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

BJJ Technique “The Giant Johnson”

The Giant Johnson

I didn’t know the name of this technique and I’m sure I embarrassed Mark some by putting his name to it.  We all know that he didn’t invent it any more then Renzo did the Triangle but I had to put some label on it.  You can’t go around calling it the cross-body-shoulder-choke.  He showed it to me so I naturally used his name in it.  I posted this one for Jesse who is learning BJJ and was kind enough to read my blog and post a comment.  Thank you Jeff and Mark for the demonstration.

I think this is a high percentage technique because I usually get it.  I think its simplicity plus the fact it doesn’t feel like something is seriously happening is what makes it so successful.

Last night in class we practiced rolling with our eyes closed.  It was a excellent training tool.  I found in some cases it made absolutely no difference to me that I couldn’t see.  I knew I relied on touch to give me feed back about what was going on in a match but I didn’t realize how much of it I was using compared to my vision.  I think I will have to try it more often.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Half Guard and Cross Body Escapes

Escape from Half Guard
Escape from Side Control or Cross Body – Inner Arm
Escape from Side Control or Cross Body – Outer Arm

I got video of the beginner class last night.  Please excuse the shaky picture.  Its hard to hold my iPhone still after working out.  But at least this time I kept my thumb off the mic.  Mark, my instructor, went over a Half Guard escape and some Cross Body or Side Control escapes.  As you usual its easier for me to show then tell.  Also thanks to Miles for demonstrating with Mark.  Miles is going to the 2010 Pan Am this week.  We wish him good luck in the tournament and are glad to know West Side Jiu-Jitsu will be represented on the world stage.

Notes from the class:

  1. When trying to escape the Half Guard you may get a submission before escaping if you aren’t extra careful with your knee.  Mark, got a picture of me and placed it on Facebook just as Mile pulled his knee out and smashed me.  Its funny now but not so then. 🙂
  2. The trick to the Side Control or Cross Body escapes is getting your opponent up closer to your face and clearing your shoulder on the bump and twist.  "Once the shoulder is out so are you", like Mark says.

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

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

Review of the Submission Master Grappling Dummy – Drilling

Its assembled and I’ve started drilling with it.  The first thing I noticed was how hard the floor is.  I don’t have a mat.  I have been thinking about if I should even get one.  I like some real world or practical application of BJJ.  If I got in a street fight I will use my Jiu Jitsu training but I doubt there will be a mat.  The next thing I noticed is that when I tried a Kimura it doesn’t feel right.  The structure of the Submission Master’s arm is a arch with no true joints.  At first I didn’t like this but then I realized it felt more like a arm that is trying to do a escape.  It gave me a different perspective on my Kimura technique and how to apply it.  The next thing I tried was the Triangle Choke.  This hurt at first because the dummy is so hard.  I didn’t realize how soft real humans are.  I worked my Triangle and figured out something new I hadn’t noticed before.  I posted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Submission Techniques – The Triangle and gave tips and tricks on improving your Triangle.  I now can add to that getting the knee of the leg around the neck above the neck.  I have also found that just moving it around, it is 70 lbs, breaks me into a sweat.  It doesn’t do infinity drills so you have to reset some drills to do it over.  But for the most part you can do Arm Bars, Triangles, Kimuras, and other submissions over and over on each side.  For Cross Body and Mount work you sit or lay very high.  You don’t have a soft gut to lay into.  I also can’t hook the legs (grapevines) in mount.  What it comes down to is its no full substitute for a person but it does very well for what it is intended.  So far I really like it and feel it is money well spent.  It is true the $560 price tag is high but it sure beats the home made version I’ve seen on YouTube.com.  I think the only true competitor in its class is the Bubba.  I didn’t choose the Bubba because it didn’t sit up in guard, it looks light weight, and flimsy.  I’m going to start trying some escapes and sweeps on it tomorrow and see how they go.

No-gi vs. Gi – Part 2

In my post “Why Am I Writing About Gi vs. No-gi”  I talked about the differences between the two in my opinion and how I was going to but my thoughts to the test.  I did compete in a No-gi tournament.  I did lose and it was not for the reason I would have expected.  I couldn’t get the guy to let go of my wrists and I showed forth some really poor escape technique.  I was also very unprepared for the intensity with which I was meet.  I was too relaxed about it.  The match went like this: After some grappling back and forth he got both his hands around my neck and we just sunk into guard position.  I quickly passed his guard and got him in cross body.  This is when I couldn’t get him to let go of my wrists.  I transitioned in a upper cross body and worked his legs.  I made a nice smooth transition to mount and began looking for a arm bar.  I was in complete control at this time.  I was up 7 zip, then things went bad.  He managed to get a hold of my wrist on one side and with a nice upa rolled me over.  I escaped being mounted by pushing him right over me.  Before I could completely turn around he hit me broad side and fell into mount on me.  It was tied up at that point.  I could have still won but I made a sad attempt at escape from mount and then I make the critical mistake of turning on my side giving him a easy arm bar.  I was especially upset with myself after seeing the video when I realized I didn’t try a hitch-hiker escape.  I didn’t try any escape.  It was a sloppy arm bar too.  I was stunned by the speed of everything and the intensity.  Do I feel No-gi is a subset of Gi still?  Yes.  Do I feel you should train Gi first and then No-gi still? Yes.  Will I do another No-gi tournament?  Yes!  But not before I have a few classes to get the feel for the speed and bump up my intensity.  All BJJ rocks!  I learned a lot from that 3.5 minutes on the mat.  Just like when Helio Gracie came away from losing to Kimura.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.