Thursday, May 18, 2006


Tuesday, I'm ready for class--and for a new Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday training schedule. Tommy leads the warm-up. A few laps around the mat, high knees, touch-your-heels, sideways facing in, sideways facing out, two-in/two-out ... Fine enough.

Then Tommy has us to judo forward rolls. I do about three, then move over a little bit because Mamazinho is showing a new white belt how to do the rolls properly. I should have paid more attention because my next roll is my last.

I don't know exactly what I did wrong, but when I landed the sting in my hip was pronounced. I tried to get up, and could after a minute, and hobbled back to the line. I was done. Eventually I worked my way to the sidelines and realized that it wasn't my hip as much as it was my groin. Rodrigo, then Mamazinho checked on me. But it was pretty clear that I was done for the night.

I took Wednesday off work to ice my groin non-stop. I'm hobbling around the office today, but I think with more heavy-duty ice tonight, I'll be able to start switching from cold to heat with every other application. My goal is to be back on the mat rolling by next Tuesday (the 23rd) and sparring 100% by the Tuesday after that (the 30th).

A couple of observations: it is clear that I am as strong as I need to be at the under-160 level. So what I need to focus on his muscular endurance (i.e., dumbbell complex and Tabata 4 DB workout) and cardio (treadmill).

But more importantly, I've got to start stretching twice a day. There's just no denying this any more. I think the biggest problem was that I last trained on Thursday the 11th and didn't do any stretching or vigorous activity for four days until the Tuesday night I pulled the groin. Nino Schembri is one of the most flexible guys in jiu jitsu and even HE stretches twice a day. I've just got to do it.

I'd even argue that if I didn't do anything resistance or cardio-wise every day, but got in two stretching sessions every day, that would be plenty fine enough.

So, my recovery schedule is:
Thursday p.m. ice only
Friday p.m. ice only
Saturday p.m. ice/heat alternating
Sunday p.m. ice/heat alternating
Monday p.m. ice/heat alternating: begin light stretching
Tuesday p.m. return to bjj training

Wish me luck.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Closed Guard: General Unified Theory

Establish closed guard position: Cuff and cross collar. Cuff-side foot in hip.

I. Opponent's posture too tight? Attacks: Scissor sweep: armbar, cross choke

Scissor sweep

1. Pull with hands while pushing out with foot-in-hip.
2. As opponent postures back, drop the foot-in-hip alongside the leg.
3. Bring other leg up between you and opponent, shin first. Hook the body on that side with the foot.
4. Scissor the legs. Pull on the cuff and cross collar.

Be ready to transition to an armbar or cross choke.

II. Opponent's posture too high? Attacks: Crossover sweep: kimura, guillotine

Crossover sweep

1. Post sweep side arm. Sit up and turn body toward sweep side.
2. Reach over with far arm and grab elbow on sweep side arm.
3. Put sweep side leg on the ground against opponent's leg.
4. Pull opponent over. Roll on top into mount position.

Be ready to transition to kimura or guillotine.

III. Opponent's posture too low? Attacks: Cradle sweep: take-the-back, omoplata

Cradle sweep

1. Escape hip on sweep side and pull cuff toward center.
2. Bring sweep side leg up behind opponet's sweep side arm.
3. Reach down with far arm and underhook opponent's far leg. Hug tightly.
4. With sweep side arm reach around back near belt.
5. Lean back and kick sweep leg up then down. As sweep side leg comes down, swing far side leg up.
6. Roll over sweep side shoulder into mount position.

Be ready to transition to take-the-back or omoplata.

IV. Opponent's posture too wide? Attacks: Spider sweep: omoplata, triangle

Spider sweep

1. Open guard. Cuff with foot/knee in bicep. Opposite grip on pants near knee.
2. Roll back slightly to get opponent's weight on you.
3. Lift far side knee while simultaneously rolling toward the sweep side.
4. Roll over your sweep side shoulder.

Be ready to transition to omoplata or triangle.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Grappling Game Plan rev Q2 2006

Here's a revised (and much simplified) Grappling Game Plan for Q2 2006 (April, May, June).

Large outer reaping throw (osoto gari)
Inside thigh sweep (uchi mata)
"The Jacare" (collar drag to single leg)
One arm shoulder throw (ippon seoinage)

Goal: Sweep, Submit, Transition to Open Guard, Transition to Half Guard

Closed Guard
Position: Cuff and cross collar. Cuff-side foot in hip.
Attacks: Scissor sweep: armbar, cross collar choke
Crossover sweep: kimura, guillotine
Cradle sweep: take-the-back, omoplata
Spider sweep: omoplata, triangle

Open Guard
Position: Double cuffs. Foot in bicep/shoulder. Foot in hip.
Attacks: Triangle-to-armbar, omoplata
Sweeps: Spider sweep

Half Guard
Goal: Sweep
Position: Double underhooks. Lockdown.
Sweeps: Old school: Twist back.

Side Control
Goal: Sweep, Transition to Knees, Transition to Half Guard
Position: Free side underhook. Trapped side palm-up grip on near collar.
Sweeps: Hip roll. Elbow escape to knees.

Goal: Sweep
Position: Sweep side hand on same side elbow. Far side hand on opposite wrist.
Sweeps: Pole vault.
Detail: Remember to bridge straight up first, then shoulder roll.

Goal: Choke, armlock or kimura from side control/s-mount

Goal: Pass
Attack: Saulo Ribeiro ground pass
Detail: Pin leg or scoop leg into side control

Side Control
Goal: Submit, Mount
Attack: Far side kimura, Mamazinhio forearm choke
Detail: Switch to south-facing side control before attempting transition to mount

Goal: Submit, Transition to S-mount
Attack: Cross choke, armlock
Detail: Look for opportunity to transition to S-mount early in mount control

Goal: Submit
Attack: Cross choke, armlock
Detail: Be ready to bail to mount or side control if escape looks imminent.

Note: Staying active on top with 360 drill and switch back and forth from regular side control to south-facing side control (aka "Twister Side Control") will open sbumission opportunities. Keep moving.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Mamazinho's North-South

Times are a-changin' ... It looks like Gracie Barra Seattle will be at the Tully's location from now on. Mamzinho is teaching, the glass case of GB t-shirts etc. is now down here in the warehouse, purple and brown belts popping up all over the place ...

Funny, just as I was looking for more attacks from the north-south position, guess what Mamazinho puts on the menu? We learned three different attacks that involve shifting from north-south back and forth to side control: a devastating choke, an armbar and a kimura.

All three attacks begin from the same north-south position. The set-up begins with the bottom guy reaching around your waist, hugging you toward him.

You reach back and grab the guy's collar, trapping the arm on that side. Scoot over into side control (on both knees) on the side of the arm you trapped. From side control, reach with your other hand (your northmost hand) and get a choke grip on the guy's far collar. Go thumb first.

Make sure the forearm of the choke grip hand is across the neck. Switch your hips to open up to the south. With a firm grip on the collar, bring your forearm down across the front of the neck. Use your weight in south-facing side control to help drive the choke and get the tap.

The next variation is the armbar. Here you start from the same place, but you are going to armbar the far arm. From side control with the arm trapped from the basic north-south grip, you go back to north-south. Wrap up the far arm and turn into the guy, putting your southmost knee into the belly and turning into the armbar.

I don't think that's exactly right. I think this one will work, but I'm not sure if it is the one that Mamazinho showed us. I need to think about it some more--or ask somebody to show it to me on Wednesday when I'm back in class.

The kimura variation comes when you attempt the armbar, but the guy grabs his belt to resist. You switch from the armbar grip to a kimura grip and pull the arm toward you first, then back and away for the kimura. This one I do have correctly. It is the entry into the armbar that I'm still a little confused by.