Teaching

One of the rewards for getting my blue belt is that I can teach the odd Sunday class, when sensei is busy. I’m pretty pumped about that. But it means I have to really start thinking about moves and how to break them down and teach them to someone else. It also means I have to figure out my class. So here are a few notes, mostly for my benefit.

Class Structure:

Warm up:

  • Press ups (various types) ~100
  • Sit ups (various types) ~100
  • Pull up bar (wrap belt around bar) ~20
  • Squats ~50

Stretching

Drills

  • Situp sweep drill ~20
  • Pressure drill (Keeping pressure on partner’s chest (or back), spin around using no hands.) (1 minute)
  • Armbar and triangle from guard ~20
  • Armbar from mount ~20
  • Knee on belly switching ~20
  • Guard passing to knee on belly ~20

Positional sparring

  • Half guard ~2 mins, then change position
  • Guard ~2 mins, then change position
  • Side ~2 mins, then change position
  • Mount ~2 mins, then change position

Sparring

  • From knees, 5 mins with 1 min break

Moves that I can teach
It will only be the beginners’ class that I teach, so nothing too complex.

  • Armbar
  • Triangle

Now for my shorthand nonsense where I get all the names wrong.

There are enough moves for a few weeks there to get me started. I’m going to look back through my archives to see if there are any other moves I can use.

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Some crap-as-hell BJJ

I took my video camera to training the other morning.

Here is the result… ugh, I look like a mildly-annoyed sloth who’s been pulled out of his favourite tree by a short, stubby Japanese man.

Part 1

Part 2

Positives:
– I’m attacking almost all of the time
– Active guard
– Sweeeeet sweep at about 1:27 of the second video

Negatives:
– I attack far too slowly
– Got to tighten things up more
– I got freakin tapped by some craphouse move at the end
– I’m still 2 kilos too heavy for the comp 😦
– I just generally look all around sucky.

Need to somehow figure out how to simultanously tighten up my game without becoming too tense or missing opportunities. Definitely need to attack much faster. And I need to get my endurance and stamina up so that I can just keep attacking for the whole six minutes of the match. As soon as I let my concentration down, or pause to rest, the other guy has a chance to pass or attack. I really want to be attacking for the entire duration of all my matches. If I am defending, I am losing.

The other rolls that session were much better but my teacher didn’t bother filming them. That’s okay, I can live with you guys seeing my crapness.

BJJ thoughts

Training the other night was a strange affair.

First I had loads of trouble handling one guy whose nickname is “the kid” because, um, he’s just a kid. So that wasn’t very good.

Then, I had trouble handling Smoky McDeathlungs (that’s what I call him) — a guy who goes apeshit for about two and a half minutes, and is impossible to control, and then starts gasping for air and pawing weakly at you for the remaining two and a half minutes while you have your merry way with him.

Then I rolled with my sensei. I don’t think our styles match up, or maybe he just wasn’t trying very hard, but I found it easier to roll with him than with old Smoky McBlows-his-wad. My legs and arms are very long, and my sensei is very short. So sometimes we are just incompatible and I can do things I shouldn’t be able to do in order to escape from his attacks.

Well, let me rephrase that. I can use my natural assets and advantages to give me an edge where my technique is lacking. And I don’t feel too great about that.

Having said that, I was unable to mount any kind of offense on him, and he did choke me out twice and armbar me during our roll, so it’s not like I’m on the verge of overtaking him or anything.

Then I had an interesting roll with Shota-san, who spent some time in Brazil. Usuall he beats the crap out of me. But after several lacklustre rolls, I really wanted a scrap, and he is always up for it. So we had a real blast for 5 minutes, rolling from one side of the room to the other, going all out, and not giving each other any respect (in a mutually respectful way, of course.) To my surprise, I kept persisting and eventually managed to pass his guard and get to side control. He normally has an overwhelming pressure that always puts me on the defensive. But once I over came it, I didn’t give up, and I got to side control, I actually felt him physically wilt and the pressure recede. I was then able to mount an attack, stepping over his head and into a kimura, but couldn’t finish it in time.

So the last roll of the day fixed up an otherwise uninspiring training session.

Busy busy… but still time to think about BJJ

New posts and responses to questions will come soon.

Too much stuff going on at the moment to be able to focus on it just yet, so keep tight.

In the meantime, some random martial farts:

BJJ
note – I had to edit this because I basically said basically about 50 million times. lol.
I’m working on my hook guard… basically butterfly guard but the other person is either standing or kneeling or giving me some room to move. I grip their gi pants leg, around the shin area. Currently experimenting playing with balance. Pushing one way, waiting for the resistance, then switching and going for the sweep. Difficulties are letting go of the grip in order to clear their arm (thus giving them a chance to recover balance with their leg) and also what the hell to do when I get to X-guard. Must ask my sensei about that.

I’m also trying to literally use my head more… for guard passing, I try to use my head to control their body. I might be making a mistake there, but it seems to be working so far. Control the legs, apply pressure with my head and shoulders while I free my legs and walk them around for the pass.

Oh, and I got choked out for the first time. Hardcore.

I was rolling with Big Judo Guy®. Last time we rolled, he basically rubbed his chest into my ear for five minutes as I lay on my back completely unable to do anything about it (or breathe.) I didn’t want that to happen again this time.

This time, he squashed me for three and a half minutes, then started choking me out pretty good. I felt myself feeling a bit strange, but stupidly decided to struggle and writhe around in an attempt to escape. Next thing I know, there’s a strange feeling of release. I didn’t crap my pants or anything, but the next thing I remember I’m sitting up and there’s stars in my vision. He said to me “Shimekata.” Completeley without expression. (“Choked.”) I nodded, yes, then we shook hands and rolled again. Because that’s the way I ROLL. YEAH.

Wing Chun
My interest in dogma-fighting has been rekindled. Somebody whom I (with good reason and intentions!) focused on from my previous wing chun school, and basically bullied him into facing the truth about the wing chun he was training, has recently taken his first BJJ class, and is loving the release, the freedom, the satisfaction, the liberation – freeing his mind and body from the shackles of such a dogmatic and convoluted strain of an already difficult style.

I remember well my first week of BJJ. I was literally grinning like a maniac. It was so satisfying not to have any limits on the way to move my body. I could move it in the most natural and energy-filled way, and be told “good! good!” rather than “oh dear. You need to relax more. You suck very, very bad right now. It will take approximately 20 years before you are even close to being able to move your arm in a straight line correctly. Yeah, sorry about that. But this is the best style in the world, so, you know. It’s worth it.”

And how the instructor would demonstrate a movement that looked so difficult at first, like the triangle, or armbar from guard. And my mind was so indoctrinated with the wing chun training process, I thought it would take me literally years to be able to pull this kind of thing off correctly. But I remember my great surprise and joy when within weeks, I could begin to actually do them, and in just a few months, start tapping people out with them.

And this, my ultimate martial fart for the week.

“On the streets, there are no RULEZ! Not like in the ring, a sport, where there are RULEZ! OK! MAn I HATE THE RULZ SO MUCh they limit my wing chun quite a lot for reals.”
– Reason number 4,567 why wing chun is better than anything else in the world ever.

I was thinking about this the other day. And you know, it hit me. On the street there are no rules.

Really? What about the law? Where in the law does it say it’s okay to gouge somebody’s eye out if they threaten to duff you up? Where in the law does it say kneeing somebody in the groin, or tearing their balls of with a twist of the wrist (the movement is in the first form… if you didn’t know that, you don’t have teh real wing chun) is acceptable behaviour?

News flash! It doesn’t! Those things are illegal!

Now where can you repeatedly punch someone in the face, elbow them in the nose, or knee them in the ribs? Where in the world is it legal to pound the everloving shit out of someone for fifteen minutes? Where in the world can you take a huge dump on someone’s face and not get in trouble for it?

Everything except that last one, you can do “in the ring.”

So there! MYTH BUSTED! On the street, there are rules.

BJJ thoughts

Time for a break. I’ve been going every other day for a week or so. Doesn’t sound like much but my right knee is complaining loudly. It’s communicating with me like some kind of wild animal by puffing up, turning red, and making strange noises.

However I went out with a bang last night.

First an outline of a good half guard pass to help me remember.

My right leg is trapped in half guard, I am on top. I turn my hips to the right and sit down, after jamming my left knee up above their hip. Keep my butt away from them so I have a base. Left arm goes over their right shoulder and grips the gi behind their neck. Forearm pressure to keep their face looking up or to their left, to prevent them shrimping. Walk my right foot up bit by bit until it is right up to their butt, so my knee is up in the air and they have to fight to keep the half guard. Push their legs / knees down with my right hand so their legs are now wrapped around my calf. Then, post out with my right hand over their body, ideally underhooked under their left arm. Raise up enough to switch my hips out, so that I’m on my right side, probably with just my foot left trapped. Right knee on the ground, left leg posted out. Now change my grip… move left hand from behind neck to grabbing their right arm, pistol grip on the sleeve. Pull their arm tight to my chest. Free the leg, turn to side control, using my grip on their sleeve to control their movement until I am stable.

Had some average rolls, although got a triangle on a the blue belt that went to Brazil and managed to sweep him with it but the buzzer went before I could finish it. He probably would have escaped anyway.

I’m loving the higher belts who have taken a month off training (when I’ve been training my arse off) and come back rusty. I had a great roll with a purple belt. For the first 5 minutes I was just surviving. Then in the last minute, I was playing (awful) spider / de la riva guard and I noticed he was standing with his feet too close together. Quicker than you can say “schoolgirls underpants”, I sat up, trapped his lower legs by closing my guard around both of them (I have long legs), then hugged his knees before posting out and totally taking his ass DOWN. YEAH. A bit after that, we scrambled and he managed to stand up with my leg still draped over his shoulder. Quicker than you can say “Rumina Sato is pretty nifty”, I flying triangled his ASS. Or rather his face/neck. He had to lower me slowly to the ground where he rode out the last 5 seconds on the timer. Natch!

It was fun though. I really am not an egotistical person at all (it’s difficult for me though, being so incredibly handsome and intelligent.), but one of the things I love about BJJ is when everything goes right for a change, and people happen to be watching. There’s nothing worse than pulling off the ultimate sweep of doom on a higher belt and looking up only to find nobody saw it. So I like it when you do something or have a good roll and there happen to be a few people watching, and they make various hooting and / or howling noises whilst banging their hands together.

Yes.

BJJ thoughts

I bought that magazine, with the DVD with the Eddie Bravo Rubber Guard seminar.

I tried to understand what Eddie was talking about and to be honest, it sounded pretty good, and watching the other instructionals from different instructors after, I felt that they all had holes that Eddie’s system could exploit somehow. Interesting.

I want to try to add elements of Bravo’s rubber guard to my game but I know it’s a long and difficult process so I’m starting off slowly and with the very basics. I started just by trying to break the posture of whoever is in my guard, and then creeping my legs up to a high guard. It worked well against a blue belt (although he was a bit rusty having taken a 2-month break), and especially when I gripped my ankle with my wrist, I was able to shut him down completely. I was happy with that as a first attempt. I was totally not confident transitioning into omoplata / jiu claw, so that may be the next step for me to add to my to-do list of Bravo moves to practice.

I really like the butterfly guard sweep where you roll to your shoulder and kick your leg high in the air. I have some success with that lately, and even managed to pull off a variation of it on the same blue belt above (after 4 attempts. Once I got into the swing of it, he couldn’t stop it–the 5th time.)

Experimenting with this transition: from full guard, break the posture, buttscoot left a little, trap their right arm somehow (overhook or just between my leg and arm, underhook my right arm, then sneak my right foot into half butterfly guard (basically hook my foot under their left thigh) and sweep. Careful not to grip too tightly with the right arm so I can base out after the sweep.

Also the Saulo Ribeiro sweep from full guard (kicking the leg over the shoulder while gripping the arm and the knee) is great as an attack. Even if you don’t sweep, you can force them to deal with it, which puts them on the defensive, and allows you to move onto the next thing.

Marcelo Garcia said on “Arte Suave”, you have to always be attacking in jiu-jitsu. If you aren’t attacking, you’re defending. On the back foot. At the moment, I agree with him.

BJJ thoughts

Thoughts from a few training sessions.

First, superpowers somewhat returned. However, explanation of superpowers is: I’m heavier than most of my partners. I got a rude awakening on Friday night when I rolled with a guy only about 4 kilos heavier than me, who diets to my weight class for fights. He’s a judo blackbelt and policeman (don’t all BJJ schools have one of them?!). When I was on top, it was kind of OK. He’s big as hell with thick arms and legs, and uses a lot of physical strength and aggression, but I managed to keep on top of him for most of the time during drills. Then during free spar, he slammed me on my back and basically squashed me for 6 minutes straight. He couldn’t finish any subs, but I couldn’t escape for shit. Afterwards, gasping, I asked him how much he weighed, expecting a figure in the low hundreds or possibly thousands of kilos. 76 was the reply. Yipes. I’m 72 on a good day.

Fun with long legs.

I used to curse my long legs and gangly frame, but I’m enjoying it lately. If I can keep my balance, it is very hard for people to effectively sweep my just because I have a wide base. So I’m learning how to keep my ankles away from their hands and use my length to my advantage. Lessons learnt that day were to roll with heavier people more often. Another lesson learnt (or re-learnt) was not to be flat when I’m on my back. Turn into a ball and the opportunities for sweeps, escapes, etc. will present themselves.

I feel lately with my rolling, and I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing, that I roll very instinctually, in that about 50% of the time I’m thinking of doing a technique, and the other 50%, I’m not thinking anything and just kind of making it up as I go along. Perhaps it’s a communication thing, as I’m not so engaged with learning and communicating simply because of the language barrier at my school. In some instances though I feel it gives me an advantage because I do things that people are not expecting. In other ways, I’m at a disadvantage because I might get stuck somewhere where I know I know the escape, but it doesn’t come to me easily because I didn’t absorb t properly when it was being taught.