Wednesday, 21 January 2009


A good day for Obama, a good day for me.

But ill start at the beginning.

Me, Andy and Mike were in early and decided to do some sweating. So Andy devised this killer routine.

3 rounds (2 min break in between rounds) of:

1 minute of each exercise continuously:
  • Pull ups

  • Box jumps

  • Squats

  • 20kg kettlebell swings

  • 60kg dead lifts

  • Sit ups

  • 40kg clean and press

  • Olympic ring press ups

I wanted to give up and do some yoga after the 2nd round but the guys motivated me and kept me going, glad I did.
Beginners lesson covered some good stuff. Single leg pick up and take down, basic armbar, standing pass and control to side mount. Americana. Main difference with the standing pass is that we didnt go one leg up at a time but braced our arms on there body and hopped up in one motion. I liked this as it used up less energy and got me standing much faster, leaving me less open for a sweep. Getting armbared is a slight concern but will have to try it out and see.

Second Lesson.

Before it started Brian jumped me and we rolled. He got on top early and I just went into survival mode, got to his back but didnt control his shoulder and get the hooks in properly before getting rolled over. A very tiring and not great looking 5 mins, although nearly got an Americana from underneath side control.

Same stand and pass but with alot more detail on keeping really tight pressure and making sure they dont put you in guard. Key to this was always to have their hipped blocked by either your hand or your knee, the knee being more ideal. When in side dont just rest on your knee's, try and keep as few points of contact on the ground as possible to increase your weight on them. Then in side dont just look down but try and move your head so you are looking up, this rolls your chest forward and increases the pressure dramatically. On a 85kg guy it felt like he added another 15kg on easy.

I cant find the hopping up pass but heres the conventional standing pass:

The guy in the vid makes the mistake of bringing up his knee to block the hip but without a hand already blocking the hip, so there is room for for the bottom guy to put guard back.

We then went onto positional sparring starting from side control, then mount. Both went well on top and underneath. Few tiny mistakes where I let people wrap my arm around my neck, no sub but very annoying. Some new Mauricio trick they have learnt. After getting bucked off mightily by Adrian (big strong guy) I decided a different tactic for my next go on him. I crushed him down and curled him up by pushing his knee's in the direction of his head so has to limit his explosiveness using his back. I then slid into mount, woop!.

Underneath mount I went with my usual wiley tactics, getting there foot and then getting half guard and then full guard.

We then did some torture sparring on 3 guys going to the euro's, where we would spar judo style leaving them on even if we won. So they would have to fight around 10 fresh partners in a row. Some very nice throws came through. The brand new kid whose done some judo did a great classical judo trip (cant remember the name of), where he lent the guy into it and caught him off balance. I decided to go for my lumber jack throw (named myself as I dont know the real term). Essentially its a single leg trip. I went for a double leg and he sprawled but I got deep grips. I then stood up, hugged him and curled my left foot around the back of his right calf. I the just put all my dead weight forward and unable to balance he falls back. I landed in his guard. I call it the lumberjack because you essentially just fall down like a tree, standing almost completely straight.

Pro's of the lumberjack:

  • VERY high percentage

  • Easy and uses little strength

  • Quite likely to land in guard or half guard

  • All to likely you will get a mega knee in the balls

  • Will not impress the ladies

Normal sparring went well I went against 2 very heavy guys, both decent as well. One guy who was particularly big I didnt know, a student from Carlsons I believe. He grip fought well and didnt give me much. He passed and controlled but I never gave him anything and got guard back, trying a few things I eventually hit paydirt with a pendulum sweep and went straight into mount before the timer went. One of the biggest guys Ive landed that sweep on, probably around a 20-30kg difference.

Had another match with Brian who controlled me well and gave me no openings, although I got half guard a few times. Wrapped my arm around my neck which was very claustrophobic. But my private lesson survival drill really was paying dividends today.

Next guy is another heavy guy who ive been having trouble with as I can barely close my guard on him. We worked his guard abit before I scramble ended us in my guard. He threw on another of his patent ezekials from inside guard, normally always a foolish mood but this one guy has some magic attributes that stop me from armbarring him. Lights were going dim, going out, Im operating on mobile phone light and he STOPS thinking he isnt getting it. I tell him to put it back on, Im staying calm and I get control of his elbow and get rid of his leverage. I defend his passes and go for a figure four armbar. He is wary but Its a real threat and he rolls. I transfer his arm from my hip (which is the fulcrum) to my inside leg, so as he rolls the pressure remains constant as my leg moves with him and he taps as soon as he stops rolling.

So didnt get subbed today and even when dominated managed to reduce their options and either escape, sweep or get to safety.

Andy lets people know Im going away for 6 weeks to volunteer in Zambia at an orphanage (Im leaving in 4 hours!). He then calls me up and awards me MY BLUE BELT!

Man I was in shock, still hasnt full sunk in. So incredibly happy about it, took alot to get here. It makes me the first blue belt for our club as well which feels even better. In 2 weeks Andy was having a promotion day but since I was gonna miss it he was awesome enough to give it to me now. So will definitely be a few more blues when I get back, so the target wont be as massive on my back. Thanks Andy and thank you everyone at the club, everyone who kicked my ass for the last year and abit taught me how to lose, so that eventually I could win. But now I really gotta work so I can start doing well at this level. The longer I train the more I realise that the amount I need to learn is always getting bigger not smaller. But Ive got the tools to do it and to get to the next step. For the new guys and everyone looking to get their blue, never be afraid of failure. Dont avoid the big guys or the people who you know will beat you, its in overcoming adversity where you will really shine. Its all to often I see that people are their own worst enemy. So its important to relax and have FUN! :D

I am going to try and get some updates about my trip up while Im out there so hopefully wont be long till you hear from me again. Andy has given me support in teaching some jiu jitsu while Im out there, which Im excited about. So should be some interesting updates!


slideyfoot said...

Congrats on the blue! All that competing clearly paid off. :D

Good luck in Zambia helping the kiddies.

Anonymous said...

Well done getting your Blue belt, having read this read from start to finish you defo deserve it.
Bigstu from AV Forums

patrick said...

Congrats!! Yeah...!

Blue looks good on you!