Dojo Wars at West Side???!!!

Takedowns on Tuesday Part 1


Takedowns on Tuesday Part 2
Takedowns on Tuesday Part 3

We practiced takedowns a week ago on Tuesday.  I had a pulled bicep and sat it out.  After watching my videos it looked like Dojo Wars!  With everyone going at once it was a battle scene.  As time wore on you can see the fatigue setting in.  By the time part 3 was being captured it turned from Dojo Wars to something like marathon dancing. LOL!  Most of the guys are just learning grip fighting and takedown technique.  I myself have nothing to brag about when it comes to grip fighting and takedown technique.  I have been trying to improve by reading Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  I did a review on it some time ago "Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu by Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss".  It has really opened my eyes.  But book learning and practical application are two different things.  I hope next week we have "Takedown Tuesday" as I’m calling it and I get a chance to go over some of the things I’m learning in the book.  Until then its time to drill what I can solo from the instruction in Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

De La Riva to Tomoe-Nage Sweep on Magic Monday

De La Riva To Tomoe-Nage

Magic Monday is the advanced class at West Side Jiu-Jitsu.  We always have a good time learning something new.  It became known as "Magic Monday" for all the the sweet techniques Chris teaches.  This week we went over two sweeps from De La Riva Guard.  As you can see here I got some nice footage of the De La Riva to Tomoe-Nage sweep (Shown in  Jiu-Jitsu University on page 169).  You will notice that Blake gets into it so much he does a roll after the demonstration.  That’s the spirit Blake!

What I like about this technique is it doesn’t feel like a over head sweep like the Tomoe-Nage is coming.  With the left leg, in this case, wrapped around the opponents leg, it doesn’t feel like you could chuck them over you.

The other thing I like about it is it doesn’t let the opponent flail about.  When you do a Balloon Sweep, sometimes people freak out and kick their legs about.  This just hurts them when they strike something or fall funny.  It also messes up my Balloon Sweep because I’m afraid they are going to hurt both of us.  If I didn’t care about my training partner I could just send them sailing to . . .  you get the idea.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu


Free High School BJJ Grabs the Spotlight

Many of you contributed gis when I posted "Donate a Gi and Change a Life".  The idea of free classes for High School students wanting to learn BJJ that may not have the resources to do so, is going full bore.  Thank you all.  I thought I might share with you some of the latest publicity about the program.

Our local paper, The Standard Examiner did a article on the free High School BJJ classes that West Side Jiu-Jitsu has been offering.  It is entitled "Ogden Teacher Uses Free Martial Arts Classes to Steer High School-Age Youths to Wise Choices".  They even did a interview with Miles Vigil, one of our own and a instructor.  Watch the interview to see them in action.  Mark, my instructor, posted pictures that he scanned in from the paper HERE.  I noticed some good Faces of Jiu-Jitsu in the interview.  You might even be able to pick out a gi you donated if you look closely.

Its the summer, its hot, and everyone is out of school.  I’m glad to see the dedication to teaching and learning that brings everyone together to continue growing in the martial art we all love, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

The Scoop on Monday Night Magic BJJ

The Scoop

One of the best books out there for the BJJ beginner or white belt is Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro.  I learned the Scoop from Saulo’s book at home when I was first getting started.  It was easy for the more experienced belts to get my back then.  When I learned to Scoop they still tapped me out but I began to survive.  It was the first step in improving my game.  Chris and Justin demonstrate the Scoop in my video from last nights class.  We call it Monday Night Magic because Chris always comes with magic moves for us to learn.

Some of the finer points of the Scoop I want to point out are:

  1. Don’t slide down to far.  If you end up nearly flat on your back all your opponent has to do for a Arm Bar is swing a leg around.
  2. Keep the points you win.  What I mean by that is when you get that first leg off make sure you keep the same side elbow down.  Don’t let them get back ground they have lost.

Even for advanced students I think the Scoop is good to know.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu Sponsors

I’m proud to announce that has decided to sponsor JiuJitsuMap!  You will notice the logo on the site, a new sponsor page and link section.  I’ll be doing reviews of different items sold by  To start it off I will be doing a review of the Vulkan Pro Light Gi.  As it is getting hotter at classes I’m especially excited to try a lighter gi.

I’d like some suggestions on other items I should review.  Check out what they have at MMA Outlet and let me know what you would like to see reviewed.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu


The Small and Large of It in Jiu-Jitsu

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

Earlier this year I did a post on The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi called "The Book of Five Rings and Jiu-Jitsu".  I’ve continued to read it off and on.  Every once and a while something really strikes me.  Today I was reading in the Fire Scroll about "Small and Large".  Musashi says "When fighting adversaries and get to feeling snarled up in petty maneuvers, remember this rule of military science:  while in the midst of minutiae, suddenly you shift to large perspective".  I knew this concept on a subconscious level.  It was happening to me when I was so concentrated on getting a specific submission I couldn’t get, I wouldn’t see anything else.  Eventually I would give up and start looking for another submission I might do.  Mark, my instructor, pointed this out to me in one of his lessons when talking about working your legs.  If nothing is going on up top then think below.  Musashi and Mark were both saying the same thing.  Don’t get fixated on a small part of what is happing in a roll.  There are many things going on at once.  You can’t perceive them all but you can open yourself to more then one.  I’m going to try and think more "Large" and less "Small".

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

No Double Taps in Jiu-Jitsu

One, Two, For Both of You

You know the thing I like about BJJ is there is a clear winner.  Yes, there are matches where points decide it or judges decision.  But do you really have any double tap outs?  You sure don’t accidently get each other in a leg lock and tap out at the same time.  These two slam faces and its all over.  I love how the guy with the dreads is still kicking and moving on his back like a cockroach that has been sprayed.

Ezekiel Fade to Black

This is BJJ.  Good technique once on is a guaranteed "fade to black".  I was surprised at how far the girl in the blue gi was able to move away from her opponent and still the Ezekiel was effective.  Unlike the two that slammed faces she came to and was smiling in the end.

If you didn’t know what a Ezekiel is you might not even understand how it happened to her from looking at the video.  You will recall in my post "Development Milestone – Tap Out Pat" I used the Ezekiel.  Once it was on he tried but realized he was going to "fade to black" and tapped.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

5 Things I Learned At BJJ Tonight

  1. A bicep cutter exerts so much pressure it leaves blood blisters.  They look a lot like your shoulder after having a shotgun kick into it.  Because the pressure was on my bicep and forearm I have a matching set.
  2. My finger tips are toughing up.  Around my finger nails it used to be sore from gripping the gi after class.  Now I’ve developed calluses that have helped them toughen.  They are still a little sore after but not near as much after class.
  3. I’ve forgotten the guillotine escape from in guard.  I had both legs of a white belt named Ethan in class today.  I was getting ready to inch my way up to cross body or mount.  The next thing I knew he had me in a guillotine.  I was so surprised I let go of his legs and he put in his guard.  I got my arm over his should for the escape but couldn’t remember the rest from there.  Yes, I tapped.  I’m not proud of it but that’s what I get.  I know the technique I’m going to practice at home this week.
  4. My breathing technique has improved.  I’ve been focusing on getting more oxygen during periods of inactive during a roll.  It feels good to have more oxygen during a roll.  Breath in through the nose and out through the mouth, fill those lungs, and repeat.
  5. I’ve been coasting.  Its so easy to coast.  The next thing you know your lead shrinks and all the sudden you realize the pack is over taking you or is passing you.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Roger Gracie vs Bruno Bastos at Mundials

I just watched the Roger Gracie vs Bruno Bastos match on Georgette’s Blog.  Here are some of the things that caught my attention and that I was impressed with.  First of all, 2/3 of the match with just jockeying for the takedown.  I know that having takedown skills are important in your game. I was more impressed with the importance of them as I watched Roger and Bruno battle it out.  In my mind it looked like Roger realized it was going to stalemate if they kept going on like this so he jumped guard to move it to the ground game.  The next thing that caught my attention was the taking-the-back, as Georgette points out by Roger.  I had just read Meerkatsu’s post "K-Taro Nakamura Back Control & Choke Review" and was thinking about the "Armdrag from closed guard with back take" example.  Roger did it with style of course and made it look easy.  I find that getting up and moving my hips out is the hard part.  Roger gave me a few pointers as he did it.  I noticed he grabbed the opposite knee and pushed off the hip with the leg he was trying to get around.  Once the hips came out Bruno couldn’t or didn’t stop the rest of him.  Roger then, it looks like, put a body lock on him and rolled him over.  I couldn’t tell what submission he used to finish it.  Does anyone know?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu