Developing Technique Combinations in Jiu-Jitsu

Omoplata Combinations

John B. Will blogged "Mission Control", a post about building technique combinations.  He made mention of Eddie Bravo’s system and how it has a starting point to move into different techniques and submissions.  In Eddie’s book Mastering The Rubber Guard he has a excellent flow chart that shows how it all works together.  SlideyFoot talks about Roy Dean – Purple Belt Requirements and how he teaches a combination mindset.  Rigan Machado has turned me on to some combo’s in his "RCJ Machado Jiu-Jitsu Camp 2008" DVD’s.  I must have reached a new level in my game.  All of the sudden these not only made sense but I can flow from one to the other.  Lets just say I’ve really turned on to combos.  I picked a set out and drilled it on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  Once I felt confident enough to teach it, I found someone at the academy to train it with.  Blake and I put in some reps together.  This helped build my confidence in using it against someone other then my grappling dummy.  I got to try it out the next class.  It went splendid.  I even got one of the submissions in the combo against Blake who knew it was coming.  I can see how memorizing single submissions, then combinations of submission can build you a network of movement.  Over time it will build in my mind like Eddie’s flow chart.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Fail Omoplata To Arm Bar Technique

Fail Omoplata to Arm Bar Part 1
Fail Omoplata to Arm Bar Part 2

A while ago I posted "Side Control to Omoplata".  Chris in our advanced class, last night, expanded on that technique by showing us how to get a Kimura should the attempt at a Omoplata fail.  Both of the videos show the same thing just from a different angle.  Its hard really seeing what is going on otherwise.  Thank you once again to Chris and Justin for letting me video this.  I’m not good at text descriptions.  I’m more of a visual learner.  Next time I’ll have to be the dummy.

Class went well last night and I had a fun time as usual.  I did some combo techniques that involved a lot of face contact with the gi (Arm Bar to Triangle to Omoplata).  At the end of the class my face looked like I had been sun burned from the gi burn.  I went home and applied some Gi-Burn-Be-Gone.  It is looking much better this morning and isn’t sore.  As usual though I have a few things more to heal.  We practiced the Baseball Bat Choke and I didn’t tap once quickly enough so it hurts to swallow today.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu Is Effective For All Ages

I doubt she is a world champion like the video claims but she does the job well enough.  I would say Dad taught her the Rear Naked Choke but forgot to tell her about tapping.  I think it is funny how she is only mildly concerned.  She calls out "Mom!" like "Dad’s playing dead again".  All of my children will be learning BJJ for their self defense.  My oldest daughter isn’t to excited.  Maybe I should show her this video?  Then again lets not give her any ideas, just yet.  What this video really demonstrates is the effectiveness of BJJ for all ages.  Even a full sized man can’t evade a well placed Rear Naked Choke.  The girls doesn’t have strength on her side she has technique.  After all isn’t that what BJJ is about?  The little guy having a even chance with the big one?  I’m sure some would say he could have slammed her around if he was a real attacker.  I’m not to sure about that.  It came on fast and he seemed to think he had time.  By the time he realized it was too late the lights were going out.  I myself have been caught in a ankle lock by a 40lb student at my school.  Everyone has their a Achilles heel.  BJJ just gives you a better chance of exploiting it.

A Love For All Things Japanese

It seems like every time I listen to some Jiu-Jitsu interview, the person says they were in a martial art and then got drawn into BJJ when they saw the power of it.  I was that way.  I did Kendo, Kempo, Wada-Ru, Kishin Kan Karate, . . . and the list goes one.  My time in each of these led me to have a love for most if not all things Japanese.  BJJ was just a extension of that.  I am sure others feel the same way.  I’m going to be remodeling my office soon.  I wasn’t looking forward to it until my wife pointed out I could do it in a Japanese martial art motif.  I lit up like a kid on Christmas morning!  Can you guess what my favorite dish is?  Sushi!  I can pack away a few rolls and some nigiri  anytime, as long as it is a good sushi bar.  I will even pick it over a big juicy steak.  I took Japanese in college.  I did better in it then any language I’ve ever tried.  Its so much easier to use then English.  That Japanese just seem to have all the cool stuff, martial arts, food, language, culture.  Maybe that is why we find them so attractive.  One day I hope to visit if not live in Japan for a while.  I love America and Japan would be my second home.

Tournament Software for Jiu-Jitsu

I’ve decided to write some software for doing tournaments.  There must be others out there.  What do they use at all of the big tournaments like the Pan Ams?  I haven’t heard of any.  When I Google I don’t find any specifically for Jiu-Jitsu.  I’m not really in it for the money.  I want to write something for the smaller tournaments that can’t afford the big ticket software (what ever it is).  One of the first things you do in software development is discovery.  I’m lucky because I have got to volunteer at West Side Classic the last two years.  It gave me a real feel for how a tournament is run.  This has helped me understand from a organizers standpoint what is needed but I don’t have a strong feeling on what a participants is like.  That would come from someone who has experienced may different tournaments and can tell me what they like best.  So all of you out there who compete.  Please share with me the good things about tournaments you liked and the not so good.  Please give me some comments on what your wish list would be in a tournament.  For example: I wish I didn’t have to wait in line for registration.  I wish I could do it online.  That’s a simple example, I know.  Please share with me.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Finding Your “Happy Place” in Jiu-Jitsu

This weekend I listened to two recent interviews done by  They were Royler Gracie (#200) and Chris Moriarty (#201).  I also read Georgette’s World,  her post "Why Compete" along with Liam of Part Time Grappler’s thoughts on her post entitled "On Competition Motivation".  They all had a central theme in my mind, that was happiness and BJJ.  It seems Royler is tired and needs to spend more time with his family.  He has turned over teaching for the most part to others in Brazil and moved to the US.  Chris burnt out on other’s expectations and over training.  He had to scale back and do BJJ for himself and his love of it.  Georgette competes for the rush of it while Liam finds coaching the most fulfilling.  I think all are valid.  I have been struggling with some of the same thoughts.  I especially connected with what Chris Moriarty had to say.  He admitted to being so rabid about his involvement with Jiu-Jitsu and so worried about what others thought of his game that he trained with ringworm on his face and denied it when asked.  Royler and Chris talked about not worrying about winning every time you roll.  Royler said you should prefect a technique against a white belt.  Be willing to take chances and learn during a roll.  You can lose and still win by learning.  This is what I have found to some degree.  If I let my ego go and worked on the technique I had a goal of mastering, instead of worrying about the win, I had a much better time.  I lose now to people that in the eyes of others I shouldn’t but I think I’m starting to see the pay off.  I’ve found my "Happy Place".  I’ve seen the techniques I’m working on improve against more difficult opponents and I want to be in at Jiu-Jitsu each week despite injury.  I hope this helps you find your "Happy Place" in BJJ.  As always . . .

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Gi-Burn-Be-Gone A Jiu-Jitsu Healing Tip

Even the best black belts get gi burns.  The neck is the usual place to find them.  A good cross choke always seems to leave me a beauty or two.  They don’t cause a lot of pain, just discomfort.  Especially because they aren’t confined to the neck.  Lets just say you never know where you might end up with one after a intense roll.  I have posted a story in BJJ Freak Injuries about my instructor getting one under his eye lid.  You know how some times a paper cut can hurt worse then a deep cut?  That is how gi burns bother me.  I had to find a way to speed there healing.  Especially the ones where clothing might rub, like the collar of your shirt.  I experimented around, with different burns and over the counter creams.  I had a ample supply of gi burns and tried a number of remedies for them over time.  When all was said and done I found that Hydrocortisone worked the best for me.  In most cases, when used the night before, I would wake up to find most of the redness gone and no discomfort when it was brushed or something came in contact with it.  It has become my Gi-Burn-Be-Gone.  I hope it helps you too.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Seeing Outside the Pattern in BJJ

I am a software developer by trade.  "I code therefore I am" is my motto.  I knew I wanted to be a programmer in 7th grade.  What on this green earth does that have to do with BJJ you are asking yourself.  Patterns.  Patterns are logical common algorithms to me when it comes to coding and techniques when it comes to Jiu-Jitsu.  These time proven patterns give us blocks for building complex powerful routines.  But to often we become set in our patterns.  We don’t think "outside the box".  I catch myself doing it all the time.  Its the recognition of other possibilities that I enjoy.  Programming and Jiu-Jitsu both give me those eye opening moments regularly.  I then see how it also translates into everyday activities.  The real trick is keeping my mind open.  Open to new ways of doing things.  Here is a little but silly example that happened yesterday.  The diaper collector was full.  It has a special lid that keeps the stink in.  Kind of like a hazardous materials container from a science fiction movie.  My wife changed the baby’s diaper.  I was watching to see if she would shake the collector like I did to compact things and make it so you might get one more diaper in.  Instead she opened the secondary latch used for emptying the thing and stuffed the diaper in.  I was shocked!  Of course, why try and work through the standard approach that was less efficient.  She might have gotten a larger sniff of stink but she accomplished her designs.  She saw a solution where I didn’t.  She looked out side the pattern of . . . diaper entry!  Hilarious as that sounds it translates into programming and BJJ.  Opening yourself to the unknown possibilities of a technique makes you innovative, unique, and successful.  The challenge is to master the pattern and then see outside the pattern.

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Side Control to Omoplata

Side Control to Omoplata

This week in advanced class we went over a very interesting way of getting Omoplata from side control or cross-body.  In the video, Chris in the white gi, demonstrates the technique on Justin in the blue gi.  I found when Chris tried it on me he had to really get the momentum going to roll me.  If he started it out with a good kick he wouldn’t have to force me over.  Before the apex of the roll if there is any resistance it is equivalent to having the Omoplata on.  So you tend to want to continue the roll feeling you can then roll again and get out of the  Omoplata.  That might work too if your opponent doesn’t grab your belt.  The other thing I noticed was that if I didn’t leave my arm open for sliding the hip over, my partner might just keep sliding back until my face is getting smashed.  I’ve never thought of trying a Omoplata from any where but guard.  With this technique I have added one more position to get it from.  Does any one know how to get it from mount?  Would it even be practical?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

The Healing Art of Jiu-Jitsu?

I find it ironic that one of the reasons I go to Jiu-Jitsu twice each week is for mental well being but not physical it seems.  What I mean by that is each week I find stress relief in class.  Its like popping the mental pressure value.  The aggression combined with the concentration on technique helps me.  But most of the time I spend the week recovering physically from class.  Yes, I get a good physical work out that helps me.  And yes, we are all considerate and try not to hurt our training partners.  Its just that every week there is something that has to heal on my body.  This week it is a jammed finger (I never even felt it happen) and a huge bruise from a failed Ashi-Barai.  I’m dotted all over with bruises in various stages of healing.  Most of my injuries heal in one week or aren’t painful anymore in that time.  I guess what I’m saying is I wish I would harden up a little or that I didn’t feel so old.  I can’t stop doing Jiu-Jitsu.  I know I’d miss it to much.  I’m a addict.  I guess the best course of action is to improve my technique and healing knowledge.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu