Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Farewell To One Of Our Coaches

Lately, I haven't really been training too much because my left hamstring is injured. I also can't believe how long it has lasted and how it affects other parts of my body like my ankle and back. But when I found out that Alex Cone. was leaving San Diego, I had to throw on my gi and be there for his last couple days.

I first met Alex in 2010, when I was a white belt and he was a purple belt. Back in the day he was teaching Sunday classes. Those Sunday classes were the bomb! I remember those days, it would be me, Alex Cone (purple belt), Terence Mooney (purple belt), and Brian Leslie (white belt). I learned so much from those guys in that one day. It was basically my Q&A session of the week, and to clean up anything I didn't understand taught that week or troubleshoot problems I was having. The bonus was back then Alex was teaching some advance moves during those Sundays. I took those secret Sunday moves and used it on guys the following week. I made so much progress as a white belt because of Alex Sundays.

Now I'm a purple belt and Alex is a brown belt. I have learned a lot of my moves from Alex. What I have been learning lately from him are:
  • the mental aspect of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
  • be aggressive during rolls
  • don't be afraid to try new things even if they don't work, just keep trying different things
  • grips! He said my game would be SO MUCH BETTER if I have the right grips
I hope one day in the future to roll with Alex. He'll probably be a black belt next time I see him, maybe I'll be one too.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Purple Belt!

After being choked unconscience, one black eye, a sprain shoulder, numerous knees to the nose and mouth, I am a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. BJJ is a puzzle I'm still working on solving and looking to improve at it day by day: cardio, conditioning, and technique.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Observations From Yesterday's Class

Need to work on improving my guard:
  • Prevent Toreando Pass
  • Prevent Leg Drag Pass
  • Don't butterfly (double leg hook) a standing opponent. They can just hop over it and mount you.
  • Don't be on your back for butterfly guard. Kick your opponent and sit up. Worst comes to worst, retain guard.
Dangling limbs:
  • Even from bottom side. Watch out for the Kimura.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Feed LA Seminar At Gracie Barra Mission Viejo

Wayne, his cousin, and I attended this seminar.

Budo Jake taught techniques from turtle position:
  • Crucifix from top of turtle
  • RNC-crucifix from top of turle
AJ Agazarm taught techniques from half-guard:
  • Tripod to side control from top of half
  • Tripod to reverse side control from top of half
  • Tripod to reverse side control to knee-on-belly to arm-bar (top of half)
Kayron Gracie taught techniques from guard:
  • Breaking the straight arm collar grip to wrapping their arm (key elements include: bending opponent's wrist and using your leg to bring them in for the wrap)
  • Wrapping their arm to triangle
  • Kimura when opponent is defending their arm in the triangle choke. Switch folding legs to alternate triangle, then bridge and frame their defending arm. The bridge makes room for you to sneak in your second arm.
Pic or it didn't happen :P

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More Spider Guard Principles

  • Having a grip and leg extended on your opponent's bicep while they are making their way to side control is still considered Spider Guard. As long as you have that grip and leg extended you have control and they can't pass.
  • Don't extend both legs, that's a mistake. Extend one and pull the other, or even lasso grip. The key is to off balance your opponent, having both leg extended won't off balance your opponent.
  • Work sweeps that Alex taught into my game:
    • Hip under standing opponent.
    • Over hook close leg and under leg hook.
    • Hook your ankle behind their opposite knee.
    • You can sweep towards their close leg and lead to a heal hook.
  • Double legs under one knee up/one knee down opponent.
    • Under hook with your arm and over wrap your leg.
    • Single leg x-guard with other leg.
    • Leg press and push your opponent up and sweep to combat stance.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Spider Guard Principles

Today we focused on Spider Guard. Some key tips include:
  • For playing Spider Guard:
    • Having your foot IN their elbow.
    • Pushing their far arm and pulling their close arm when they shuffle side to side. After which, you then square up to make it hard to pass again.
    • Alby, talks about lifting your hips for mobility.
    • Kicking their hips away when they close the distance.
    • For the leg lasso, keep your elbow down and lock your foot into their armpit.
  • For passing the Spider Guard:
    • Break their grips. Circle break.
    • Get their leg off your biceps. Use BB Eddie's knee to forearm break technique. Bring their legs down as much as needed to use your knee.
    • Get grips on both their pant legs. Drop both their legs down, pressure and then Toreando Pass.
Rolled with Nate and got stuck in half, knees on the mat. Prof. Dominic suggested to kick to the other side, so my butt is on the mat. I don't know what to call this position, but I'm going to call it reverse half guard. Nate suggests that when in postion, apply shoulder pressure, scoot my hips out, and kick out the other leg to use as a post from getting swept. Think of the other leg as a tail, without this leg post there, the opponent can swim their opposite arm into your face/chest and sweep you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Improving My Passing Game

Alex was trying to help me improve my passing game. I showed/reviewed the following two passes:

  1. Margarida Pass - Like the knee slide pass, but grab their lapel and tuck your elbow in and down. You use their gi instead of an underhook.
  2. Smash Pass - Put your head on the passing side. Hip down smashing their leg. Underhook if possible. One of the key components is to control their arm on the passing side, try to pull it off the ground. This is Alex's favorite because once you're smash passing, it's hard to stop. Can't seem to find a video though.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Baseball Bat Choke With Magid Hage

I wrote about getting Baseball Bat Choked from the bottom last week and how cool it was to see Magid Hage pull it off on someone in a big competition. Well... Magid Hage IV stopped by Gracie Barra San Diego to teach a Baseball Bat Choke seminar. It was awesome! Apparently, Prof. Dominic has known Magid for at least 8 years and keeps calling him "Little Magid". Magid is not very little anymore.

He taught us different variations:
  • Starting with both people kneeling.
  • From Half Guard bottom.
  • From Half Guard top:
    • Passing to North South
    • Kicking over to Scorpion
  • From opponent's Closed Guard
I also had the pleasure to roll with Magid during interval training. I got Baseball Bat Choked from everywhere!! Even knowing about the technique after the seminar I couldn't prevent it, his hands are huge, and this grip is deadly!

Of course my eyes are closed! :P

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Baseball Bat Choke From The Bottom!

I wrote about the baseball bat choke from the bottom in my reflections from last week. Now here are two videos of Magid Hage IV from Gracie Barra Escondido pulling it off in the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials. Very cool to see a move you learn last week successfully pulled off in a big competition.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Reflections Of Training This Week

Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 - Advanced Class at GB San Diego

Professor Dominic Parker taught two (own) lapel chokes from side control.

  1. The first choke uses your own lapel closest to your opponent's hip. You cross feed it to the other side of your opponent's neck. The most important part is to pull them close to you to make the choke tight and then you quarter stop to North South and straight your arm while trying to put your shoulder to your opponent's hip.
  2. The second choke uses your own lapel closest to your opponent's neck. You feed it across their throat then you behind. Same as the previous choke, you want to pull them close to make the choke tight. Then you want to use your other hand and grab your own wrist/forearm and then straight the arm gripping the lapel to choke.
Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 - "Super" Class at GB Encinitas

Professor Rafael "Foca" Ramos was disappointed in the "Super" Class turn out, but taught 3 techniques for while your opponent is in Turtle before having internal sparring. I really learned a lot rolling with new guys.
  1. Armbar from top of turtle. The key is to bait your opponent to stick out their arm by tugging them. Then trap the arm using your legs. If their arm is on your far leg, you can hip into their elbow for the armbar.
  2. Omoplata roll your opponent into side control while having their arm trapped. The setup is different from the previous because your opponent's arm will be in your close leg. When your opponent ends up on their side, you must pressure them with your arm across them so they can't get up. To finish, hip out and up. It's basically a Kimura using your leg.
  3. Taking your opponent's back by rolling them back so that you're sitting and trapping their close arm. Then finish with a choke.
Things I learned from internal sparring.
  1. Purple Belt Miles likes to foot lock. I learned that to defend the foot lock you need to grab their lapel and then put on the "boot" by sticking in through their arm so that they're hugging your calf.
  2. Purple Belt Fernando tapped me by a choke from behind.
  3. Black Belt Brian Franklin swept me all over the place.
  4. Blue Belt Jack tapped me 3 times, 2 were from the baseball bat choke from the BOTTOM! I know the choke from the top, but he got me over and over from the bottom with that choke. He says even if you don't finish the choke, you can end up sweep your opponent over. It's a great setup from half because if they pass, the choke tightens itself.

Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013 - Advanced Class at GB San Diego

Prof. Dominic continued the 2 (own) lapel chokes. Someone tapped me using the close to the neck lapel choke. His pressure was so intense even when I saw the lapel choke coming, I couldn't move from his pressure. Dominic also went into maintaining side control.
  1. Don't just maintain control of their upper body but also keep your knee close to your opponent's butt to block their knee from getting back in.
  2. Going to knee on belly when your opponent bench presses you. Use their push to go to knee on belly. The key is to use your foot to block their knee from coming back in by having it close to where their leg meets their hip.
Things learned while rolling:
  1. Almost got an upside down invert triangle. I couldn't finish it. I couldn't see my leg setup or my opponent's arm, but I just couldn't close my leg. I asked Dominic afterwards and he said to pull their arm over next time or pull up with both arms to go to a mounted inverted triangle.
  2. I need to learn how to maintain mount on bigger guys. I need to not give up reverses and sweeps so easily.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Don't Let Someone Use You As Their Stepping Stone

I usually train Tues/Thursday nowadays, but this week I had to switch to Mon/Weds this week because of family dinner tomorrow. Anyway, it was a good training night. I got to roll with Prof. Dominic and he didn't tap me 3 times in a roll like the last time I rolled with him. He also complemented me afterwards by saying something along the lines of, "Good job tonight." I think what happened was slowing down and thinking about what moves I'm making instead of going 110% just because I'm rolling with a black belt. I need more days like this.

I'm currently watching "Benson Henderson: Rising Up" presented by UFC. I thinking about Ben Henderson and how hard he trains because of how hard his mom works. Somewhere in the beginning of the show, he says something like: "I'm not going to let someone use me as their stepping stone, they're mine stepping stone!" I found this very powerful and need to think this more when I roll. I also need to remember Marcelo Garcia's quote about giving 100% instead of just 80%.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Master Nelson Monteiro

Master Nelson Monteiro came and taught the Wednesday's all-levels class at Gracie Barra San Diego. It was the largest class I've seen as I started here. Master Nelson usually teaches at Gracie Barra Encinitas, which I have visited once with Wayne when they had a seminar. At the end of class, we took a group photo. I also couldn't help but take a photo with the legend himself.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013