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.