Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Trained yesterday. Blogging today.

9:10-9:30a: A bit late start this morning. I was the only one at the gym at 9am. Everyone seemed to showed up a couple minutes after 9a. Warm-up / drills. Worked up a good sweat.

9:30-9:40a: Mount escape drills. Upa and elbow/hip escape.

9:40-10a: Technique. Multiple chokes from mount. Palm up / palm up, palm up / palm down when opponent bridges, palm up / palm down when opponent defends choke, and transition to bow and arrow using your gi lapel. The lapel move seemed a bit gimmicky. If you can't get one of the other chokes, I don't know how you'd pull off the gi-assisted bow and arrow. Not quite ready to add that to my repertoire.

10-10:30a: Rolls. 6 minute rounds. Got a Purple and two Blues. Roll with Purple went very well. Got a sweep from butterfly setup. Textbook from Revolution 1. Lots of lasso and spider work. Kept him on guard and off balance a lot, but I couldn't finish other sweeps. Roll with second Blue went well, but not as well. I got a knee push sweep (again...textbook Revolution 1), but not much else. Got stuck in his half guard. He swept me. So smooth and calm. Unsettling really. I didn't feel too threatened, but I was definitely on defensive most of the roll. After 6 minutes, I was gasping for breath. He wasn't sweating. Roll with last Blue went much better. Struggled to pass guard. Eventually passed. Got a kimura from north south. After we reset he began attacking, aggressively. Almost caught me in an arm bar from x-pass. Pretty slick combo. Bunch of turtle work. Some lasso and a lot of spider work. He hipped into it a lot and as he would break one grip, I'd switch to lasso or reset the other spider. Every time I'd move for a sweep, he'd switch it up. Got a slick sweep. Not sure what I did, but in the middle of some intense pressure I noticed an opportunity to compromise his balance with a slight nudge to the knee. Over he went.

Fun training. I'm starting see things that I've never seen before. Opportunities for sweeps mostly. Especially during transitions. As my opponent defends against one sweep set up, he usually opens himself up to something else. I'm not executing as quickly as I'd like, but I'm stoked to be recognizing opportunities. Feel like I got a glimpse into my future game.

Friday, April 22, 2011

8 Minutes with a Legend

5:45-6p: Arrived at UNIJJ early and stretched. Recognized about half of the guys, but most I'd never seen before. 20+ on the mats; most Blues, a few Purples, a Brown plus 4 or 5 Whites.

6-6:20p: Warm-up / drills. Loved that I could remember how to count in Portuguese.

6:20-6:45p: Drilled 4 sit up guard sweeps that they had apparently learned during the week. All but one were completely new to me. Professor Saulo tried to help me with a couple. But having never seen them, it was hard to pick it up on the fly. We switched partners a few times with the top guy trying to maintain balance and the bottom player working for one of the four sweeps. Floundered a bit...

6:45-8p: Rolls. 8 minute rounds. The class split up into two groups. All the top ranking guys were in the first group. I was in the second group with a few other Blues and 4 or 5 Whites. Each group rolled 8 minutes and rested 9 minutes (1 min between rounds). Professor Saulo rolled each round. I got paired with two Whites, a Blue, and...totally unexpected...Saulo Ribeiro himself.

Played a ton of catch and release with the first White. He was a little smaller than me and has been training only 4 months. Got to work on all sorts of things I normally don't get to work on. Went very slowly, tried to execute the transitions as tightly and controlled as possible. Plenty of time to think about combos. Some worked well like the top of turtle to back to hooks to bow and arrow set up and transition to arm bar when he defended the bow and arrow. Even employed the gi lapel arm bar from back we learned at the Gigante seminar a couple weeks back. I didn't finish any of the sub set ups, although he tapped to one arm bar before I really had anything. I would have let it go if I had secured the position. Lots and lots of sweeps. Of all types. Just about everything in my arsenal plus a new one from open guard I improvised. Basically a whizzer with my leg. Brought my left leg all the way outside his arm, under the arm pit and across his chest with my toes in right arm pit. Then brought my right leg to span his lower torso with a hook on his right hip and my knee against the front of his left hip. Dove low and underhooked a leg, then rocked.

Tried the improvised open guard sweep twice against the Blue during my next roll. It worked again...twice. Landed in a clean knee on belly the second time. Interesting. Seems to be so effective it must be a real sweep and I just hadn't learned it yet. Passed guard a couple times. Transitioned to mount to technical mount. Got an arm bar from technical mount. A bit sloppy because he fought like mad to escape. But I stuck with it and worked for the angle and finish. Fun roll. I was surprised how fast and hard he came at me. Think I did a good job slowing him down and bringing him into my game.

Professor Saulo called me over for my third roll. I was sooo nervous. He started with an open combat base. I immediately grabbed his lapel and attempted to shoot one of his butterfly sweep techniques from Revolution 1. He based out and I had him in the air a bit. Couldn't finish the sweep. He passed and didn't move too much. Secured a good side control posture/defense with my knee and elbow touching, but I couldn't advance past that point. As I'm writing this I realize I should have used that knee as leverage, changed the angle of my body and recovered guard...drats. At one point he got knee on belly. It was a friendly knee on belly. I've heard Saulo's made many black belts tap just from knee on belly. He was being very kind. :-) I tried to recover half guard - a technique Professor Matthias showed - but he was so tight and against my side I couldn't stuff the foot. He transitioned to mount. I struggled a bit to establish mount survival posture. Got the frame/brace so he couldn't advance higher, but I couldn't get a leg free of the grapevine to lay flat on the mat. He went for a one arm choke. Then I completely blew it. I bridged directly into the choke and had to tap. Had I bridged the other way, I probably could have survived. As soon as I tapped I said, "What was I thinking going that way?" Professor said with a chuckle, "Right. You make it easy for me." A little later in the roll the Master allowed two sweeps. I think he was just flow rolling. No way I really got those sweeps. One was from butterfly. The other was the first sit-up guard sweep we drilled earlier in the evening. I don't know the sequence, but at one point he attacked my right arm from technical mount. I was waiting for the leg to come over to apply the trusty Saulo arm bar escape, but he was so quick I missed my opportunity. He had me flat on my back and my defense attempts were ultimately futile. He finally got tired of waiting to see what I'd do and finished. I showed him the trusty escape and he said that was still the right thing to do. I thought I could only go for it during the transition (as the leg comes over). He showed me how to thrust the elbow up - "like you gonna elbow me in the mouth" - to get the angle even when in a bad spot. Nice! It was an amazing experience. He felt like a million pounds on me. He made me squirm...a lot. Loved every second of those 8 minutes.

My last roll was with a White. Taller guy visiting from Hawaii. Apparently a professional skate boarder. He was pretty aggressive and bit spazzy. Totally unpredictable. He actually got me in a bully headlock at one point. Escape was simple, but I was a bit perplexed. Also had to escape sloppy knee bar and heel hook attempts. Really. One of the Purples stopped us to explain the rules. Glad I didn't have to say anything. Could have tapped him many many times. At one point I had him in a bow and arrow set up. Released the choke and he basically gave me his arm. I was so surprised I didn't even touch it. I just moved and kept the roll going. At another point I had him mounted and had DEEP palm up palm down choke grips. Rather than defend the choke, he sunk in his own grips. Again. Quite surprised. Didn't finish, just moved on to something else. My goal with him was to just keep the game moving and work on balance from the top game.

Picked up a copy of Revolution 2 after class. A Purple who knows me fairly well had some great compliments. Said my game has improved significantly. Really liked the open guard, especially the lasso, and butterfly work. Said I missed a transition to x guard from a butterfly sweep, but other than that he seemed genuinely impressed with the improvement since my last visit to UNIJJ in February. It was nice to get such kind words from a very experienced Purple.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

This Stuff Actually Works!

Was supposed to take off Wednesday night, but showed up to work with a co-worker on his second day training.

6:20-6:50p: Stretched with the co-worker and showed him some of the standard drills we often do during warm ups.

6:50-7p: Upper belt approached and asked if I wanted a warm up roll. He'd been training open mat for an hour or more. Went through a couple blacks, a brow, and a purple before. Said he had gas in the tank for one more before having to take off. Started in his guard. Grip fought a bit and stood up. He opened. Established combat base and began to work a knee / hip slide. He went for the arm drag to back. Basically rolled into him and pulled half guard. Remember setting up a baseball bat choke from half guard and baited him for the pass, but didn't have a very good angle and he escaped. I don't remember a lot after that other than the fact that I was on bottom a lot and he felt VERY heavy. No longer a warm up roll when all I could think about was how badly I wanted out from underneath him. Although a little lighter than me, he distributes his weight very well. I recall successfully rolling from turtle to modified x guard. Didn't last long, but the roll to x guard is something I'll be looking to try more. Near the end he had me in north south. Fought for an inverted spider. Got it. Then shot the inverted triangle. Locked it in, extended hips to break down posture and destabilize, then attacked the arm he used to base out. Got the straight arm lock. I'd been working on that particular flow (turtle to inverted spider to inverted triangle to straight arm lock) with Professor Matthias for a few weeks. I'd failed to convert multiple times in the past attempts. Got lucky this time. Wouldn't presume to think I could pull it off on an upper belt again any time soon. But the moment I realized I got the tap, the first thing that came to mind was: "This stuff actually works!"

7-8p: Warmed up and then worked with my co-worker friend through the end of the technique portion of class. We worked three half guard passes. I'd seen all three before (very similar to three passes Saulo shows in Revolution 1), but it was a good refresher and opportunity to work the techniques very slowly.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Can't Pass His Guard!!!

5:15-5:30p: Stretched.

5:30-5:50p: Warm-up / standard drills.

5:50-6p: Partner drills. Guard sit ups, climb around the standing guy without touching the ground (couldn't do it), leap frogs, and leg lifts.

6-6:30p: Technique. Self defense response to sucker bear hug. Sports BJJ technique involved a flow. Escape from busted posture to guard break to stack pass to side control. Then escape from side control (via north-south defense and closed guard recovery).

6:30-7p: Rolls. Crowded mats. 30 strong! Groups of three. Got two Blues. First Blue is in High School. Got his Blue the same time I did. Have always struggled in this kid's guard. Today was no different. He has a WICKED hip bump sweep. Spent almost the entire roll defending the hip bump. Finally got the guard open. Struggled to pass... Fail. Repeat fail. He recovered closed guard. Then got the hip bump to mount...just as time called. Have always had trouble with the second Blue. Usually taps me via omoplata or kimura from north south. Faired much better tonight. Swept each other back and forth. I don't think either of us passed guard. Both of us turtled or recovered. Pleased with one sweep from turtle to side control when I trapped an arm. But he recovered open guard before I could secure side. Fun roll.

BTW: Assist to Matt Washington. Helped me remember details from tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Co-workers!!!

5:15-5:45p: Stretched. A lot. Felt great.

5:45-6:15p: Private with Professor Matthias. Worked triangle finishes. Been having trouble finishing lately. He confirmed that I'm not doing anything really wrong, my execution has just been slower than my opponents ability to regain posture and escape. Learned a cool trick to break posture. Professor said it's sort of dirty. Perhaps for the tournament bag-o-tricks. Also learned a transition to arm bar that saves a bridge off my weak neck. Pretty slick. Me likes. Reviewed a few of the techniques from the seminar, including baseball bat choke (plus a variation from guard that Gigante didn't teach), a guard pass (plus a variation when in full butterfly that Gigante didn't teach), a couple of the takedowns, and attacks from the back. He showed a transition between two of the back attacks that I didn't recognize (and Gigante didn't teach). Finished with a 6-8 minute roll. Stopped a few times in the roll to ask what he did. One was a half guard recovery from knee on belly...very simple and obvious. Can't believe I didn't see that before. Second was a sweep worthy of You Tube. I went flying over and on my back. Felt like I was 5 feet in the air! He basically took advantage of a hole in my knee or hip slide pass. Need to tighten that up...and learn start using that sweep when others try to a sloppy pass! Aside from those teachable moments, the roll was pretty sloppy on my part. Was much happier with my performance on Saturday.

6:15-6:30p: Reviewed some of the techniques from the seminar. Got in a discussion of difference between clock and baseball bat chokes. Then I got stupid. Showed one of Saulo's transitions from clock to bow and arrow. Accidentally pulled the guy helping us out back and rolled his ankle. Felt so bad. Dumb move Rick, dumb move. Hopefully he's not really hurt. How did I get so carried away? Freaking amateur.

6:30-6:50p: Warm-up / drills. A co-worker we've been courting for a while now showed up. If he sticks around, that will be 6 from the office plus one of our " clients" who showed up for his first class on Saturday. Another co-worker started kickboxing last week. Wowzers! Worked
with my co-worker on hip shrimps while the others did the standard drills.

6:50-7p: Sweep / pass the guard. Worked with the co-worker on basic guard posture, a break, and stack pass set up.

7-7:30p: The ever vigilant Matt Washington pointed out that my original post omitted a very important part of class. Geez. How did I forget 30 minutes of half guard technique? I remember two sweeps (one similar to the sweep Professor used against me during our pre-class roll) and one guard recovery option if opponent bases out in response to sweep attempt.

7:30-8p: Rolls. 6 minute rounds. Got a Blue, White, and a Purple. Blue always gives me problems in his guard. Perfect opportunity to work from his guard. We grip fought and I struggled to maintain posture for a couple minutes. Not sure if I broke his guard or if he opened just to get beyond our stall. Tried a standard guard pass from combat base. Got something wrong. Was off balance not too long into the pass attempt. Had to base out and knew I was going to get swept. It wasnt a matter of if...just when. So I fought for a favorable position and allowed the sweep when I calculated it would put me in the best open guard position. Worked from open guard, but couldn't get a sweep before time ran out. White is fairly new. Been taking kickboxing for a while. Tall, strong, athletic... Powerful. He'll be a monster when he gets some technique. Got a couple sweeps. Arm bar from guard and a bow and arrow. But not without a struggle to maintain composure under some real pressure. Purple was apparently one of the founding NOLA BJJ members. I hear he's been away for a few years. Smaller, fast, extremely athletic. Very technical. I absolutely LOVED this roll. He gave me a real hard time, but I managed my share of guard recoveries and escapes. No sweeps. Shot a couple I'll-timed triangles. Fail. He worked a lot of inverted guard. First time I've worked with someone adept with inverted guard. It was a pain in the arse! Several times I thought I was about to pass guard...he recovered...via inverted. Forced me into sloppy land a bit more than I'd have liked. I hope to have the pleasure of working with him again...soon...and often!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

4+ hrs yesterday

A day late...
10:15-11a: Private with Professor Matthias. Reviewed a half guard sweep from Revolution 1 (chapter 11). Reviewed guard passes. An escape to guard recovery from turtle. Triangle from inverted that is really a distraction to get a straight arm lock. Finished with a 7 or 8 minute roll.

11-11:20a: Warm up / drills.

11:20-11:30a: Sweep / pass the guard. Got swept twice by same blue. Made same mistake twice. Geez. Don't remember much else.

11:30a-12p: Technique. Arm bar variation from closed guard that used opponents gi to trap the arm, Also a slick choke from closed guard involving the lapel. Also a sweep that involved an inverted roll. Struggling to remember the details though. Probably forgetting a technique or two.

12-12:30p: Rolls. Got two Blues and a White. 6 minute rounds. First Blue destroyed me. Tough roll. Caught in two arm bars. Thought I was going to escape both, but no luck. Played a lot of catch and release with the other Blue who recently relocated to our school. I was impressed with his x guard break and pass reflexes. Caught the White in a bow and arrow, but really had to work for it. Also impressed with his cross face instincts from top half and side control.

2-4:15p: Fabio "Gigante" Villela seminar in Hammond, LA. Big guy Jiu Jitsu. Started with take downs. Three variations from the same basic set up. Learned a new grip technique that could come in handy some day. Worked some guard passes that differed slightly from passes I'd seen before. Learned a baseball bat choke for the first time as well. Quite effective. Spent a lot of time on various attacks from the back using your gi lapel. The chokes didn't seem very realistic but I liked the arm bar.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

One Year

April 14, 2010: Stepped onto the mats for the first time. I was almost dead after 15 minutes of warm up. Mike (Purple), the guy who brought me, saw me in a wrecked state, smiled, and said with a chuckle, "The easy part is over man!". He wasn't joking. Almost puked, had a horrible achy night sleep, and could hardly walk the next day. But I was hooked. From day one. Not going to do a lengthy recap. I'm stronger, healthier, feel 10 years younger, more confident (in general), happier and, perhaps the coolest part - I've made many new friends. A few injury setbacks notwithstanding, I don't see how my first year could have been better. One thing I know for sure. This training log has been a tremendous complement to my training. Because I know I will write about my training, I pay more attention during class. Moreover, writing about what I just went through each night is similar to meditation. I have to replay the night in my head and internalize the night's lessons. It has to have helped my game.

5:20-5:30p: Stretched.

5:30-5:55p: Extended warm up / drills. Had a very good sweat going.

5:55-6p: Abbreviated sweep / pass the guard. Stepped into Purple's guard. Got swept. Stood up. He opened and sunk a De la Riva hook. I tried to counter and he switched to something I've never seen before. Tried to counter that and it was as if he expected my response and dropped me. Impressive. Wish I knew what he did. Stepped into another Purple's guard. Passed via a very assertive knee slide. A bit muscly, but it's a start. I've been working on the pass for a month or so know and Professor's advice to be a bit more aggressive. It feels sloppy and muscly but it's working. Perhaps with time I can continue to refine and pull it off with more finesse. Blue stepped into my guard. He stood up. Dropped him with a classic under hook and hip twist on the thigh / dead angle knee. Professor called time so I couldn't attempt to finish and transition to mount. This particular Blue has always scrambled out when I've employed that sweep so I need to work on the transition. Next time.

6-6:30p: Technique. Two self defense techniques. Responses to sucker RNC attempts. First is a standard hip throw. Second is a take down if attacker inserts a knee / leg between your legs to prevent the hip throw. Followed up with two subs from closed guard. Straight arm lock via whizzer plus a shoulder lock option in response to typical whizzer defense.

6:30-6:55p: Rolls. Groups of three. Five or Six minute rounds. Got a Green and a White. White is roughly my size with more experience. Good rolls. X-guard work with the Green. For some reason I find lots of opportunities to work x with her. Possibly because she's so much more flexible than most guys. She thwarted many choke attempts from back, mount, and technical mount. Good survival skills. Found out she came from Rafael Lovato's school. Explains the Green Belt. Ribeiro schools do the yellow, orange, green steps for adults. White dropped me on my butt in a failed standing guard pass attempt. Pretty slick. Got a couple knee slide passes. Straight ankle lock, front gi choke, couple of sloppy kimura's from north / south. Also got a tap from a Gogoplata set up. I had the shin under the chin and started working to lock it in with my other leg. He started struggling a bit and thought he was going to escape. Started plotting a transition to omoplata when he tapped.

6:55-7:05p: Young, big, very strong White asked to roll before calling it a night. Ok. Why not? He started in my closed guard. I opened and he put on some serious pressure. Obliterated my open guard but never secured side control. Inverted to open recovery. Triangle attempt failed. But got an arm bar from a transition. Straight ankle lock failed as well. He forced me to bail to turtle a couple times. Tried to take the back. Got stuck. After the roll, showed him a couple options to either take the back or transition to technical mount.

Shot a few triangles tonight. All failed. Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but my triangle success rate is abysmal. Will work on it with Professor Matthias at our private Saturday morning.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stripe 1

Not enough time for a proper post. Arrived at 5:20p. Left at 7p. Led warm ups. Got a sweep off a pass (blue). Not much else during sweep / pass the guard. Techinque = Guillotine choke and escape. Closed guard grip break to whizzer to straight arm lock. Rolls. Groups of three. Got two Blues. Both within +\- 10 lbs or so. Rolls went well. Some good. Some bad. Got a messy kimura on a Blue. Shot a couple triangles. Fail. Not bad night though. Got my first stripe at the end of class.

Monday, April 11, 2011


A substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely. --Webster

Ok... Not indefinitely, but I am really starting to feel like I'm getting a bit of mojo back. Neck feels good. Training is progressing well enough. Trajectory looking good for the LA State Championship on May 21.

6:25-6:30p: Stretched.

6:30-6:50p: Warm-ups / drills. Including 6 min abs. Had some lower back cramping, but not too bad.

6:50-7p: Sweep / pass the guard. Started on my back. Very experienced blue stepped in. Almost swept him from closed guard via Saulo special. His base is great so he recovered no prob. Opened to lasso and switched to a spider variation. Ended up with a sweep off a pass. That was the first time I'd managed to do anything against this guy. Another Blue stepped in. Got the sweep, but I don't recall exactly how. Big White stepped in next. He wanted to start open. Ok. Heavy base and clearly a wrestling background. Couldn't get him off base at all. He smashed a sweep attempt and came down on my side. I had full contact shield between my knee and elbow so he hadn't technically passed. He stopped and proclaimed the pass. No problem. I showed him my contact and said, "not really, but close enough.". Stepped into a huge Blue's guard next. He has a reputation for rolling really hard. Stood up and broke his guard. Worked a knee slide pass I've been working with Professor Matthias. Almost had it. Almost. He scrambled out and recovered full guard. Busted my posture in my process. Ended up sweeping me via kimura attempt. I gave up the sweep to defend the kimura.

7-7:05p: Half guard drills. Full speed sweep / passes. Top guy picked the starting grips. Tough. Tiring.

7:05-7:30p: Half guard sweep techniques. One from lock down. The other a classic sweep grabbing the foot. Both require using hips or bumps to move your opponent up. Pretty simple detail I tend to forget. Have trouble grabbing the foot. Tend to prefer one of Saulo's variations that does the same thing without grabbing the foot.

7:30-8p: Rolls. 6 minute rounds. Groups of 3. Got 2 Blues approximately my size. Fun rolls. Several sweeps. Inverted work, but not entirely successful. Suspect it was more nuisance than a threat, but did manage a couple open guard recoveries. Got swept. Several times. Almost got choked out from north south. Managed to squirm out. Literally one escape attempt away from tapping. Fortunately I guessed right. Escaped a kimura attempt from north/south. Caught an arm bar after transition from a sweep off an arm bar stack. Very pleased with it because I think it was my first successful combo. Visualized and executed.

8-8:05p: Stretched a bit. Reviewed the choke with the Blue who almost caught me. Still not sure how I escaped. Definitely got lucky. Talked a bit about inverted. I'm fortunately flexible. Put both legs behind my head. Apparently that's not easy to do...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Strong Night

Walked into class tonight a bit sore and contemplated asking Professor to pair me with smaller newbies to avoid injury. Tonight was the first night I've trained two full classes in a row since early December. Wasn't sure how it would turn out. Turned out fine.

525-5:30p: Stretched.

5:30-5:55p: Long warm-up and drills. Partner drills. Lots of core. Couldn't do the partner push-ups.

5:55-6:05p: Sweep/pass the guard. Started on bottom. Professor stepped into guard. Different Professor than last night, but he stood up and stepped forward. Predictably (especially if he reads this blog), I attempted a rollout sweep. He stuffed it. Passed a Blue's guard. Standing break and step over from torreando set up. Swept a Blue who stood up and stepped in using the Rollout. Not very pretty - and ended up in a scramble - but finished. Swept a White next via Lasso. Ended up with knee on belly. Chants of You Tube from the crowd. Hee hee. Ok...not that dramatic...I'm a legend in my own mind.

6:05-6:30p: Technique. Three front gi chokes from closed guard. The first two are pretty standard. Palm up / palm up and palm up / palm down. The third was tricky. Professor joked that he doesn't do it anymore because it's not fair...he gets it every time. Too difficult to describe, but I couldn't execute. Maybe it was my training partner. Really big guy with tight fitting gi. Just couldn't get it to work...

6:30-6:55p: Rolls. 6 minute rounds. Groups of three. Got two Blues, roughly my size. Rolls went well enough. Mount, technical mount, a few sweeps. Inverted guard work with the second Blue. A few failed triangle attempts from inverted. Should have gone for a straight sweep, but I wanted to work on the triangle. Fail. Had my guard passed a few times. Recovered guard via north-south and inverted. Apparently kicked my partner in the face. He stopped the roll and asked me to slow down. Sorry! I really didn't feel or see the kick. Definitely unintentional.

6:55-7p: White grabbed me to roll. Big "kid." Collegiate football background. Never rolled with him before. To tell you the truth, I've avoided him. He rolls hard and, frankly, I'm not a fan of getting hurt. Whether stupid or just on an endorphin high from the great night, I accepted. Before we rolled I showed him three sweeps when someone stands up in your closed guard. The roll was fast and furious. Swept to mount and finished with arm bar in 45 secs or so. Second round, same result but it took a little longer. I showed him the mistake he was making that allowed me to get the sweeps. He corrected his mistake and broke my guard. I set the lasso and he smashed through without too much trouble. Bailed to turtle and rolled back to open guard. Set up and completed the knee push sweep. Kickboxing class started so we called it a night. He paid me a nice compliment. Asked me to call him out to roll in the future. Said he learned more in five minutes working with me than he had in a while. I suspect that's because we worked on specific problems he's been having as opposed to techniques of the night that he may or may not be able to employ during rolls. That tells me he may be ready for a private with a qualified instructor. Enjoyed this roll like I imagine my dad enjoyed beating me in basketball as a young man. After working me over, he'd say, "Son. I have to do it now because it won't be long until I have no chance." This kid is very athletic. When he figures this out, I won't have a chance.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Squish Slosh

That's the sound my neck makes when I move it these days. Thankfully not causing problems (yet), but hearing sounds and feeling the squish is unsettling...to say the least.

5:15-5:35p: Stretched.

5:35-6:20p: Private w/ Professor Matthias. Went over the sweep to triangle from the lasso via stack pass bait featured in this month's Gracie Mag. Although we had some trouble executing as shown in the pic (a step is clearly missing), we adapted and came up with something that felt comfortable for both of us. Executing clearly requires your opponent to be committed to the stack. Worked guard passes the rest of the time. Lots of review, but I learned a de la riva pass that should help me get out of a few sticky situations.

Rolled lightly for a few minutes to end the session. The only thing worth writing about is a sweep that Saulo calls a "Rollout Against Underhook Defense" (Technique 16-3 in Jiu Jitsu University). Professor attempted a standing guard break. He stepped forward and held my lapels to prevent an underhook sweep. I timed release of my guard and rolled out. Got the sweep...eventually. Steps 5&6 didn't go as smoothly as shown in the book. I didn't have full control of the foot and Professor began to step out of my rollout underhook. Had to stand up with his foot and fish the sweep while standing as opposed to kneeling in turtle. Never before did I have an opportunity to attempt this sweep. Never drilled it. Just saw it in the book and on the Revolution 1 DVDs a dozen or so times. My opponents either don't attempt standing guard passes or they succumb to the Classic Underhook Sweep (Technique 16-2). The rollout is only an option if your opponent steps into you to prevent the classic underhook sweep. I've never had a training partner step forward like that during a standing break/pass. Now I know it works. Just need to work on controlling the foot during the rollout.

6:20-6:30p: Stretched and chatted with friends before class.

6:30-6:45p: Warm-up / standard drills. More abs than usual. About 300 reps. I tried to finish the core set with the Gynastica Natural solo drill in this month's edition of Gracie Mag. I'd never tried it before and clearly attempted to do the move too quickly.

6:45-7:05p: Drilled standing grip breaks and take down set ups, a judo hip throw (not good with the judo names), and open guard passes with limited hand use. The top guy got to use one hand. The bottom gal had both hands in belt. Interesting. Didn't do as well as I thought I would. The two-three week white belt ended up passing a couple times and got mount once. I couldn't do nearly as well against him.

7:05-7:30p: Technique. Standing guard break from busted posture. Hands in arm pits. Pop up. Move one knee around and insert into butt crack. Work hands up pants until guard breaks. Then baited stack pass to step through and knee on belly. Finished with a kimura after switching to north-south when opponent pushes on knee. Last technique was a pass to arm bar from double spider guard. Hip in, reach under and secure opposite pant leg, grip a sleeve, then posture up and step back slightly while "unwinding" your opponent. Should end up in position for the arm bar.

7:30-8p: Rolls. 6 minutes rounds. Got a Blue, Green, and Black. Roll with Blue was good. Recall losing a good north-south back position to a strong single leg from opponent's turtle. Only highlight from guard was a dive through from half guard to take the back. Roll with Green was good too. I started off with a relatively easy pass to side to north south to technical mount to arm bar set up. She escaped the arm bar and I was in a bad spot. She solidified side control and I struggled. Couldn't escape. Fought for an underhook. Denied. Tried a normal bridge to guard recovery. Too tight. Bailed to turtle and exposed the back. I don't think she got both hooks, but I was on defensive. Eventually rolled back to open guard. Final roll with Professor was good (enough). I think it was the first time he rolled to finish. Caught me in what felt like a clock choke variation while I was in turtle. Also caught me in an arm bar. Had some tingly fingers during this roll. First time with tingles in a few weeks. Bleh.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Saw Matisyahu at the Howlin’ Wolf after class last night. Great show = Late post.

5:20-5:30p: Stretched. 5:30-5:50p: Warm-up / standard drills. 210 core reps. No problem. 80 push-ups. Finished 90% from knees. 5:50-6p: Sweep / pass the guard. Got swept by a Purple via omoplata transition. Passed a Green via standing torreando variation. Swept a Blue…can’t remember how. Blue passed me via torreando variation. Disappointed because I dropped him on his butt twice when he stood up (using a sweep from Revolution 1), but I couldn’t transition to top quick enough to complete the sweep.

6-6:30p: Technique. Bully head lock take down, escape to arm bar. Standing guard break. Very similar to Saulo’s standing guard break from Revolution 1. Geez. One other technique, but I can’t remember at the moment. Will revise post if/when it comes to me… ***UPDATE*** The other technique was a double leg stack pass from open guard after a standing guard break. Thanks for the assist Matt!

6:30-7p: Rolls. 6 minutes. Got a Purple, Blue, and White. Purple destroyed my posture…repeatedly. Got swept twice from busted posture via flower/upa combo. Managed to reverse both mounts via upa. Done messing with busted posture, I grabbed a high lapel and fisted it down to the mat across his throat. That worked…sort of. Regained posture and opened guard, but got swept via de la riva (maybe tripod). Shot a triangle while he was trying to pass. Timing was good, but his posture timing was better. I let it go thinking I couldn’t finish. Afterwards he told me I shouldn’t have quit. Said I almost caught him and I definitely had his full attention. Interesting.

Blue passed to half guard without too much trouble. Tried to defend the cross face, but he insisted… He passed to side control and got me in a mean cross face pin. Didn’t feel good, but I wasn’t threatened either. We must have sat there for 3 minutes. He started suggesting that I shrimp. Uh, no. He had me so tight and I was so tired, I couldn’t spare the energy to do something I didn’t think I could pull off. Besides, he wasn’t advancing or threatening me. Why waste the energy? Purple reminded me afterward that I should have tried harder to escape because, in a tourney, although a good ref would tell the top guy to advance, it would burn valuable time and I was down on points. He’s right. Need to adapt my survival mindset. Blue finally tried to advance (went to north-south). Started working for inverted guard but time ran out.

Roll with White was fun. Long (and strong) legs. Tight closed guard. Tricky open guard. Encouraged her to work a butterfly hook or two into her open guard. She’s doing remarkably well for only a few weeks into training.