Wednesday, 29 April 2009
Steve also does a crossfit session so there were plenty of ropes and some sort of strange roof scaffolding for pull up type exercises presumably. Not a huge room but provided easily enough room for the class. Class consisted of almost equal amounts of blue and purples with a smattering of white belts. Also included the first ever female purple belt Ive met. Everyone seemed to be pretty built (crossfit helping no doubt), which indicates to me that they dont mess around with training.
The lesson focused on chokes from the back - more details on that later.
Everyone was pretty cool and chatty, and we got on well. Got to roll with Steve, who played a little bit of catch and release with me whilst slowly killing my soul with pressure from the top. Ended up sparring him a few times which was great, tried some outrageous moves as I was pretty sure I wasnt gonna catch him with anything orthodox. This included trying to cartwheel to his back from kneeling, kicking his knee back to pull him into a loop choke, a crazy judo choke from underneath side control. This normaly resulted in me being punished with knee on belly and taken apart. Fought some of the other purples which was fun, held out abit more but still got caught. Got a compliment from one of the purples of a pass I did against one of the whites, so was chuffed with that (the compliment, not passing the whites guard :P). Caught an elbow at one point and bit my tongue, still not keen on a gumshield though.
All in all a great class, Steve is a really cool guy and these guys train hard. Again I would reccomend this club. I need to find some man drama or this will make for a boring final write up!
You can see that crazy apparatus I was talking about on the ceiling.
Going back to the techniques we drilled, learnt quite abit.
First was the clock choke grip type choke which I knew well.
Next was a choke I had seen in some books but never really learnt it myself:
And 3rd in the series was something Ive never seen or heard of. Talking to Steve afterwards he said it was something he came up with for himself, Im sure others know it as well but I dont think its well known at all.
Same single collar grip as before but it can be very loose (the genius of this sub is in how loose it can be). Open up your right leg and put it to the ground, this will give them room to escape out that side. Its a crafty trap so let them. As they escape come up onto your knee's, keeping the grip and putting your shoulder behind their head. Over hook their left arm and bring it to the ground while you pull down on the collar and raise your shoulder - which raised their head. The choke is tight! and all that extra room in the loose lapel grip is taken up as it wraps around their neck. Cant wait to use it. Devious!
Next stop Carlson Gracie Hammersmith and hopefully somewhere else the same day if I can find one that has a class after.
Monday, 27 April 2009
Friday, 17 April 2009
I arrived early at Butlers gym, a very manly looking gym filled with an everlasting testosterone mist. However I had got the session times wrong and had turned up with only my gi to the end of the gi session, with the no gi session next. Italo and the guys greeted me warmly though and Italo got me sparring right away. Sparring cold is never fun but its a good warm up and the guy was relaxed and wasnt trying to kill me.
I then spar Italo who makes me look foolish, everything I did just seemed wrong and I fell into his traps constantly. But when you dont have a hope of winning, you just let go and enjoy it.
Italo then gets his next class warmed up and gives them some drills to do. I thought he was gonna just give me the gi variations but instead pretty much gave me a private lesson!. First we covered loop chokes, which Ive been wanting to get right for a while now. We also did a variation which broke down their posture and pulled them into the choke, while also setting up a triangle if they escaped or defended. Brillaint.
We did this from a sitting position, think sparring from knee's. You want to be sitting at a slight angle to them. Grip the opposite collar to the gripping hand, around the collar bone. Put one foot (the same side foot as your gripping hand)in their hip, other leg is crossed underneath. Using the collar grip you pull down to break their posture, aiming to pull them into the gap created by sitting at an angle to them. Lift the gripping hand elbow up to the ceiling, so the forearm runs the underside of their jaw. Swim your other hand over the opposite side of their head and dive the hand through the crook of your elbow, so that forearm rests on the back of their neck. Lift your foot (the one that was in their hip) and hook it round the top of their shoulder - this stops them trying to move the other way to get out the choke. Lift your gripping hands elbow further up to finish the choke. If they roll, roll with them into mount you can still finish it.
In the other variation they are simply being stubborn and keeping good posture, the only difference is the setup. Same grip on the collar but other hand holds the sleeve (the one on the same side as the collar your gripping) and the foot that wasnt on their hips goes onto their knee. Then simply pull the sleeve and kick back their knee to completely destroy their posture and pull them into the space.
This choke works from almost anywhere. Recently being seeing Ollie Geddes do it alot from half guard:
Now with handy annotations!!
Talking of Ollie, fellow blogger Seymour (meerkatsu) just interviewed on the fightworks podcast website: Here
Italo then gave his guys some more stuff to work on and then asked if there was anything I wanted to do?. Top halfguard has been on my mind after Brighton, Im just not great at passing it. I end up hunting submissions instead. Italo seemed to know alot about this position though and he went through abit of theory while teaching me 2 passes I didnt know. The first Ive had done to me but never quite got the mechanics down till now. The second is brutally basic and effective.
Damn youtube let me down again, 1st pass:
Get the underhook!. Get a grip on his knee that is up. Put your shoulder to the mat so your pelvis is facing the ceiling. Bring your trapped leg up and walk it towards your opponent so it makes a right angle, this makes it very hard for them to lock it over your knee. With the knee grip slide their locking legs down towards your ankle. Hop over their body and using leverage from your other leg sliiiiide the trapped leg out so you end up in side control. If you dont have the underhook your back will get taken.
Put your hands on their biceps and flatten them out. Put your forehead into their solar plexus. Then bring your hands back and around their legs locking with an S grip underneath their legs. Straighten one leg out, bring the other leg slightly back and then explode backwards to open their legs. Keep their hips and legs pinned, walk your previously trapped leg to the side of your free leg, walk up into side control.
Then just for abit of fun showed me a very cool counter to the basic butterly guard sweep. As they pull you in, swim your hand under to get the underhook and grab their belt. As they start lifting you up in the air, post your other leg out and your forehead onto the mat. Then you do a handstand! hold for a few seconds so their leg drops and then simply slide over into side control.
Me and Italo then had another spar, I immediately tried to jump him with the loop choke which he found funny. He let me put him in more bad positions this time and we had a nice fluid roll, I still got nailed obviously. At one point he gets me with a wrist lock whilst I try push him off while under side control, without using his hands or legs!
Overall I really loved it, learnt some new stuff, met some cool new people, had fun and ticked off another gym. Was also my first roll with a blackbelt.
Tuesday, 14 April 2009
But thought I might as well include some extra stuff.
Watched this 3 part mini doc the other day on the jiu jitsu life style. Little bit cheesy but I found it quite enjoyable and an interesting watch:
On monday my girlfriends cousins popped over for abit of a grapple, brought their own mats and everything. The weather was great so was alot of fun. I got my ass kicked for most of it but I picked up some nice no gi pointers. Helped them with their gi stuff. And generally just had alot of fun. At the moment they train at braulio's but as they have only been training no gi have no rank!. Stephen is currently undefeated (11-0) and is the amateur champion in his division for the combat sports/mma universe organisation. Check his profile at: MMA Universe 10 fights one in the first round! half of them by triangle!. He triangled me.....very quickly. From talking to him it seems he can hang with purple belts (and sub them) nogi, which puts him in the funny situation of being legitimately able to compete at white belt in gi comps but obviously able to compete much higher. If you were in the same position would you just wear the white but insist at fighting at blue/ purple?. Or would this be seen as rude to your club/instructer?
After being taken down about 5 times in a row I got him with a judo outer leg reap, but his fatigue might of been a factor there :P.
His brother wasnt a slouch either, and fighting his brother often seemed to end in tie's. Managed an armbar on him when we put on the gi, but pretty much got sat on otherwise.
Things I took away with me:
Standing throws with whizzer/overhook!
underhooks can really stuff you up from almost every position
getting beaten up for 2 hours is alot less tiring than doing the beating.
Wednesday, 8 April 2009
First thing new I picked up on was a warm up exercise I hadnt seen. Essentially standing up in someones guard and picking them up ten times.
Technique wise we did a normal sprawl drill, a sprawl variation and the triangle. The sprawl variation was interesting.
One arm between you and them against their neck (as normal) and one out. The main difference was in hooking underneath there jaw, sprawling at an angle and driving your shoulder down into the back of their neck. The bonus is the extra head control and ability to completely stuff the shoot. Possible downside is breaking their neck? but definitely works.
Sparring was fun. 1st up was the guy closest to my size (big dudes in this class!), he was cool and relaxed but just made some normal new guy mistakes I capitilised on. Next up was a big blue belt guy, so I stepped it up a notch. Cross collar choke from guard did the business, turns out he hadnt trained in a year and a half!. So felt a lil mean but was still a fun roll, he nailed me with an ezekial choke from top half guard which I really should of defended. One move Ive used a fairbit in the past came in handy. Go for a collar choke from mount, when they try roll you off. Go with them, slide your leg over and a hey presto belly down armbar.
Then had a go with Lawrence (who beat my guy in the final in brighton), kept it light hearted but wanted to avenge my guy. Lawrence had great top control and patience. Went for a omoplata sweep which he countered well, subbed me a few times in the end.
After the lesson we all went for a pint! Ray had some very interesting stories.
Great start to the pilgrimage, hope each stop will be as good. Definitely going to investigate doing some judo with Ray.
Thanks again to Faixa Rua for outfitting me with 2 gi's for the pilgrimage and one massive A5 gi for all the patches.
Monday, 6 April 2009
This comp has really helped me I think. Feel incredibly motivated.