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.
Here is the second takedown or throw we practiced the other night at BJJ class. It took me a few days to find its name. Once again I’m sorry I put my finger on the mic. My hands were also shaking after the work out.
The Ashi-Barai is about shifting your opponents balance to meet your needs. It starts out a lot like the Ochi-Gari.
- Grip. Because you will manipulate your opponents balance with your grip it is important to have a good hook grip on the collar and firm grip on the gi at the tricep.
- Balance and Step. As you step in you lift the tricep and move the opponents balance over to the opposite foot you are going to block or trip. This can or should cause a opposite reaction from him in the direction you want to sweep him.
- Twist and Step. Now you twist him back the other way. This motion should be added by his resistance to step two. As you stick your foot out for the block or trip it is only intended to stop him from using it to gain balance. You don’t need to kick or sweep the foot. Just stop it from moving. His forward momentum with your twisting action will do the rest.
- Capitalize. Be ready to take a position or submission. The technique isn’t successful if you both just end up in a sprawl.
I hope this is helpful. It helped me memorize this technique by posting it. Thank you to Chris and Miles again for being the movie stars of this post.
The Ochi-Gari is a great takedown to practice that isn’t to hard on your training partner. I had a great time doing it last night at class. Here is a video demonstrating it (Sorry, I had my thumb over the mic).
I’ve been doing some posts on throws and takedowns because I think it is a weak point in my own game and in most BJJ training. Some of the posts were: "Throw, Throw, Throw, again", "Review of Judo Throws and Takedown Books for Jiu-Jitsu", and "Should I Learn Judo To Excel In Jiu-Jitsu". Here are the 5 steps as I see them in a successful Ochi-Gari.
- Grip. You don’t want to burn your grip. Even with good Judo hook grips I noticed that at the end of class my hands were shaking. I hope it isn’t to noticeable in the video after I get it under control. Think about control without muscle.
- Step In. The first foot should step in but not between the opponents legs. It should be centered on his body. The behind step then should move you to flush with your opponent.
- Sweep. The sweep is called a "reap". It refers to reaping grain. It is a smooth semi-circle. It isn’t a chopping motion. It isn’t placed inside the leg and then hooked. It reaps in and takes the leg out. Yes, you can then lift or hook the leg if needed to finish it.
- Twist. The twist using the arms moves his balance. You want to dictate where his balance is. If you don’t twist as you sweep, the Ochi-Gari’s effectiveness is greatly reduced.
- Capitalize. The takedown isn’t over until you have the dominate position. Have a submission or position in mind you are prepared to take after the sweep.
I hope this is helpful. It helped me memorize this technique by posting it. Thank you to Chris and Miles for being the movie stars of this post.
Hip Throw, Double Leg takedown ("Baiana"), Single Leg takedown, Seoi-Nage, and Osoto-Gari to name a few of the throws or takedowns employed in BJJ. What do they have in common other then taking your opponent to the mat? They take a lot of practice. Last night we worked on take downs. We started off by practicing how to land correctly. It hurts when you slap that hand to the mat but its a lot less painful then landing incorrectly. We then went into the 3 basic throws or takedowns used in BJJ. First was the hip throw from a "T" position. Next was a leg hook and driving back to take your opponent down. Last but not least the foot behind the far foot of your opponent and sitting down. They all look so simple, so why is it someone always gets hurt? We had a few minor injuries at class. I think it is because we don’t practice them as much. All the more reason to throw, throw, throw again. After I tore my MCL I had a fear of throws and takedowns. I decided I couldn’t let that ruin my love for Jiu-Jitsu. Last night in class I got the chance to do the very takedown with my instructor that tore my MCL. This time I was a experienced blue belt. I didn’t make the mistakes I did before. My fear is gone and I have a new love for throws in particular. What changed my fear to enjoyment was my desire to over come adversity. As with anything in BJJ you need to try, try, try again. John B. Will said it best ". . . It is difficult to extend ourselves to the point of being uncomfortable, but the rewards can be more than worth the risks." (Rogue Black Belt – Book One, pg. 77)
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.