How to Tweak the Rear Naked Choke for Maximum Effect

Little tweaks make all the difference some times.  As I ponder more of what I learned from the Sylivo Behring Seminar I post my insights as I promised.  One of the tweaks Master Behring showed us was for the Rear Naked Choke or Mata Leao.  The traditional way to lock in the choke is with the arm around the neck to clasp the bicep of the other arm that is at a 90 degree angle and then fold the arm behind the head.  Master Behring demonstrated this gives the opponent a chance to grab the arm before it can get behind the head.  Instead he showed us to “shoot” the arm in behind the head.  What I mean by that is to have the arm in the finish position and insert it.  This is out side the vision of the person being choked and is a quicker motion.  They don’t get the chance to block it either.

Roy Dean in his video Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements: Gateway to the Advanced Game gives some excellent variations on the Rear Naked Choke.  I especially like the variation for when you can’t get your arm all the way around and under the chin.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

How to Tweak the Triangle Choke for Maximum Effect

I am amazed at how no matter how well you know a technique you can always find out something new about it.  For example, just recently I attended Sylivo Behring’s seminar.  He talked about a tweak for the triangle.  He showed us that by turning the guys head towards the hooking leg and pulling to the that same side it greatly maximizes the triangles effect.  This is in contrast to the traditional pulling down of the head.  Master Behring said that it is easier to turn someone’s head and you use less strength to do it.  It looks like this essentially opens up the arteries to more pressure.

I attempted to use it at the Scrap For The Skull but my opponent tapped out just before I was going to try it.  I hope that mean my Triangle Choke is already that effective.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

What I learned at the Scrap for the Skull Tournament

The Scrap for the Skull Tournament went well this year.  I did better then last year but because of the huge turn out of West Side guys most of us didn’t get to go against Foley guys.  We ended up against each other in some brackets.  It was lots of fun and a good experience.  I think this year it went a lot smoother too.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned from this years tournament:

  1. If you don’t have the dominate position don’t wait to see what happens.  I got in North South and expected a flurry of attempts for submission on me.  I realized not quickly enough that if I didn’t act time would tick away.  My opponent had the points and the dominate position, he could afford to wait for me to do something.
  2. I am very slow on reflexes related to take downs.  I just don’t react fast enough.  I need to improve this.
  3. I had a game plan from every major position but North South (how ironic).  Next time I need to think about North South and figure out what else I missed.
  4. Expect the unexpected.  Last years winner in my division was taken out by a dark horse who got a flying arm bar on him.  He didn’t even see it come.  The moral of the story was don’t rule out the techniques that seem risky just because you think they won’t try them.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Sylivo Behring Seminar at One Hit MMA 2010

jason-and-sylvio-behring west-side-gang-and-sylvio-behring

Last night I attended a seminar put on by Master Sylivo Behring and One Hit MMA. It was a night of firsts.  I had ever met a red/black belt in person.  In fact, I have never been in the room with so many black belts or higher belts period.  (That is me in the Camo Koral)

Before I tell you details of what we learned first let me say that being a BJJ Master is more then being highly skilled in BJJ.  You need to be an excellent teacher, presenter, and moralist also.  I came to realize its a whole well rounded package as I listened to him instruct, lecture, and demonstrate.  He did an excellent job.  I paid $60 for the seminar.  It was money very well spent.

After introducing himself and giving a brief history of what brought him to where he is today, Master Behring started of with the Vince Lombardi approach of “this is a football”.  We began with the “How to stand up properly in a street fight” technique.  He showed us simple “tweaks”, as he called it, to improve out technique.  He made it look so smooth and simple.  Then we tried it.  I was amazed that I need to improve so much in such a simple technique.  I guess that is why he is a Master after all.  We went on to talk about comfort zone ranges and how to defuse a situation.  We moved on with escalation of the situation and counters or defense.  I learned how to use my shrimp technique more effectively and how to defend and add “respect” for my zones.  I know now what I’ve been doing wrong with Jeremy, who weighs 100+ lb. then me.  I can’t wait to try it.  His progressive system of teaching builds upon the previous technique or movement.  I found myself learning and internalizing what was presented much quicker then I thought possible.  Before the night was over I had learned a number of sweeps and submissions that flowed together and were applicable in both street and sport BJJ as well as gi or nogi.

I will be blogging more about these techniques as I ponder them and go over my notes from the night.  If you ever get a chance to attend a seminar by Master Behring, do it!  You won’t regret it.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Cry Havoc and let Loose the Dogs of War

I’m back in the fray!  Last night was the first time in a month that I got to practice.  It was great to be back with the guys and do BJJ.  What amazed me most is how things change.  What I mean is after missing a month I don’t know if they got that much better or me that rusty.  Its true I’m not that great at nogi.  But still I just didn’t seem to have the edge I did before I had to sit out.  Of course I’m stiff and sore this morning.  It was all to be expected.  I guess its time to work on pulling myself out of the Dip.

Wednesday, Sylvio Behring is going to have a seminar at One Hit MMA.  I’ve heard nothing but good about him and I plan to attend.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Top 5 Reasons Why Roy Dean DVDs Rocks!

I just purchased Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: NO GI Essentials by Roy Dean.  I have really enjoyed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt Requirements: Fundamentals for All and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements: Gateway to the Advanced Game also by Roy Dean.  I have the nogi tournament, Scrap for the Skull coming up at the end of the week.  “No Gi Essentials” won’t get here in time of course but if it is as good as the others it will become one of my core instructional videos.

Here at the 5 reasons why I think Roy Dean’s DVD’s rock!:

  1. They show clearly the technique from 5 different view points.
  2. The DVD video is sharp, clear, and well lighted.
  3. Roy doesn’t perseverate or use pidgin English.  He only imparts what is essential.
  4. The techniques he shows are good core foundation techniques.  You can get all the latest slight of hand after you build good fundamentals.
  5. Roy doesn’t just show technique.  He goes into development and how to progress in your game.  He gives insights about what to expect and what you should try to strive for.

Roy Dean is one of the best.  Let me know what you like about him.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu Dreams or Dreaming of Jiu-Jitsu

sleeping-man-head I’ve missed a whole month now of Jiu-Jitsu because of sickness and family needs.  I’ve gone into withdrawals and now I’m starting to hallucinate.  Well, maybe not hallucinate.  I am dreaming about it.  Not every night mind you but more often then not.  The interesting thing is they are never sport Jiu-Jitsu type of dreams.  I don’t dream about being in class or at a tournament.  I dream about having to defend my self. In some of the crazier dream I’m special forces or an assassin.  What ever the dream it always comes down to hand-to-hand combat and I’m fighting it out with BJJ.  Of course the guy I’m fighting with in the dream doesn’t know BJJ.  I get in a sweet choke.  I wake up the next morning feeling thrilled until I realize I won’t be going to BJJ today and it was all a dream.  My Submission Master Grappling Dummy won’t tap out, ever!  I need a human to roll against.  I’ve watched all my videos, read blogs, and watched enough to last me a good while.  I can’t await to get back to class.  It will be rough for a few classes but I’ve sure missed it.

So what kind of Jiu-Jitsu dreams do you have?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Scrap For the Skull BJJ Tournament

Scrap For the Skull The Scrap For The Skull is a local tournament between my school, West Side Jiu-Jitsu and Foley’s MMA.  A crystal skull trophy is kept for the year by the winning school. If Foley’s isn’t our brother school then they are good friends and its great to have some local martial art school interaction.

You may have seen last year my post, No-Gi vs Gi Part 2.  I competed in the Scrap For The Skull last year.  It was my first tournament and first time doing nogi.  I lost but learned a lot.  This year I will be competing again despite missing a whole month before due to illness.  I will be in the year and above class this time.  I think even if I lose again I’ll be able to look back and see improvement.

Why am I tensing up just thinking about it?  What is it with tournaments that gives me anxiety?  I’m not going to lose money or really anything but some time.  I want to be a good representative of my school I guess.

Georgette of Georgette’s Jiu-Jitsu World had a good post “Tips for Calming Before and During Jiu-Jitsu Competition”.  I think I might add to that come on time but not early.  Last time I was early thinking I would stretch out.  It just made me more tense.

Wish me luck.  It is on Oct. 23th.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

My Membership in the Pedro Sauer Assoc.

pedro-sauer-membership-card You might remember on 22-JUL-2010 I posted “Under The Table Belt Promotions in BJJ”.  In that post I talked about paying the $50 membership fee.  I did that on that very day.  Today, 05-OCT-2010 my membership packet arrived.  It took 2 1/2 months.  It came with the card I show here and two patches as pictured on the card.  Here is the letter:

“Hello Jason,

Thank you for your recent membership in the Pedro Sauer Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association.  You will find in this welcome kit your personal ID card with your assigned association ID number.

This number is very important for future use in the Association in order to build your training history, track your progress, and increase your chances for merchandise discounts and free rewards.  When ordering from our online store, please be sure to include your ID number in the appropriate field.

We are very excited about the initiatives in development for the Association.  they will allow us to continue to be one of the premier Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu associations in the world.

Again, thank you for your membership.  You can stay up to date on Association news by visiting us online at our website

Master Pedro Sauer
8th Degree Gracie Red/Black Belt

Mike Horihan
Association Director, PSBJJA, LLC.”

The letter wasn’t signed.  I corresponded with Mike through e-mail a couple of times asking, as time went by, when my welcome kit would come.  The website said two weeks.  Mike was very responsive and blamed the delay on software problems.  Being a software developer I could understand that but I began to think the problem was there wasn’t software.

When the packet arrived and as a software developer I realized the simplicity of what they delivered, a form letter and easy print badge.  I lost faith in their statement “build your training history, track your progress”.  If it was this difficult to do these things then it would be near impossible for them to do the others.

What ever the case, I’m as legit as I can get now.  Its time to ask about my blue belt certificate.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

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Johnny Be Good! American Nationals BJJ

Johnny “One Eye” Carlquist is a local black belt.  He is named “One Eye” not because he only has one eye but as the story goes, his first time doing BJJ he was injured and his eye became swollen shut.  He loved BJJ so much he was back the next chance with his swollen eye.  That is true devotion.

I’ve meet Johnny once or twice.  He is just as Pedro Sauer says:

“One eye skills are impressive, very smooth, efficient, technical. [. . .] on top of all this talent is the nicest person you ever going to know.  I’m very proud of you my friend.”

It was very gratifying to watch this match of his.  He does four things in this match that are very clear and easy to see (at least in my opinion).

  1. Attempts a variation of the Tomoe Nage.
  2. Attempts a Arm Bar from what might have become a Triangle.
  3. Attempts a Flower Sweep.
  4. Finishes the match with a variation Handstand Sweep to Arm Bar.

Each of these I’ve used and I’m trying to master.  It was really great to see them all in action in the same match.  I’m going to keep a link to this video and study it to improve my technique.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu