Damien Maia – Science of Jiu Jitsu

I watched some of Damien Maia’s Science of Jiu Jitsu, which you can buy here.

It was pretty good. His explanations were sometimes a little hesitant but I think that’s because he is speaking English rather than his native language. And more power to him, very impressive. I am sure later instructionals when his English has improved will be even better.

There were a few pointers he gave about the triangle that I liked.

– He pointed out something we all know but was good to get a solid reminder. When the opponent’s elbow is close to the body (“closed” as he called it) they have power. When the elbow is brought out, like a chicken wing, it loses a lot of power (“open”.)

– A recurring theme, then, was rather than fight an opponent’s grip on your pants by grabbing at his gi on the wrist and yanking, you should instead open his elbow so that he has less power, and then kick your legs. Much easier.

– Countering the half guard pass, somewhere I find myself a lot: You are on your right side, opponent is passing to your right. You have the half guard on his right leg, he has right underhook. As he puts his weight on your body and grips your inside right pant leg to pin your leg to the floor and pass, you grip his wrist with your right hand and straightarm him. Using the straight arm gives you more stability than a bent arm. It is structurally stronger (but only in certain situations.) Maintain this grip and straight arm, then kick your right leg out and over his head. The triangle is there for you already. You can only do this when his weight is up and on you, as he is passing. If he is sitting low to the floor you don’t really have room to manouvre.

– Another triangle setup: after a failed hip bump, he moves his hand back to counterbalance, you slap on the triangle. More detail: I hip bump to my right. My right arm on the floor, hips pushing into his left side. He puts his left arm back to post out on the floor. I continue the turn until my chest is facing the floor. Then, I have space to bring my right leg out from under his arm, then spin back around and onto my back, pulling him down into the triangle.

Goal is to try these out next training session. My triangle is coming along well, so the more I can add to it, the better it will be.


Good training

Training update:
BJJ and Judo are going good. BJJ two times a week, judo once a week, and at least one good hard round on my chin up bar and free weights at home, and I’m really seeing a difference.

I need to: practice my drills. I have learnt an inside sweep, outside sweep, and an over-the-back throw. Crap, my mind is all fuzzy at the moment but when I get back to judo, I will remember the names and write an outline here for myself, to help me remember.

Jiu Jitsu 
Training is going good. Today I rolled with a pro-shooto fighter who was in town for something or other. He Darce choked me about eight times in a row, ankle-locked, kneebarred heel hooked my face off. The only thing I managed to do was pass his guard, keep side position for about a minute, then transition to knee on belly and go for the baseball bat choke. It was really fun though, and, like many Japanese fighters, he was super-humble, and knew when he had a submission–he didn’t need to crank anything, so I didn’t get injured.

Random thoughts:

– My triangle choke wasn’t working lately. I figured out how to cinch it now, though. Always hide my opponent’s shoulder under my thigh. If I can see their shoulder, they have breathing space. Also, until now, I’ve been getting into position, and then just squeezing, which usually doesn’t work. What I need to do is get into the best position, squeeze, then adjust my legs tighter, squeeze again, and keep adjusting until it is cinched as deep as possible. Then raise the hips and pull down on the head. It’s all things together, not just squeezing.

– Passing: For example, passing from standing, to my left (opponent on the ground, their right.) Until now I have been passing by pushing their legs to the right, then circle stepping in with my right leg, jamming their legs and transitioning to side or knee on belly. My coach has changed the sequence now, so that as soon as we are clear of the legs, we switch our hips and put the left leg forwards, ideally to knee on belly. Then, sit on their chest, facing away from them. Keep hold of the legs so that they cannot shrimp or sit up.

– Using the half guard on judo people. From half guard, instead of going for butterfly or sweeps, I’ve found that half guard attacks and sweeps work better. X-guard (mine sucks), so that I control one of their legs with my legs, and the other, I hook my arm under their knee. Pass their hand to mine and hold there, take the balance and sweep.

– Been trying to use some Eddie Bravo stuff. I’m not ready to plunge into the rubber guard yet… after all, I can use the gi to control people and I am still working on my traditional guard and open guard. But I like the lockdown, whip up, and half guard work from there. I’ve been able to make use of old school.