Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cardio Mayhem

Let it be known that Tuesday December 30, 2008 was the hardest cardio day ever. Sprints, run, crawl, sprint, squat, move, sprawl, squat, pushup, situp, mountain climb, sprint, shrimp, squat, shoot, shoot, sprawl, sprawl, sprawl, shoot, jump, sprint.

It was awesome, even though I can't stand up!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

old skool

Today we did half guard escapes and focused on what some call the "old school". You get on your side as always and secure the underhook. Shrimp back so you move your body down towards his legs as much as you can. Use your top hand to grab his foot. Open your gward and put your bottom leg up so you are sitting on it. pick the guys back knee with both hands and drive.

Simple, but very effective. Clint said that Jorge, Marcus, etc are very successful with this sweep.

Friday, December 19, 2008

comp class

Only me and 2 others showed up for competition class, braving the horrible road conditions. Luckily it was Mr. Hyde and Jeff "crazy legs" W. They both worked me for 90 mins. We did all no gi again. At the new place we are going to have two no gi classes a week, which I think will help a lot. The last Naga we rocked in the gi, but definitely need some no gi work.

I worked guard all day, and actually got Jeffy in x-guard for a second. Go me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

escape week

Tuesday and Thursday Big Dawg had us drilling half guard passes and escapes. Nothing fancy here, just good tight tech.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sao Paulo/Tozi/Godoi Pass redux

A while back I talked about the Sao Paulo pass that Clint showed made famous by Roberto Tozi and others.

Ladies in gentlemen...thanks to my random internet friend:

Variation Cesar Tozi likes to use, throwing your weight back:

Tozi's favorite version:

Tozi likes to use this variation against strong guys, or guys who don't want to open their guard:

Friday, December 12, 2008

Comp Class

Competition class was a blast as always! This is turning into my favorite class of the week, as it's pure unadulterated rolling.

It was just myself, Mr. Hyde, and Crazy Bob who showed up. We decided to work no-gi and rolled for 90 or so minutes straight, switching up partners every time.

After the roll we broke down our games, mistakes, holes, and discussed what we are working on. Hyde showed a little bit of his impassable guard game.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Rubens Charles aka "Cobrinha" might be the best BJJ player on the planet right now.

Hip Bump Sweep/Kimura/Guillotine

We worked on a series of moves from the hip bump sweep position. This is when your opponent is in your full guard, but is leaning too far back in an attempt to thwart your dangerous game.

You start by swimming your opponents arms off your chest. You then grab the same side wrist and thrust your hips up hard into the man. Clint noted that with correct form, you will end up 180 degrees from where you start.

We also worked the kimura from this position. The key details presented were to use your body momentum to take the arm...not just arm strength. You also want to pin the arm TIGHT to your body. Use your whole body to move the forearm for the tap.

If they hide their arm for the kimura, then you can switch to the guillotine. Grab the guys chin with your free arm. Then scoot your butt back a little bit, giving you room to get other hand to grap the wrist of the "chin holding hand". It can be arm in, or arm out..doesn't matter. Pull guard but don't just lay back...do a sit up type movement to pressure towards him to finish the brutal choke.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Basics Class

I went to my first basics class today. I always wanted to try it out, and today was the day to pop my cherry.

C did a little recap of what they had been working on the last month or two (the kneeling game, hand fighting, knee lead) and announced they were going to switch to guard passing in January.

We then started drilling the knee lead pass with no resistance. We then switched up to guard pulling if there was too much resistance (or we wanted to pull guard). He then changed it up to dynamic learning where both people were trying for the knee lead pass or guard pull. We went through several rounds of drilling with different partners. Brandon was kind of the king of the drill as he has been working on this with C for some time now.

Before you know it, it was time for live rolling and my day was done. 3.5 hours of bjj=awesome!

Private on preventing guard passing

I did my first private lesson with Clint today! It was nothing short of awesome as it filled a few basic holes in my game.

Getting my guard passed:

When someone is passing my guard to my right, I want to make sure I have hand control with my left hand grabbing his right sleeve (pulling it towards me). I want to put my right leg on his left hip (vital detail). I then extend him with a push/pull with his arm and hip, and switch my hips so instead of facing right I am facing left. There could be a triangle available here, but the worst case scenario the opponent will have to start his guard pass over.

The other issue I had was rolling to turtle too easy to protect myself from getting my guard passed. This is not a horrible strategy, but must be executed with purpose. I was keeping turtle too long, allowing for my opponent to start to break me down or take my back. It's OK for me to roll to turtle guard, but what I need to work on is not staying there but instantly rolling through back to guard. Putting my arm in between my legs facilitates this, as it puts my shoulders insto position for my body to roll.

Defense against knee lead:

This one I will need to work on but did have some success in live rolling at the end of practice. Clints defense is simple. Open your guard up and put your feet on both hips. Lift your ass in the air above the guys knee that is leading. This totally negates the guys position. It is not an easy guard, as you are lifted up the whole time, but it is effective as he will have to move his knee back to maintain balance if you move him laterally; or you can work normally guard attacks (triangle, armbar, oma plata, etc) from this position.

Passing open guard:

I found this problem when I was trying the standing guard pass. 99% of guys will drop into open guard. I am not getting pwned from this position, but I'm not too succesful in beating it either. The key part of the game is to keep your opponent from getting his feet on your hips. That is his control point. You defeat this by putting your elbows on the insdie of his thighs/knees. Grip the inside of his pants and move your elbows somewhere under his legs and stack him a little. It doesn't matter if you stay standing up or go to your knees as long as you block his feet from going on your hips.

Now I just need to practice all this stuff until it becomes automatic! I used most all of it right away in live rolling and it definitely works for me!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Crampton Sundays

We went over Cramptons north south keylock series.

-kimura. Lift the arm straight up and then turn.

-head scissors. Extend your bottom leg and fall to your side keeping the keylock postion. Slowly extend your top leg from the knee to the foot, tightening the lock.

-belt grab. With the keylock grip, dig your hand under the guys belt securing his arm. Use this to control opponent, leaving chokes available since he only has one arm to defend.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This is what I want my half guard to look like someday.

Wilson Reis x Daniel Aguilar

Friday, December 5, 2008

Competition ClassS

Clint ran comp class tonight. Myself and two other students showed up. We paired up and drilled 4 minute matches starting from side control. I got a lot of good rolling in and had an awesome time!

Since side control was the main topic I got to practice escapes from bottom and control from top. I have been working hard lately just to maintain side control to keep people from re-guarding.

After an hour or so Clint and Kurt had to leave, so Luis and I rolled and worked some positions. Good times were had by all!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Free beginner e-book and lessons

Popular Canadian BJJ black belt and instructor Stephen Kesting is offering a free e-book aimed at beginners to BJJ. With that you also get an email every couple days with a free lesson. It is totally free and there is no obligation. I just signed up and think this would be really helpful to new guys.

If you use the firefox browser, make sure to disable ad-block if you have it, or the field to put in your information won't appear. Or just use IE for this one time.


Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post Turkey BJJ Madness

We only had a Tuesday class this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday. To make up for it Mr. Hyde decided to have the Friday competition class on Saturday before regular class! Yes, you heard right. Two back to back classes. Heaven on earth.

Competition class was awesome as always. We did all no-gi, based on our recent NAGA performance where we realized many of our no-gi games were falling well behind our gi games. We played "king of the mat" by playing games with two people grappling, with the winner staying to go against a fresh opponenet. We started out playing for takedowns, which was very helpful with this smaller group as we don't get much chance to practice them in normal class due to the amount of people and mat space. We then switched to have the "winner" be the first to obtain the cross body (side control) position. I got a bunch of great rolls in taking turns winning and getting my ass handed to me. It is excellent conditioning to with fresh guys challenging you when you are exhausted after rolling 5 mins. Bliss.

After competition class, I was pretty tired but didn't have much time to think about it as Clint lined everyone up for regular class. We did a solid 45 minutes of cardio involving several partnered excercises. Clint then walked us through the closed guard game, explaining the concepts which both guys are looking for. He recommended watching high level BJJ videos from the pan-ams or mundials as most of the matches are 8 minutes of sitting in guard waiting for the opponent to make a mistake.

We then learned this slick armbar from guard when your opponent stands up. You start by holding the opponents gi on both sides right above their elbow. When they stand up, you open your guard and shift your hips to the side, throwing your left arm behind his left leg (the opposite leg from what most people grab). This helps swing your hips further to put you right into a nice armbar position. You then make sure to use typical armbar technique, with your knees together and curling your bottom legs down.

I got a real treat in live rolling when Clint told me to "come here a minute". I rolled 5 minutes with big dawg and only got tapped like 18 times! Its always a pleasure feeling that helpless feeling like there is literally nothing you can do. Despite my best effort, I spent most of the time pinned on the bottom being choked in several malicious ways. It was sweet!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

More basics

Thursday class was more drilling and practicing proper posture and positioning when in ones guard.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Guard Basics

We went over basic guard posture for the entire class tonight. Clint watched the naga matches and found we were getting broken down too easy and not correctly maintaining balance.

The GRBJJ way was presented as to put your hands on the guys chest with your head up. You put your knees on the opponents hips to lock him in and keep him from moving. You then work the stand up guard pass when he inevitably grabs for a cross collar grip.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Naga Chicago

Myself and 8 of my grbjj brothers went down to kick ass in chicago. It was a blast as always and everyone came home safe and sound. We won a couple swords and tons of medals.

Life is good.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


Today we learned the incredibly awesome hyde-oplata. Ryan taught today and taught this series by popular request. It is a movement he came up with by watching 2 instructionals simultaneously by Marcello Garcia and Robert Drysdale. Yes Ryan is a savant.

The movement can be done from bottom in either full or half guard. You use your bottom arm to puch his far leg away. You then push his head away from you to make space. You throw your top knee onto his back, making sure to squeeze your knees together to keep a tight position. From here you take your top leg and move it into a "rubber guard"/oma plata position right under the guys chin.

Once you acheive this, you can submit him by keylock or more likely he will roll over. You can aid this by putting both your knees on the ground. Let him roll and end up on top in a oma plata position. It is vital to control the elbow during this entire position. That is all you have to seperate your control from him being on your back.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Competition Class

Comp class was really good today. Like 8 people showed up and there was some great bjj being displayed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Class

Sunday class was very fun until the end today! We did some nice cardio, as usual. We then went over 3 guard passes borrowed from Robson Moura's Fusion set.

We then broke into groups and played king of the mat. We had a group of 4 where the winner stays in until someone submits them. Every minute a new, fresh opponent comes in, usually jumping on you in a compromising position (like right on your back or into an armbar.

I hit some nice Robson armbar escapes from this, and hit some x-guard and half guard sweeps. I got a few subs, but was the one in the middle being tired most of the time.

The very last roll I escaped from the guy having back control and landed on top of the guy who was in turtle. He stood up very quickly as I went down to cover him and the back of his head slammed into my mouth/nose area. I was bleeding a bit and think I may have been out for a second.

I think I need a new mouthguard! I lost my old one. I have a nice fat lip. Oh well. My knee felt pretty good...although I am doing my best to baby it.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

No saturday class =(

Class was cancelled today on account of no instructor showed up, and no one had a key. =(

Thursday, October 30, 2008

No friday class

No class due to halloween. Booo.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sunday Class

Today was a super fun class. We started out with killer Crampton cardio as always. We then drilled some of Robinho's stuff from the seminar. We practiced the side control arm pin and then the movement drill from one side of cross body to the other.

We finished the day with a "king of the mat" type drill. We had 5 people groups and each person got a turn going 4 consecutive 2 minute rounds with a fresh guy each time. It was fun as I got to roll with 2 awesome blue belts and 2 really awesome purple belts. It was a mental test as you are exhausted by the end, but must rely on technique to keep going.

I effed my knee up again on the last roll of the day. I iced it and it felt nominally better after, although sadly it feels like it will be an ongoing problem.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Sao Paulo Pass

Today was a very small class, as only like 6 people showed. This is probably due to Michigan vs Michigan State being on and the UFC being on later.

Clint taught us the "Sao Paulo Guard Pass". This is the one made popular by Tozi and Wilson Reis. Clint said Jorge uses this also.

You start with a deep underhook, making sure to apply pressure with your head under their chin. You then scissor your leg under your body, sitting out to the side. The key is to continue keeping your head down to avoid chokes/counters. You then push the opponents leg between yours, passing to half guard. You then finish like a normal half guard pass.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Competion Class

Today was supposed to be competition class. The big problem was nobody but me showed up =(

I hope this was a random thing. I understand not everyone has my psychotic obsession with BJJ, but I was hoping at least a few guys would show up.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Loop chokes from buttfly guard

Continuing with Robson's stuff, today we drilled the loop chokes from butterfly that he taught.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


We worked on the armbar and triangle escapes today that Robson taught us.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Robson Moura Pt ii

More blissful learning from Robson today. We went over two gi loop chokes from butterfly guard, and an armbar and triangle escape. The seminar was cut short by an hour as Robsons plane left earlier then anticipated. Robson is a truly nice guy and fabulous bjj player. I am confident his tecnique will help my game permanantly.

Robson Moura Seminar

Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting BJJ legend and 7x world champion Robson Moura. The 3 hour seminar was blissful. We went over a couple of butterfly guard passes, a side control drill, a new side control position with 2 ways to set it up, and a choke from this new side control position. We finished with some cross guard stuff. We drilled the armbar Clint taught us from cross guard, but also he showed us brilliant flashes of other triangles, oma platas, and back takes from cross guard. It was truly amazing to watch Robsons cross guard game.

I will break down more details later.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Competition Class

I went to competition class tonight. My knee is kinda effed, but you only live once. It was run similar to last week where we did 4 minute rounds of match style bjj but with no submissions allowed. I rolled a few matches and did ok. I was nervous to up the intensity because of my bum knee.

There were two treats in the night. One was watching Hyde vs Crampton. The two purple belts rolled for a regulation 7 minutes, drawing plenty of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the dumbstruck whitebelts watching.

The second treat was that Clint stopped by the class....WITH ROBSON MOURA.


I can't wait until tomorrow and sunday. I don't even care if I can't walk afterwords.

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm dying

I missed Thursdays class which sucks because I was excited to see Mr. Hyde teach. I am sick with some cold/flu type thing. I also somehow messed up my knee tuesday during open rolling. I don't think it's serious. I have been drugging up, sleeping, and icing my knee to get ready for ROBSON MOURA!!!!!

In just over 24 hours a BJJ legend will be at GRBJJ. I am not missing this and I don't care if I'm sick and can't walk. I will probably miss class tonight (competition class too damnit), as I want to have energy for this weekends blissful seminar.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Arm Bar stack defense

I am ill, but I still need a fix. I went to class and we had some hardcore cardio culminating in 3 delicious rounds of everyone's favorite...bug in a rug.

When you have an armbar from your guard, your mean opponent will sometimes stack you. By sometimes I mean always. If you have his right arm, then he stacks you, you take your right hand and post it on the outside of his right knee. You then follow your hand with your head and roll out finishing on the side of your opponent, still with the armbar.

The key with any armbar is your legs, and this variation is no different. you have to curl your legs against his back/head to keep him from escaping by jumping around you. If he just rolls, you just let him and do a traditional armbar.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Competition Class

Today we started the first competition class. This was the brainchild of Clint, and is designed for people looking to compete. Clint is off this weekend due to Brian Litwin's wedding stuff, so Mr. Hyde took the reigns of the class.

Since the class is in it's infancy, it was fairly free form. We mostly did timed, scored competition style matches, but with NO submissions. Ryan re-read the official NAGA and IFBJJ (or whatever it's called) rules and did his best to translate them for the mostly whitebelt crowd. I'm pretty sure every0ne there picked something up from this.

I really liked doing matches this way. I think continuing this will make rolling at tournaments more "automatic" and reduce the stress of high expectations. I had 3-4 matches and did ok. I got to work half guard at least a little in all my matches. I didn't really hit any pretty sweeps, but got some scrambles out of it and did a good job using the guard offensively, leaving myself in no danger. I think I also need to clean up my guard passing a little bit before NAGA chicago. The cool thing about this class is that I can work different strategies against a variety of opponents.

At the end of class Ryan asked for feedback which was all positive. Everyone wants to do more of the same and maybe add "sub only" rolls, longer rolls, cardio, and a few other tweaks. Something I didn't think of is we could also do some no-gi which is much needed for me. I am very excited for the future of this class!

Sweep from full guard

This has been a rough week at work driving wise. I drove to Southfield and back Tuesday and Wednesday, and today I had to drive to Okemos and back. I'm not feeling 100% and have been tired during the day. I don't have time for a cold/flu, so I might as well just move on.

Class started out on a fabulous note as Charles got his purple belt after 9 years in the sport. His mind is pure BJJ genius and I am lucky to have him on my team.

We worked on a continuation of the sweep Clint taught us Saturday. From full guard get a cross grip on the gi sleeve. Drag this hand across your body extending your arm fully holding his arm there. Shift your hips and go up on your elbow towards the opponents back. Sit up and with your free hand grab the opponents collar around his head to threaten choke.

The game is to push into the opponent, going to take his back. He will likely push back into you, at which point your use his momentum to roll him over your body and end up in mount. You want to keep the original hand grip pinned the entire time. From here, you can work to finish the choke or easily switch to s-mount and work armbar.

I rolled with 3 whitebelts. I am continuing to to work half guard which is coming along tough. I need to "land" better once accepting the guard to be able to fight off the cross face.