Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Armbar, Triangle, Omaplata - gotta know how to hold em, gotta know how to fold em

Day 1 million, in Mercury time, probably.

3 moves flow into one another. From an attack point of view:

You have someone in your guard both their hands postured on your torso.

1. you grab under one arm, also grabbing that arms elbow with your other hand step up onto their hip, raising your hip to get better leverage bite your opposite leg into their arm pit, pushing them down the leg which was on their hip comes around their face, armbar!

2. They pull their arm out or the arm bar is not possible. switch sides, bite, pull their head down, reposture, grab your leg which is across their neck in the shin area, pull forward so the leg is across their neck, wrap your leg around, point your toes, squeeze your knees triangle!

3. The posture out of the triangle, you fold the arm you still hold around your hip, rotate your body so your feet are by their head, forcing them onto the ground. pinch your legs together so it holds their arm tight, pull your arm around them, so you're over their back and move up, lifting your hips, along their spine (not across but toward their head). Omaplata!

Monday, September 8, 2014

So much has happened!

Long over due post, I'll skip trying to remember what's happened in the past near 70 days and instead just cover the highlights:

1. I've been going to BJJ a lot! My school offers class 5 days a week and open mat 2 days. I've made it to near all of them - maybe out of those 70 days I've missed 5 days of class either due to injury or other obligations. Outside of that I've trained a few times with friends and also gone to their schools a couple of times.

2. I earned my first stripe!

3. I learned I weighed 30 pounds more than I expected which changed my game unexpectedly. It's weird because you'd think it wouldn't, it's not like I suddenly gained the weight but still I find my application of pressure and center of gravity different. That said, I look more lean, well, more defined at least. My BJJ stamina is greatly increased from when I started.

4. I've learned how to soft-roll, mostly. Or rolling without going all out or being over tense. Which is in part because of:

5. Starting to get over my fear of being crushed or whatever.. when you're on bottom and it's hard to breath it was common for me to to freak out. I did some core exercises to help, learned how to better control my breath and also to sit through the uncomfortable. I'm much more concious of tapping out when I wasn't under durress and learned to somewhat accept that being smothered and having difficulty breathing was part of the game and something to be trained.

6. People have started to comment on my technical-ness. I still feel pretty lost but I highly doubt there's a conspiracy to compliment me into thinking I was technical. People often say that my skill difference from when I started is 'night and day' but that's usually after they've quickly dispatched me ahaha

7. I realized I have feet, wonderful feet. Hooks & pushy things. One day it dawned on me that I could control people with my feet and do things like hook them around someone's hips so I could pull myself onto them and also keep them controlled.

Things I've progressed at:
Keeping my hips facing opponent - blocking neck & pulling lapel - hand defense - hip control - submissions, I can do a couple now.

Things I need/want to work on:
Sweeping - Escaping from mount - pinning the arm near my neck while transitioning

I told my good friend who's a purple belt that I was told I was progressing greatly to which he challenged me to show him and I could not >:(

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Days 4 5 6 & 7

Day 4- Triangles, sweeps

There was one this weird hokey s-leg thing where:
you have someone in guard,
you pull their hand across you,
pull your leg into their chest so you're ready to sweep,
post behind you, grabbing their lat (across back, to their far armpit-arm)
push into them, causing them to create resistance
then pull back, especially on their lat, so their body weight is off their legs
then you swing your armed leg (hehe) which primes them to be brought into your side control.

day 5 - knee on belly
wow this was a lot more difficult than I anticipated. I felt like when my knee was on their belly I was a. doing the splits which prevented me from actually doing something meaningul (no control over weight nor ability to feel comfortable in the move) and B. my thighs felt ultra shakey and unwilling to sit up straight when my knee was on their belly - i had a lot of trouble placing my weight correctly. I practiced this a lot and barely made a dent in it. I think I'll need some excerise on those muscles to help them do their job.

day 6 - free day (thursday)
there were 3 people in class besides me and including the teacher.
So while two were pared up rolling, the other spent their time going over whatever I wanted. I practiced that weird s-leg thing which I wasn't good at until I was good at it.
I practiced standing in guard. Knee on belly, and tying my belt.

day 7- Friend's gym-
my friend teaches and brought me to his gym a fair ways away. The gym I normally train at was closed.
 Military guys are a lot tougher, heavier and better than the white belts I've been training with - even though some of the people in the military have white belts too.
-We learned escape from rear-guard, and practiced a flow with that (escape, place in side, put them in rear, have them escape and place you in rear)
-a single leg take down to side control
- rear to arm bar
- Oh! and this hitch-hiker roll-out of an arm bar, well, my two buddies there showed me that, it wasn't something which was trained. I"m excited about practicing and trying it.

and then we rolled a good bit. I did OK - had some compliments on my leg work, which I picked up from the scissor - turning hips, placing knees. My instructor at the normal gym taught me not to let them place their feet on me - or that that was a control position, so I was much more aware of keeping their feet at bay and was also watching for this when I was sitting out.

I was able to do a number of things I'd learned including a backroll and a couple of take-downs. More compliments on my legs and ability with them.

I also pried at someone's fingers and got a stern talking to. I felt really bad because I should have known better and wouldn't want someone to do that to me. Bad feels :(( I text the person later apologizing again and letting them know I felt bad and why. They were cool.

And also, I'm making an effort to sit out when i'm pooped. I don't think I learn well when I'm exhausted and all my training goes out the window as I try to survive. It's not fun nor informative. That got a bit of flak from the military guys who kept asking if I was sitting out because I was hurt.

They tried to convince me to keep rolling and i said "I've got just enough energy to save my life if I had to and I'm not going to put myself in a position where I can't" which actually seemed to make a lot of sense to everyone (surprisingly.)

Well there you have it, 4 days of updates. I skipped one day last week (tuesday) because I had some things to take care of.

Still having fun. I especially like the attention I"m getting in my normal classes. James, the instructor, has divided up the class into us noobs and then the more experienced people. the difference is the noobs keep training while the more experienced noobs free-roll. as much as I like the exercise and fun which comes with free rolling, I greatly appriciate the ability to practice more - I if I have negativity toward free rolling it's because I'm not sure what to do or I don't feel I have enough practice to do what's necessary and thus fall back on bad habits (elbows, I'm looking at you!).

I'm trying to be more disciplined and less roudy. I'm in this for me.

Having fun, and trying to make muscles in the mirror.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Day 3

Tonight we did guard and mount escapes which lead into triangles and re-mounting.

If the person's in your guard and swings, you bridge your hips, keeping your elbows at your side but blocking their arm, turn your head to look the direction they swung from and then roll.

If you're in their guard you make sure your center of gravity is low by having 'ballarina' toes, instead of active toes (make sure you're resting on your feet opposed to using your toes to brace you). Keep one arm at the center of their body and another on their hip, while also keeping your elbows at your side. Put one knee in the center of their butt (spine) and the other, the arm which isn on their hip, move that side leg out so your knee goes past theirs and then sit back, pushing down with your elbow which causes the feet to unhinge. then you prop your knee over and go into side control

If they're in your guard you, all at once, push one arm back, one arm forward across you, put your foot on the side which matches their arm you pulled across you, onto their hip, then raise your hip, take the arm you used to push back and grab their head down, as your hip raises you push your leg across and then let go of the arm which is across you, grab your ankle and 'bite' down. then flex your hips more. if they're swinging with the first arm you can twist your body and get more leverage on them while also creating distance from their swing.

when going for the triangle you can walk your shoulders back to increase leverage but it's important to keep your knee which is on their hip bent and not use that to push yourself - it's important because it acts as a gaurd/pin which prevents them from escaping. or pushing past you - if they push forward it pushes you forward along with them.

The hard parts for me were:
keeping things fluid and fast, especially with the triangle
not being a lose noodle or a tight noodle.
sitting on my feet right. I kept wanting to go to 'active toes' which raised my center of gravity too high.

No rolling tonight. I could probably stay after class to do this but.. idk.. i feel tired but not from working out, rather learning. maybe a bit.. ego-bruised? like "ok, i just spent 1.5hours learning and looking stupid, I'm ready to go home!"

Oh! And my friend Jessica tried her first class tonight! She was really good from what I heard - she's as tall as me, and she's been weight lifting at the gym so she's particularly strong.

Tonight was covering basics - which felt geared toward Jessica's and my benefit.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 2

New faces today, 6 students total.

Tonight we worked a T-.. T-.... t-grab? Where you're standing and 'swim' your arm under theirs so that you're on their side, one of their arms pinned behind your back, your head into their chin and then their other arm trapped under your lateral muscles with the stress being on that opposed to on the hand.

Basically defense against swings:
Swing 1, you grab their shoulder with arm 1
swing 2, you grab and pinch, with arm 2

rotate to the side of the first throw, pinch your legs, kick and then return your foot as to losen their balance and sit them down, cross your leg over and mount

or a hip throw and mount,

Then we did it where you crossed your leg behind theirs- making sure to point you knee and toes to the side and throw your arm to sit. Cross your leg over and mount.

I learned i needed to be more controlling of the situation - less me laying down with them and instead like, 'i have your arm and this is what i'm doing it!'. Aggressive, I guess is what I'm getting at.

Worked a kick to the hip to push an aggressor back as well as to keep your hands up in a non-threatening way in an attempt to disarm the situation but also to keep yourself protected.

Then to finish up we had the instructor w/ gloves on swinging at us for us to block and grab to try one of the moves we learned earlier.

No rolling.

Felt like I made some new friends or at the least had authentic conversations with new BJJ or gym noobs. I explained my thought of wire or dot people to a very new guy and he liked the analogy a lot. "closing my eyes when rolling and knowing where bodies were and what muscular intent was".

My good friend Jessica was to come but she has school tonight, to she's coming tomorrow. The instructor has a gi she can wear and Jessica wanted me to ask for something for her "cocoa booty" (??) - I did.

I'm excited for Jessica and think she'll like it. I especially enjoyed meeting and interacting with new people. I feel like I have a disarming quality where people's ego's aren't on the line.

Tonight was training!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 1, really day 36

Hello and welcome to my first post. This blog is about me doing Brazillian JiuJitsu - which will likely be  a catharis and recap for me.

I started at the Gracie JiuJitsu of Savannah gym with their free trial month- their main method of interaction is here:

I'm tall (6'1"), skinny and don't weigh much. Average redheaded nerd, I suppose.

I live in Savannah, GA and it's early summer. Hot, humid and the itch to do STUFF!

Two of my good buddies do BJJ with intensity. I've gone with them in the past for about 5 months or 35 days of training, but tapered off and stopped. It's been about 3 years since I last practiced. Which puts me in a weird spot because I'm not so new that people can't expect things of me, but I'm not so practiced that I'm familiar with anything. Plus, I'm somewhat out of shape.

I struggle to keep up, but that may be normal and expected. I feel my mind tossing up it's metaphorical arms as the instructor passes a number of things to do on a move. I can watch him show me again and again and then when I try, the very first thing I do is pause and think/ask "what do I do..?"

I'm a relatively intelligent and well thought-out guy, I feel I excel at a lot of thinking tasks but thinking under pressure is a different beast - hearing your blood pounding in your ears and feeling it in your teeth, my mind is screaming a million things at me while at the same time demanding it shut up and focus.

I like the challenge.

In the past, while I did better than my stamina will now allow, I had some bad techniques:
1. Holding onto things I shouldn't (like an arm or a leg)
2. doing things which weren't BJJ (not that this is bad, but I'm new and should be trying to learn BJJ - not stroke my ego)
3.  using my elbows wrong (as in, being an ass with them).

So after having a couple of years to think about it, I'm trying to be more practiced and less frantic, which means:

- Calm down.
- Don't tap when I'm uncomfortable, if I want to bail, let them get the arm bar or similar.
- Push myself but not crazy. If I'm unable to catch my breath, sit out until I can. But don't sit out forever, really want to get in there.
- Recognize that my bony-ass elbows have a place, and not use them for evil.

--- Tonight:
Tonight I was really conscious of holding onto things for too long. So much so that for the first time, the instructor told me "don't switch so much" which while a critique, felt GREAT.

I bowed out when I felt like I was useless but let my opponent get theirs. in 5 rolling sessions only one was a weird tapout, but it was because I was out of breath and couldn't breath with the opponent ontop.

We learned how to escape from the guillotine choke as well as how to reverse it and place it - standing and sitting.

There were 4 or 5 total techniques which increased in complexity with the last two being beyond me.

I also had trouble with the triangle and armbar warmups.

Some of the things were slightly different than I remember, but that's OK because I don't have enough practice for that to matter.

I was able to admit that I was confused on the last two complex moves, and had help being walked through them. I'm not sure I could repeat them now though.

Someone who was sitting on the side was trying to help me but I ended up more confused. They were explaining what I should be doing, which felt the opposite of what felt natural, and I found myself doing both - and failing. (not that it would have had an impact!)

I didn't make it through one single 5 minute rolling round, nor did I do well (in my opinion) - but I didn't use my elbows vindictavly. I was somewhat of a spaz and didn't utilize BJJ moves.

One of my sparing partners told me my base was off when we were on the ground. He tried to explain but with my heart pounding hard it was difficult to comprehend.

I felt like I was taking advantage of people talking to 'spend time' - but that may be related to stamina. This is something I'm also concerned about.

I didn't puke or feel like I needed to. I wasn't so out of breath that my extremities were doing weird things and I left feeling more solid about what I had done than Saturday when I came by open mats to check it out.

Tonight was OK.