How to go from Spider Guard Sweep to a Bicep Cutter

One of my favorite sweeps is the Spider Guard Sweep.  You set it up by grabbing a sleeve and putting one leg in the bend of the that arm.  Then you put the other leg across the abdomen of your opponent with the knee out.  As shown here: Spider-Guard-Sweep-SetupThen using the leg that has the arm around it you push out ward.  At the same time you reach down and get the leg turning your opponent onto the leg across the abdomen.  Like this: Spider-Guard-SweepNow all you have to do is rock back and then forward and you come up in mount.  The trouble is some times they get past that leg on the abdomen.  You end up still controlling the arm but you feel open.  This is where you apply the bicep cutter.  Take a look at these two pictures:  Bicep-Cut-From-Spider-Guard   Bicep-Cutter-Back You will notice all I have done is pulled the arm in a little more and created a triangle with my legs.  Once you have done this all you need do is cut!  This is done by pushing the knee out or by reaching behind the with both of your hands and pulling down on the trapped arm.  What I really like about this technique is the guy  thinks he is past your guard.  It surprises them when you put the bite on them.  Once again, thanks to my Submission Master Grappling Dummy for taking all of the abuse.  It truly is a handy tool for working on your technique and trying things out.

Rigan Machado comes to Utah

I just got news that Rigan Machado will be giving a seminar on January 30th here in Utah.  He is a 8th degree black belt and nephew of Helio Gracie.  He was the first black belt awarded by Carlos Gracie Jr.  I’m really excited to go.  I am still feeling bad that I miss out on Andre Galvao when he came to Unified.  I won’t be missing this one.  Here are the full details:

UCTC in Kearns, UT (4095 West 4715) at 1pm (should last 3 hours).  Cost $50. quotes BJ Penn as saying "’Training with Rigan Machado was definitely an experience that changed my life. At one time, I definitely think he was the greatest grappler that walked the earth."

It should be really good.  I will of course blog about it after it is over and share any pictures or video that I am able to get.

Giving Thanks for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

We all love BJJ.  In fact we are addicted to it.  I am always trying to get friends to join me and try it out.  That is why when I heard that my instructor was starting a free class for high school age youth I thought "Wow, here is some one who is really doing something to further BJJ".  Here is his blog announcing it: Jiu Jitsu Activists.  But he didn’t stop there.  He has even written a children’s book called "Jiu Jitsu Jack".   Jack defeats monsters with you guessed it, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Mark, my instructor, does the drawings and everything.  I think it is some of Mark’s passion that has rubbed off on me and kept me going when the BJJ Blues hit.  How could it not rub off after a few gi burns I’ve got from him. 🙂

As we give thanks this month for our many blessing let us give thanks for those dedicated people who introduced us to this great marital art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  Thank you God for a country where I can practice freely. Thank you Helio Gracie and your sons for bring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to the USA.  Thank you Mark Johnson for showing me the way.

Jiu Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu Jitsu.

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How To Triangle or Replace Guard on a Pass

Rich, one of our instructors, showed me this technique in BJJ class a few days ago.  I thought I would share it with you.  I end up to often with one leg over the neck of the guy trying to pass.  I block the hip but its only a matter of time before they get by because I didn’t know what to do.  With some work I hope to use this escape to either replace my guard or get the triangle choke.  The only thing I worry about is when both legs are crossed around the neck.  If the guy is putting pressure on the one underneath how am I going to pull it out.  I’ll let you know how it goes.  In the video Rick makes it look easy.  I hope it is when I use it in sparring next chance I get.

Double Leg Stack To Triangle or Guard –

Stopping The In Guard Stall Of Laying On The Chest.

I have noticed that sometimes when people are tired and in guard they will stall by laying on the chest of their opponent.  I’ve had this happen a few times.  They hug your chest and don’t give you much to work with.  A friend who was doing it to me, he weighs 65lbs. more then me, gave me a technique to help pry them off or reposition them.  Placing the palms of your hand in there eye sockets is legal in competition.  You push their head back with your palms in the eyes.  This exposes the throat to put a forearm in.  I was surprised at how easy this technique is to execute and how effective.  You can pry the largest opponent off your chest.  Now if you were in a street fight you wouldn’t use your palms but you get the idea.  I found that my opponents resisted as I pushed them up.  This worked to my advantage.  As they realized they couldn’t resist any longer they decided to posture up.  This left a few key seconds where they left themselves open.  I could change to a spider sweep, scissor sweep, or another technique that required some set up with a leg across the belly.  I think after I have used this a few times the opening I’m seeing will vanish.  But for now it seems to surprise my opponents and they pause between deciding to continue fighting to stay down or posture up.

I would like to hear from anyone else who tries this technique.

Mastering Jiu Jitsu One Step At ATime

In my blog The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I talked about new BJJ situations I have been getting in and how that shows growth in my opinion.  I gave a specific example of not knowing what to do with a arm bar that the guy is holding on to.  I said that I wouldn’t let that happen again or that I would learn from the situation.  I went home and drilled with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy on what I would do next time it occurred.  Last night in class it paid off.  I was rolling with another blue belt.  I had him in mount and transitioned to a side mount that I had seen Saulo Ribeiro use.  I faked a cross choke and took the arm.  He managed to get a hold of his arm and then my study and muscle memory training kicked in.  Without thought I threaded my leg through and put him in a triangle choke.  He tapped out shortly after I synched it down tight.  Oh baby! That felt good!  It can be so frustrating to be so close and yet blow it.  It was very satisfying to have identified, analyzed,  trained, and succeeded at improving my Jiu Jitsu.  The next step I think is to know a hand full of techniques I can use against a locked arms like that, not just the transition to the triangle choke.

The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Every person that learns BJJ I think is like a explorer in a undiscovered land.  Rather poetic isn’t it.  Why I say this is as of late I’ve been seeing progress in my Jiu Jitsu.  I am finding myself in situations where I have been trained what to do but I’ve never been in them often enough or at all in a match.  For example the other day I got a white belt in a arm bar from mount.  I just don’t get arm bars that often.  I guess I haven’t been looking for them or I fight opponents higher then me that don’t leave themselves open.  What ever the case this white belt grabbed a hold of his arm forming a rectangle.  I tried to break his grip but he was far too strong.  I decided it was silly to try using muscle anyway.  BJJ is about technique.  So I tried a prying / cutting technique I had been taught long ago.  I didn’t get the technique correct and it had no effect.  The white belt now tried to sit up with his arms still locked.  I was now in real undiscovered country.  I didn’t know what to do to keep him down.  I instinctively pushed with my legs and knocked him back over.  I didn’t realize that the leg on the head was my control and thought he had fallen over because he was off balance.  When he tried again he managed to get up and stack me.  I was upset with myself for letting him out of a sure submission.  This isn’t the only situation where I’ve found my self in a dominate position or so near a submission and blown it.  I’ve decided its a good thing.  I went home and started practicing what I would do in that situation again on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  If I didn’t find my self on the verge of or in undiscovered frontier most of the time then I wouldn’t feel I’m learning.

Top 10 Gi or Kimono Rankings

Georgette tipped me off to the close out sales happening at Atama right now. After searching around I found a Mundial #5, red, A4 that I liked.  I purchased it for $50 off list price.  I’ve been looking for another gi or kimono to help give my Koral MKM Urban Camo a break.  Its starting to show signs of wear on the collar.  I really have been happy with my Koral.  With the exception of one patch having to be sown partially back on it has been great.  I started my Jiu Jitsu training in a HSU Judo gi.  I blogged about the differences between it and my Koral MKM in: Koral MKM Kimono vs HSU Kodokan Gi.  The Koral MKM is my only gi I use right now and I decided I need another to spread out the wear.  My Submission Master Grappling Dummy now wears the HSU.  I’ve heard good things about Atama and a good number of guys wear them at my school.  I will be sure to do a review about the differences between the Koral MKM and the Atama Mundial #5 after I get it.  Next I need to find a competition gi.  Urban camo and red aren’t accepted in most cases.  I need something in white, blue, or black.  I’ve heard that Koral and Atama are in the top 10 for gis but I haven’t been able to find any real rankings anywhere. Here is a guess based upon brands I see in competition:

  1. Koral
  2. Vulkan
  3. Atama
  4. ISAMI
  5. Gameness
  6. Lucky
  7. Venum
  8. Fuji
  9. HCK
  10. Keiko

Tell me the which and in what order you think they are.

How To Execute the Single Leg Take Down “Run The Pike”

This is a continuation from my post 6 Steps of The Shot or Take Down from the Take Down Seminar at West Side Jiu Jitsu.  I just posted Secrets of The Single Leg Take Down or Shot.  Here is one of the single leg take down finishes that Clint went over called "Run The Pike".  I got most of it but my video recorder filled up and cut off the last.  It has enough of the technique to learn it.  I especially like this technique because I feel it is what BJJ is all about, technique.  Its called a momentum technique Clint says.  You don’t need muscle to do it.  You are just falling away from your opponent.  You are using the weight of your body and gravity to throw the person.  I weigh about 212lb.  My 40lb. 3 year old daughter likes to charge and crash into me.  If I’m not ready for it she can knock me off balance.  If she really blind sides me at the right time she can just about knock me over.  I use this example to illustrate the point that only 40lb. directed correctly can bring you down.  So with little effort a smaller person can use "Run the Pike" to take down a much larger opponent.

Clint simply steps back and drops his body.  It reminds me of going down a spiral stair case.  The dropping and sweeping motion create the technique.  One thing I didn’t include in the videos is that once have them on the ground don’t stop!  You can do a double leg bind for instance and then move to side control.  Check the video:

Single Leg Take Down "Run the Pike" –

Secrets of the Single Leg Take Down or Shot

This is a continuation from my post 6 Steps of The Shot or Take Down from the Take Down Seminar at West Side Jiu Jitsu.    I’ve covered the double leg take down and its finishes.  Now I am going to blog on the single.

Some of the secrets Clint shared with us were:

  1. Your head should always be on the inside when doing a single leg take down.  This keeps the target’s hips in check, avoids being flattened, and the Guillotine.
  2. Hips in and Head Up.  Your posture can make or break this technique.  You need to keep your hips in and your head up to get the power you need and to avoid losing control of the shot.
  3. Keep you target off balance.  Once you have the leg if you keep moving the target around until you get the position you want for the finish he won’t be able to go on the offensive.
  4. Lock the leg to you and not you to the leg.  He show how to hold the leg and at the same time be able to quickly let go or react if needed.

In the video Clint talks about how he doesn’t use the double leg take down against big guys and how the single is easier to recover from if you fail in the shot.  I will continue with posts on the finishes he showed next.

Here is the video:

Secrets To The Single Leg Take Down or Shot

Here are some of the other posts related to this seminar:

  1. Hook Leg Take Down or Shot Finish Technique
  2. How to do The Double Leg Flare or Cut-Corner Take Down