Training at Home When You Have No Other Choice

My forth child is due end of April 2011.  What does that mean?  The wife needs me more then ever to look after our three other children and I need more money.  So I have no other choice then to take a sabbatical from BJJ for a while.  That means no formal classes.

At first I started to despair.  When would I ever be able to afford to go back?  My instructor was kind enough to let me know I was welcome to come back now and then for free when I needed to get away.  That is what is great about West Side and BJJ.  Its about the learning and training not the bucks.

I decided the best thing for me to do was fill in the free time, if any, with training at home.  I have my DVD’s and Submission Master Grappling Dummy after all.  I’ve tried to have a routine at home but with regular classes it was easy to let it slip.  I knew I’d get my practice in at class.  Now I’m really going to be tested on my commitment to BJJ.  So I needed something to help me keep going.  Of course I thought of my blog.  I’m going to try and chronicle my training at home.  If all else fails just keeping up this blog will keep the light of BJJ flickering in me.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Hayabusa Ashi MMA Footgrips VS Cotton Socks

Ashi_socksIn January I did a post “Hayabusa Ashi MMA Footgrips VS Grapplesock VX2”.  I picked up the Haybusa Ashi MMA Footgrips at and gave them to a friend who had the Grapplesock VX2.  His review of the difference between the two was positive enough for me to get a pair the Haybusa Ashi’s.

Last night was the first night I used them.  I usually wear ankle high white cotton socks.

Getting on the socks was like pushing my feet into sausage casings but when they were on they weren’t too tight and they didn’t slip the whole night.  I immediately noticed the increased grip.  They made a annoying sticky sound as I walked around on the mat.  I didn’t mind after we got to rolling.  The increased grip really did help.  I didn’t realize how much slipping was going on with my cotton socks until I got these.  Upa’s and other moves that required me pushing off my feet went much better.  I really do like them.  The only negative I have is that the top of my toes got mat burn.  This was especially bad on my largest toes.  The simple solution is to either have hobbit toes that sport their own hairy defense or wrap some sports tape around them.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Wicked Wednesday and Passing the Guard

Guard Pass To Cross Body
Guard Pass with Gi Wrap

Do to family I can’t go on Monday any more, so in place of “Magic Monday”, its going to be “Wicked Wednesday”.  For all of you who didn’t want to brave the blowing snow, Rich went over guard passes.  The Guard-Pass-To-Cross-Body surprised me.  I realized Mark had used it on me a number of times to break my guard.  I either wasn’t there when he taught it or he hasn’t.  I really liked it because against Jeremy, who is larger them me by far, I was able to break his guard.  Unfortunately Rich didn’t teach us a counter to it.  I know what Mark was doing now but still don’t know how to stop him.

The second guard pass with the wrapping and trapping of the arm didn’t go so well for me.  If your opponent drops guard as you tripod or stink bug up you can’t pass the gi under.  That is what you want to happen anyway, dropping his guard,  but  it puts you in a strange position to then take advantage of it.  We also noticed that most of the gis did not have long lapels to work with.  I’m sure its by design.  I couldn’t reach around my larger training partner to effectively get it.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Scissor Sweep Leg Push Gi and Nogi Variations

Scissor Sweep Leg Push–
Scissor Sweep Nogi Leg Push–

My last post Scissor Sweep and Arm Bar from Guard covered most of what we did in class Wednesday.  Here are the variation on the Scissor Sweep and how to do it for Nogi.  As Rich notes in most cases you will use the leg push with the Scissor Sweep because your opponent has good base.

Thanks Rich and Blake for letting me post you in action.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Kindle Jiu-Jitsu

I bought my wife a Kindle Wireless Reading Device from for Christmas.  It has become a big hit.  In fact I am getting a little jealous.  Its just about replaced me it feels like or at least that is what I kid my wife about.

I am thinking of getting myself one.  Of course what is the first thing I thought of “Jiu-Jitsu”.  What books could I get on my Kindle that were related to BJJ if I bought one.  A quick search at Amazon showed me 19 books.  Most were not in my collection and a few I thought might be worth having.  I was a little disappointed to see that some of the really important ones to me like Jiu-Jitsu University were not on the list.

This started me thinking how hard is it to create your own Kindle book?  It can’t be that hard.  What would I want to say that would be worth putting into a book?  I’d want to talk about BJJ of course.

Have any of my readers created a Kindle book and know where to start?  If so please share with us.  I’m sure a lot of us are interested.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar on Takedown Tuesday

Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar 1
Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar 2

It has been a while since we had Takedown Tuesday.  We went over Osoto-Gari and I think the other was called Oshi-Gari.  It involved grabbing around the waist and stepping in for the throw over the hip.  I couldn’t find it on YouTube so I’m not sure I have named it correctly.

After class I asked for some instruction on my favorite throw or takedown, the Tomoe-Nage.  I have already done a few posts on Tomoe-Nage.  They are: "Tomoe-Nage Tops Takedown Tuesday" and "De La Riva to Tomoe-Nage Sweep on Magic Monday".  We had to excellent brown belts fresh from Argentina instructing us.  The first thing they pointed out was Tomoe-Nage has variations. The side throw I like and that is shown in Dave Camarillo’s book Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the Juko-Tomoe-Nage.  I couldn’t find anything on Google about it so I’m not sure I understood what they were saying.

After some instruction they showed me the Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar that I have in the videos.  After throwing a guy a few time with the same throw he should get wise to it.  This looks like you are going for the throw but instead you get the arm bar.  Very sick!

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Hone Your Best Weapon For the Kill

Master Behring talked about “honing your best weapon” in his seminar.  He also said you should “look for ways to get your best weapon”. 

I know the weapon of choice for my friend Justin at West Side.  It is the baseball choke.  I heard him mention the other day that he didn’t want to be a one choke wonder.  He expressed the thought he needs to stop doing baseball chokes and find a new submission.  Brad, another friend at West Side, said the same about his favorite neck crank.

Wouldn’t Master Behring’s advice then seem counter intuitive?  As I thought it over I thought of a funnel.  The mouth of the funnel is the setup, transition and positions.  The spout is a very limited set of submissions.  The larger the mouth of the funnel the more likely you are to get the liquid into the funnel and container no matter the size of the spout at the end.

This began to boil down in my mind to the old idiom “The best offense is a good defense”.  If you are working on building understand of various ways to get to your submission you are increasing your defense.  The other option is to increase you offense or arsenal of submissions.

I came to the conclusion that Master Behring’s advice is the better of the two.  BJJ is about survival first.  A stalemate is not a loss.  Build your defense by increasing your skills and technique in getting positions and improving transitions.  This way you can direct the fight to your chosen out come, the weapon you have honed to perfection for the kill.

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

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