Sunday, December 25, 2011

38 Closed Guard BJJ Combos

Friday, December 23, 2011

Tip From Terrence

While passing guard, control their legs!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More Tips to Improving My Game

Thumb in first Front Choke (Opponent is in your guard):
  • Start with cross-face arm, thumb in first and goes all the way to the back of opponent's collar.
  • Opposite first grabs opposite collar about halfway down.
  • The key to this choke is to flair out the elbow with the thumb in and pull down on the fist halfway down.
  • This choke works slowly, so be patient and doesn't give up and readjust.
Positional Training - Back:
  • The interesting thing I learned was that Brian turtles up to defend this position.
  • When a person turtles and does this, I must follow them and replace my hooks.
Positional Training - Mount:
  • Base out with my knees more.
  • Apply more body pressure.
Positional Training - Side Control:
  • From Top -
    • Control your opponent's elbow so they can't bridge.
  • From Bottom -
    • Fist/Wrist under opponent's armpit and elbow to their throat.
    Positional Training - Deep Half Guard:
    •   From top - 
      • Needs to apply heavy pressure on the knee near opponent's head.
      • The opposite leg needs to stretch out to avoid opponent from grabbing for a sweep.
      • Body needs to be heavy and close to avoid X-Guard.
      • Attack the far arm. (Kimura, straight arm bar laying down, straight arm bar against my shouder).
    • From bottom - 
      • The legs need to wrap high around opponent's knee to prevent them from advancing to mount.
      • Should grab leg in the guard to sweep.
      • Transition to X-Guard.
    Think about turning in for a single leg takedown; the options are there.

    Wednesday, December 7, 2011

    Improvement Tips

    From Brian:
    • Sit up when someone has both your legs and planning to pass.
    • Keep body low, apply body pressure, and get ready to ride opponent with feet on hip.
    • Use forearm pressure to apply mounted front choke.
    From Ryan:
    • Keep body tight and close to opponent when trying to advance position.
    • Stand up and keep elbows tucked when trying to pass guard.

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    1st Stripe - Blue Belt!

    Alex awarded me with my first stripe for my blue belt. Alex has been teaching class this week because both Professor Dominic Parker and Steve Gable are out due to broken legs. Dominic was in an motorcycle accident and Steve fought in Bellator 55 against Ricardo Tirloni.

    Here's a link to the fight.

    What we learned this week:
    • "Steering Wheel" one leg takedown
    • Half-guard escape to side control.
    • North-South choke

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Upside Down X-Guard

    Upside Down X-Guard

    Can roll and get opponent back into guard or even triangle.

    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Simple Judo - Arm Drag To Uchimata

    Dave Camarillo and Matt Darcy show a simple way to incorporate judo into your BJJ game. The arm drag grip is an excellent way to gain an angle cutting off your opponents offense and ability to pull guard.

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Choked Out

    Yesterday we were working on an escape where your opponent has the grips in for the lapel choke. The escape is to grab their forearm, behind their bicep, slip out, and turn into them. We were doing a live drill where my partner had my back and his grips in. I was working my escape and as I was about to slip out and turn...

    I woke up to him at my legs...

    My first question was:

    "Where am I?"

    "What was happening before this?"

    "I'm in BJJ? Is this a dream?"

    My partner told me that I went to "sleep" for about 4 seconds. This is the first time I have chocked out. I have had tunnel vision before but never went unconscious like this.

    Wow... it feels weird...

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Things I Need To Work On

    Yesterday was my first time rolling with Professor Dominic. I could tell he was going easy on me. He kicked my ass twice and after the roll he said, "Good hip movement though."

    I got caught in a Triangle and Armbar while trying to escape from guard. So I need to work on the following:
    1. Triangle Escapes
    2. Armbar Escapes

      Tuesday, September 6, 2011

      Sunday, August 28, 2011

      Don't Sit Down

      It's been awhile since I have sat down to write here. I need to be more consistent with my training. Ever since I got promoted to blue I haven been a little hesitant rolling with white belts because:
      1. some of them go full on rage trying to submit a blue belt and sometimes that leads to injuries, and
      2. getting submitted by a white belt is embarrassing.
      I'm slowly starting to get over the 2nd reason because you can't beat them all. Some white belts are really strong and may have a wrestling background. Plus, sometimes a lower belt might submit a higher belt. For example, I saw a blue belt submit a purple today. The blue belt was probably 80 pounds heavier and taller, but it happens. Win or lose, I just have to roll with the intent of learning in mind.

      Anyway, onto the things I have learned and need to keep in mind.
      1. This week we learned about straight ankle lock. The key to this move is the shoulder shrug.
      2. When passing with your knee on your opponent's inner thigh, don't stand too high, but instead press your head down on your opponent's opposite shoulder. Standing too high will lead to getting rolled to the opposite side.
      3. Don't sit down. Terence says any time you stand and then sit down, your opponent gets points for a sweep. I do this a lot and need to learn to stop. Alex yelled at me for doing this, but I didn't understand why.
      4. If you are trapped in half guard and are standing with the un-trapped leg near your opponent's head:
        1. roll your opponent so that they are facing outward
        2. pass your leg around your opponent's head
        3. sit on your opponent's hips
        4. then turn over for side control.
      5. If your opponent is on their side and you are behind their back, you can wait for them to roll over to turtle. When your opponent does this, ride their hip and tuck in your bottom hook then roll them back.
      6. There are plenty of opportunities to take your opponent's back, look for them.

      Sunday, August 21, 2011

      Knee-On-Belly To Triangle & The Angle in Triangle

      In the following video, Jeff Glover shows how to transition from knee-on-belly to triangle and also emphasizes the "angle" in triangle.

      Rolled Up - Ep. 25

      Monday, August 1, 2011

      Rolles Gracie - Standing Guard Pass (BJJ Weekly #042)

      In this video, Rolles Gracie shows BJJ Weekly his method of opening the closed guard. After years of practice Rolles has blended techniques he learned from family members Ralph, Renzo, and Rillion to create his own unique method of guard opening and passing.

      Friday, July 29, 2011

      Armbar From Bottom Of Side Control

      This move is for when you're the bottom and your opponent has side control.
      1. First, hip out and replace your knee like you would to regain guard.
      2. While in doing the first move, over-hook your opponent's arm. The one closest to your arms.
      3. With this arm trapped, put your forearm under their elbow, pin your knees, and stretch your opponent into an armbar.
      This move was learned from purple belt Mark.

      Tuesday, July 19, 2011

      How To Improve My Game?

      Yesterday I had my butt kicked by 2 different blue belts multiple times. So I have been pondering how to improve my game and found this article. It outlines 20 ways to improve your grappling game and I paraphrased and summarized the parts important to me:
      1. Open your ears and listen - It doesn't matter whether the student is a blue-, white-belt, or someone who's never fought: the moment they show your something, shut your mouth and pay attention. Even if the move is not efficient, the concept might help your play. When you don't allow yourself to accept any other form of knowledge, you become limited.
      2. Always believe in the move - To make the move work, you have to believe it will work. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side, because there lies the difference between winner and loser. The winner is never intimidated. Carlson Gracie’s black-belt’s advice is based on three elements: stamina, attitude and will to win.
      3.  Practice an outdoor sport - Soccer, jogging, outdoor work out – there’s always a healthy activity waiting for the athlete who takes off the gi after hours of grappling in the academy. This strategy keeps the body in shape without making the fighter stressed from the training routine.
      4. Repeat the moves over and over - In judo, the athlete makes 1,000 takedowns on every session. It’s sad to see that in the Jiu-Jitsu milieu people think it’s a waste of time. One should pay attention to the positions, from the white all the way to the black belt. Usually, the most technical player gets the advantage, is to repeat the positions. Everybody does that in boxing, judo, but in Jiu-Jitsu the guys are a little lazy.
      5. Set goals - Setting goals helps in the evaluation and control of what is being produced in the training. The idea is that the fighter define what he wants. Afterwards, find ways to get there, and a time necessary to reach it. Black-belt Vitor Shaolin warns his students about this up to this day: “You must set up your training in such a way that you define what are the two most important competitions for you to be in that year. No matter how much you try it, you can never be 100% in all tournaments,” he guarantees. “Then you must establish the rules: ‘I want to be well in the Brazilian and World championships.’ And prepare to place well only in these tournaments, not minding whatever you win or lose in the rest of the competitions. The body is not a machine and cannot remain on a level 8 or 9 all the time, be it in Jiu-Jitsu or MMA, which is the Triathlon of fighting,” the Shooto champion concludes. 
      6. Be dynamic -  Jiu-Jitsu is like chess: you only move a piece thinking of the next move. An attacking position during the fight must always be connected to other future positions whose objective is the submission. The attack-trainings should be made in a logical progression. For instance: a takedown leads to a guard-pass, which in its turn leads us to a mount, which leads to a choke. The combinations are infinite; what matters is that your game be not static. Keep moving.
      7. You are an athlete, not a weight-lifter - Don’t need a superathlete’s body for BJJ. The secret lies, above all, in training to ally technique and good conditioning. If you train Jiu-Jitsu, you ought to work out, but not make a monstrous physical preparation. If you fight MMA or wrestling, you might need such a body. However, in Jiu-Jitsu, physical preparation is not all: one must work to become a technical and conditional athlete.
      8. Strengthen your grip - Especially important for gi BJJ.
      9. Strive to be complete -  What good is it to get an A+ in guard-passing but flunk attack-from-the-back? To stand out in Jiu-Jitsu, the fighter can’t excel at one or two moves.
      10. Posture is everything - Whether on the mat or with the dumb-bells, always pay attention to your posture. That is the most important, both if you are trying pass a guard or lifting tremendous weight. Without the adequate posture you don’t spare moves, you worsen the strike’s execution and augment the health hazards – or loss hazards.
      11. Learn from defeat - Use defeats (preferably in practices, of course) to reflect on what can be done better. “I’m convinced that everybody who submits all of their opponents in the trainings is actually learning nothing,” says Leo Vieria. There’s no such thing as winning and losing, but only winning and learning,” says Renzo’s and Ricardo Cachorrao’s trainer. Leo Vieira calls the attention to the fact that the losses out of the mats are just as fundamental to form a champion, above all in what concerns character.
      12. Look for the best version of the move for you - If you don’t get along with a certain move, try to perfect it, adapt it to your physical and technical traits, always searching new versions for it. That’s what makes Jiu-Jitsu evolve continuously.
      13. The best defensive is offensive -  Always try to attack. While on the offensive, the opponent can think of nothing but defending, that is, you are protected. Marcelo Garcia also realized that, by being the first to attack, he would make his opponents abandon their former plan. If he prolonged the blitz, Marcelo also prolonged this “untouchable” state. “Climbing stairs and ramps is the best option for an amazing guard,” he reveals.
      14. Don't forget to enhance your defense -  Rillion Gracie stresses the importance of training submission-escapes (remembering that the other guy may attack first). “Look at Roger Gracie’s performances in the last World Championship. He suffered fulminating attacks right in the beginning of the battles but was able to defend like a master to then counter-attack,” Rillion recalls. The Gracie Leblon Master says that, while practising defense, the competitor learns exactly what the opponent feels like in situations of adversity. “Learning defense improves the attack. I f the lion knows how the prey can escape, it’ll capture it in a much more precise way,” he ponders. To practise defense in Jiu-Jitsu, Rillion advises the reader into forgetting s/he is strong. “Exercise your patience. Use the weight and the force of the levers,” he explains. “Start practising defense as soon as possible, to awake just as soon the survival instinct in your fighter’s soul.”
      15. Stretch - According to “Elvis,” stretching is vital even for improving the guard. “What I realize in competitions, even black-belts’, is that everybody gets along well on top, but not everyone can keep a good guard.
      16. Develop self-knowledge - Competition-Jiu-Jitsu is so leveled nowadays that the small details can make the difference in the fight’s result. “I advise my students to talk to themselves. Self-evaluation makes the athlete know himself better, finding out his true virtues and weaknesses. He starts being conscious of his own instincts, develops self-confidence and doesn’t chiken out. Thus the athlete can design an ideal fighting plan,” Fabio Gurgel analyses.
      17. Simulate hindrance and escapes - To simulate fights where the opponent neither tries to pass nor to submit; to fight against a technical sparring – or one who runs away. In order to learn how to get out of the tough situations, Marcelo Garcia indicates: the good thing is to practice guard with heavier mates.
      18. Be creative -  Jean Jacques Machado likes to awake his students’ creativity. On these moments he shows the classroom a move, asks the students to study it and to present a defense a week later. “There are many ways to get to a goal. I like my pupils to use their creativity and find out new ways to get there,” he evaluates. In other words, Jean doesn’t make his apprentices “move repeaters.” By disseminating experimentalism in his lessons, the black-bellt gives birth to classrooms full of creative and innovating athletes.
      19. Training consistency - there’s nothing more important than regularity. Not vanishing from the academy is, therefore, essential for the athlete’s evolution – s/he must avoid substituting wasted weeks with overtraining periods. The fact that you keep training, the body gets used to the effort you make. "It was after I began resuming and quitting that I began to have injuries often," said Pe de Pano.
      20. Respect and reflect - Respect and dedication are utterly necessary to Ricardo de la Riva. “The idea is to arrive with an open mind and to practise with pleasure, and not to simply want to win in the training. You must respect, above all, not only the dojo and the professor, but also your practice-mate, after all you need him/her,” says the master. As the American trainer explains, the time to bow is a great opportunity to concentrate. The bow is the moment when the practice begins, so any negative thought or attitude must be left aside – or out of the academy. “A salutation at the end of the practice enables the athlete to go back to his normal life,” he says. “Develop, therefore, a strong mental connection so that your mind is activated by the bow in the beginning. Just as in any sport, if your head is not ready to practise, it’s impossible to learn anything,” Martin Rooney concludes.

        Tuesday, July 12, 2011

        Tripod-like Guard Pass

        Tripod-like Guard Pass:
        • Start with an inside grip.
        • Smash their knee down and drive opposite arm underneath opponent's other leg to grab their belt.
        • Put your head down near their hip (close to the hand you have holding their belt). So you're basically in half-guard now.
        • Put your butt in the air and remove your leg.
        • Once your leg is removed, grab behind their neck with the hand that was smashing the knee.
        • Obtain side control.
        Tips from Justin about playing Spider Guard:
        • Straighten your legs to stretch your opponent. When you opponent is stretch you are controlling him, and he can not control you.
        • Anytime your opponent has a grip on your pant legs, you must work on breaking these grips as they can be used to pass your spider guard.
        Need to work on maintaining the mounted position!!

          Monday, July 11, 2011

          Butterfly Sweep & X Guard

          Last week we learned about a butterfly sweep from standing. The sweep is used when both you and your opponent are standing and your opponent rushes or pushes you. As you are holding onto their lapel and under their elbow, you sit down on your back leg and hook them with your other leg, then continue to a butterfly sweep them. After sweeping them, you can end up in knee-on-belly.

          The X Guard position is for when the sweep fails and the opponent is above you. You then can hook your opponent's leg in an X position- one leg hooked behind their leg, and the other leg/foot hooking their hip. Their other leg is next to your head which you have grabbed with your arm. From here you can stand and take them down.

          Look for video.

          Tuesday, July 5, 2011

          Things I Learned July 2, 2011

          • De La Riva Sweep - This one you get under your opponent and use your leg to pendulum forward while holding onto their arm so they can't post.
          • Double Leg Takedown from Brian (wrestler) - lower your level, shoot, hook behind their knees, then start moving sideways. Tip is don't shoot unless you can touch them.

          Thursday, June 30, 2011

          Double Leg Takedown and Another Standing Guard Pass

          Double Leg Takedown:
          • Lift up opponent
          • Side step
          • Dive in with double behind the calfs (make sure to keep body upright)
          Another Standing Guard Pass (used when opponent keeps closed guard):
          • To Open Guard
            • If opponent has hand gripping on your lapel, straight arm them on the same side
            • With your opposite hand, grab their wrist
            • Step up with your leg on the side of the arm that is being controlled
            • Keep holding onto the wrist grip and let go of the lapel grip to press down on their leg
            • As make sure to take a step back with the side you are pressing down
          • To Pass
            • Put your your inner knee down and press down on their inner thigh
            • Put your elbow down
            • Pressure and pass
          • Look for video 

            Tuesday, June 28, 2011

            My First Tournament & Promoted to Blue

            I just competed in my first ever tournament last Saturday, San Diego Grappling X - June 25, 2001. It was double elimination and I lost both matches.

            My first match was against a strong tall 6' 5" (I'm only 5' 6", 155 lbs.). I shot in for a single leg, but he double underhook and smashed me so I pulled out and pulled guard. Dude was super strong, everytime I tried to go for anything he just postured and pressed my hips down. Everytime he put one leg up to try to pass I would try to pendulum sweep him, but I couldn't finish it due to him having the pressure on my hips. The match went into sudden death, I was hesitant trying to take him down because of what happened the first time so he took me down got points, stalled, and won the match. My arms were burnt out after the match.

            The next match, I got schooled... I think it was because I used all my energy I had in the first match already. I felt like jelly and got Americana. I felt kind of crappy because my prof was there to watch this match but not the first.

            Monday, June 27, 2011, I went to class, my prof ask how did I like the tournament. I told him it was a real eye opener. That I had to work on my takedowns and takedown defense. He made the whole class spar starting from standing the whole session! At the end of class, I felt beat up, soaked in sweat, and started questioning my skills. That's when Prof. Dominic Parker rewarded me with my blue belt! Part of me still doesn't feel like I deserve it and the I still have so much to learn.

            To those that haven't compete, you should try it. It really shows where you need to improve on.

            Friday, June 17, 2011

            Open Mat

            Today I went to open mat with Glenn and Justin. I don't usually go to Friday's open mat but wanted to put in some training time before I drown white water rafting over the weekend. :P

            Anyway, I tapped out Glenn with a Bow & Arrow choke and an arm bar. Glenn's was sure working his cardio and has got mass heart. Justin tapped me twice with an Ezekiel choke and choke from the back. I wonder if I'm focusing so much on offensive that my defensive is slipping.

            I was working with Glenn on some submissions. We were working on the triangle and Mark stopped us. I was teaching Glenn to grab the back of the neck, but Mark said it was unnecessary if you have the correct angle. He said to have no space where you clamp your knee and be at an angle where you can look into your opponent's ear. The triangle was a lot tighter, and this technique is a lot more applicable for a person with short legs like me.

            I worked with Mark (purple belt) on some takedown techniques. I was never able to successfully take him down and was taken down several times. The two that still stick in my mind are:
            •  Variant of Drop and Roll on shoulder
              • start with grabbing your opponent's lapel
              • stiff arm and lock their shoulder
              • once you have this setup you can roll onto your other shoulder and basically roll your opponent
              • i did not find this drop and roll as easy as the one David (purple belt) showed me, but this one is probably more effective if done right
            • Arm grab to back to trip your opponent backwards 
              •  when your opponent starts to go for your lapel, you swat their hand and do a bicep grab.
              • at this point you have a very good opportunity to grab their back, however if you don't the arm that grab their becip now moves over to the opposite shoulder and you square up with them and trip their closet leg
              • if done right you can end up in knee on belly when the opponent falls
            Another valuable tip that Mark gave me was something to help me escape from an opponent's side control. He saw that I had problems replacing my knee when he had me in side control. The key is to move your legs to the side then hip out quickly and replace your knee. Moving your legs out creates the space needed to replace your knee. If done too slowing your opponent will close the space back again.

            9 of the Best Black Belt Open Guard BJJ Techniques

            9 of the best black belt open guard bjj techniques

            Vale Tudo Guard Passes

            Vale Tudo Guard Passes: It doesn't matter how good your stand-up is, you will inevitably find yourself in your opponent's guard - and you need to be prepared to get out as quickly as possible. In this DVD, Erik outlines a complete arsenal of passes that you can integrate into your ground game.

            Master Strauch Playing Guard

            Master Strauch (rio de janeiro) showing a combo of submissions from the guard.

            North South Choke by Marcelo Garcia

            Marcelo Garcia talks with Stephan Kesting about how to set up and execute the North South choke.

            Sunday, June 5, 2011

            The Art Of Killing

            Some nice throws in this video: Budo: the art of killing (1978)

            Saturday, June 4, 2011

            Advancing Position While Opponent Is In Turtle Position

            Mark taught class today because Dominic was out of town. Mark taught some very moves when the opponent is in the Turtle Position.

            1. Rolling forward and putting in your hooks:
              1. Start out behind your opponent. Make sure to keep your hips close and apply weight near your opponent's hips.
              2. Double under hooks and grab your opponent's gi collar with each hand.
              3. Force your opponent's head down by grabbing their collar deep.
              4. Now start applying pressure across your opponent's back with your head diagonal across their body. Your head should be close to their head if not more over.
              5. Tuck your chin in and roll forward diagonally.
              6. While your opponent is in mid-air put in your hooks.
            2. Chest bump to side control:
              1. Start out with your body perpendicular across their back.
              2. Grab your opponent's arm and ankle farthest away from you. Note that your knuckles are faced up. Also, you are NOT reaching around their head and butt; and you are not reaching under their arm and leg. You are reach across their arm and legs.
              3. Pull their arm and leg towards you and use your chest to bump and roll your opponent over. Do not let go of the ankle, use this to obtain side control.
            3. From behind to North-South to arm bar:
              1. Start from behind.
              2. Under hook grab your opponent's closest arm.
              3. Now start to go perpendicular to your opponent.
              4. Now get your opponent to lay down on their side by collapsing the arm.
              5. Continue into North-South position.
              6. Place your knee on their rib while hanging onto their arm.
              7. Finish with arm bar (knee in arm pit).
            4. Roll opponent over knee:
              1. Start by pressuring down on one of your opponent's shoulders across back.
              2. Grab your opponent's belt with arm parallel to your opponent's spine.
              3. With your other hand grab your opponent's ankle. The grab is more like an upwards cup.
              4. Put your leg straight on top of their head. It's kind of like help tucking in their head.
              5. Next, roll back and use your momentum to roll your opponent over your leg.
              6. Take side control.
            Learned 2 takedowns from "Russian" David.
            1. Single leg takedown:
              1. Start by going for a double or single leg take down. Mostlikely you will end up with only one leg.
              2. Now trap their leg in between your legs. Also hold onto their leg with your arms.
              3. When ready, shoot down for their other leg while keeping the trapped leg in between your legs.
              4. This should take them down because both legs are trapped.
            2. Drop and roll:
              1. Start by trapping your opponent's arm. Almost like in a figure-4 grip, but not necessary.
              2. You can try to step in and go for a single leg hook sweep. Usually this does not work, but it gets them to square up with you.
              3. Once they are squared up with you, you can drop the other leg in and lay down, pull and roll them. You will mostlikely end up in side control. What you are basically doing is blocking their arm so they can't post and using your body to break down your opponent's dead zone.
            David also offered me another tip. He said to control your opponent's wrist as much as you can. Especially, when they have you in side control. Don't let the opponent control your head, but instead grab their gi/wrist and push it across their chest (i.e. push their arm to your side) and hip escape outward.

            Tip from Mark. I had the Omoplata on Dan but couldn't sit up and finished. Mark walked by and shook his head then said, "change into a triangle." I totally forgot that you should use your opponent's momentum when trying to sit up preventing the Omoplata as a transition into a triangle. I need to remember this!

            Thursday, June 2, 2011

            Guard Pass Where You Control Opponent's Arm

            Today we learned the "double under" guard pass:

            1. First start out by controlling the opponent's hip with one hand while pressing down on their stomach/chest holding the lapel with the other hand.
            2. Step up with the foot on the side that is pressing down on the stomach/chest.
            3. Let go of some of the lapel and tuck in your elbow.
            4. Then step up with the other foot.
            5. Stand straight up and let go of more of their lapel while making sure to tuck your elbow.
            6. Now reach behind your back with the other hand (that was controlling their hip) and open their guard.
            7. Once their guard is open, use combat stance (tuck your elbows) and get close to their hips. Or immediately go to the next step.
            8. Roll both of your arms under their leg and secure this position.
            9. Control their hips by moving it on top of your knees.
            10. Cross face one arm with thumb inside opponent's lapel.
            11. Sprawl and pass.
            12. Make sure to secure the side control position.
            Justin worked with me on another guard pass. This one was very similar to the one above, except the twist was controlling the opponent's arm by tucking it under your "straight" arm.
            1. Eventually, grab one of your opponent's arms and then tuck it under a straight arm.
            2. Step up on the side of the arm that is being controlled. Since you are controlling the opponent's arm on that side, they can not grab your leg.
            3. Post up with the other leg, step back, and then reach back with your hand to open the guard. Note that the hand that reaches back is the one that was the straight arm. The other hand is still controlling your opponent's arm, but make sure to keep your elbow tucked.
            4. Once the guard is opened, continue to pass as usual (i.e. sprawl).
            I rolled with a really tall guy named Cyrus. He's got to be at least 6' 5" and 250 lbs. I almost got him in a rear-naked choke but time ran out. One thing Professor Dominic showed him that I thought I should keep in mind if I ever got caught like that was: if your opponent has one if your lapels from behind, the side you want to escape (by placing your back on the mat) is opposite of the side the arm holding onto the lapel.

            Thursday, May 26, 2011

            This Week's Training

            On Monday we went over the most basic guard pass. The one with one straight arm and other hand on opponent's hips. I get the concept in theory and in my mind I can do it, but in real life I still have trouble with this guard pass. I feel like my arms are too short and I have to move back as I'm posted up.

            Yesterday was an awesome day because I got to roll with J (aka Justin). He's really good, better than the 4 stripe white belt that he displays. When we first rolled, I started out in his guard and his spider guarded me when I opened him up. He swept me with the spider guard sweep that I hate and mounted me. I didn't want him on top of me so I tried to get him into half guard, but really it ended up like a quarter guard. While in quarter guard, he did a Neto Roll, it caught me by surprised and I ended up in his guard again! Lots of things happened after which he submitted me with an arm triangle. After the match I asked him to show the Neto Roll and he said it's supposed to get my back from it.

            I also rolled with Glenn. I had his back most of the time but he did a good job of defining. He's pretty good for only being a 2 stripes white belt. I ended up getting him in a rear-naked choke. Justin told me I could have finished him with a gi choke from behind: grab the lapel then grab their collar from behind, try to push their collar through my arm grabbing the label, what this does is brings my forearm grabbing their lapel closer to their throat. Pretty interesting choke for when you don't want to keep fighting for the rear-naked or traditional gi choke.

            Sunday, May 22, 2011

            Passing Guard Tips From Larry

            Today I roll with a blue belt named Larry. He gave me some tips for passing guard. He recommended standing guard passes because they are more affected.
            1. Hands to opponent's armpits and spawl.
            2. Then put one of your knee in between their guard to open it.
            3. Once opponent's guard is opened, get into "combat stance" and press one fist down on opponent's stomach holding while other hand is holding onto their leg. (here I don't the fist on stomach is required, but you could have both hands on their legs and stay in combat stand to prevent from getting swept).
            4. While in this stance make sure you are close to their hip so that you are in control.
            5. Push their leg down and pass.
            When sparring with Larry, I observed his "style". Every time I was in his guard, he would push one of my arms across me and try to get my back. While fighting this and trying to open his guard, he would sweep me and mount me. I would this try to bump and get him into half-guard. After which he would S-mount me, after the S-mount he would work at getting my back. I would roll back and he would mount me. Basically, he had dominated with positions the whole time and I was playing all defense.

            Larry said that this is more of a no-gi pass and Prof. Steve teaches it in the no-gi class. He also give me another tip:
            • "Anytime you are about to do anything, think how it makes you vulnerable, how it exposes you." I think this is really good advice/principle. This is to help you be prepared in case you have to defend. Sometimes I'm so focused on passing guard or whatever that I forget that I could be exposing myself and end up getting submitted or in a worst position.
            I looked up a standing guard pass on the internet and want to try this one out some time:

            Tuesday, May 17, 2011


            Yesterday's Advanced class was very frustrating. I felt like a total "newb" rolling with the blue belts. Well, let me go over the techniques we learned in class first:
            1.  An escape from Turtle Position, where the guy is on top in North-South Position with their arms around your waist. Start out by grabbing onto one of your arms and then basing out the leg on that side, then sit all the way through while holding onto their arm. It's like you are almost laying perpendicular on their back and arm-locking them. After which, you pass through and take your opponent's back from behind.

              It's similar to the following video here, but ending up in North-South.

            2. Clock Choke. Click here to see the one I was taught in class.

            Two things Prof. showed me after I sparred:
            1. Getting one leg outside of opponent's open guard then applying pressure on their leg to pass to side.
            2. Kicking out a leg and wrapping the arms around their body.
            To be continued...

                Monday, May 16, 2011

                Clock Choke

                In Wednesday's Advanced class, we learned the Clock Choke. At first I thought it was an awkward choke and that I was too light to finish it, however I tapped someone out with it. The key thing about this choke is really lay your weight on your opponent when you spawn.

                Will update with some videos...

                Wednesday, May 11, 2011

                Techniques From Closed Guard

                I missed the "advanced" bjj class on Monday due to work, so I went to the later "beginner's" class. It was actually a very enlightening class because I didn't get crashed by blue belts the whole time and got to work on some techniques I have been wanting to try. The beginner's class worked on the following techniques from the closed guard:
                1. Pendulum Sweep
                2. Pendulum Sweep attempt to arm bar

                Some observations:
                1. I often take people's back but have a really tough time finishing them. Especially with guys larger and stronger than me. Their defense is to grab onto my arm and pull down preventing me from finishing the rear-naked choke or the gi choke from the back. Any suggestions would be great!
                2. I'm not exactly the strongest or heaviest guy, but I need to learn how to apply my weight and pressure my opponents better.
                3. I need to work on my d'arce chokes.
                Till next time... ;)

                Monday, May 2, 2011

                Back From Europe

                So I'm back from Europe and just trying to get back into competitive shape. Today we learned another hip throw and how to escape from a high mount. The one we learned was feet to opponent's armpit then roll them to the side. Which is almost like the 3 high mount that is shown in this video (but the video shows ending up on the opponent's back):

                Friday, April 8, 2011

                De La Riva Guard

                Lately we have been working techniques from the De La Riva Guard.

                The techniques taught in class were:
                1) De La Riva Sweep by rolling onto "outside" shoulder and passing your leg through opponent's legs then rolling him by using your momentum.

                2) De La Riva Sweep by trapping opponent's arm between their legs and then rolling under them:

                3) De La Riva to leg hug to takedown.

                Tuesday, January 18, 2011

                3rd Stripe White Belt

                Dinah, Jim, and Nam got me this gi for my birthday, they also got Super Soap and a skin protecting foam that I never really used. I wanted a dark color gi because it wouldn't look so dirty.