Saturday, August 20, 2005

Picture Day

Surprise, surprise! I stop by the Ballard club for the club photo and end up in a training session with Mamazinho and one of his black belts and the Ballard class. Off the top, I prefer the South Seattle location. Smaller, darker. And Rodrigo does a better job of setting up new techniques with drills to make them easier to remember and practice outside the gym.

It was kind of a whirlwind session. We sorta worked takedowns, judo throws mostly. The technique of the day was a sweep from the guard. It involved using one leg on the hip and hooking the opposite leg with your leg. Then you pulled on the sleeve with one hand (with elbow cocked deep) and hooked the ankle on the same side as the extended leg-in-the-hip. Then you pushed with the extended leg and pulled with the opposite grip, sending him in the direction of the hooked leg and the pull. Roll over with him, keeping the grip tight, and cross your trailing knee over his leg as you get in the full mount position.

I'm going to have to run through this one some more. I didn't especially care for the guy I was working with this time. I'm reeally going to have to rely on myself to break these techniques down as we're learning them, maybe into 1-2-3 step manuevers, to keep them memorable.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

First Day of BJJ

First day of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Was supposed to just be a look-see, but Rodrigo handed me a pair of his fight shorts and my first BJJ class had begun.

It was great. No giggling girls (except for the Brazilian drummer dancers while we were warming up). No kids (except the kids of the Brazilian drummer dancers and, later, the capoeira folks).

MAKE SURE YOU STRETCH!! I did a pretty good job of stretching out--considering I hadn't planned on doing anything but watching! But I need to make EXTRA EXTRA sure that I stretch my calves, hips and hamstrings. Sure, this needs to be a part of a real routine twice a day, anyway. But I can't emphasize it enough.

More later. It's 11:30 p.m. and time for bed.


The technique we learned was a variation on an escape from rear north-south body hold.
1. Shoot one leg to the side you plan to escape.
2. Grab the escape-side leg of the opponent with your opposite hand.
3. Using the leg grip and the shot leg for leverage, quickly shoot your opposite leg underneath to the escape side while simultaneously hooking your escape side elbow sharply into the opponent's body.
4. As you escape, swing your escape leg up and over behind your opponent. Once behind him, put your hands on his knees to keep him in place (otherwise he can do the wrestling drill to escape out of it).

5. Shoot your escape side arm over his shoulder while at the same time shooting your other arm underneath his arm. You should have an escape side over-under grip on his upper body.
6. Jump over and plant your escape side knee at the base of his knee. Using the escape side over-under grip for leverage, roll him toward the escape side (the side of the "over" part of the grip).
7. As you roll, hook your escape side foot in-to-out of his near leg. Hook his other leg out-to-in.
8. If he resists the hooks, you'll get a chance to change the in-to-out hook to a better out-to-in. Keep the over-under grip tight!
9. From here you can attempt chokes and armlocks.

It works because the initial goal of the escape is to get to the back, which is more defensible if the escape is not completely successful. It does require a real shift of momentum to swing your body back over and behind the opponent. There should probably be a drill where you go from the post-shoot to the step over and behind. It's like a crazy lunge in bodybuilding.

Never attempt a keylock or kimura from inside the guard. Half-guard maybe. But never from inside the guard. It is too easy to get rolled because all of your weight is on the side of the attempted armlock.

If in an armbar, try to roll in the direction of the opponent. Rolling away only exposes your arm to greater hyperextension.