Thursday, January 28, 2010

Class on 01/26/2010

I went to class Tuesday night and it was No-Gi. Had a good time with it. We reviewed the open guard pass to knee-on-belly, which is a fairly simple technique.

We then built on the knee-on-belly to do a pretty nifty armbar from knee-on-belly if they go to defend by turning to their side and pushing your knee, which is a natural response. The video below gives a nice summary of the technique.

After that, we did a funky little move from side control to mount. It was a very awkward technique for me at first. It felt like what I would imagine break-dancing would be like. Having never break-danced, I wouldn't know for sure, but that is what I imagine. Anyway. We drilled that move and then added a nifty little transition to a triangle choke from there. The whole sequence is shown in the video below.

Really good stuff.
Then, rolled with a guy named Jose' and held my own. He pulled guard at the beginning and I made a pretty agressive move to try to pass, which I think surprised him a bit. He then swept me over and got mount. I did a knee-to-elbow move and slipped into half-guard. Tried to make a move around to take his back, which he blocked. He ended up taking my back. I used Saulo Ribeiro's techniques again, "scooping" down and using the handfighting to block his attempts at a choke until I could turn in on him and get back into his guard. It ended up in a mexican standoff and the timer went off.

I then rolled with Richard (instructor that night) and got my head handed to me, but he is a purple belt, so I was not surprised. Then I rolled with his son Mitchell and got my head handed to me again. He is very quick and very strong, but at 17, I guess, we all were. Good times.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Journey Has Resumed

Well, yesterday morning I crossed the Rubicon and resumed my journey in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I have signed up with Phoenix Martial Arts in Flowery Branch, Georgia. I had my first class yesterday morning, and, let me tell you, I am SORE today. I am sore in weird places, too. My triceps hurt, my shoulders hurt, and I am sore at the bottom of my jaw.

We went over some mount escapes yesterday, including the knee/elbow escape (see video below):

and the UPA/Bridge-Roll escape (see video below):

After spending time drilling the techniques, we went into the open mat time. I rolled with a guy named Nick, who is the biggest (tallest, anyway) guy in the class. He played an open guard game with me (he said the open guard is something he is working on), which was a bit frustrating as he is almost nothing but legs. I tried to dive past his legs and ended up giving up my back. In the past, I have always felt very defeated when giving up my back. However, for Christmas, Julia had gotten me Saulo Ribeiro's JIU-JITSU UNIVERSITY (which is a great book on the art) who lays out a great hand-fighting technique. The key is to keep your chin tucked and keep your hands up in a particular position. The important thing is not to get baited into chasing your opponent's arm. Wait for it to come to you. If they are going to choke you, they will have to come to where you are. If you follow those techniques, you can fight off the choke. I was able to avoid getting choked and finally turn in on him and get back into guard. I ended up getting armbarred, but I felt good about it.

I also rolled with another guy in the class who is going to be testing for his blue belt soon. He caught me in a triangle choke, and I stacked him and drove into him, flipping him over. I slipped out the back, but he caught my arm and armbarred me. Again, I felt good about doing as well as I did, having not trained in months. A good start to the new journey.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's a New Year

I am really excited and anxious to resume my BJJ training. In the past few months, I have really been focusing on trying to stay in shape, cardio-wise, and increase my upper body strength. I plan to go to class this coming Tuesday night and hit the mats. I have also been reviewing a lot of videos on Youtube and other sites, including Submissions 101 and TrainFightWin.

I have an extremely supportive wife and she got me Saulo Ribeiro's JIU-JITSU UNIVERSITY (which is just an excellent textbook on the art), BJ Penn's book on the closed guard, and the three DVD set by Renzo Gracie (which so far is also quite good).

I ran across an interesting saying in one of the message forums recently. A guy said he doesn't fear a man who knows 1,000 submissons 1 way, he fears a man who knows 1 submission 1,000 ways. I think this is going to be the approach I am going to adopt this time around. I want to focus on a single technique for awhile until I perfect it and can do it in my sleep.

It's gonna be a good year, I think.