. I think this was because I did not maintain sufficient control of his far arm and did not keep my weight on him properly.

    Matt got a nice toe lock on me when I tried a double-leg sweep after he stood up in my guard. Second time I’ve been caught with that hold in a week. He graciously pointed out that this is because I am not following my opponent up, but instead staying on my back after executing the sweep. Talk about a facepalm…we’ve gone over that many times but for some reason I had forgotten that crucial step.

    I tried to focus on maintaining balance and flowing. He turtled up nicely several times and I need to learn how to break this down. Got a nice crucifix hold when he went for a single leg, which I always seem to end up transitioning to an upside-down triangle and arm bar from the bottom.

    TECHNIQUES

    1. Arm bar escape 1 – When you feel the arm bar coming on (as soon as opponent starts to sit back) twist your wrist so they can’t line it up and lock the joint and point your hand to the mat above your head. Then bridge and using your feet, walk over the opposite shoulder to end up on your knees. Keep in tight
    2. (…)
      Finish reading Arm Bar Escapes.


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    25 Aug 2010

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  • Crazy-ass Gi Design Challenge: The TMU Scorpion

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
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    Check out my latest submission for the Crazy-ass Gi Design Challenge! I was up till odd hours of the night working on this, but the results paid off.

    (Check out my other designs here

    The scorpion is a great logo for a jiu-jitsu team. It’s unique and it really pins down the essence of jiu-jitsu…control your target, then sting. Dave Johnson is the purveyor of the original logo, which you can see on the Team Machado Utah blog or on my home page. We’ve talked for a while about doing some creative designs based on the scorpion theme, so this is my first effort in that direction.

    I figured this could be a gi with two pairs of pants. That’s how nice it is.

    Here’s the gi top paired with yellow pants:

    And finally, paired with black pants:

    I must have this gi.


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    24 Aug 2010

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  • Armbar and Americana Setup From Side Control

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    Last Tuesday marked my official return to the mat. My foot had healed up enough for me to roll.

    Gerald taught two classes last week. I haven’t taken a class from him in a while because he usually taught the no gi classes at U.C.T.C, which I passed up because of time constraints. It was good to learn from him again. He falls into the category of very big, strong guys that have great technique.

    Incidentally, Tuesday also marked the first time I’ve grappled no-gi in about a year. Pathetic, I know…and I could tell.

    If I may…the gi vs. no-gi argument is largely pointless, I think. I’ve trained gi because I enjoy the huge variety of submissions it opens up, and it really teaches you choke defense. Plus, learning to move with the gi makes it that much easier to move when you take it off. But no-gi offers its advantages, too. If you train no-gi and can execute moves without handholds, when you are offered gi grips it can potentially give you an advantage.

    I always just assumed that the no-gi would come naturally. That’s partially true. I held my own. But without the gi I was having a hard time in guard. I hadn’t realized that guard is not necessarily a great place to be when you don’t have good grips. I survived, but I was definitely not used to having such a limited arsenal.

    Our training consisted of a technique for setting up and maintaining side control, and using this technique as a setup for a choke, an armbar and an americana. A video toward the end shows a variation that is close to what we learned.

    The side control setup deals with trapping both of your opponent’s arms. The far arm is trapped as you wrap around it with your lower arm (the arm closest to your opponent’s feet) and place your own hand on your ear. Isolate their inner arm by trapping the shoulder with your upper knee and then trapping their arm between your arm and your side.

    From there, you can crossface and apply what Dave calls the scoot choke. It’s a choke we use with the gi. For no-gi, you start by crossface underhooking their neck, then sliding your elbow over their head while maintaining a grip behind the shoulder, then bringing your forearm across the throat and forcing the chin up while you put your elbow to the mat. It’s a scoot choke because you keep scooting your elbow north until it cuts off the blood. I found this harder to do without the gi, but got it to work in practice.

    The americana setup is actually really effective. You have their far arm trapped, and if they reach around your arm and head to try and apply pressure to your head, you let go of the underhook with your upper arm, force the wrist to the ground and apply the kimura. They are completely setting themselves up by putting their arm in the position for you to secure it and apply the keylock.

    The armbar setup was new to me. It’s similar to other setups when you target the far arm from side control, but maybe a little more brutal. While keeping the far arm secure, you begin to rotate to north/south, which if you do it right and keep pressure on them, will cross their arms into a “barbed wire” position. Very uncomfortable…especially when a 300 lb black belt is doing it to you.

    Here’s a video from Lotus Jiu-jitsu Brooklyn on YouTube that shows a similar setup…(…)
    Finish reading Armbar and Americana Setup From Side Control.


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    24 Aug 2010

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  • Fall 2010 MMA classes start today

    This Article comes from SLC MMA
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    For those whom it concerns:

    Fall semester started Monday, and MMA classes begin tonight (Tuesday) at 8 PM.


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    23 Aug 2010

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  • Design Your Own Gi…And You Could Win It!

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
    To see the full original article click here


    For many of you this will not be news. I’ve been waiting to post this until I actually designed some entries so I had something cool to post with it. So if you’ve already heard about the big gi design competition put together by Seymour Yang of Meerkatsu, just humor me and skip to the end of the post to see my designs. The rest of you, listen up!

    Gi players, this is the chance of a lifetime. Seymour has arranged a competition to design the craziest, most freakishly cool gi possible. The winner of this competition actually will get their gi designed and built, courtesy of Tatami Fightwear, a British company that apparently makes some pretty nice gi’s.

    You’ll find my designs at the end of this post. I have a few more ideas I haven’t finished yet, but they’ll be forthcoming.

    For those of you who like to design on the computer, I created an Illustrator EPS file out of the gi outlines that Seymour posted, which you can download here.

    First, my voyage into the world of superheroes and villains:

    GiVenom - Inspired by the supervillain Venom (click to view full-size).

    Now on to a gi based on Norse mythology: (…)
    Finish reading Design Your Own Gi…And You Could Win It!.


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    19 Aug 2010

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  • Interview With Brandon Ruiz

    This Article comes from Arcanum Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Blog
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    I have mentioned before that here in Salt Lake we have some excellent grappling instructors with a wide variety of experience. As a Machado black belt and a multiple Greco-Roman and Freestyle All-American, not to mention Pancrase champion, Brandon Ruiz brings a lot of experience to our grappling community in the valley. Brandon actively trains and competes, which means he doesn’t spend as much time teaching, but I have had the opportunity to take a class from him. Last year he instructed a takedowns seminar at U.C.T.C. It was a phenomenal class. Word on the street is that Brandon will be teaching a Saturday class at the new Team Machado Utah location at East West MMA in South Jordan, which is great news for those of us who train there.

    For a complete list of Brandon’s creds, check out the Team Machado Utah blog.

    Brandon graciously took the time to do this interview right after the first TMU class at East West MMA last week, so I asked for his insight on the integration of wrestling into Brazilian jiu-jitsu and his opinions on teaching and training. I may have sneaked in a couple of MMA questions too.

    It’s a two-part interview. Enjoy!

    PART I

    PART II


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