Thursday, December 17, 2009

Abby Bork Highlight Video

Here is Abby (who wrote the article below) in action. Pretty insane for a 20 year old lightweight!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Abby's 10 tips for female grapplers

Thank you all for such an overwhelming positive response on my 10 tips for new or prospective grapplers. I've gotten a lot of good feedback on a couple BJJ forums and a lot of nice emails and such.

One question asked in the comments was regarding female fighters. What are some tips for female fighters starting out? I'm not a female, and not a fighter; so I asked my badass teammate, "Fear the" Abby Bork for some tips. She's a blue belt here in Michigan, and has terrorized womens BJJ tournaments around the midwest. She came up with some AWESOME TIPS. Since she and I both just train BJJ, they are more grappling oriented; but many of the concepts will apply to MMA as well.

Abby wants to give a shout out to CatFight gear and Fight Chix as well. She loves there gear and says they are awesome people. Go check em' both out.


Here are "Fear the" Abby's 10 tips:

1. Don’t be afraid of stronger bigger training partners. If you can sub them you can sub a 110 lb girl.

2. Wear headgear and a mouth guard. You really don’t want cauliflower ear. If you have no idea what I’m talking about just look at the higher ranks at the gym who don’t wear it.

3. Don’t be afraid to tell your training partner he is rolling too hard or light with you. At competitions female grapplers are out for blood. This was a huge shock for me the first time I competed. Having a partner who is afraid to touch you won’t prepare you for competitions, but having a partner who injures you or just smashes you won’t help either. Tell the guys you are rolling with the amount of resistance you want. It’s also a good idea to roll with higher ranks. They usually have better control and won’t injure you.

4. Be prepared to see chunks of your hair on the mat. You can’t really help this. All you can do is tie it back. Headbands won’t work either. They just fall off. You also need to remove any jewelry or earrings you’re wearing. I’ve seen earrings get ripped out. It’s not pretty. It’s also a good idea to cut your nails. If they are too long they will get bent back which is very painful.

5. Avoid grappling with ringworm guy, the smelly guy who never washes his gi, the MMA guy who wants to kill anything he encounters, and the creepy guy. The creepy guy is usually the guy who is overly enthusiastic you joined and constantly asks you to be his drilling partner. He usually outweighs you by 30lbs and still insists on drilling with you even though there are smaller people closer to your size you could drill with. It’s a good rule of thumb that if everyone avoids a certain person it is usually best to do the same.

6. Some guys may refuse to roll with you. Just accept it. They may just feel uncomfortable rolling with a female or there wife or girlfriend may have issues with it. You’re not training to break up a relationship so it shouldn’t matter if they do or don’t. For every guy who is like this, there are fifty guys who are more than willing to roll with you.

7. Don’t use the gym as a hunting ground. If you’re going to date one guy from the gym that fine, but when you try to sleep with the entire team it’s a problem. This not only gives you a bad reputation, but it’s promoting a horrible stereotype about female grapplers. It makes it extremely hard for girls who are there to actually train to be taken seriously.

8. Buy a female specific gi. It will fit a lot better than a male gi and be a lot less baggy. It’s also good idea to wear a rash guard and shorts under your gi too. The rash guard will stay tight to your skin and won’t ride up or absorb excessive amounts of sweat. CatFight Gear makes custom female gis that come is very amazing colors. They are just releasing a new line of rash guards and shorts too. http://www.catfightgear.com/ I’ve heard Atama makes a good female gi, but I haven’t tried it yet. Fight Chix another clothing company makes a wicked clothing line dedicated to empowering women and female fighters. They have the coolest designs I have ever seen and sell a few rash guards and shorts as well. http://www.fightchix.com/

9. Be aware you will never just blend in. Every new guy who comes in will facebook you and know your name. This isn’t that bad because you get a lot of extra help and your bad techniques will be corrected faster. Your can’t really change this unless you chop off your hair and change your name to Ron ;)

10. Grappling will seem really awkward at first, but after a while you will get used to it. If you stick with it you’re going to get into the best shape of your life. Your team is going to become like a second family to you and you’re going to have 30+ older brothers watching your back.



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who says the clock choke is dead?

Jeff aka Dexter aka Crazy Eyes. Master of the clock choke.



Friday, November 27, 2009

10 tips for new or prospective grapplers

1. Start today. Many people feel they need to get in shape, or lose weight before they come to class. Going to an academy sooner rather then later will help you with your goals earlier. Lots of people are in poor shape when they start. No one will even care or notice.

2. Cleanliness is Godliness. Make sure you cut your fingernails/toenails as these turn to deadly daggers when left unattended. Shower sometime before and soon as possible after class. Wash your gear (including gi and belt) after EVERY class. Some people think that washing your belt "washes off the learning" you have done. What it more accurately does is wash off the staph, ringworm, and other bacteria that festers on your belt.

3. Buy a decent gi. You will likely use your gi hundreds of times, so don't cheap out too much. You don't have to buy the latest camo signature lucky model either. If you get too cheap of a gi, it won't last. I would recommend Koral MKM gis. You can get a plain white one for around $140, but it is the best fit out there IMO and has great durability. If you would rather spend a little less, check out Padilla & Sons. I have heard they are a great bang for the buck. Atama, Keiko Raca, Vulkan, and many other brands make good gis. Ask the instructor at the school for their opinion on brands and sizing.

4. Consider watching a class first. This will give you an idea of how the class is run so you know what to expect. It can be intimidating walking into an unfamiliar environment, but trust me, once you start you will be kicking yourself you didn't begin sooner.

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask the instructors any questions you might have, or share any concerns you might have.

6. If you are allowed to roll during or after class, try and practice the moves you learned in class. I know you may have seen a cool flying armbar on youtube, but you will progress much faster if you focus your learning on the technique and strategies being taught.

7. Roll with as many better people as possible. Don't be afraid to ask questions. If they pass your guard, or hit you with a submission..ask them what they did and how they did it. Ask them if they might show you how they did it sometimes.

8. Don't expect to fit in right away. You will probably notice right away that everyone is very friendly with each other and having a great time. Feel free to join in the fun! Realize though, that these training partners have become close over months and years. They see many people come and go and quit all the time. Once you have proven you are going to come to class and not quit, people will warm up even more to you.

9. If you have concerns, don't internalize them; talk to an instructor. They are there to make your training as fun and productive as possible. They have heard it all before, so be open if you something is bothering you.

10. Come to class early. It takes a few minutes to put on your gear. This is also a good time to get some extra pre class stretching/rolling in. You can also get a little more personal time with some of the students to start feeling more comfortable.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

World Grappling Games





Built To Fight Industries
Present
The Midwest Regional
OTM Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championships

Sunday, November 1st, 2009
DeltaPlex Arena and Conference Center
2500 Turner Ave. NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49544


Click here for registration, rules, weight divisions, and competition schedule.



Click here to Register Now.




Fees Adults: $60
Kids 5-14: $50 for prior World Grappling Games competitors or $60 for 1st time WGG competitors
Spectator ticket: $10

Weigh-Ins Weigh-Ins will be at the tournament location.
Note: There will be no weight allowance. If an athlete is within 3 pounds of their weigh class they will have until an hour and a half before their scheduled division to make weight.

Day Before Weigh-ins will be Saturday, October 31st between 10am-6pm at the DeltaPlex Arena.
2500 Turner Ave. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49544

Day Of Weigh-ins You can also weigh-in the day you compete (November 1st, between 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.). Complete information is available at www.GrapplingTournaments.com.



Schedule Weigh-ins will close and you will be disqualified if you are not present 30 minutes before your division’s scheduled start time. Schedules will be posted on grapplingtournaments.com on Thursday, October 22nd.
Note: This is the earliest a division will be called. (Must be weighed in and ready to compete by listed weigh-in times which will be posted on Thursday, October 22nd.)


Accommodations and Local Attractions

Hotel accommodations are as follows:

Radisson Hotel Grand Rapids Riverfront
270 Ann Street Northwest
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 802-1202

Visit www.radisson.com/grandrapidsmi_riverfront for more detail. Call (616) 363-9001 for the competitor discount of $82.00 plus tax a night. Tell them you're with OTM!

Local attractions are as follows:

Celebration Cinema
(616) 530-7469
2121 Celebration Dr. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
4.6 miles from hotel

Gerald R. Ford Museum
(616) 254-0400
101 Monroe Center
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
2.9 miles from hotel

Grappling Tournaments Association • 15833 Chemical Lane • Huntington Beach, CA 92649 • info@grapplingtournaments.com



www.GrapplingTournaments.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

OTM Grappling Games

My knee is taking it's sweet time to recover. I started practicing last week, and I get through OK, but I have to be real careful not to put it in the wrong positions. I have a week and a half to make it better as the OTM World Grappling Games comes to Grand Rapids, MI. This is a gi tournament and will be my first since I effed up my knee at the Michigan Open.

I hope a ton of my teammates come out to compete, and a ton of other competitors as well. It's the day after thanksgiving, and there is another tournament in Chicago that day, but a good tournout would be huge for BJJ in the Great Lakes area.

I have been rolling a little crappy the last week or so since I've returned from 2+ weeks off for my knee. I'm sure I just have to get my timing back and my knee better, but my brain wants my body to do things that it just refuses to do. I have kind of slipped away from my good focused training, where I was working on specific things each practice. I made big gains when I did this, and need to get back to that state.

Anyways, I haven't been updating the ole' blog lately. I thank you for reading and keeping up with the Dutch Assassin. I will never quit! BJJ 4 life.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cobrinha Warm Up

I think I'm going to start using this warm up. Or maybe not.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ADCC 2009

One of the best in history!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stutz is now cleared for takeoff

My teammate Stutz went against a Ukranian guy with a national team jacket. He had some insane judo skills. Stutz used his superior BJJ skills to win the match against this beast!


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Create Animated GIFs With GIFSoup.com

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Michigan Open Replay

Initial strategy:

We had like 10 guys in our group, and it was double elimination. Knowing this, and knowing I might have 3-5 matches, I wanted to come in calm and not waste unnecessary energy. I wanted to work for a submission if it's there, but not force anything. I wanted to play top when possible, and work a good solid pressure game so that I could get good results with moderate effort.

My first match:

I knew this guy did some Judo, as he faced my teammate at Naga Milwaukee and Judo threw him. Not wanting to get thrown, I came in real low, and was going to be a little conservative; shooting a single/double if it came or probably pull guard. I took a pretty weak shot but got a hold of his leg. I pulled it towards me and pulled him down. I don't think I got takedown points, but don't know how it could be anything but a takedown. I ended up in the guys half butterfly guard, and slowly worked my way to hook his butterflied foot, and move around his leg to pass the guard. Eventually I work the pass and clear my arm for the 3 points.

Starting at about 2:00, I had a pretty good side mount, and was going to work knee on belly to mount. I heard my corner tell me to go to north south though, so that's what I did. I tried to set up a a little gi choke from north south, but the opponent nicely scrambled out of it. I maintained my lapel grip on his neck and was able to break him back down to his half guard. We reset after going out of bounds, and knowing I was up 5-0 (or so I thought), I wanted to crush him down a little bit. He does well to get back to his feet at 4:30, and I see an opening to pull deep half guard. I'm not sure if they gave him sweep points for this or not. I almost instantly pulled a "Tozi sweep" from deep half guard for two points. The Tozi sweep is a deep half guard pendulum sweep the great Roberto Tozi taught us at a seminar a summer or two ago. I got 2 points for the sweep, so I think the score should be 7-0, but it might be 5-2 if they somehow didn't give me takedown points and depending if they gave him a sweep when I pulled deep half guard.

I work in his guard for a while and work to pass. I pass right before 6:30, but do not maintain it for 3 seconds, so I'm cool with no points for this. He then muscles me over from side control and gets a 2 point sweep. This is not a sweep as it didn't start from guard. Oh well. I scoop my hips back in half guard and the match ends. Two different people said I won by 1 point, which I don't know how that is possible. I score the match 7-0 for me with a takedown, guard pass, and sweep. The ref was Angelo Popofski who is a respected BJJ blackbelt and pro mma fighter, but I don't know that this was his best work on the scoring.

I think I did just fair in the match. My hips were too high at several points. The guy was strong, long, and wirey, and I kept good base most of the time. I think I could have worked some knee in the middle passes a few times, and definitely think I could have scored some more points or submitted him if I was more agressive.




My 2nd match I hurt myself doing a dumb oma-plata. I definitely have not mastered the rubber guard. As my teammate Ryan pointed out, the big mistake I make hear is pulling my leg with my foot. This is basically inside heel hooking myself. I hear my knee pop twice and then scream with pain. My opponent went to the finals taking 2nd place.



I have been icing my knee and taking ibuprofen. I will probably see a doctor in the next couple days. This suck, this sucks, this sucks.

Tournament of doom

Me, MVT, and Stutz did the Michigan BJJ Open today. MVT had overtime battles in all his matches, Stutz battled to 2nd (despite being tossed 12 feet in the air by this Ukranian judo guy like 3 times), and I didn't do so well.

I won my first match by points against a Saulo guy. In the semi's I went against a guy named Saif from Warrior Way. I knew he was a good wrestler, as I remember seeing him at the ADCC Regionals.

Saif shot a single leg, but left a hand on the mat. I immediately went to an oma plata. He postured up and I tried to keep the postion, shoving my foot under his chin. Then I heard my knee pop twice. SHIT. I screamed causing a verbal tap, and I was done for the day. I can barely walk now and probably need to go get a MRI.

THIS SUCKS. I wasn't even supposed to go to this tournament. Video coming soon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tourney Time Friday

“The true hypocrite is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity” -Andre Gide

After some mediocre performances at a couple tournaments, I swore off tournaments until next year. Well, tomorrow I am going to compete in the Michigan Open in metro Detroit. It is a traditional gi only tournament. I am in the heavyweight division (194-208 I think with the gi on). With a little cutting, I am sure I could have made the lower division, but with weigh ins right before your match and me being kind of fat right now, I decided against it.

I literally decided to do the tournament at the last minute. Registrations were online only and due by yesterday midnight. I signed up about an hour before they ended. I am going with two awesome teammates, Stutz and MVT. I will be in the same weight division as MVT so we will look to tear it up. It is double elimination, so we are pretty much guaranteed two matches.

My goal for this tournament is to roll to my potential. I want to use good technique to show competing schools why GRBJJ is the best. I have full confidence in my technique, and just need to avoid making my typical beginner mistakes. I need to keep good posture, especially when passing the guard. I need to focus on getting takedowns and scoring points early before attempting any submissions. I have been rolling fairly well in class the last few weeks, but still struggle to be supremely consistent. I think I have learned from my recent defeats at my last couple tournaments and can use them to become a better grappler. My goal from the start wasn't to win white belt and blue belt medals, it's to become a Clint Crabtree BJJ black belt (after winning the mundials of course).

Today I have to go work in Lansing. There just happens to be an MMA show in Lansing tomorrow, and my teams very own Ninja Bunny Carrow is going to fight for the 155lb title! After work today I am going to go to the venue (Hooters parking lot), and see if I can help set up the cage. They are using our cage for the fight and Dan-O is leading the charge to move the cage there this afternoon. After the tournament tomorrow, I am going stop in Lansing on the way back home and check out the fights. I hope I can find somewhere to take a shower in the meantime. I hate being caked in dry sweat.

Well, wish us luck tomorrow! For some reason I felt like I needed to go to this tournament and compete, so I will give it all I got!


-DA

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Quote of the Hour

It's not how many years you've been training...it's how many hours that you have trained.

-Dutch Assassin

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Awesome triangle concepts with Ryan Hall

I find Ryan Hall thinks similarly to my coach Hyde. They search to break down movements into concepts. This is an awesome example.

Hey ho, let's go!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Marcelo x Ricco Rodriguez

One of the all time best ADCC matches. We talked about this one in class tonight. It's inspiring!

part 1.


part 2.

Roger's Escapes

Check out some of Roger Gracie's favorite escapes. Excellent stuff:

http://www.graciemag.com/news/149/ARTICLE/6563/2/2007-03-08.html

Look mom, no hands!

This is a sick video which demonstrates a concept that we have been working on at the academy.

ADCC Midwest

ADCC Regionals
September 12, 2009
Deltaplex arena
Grand Rapids, MI
www.adccregionals.com
www.greatlakesregistration.com

In less then 2 weeks the ADCC Midwest tournament is here! I still don't know for 100% sure if I am reffing or competing, but either way it's gonna be a blast!

If you are a grappler (wrestler, bjj, judo, sambo, mma, etc) you are welcome to come down and show your skills. They have novice through advanced divisions, so everyone can compete with Abu Dhabi style rules!

The winners of the advanced divisions are invited to the ADCC national trials to determine who will go to the prestigious ADCC World Tournament!

Grand Rapids is just 3 hours from Chicago, 2 hours from Detroit, 4 hours from Milwaukee, and 2 hours from Ft Wayne. It's close enough to any MI/IN/IL/OH/ cities. There is tons to do after the tournament, as you are 5 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids. There are clubs, bars, restaurants, hot college girls, and more. As a bonus, there are discounted hotel rooms too:

The Radisson - 616.363.9001 use code: GRADCC
Comfort Suites - 616.785.7899 use code: Grapplers

Register early at www.greatlakesregistration.com and enjoy early weigh ins Friday night from 5pm-7pm at the venue!

I look forward to seeing my fellow Midwest grapplers there! I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

ADCC 2009

This is going to be SICK. Check out the competitor list so far. There are going to be dozens of insane matchups! I can't even decide which division is the toughest...they are all STACKED.


MALE COMPETITORS

-65.9kg

1. Rani Yahya. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kouhei Yasumi. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Rafael Mendes. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Nicolas Renier. France (European Trials winner)

5. Timo-Juhani Hirvikangas. Finland (European Champion)

6. Ryan Hall. USA (North American east coast Trials winner)

7. David Marinakis. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Jayson Patino. USA (North American west coast Trials winner)

9. Rubens “Cobrinha” Chales. USA

10. Leo Vieira. Brazil

11. Baret Yoshida. USA

12. Jeff Glover. USA

13.Hiroshi “Iron” Nakamura.Japan

-76.9kg

1. Marcelo Garcia. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. K-taro Nakamura. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Murilo Santana. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Marcelo Azevedo. Italy (European Trials winner)

5. Toni Linden. Finland (European Champion)

6. Don Ortega. USA (North American east coast Trials winner)

7. Rodney Ellis. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Enrico Cocco. USA (North American west coast Trials winner)

9. Georges St. Pierre. Canada

10. Kron Gracie. USA

11. Pablo Popovich. USA

12. Yoshiyuki “Zenko” Yoshida. Japan

13. Milton Vieira. Brazil

-87.9kg

1. Damian Maia. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kazuhiro Nakamura. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. André Galvão. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Kassim Annan. France (European Trials winner)

5. Trond Saksenvik. Norway (European Champion)

6. Jason Selva. USA (North American east coast Trials winner)

7. Igor Praporshchikov. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Chris Weidman. USA (North American west coast Trials winner)

9. Nate Mardquadt. USA

10. Rafael Lovato jr. Usa

11. Daniel Tabera. Spain

12. Braulio Estima. Brazil

13. Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares. Brazil

-98.9kg

1. Xande Ribeiro. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Yukiya Naito. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Glover Teixeira. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Radek Turek. Poland (European Trials winner)

5. Andreas Olsen. Norway (European Champion)

6. Rafael Davies. USA (North American east coast Trials winner)

7. Anthony Perosh. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Gerardi Rinaldi. USA (North American west coast Trials winner)

9. Dean Lister. USA

10. Ricardo Arona. Brazil

11. Roberto “Cyborg” Abreu. Brasil

12.Vinny Magalhães. Brazil

+99kg

1. Fabricio Werdum. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Kouji Kanechika. Japan (Asian Trials winner)

3. Antoine Jaoude. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

4. Tomasz Janiszewski. Poland (European Trials winner)

5. Janne-Pekka Pietiläinen. Finland (European Champion)

6. Asa Fuller. USA (North American east coast Trials winner)

7. Denis Roberts. Australia (Pacific Trials winner)

8. Tom DeBlass. USA (North American west coast Trials winner)

9. John Olav Einemo. Norway

10. Saulo Ribeiro. Brazil

11. Rogent Lloret. Spain

SUPERFIGHT

Roger Gracie. Brazil vs Robert Drysdale. USA

.

FEMALE COMPETITORS

-60kg

1. Kyra Gracie. Brazil (ADCC World Champion)

2. Sayaka Shioda. Japan (ADCC World Champion)

3. Megumi Fujii. Japan (Asian & Pacific Trials winner)

4. Michelle Tavares. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

5. Laurence Cousin. France (European Trials winner)

6. Ina Steffensen. Denmark (European Champion)

7. Hillary Williams. USA (North American Trials winner)

+60kg

1. Hannette Staack. USA (ADCC World Champion)

2. Penny Thomas. USA (ADCC World Champion)

3. Hitomi Hiraiwa. Japan (Asian & Pacific Trials winner)

4. Rosângela Conceição. Brazil (South American Trials winner)

5. Ida Hansson. Sweden (European Trials winner)

6. Shanti Abelha. Denmark (European Champion)

7. Lana Stephanac. USA (North American Trials winner)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tourney Breakdown

This past Saturday I went to West Chester, OH (5.5 hour drive!) to the first ever Team Jorge Gurgel association tournament. It was a fabulous weekend, It was the most fun I've ever had in BJJ I think. Here are my matches with commentary to come later.





Friday, August 7, 2009

Tourney Time!

Tomorrow is the long awaited Jorge Gurgel team association tournament in Cincinnati, OH. I am making the 5 hour trip with a couple people, and we are leaving in about 2 hours. I woke up a few ounces overweight at 190.4, which should be good. I had 1.5 cups of coffee with a little sugar and 2 eggs. I hoping the small bit of caffeine, sugar, and protein (the 3 food groups...right?) will give me enough lifeforce to make it until the 7pm night before weigh in. I'm going to weigh myself right before I go and plan on being about 191.5 after my breakfast. Not eating for the rest of the day should get me under the 190lb limit by the slimmest of margins.

We should have about 15 guys (and girls) going down, and it should be a lot of fun. This should be slightly more intense then your average tournament, as it will definitely set bragging rights within our association for years to come. That being said, at GRBJJ we train to be the best; and we have been hitting it hard. We are ready to bring it, so I hope my brothers at the other schools are ready!

We haven't been doing much technique at practice the past week or so. Just a lot of situational drilling, and basics. Last night (2 days before tournament), we did drills at half speed for the first half of class and then 5 minutes periods of live rolling, followed by 5 minute rest going to simulate a tournament environment. We were instructed to go slow speed, not to injure ourselves and to get our bodies rested properly for the tournament.

As always, I am bringing my video camera and will post my matches with commentary here. I find this is a good exercise for me, as it helps analyze my strengths and weaknesses and helps me realize what I need to work on in upcoming months.

Thanks everyone for your support of me and the Dutch Assassin blog. Wish me luck tomorrow and have a nice big lunch while thinking about your poor old boy starving!

Peace,
Dutch Assassin

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Nino Schembri vs Margarida

Check out the ridiculous rolling oma plata at the beginning. And the gwuard pass attempt starting at 2:50 which is one we learned for Jorge Gurgel when he was here the other weeek.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Crazy but Awesome


Jorge Gurgel came and left our school, and it was one exciting long weekend. A week removed from his presence we now have just 7 days to prepare for our team's association tournament in Cincinnati, OH next Saturday.

Here is a summary of what I got to work on with Jorge-
Thurs:
Jorge just dropped into class and worked out with us, doing all the drills, sprints, etc that we were doing.

Fri:
Jorge showed us proper technique for re-guarding a standing guard pass. Turn away from the man to a fetal position, and roll across your shoulders with your butt in the air coming back towards your opponent. You want to reach for his ankle asap in the roll.

He then showed a sweep series from sitting up guard. We went through a leg sweep and a underhook/rollover as well as seeing a glance of a couple fancier moves. We finished up with a neat half guard pass from the post sweep position you end up in.

After class a bunch of us went to Big Dawg and Momma Crabs house. They had a bonfire going and we got to learn Jorge's views on a lot of subjects and watch teammates dress up in pageant attire.

Sat:
This was a smaller, but awesome class. We worked on "technical mount" which is a small variation on "s" mount. You have your far foot block his hip instead of under the enemy's armpit. We drilled getting into the position until everyone had it down, and then learned a chain of submissions off of this sweet position.

After class we went to Van Andel Arena downtown to watch Big Dawgs daughter win the NATIONAL CHEER CHAMPIONSHIP! This girl has talent! We had a bunch of BJJ guys getting rowdy in the stands! It was a fun time.

Sun:
First I got a 3 man semi-private lesson with two of my teammates. We went over passing half guard. It was stuff I had seen before from Big Dawg, but it was a great refresh and I picked up a couple new details I didn't remember. You first figure four your legs around the guys knee and push your hips in to lock him down. You then use your far side underhook to pull his far shoulder towards you. You then change your leg position and move your top leg to the outside. Move his chin with your hands/elbows. Replace hands/elbows with the top of your head. Make him look away from you and brutalize. If done correctly he wants you to pass the gwuard.

After my private we went right into the regular class. We drilled some of the movements we learned on the previous days, then went into the "6-point" open guard. This is where you have both sleeves and play open gwuard, placing your feet in two of six positions (hooked behind both knees, on both hips, and in both biceps). We drilled moving throughout the different positions and then learned two sweeps and two submissions out of the dozens available from the positions. We did a lot of drilling, which was a theme I noticed of Jorges. There was really no playing around time, which was good. We drilled each move he showed dozens of times which really helped get it down.

Finally on Sunday it was promotion time. I was honored to watch 4 of my teammates get belt upgrades. Ninja Bunny was awarded a well deserved purple belt, and the trio of MVT, Crazy Eyes, and Bukowski got their well earned blue belts. Jorge also gave out a bunch of stripes on non-white belts. I was fortunate enough to earn one from him on my blue belt. Stripes don't really mean much in the scheme of things, but it is nice to be recognized for your skill and progress. It's a long journey to purple, and I'm excited I get to follow my path every day with my awesome team.

It was back to reality the rest of the week, as we gear up for the tournament next Saturday. Classes are getting more intense and we are focusing on drilling and rolling, rather then learning new stuff.

My hand still hurts like crazy, and I have been wrapping it during class. It is definitely a hindrance, and I don't think it's gonna heal for a while. We will see how it goes.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Crazy JG weekend

Jorge Gurgel is in town! He came in Thursday night and is teaching all the bjj and mma classes until Sunday. Last night was an intense class which was 2 hours of straight drilling. We worked reguarding from standing guard passes until everyone could do it proficiently. We then continued on and worked two de la riva to sitting up guard sweeps to use in tandem with one another. While I had seen the sweeps before, I haven't worked on them in a while; and the concepts that he introduced were great.

After the class we went to Big Dawgs house for a bonfire and had a lot of fun. It was a great time and will only be getting better today. There is bjj class in a couple hours, then a mandatory stop at the van andel arena to watch Big Dawg's princess Emma win the cheerleading national championship!

On a side note, I thought I broke my hand thursday night while rolling. It hurts really bad (my 5th metacarpal for you medical people). I went to the doctor on the advice of a teammate and got x-rays. I got the great news that it is not broken, and is just a bad sprain/contusion. I am supposed to stay off the mats for a couple weeks, but as they say:

"If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough"

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Awesome week

I get to train most every day this week! This means life is good! On top of that Jorge Gurgel will be taking over my school this week Thursday through Sunday! He will be teaching all the BJJ and MMA classes and I'm getting a private with him as well. This should be an awesome time, with some great workouts to tune up my game before the Jorge Gurgel association tournament in a couple weeks.

Today is no-gi class at 4pm with Mr. Hyde. If it's as muggy as last night, I plan on sweating bullets. I am "walking around" at about 196-197, and have been 194 after practices the past couple days. With some good workouts and continued good eating habits it should (knock on wood) be an easy cut down to 189 to make the 170-190lb division at the JG association tourney.

Last night at class I put in place a couple things I learned from rolling with Mr. Hyde and Dan-O recently. I tried to use my head as a makeshift underhook and a quick push of the elbow to make a pseudo arm drag. I need some tweaking on both, but am excited that I can fit these tweaks into my game right away.

Time to work, then train, then eat, then sleep, then train with JORGE!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jeff Glover Deep Half Guard video upcoming

This is the funniest ad ever...and I SO CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS SET!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Intensity

We had a really good hard practice last night. Coach Hyde put us through a good warmup, then we did a ton of situational guard passing drills. Mr. Hyde then showed the guard pass that Carlson Jr. taught when he was last here, as well as a counter for it. The guard pass is a basic knee in the butt "gracie gift" style pass with a couple tweaks. The counter was awesome, and I think Hyde said he came up with it rolling with his partner in crime, Dan-O. As your opponent comes up with a single leg of your underhooked, you grab his wrist with one hand, and elbow with the other in a kimura like grip. You use this like a kimura sweep. Using his momentum you can roll him right over. It was very cool.

We did a few 6 minute live rolling matches, followed with jogging, and more rolling. We finished up the day with 10 minutes of hard HIIT sprinting and some strength exercise. It was a great class and I was sweating bullets. I dropped about 5 pounds, despite drinking about 40 oz of water throughout the practice.

We are definitely ramping up for our Jorge Gurgel association tournament which is in about 3 weeks. I am going to go in the 170-190 lb weight class in blue belt and advanced no-gi. I was 202 (yes I'm a fatass) about a week or so ago. I settled in a few days later at 200 lbs to start my diet/cut. After cutting out soda and really bad food, combined with a few tough BJJ practices I am now at 196 fully hydrated. It should be pretty easy from here on out as long as the evil food demons don't haunt me too badly.

Thought of the day:
It's not what you do when your coach is watching that makes you better. It's what you do when your coach ISN'T watching that makes you better.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gear Review: Gameness Single Weave Gi



My friend at Karate Depot let me try out the Gameness Single Weave gi in white. I had used a Gameness Pearl Weave before (was my first gi) but not the single weave. Several guys in my school wear this gi, so I was eager to give it a try. After a few weeks of rolling with it, I can say that it may not be the worlds best premium gi, it is definitely one of the best values you can get in a gi.

Material:
The material feels remarkably thick for a single weave. It weighs just over 4.5 lbs and has a pretty thick collar and lapel (at least compared to the other koral and shoyoroll gi's I have). It is comfortable and moves well.

Fit:
I am 6'0 195 with a bit of a gut (all muscle) and I got an a3. The pants fit perfect although the bottoms are a little wide. The top is a bit baggy, but that is a common problem for me. With the 6 gi's I have owned I find that with an a3 the pants fit great but the jacket is always a bit too big. I really would need like an a2.5 top and an a3 pants in a perfect world. Oh well. It fits as well as most of my gi's, and the cut is ok, although I do prefer the cut of koral mkm and shoyoroll better (which are both far more expensive gi's).

Durability:
I've only put my Gameness single weave into my rotation for a couple weeks now, but it looks and feels like it will hold up pretty well. I have teammates that have had this gi over a year and it's still holding up strong. That being said, it's unlikely it will last as long as heavier double weave gis.

Overall:
The Gameness single weave is a pretty damn good gi. Costing less then $100 makes it a steal. It's not quite as snug as my Koral MKM, and it's not quite as light as my Shoyoroll Superlite, but when you can get two of these for the cost of one of the others, you have to consider it. I would definitely recommend this for anyone looking for solid gi and a good price. If you want the best money can buy, you should probably look elsewhere.

Thanks again to KarateDepot.com for letting me try out this gi! Check out there ninja costumes for halloween! I bought one a couple years ago and it's pretty damn cool. I was thinking of wearing it to BJJ class and posing as a new student one of these days =)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

NSFW

THis video is totally NSFW, but hilarious. Kiely, you better learn this good.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sean Roberts

I head of this kid as he posts on the Sherdog forums, or at least he used to quite a bit. He is a phenom who is under Ralph Gracie. He got 2nd at the blue belt mundials with just a year or two of experience and now is a purple I think. His simple but effective full guard work is inspiring!

29 days till glory

I went to no-gi class today which was awesome since I haven't been able to do a no-gi class in like 3 weeks. Ryan "the mountain lion" Stutz taught the class today, and did a great job. We did a lot of drilling armbars/triangles/oma platas from the guard and worked some basic guard passing. We then did some situational rolling focused on guard pass/sweep games.

The tone of class is going to be simple focused training for the next month, as we prepare for our Jorge Gurgel association tournament in Cincinnati. Clint said in class last night that we won't be learning crazy new techniques, but rather focus on cardio and basics. Big Dawg says that if you can pass someones guard effectively, you will break there will, and they will let you submit them. This makes a lot of sense to me, and knowing guard passing isn't my biggest strength, motivates me to put that piece of my game up front to work on.

I am planning on attending most all classes for the next couple weeks, so life should be good again. The D.A. gets angry when he can't roll.

I am now on the Twitter rage, and you can see my twitter posts on the top right of this page. You can also click the link below to follow me. I started getting more into it following Jorge Gurgel as he put some cool stuff up about his last fight. Also my head instructor, Big Dawg, now is doing the twitter thing.

Peace and BJJ!

Friday, July 3, 2009

2nd worst post ever

OK guys,

I have been to like 3 classes in the last 2 weeks. This is the longest stretch of little to no BJJ I have had since I started 20 months ago. It is due to many factors outside of my control like work, and school being closed. I hate it. I went last night and it was amazing how badly I missed being on the mats. The unfortunate thing is there are no classes this weekend due to the Independence Day U.S. holiday.

Whoa is me, right? Anyways, I got a treat last night having Dan-O run most of the class. There weren't too many people there, but those who came were a good group. We went over several concepts and drills form half guard. Dan-O showed his now famous reverse kesa pass, aka the Marcello pass. We also did a lot of positional free rolling. It was a fun class. Sadly now I have to wait until Tuesday for my next class.

Meanwhile, I think I want to be like Leo:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Carlson Gracie Jr.

Today I was fortunate enough to have a seminar at our school with BJJ's prince, Carlson Gracie Sr. We had about 30 students show up, and Jr. along with a couple of talented brown belts he brought, didn't disappoint.

Jr. stressed the basics, and showed our team simple, but effective movements in a couple different positions. We started out with mount escapes. Carlson Jr. showed a basic elbow escape re-guard which we drilled for a bit. He then showed an escape when you are being mounted and your opponent has a deep collar grip, obviously looking to set up a choke on you. We ended with a few "games" using different levels of resistance. They were very much in line with one of my coaches (Cthululu) teaching strategy.

We then moved to the half gwuard position. Jr. demonstrated how to make space when you are caught flat on your back getting crushed. He then showed a re-guard from the position.

We finished up with some guard passing. Carlson Jr. talked about how difficult passing the guard is, and said to get it down early, especially for BJJ players who compete. He notices beginners at tournaments get stuck in closed guards and just sit there having no idea what to do. He went on to show a knee in the butt guard break, with a "Gracie gift" pass (you use your free arm to reach back and break the guys legs open). Carlson Jr. went on to say that if you do the pass correctly, with your weight shifted back and good posture, that you cannot get triangled. We practiced this for a bit and then worked on a double under leg variation after that. We finished up with some guard passing "games", with different rules (subs allowed, no subs allowed, varying resistance).

It was a blistering hot 95+ degree day in Michigan, but it is one I won't soon forget. The techniques we learned weren't the latest and greatest crazy moves you can find on the internet. It was good old fashioned basic jiu jitsu, taught by a master. Carlson Gracie Jr. is a wonderful teacher and a gracious, respectful man. A few of us went out for a sandwich after the seminar, and it was fun watching the master play with one of our teammates kids (named Grace). He joked that his name was Gracie also.

I want to thank both the brown belts that came as well. One was Israel, and I unfortunately didn't catch the other gentlemens name. They were very skilled, and extremely helpful. They were walking around throughout the seminar, and both tweaked little things I could do better while viewing us doing the various drills. All of the people from Carlson Jr.'s organization are top notch, great guys.

I'm excited in working the techniques I learned, and hope that we can touch base with Carlson Jr. again soon!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Gear Review

I recently got a pair of black Sprawl V-Flex XT Competition sports from my friends at Karate Depot (they do more then just Karate). I had a chance to try them out for a couple of no-gi practices, and wanted to share my review.




Comfort:

These are extremely comfortable shorts. They are made of a stretchy material that has feels nice and moves with you. It has split seams on the sides for your kicking pleasure. They have a velcro fly with a drawstring to be able to fine tune your fit. I got a pair of 36" shorts (I know i'm fat), and they fit well when velcroed tight and tied tight. I probably could have gotten away with a 34.

Performance:
These shorts would work equally well for no-gi jiu jitsu as for MMA, kickboxing, boxing, or other combat training. They stay on securely with the velcro/drawstring combo, so you don't have to worry about any indecent accidents. They are very baggy, which allows full leg movement while you are working from the guard or kicking your opponent in the head. The only downside to the baggyness, is that they can bunch up when your legs are in the air from working guard. This looks funny, but doesn't effect your movement.

Durability:

I've only had these a week or so now, but from asking around at the gym it seems Sprawl makes some of the most durable shorts out there. Several guys have 2+ year old pairs that are still kickin' it. My only question would be how the velcro would hold up over time after multiple washings (I always wash my gear in hot water). Time will tell, but these scream of quality and I would expect them to last for a couple years.

Value:
At around $50, these are an average deal for shorts. The fight short market has exploded in recent years, with everyone trying to cash in on the MMA craze. Most shorts run $50-$75, so it's important to pick a pair you will love and that will last. Sprawl is one of the original OG's in the business, and I like the fact that they are battle tested. Watch any big MMA show and you will see ton's of Sprawls.

Final thoughts:

I would highly recommend all MMA practioners or no-gi grapplers to check out these shorts. They are a fair price, high quality construction, look great, and are highly functional. I would give them a 4.6 out of 5 stars. If they didn't bunch up, they would be the perfect grappling shorts.

Get these Sprawl V-Flex shorts HERE at www.karatedepot.com.

Awesome Mundials Recap

Budovideos teamed up with Caleb from the fightworks podcast to present this awesome Mundials recap.


Friday, June 19, 2009

This applies to a lot of MMA/BJJ fans

"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat."

Theodore Roosevelt


Thanks to Ozyabbas for finding this awesome quote.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Class was hardC

I was very excited to get back into the swing of things after a weekend off due to family gigs. Class was fast and intense tonight. We started off with a light warm up and then paired up for live slow spot rolling. We were told to gradually pick up the pace until we were up to full speed.

We then jumped into technique. We drilled two moves from what we call the JG (Jorge Gurgel) guard, which is a spider guard with your foot laced under the shoulder instead of on the bicep. We worked an armbar and a sweep which I haven't seen before. I was a little squirrely with the sweep, and definitely need to drill it more, but it was very easy and effective.

We then did a ton of live rolling with different partners. I rolled with a couple blue belts and a couple white belts who are very close to blue belts. It was a good time, and I tried to work the many things I need help with (check out the last post).

For the last 25 minutes of class we did hard cardio. Sprints, bear crawls, pushups, more sprints, and more. This is a change as we usually do the hard cardio before class. It seems much harder this way.

I am sad as there will be no class this weekend. NCAA champion and runner up wrestler Brent Metcalf of the University of Iowa will be at our school doing a wrestling seminar. What is cool though is that Jorge Gurgel is fighting Friday night.

Check out this link for an interview of JG on his upcoming fight.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Procrastination

Last saturday we didn't have class as we had our SWEET MMA event. Last Sunday I missed BJJ on account of I was barely functional from my massive hangover. Today (Wednesday) I missed BJJ as I had to work late. Tomorrow I have to drive to Detroit 2.5 hours away and then teach an all day training class and then come back, which will likely make me miss BJJ class. Friday should be good!!!!! Saturday my wife wants me to go to her hometown in Bay City (2.5 hours away) to go to her neices graduation party. If I get made to go, I will miss yet another class.

I want to quote one of my favorite singers:

"This loneliness, is killin' me; and I must admit, I still believe. When I'm not with you I lose my mind, hit me baby one more time"

Hopefully I can squeeze at least one extra class in somewhere that I expected to miss.

Things I need to fix:

-Better posture during standing guard pass
-Better position on knee on belly (foot all the way stuck on the body)
-Get my hips lower on full/half guard passes
-improve my butterfly guard
-work on some half guard/buttefly guard transitions to x-guard
-improve/expand my x-guard sweeps
-Better posture/control from top half guard
-improve/expand gi chokes from side control or knee on belly


I purchase way too much BJJ gear, and I'm going to start reviewing stuff. Coming soon will be reviews of Shoyroll's new gi's, Sprawl V-Flex fight shorts, and a bunch of OTM gear that I am going to get, as I am getting a OTM store basically in my gym =) Stay signed up to the Dutch Assassin blog for all the fun.

I have also decided to take a small break from tournaments to work on my game, rather then just prepare for tournaments. The next tournament I plan on attending is a Jorge Gurgel association in house tournament in Cincinnati in August.

That is all for now. Pray/meditate/chant/whatever you like to do that I am able to attend some classes this week so I don't have a nervous breakdown.

-DA

JJM

Got an hour to spare? Want to hear one of the coolest stories in BJJ aside from the Dutch Assassin's rise to glory?

http://beta.sling.com/video/show/154058/73/Force-of-The-Spirit

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fightworks Review

Check out my Naga Midwest review on the fightworks podcast, as part of their Tournament Review Tuesdays.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Naga Milwaukee Tuesday Morning Quarterback

The venue was a huge sports complex in Franklin, WI; which is just 10 minutes south of Milwaukee. It was county run (I think), which was AWESOME. This meant that it was staffed, and they actually took out the trashes, and refreshed the bathrooms throughout the event. The main "fieldhouse" we were in was huge, and easily accommodated the 14 mat setup that Naga brought. This is in contrast to 10 mats they run at the Arnold Classic, and really made things run a lot faster. I talked to Kip Kollar later in the day who said each extra mat they have subtracts about 1 hour of time from the competition. They had small bleacher sections in a few places, but these weren't very effective, as everyone just crowded around the mats anyways.

Naga does no-gi first, so I was one of the first divisions up, being old and all. I did masters intermediate, and there was only one other guy in my division. I think the next time I'm going to have to do adult, as I would like to get some more work in for the $100 entry fee. I don't know what school the guy was from, but he was very nice, and we joked around before the match about buying drinks before we fight (they served beer at the venue). The guy tried to pull guard but I immediately jumped to his half guard, as it was one of my key mental points for the tournament not to get caught in full guard. He never closed his half guard, so I just jumped around to side control right away. He started spazzing pretty heavily, and I just gave him a little "shoulder of pain" control to try to settle him down. At 1:00 my coach was telling me to mount, which was wide open. I didn't hear him (or wasn't listening good enough), as my head was clouded trying to set up a far side armbar. I trapped his arm, and he pretty much gave me the armericana, so I just finished that. I heard his elbow pop and asked if he was alright, and he didn't seem to notice at all, so that was good.



My teammates were kicking ASS all around me, and the day started out very good. With 7 GRBJJ members competing, we won 4 1st place swords in no-gi! I am so proud of all my teammates, and going to tournaments just reaffirms that I train with the best group of people around.

I got to rest for a couple hours before the my gi division started. I ate a gross hamburger from the concession stand, and took about 3x the recommended dosage of this B vitamin energy spray that I got. I wandered around watching my team, and tried to keep my energy up listening to my mp3 player.

Eventually they called my division (masters blue belt) and it turned out to only have 2 other people in it. I wish I would have done adult, but I watched the adult blue belt for my weight, and that only had a couple people in it too. The guys didn't seem nearly as good in adult either for some reason. In my group, I recognized my first opponent. He is a 3 stripe blue from New Breed in Chicago, and I saw him do really well at the Arnolds a few months ago. The other guy was a white belt who bumped up to blue belt.

My first match, I fought the New Breed guy. This is probably the worst jiu jitsu match of my life. Taking nothing away from a quality opponent, I felt like I was in slow motion. He pulled guard, and I immediately looked to lift him up to do a standing pass. I had HORRIBLE posture and was all bent over. This is agonizing for me to watch, and even worse for me to post for strangers to see. He sweeps me over to mount, starting up 6-0. I was PISSED at this point. He had a good very high mount, and I just stayed in defensive position, as I could feel he was trying to set up and armbar/choke/s-mount type combo. I waited for the right time and shrimped. He went to try and take my back, but I was waiting for him and turned into him, taking the top position. He then immediately swept me as I was just sitting there doing nothing. I took half guard for the last minute or so. I pulled deep half guard which is one of my better positions. I grabbed under his foot, and felt I probably could have swept him. Knowing I was way down on points, I went out the back door and grabbed him, trying to take his back. He postured down pretty well and just layed on me for the last few seconds of the fight. Hats off to a good competitor, but I feel like I let myself, my coaches, and my team down. This is not because I lost, but because I didn't use the good technique I was taught.



Because their were only 3 guys in the division, I had another match against the white belt. I'm not sure what school he was from. I took a shot and ended up taking him down pretty easy. I tried the lazy single that I have been working on a little with one of my coaches (C), but pretty much missed. I just kept driving through and ended up with the takedown. I needed to get a lot deeper. I need to keep practicing this. I ended up in his half guard, and he immediately went to the lockdown half guard. I decided to Brandon Klein him (push the top of my head into the bottom of his chin with all my body weight) which he didn't like very much at all. The ref then stops the match at this point to ask me if I was green or red (he told me I was green before the match). This ref is one of the worst refs Naga has. He screwed up one of my matches at the Arnolds, and later in the day gave one of Luis's opponents 7 points that they didn't earn. I thought my coach was going to go ballistic on this guy at one point, as he really does suck. Eventually we reset, and I with my coaches instruction, I pull out the guys lapel on the far side, and feed it under his neck. This is one of the best control points in half guard in the gi. I try to work a baseball bat choke (one that Hermes Franca practiced with us a couple months ago), but I was having trouble getting a good grip with my right hand. The choke did bother him enough to let me pass his guard. I then jump up to knee on stomach, and take his back. I was up 11-0 at this point. He had his near arm straight up trying to defend me, so I took it a fairly ugly looking armbar from it. Props to the guy for jumping up and fighting at blue belt. This is something I did a lot as a white belt, and even in losses, it only makes you better.



We ended up all being done around 6:30pm, which is by far the earliest I've ever been out of a Naga. There were still some groups going, but I can't imagine that anyone was rolling after 7:30pm. We went back to the hotel and showered up, then headed to Buffalo Wild Wings in Milwaukee. After a fun night we went back to the hotel.

I had a great time with my team, and can't wait to hit the gym Tuesday to start fixing all my mistakes. Despite a 1st place and a 2nd place, I am embarrassed by the performance in my loss, and am going to work even harder to make sure that never happens again. I would like to offer a big thanks and congratulations to all my teammates who competed, as I am proud of all of them. We fought hard and showed good jiu jitsu. I also want to thank my team that didn't make it out. Without all of us, we simply wouldn't be the CRAB NATION!

-The Dutch Assassin

Monday, June 1, 2009

Naga Milwaukee Monday Morning Quarterback

This past weekend, me and a group of about 8 people went to the Naga tournament in Milwaukee. These are their stories (insert law and order DUM DUM here).

A bunch of people met at my house at 2pm and we headed on down to the tournament. MVT was taking a couple other people and was going to meet us there. They had a weigh in at the New Breed Academy, which is in Skokie, IL just northwest of Chicago. This was from 5pm-8pm Chicago time. We had a pretty uneventful ride to Skokie, although some of us were pretty dehydrated from trying to cut weight. We got to the New Breed Academy, which was in a old strip mall looking place and was quite small and narrow. We weighed in, and I made weight at 189.3 so it was all good. Two others in my group (King Luis and "Fear da" Abby) were over a little bit, so with a bunch of time to spare they decided to do some running and get a sweat going. They both made weight the second time around and enjoyed some of Nancy's home baking as a reward (+1 on the banana bread).

By this time, car #2 had arrived and the guys weighed in on target. I guess it was cool to have the option to weigh in Chicago, since so many guys were coming from there, but Big Dawg said right away that there were going to be problems. Well, as usual; the Crabfather was right. The next morning, they failed to send over "Crazy Eyes" Jeff's weight to the venue. They made him weigh in again, which was pretty ridiculous. He went from 4 pounds under the night before to just over weight, but they just gave it to him after a "I'm going to kill you with my crazy eyes" look. After the weigh in, we headed to Chili's in Skokie, IL for some professional eating. We had a really good waitress, and she got a $31 tip.

After gorging ourselves, we got lost in the parking lot; then regained our direction and made the 1+ hour hike up to Milwaukee. We arrived at the Clarion hotel and checked in. The place was pretty nice and very clean. We got to our rooms and settled in. A few of us went out to look for a convenience store for some snacks, and we found this hole in the wall place with two meth-heads working there. This was quite entertaining, and we learned that in Milwaukee you can't purchase alcohol after like 9pm. No big deal, but pretty weird nonetheless; especially when they were trying to sneak bottles of rum out of the building to sell to us. We got back and managed to get a little sleep. Jeff tried to spoon with me, and insisted on being the "little spoon".

We woke up, and Abby and Nancy were already pacing from the other room to our room, worried that they would miss their division. It was like 9am, and the adults weren't supposed to start until like noon, so we decided to be asses and tell them that Big Dawg talked to Kip (Naga president), and found out that they indeed did miss the division. They didn't find this NEARLY as funny as we did, and Abby inflicted bodily harm on several innocent bystanders. We ended up getting ourselves together, and ended up arriving at the venue around 11am.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Cobrinha vs Rafael Mendes

These guys get in the 50/50 leg lock position, which is often used to try for inverted heel hooks. Since heel hooks are not legal in gi, they swept each other back and forth. Crazy!

Naga Prep

I took a long memorial weekend off, and there was no class sunday or monday. This gave me some time to help heal up some nagging injuries. It's annoying to hear people bitch about injuries. Rarely in the grappling arts are people 100% though, and how well you listen and take care of your body goes a long way to the quality of your lifestyle. I did get a light 4-5 mile run in on Monday, to try and remind my body that it's almost tourney time.

Tuesday nights class Hyde taught some chokes. He did one I like a lot which is from the top half guard. I have seen this before, but Hyde gave some great details. When someone has a good underhook, and you overhook (whizzer) it; you take your whizzer arm and grab the guys collar as deep as you can. You then take your other hand and come around his head to grab some gi material by his collar. The keys are to pinch your elbow down to tighten the grip, and then side shrimp to cinch the choke. A similar version is shown here.

It's just a couple days before Naga Milwaukee, and I'm pretty pumped. We organized a couple carloads of people to go down and got our hotels booked. I'm going in the 180-189 class, and I weigh about 192 right now, so weight should be too bad of an issue. I wish I was a little more disciplined this past month as I think the 170's division would be ideal for me, since I'm generally at a height, width, and strength disadvantage to most guys in the 180's based on my past experience.

I'm going to go to no-gi class today, and gi class tomorrow night before leaving for Milwaukee friday. My goal is to make the finals of my blue belt division, and to win the intermediate no-gi; and have as much fun as possible. I want to use good jiu-jitsu and limit my mistakes. I truly think that's what it's all about.

I leave you with the final intermediate no-gi match from the Toledo BJJ Open a couple weekends ago. This is me (camo shorts) and my teammate Mark battling for the gold. We argued for a while to see if we were actually going to fight or not. Eventually we did, and we both kind of screwed around a little bit, but had fun.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Toledo Open Recap



I went down to the Toledo Open this past saturday. I got up at 5:30am, brushed my teeth, packed my gear. I met up with my BJJ brothers Mark and Kiely at 6:30am at GRBJJ. I grabbed a Arby's breakfast sandwich right before, as my weight wasn't going to be an issue for this tournament.

MVT was kind enough to drive us, and we prepared for the 3 hour trip. We made really good time, with no stops and got there in about 2.5 hours. The event was held at Headliners in Toledo, which is a medium size club which seemed to cater to lesser known heavy metal bands. It was old and filthy, but had kind of an industrial feel. I have been in much worse clubs in my thrashing days back in the 90's.

We got there about 9am and there were about 8 cars in the parking lot. This was not a good sign, as I was hoping that we would get a good turnout. Luckily, a lot of guys just showed up late as the weigh in's went until 10am and the even didn't get started until 11am. We were weighed in by Chris Blanke, who is a BJJ black belt under Saulo Ribeiro who runs two schools; one in Detroit and one in Toledo. I know a couple of his students and have heard nothing but good things about him. He was a really nice guy, and stressed that we were all here to have fun.

Chris was in charge of the tournament, but brought in Dustin Ware from out school (team Jorge Gurgel) to run the operations. Dustin is a badass brown belt who runs his own school in Columbus. He also has been putting on very successful tournaments in Ohio for a while now. Props to Chris for reaching out for help (especially from a non Saulo guy) to make sure his tournament ran smooth! There were some great referee's there too, including BJJ black belt Sean Bansfield who has a school in Ann Arbor, and Dan Doerner who is a very talented Jorge Gurgel Brown Belt.

The event got started a little after 11am after a short rules meeting. They used IBJFF rules, for both gi and no-gi. They were fairly restrictive with no-gi moves, as heel hooks were not allowed at any level, and most leg locks were restricted except for the advanced division. This is in contrast to NAGA who allows pretty much all subs in no-gi sans spinal locks and a couple others.

My gi divsion was up first out of my group (blue belt 180-200). I was not very impressive in my performance, made a bunch of mistakes, and missed a few opportunites. I was planning on using this as a tune-up to NAGA Milwaukee next saturday, and I'm glad I got the work in.

The first match I went against some Saulo guy with a couple stripes. He was long and very strong. He pulled guard pretty much right away, which caught me off guard as he just kind of muscled me down. It may not have been pretty but it worked. He went right into a deep collar grip, and hid his other hand behind him in a stalling position. He was pulling me down pretty hard and doing a reasonable job controlling my posture. He was trying to work a cross collar choke for the first few minutes of the match, which I was confident he had zero chance of finishing. I tried to set up my standing guard pass, but I was getting frustrated with him hiding his stalling hand, which is the hand I usually grab for my favorite pass. Since this was going no where, I started pulling his lapel out; intending to trap his arm to work a pass to that side. He didn't like this too much, and changed up his strategy, moving his arm back. I unsuccesfully tried a couple stand ups, and after one such attempt, he tried to sweep me. I held base, but he threw up a triangle. I was in reasonable defensive position to pull out, but right as I got my head out he changed to armbar. He just barely had my elbow on his side of his knees to get me to tap from the lock. Boo. Not my best showing, and a pretty boring match to boot. This guy ended up winning his next match to win the division. Not surprising, as I always draw the top guy in the first round it seems.



My second match was against Marcos, who fought for some martial arts school south of Toledo. He was wearing a green belt, and I have no idea what discipline he earned that belt in. If memory serves me, he lost his first match really close and thrashed some 2-3 stripe blue belt in his second match to make it to the consolation finals with me. He was VERY strong and athletic, but had little technique. This was a fairly stagnant match as well, but there was more action then my first one. I went for a couple shots, which I couldn't finish and ended up pulling guard. He postured up like a wrestler trying to do ground and pound, and I used this opportunity to try and work an armbar. His arms were very strong and difficult to move, so I settled to try a type of flower sweep. He pulled his arm out of this, and we ended up in a scramble where I took half guard after a missed oma plata attempt. Half guard is one of my favorite positions, so I was reasonable happy here. He had pretty good top control, and I wasn't able to move to well to work an underhook. I still was able to work to my side (something I worked on for a year), and decided to go for a deep half guard by going underneath him and propping his leg on my shoulder. He kind of panicked here, and stood up. I should have switched to traditional x-guard, but I he was bouncing around so much I didn't want to let go of the figure four I had on his legs. I ended up sweeping him with a modified x-guard sweep (thanks Crampton!), but from deep half guard instead of x-guard. I got 2 points for the sweep.

I worked top half guard for a moment, but he was able to make some space and stood up. I pull half guard and he tried feverishly to escape, but I hold on and get the win for 3rd place.



I was proud of my teammates in gi. Mark ran into the sandbagging champ who had years of judo training, so was unable to place but fought hard. Kiely played a lot of open guard and ended up getting 3rd place in his gi division. Props to both! You make me proud to be a part of GRBJJ!

I went in no-gi intermediate and had only two other guys. One was Marcos, who I fought in my 3rd place match in gi, and the other was MVT, my teammate. I drew the short straw and got the first match against Marcos.

I pulled butterfly gwuard, but somehow was unable to sweep him. Usually I can sweep most everyone from this position if I can get the type of grip I had, but this guy was a beast and I couldn't push his legs out. I got some advice from Mr. Hyde at no-gi class last night, who told me I missed my opportunity when he swam in for the cross face, that I should have rolled him over to that side as he removed his base by swimming his arm in. In retrospect that makes perfect sense. Thanks Mr. Hyde and Chris who watched my match and came up with the much needed critique. I regained full guard after the missed sweep and controlled his posture pretty good. I was trying to work armbar/triangle but had trouble with keeping good grips as he had the strength advantage.

Marcos then locked up my arm underneath my body to try a pass. He just kind of sat there with it, and I wasn't threatened. I just sat there with 3 limps most of the 2nd half of the match, trying to work offense. Eventually I peeled my arm out. I wasn't able to score any points and the match ended 0-0 after 5 minutes and they decided to do a 2 minute OT as the ref couldn't decide a winner. In OT I tried to work a setup for a takedown. I got a good single off, but wasn't able to finish, electing to pull half guard instead. He again stood up in my half guard, just like in my gi match. I should have switched to x-guard, but he was bouncing around so much, I didn't want to let go of his leg, even for a second. Watching the video it would have been pretty easy to get. No one scored at the match finished. I was confident I would be the winner based on my takedown attempt. I did win the match, and Marcos' coaches freaked out. Like four of them stood up and started getting rowdy. They didn't think that a takedown attempt should be considered an advantage if it is "stuffed". I disagree and the ref actually went to Dustin Ware who agreed. Hats off to Marcos, who was very strong and athletic. If he went to a better grappling school, he could probably get very good.



I had to face my teammate Mark VT in the finals. I didn't really want to fight him and we argued for like 5 minutes if we were going to go. I wanted to just give him the 1st place, as I was tired anyways, but knew he wouldn't want that. We ended up fighting, which we both kind of screwed around. I ended up winning a close match by points, but Mark had me in trouble. It was an unlucky tourny for Mark, who didn't get to show his awesome BJJ. Kiely ended up taking 2nd in beginner no-gi. He tried to do intermediate, but they closed the brackets before he got his card in; so it wasn't his fault. He used a lot of open guard again. He got a couple guys with triangle and I think won one match by referee decision.

I'm very proud of my team and can't wait to rep GRBJJ at NAGA!

Friday, May 15, 2009

stuff

I have been on vacation this week, which has allowed me to focus even more on BJJ. Tomorrow I will be going with a couple guys to the Toledo Open. We will be leaving Grand Rapids at 6:30am, so I hope I'm not dragging ass all day. I'm looking forward to having some fun and hopefully showing some good jiu jitsu along the way. The weight classes are big and great for me, so cutting won't be an issue. I will be in the 180-200 class, and I'm weighing like 197 right now. I was walking around at 193-194 a couple weeks ago, so I'm heading in the wrong direction. I think I am going to go 189 for Naga on May 30 instead of 179. I don't know that it would benefit me to cut that much weight in just a couple weeks.

I was able to go to wrestling takedown class last saturday for the first time, which was awesome! Wrestling definitely works different muscles then BJJ. I would say BJJ is more lower core and hips and wrestling is more upper core hips and abs. We learned some setups for double leg takedowns and got some short but intense drilling in. I was pretty sore after, especially considering I went to a tough BJJ class that night. Thankfully Sunday class was cancelled do to mothers day.

This week has been fun. I was able to make one of C's morning classes, along with with all the regular evening classes. Because of my vacation, I'm able to get some naps in during the day, which has made me a little more fresh for class. This is probably how normal people feel who only train 2-3 days a week (I usually train 5-6 days and I'm old and fat).

I ordered a couple new gi's a few weeks back, and just got word that they will be shipping in about 2 weeks. The company is Shoyoroll, which is a brand developed by Vince "Bear" Quitugua who is a brown belt currently living in California. The brand started by Vince being a gi junkie, but never finding the "perfect" gi. He decided to make his own for himself and maybe a few friends. They took what they like from all the different gi brands and molded them into one new gi. He has had a couple versions out so far which have gotten rave reviews. These are their newest versions, and I'm hoping they will be as awesome as they look. I ordered both the white and black versions of the gi. The white version is pictured above.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

JACARE!

JACARE!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Comp Class- 3 weeks till Naga

Comp class was a blast today! More people showed up today then I ever remember before. There were like 12 guys or so from what I can remember (i'm old).

Comp class is all rolling. We start on our feet and simulate a scored match. Because of the number of people, we only went 2 minute rounds. We had two people start out on the mat, and they stayed there for one whole circuit. They would each have a fresh guy come in and roll a 2 minute match with them.

I got lots of rolls in with a lot of good people. I was definitely a success. I need to work on my takedowns though. What used to be my strength is getting a bit rusty. One reason is my ear is all blown out. I have bad cauliflower on my left ear for a week or more. I've trained it literally 6 times, but keep being stupid and don't wear headgear (which i HATE) and it gets blown up again. Because it's huge and hurts, I am gun shy to get underneath a guy, worried about getting sprawled on a crossfaced. I will stop being a puss now, pardon my rant =)

Anyways, this was one of the most fun comp classes ever. C and Hyde were there rolling with everyone. C once again gave me some good advice from bottom turtle to stay moving and offensive.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

JG guard sweep

I got to class 30 minutes or so late today. Work is once again trying to cut into my BJJ time again. I don't like it. I missed a lot of the cardio, but did come in time to get to do bug in a rug (aka barrel rolls, log rolls, those things you did in football in high school, etc). We did those followed by circuit rolling in groups of three. We did this until the first hour of class was done. Since I came late, I was only half exhausted compared to the many people who looked like they wanted to puke.

Crazy Crampton showed us his J.G. Guard sweep. J.G. is Jorge Gurgel...and J.G. guard is open guard where you have a spider guard on only one armpit, laced around the guys arm. This is obviously named as Jorge is very good at this position. Actually Jorge is good from all positions, but that's another story. We worked with our partners on getting into this guard smoothly, starting in full guard. Chris showed a couple variations of how to enter the position.

We then worked on the main sweep from the J.G. Guard. You leave your laced spider guard leg in, and with the opposite arm you dive it in under his legs. You open your legs up like a book, putting all of the guys weight on top of you. You then just dump him over. The video below shows a similar sweep, although that more "regular" spider guard, rather then the J.G. guard where your leg would be wrapped around one of the guys arms and then your foot would wedge in his armpit.



We finished up with 20 minute or so of live rolling before the wrestlers took over the mat. There were like frickin' 50 wrestlers there that day...it was crazy.