Wednesday, January 21, 2009

No-Gi (is the devil)

Hyde's no-gi class ran really well today. There were maybe 10 or so students there. Cardio included my new favorite (meaning I hate it) sprinting then plank...then sprinting then plank. This forces your tired muscles to continue contracting, while making it challenging to breathe. Kind of like Michigan Adventure is "two parks for the price of one" hurt and you can't breathe.

We then continued to go over the kneebar flow drill. Kneebar, to other kneebar, to heelhook. Hyde went into a little more detail with the reasons for each position, as well as the defenses; showing what your opponent is likely to do in each position. This is extremely good for me as I need all the reps of this movement as I can get.

Hyde then showed his favorite way to attack the turtle to the front. It's a "arm in" guillotine, where you swing your bottom knee to the guys side and your top knee on top of his back. It's kinda sorta a peruvian necktie variation. I had a little trouble with it, as i have this awful bruise on my knee from yesterdays practice (along with a blister on my toe...woe is me).

We finished class with about 10 mins of rolling.

I only have one more class tomorrow before I go on my vacation. I will have to go over a week without BJJ, rolling, grappling, washing my gi, getting choked, etc. It will be the longest stretch where I haven't been to class since I started 14 months ago. This is sad, especially with the Arnolds coming up so soon after, but I am planning on hitting up some cardio on the cruise ship.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Big Dawg Nights

Tuesday was a class to remember.

Not for learning some new crazy half guard sweep, or having a moment of clarity on a position or idea. It was about proving to yourself, that you can keep going and fight when you have nothing left. Clint ran cardio which turned into live takedown sparring, which turned into passing the guard drills, which led to more takedown sparring, which led to live rolling.

It was about an hour and 40 minutes of nonstop movement. No breaks. No water. Nothing. Clint decided to put me with Jeff W, Jeff O, and Bronson for all of the takdown practice and rolling. This was well into the cardio journey and every minute was a mental challenge. I took people down. I got taken down a couple times. I played bottom mostly and got a few sweeps and a sub or two. I looked like shit, but had to keep going.

Afterwords we finished with sprints, and sprints, and more sprints. My legs and abs were cramping badly. I've never had an abdominal cramp...and hopefully don't have one again any time soon.

I made it. I survived. Maybe this sounds mello-dramatic, but at the time it was pretty damn glorious. The foursome I was in all got promoted at the end. We all got stripes, except for Jeff O who was awarded a blue belt and then ceremonously walked through the gauntlet. The coolest part of that was he didn't know he had to turn around and come back the other way and flashed a look of terror.

I would be afraid if you see a GRBJJ warrior in your bracket at your next local grappling tournament. We don't mess around.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

domingo de quatro horas

First 2 hours....GI:

Chris gnarls his teeth through his tilted grin as he runs his sadistic cardio. We then go over the pendulum sweep we do from the JG guard. I need to remember to use one fluid motion to shoot my arm in for the leg. I also need to open my legs more before bring the opponents weight on top of me. I got to roll with a few different guys including Dan-O. I worked pretty good guard, and didn't let him pass. I need to continue to work defensive guard but build some sick offensive go-to's off of my setups. I was exhausted after class. Hyde dislocated his thumb and pulled it back in. He toughed it out like the crazy bastard he is. Mitch tenderly wrapping it is on video.

Next 2 hours....GI-Less

Having just done tons of cardio, Hyde made sure we did extra hard cardio. Sprint, plank, sprint plan, 30 pushups, sprint, crabwalk, mountain climber, sprint plank. We had this pleanant new guy come to this as his very first class ever. He sprinted towards the bathroom, but before he could make it to the back locker room area he projectile vomited all over the door. See facebook for pictures.

We did two main technique drills. We started with the kneebah drill we now do. Kneebah to Kneebah, to heelhook. Flow with the go.

We then did the surboard standup pass. Make sure to stay cup to cup, and move the enemies head toward you to intesify the pain.

We finished with a few rolls. I rolled mostly with newer guys

Friday, January 16, 2009

Competition Class

There were 5-6 people at comp class tonight which was a nice change of pace from last week when no one but me (and Mr. Hyde of course) showed up. There was a nice mix of people I got to roll with including Matt (blue belt), Jeff (crazy legs), Justin (mma studmuffin), random new guy (who rolled remarkably calm for being new...although he said he was "self trained" and that he won some grappling tournament in battle creek, and of course Ryn-o-plata Hyde.

Shockingly, we started off with killer cardio. By verbal decree from Big Dawg, ALL classes will now have cardio. Ryan doesn't mess around with cardio either and we got a good 45 mins in. The highlight at the end included hard sprints folloed immediately by 2 minutes of plank position. This is MUCH harder then it seems, and is a great (yet horrifying) excercise to control your breathing and get your mind in check.

I got a bunch of good rolls in. As it's competition class I dropped my typical "working only on guard" stuff and tried to roll more like I will at the Arnolds. This means focusing on takedowns, staying in good position, and making smart offensive decisions ensuring I keep good position. I think I did a pretty good job and was fairly happy with my performance overall. My takedowns were more crisp then they have been in a while, but my guard passing still needs some work. I took it "slow and low" and did OK, but it's not as silky smooth as it needs to be for me to get to the next level of my progression.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thursday Class sweeps

The cardio simply isn't gonna get easier. This is no place for a nervous person. We did an hour of hard cardio followed by armbar/triangle drills and some positional rolling starting in guard.

Clint went over the armbar from the JG guard, and then a sweep that was new to me from JG guard. The armbar is familiar to me, but was good practice as we haven't covered it. Key points are to start the kicking motion on the "spidered" arm simultaneously as you let go of that sleeve to grab the farside elbow. When you let go of the "spidered" arm, it is free so you don't have time to screw around. You have to kick your leg up as a trigger to move your hips to end up facing the ear as always to finish a good armbar.

The sweep Clint showed was when the enemy stands up while you have them in JG guard. You extend your "spidered" leg in between the opponents leg. It is important to keep the leg in the middle of his legs (right by the nuggets), and not hook by the hip. You then extend the player out, grab his free arm, and dump him to the side. I struggled with this at first, but after a few reps started to understand the movement. I will need some more practice.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tuesday night bootcamp

15....30....45...100....45....30....15. DONT LOOK AT THE CLOCK OR WE'RE STARTING OVER.


I think Clint is starting to take this whole cardio thing pretty serious. The intensity level is definitely bumping up a notch as we have just over a month before the Arnolds. Cardio was nutZ (with a capital Z) and lasted pretty much the whole first hour. We then split off into regular class and basics class.

I went with the basics class today as I am still intrigued with improving my knee lead guard pass. Several new faces were at the class so C did a basic introduction to the knee lead, covering the basics of the movement. We did some reps practicing the pass, with varying levels of resistance. We then started from the knees with one man pulling guard and practiced "landing" in the knee lead as opposed to resetting yourself in the guys full guard. DONT GO IN SOMEONES FULL GUARD IF YOU DONT HAVE TO, BEN. MAKE THINGS EASIER. GOOD JIU JITSU IS EASY, NOT HARD. Sorry for the shouting, but I have to remind myself of this basic concept repeatedly as I always seem to not do it.

Afterwords we rolled for like 25 minutes. Everyone was exausted from class, so finding willing partners was a little tough. I ended up getting a couple fun rolls in.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Class: to gi, or not to gi?

Decision time. Should I go to gi class, or no-gi class? Yes. The answer is clear that you go to both.

Chris's class was excellent as always. We did an insane amount of cardio. Longer mats and Chris don't make a good combination. We then went over a few techniques, most of which were reviewing the side control "immobilization" from the Carlson Jr. seminar. There was a decent amount of free rolling after which is always a good time.

Next was the first no-gi class of the D.A.'s life. Mr. Hyde did his thing with the small group of people. I like his no-nonsense, intense teaching style. And i'm not just saying that because he just subscribed to my blog =).

We earned a sweeeeet lockflow going from kneebar, to different kneebar, to heel hook. This is going to be very helpful in my noobful education on leglocks. He then showed a few other no-gi specific submissions including a bicep slice from full guard and a calf crush.

Kneebars are great, but you have to know the rules before doing a KNEEBAH

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Carlson Gracie Jr. Seminar

I am spoiled.

Clints good friend and mentor Carlos Gracie Jr. came up from Chicago for a seminar tonight. His old school, technical, deliberate but unstoppable type of jiu jitsu was on display for everyone to see.

He started off with side control basics. We started out in scarf hold position, learning subtleties for keeping the opponent immobilized. From there we learned two different ways to take the back from the position, and a sweet inverted armbar.

Junior then showed us a ridiculously sweet back take when your opponent turtles. You fake a clock choke and end up rolling them to their back in perfect position to pull the gi acrossed their neck. Way cool!

We finished up with a standing guard pass combined with a knee lead pass, which was similar to the basic pass that I have already learned. We finished the class by watching Clint and Junior roll. They were just flowing from position to position like water, using very little energy. It was an impressive display of what true BJJ is. We then took 2 rounds of live rolling. I got to roll with Dan-o and Jorge-o. The flow wasn't exactly up to the two impressive black belts levels, but It was fun!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Comp class (sort of)

Competition class today consisted of just me, myself, and Hyde. This is disappointing, except for the selfish fact that basically I get a free private lesson with Ryan, and get to roll with a purple belt for the good part of 2 hours.

He rolled at like 20% of his ability, meaning I was only tapping like every 3 minutes. He showed me a couple of things he does from the guard with foot and knee placement since that is primarily what I am working on. It was awesome!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

private and basics

I had the privilege of spending an hour on the mat 1:1 with Clint before class today. We continued where our last shortened private stopped. Big Dawg discussed some movement theory with me, and noticed that I need to work on my push/pull a lot with my arms and legs. He showed me a "drill" of putting your legs on the guys biceps, then shoulders, then hips, then behind the knees....going up and down the body. This is to get used to the foot placement in open guard, which is directly what I need help with.

One of my issues is when on my right hip, I correctly use my bottom (right) leg to press the opponent and thwart his passing. What I don't do is use my top (left) leg. It just kind of sits on the guys back. What I need to do is get it on the hip. This gives much more control, and makes it dramatically easier to move my hot girlish hips.

We finished up rolling for like 20 minutes or so which was truly awesome. We worked several positions but Clint kept putting me back in my open guard to work on the concepts we went over. This is most definitely helping me build my game!

After the private I went to basics class with Funk Master C. It was the first class in a 5-6 week series of guard passing, focusing in on the knee lead. The concept C presented was to not end up in someones closed guard, but to beat them to the transition and stick your knee lead in between you and the enemy. Although I have heard this before, this reminder struck a bell and I certainly need to practice this more.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A New Era

Tonight was very special as it was the first class in our new school. The place is huge with tons of mat space, weight equipment, boxing pads, and sweet decoration.

I think this is what heaven looks like.

In the midst of my awe Clint showed a very useful back escape.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year New Goals

I need to start weight training.
I need to eat cleaner.
I need to kick ass at the Arnolds.
I need to make my teammates better.
I need my teammates to make me better.
I need to continue forming my game.
I need to suck a little less.

Here is a post holiday performance that sums up my goals: