I don’t do well at describing. I tend to stick with visual representations. Here are two techniques we went over in class Tuesday. I was bummed up and couldn’t participate so I took video.
The Hip Switch – Side Control to Mount reminds me a lot of the usefulness of Over-Under technique that was shown in two of my last posts “Over-Under Hip Throw” and “North South Arm Bar”. I’m noticing that having a Over-Under setup leads to many different techniques. As I’m typing this I just realized that the Butterfly Sweep we learned at the open house uses it too. I especially like the Hip Switch technique because once you have it you have all the time in the world to work for the mount. As Mark demonstrates you can’t upa out of it.
The Tomoe-Nage I feel really embodies Jiu-Jitsu. BJJ should be nearly effortless, I think. A well executed technique uses physics in your favor with little expenditure of energy on your part. The dropping of your weight is one of the main forces at work in the Tomoe-Nage. It is combined with the twisting motion as you go down to position your opponent onto your leg. As the momentum continues with your guidance the throw feels very natural and powerful. I also felt a lot of control with it. I could throw into mount or into a arm bar. The Tomoe-Nage has become my favorite throw. As shown in the video above there are variations to it. Its versatile and I plan on adding it to my throw/takedown arsenal in all its many forms.
Magic Monday is the advanced class at West Side Jiu-Jitsu. We always have a good time learning something new. It became known as "Magic Monday" for all the the sweet techniques Chris teaches. This week we went over two sweeps from De La Riva Guard. As you can see here I got some nice footage of the De La Riva to Tomoe-Nage sweep (Shown in Jiu-Jitsu University on page 169). You will notice that Blake gets into it so much he does a roll after the demonstration. That’s the spirit Blake!
What I like about this technique is it doesn’t feel like a over head sweep like the Tomoe-Nage is coming. With the left leg, in this case, wrapped around the opponents leg, it doesn’t feel like you could chuck them over you.
The other thing I like about it is it doesn’t let the opponent flail about. When you do a Balloon Sweep, sometimes people freak out and kick their legs about. This just hurts them when they strike something or fall funny. It also messes up my Balloon Sweep because I’m afraid they are going to hurt both of us. If I didn’t care about my training partner I could just send them sailing to . . . you get the idea.
One of the techniques that was brought back from the 2010 Pan Am was a sweep. I don’t have a name for it so I’m calling it the 2010 Pan Am Sweep.
2010 Pan Am Sweep Part 1
2010 Pan Am Sweep Part 2
Here it is demonstrated by Miles (who competed in the Pan Am) and Chris. Like I always say, a picture is worth a thousand words. I’m not sure what is ever "new" in BJJ. I think a lot is rediscovered. What ever the case it is new to me. Techniques continues to evolve and revolve in BJJ. Going to a big tournament like the Pan Am gives you exposure to it all.
One of the things I like about this sweep is soliciting the reaction you want. When the arm is pushed down and the leg pushes you toward your trapped arm you feel like your base is gone. You push back against the leg and add force to the sweep. This is another fine example of BJJ’s principal of using technique not muscle and of using your opponents force against him.
I also might point out this is a Half Guard Sweep. I think it might come in handy if I fail a Spider Guard Sweep. I’ll have to experiment with it.
I had a great time sweeping people over my head. I have to say that sweeps are my favorite. Submissions are cool too don’t get me wrong but a well executed sweeps saps moral or the spirit of the other guy. He just went from equal or in control to flip side.
Rolling was good too. We lined up and would rotate the line every 2 minutes. This gives you a great opportunity to try yourself against everyone. It also keeps the action going. I was admirable tonight. I didn’t tap anyone that was higher then me but then again I didn’t get tapped. I’ll settle for a stalemate against a purple belt right now.
BJJ practice went well tonight. We broke up into whites and blues. The whites went over the blue belt test and the blues went over the purple belt test. We are a Pedro Sauer’s affiliated school. I was surprised that I knew the six techniques we went over as well as I did. We went over:
Double Ankle Grab Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 74)
Both Hands on Ankle Sweep to Armlock (BJJ T&T pg. 78)
After that we did some training from the guard. The object was for the guy on the bottom to get a sweep and the guy on top to get the pass. I tried out a number of sweeps and managed to kept from getting passed. It felt great to get may favorite Spider Guard Sweep.
We then did our usual rolling session to close out the class. I made some mistakes. First of all I let a guillotine get away from me only to have it reversed onto me. Inside my head my mind was screaming for me to throw my arm over his should for the escape but my body just wouldn’t respond. I think I was to preoccupied with the coke. The next roll was with one of your blues who should be going purple soon. I held my own for a good while and escaped one arm bar before succumbing to a second. I had him in a leg bind at one point and was thinking of a Machado leg bar I had been reading about but wasn’t able to pull it off. All in all it was a good night. I won some and I lost some.
When I roll against guys who have more skill then me it seems like I have the advantage at the start. I even seem to be winning for a while. But then the tables turn and everything goes down hill. Soon after the down turn I’m tapping. At class last night I got to be on the other side of the equation. I was rolling with one of our white belts, who might be up for his blue belt soon. It didn’t start out so hot for me and I was mounted. I remained calm and kept working my escapes and things changed. He managed to keep the upper hand for what seemed like a long time. I kept working my escapes and transitions. In time I gained side control and then it went all down hill for him. I noticed he was exhausted. I realized I had expended less energy and had waited him out. As he tired he retired, you might say. With more energy and the upper hand I moved from cross body or side control to mount. I latched on to his legs with "grape vines" and based out to ride out what I thought would be a strong attempt at escape. It didn’t come. I quickly moved up and took position under his arm pits and began my attack. It didn’t take long before I got a choke in and he tapped. I felt like a fortress that had ridden out the siege. I got a good insight into how my technique has evolved. If my fortress or technique had been weak his relentless assault would have broken through. I didn’t go for the submission right off. I waited for the opening and then took it, while all the while saving up for it. I wish I had it all on video. I don’t think I’ve gleamed half of what I can from it. I’ll be pondering it for a good while.
This has got to be one of the most fun Jiu-Jitsu sweeps even for the guy being swept. I know in reality you could slam someone to the ground with it and cause serious damage. But we don’t want to hurt our training partner as Conan talked about in his latest post entitled "Injuries". In the two videos I am wearing my red Atama Mundial #5. I am swept by my instructor Mark Johnson and I then sweep Brad, a fellow student. Keep in mind this is the first time I’ve done this. But at the same time my mistakes I think will help you see how to improve your Balloon Sweep. I am sorry some of the sound quality isn’t the best.
Having the power to lift the person and balance them isn’t hard as long as you position them correctly. Notice how I don’t get the positioning right. I weigh 208.5 lb right now. Mark sweeps me like a rag doll. Brad weighs less them me. I have trouble getting my legs straightened. With practice I’ll get it, I know, but the video does do a good job of illustrating difficulties you may face too.
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.
One of my favorite sweeps is the Spider Guard Sweep. You set it up by grabbing a sleeve and putting one leg in the bend of the that arm. Then you put the other leg across the abdomen of your opponent with the knee out. As shown here: Then using the leg that has the arm around it you push out ward. At the same time you reach down and get the leg turning your opponent onto the leg across the abdomen. Like this: Now all you have to do is rock back and then forward and you come up in mount. The trouble is some times they get past that leg on the abdomen. You end up still controlling the arm but you feel open. This is where you apply the bicep cutter. Take a look at these two pictures: You will notice all I have done is pulled the arm in a little more and created a triangle with my legs. Once you have done this all you need do is cut! This is done by pushing the knee out or by reaching behind the with both of your hands and pulling down on the trapped arm. What I really like about this technique is the guy thinks he is past your guard. It surprises them when you put the bite on them. Once again, thanks to my Submission Master Grappling Dummy for taking all of the abuse. It truly is a handy tool for working on your technique and trying things out.