Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gi: 1/25

Started off training with Johnny teaching some wrestling stuff. Single legs, specifically. He taught the one where you pull their leg out with you completely on the outside (not with it trapped between your legs), reach around and trip them down. Also the one where they try to crossface your head to the outside and you have to act quickly by turning the corner toward their free leg as opposed to the other way. I suck at describing takedowns. Johnny mentioned he's doing TDs on Wednesday now which is cool. I need to work my wrestling more. Just hope my kneecaps don't get fucked up too badly.

Casey went over the kimura from north/south and armbar transition. Both among my highest percentage attacks. Third attack was you grabbing their own far side lapel with your laced through arm (as if going for the kimura but not grabbing the wrist of your other hand; instead you grab their lapel from under their belt), tie up their arm, drop your weight and take the paper cutter. Hadn't seen that technique before, but I like it.

Rolled with Sergio and Antony. Played some good guard with Antony. Had some great hip movement and tried working De La Riva with little success. Rolled with Michael at the end and had the scissor sweep variation sweep, guard passing, etc. Nothing too remarkable to report on.

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/20 Gi: Nut Shots and Turtle Rolls

Did some warm ups which involved running around the gym, double legging the heavy bags and taking down the last person to run the circle, then getting taken down yourself. Worked the baseball bat choke, the lapel choke where you pull your own lapel, the one closest to their head (when you're in side control), feeding across their neck and spinning to north/south for the finish. I think it's called the Jacare choke on youtube. Maybe. Also worked the modified bow and arrow from crucifix, which you achieve from side control after jacking their lapel up to their neck and passing behind their head.

Drilled from side control then rolled with Sergio and Antony. Some triangles and armbars for Sergio but Antony and I had some great competitive rolls. Our last one had some epic scrambles. I escaped to turtle at one point and rolled through while controlling his leg and managed to recompose guard. Felt pretty good about that. At the end, JC and I ganged up on Coe but ended up losing miserably. Although it doesn't really count because Coe insisted on kicking me in the nuts. The damn cup slipped and caught a testicle at one point which sucked so fucking much.

Been taking the back a lot more than before which is nice. Still gotta work on securing the submission that I want without being forced to transition because of sloppiness.

Monday, January 16, 2012

No-Gi: 1/15/12

Got to the gym at 6pm and rolled with Josh until the main class at 7:30. He got me in his ridiculous Rick Flair style kneebars off my De La Riva attempts. If I'm gonna do that, I probably need to better control his wrists. Worked some open guard since I can't ever establish closed with him, got choked, armbarred, etc. Didn't want to over train since I got over a cold this week and energy-wise, I wasn't back to 100% yet.

Sat out most of the main class and watched. Two new guys were there. One might have been a UGA student and the other was a young guy who recently moved to the US from Germany. The techniques were arm-triangle from mount --> side control finish, keylock from scarfhold and some sort of neck crank. I tried watching them roll but it was torturous; new guy kept struggling to get out of JC's guard (expected) but his arms were posted super high near JC's shoulders and no armbar was occurring. Thus, he kept posting his arms high and thought it was OK. Michael kept RNC'ing the German guy (Roland, I think) until the guy realized he needs to protect his neck. I stepped in to roll with about 20 minutes left. Got Michael in an ankle lock, RNC'd Roland a bunch and armbarred the other guy into oblivion. Gave him some tips at the end on how to avoid getting your arm cranked such as don't extend it when in a bad situation, posture up in guard, etc. I think they both signed up, so fresh meat to train with.

In other news, I think butterfly hooks are my new bestest friend. I've been using them a lot to sweep, prevent passes and such. Combined with improved hip movement, I'm seeing my guard continue to evolve and improve. Looking forward to some gi on Wednesday.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

No-Gi: 1/8/12

Fun night of no-gi action. Worked some more Z guard techniques. One was a pass where you reach down behind their top leg and monkey paw right above the knee on the bottom leg. Grab a hold of their bottom arm wrist, plant the top of your head into their stomach, kick back the trapped leg and pass into side control. The counter to that was to fight back and control THEIR wrist (same one trying to grab yours) and push their head downward into the ground. When you get enough space, you can recompose guard. We also discussed how you can counter the pass by controlling their monkey pawed arm wrist (thumb up for you), slide your shin into the bicep and work leg lasso position for the bicep slicer, the sweep (controlling their closest leg and kicking out), or spinning under and around for the omoplata.

Rolled with JC, Katie, Sean and Fausto, who's finally back from getting his Master's out of state and will be training with us while he looks for work. I felt like I had my strongest no-gi night possibly ever. Worked on maintaining good posture control, over/underhooks, head control and working submissions from guard and playing with hooks. Got tons of sweeps, played top game and worked passing, hit some nice transitions including armbar --> flower sweep --> armbar finish with opponent on his back, triangle-based sweeps, mounted triangle attempts, head scissor finish from north/south, etc. Felt really relaxed and in control the entire night, never losing guard and imposing my offensive game to the fullest. Even got out of JC's closed guard and passed/mounted/dismounted/north-south. Passing his closed guard is definitely an accomplishment because he's got those crazy long legs and can hold you there for ages while you gas out defending submissions.

All in all it was an awesome night. I need to work on getting used to more no-gi because the gi feels like a security blanket at times, even though I know my ground game is really solid right now.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Power of the Blue Belt

There are a lot of people that make snide comments about shiny, expensive gi's and gear, saying "I hope these make my armbars better", etc. Well, there's something to that. New stuff, including a new belt rank, DOES make you better. How? The grappling game is part physical, part technique, and a whole lot mental. Sometimes a new piece of gear will give you that confidence you need to get your game to the next level.

When I replaced/retired my shrinking white Alliance gi from my lineup and put on a slick new blue Keiko Raca, I definitely felt more solid: because I looked fucking pimp. Now with the blue belt, I not only feel pimp-er, but I feel the need to kick my game up to the next level. It's like I can't take mediocrity. How does this directly translate? A HUGE problem with newer grapplers is the inability to get out of a bad situation if you're gassed or feel it's pointless. I feel the need to FORCE myself to escape from bad positions. I have that extra breath. I will not settle for complacency! Why did I have the tendency to "chill" in certain positions (eg: guard, mount)? That is not acceptable, because if you're not on the offense, the other person is.

Constantly attack. Show no mercy.

I felt great tonight, back in training for the first time since December 19th when I was promoted. I was fierce and constantly attacking. Using hooks to sweep. Armbars. Back to guard. Cross-sleeve control. Throw that nigga around. Take the back. Give me your fucking neck.

We worked some Z guard stuff. Triangle, Omoplata, Mir lock and some straight armbar options. I was familiar with all this stuff as I play a lot of Z guard, but I usually opt for the armdrag --> back take. I'm going to work on implementing more of these attacks as Z guard is my prime half guard position. Also, as mentioned, work for the underhook and check out the sweep options. I don't intend to explicitly work on deep half any time soon, but if it happens, it happens.

As a bonus, checked out the berimbolo position... but much like my initial attempts at tornado guard, I couldn't figure out the mechanics of the position enough to take the back. I *may* continue to work this out, because it's an awesome counter to the combat base (or standing de la riva); and I need something like that in my game. Check out the video. Warning: very fancy.