Sunday, December 9, 2012

Seminar with AJ Agazarm at Gracie Barra Mission Viejo

Wayne and I went to an AJ Agazarm seminar at Gracie Barra Mission Viejo. Here are his notes:
  • Defense to single leg-over hook (half wizer and wrist control. 
  • Loop choke from sprawl-feed cross collar, weave wizer hand to back of head, tuck head roll to superman.
  • Single leg takedown- wrist control, step if needed to shoot for front leg clamp leg with knees, foot sweep.
  • Sweet spot, step over back leg bend over leg clamp leg with chest, flare knee to feed collar to hand pop up, drive forward
  • sweet spot-guy kicks out leg break down pull back up, Thai clench drive forward.
  • Open guard pass-grab belt with same side arm with knee in middle, grab knee from underside switch to top grip, kick trap leg out go into side control, grab back neck lapel after letting go of knee.
  • Baseball bat-elbow pressure, trap arm on ground windshield wiper it to keep trapped and choke.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

3rd Stripe Blue

Just went back to class after about a month off due to my right AC joint/shoulder injury. It was awesome to see Jay back training too. My shoulder is a tiny bit sore after training but it feels great to roll again. Totally forgot to take a promotion picture with Dominic but oh well... I'm not really a photogenic person so I just took a picture of my belt instead! ;)

PS. I need to work on preventing guard passes, it was easily passed several times tonight.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sprained Right A-C Joint

My right shoulder was really hurting and I had my chiropractor check it out. He says that I have a sprained Right A-C Joint, with possibility of fracture (need to rule out with x-ray). However, he doesn't believe that it's a fracture therefore x-ray was not done, and that I should let the shoulder heal for about 3 weeks before continuing BJJ.

I'm pretty disappointed because I know anytime I take time off the mats my BJJ starts to suffer. I'm also frustrated knowing that I can't train for so long.

I'm looking for any advice, suggestions, or strategies to help me maintain if not improve my BJJ while having an injured shoulder?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tips from Alby

  • If you cross your legs wrong in half guard, you can get kneebar-ed. If the outside leg is straight, your opponent can grab it roll over and finish with a kneebar. Therefore, you have to prevent your outside leg from being straight and tuck the ankle into the other leg.
  • Triangles are everywhere. He got me in the inverted triangle twice!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More small tips

Put your forearm on your thigh to prevent your opponent's leg from touching your hip, if their leg can touch your hip then they're closer to retaining guard.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Advice from Alex

Don't waste energy defending (being passive), keep attacking, it's the same amount of energy but it keeps your opponent's weight off you.

For the leg that needs to shoot up for a triangle, PIN IT DOWN! Overhook like Sam showed and pin the leg down so your opponent doesn't kick it up for the triangle.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Passing Concepts

General De La Riva Guard Passing Concepts:
  1. Unlock opponent's DLR leg hook.
  2. Free ankle from opponent's.
  3. Control opponent's legs to pass.
Standing DLR Pass (Starting grips = opponent's lapel and opponent's pants leg. Make sure for the lapel grip, your elbow is on top of your knee): 
  1. Unlock opponent's DLR leg hook.
  2. Pass opponent's pushing leg through and in between your leg.
  3. Kick out your leg from opponent's ankle hook.
  4. Kick out and pass your leg while maintaining control of opponent's pants leg into knee on belly.
Kneeling DLR Pass (Starting grips are the same as the Standing Pass):
  1. Unlock opponent's DLR leg hook.
  2. Kneel down to unhook your opponent's ankle hook.
  3. Stand and kick out and pass your leg while maintaining control of opponent's pants leg into knee on belly. *NOTE* When passing here, the lapel grip changes into a fist pressure to prevent your opponent from moving.
(Sam's) Smash DLR Pass(Starting grips are the same as the Standing Pass):
  1. Unlock opponent's DLR leg hook.
  2. Pass opponent's pushing leg through and then smash down on it, overhooking the passing with a pants grip, while underhooking the opposite leg.
  3. When ready control the pants grip and hop over.
General Spider Guard Passing:
  1. Tuck your elbows to your stomach.
 Side Control Spider Guard Pass:
  1. Tuck your elbows to your stomach.
  2. Under grip the pants legs (maintain high posture).
  3. Obtain a sleeve grip (this will dictate the passing side).
  4. Under grip the pants leg o the sleeve grip side.
  5. Step to side of the passing hips.
  6. Yank and stretch out opponent into knee on belly.
Step Over Spider Guard Pass:
  1. Tuck your elbows to your stomach.
  2. Under grip the pants legs (maintain high posture).
  3. Hip into your opponent and sit on their hips.
  4. Step over your opponent and now you will be laying on their hips.
  5. Underhook opponent's arm (to prevent them from taking their back).
  6. Then pressure and pass into side.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Coping With The New Schedule Change

My school changed its schedule after Labor Day, which forced me to change my life schedule. Now I'm trying to make it to work earlier to so I can get out earlier. As of right now I'm attending the advance classes Tues/Thursday at 6pm.

Last Thursday, Justin went over some sweeps from De La Riva:
  • De La Riva with a far side grip on the sleeve. Rock your opponent over, smash the knee, and go parallel while twisting their body. Slowly slide your leg to obtain mount.
  • De La Riva with close side grip. Roll on your shoulder and loop your leg through their legs, then use your momentum to swing your leg over their arm and your leg goes behind their leg, lastly kick and take their back.
Sweeps from Situp Guard:
  • Situp and grab a single leg while gripping the close side sleeve. Grab a lapel and rock your opponent over. Maintain control.
  • Situp and grab a single leg while gripping the close side sleeve. If your opponent posts, swing under almost like deep half and roll them.
Luis helped me with the Berimbolo. I didn't know what exactly to do after rolling the shoulder. Luis says it's key that I grab their belt and after rolling over my shoulder I have to pass their leg to take their back. However, if they fall I can get up and turn that into a sweep.

Yesterday, Dominic showed us some Torreando (bullfighter) style passes:
  • Basic style is to grab their pant legs, smash them down, and then pass.
  • More advanced is grab their pant legs, throw them to the side, as you take a couple steps. But make sure to stabilize with your other leg (height of opponent's shoulder).
  • X-pass: Starts with a pants leg and lapel grip. Throw one of their legs through and pendulum your leg and pass. NOTE: your opponent can not be holding onto your ankle. Your arms will end up as an X.
Interesting practice was guard defensive without hands. I need to practice this more.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


  • Work on getting better grips and stronger wrists.
  • When mounted, consider the Americana instead of the front choke.
  • Remember Dominic's back defensives, the key concept is to turn facing the opponent's knees. Well, this might depend on their grips, because they could take your back(?)
Steve thinks my BJJ is fine and cannot discredit it. I think he also thinks I'm "quiet" and states keep coming to class.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

De La Riva Pass

Kurt Osiander shows a De La Riva pass. Notice the pointing of the toes and the grip on the pants leg.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have heard of and seen the Berimbolo many times online before. It starts out from de la Riva to back take and usually it's one of the Mendes Brothers pulling it off in competition. However, today was the first day a classmate pulled it off on me and now I want to know how to do it and how to defend it.

Video teaching the Berimbolo:
Video teaching the defensive to the Berimbolo:
This counter is sick because you can take their back!

Another counter video:
This one gives you side control.

I guess to learn how to prevent my opponent from Berimbolo-ing me, I have to learn how to defend against de la Riva guard. Hmmm...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kurt Osiander's Move of the Week - Deep Half-Guard Defense

I always wondered about the defense against the deep half guard. Justin told me to play heavy top, especially on the knee by the head, watch out for your leg sticking out, and attack their arm, but that's when they already have deep half. Kurt shows how to prevent the deep half and turn it into an attack, very sick stuff.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I had a great roll with Justin this Sunday before Memorial Day. Justin taught the Sunday class in which he showed many arm bars and variations resulting from an arm bar setup.
  • Justin's advice to me after rolling is don't flare out my knee to much when I open guard.
  • When someone stacks my triangle, try to finish with a collar choke. This works for when someone does a double leg stack pass too.
  • When working a trip, bait them with a tap to their front foot fist, when they step back sweep/trip the front leg. (Sam)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dominic is back teaching

Professor Dominic is back teaching because Professor Steve is away on vacationing in China. Dominic has been teaching half-guard techniques for the last 2 weeks. He says that the half-guard techniques will continue for several weeks. So far the focus of the techniques are from the bottom of half.

Techniques that we learned are:
  1. Leg lift to regain full-guard.
  2. Leg lift to opposite site to the back.
  3. Frame and shrimp out to pummel under your opponent's armpit, then underhook their ankle and pass it to your arm that is pummelled under their arm around their butt, once the other hand is holding their ankle, drive into their body to sweep them (hook their knee if needed).
  4. Frame and shrimp out to pummel under your opponent's armpit, now instead of passing their ankle to your other hand behind their butt, pass their gi skirt or belt (this is referred to as diaper grip), and finish the same as the sweep with their ankle.
  5. Frame and shrimp out to pummel under your opponent's armpit, if your opponent wizards your arm, try to grab their pants at the knee or you can underhook the knee and sweep them backwards over their trapped arm.

Some things I learned from wrestling:

  1. The side you sit out to is the side that your opponent is applying the less amount of weight too.
  2. Single leg defence = wizard your arm in between their arms to grab your own leg, make sure to apply shoulder pressure, push their temple away. try Now try to pull your leg out or you can roll them.
  3. When I shoot for the sweep single, I should go for their left leg.

Monday, May 14, 2012

[Updated] The World Jiu Jitsu Expo Sucked!

Alby, Luis, and I headed to the first ever World Jiu Jitsu Expo and spent the whole day in Long Beach. We drove up in the morning and got there around 11am. Alby and I ran out of things to do at the expo around 2pm. We ended up grabbing Luis to headed across the street from the Long Beach Convention Center to CPK and had some expensive non-fulfilling pizza after a long wait. We dropped off our gear in Alby's truck before we headed back to the expo to wait for the super fights. The audience setup for the super fights was pretty whack! And after all that, Nick Diaz doesn't show up but there seemed to be some kind of controversy about Braulio Estima not making weight. The rumors flying around also hint at the promoters being shady with the donation. I think Nick got screwed in this one but didn't express himself well.

More detailed Reddit Post: The World Jiu Jitsu Expo was not a good experience, probably would not go to another for a very long time.

First ever World Jiu Jitsu Expo (2012)

There was available space, the seminar mat could have been a lot bigger.
Me with Renzo!
The tournament mat!

Us with Andre Galvao
With Roberto 'Cyborg'

and more vendors...
Kyra Gracie's butt
Jeff Glover is a pretty goofy person
Jeff Glover warming up on our side of the mat
People sneaking onto the mat

[Update] Cesar Gracie's official statement regarding Nick not showing up.
[Update] Braulio Estima's response to Cesar.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Visited Gracie Barra Encinitas

Last Saturday, Wayne and I headed to GB Encinitas for a charity seminar. The charity was for a young girl named Jacklyn who is having her lip surgically repaired by GB Encinitas student. I was feeling pretty lazy when Alby cancelled and Wayne wanted to meet there instead of carpooling. Luckily, Wayne changed his mind and we met up and carpooled, good thing too because the E-light for my gas tank came on.

The seminar started off with about 4 black belts each teaching a technique. A lot of people showed up for the seminar. I'm thinking at least 50 people because the mat was packed! There wasn't much room at all to do some of the techniques, especially the ones involving takedowns and rolls.

  1. Standing opponent headlocking you from the back.
  2. Knee slide on turtled opponent's back to roll, then finish with an armbar. I like this one, the setup involves an underhook cross-collar grip
  3. Opponent headlocking you bent forward. (Dominic's)
  4. Rolling an opponent when they are in top and you are turtle to side control.
After technique, we did pass the guard "King of the Hill" and it started with the black belt's guards. So there were about 7 black belts down and ~50 students waiting in line to pass their guard. It started off slow because we lined up in ranked order so the brown and purple belts were up first. They were more slow and technical. After sometime, as expected, it got faster and faster because belt and white belts were much easier for the black belts.

I was in there 3 times and each time with a black belt. Those guys capitalize on every mistake. The first one I was going to try a stack pass, but he threw up a triangle. I was able to defend it to just end up back in his guard. Eventually, he opened his guard and I was trying to do a knee slicer pass, but then he kicked my legged and took my back. This was the most memorable attempt. My 2 other failed attempts: another back take and ended up in turtle position.

After 3 failed attempts at passing a black belt's guard, I called it quits and talked to Dominic off the mats for a little bit. He said he was teaching Tues/Thursday classes now. After that Wayne and I walked around the facilities before leaving.

Their facility is huge! There's a boxing and workout gym downstairs! Raquetball and basketball courts down the hall. Passed what it seemed like another private gym, there was a fusion yoga class. It was like a physical workout Mecca!

The large Gracie Barra Encinitas mat.

The large dedicated boxing facility downstairs from the GB mat.

The workout area also downstairs from the GB mat.

Monday, May 7, 2012

2nd stripe on my Blue!

Steve Gable awarded me with my 2nd stripe on my blue belt today! Good to know I'm heading in the right direction. ;)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Wrestling - Hands

Setting up Takedowns:
  1. Noah uses the head press, but don't fully extend their arm, instead use more of the Praying Mantis arm.
  2. Coach Mike uses more like an eye poke distraction. His hand comes from the bottom up and when the opponent blinks (can't see), shoot!
  1. Your arms: 1 in, 1 out = high crotch (put opponent's hand in your pocket) to the side that your arm is out.
  2. Your arms: both in = high level (spin) single
  3. Your arms: slap your opponent's hands DOWN and out of the way to shoot for a double leg.
Coach Mike noticed that I did a good job of getting a single leg but I let go to try to get a double. He says I should have kept the single and took the opponent down by either stepping back and lowering down or shoot for the double. However, if I plan to shoot for the double leg, I need to push my opponent, then pull, then shoot!

Opponent is sprawled on you:
  1. Your opponent has one under-hook = whichever side they are under-hooking is the side you want to sit out to.
  2. Your opponent has two under-hook = you want to get out by shooting back outwards, standing up, or etc.
 For when your opponent has a single on you:
  1. You should wizard their arm and push their head away from you to get your leg back.
  2. Push their head to the outside of your leg and look for the guillotine.
  3. ?
A tip from Brain L. about wrestling and takedowns in general: have your hips under your opponent. This makes your opponent more light and gives you more leverage.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Things on my Mind

I took last week (Mon/Weds) off from BJJ last week. Funny thing is a few people got promoted and it makes me feel like I am being left behind. I feel like I'm in this slump with BJJ, especially after rolling with Professor Steve and getting half-guard swept twice, which he then yelled at me for making the same mistake twice. It has made me started thinking, what am I doing with this art? I'm a 30 year old, 5' 6", and 160 lbs software engineer and I have yet to answer myself. My heart is not into anything much lately: bjj, work, working out... I'm starting to wonder if my job is taking the passion out of me.

I also don't want to get a promotion (another stripe) until I deserve it. I tell myself I need to work harder, but the harder I work, the more frustrated I feel when I roll poorly.

I just have to keep telling myself that the journey of BJJ is like the journey of life, and I must not let it end so easily.

I hope this week off makes me hunger for BJJ again (hasn't yet) because I want to compete at the San Diego Grappling X. I figure since it's so close in my neighborhood that I should just go and roll. It will help keep me honest with my skill. Plus, truthfully, until I competed in the last Grappling X, I didn't know how bad my takedowns were and where I needed to improve.  However, the last time I competed, I was hungry.

I need to work on passing guard, especially after I get stuck in half-guard.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Notes to Myself

Dominic was on the mats for a couple weeks in March because Steve was out on travel in Thailand. During his time back Dominic went over some "old school" techniques on not letting your opponent pass your guard by playing a "sitting guard." The idea basically calls for you to have your legs on your opponent's hips to follow them or use your legs to block their legs to prevent them from getting around your legs. You are usually either fully sitting up, on your side with one elbow, or on your side with one arm down. Dominic also went over a loop chock and front chock from the sitting guard; both can transition to and from each other. Another possibility is to have a collar grip which can set up a collar pull to take someone's back. One of my major flaws when I play sitting guard is that I don't hip escape and schoot my hips away from my opponents enough.

I also went and watched the 2012 Pan Ams. The event was located at UC Irvine and was huge. I went on Saturday and watched the Open Weight Black Belts compete, but honestly it was really hard to see from the stands. I couldn't make out who was whom and what happened. Next time, if I'm not competing or going with a bunch of BJJ buddies, I'll probably just order it onlines from BudoVideos because admission was $15/person and that's not including gas or driving time.

When Steve came back, he taught us a concept about connections and how staying connected to your opponent is very important. For example, you have to lock your shoulder and arms in place when smashing their legs to pass, or even locking your shoulder/arm in place to prevent someone from passing guard.

One new concept I learned was about pushing your opponent's head to the side they are trying to pass. Let's say for example, you are on bottom and the person is on top in half-guard. The side they are trying to pass will be the side you want to push their head to, this makes it difficult to pass. It's like when Mark was telling me to push Sam's head to the opposite side when I wanted to get out of his half-guard.

I also had the chance to roll with Steve again. It's been a long time since I rolled with him, but he caught me in a half-guard sweep twice and then arm-barred me... twice! The second time he half-guard swept me, he was disappointed and yelled: "Come on man! You let the same thing happen again." I was disappointed too and asked him what was my mistake. My mistake was that I was trying to smash his legs by turning my hip in... onto his legs. This made me face the direction he was facing and made me very light. Steve says I should turn my hip from the other side (left) in to smash his lower leg and be facing him. This way I have more pressure and feel heavy.

One thing I have to note is that the deep half guard sweep Justin taught me works really well. Especially, on guys who are not too heavy and aren't used to playing the deep half guard game from the top.

I need to toughed up. Not only in BJJ, but wrestling, and maybe consider taking Muay Thai again. I need that grit, passionate, toughness of a fighter, but at the same time, I wonder if this grit of a fighter will make me more impatient and mad more easily. I don't know, but I have to find that balance that makes me a better fighter so that I can earn respect.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Went to no-gi class and ended up learning wrestling.

Steve showed us how to do a tight Americana and Karma from Side Control.

3 Takedowns
1) High-crotch grab (inner arm, head outside of opponent's hip), (opponent sprawls) you switch to other arm grab, then 45 degree leg takedown.
2) High-crotch grab (opponent sprawls, your head in between opponent's legs), while in turtle position move your knees to under their hip, then go through the back door.
3) High-crotch grab (inner arm, head outside of opponent's hip), (opponent doesn't sprawl) just re-shoot for a double.

D'arce escape - sit out (away from locking arm). *hint* Move your elbow to create space.


Rolling with their arm.

With arm across their body grib:
1) Standing- stick opposite arm through their legs and try to put your head between their leg and roll them.
2) From behind - same except not standing, head needs to be tucked for a better roll.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Things To Think About

  • How to defend against Luis' deep half guard? Everything I get on top, he grabs deep half and sweeps me.
  • How to maintain a better side control? Some people when I have in side control and shrimp out really easily. What do I need to improve my control over them? Better pressure? Control the head? Knee to butt?
  • I need to improve on my single leg takedowns. I usually can grab a single leg, but I can't seem to get them down. Maybe I need to improve my lower back muscle?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Open Guard Sweeps From Last Week

  1. Tripod Sweep
  2. Waiter Sweep
  3. Omoplata Sweep
* A key tip from Terence is to completely clear the legs when passing guard. Having your lower half left in can get you swept.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    Omoplata Sweep

    The key component that I'm missing to this sweep is that I have to shoot my hips up!

    Here are some variations and finishes to this sweep.

    Reverse Omoplata Sweep:

    Omoplata Sweep to Straight Arm-bar:

    Why Not To Cross Your Hooks When You Have Back Control

    Skip to 1:30 for the submission.

    Puxada Pro Armbar

    From Caio Terra's, "Modern Jiu-Jitsu".

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    Smash Pass

    Alex showed a Smash Pass from Half Guard he learned from training at Marcelo Garcia's school.
    1. From Half Guard (top), underhook your opponent's far arm.
    2. Overhook their near arm and keep your head/shoulders tight to theirs.
    3. Sprawl out on their bottom leg and slowly pass.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012

    Blocked Americana to Alternate Shoulder Lock

    Learned from Steve in no-gi:
    1. Go for Americana from side control
    2. Opponent blocks Americana by sticking their head through to block
    3. Change your grips:
      1. the hand that was gripping your own wrist grips their wrist
      2. the hand that was gripping their wrist changes to cap their armpit
    4. Change your base by turning into your opponent
    5. Pull up on the neck and down on opponent's wrist