BJJ notes, Friday June 27th, 2014
We review. The more I train jiu-jitsu the more I love reviewing.
We work some triangle options:
- They hide their hand at their near-side hip. OK, omoplata.
- If they’re stubborn about the omoplata, dig your hand under theirs, meeting your far-side hand over the top, bringing their arm to a straight bar. If they wriggle out, awesome, you’re back to trigonometry lessons that end in unconsciousness.
- If they’re a real bitch about letting you get that grip, switch to reverse triangle, use the leg on that side to kick away and to the other side, and take the Kimura that is now exposed.
- Or, just S-grip behind your legs and switch to that straight-legged triangle neck squeeze thingy.
We also reviewed some knee shield half guard:
- If they stand up, bail to the spinning inversion back-take.
- Or to reverse De La Riva, immediately taking the underhook and moving the non-DLR foot in front of their ankle so that you can push their leg away and take the back.
And some De La Riva against a standing opponent:
- Non-DLR leg needs to prioritize fighting their far arm.
- The movement for the Captain Kirk sweep is the same as Edwin’s explosive backwards roll to standing: explosively extend the legs skyward while also continuing to roll. This occurs after taking their weight completely on top of you, as if they were floating on you.
- God, DLR sweeps are beautiful.
BJJ training notes, Wednesday 18 June 2014
Knee-shield half guard:
- Near foot on their hip, toes out, knee on their shoulder, braced by same side elbow which hand is on their far collar palm down.
- Far hand on their bicep. Prevent the crossface at all costs.
- Bottom leg knee off the floor. Brace against their hip a little.
If they weave their near hand inside my knee, grip the sleeve with the same side, clamp it with the knee, strip their grip, switch my grip to the far arm (at tricep if you like) and take their back.
If they don’t keep their near-side elbow clamped to their side, use your leg to open it further, making room for the near-side underhook. Ear to chest. If chance of victory overpowers fear of the crossface, use far side arm to post and take the back directly.
If not, maintain that hand at their bicep and stay under them. Use the near-side (top) leg to hook their trapped leg, then slide your bottom leg out to get on all fours. Now grab their far knee and push into them.
The gym is surely among the most inspiring public gathering places.
In winter I met a man at the gym who was just starting out. He is about thirty and has clearly never been an athlete. He had the beginning of a belly and no muscle. I suppose he noticed himself transitioning from skinny-fat to fat and decided to do something about it. The trainers gave him a fair program, a circuit of bodyweight and machine exercises, many arranged in supersets like “plank / cable pulls” and “push-ups / box jumps”.
It was that last one that I saw him doing in winter. He set the jumping platform at “2”, about mid-shin. I saw he had plenty of spare height in his jumps and encouraged him to try “3”. He, sweating and gasping, genially begged off. He wanted to take it slow. He was afraid of missing the jump and falling or scraping his shin. Fair enough. Keep working hard, brother. He congratulated me on my “6” (belly button) and “7” (just below sternum) jumps. I saw him a few weeks later hitting “3” fine. He worked the whole spring on his “3” after his 8k treadmill runs.
Today he called me over to see him banging out jumps on the “5” (just above the hip). He proudly showed me the gouge in his shin from his first attempt at the “5” last week.
The gym is surely among the most inspiring places that we go.
BJJ notes, Wednesday June 5
The blue belt who runs classes has not only sharp technique, but a real commitment to the most beautiful parts of jiujitsu. Posture. Fundamentals. Movement drills, followed by self-defense from standing, followed by technique incorporating the movement drills, followed by positional sparring, followed by open sparring. What more can you ask for? (Answer: more people.)
Two classes ago we did:
- kosotogake transition to side control and a shoulder choke as a counter to a standing front headlock
- two variations of the Toreando pass against the basic open guard
- tani-otoshi transition to mount as a counter to a standing side headlock
- from the open guard, the tripod sweep and its complement, the sickle sweep
- Toreando-to-knee-on-belly drilling
- "kick the leg back and re-insert to knee on belly" pass against the the open guard after passing one leg (including proper squat posture to shut down the open guard in the first place)
- the loop-the-head collar choke from knee on belly, which turned into a collar choke seminar from many positions to show unity in diversity
I also got some pointers on De La Riva guard basics:
- sleeve is good, collar is gold
- far foot at the crotch (not knee)
- over the top sweep if you can break their posture towards you or produce a push-pull
- if not, look for the pull-push to the single leg, weaving the arm if possible, clipping their ankle with your leg as you technical stand
- if not either of those, rotate to the back (how?)
To Be An Athlete
To me, being alive means being an athlete. What does being an athlete mean?
It means being strong. Or at least, not weak. 2xBW deadlift, 1.5xBW squat, 15 pull-ups and 20 dips anytime you please, 1.3xBW dips, >BW power clean for reps. These don’t seem to change much.
It means being in condition. A seven-minute mile and twenty-four minute 5k are good examples, but they are merely fingers pointing at the moon of general resistance to getting tired.
It means feats of strength. Pistols, one-arm push-ups, handstands, muscle-ups, snatches with every kind of ‘bell. It seems the end of this list recedes soon after I accomplish each new skill. I like it that way.
It means being game. Any hike, any bike-ride, any mud run, any yoga class, any boxing or judo session, any resistance implement, I’m up for it.
It means beauty in form and moving. Not just a squat but an elegant squat. Boxing instead of brawling. Proper jiujitsu.
All these things, all the time, without exception. I’m not in that place now. I’ve never held them all in my body at once, but I’ll be damned if I’ll stop trying.