Nogi “Snap Down” Wrestling Takedown

Nogi Snap Down Wrestling Takedown
Snap Down in Action

We also went over a wrestling takedown called the "Snap Down".  I think it is more timing then anything.  It would be cool if while pressing your forehead into the opponents temple that you got a tap but I think that unlikely. 

This takedown fits more into sport BJJ.  I don’t think in a street fight I’d be in a situation like this.  This also seems to be for when someone just wants to grab on to you and isn’t sure what to do.  If you look at my post "Dojo Wars At West Side", you will see towards the end when everyone was tired this became the dance of choice.  If a few people knew the Snap Down they might have had a good chance to use it.

The key points I got from this are:

  1. Applied pressure with the hand on the neck and the temple press causes discomfort and draw the opponents attention away from your true intent.
  2. The snapping down motion as they step forward uses their own momentum to help throw them down.
  3. The forearm on the neck along with your upper weight helps to pin them down and give you a chance to either go for the submission or move to a superior position.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

O-Goshi or Over-Under Hip Throw on Takedown Tuesday

O-Goshi or Over-Under Hip Throw – JiuJitsuMap.com

On Takedown Tuesday we dropped the gis and went nogi for the O-Goshi or Over-Under hip throw.  You can find a demonstration of the O-Goshi in Karo Parisyan’s book "Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques" (page 107).

During the lesson, two points were brought up.  First of all if you have your arms over-under on your opponent he also has it on you.  This means you can’t muck around, once you have the position you have to capitalize on it quickly or your opponent might.

The second point was foot placement.  You step over to the opposite foot.  You don’t need to make a large sweeping step.  If you step to far you will be off balance and your opponent will easily throw you onto your back.

Getting into a clinch and working for dominate position by pommelling (working to get under the opponents arm with yours) is common.  I think someone who gets proficient with the O-Goshi might find they get to use it quite often.  It severs well in both gi and nogi of course which makes it a excellent takedown for you arsenal.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Magic Monday North South Arm Bar BJJ Technique

North South Arm Bar

I haven’t been doing as good a job of recording Magic Monday classes.  I know that those who attend enjoy being able to go over the techniques again by viewing my videos.  Work as been demanding and I’ve missed the last few.

Here I am in my black Vulkan Pro Light with Chris.  I find that when I get North South I often don’t know anything to do other then look for a better position.  This arm bar that Chris shows on me is a excellent choice for a submission from North South.

It looks a lot easier then it is at first.  The sitting back into the arm bar doesn’t feel natural in my opinion with your leg bent.  As noted, rather loudly, in the video you have to get the "squeeze" with the legs to help tighten it.  My problem was I kept letting the arm out from under my arm.  I tried to lay back and do a more traditional looking arm bar.  But as usual with repetition it came more naturally and started working for me.  I’ve been getting North South more often.  I hope to use this the next time I do.

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

Learning About Cauliflower Ears

first-ear-injury

I haven’t been wearing ear protection when I roll or practice.  I haven’t up to this point got any thing more then a sore ear now and then.  Last week that changed with the "black beauty" you see in the picture.  It is in a shadow in the picture but it is still black enough to stand out.  I don’t know how I got it.  I know my ears got mauled at practice but nothing out of the ordinary.  I’m not vain but I don’t want cauliflower ears.  I wondered if I was going to have to do something like Georgette talks about in her post "How to Drain Your Cauliflowering Ear".  I asked around at practice the next chance I got.  After everyone getting a good look at it and pinching it to see if it was ballooning the consensus was it would be fine.  A few of the guys had experience with cauliflower ears that were much worse.  I was relieved.  I’ll have the black dot for a few months before it heals up.  My ear doesn’t hurt and there isn’t a bubble where the injury is.  I hope this helps my readers diagnose their own ear injuries.  I think its time to get some head gear.  So stay tuned for the review.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Book Review: Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Andre Galvao

51pZ9q5Zx2L._SL160_[2]

At long last it has arrived.  I’ve had Andre Galvao’s book Drill to Win: 12 Months to Better Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on pre-order for what seems like eternity.  Just when I thought it would ship the publisher would move the date.  Finally the day came and now I have it in my hot little hands!

The first thing I noticed as I opened the package is the size of the book and the color.  Its huge and bright.  I wasn’t surprised when I opened it to see that it was well illustrated. 

The table of contents groups the drills by month, week, and then day.  Each week has a subtitle that explains the goal of that weeks drills.  For example: Month 5, Week 4 is dedicated to Turtle Escape drills.  This is very handy if you just want to find some drills specific to something you are working on.

The book takes into account diet too.  Month 1 is devoted just to that.  It makes sense considering that a well oiled machine is going to perform its best.  So for all of us who are slacking on the diet or just not eating right Andre gives us a good solid base line to get our motors revving.  Month 12 is the "Final Exam".  It is really a create-your-own-drill-routine-from-what-you-have-learned month.  It spans one page and has some FAQ’s.  So really, there are 10 months with a new drill each day.  That is more then enough drills for me.

I noticed that there are a few things required to do all the drills.  They are, a swiss ball, balance board, and partner.  Don’t worry there are solo drills galore!  It looks like you are doing solo drills until about Month 4.  By then you should have improved agility and be ready for the throwing and pulling guard that make up Month 4.  I think the book is well organize by the fact you don’t start throwing and pulling guard until you have a little better skill.

The pictures of each drill are step by step and are sized well.  I am a visual learner and would prefer a video but Andre’s progression is good along with the text explanation.  I’m sure if the book is as great a success as I think it will be the video’s will follow.  All in all, I am very impressed and excited to start my year of drills.  I think Drill to Win is going to be a new standard that every BJJ practitioner will want.  Andre you rock!

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Development Milestone – Tap Out Chris

You have heard the idiom "every dog has its day"?  Well today this dog got his day with a modified Triangle Choke.  Yes, I’ve hit another mile stone in my development.  That leaves Miles, Grayson, and Mark.

Chris is a purple belt that of course I have never tapped out.  He is physically smaller then me but, as you guessed, technically "larger" then me.  It was the end of class and we were both exhausted.  I think that is good because it forces you to work on technique and not use muscle.  We slapped hands and the battle was on.  Truth be told I was just looking to survive.  I had no great aspirations of submitting him.  I don’t remember much of the match now.  I know I was playing from the bottom most of the time.  The longer I was able to foil any submission attempts the better I feel against someone more experienced.  After some time I managed to get my guard in.  Chris made a few attempts to pass my guard while I was looking for a Compact Arm Bar.  It failed and I found my self attempting a Triangle.  I got my leg over his neck but couldn’t get his arm free to finish it.  Then I realized that I still had his collar opposite my leg.  It was working the same way his arm would have if I had the standard Triangle.  Chris couldn’t move his arm to block the modified Triangle I had on him, doing so would have given me the standard Triangle I had been working for.  Chris later told me the "lights were going out" so he tapped.

I think I’m going to do some practicing of this modified Triangle on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy over the next week.  It could really come in handy.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Under The Table Belt Promotions in BJJ

For two years I studied and practiced Kendo when I was in my teens.  I was diligent and worked hard at it.  I really enjoyed Kendo.  Every once and a while the president of the Rocky Mountain Kendo Federation would come out and we would test.  Each time it would take months to get test results.  We never received a certificate or any thing other then word of mouth about the results and our new rank except from our, aged and well loved sensei.  RMKF happily accepted our testing fees and the money we paid for them to visit and do the testing each time.  So if I were to start Kendo again would I be accepted at the rank I was told I had?  I doubt it.  I doubt there is any record of it.  I don’t have any documentation.  My sensei has since died.  It has left a bad taste in my mouth.  I spend time and money to earn that rank.  It would be the equivalent of a associates degree with no proof.

So when I tested for my blue belt in BJJ I thought things would be different.  I went to a local affiliate school.  I didn’t have a intermediary.  I would be talking directly to the person testing me.  The test result I knew would be delivered at the end of the test.  I paid my testing fee.

I passed the test.  I was given the blue belt on the spot.  Things were looking good.  I left the test elated that after 2 1/2 hours of testing I had passed.  That was the end of the warm fuzzes.  I neglected to ask about documentation.  Later when I realized that, I started by sending e-mails asking about a certificate.  My e-mails to the testing school had been answered before but this time there was no reply.  I asked my instructor if I should have received a certificate. He said they were usually mailed to the school.  I waited and nothing came.  I asked my instructor again about it.  He made a call to the testing school and left a voice mail.  I waited and time passed.  I forgot about my quest for legitimate rank. 

A new set of white belts in my school had matured and were sent for testing.  They returned and my thoughts turned back to finding documentation.  I asked one of them if they had received a certificate.  Maybe I was just the odd man out.  He said no.  Something seemed fishy now to me and I began to get that old feeling from the Kendo days.  I went to the affiliate website and found that I had to pay $50 a year for official membership that would allow me to obtain rank under this organization.  If I paid the membership and tested at an affiliate school I would be listed on the website with my rank.  I couldn’t find anywhere on the site that had any listing of anyone’s ranking but the "Professor’s" or the head of the school.  I decided to pay the $50 membership anyway.  Now there would be no excuse for not giving me some documentation.  When my membership kit comes I’ll start my inquires again.  I’ll start with a direct call to the person that tested me.

At this moment I feel like there are "under the table" belt promotions happening throughout the BJJ world.  Fees and belts are exchanged but without documentation it is all dust in the wind as my Kendo story points out.

Have you had a similar experience?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life and Jiu-Jitsu

“Mountain and Sea” Changing in BJJ

The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi

As I continue to explore The Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi I find things I want to share related to BJJ. 

"’Mountain and sea’ means that is is bad to do the same thing over and over again.  You may have to repeat something once, but it should not be done a third time.

When you try something on an opponent, if it does not work the first time, you will not get any benefit out of rushing to do it again.  Change your tactics abruptly, doing something completely different.  If that still does not work, then try something else.

Thus the science of martial arts involves the presence of mind to act as the sea when the enemy is like a mountain, and act as a mountain when the enemy is like a sea.  This requires careful reflection." – The Book of Five Rings, Fire Scroll.

In BJJ if you stubbornly continue to try to get a submission that isn’t there you end up wasting energy and most likely losing any advantage you have.  I have been guilty of hanging on to a choke that I know isn’t going to work in hopes that some how I would pull it off.  Musashi’s advice is very poignant.  It kind of reminds me of a long hall way of doors.  If the first one is locked you move on to the next.  The faster you are and more you try the sooner you will find one that is open.  As I internalize more techniques I have more doors.  As my skills increase I can move between them faster.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Review of “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements” by Roy Dean

I purchased Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt Requirements: Gateway to the Advanced Game by Roy Dean a few weeks ago.  It came with ultra thin DVD’s of the type I had never seen before.  I thought they might not work correctly  as they had come lose in the shipping and looked like they could easily warp with the heat.  I was very glad to see they didn’t.

REVIEW: I have to say I’m very impressed with the quality and type of instruction in the DVD’s.  Roy Dean is easy to understand (no pidgin English).  The video is shown from different angles so you can see the technique done from all sides.  It has a easy to use interface that shows submissions based on positions.  The video looks professional not like it was done in a garage with a mat and curtains hung up for back drop.  If you are a beginner I wouldn’t start here.  I’d start with Saulo Ribeiro Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Revolution Series One.  I did a post a while back called "Review of Saulo Ribeiro’s Jiu-Jitsu Revolution, Series One".  Why I say that is, Roy Dean shows techniques that build upon foundation learning.  If I had looked at this in the first few months I was training I would have been over whelmed and would be missed the finer points that make it advanced.

The video goes into submission combinations and talks about having what I call "fall back positions".  If you miss the submission you "fall back" to another submission.  I took what I learned to class, after watching the Back and Mount segments of the video, it made a huge positive difference in my game.  Mr. Dean really helped me capitalize when I got a superior position.  In layman’s terms, once I got the back or mount I submitted them with little effort.

I’m going to buy Roy Dean’s other videos and he has a permanent place in my BJJ video collect.  Great video!

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Review of the Vulkan Pro Light Gi

IMG_0284

Its summer and its hotter then Hades here in Utah.  I don’t train in an optimally controlled environment.  I needed something lighter then my heavy Atama Mundial.  My Koral MKM was more a medium weight but not light enough.  I decided to try a Vulkan Pro Light.  I had heard good things about Vulkan from a couple of the other guys who wear them.  I ordered my black, A3, Vulkan Pro Light gi from MMAOutLet.com.  It came promptly and without hitches.

Here are some of my thoughts about it:

PROS: The first thing I noticed about it was the fit.  My other gis are reasonably good fits but the Vulkan Pro Light A3 was a superb fit.  I am 6’2" and a average weight of 214lb.

It didn’t have a seam across my back.  I do a lot of pivoting on my back and I don’t like a seam in the middle of it.

The waist cord didn’t bind up when tightened.  With my other gis I tend to have one short and one long after a while.  I then have to work it around until they are equal length again.  Its a real pain.  It seems a small thing but they can build up over time.

The patches have stayed on.  With my Koral MKM I had to re-sew a patch after only a month.

It line dries quicker then my heavier gis.  It will dry in half the time as my other gis when I hang it out.  It is pre-shrunk but I still don’t throw it in the drier for fear it might still shrink some and I like the fit just how it is.

CONS: Black is a horrible color for rolling in.  Every spec of dirt, hair, dust, etc. shows up on me.  I look like and feel like a giant lint brush after rolling.

Despite it being pre-shrunk it was still dripping gray water while being hung out to dry.  The dye was not totally set I guess or maybe this is to be expected.  What ever the case if you set it to drip dry make sure what it drips on doesn’t matter.

I noticed signs of color fading already.  It is to be expected with the wear and tear it gets but I’m very careful to wash it according to the instructions.  I haven’t had it for more then a month yet.  I would expect it to hold its color a little better then that.

Summary: I love it.  It has become my favorite gi.  I haven’t used my Atama Mundial since getting it and won’t until winter.  I highly recommend the Vulkan Pro Light to anyone suffering in the heat or who just wants to try a good quality gi.

For a more in depth review of the Vulkan Pro Light you might try Meerkatsu’s Review.  Seymour always goes all out and does stunning reviews on gis.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu