There are some books that should just be standard in every BJJ practitioners library. They should be well known throughout the community. For example: Jiu-Jitsu University by Saulo Ribeiro. So how did I miss Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu: Revolutionizing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by Dave Camarillo with Erich Krauss. The answer is simple. I judged the book by its cover. You know they tell you never to, but I did. It was named "Guerrilla" and had a bullet hole between the words "Jiu Jitsu". It didn’t say anything about all the super throws and takedowns in it. A friend of mine convinced me to look at it and I was astounded. Where Judo for Mixed Martial Arts: Advanced Throws, Takedowns, and Ground Fighting Techniques shows you no-gi throws and takedowns, Guerrilla Jiu-Jitsu shows you gi and more! Here was the book I had really been looking for. It even had the Ashi-Barai takedown that I had just learned and was looking for the name of. This is a Judo for BJJ book like no other. I went on to see all kinds of flying takedowns. So some would poo-poo this as just flash. I say what a great way to catch your opponent off balance. No one expects a flying attack. Get a partner, put in the repetitions, and catch them with their pants down. Judo has superior takedown and throwing technique while BJJ has superior ground fighting technique. Anyone who wants to excel in BJJ needs to have more then a ground game. Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu has excellent color photos and good descriptions with each technique. I am now looking into getting the DVD’s (which once again look silly) Position: Impossible "Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu". Please a guy in a gi with a pistol? Dave Camarillo has got the moves just not the marketing skills. In the mean while I have picked out a few throws to start practicing at class. My love of the Balloon Sweep should translate nicely into the Tomoe-Nage Armlock that Dave shows in his book. I’ll have to do a post on it after I prefect it.
I read John Will’s Tactical BJJ Grappling For Life eBook this week and I’ve been thinking a lot about sport BJJ vs street BJJ. I started training in BJJ because I wanted exercise (I sit at a office all day) and because I wanted to be able to defend myself and family in this increasingly violent world. After reading John’s eBook I began to think to much of my training is sport. This fulfills my exercise requirement but falls short on my defense. If I were in a street fight I think I would still win because I am considering before hand what my game plan would be. For instance, I will only want to go for submissions that choke out or destroy limbs and joints. What good is a bicep cutter in a street fight? I also should take into consideration that just because I destroy his arm in a arm bar doesn’t mean the fight is over. What about fighting more then one person at a time? John gives some ideas. I think I would consider a tactical retreat if I was by myself. I am beginning to think that a little Muay Thai would help with what I know about striking martial arts. Jim from Jim’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Journal said that one of the factors that made him quit Jiu-Jitsu was "what I was learning was more how to counter my classmates than how to fight". I think that I get out of Jiu-Jitsu what I want from it. If I want more street practical training then that should be my focus. I’ll never give up BJJ. I’m too addicted. I just think its time for some tuning of my focus.
Is this a true statement "BJJ practitioners are terrible at takedowns and throws"? It seems like that is the case. I keep hearing things that lead me to believe it. I know I’m deficient in takedowns and throws. In fact when I sought advice on my first tournament I was told to go for the "flop". The meaning was to jump into guard or just go for something that quickly brought us to the ground easily. My instructor realized we needed more work in this area and we had a special seminar on takedowns (click to see one post I did on it). It was very educational and I enjoyed it. But what do we spend most of our time doing in BJJ? Not takedowns or throwing, they are just a few techniques in the vast array of Jiu-Jitsu techniques. So I’ve begun to wonder if Judo wouldn’t help me. I’ve decided to investigate by ordering these books:
I tried to find books on Judo but they all seemed specify for the sport of Judo and I didn’t think they would have the twist I wanted. These two books looked like the closest match. I will continue this post after I get them and have some time to read them.
I also sent a e-mail to John Will of Will – Machado BJJ asking what would be a good book or DVD on takedowns in his opinion. He responded with:
"If I had to pick just one – I would go for John Smiths DVD entitled:
‘How Low can you go?’"
I think I’ll try it next if these two don’t fill my needs. I don’t want to be a flopper and I don’t want to fear takedowns. I think Judo with a emphasis on BJJ and MMA side of things is important to make a efficient BJJ practitioner.
Time to set new goals again. I hope blogging about them will help me achieve them this year. I didn’t write them down last year. I’ve forgotten what they even were. So if I achieved them or not I don’t know. I read a newspaper article that said you should write your top ten goals each morning. You don’t look at what you wrote the day before. This causes the most important to "bubble up" or remain on the list at all. The goal should be achievable in one year. I figure its worth a try. Here are my ten to start the new year for BJJ.
- Increase my stamina
- Tap out some one I never have before in my school
- Compete in a tournament
- Post a blog to www.jiujitsumap.com 5 days each week
- Get up early every morning and drill with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy (I’m not a morning person)
- Increase my flexibility
- Read all my Jiu-Jitsu Books from cover to cover. (Even the ones I buy new this year)
- Watch all my Jiu-Jitsu DVDs. (Even the ones I buy new this year).
- Keep my BJJ Journal up to date.
- Know all the purple belt requirements.
Here is my list to start the new year off. I’ll try and blog about how I progress and what I can check off.
I’m a Robert Jordan fan. I just finished the latest Wheel of Time book. For those of you who don’t read them I’ll skip to the chase. In the book Robert Jordan describes sword fights in terms of techniques or forms the opponents employ. A typical sword fight goes some thing like this: "Tand countered ‘The Wind and the Rain’ with ‘Parting the Silk’ and quickly followed up with ‘Unfolding the Fan’ catching Dalic off guard leaving a bloody slash down his right arm". Doesn’t that sound cool! With other names like "Cat Dances on the Wall" and "Lion on the Hill" how can you not feel the technique without even seeing it. So how do BJJ techniques get named? They get stupid names like "T-Wrap" and "New York". Most of the time no one knows the name for a given technique or if they do it has more then one and you can’t be sure you are talking about the same thing until you show it. Even in "The Karate Kid" and Kung Fu movies they have cool names like "Crane Kick" and "Dragon Seeks the True Path". We don’t base Brazilian Jiu Jitsu off of animals, I know, but its the concepts they represent that matters.
I guess until a standard naming convention is agreed upon there will always be this confusion. What is my contribution to this? I think I’ll start looking on common low level moves that can be summarized and give them a cool name. Then I will chain them together to form a sentence like the ones above. Its worth a try even if I only use them to sort it all out for myself.
Share some cool technique names with me that you have come up with.
Last night I had a dream. In that dream I was competing in a BJJ tournament. It was gi of course. I have a progress plan that will lead up to no-gi as I posted in No-Gi vs Gi. Back to the dream, I won all of my matches and took the gold but only by a hairs breath. I felt I was a decent blue belt but needed more time to learn after testing myself against other blues. At the end of the tournament I was awarded my purple belt. I was very upset! I knew I didn’t deserve it yet. I knew I couldn’t live up to it yet. I was proud that they thought I should wear it but I knew better inside. This morning as I ponder on my dream I find it very enlightening. I do feel a sense of accomplishment and a right to have my blue belt. At the same time I realize I have growth that needs to take place before I can achieve the next level. I know that when I get that purple belt I’ll feel like a purple belt. I’ll know its right about the time my instructor does too I think. I look forward to that day and to all the fun and learning that leads up to it.
Jiu Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu Jitsu.
I haven’t been able to post at all this week. I’ve been on the road for work. I had hoped that at least one night this week I’d be able to get in a practice at a school near where I was. I even scoped out the two school I hoped to visit, Underdog Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. But as luck would have it things didn’t work out. I was bummed and feeling Jiu Jitsu withdrawals until a co-work of mine turned me on to Gi Subs 1, a iPhone application that shows gi submissions by iFightVideo.com. It wasn’t as good as doing it but while I sat on the plane I could go over a whole bunch of new gi submission all for $2.99. Once again saved by the iPhone and a enterprising Jiu Jitsu teacher. I got researching and found two No-gi applications for the iPhone by the every popular Grapple Arts. One is on sweeps and the other on submissions. They were a dollar more expensive then Gi Subs 1 but its cheap entertainment compared to the $14 the airline wanted to watch one of their movies in flight. Plus it goes with me know when ever I have my iPhone with me. After I had my fill of watching submissions on my iPhone I turned to my old stand by GRACIEMAG. I had the July 2009 issue detailing the 2009 World Championships. I never get tired of watching or reading about Roger Gracie, not to mention Marcelo Gracia. All of this combined I survived the business trip hungry but not starving for BJJ. I might also not may Mundial #5 Atama was waiting for me when I got home. I’ll have a review on it this next week after I use it in practice.
Jiu Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu Jitsu
I just got news that Rigan Machado will be giving a seminar on January 30th here in Utah. He is a 8th degree black belt and nephew of Helio Gracie. He was the first black belt awarded by Carlos Gracie Jr. I’m really excited to go. I am still feeling bad that I miss out on Andre Galvao when he came to Unified. I won’t be missing this one. Here are the full details:
UCTC in Kearns, UT (4095 West 4715) at 1pm (should last 3 hours). Cost $50.
KneeOnBelly.com quotes BJ Penn as saying "’Training with Rigan Machado was definitely an experience that changed my life. At one time, I definitely think he was the greatest grappler that walked the earth."
It should be really good. I will of course blog about it after it is over and share any pictures or video that I am able to get.
Rich, one of our instructors, showed me this technique in BJJ class a few days ago. I thought I would share it with you. I end up to often with one leg over the neck of the guy trying to pass. I block the hip but its only a matter of time before they get by because I didn’t know what to do. With some work I hope to use this escape to either replace my guard or get the triangle choke. The only thing I worry about is when both legs are crossed around the neck. If the guy is putting pressure on the one underneath how am I going to pull it out. I’ll let you know how it goes. In the video Rick makes it look easy. I hope it is when I use it in sparring next chance I get.
In my blog The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I talked about new BJJ situations I have been getting in and how that shows growth in my opinion. I gave a specific example of not knowing what to do with a arm bar that the guy is holding on to. I said that I wouldn’t let that happen again or that I would learn from the situation. I went home and drilled with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy on what I would do next time it occurred. Last night in class it paid off. I was rolling with another blue belt. I had him in mount and transitioned to a side mount that I had seen Saulo Ribeiro use. I faked a cross choke and took the arm. He managed to get a hold of his arm and then my study and muscle memory training kicked in. Without thought I threaded my leg through and put him in a triangle choke. He tapped out shortly after I synched it down tight. Oh baby! That felt good! It can be so frustrating to be so close and yet blow it. It was very satisfying to have identified, analyzed, trained, and succeeded at improving my Jiu Jitsu. The next step I think is to know a hand full of techniques I can use against a locked arms like that, not just the transition to the triangle choke.