Sunday, April 20, 2014

Vai #$@#$ Cavalo

And to Speake of the Volume of Bullshite that was Spoken Against Fabricio Werdum in the Days before his Dominating Victory over Travis Browne ... and After ...


Sunday, April 13, 2014

JT v DJ at the NY Open 2014

It's hard not to see this match through the lens of their shared tenure - one since abandoned if not renounced, one still very much alive and well - as part of Team Lloyd Irvin. However you choose to look at it, it is a quality contest between two of America's most engaged jiu-jitsu competitors.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Training Day: Monday

Ground: Countering choke grip from closed guard with pressure and slide pass / Pressure pass to Knee Cross or Pass to Mount after half guard pass counter

Specific Training: Closed guard with choke grip- Pass closed guard

Live Training: 8 minutes (Coach Pat); 15 minutes (Professor Rodrigo)

Scale: 169.4

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sound and Vision: Livestreaming the American Cup

Spent much of Sunday watching the 7th America's Cup sponsored by Team Claudio Franca and BJJ Tour. Held in San Jose, the event draws from all of California as well as parts of the Mountain, Desert, and Pacific North west.

I've been training long enough to remember when being able to see a jiu-jitsu tournament streamed live over the Internet happened only in the fevered dreams of the most forward-thinking grappling fans. My how times have changed for the good.

The feed courtesy of Ghosthand Productions and Livestream was great. There were some rumors of problems on Saturday, but my watching of the blue and black belts on Sunday was pretty flawless. I was treated to some excellent jiu-jitsu from guys like Nathan Mendelson and Samir Chante, as well as a couple of other very talented guys I hadn't heard of like Marcel Fortuna (Ralph Gracie) and Osvaldo Moizinho (Caio Terra), a middleweight who won his division and the open - against superheavyweight Fortuna!

For West Coast jiu-jitsu and grappling competitors, there are two dates worth keeping in mind: the All-Star Tournament in late June, and the U.S. Open in late October. Both in Santa Cruz.

If you are thinking about attending, double check their registration dates. The website currently has the same early/discount pricing deadlines (in March) for both the All-Star and the U.S. Open. My guess is that they are left over from the America's Cup this past weekend, and just haven't been updated.

Results from this weekend are here.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

GB Kirkland One Year Anniversary Party

Ain't no party like a Gracie Barra One Year Anniversary Party 'cause a Gracie Barra One Year Anniverary Party don't ... oh, you know the rest!


More photos available here. Congratulations to Professor Cindy, Coach Pat, Coach Dave, and Coach Davrick on a strong finish to their first year at the helm of Gracie Barra Kirkland.

Friday, April 04, 2014

TGIF Training: Xande Sweeps and Back Takes


(instruction)

Self-Defense/Standing:
Double Leg drill / Morote Seionage drill

Ground:
Armbar from mount drill / Armbar from guard drill / Xande sweep / Taking the back from closed guard

Live Training:
Five minutes

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Training Day: Tuesday

Ground: Straight ankle lock to leg drag / Straight ankle lock with hook to leg drag / Straight ankle lock with hook to leg drag to berimbolo / Straight ankle lock with hook to calf kick counter to Terere pass / Berimbolo from double guard pull / Berimbolo counter to leg drag

Live Training: 8 minutes

Scale: 168.0

Monday, March 31, 2014

Training Day: Monday

Standing/Self-Defense: Pull guard from standing / Pull guard from standing - tripod sweep

Ground: Back take from closed guard with arm drag

Live Training: Study hall with Robert: Bravo half guard Old School Twist Back, Xande closed guard sweep, scissors sweep

Scale: 169.2

Friday, March 28, 2014

Training Day: Friday

Live Drilling: Guard - Pass Guard specific / Half Guard - Pass Half Guard specific / Side control specific / Mount specific / Back control Specific



Live Training: 8 minutes

Scale: 168.0

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

So Many Reasons to See ... Metamoris 3



It's going to be a great Saturday in the PNW this weekend. We've got the Revolution gi competition in the morning. Revolution no gi competition in the afternoon. And Metamoris 3 at night.

Metamoris 3 matchups:
Eddie Bravo v. Royler Gracie
Rafa Mendes v. Clark Gracie
Keenan Cornelius v. Vinny Malgalhaes
Dean Lister v. Renato "Babalu" Sobral
Gui Mendes v. Samir Chantre
Zak Maxwell v. Sean Roberts

Training Day: Wednesday

Live Training: Closed guard - pass guard specific / Half-guard reverse - pass guard specific / Situational Start Sparring: side control

Scale: 169.4

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Conditioning Day: LSD = Truth


fifty-two minutes / moderate pace / 3% grade

Monday, March 24, 2014

Training Day: Monday

Ground: Armbar counter to scarf hold / Two collars choke / Take the back from turtle

Live Training: 5 minutes

Scale: 171.2

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MMA Submission Hero of the Week: Marcin Held

With the declining rate of submissions in mixed martial arts - and in the spirit of Rafael Lovato Jr.'s Save Jiu-Jitsu campaign - I thought it might be a good idea to start giving a little extra jiu-jitsu love for those guys and gals who are getting it done "the gentle way" in the cage and ring.

The inaugural MMA Submission Hero of the Week Award goes to Marcin Held for his first-round toehold victory over Rodrgio Cavalheiro in the quarterfinals of Bellator's Lightweight tournament Friday night.

Video of the contest is here (until it's not).

A little background on Marcin:

The Prodigy of Polish BJJ and MMA - BJJ Eastern Europe

Bellator 81 Judo Chop: Marcin Held and the Lost Art of the Toe Hold - An analysis of Marcin's leglock game from Bloody Elbow

Friday, March 21, 2014

On Saving Sport Jiu-Jitsu from Itself

There's a lot to like in Rafael Lovato Jr.'s must-hear critique of contemporary jiu-jitsu. The idea that the decline of sport jiu-jitsu coincides with the move of the World championships from Brazil to the United States is just one of the more interesting and provocative points Lovato makes. It really is a manifesto worth listening to in its entirety.

If I differ with Rafael in any meaningful way it's that the changes he rightly seeks won't come about by way of a change in mindset. There are rewards for the kind of jiu-jitsu neither one of us can stand, and until those rewards and incentives are removed or mitigated, the jiu-jitsu we both loathe is likely to endure.

This is why submission only tournaments are important and should spread. This is why Kron Gracie's critique of grip fighting in jiu-jitsu is so illuminating. You want to see some exciting gi jiu-jitsu? Add submission-only rules and stalling penalties for gi grips held for longer than it takes to tie your belt.

TGIF Training: Counters to Rear Mount


(instruction)

Self-Defense/Standing:
Double Leg drill

Ground:
Armbar from mount
Scoot Counter to Rear Mount (no grips)
Bridge Escape from Rear Mount (grips)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Training Day: Wednesday

Ground: Armbar counter vs scarf hold / Recover guard from turtle / Back control escape to closed guard

Live Drilling: Scarf hold - escape specific / Back control - escape specific

Scale: 167.8

Post-Training HICT: 25 technical lifts / 50 hipscapes

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Conditioning Day: HICT


box steps / two sets / 10 minutes / 8 minutes 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Training Day: Monday

(instruction)

Live Drilling: Double leg / Armbar from Mount / Choke - Mount Bridge Escape - HipBump Sweep circuit /  Armbar from Guard

Ground: Back Mount Escape (no grips) / Back Mount Escape (with grips)

Live Training: 5 minutes

Scale: 169.8

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Should Closing Out a Division Be a Double DQ?

One of the great innovations of the IBJJF Pan 2014 tournament was a double disqualification in the men's master light feather finals that sent rivals for first and second packing for the bronze, and boosted the Pair Formerly Known As Third Place Winners into a contest for gold and silver.

The most appropriate, if not accurate, point about the double DQ suggested that the two players, both in guard (of course) were essentially "daring" the referee to call repeated stalling penalties. The referee more than met the challenge, handing out double stalling penalty after double stalling penalty against the would-be leg wrestlers until eventually calling both "competitors" to their feet to administer the disqualifications.

And while this was not the first double DQ for stalling in a high level competition, the solution, giving the third place finishers the chance to compete for first and second, was novel. And something I'd like to see more of.

The stalling penalty is fundamentally a penalty for refusing to engage. What is a greater refusal to engage than to refuse to even begin the contest when your turn is called? And so much the worse if the contest in question is the most important one of all: the one that decides a champion.

So if two competitors reach the finals and refuse to compete, why not let them eat bronze? They still get their place on the podium, and the hardware for smartphone photos with teammates and fans. But we as fans of sport jiu-jitsu get what every sports fan in every legitimate sport gets - now including Division I college football: a final contest.

Half of the finals in this year's adult male black belt division were division close-outs (I'm generously including the Absolute division, otherwise it would be more than half). Light-feather. Feather. Light. Medium-Heavy. Heavy. All wrapped up without a final match to determine a champion. That is madness.

There are more modest solutions than the one I'm proposing. Teams could be limited to a single entrant per division per school to prevent close-outs. More divisions could be added to give teams better ability to spread their top competitors around (allegedly Atos' Andre Galvao competed at Ultra-Heavy this year for just such a reason).

But radical times call for radical action. And if 5 out of 10 closed out divisions isn't radical, I don't know what is.

While the IBJJF is busy trying to keep black belt riff raff out of the Worlds, the Federation might want to spend a little time figuring out how to ensure a final in at least half of its matches.*

* This does not include the women's divisions which, for a variety of reasons, did not have a single division-close-out. That said, I'm willing to bet that the ladies would give us a final regardless of who was on the other side of the handslap and fistbump.

Tabata: Press and Pull


Thrusters / 20s work 10s rest / 8 cycles
Dead Pulls / 20s work 10s rest / 8 cycles

Friday, March 14, 2014

Training Day: Friday


(instruction)

Live Drilling: Double Leg / Armbar from Mount / Standing Armdrag to back / Choke from Mount - Mount Bridge Reversal - Hip Bump Crossover Sweep

Live Training: 5 minutes

Scale: 166.6


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Training Day: Wednesday

(instruction)

Ground: Bridge Mount Escape / Cross Choke from Mount / Armbar from Mount

Scale: 168.4


Monday, March 10, 2014

IBJJF Brackets Are Up

Props to the IBJJF for continuing to improve the technology that delivers this data to the rest of us.

IBJJF Pan 2014 Brackets


Training Day: Monday

Self-Defense/Standing: Double leg takedown drill / Single leg takedown drill

Live Drilling: Mount/Escape Mount to Specific Training

Scale: 170.6

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Post-Pan BJJ Competition Opportunities in the PNW

Revolution XXIV - March 29
Pacific Lutheran University Olson Auditorium, Tacoma, WA
Registration deadline: March 24






7th Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu American Cup - April 5 and 6
Independence High School, San Jose, CA
Registration deadline: March 31








Sub League Qualifier 1 - April 12
Liberty High School, Hillsboro, OR
Registration deadline: April 7





Chase Performance, Not Fatigue


As I look to emerge from what feels like a partial jiu-jitsu hibernation, Christian Thibaudeau's take on high-frequency training as it relates to bodybuilding seems like good advice for (relatively) high-frequency training as it relates to any high-intensity activity.

And especially jiu-jitsu. Fatigue is the friend of some sort of training, especially when maintaining technical competence is not the priority. But there is often a misplaced fatigue fetish when it comes to training, a syndrome that leads too often to poor but hastily executed technique.

I don't think that gets anybody anywhere. HICT training, resistance training as a secondary goal, 45min+ LSD training ... all of these are worthwhile activities for fatigue-chasing. But if we agree that more training > less training when it comes to skill improvement, then strategies that "activate rather than fatigue" are going to be the more valuable ones over time.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Tabata: Pull


Dumbbell High Pull Snatch / 20s work 10s rest / 8 cycles

Friday, March 07, 2014

Pan Masters: Me and My Imaginary Friends

I call the competitors of the Master 4 division of the IBJJF Pan 2014 tournament "my imaginary friends" not because they don't exist, but because, in terms of the Pan, I don't.

I always like to get the measure of the division I would compete in if I participated in the Pan, something I've never done and probably will never do. It's easily the only opportunity in the world I'd ever have to compete against guys my own size and age. The division includes a couple of pretty active guys: Adimilson Brites, who won the Euro Master 4 lightweight division this year, and Gardner, who came in third at the same event. Also noteworthy is the comeback of Ricardo Guimaraes, who was battling stomach cancer just two years ago.

And I don't mind saying that last note suggests more than a few things, arguably the least important yet most relevant of which being the fact that competing at the Pan - even just once - is probably something I need to do before I'm done.

Being on the road so much with my new Clark Kent/Peter Parker seems to both make it more AND less likely that I'll make the time in March for the event (in between business trips to London in February and San Jose in April). But maybe more important is finding the kind of training time that would make a Pan appearance worthwhile. I'm still struggling to come up with a new training regime more than a year after moving from the Daily Planet to the Daily Bugle.

In any event, I'll be tuning in to the live Pan coverage starting next week, cheering on Professors Carlos and Griff, Coaches Angela and Ed, and teammates Gordon, Phil, and John - along with a host of others. I may even do a little live tweeting or FBing to help friends find friends on the mat, imaginary or not.