Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Blame it on the Wolfsbane

No training today.

Is Jiu Jitsu, Is Not Jiu Jitsu

Working on the "competition gameplan" the past few days. A lot of what I did in my first match at the last Revolution will stay - at least in terms of fighting from the top. Hopefully, nothing from my second match will be carried forward.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Werdum

Interview with Gracie magazine.

How have you been since the win?

I’m happy for having reached my objectives. I managed to become world, Pan-American and ADCC champion. This one was an objective as well, a dream come true. I beat a guy who went undefeated for ten years, the most feared man in the world. I knew I was going to win, but not that quickly. I was really confident because I trained a lot for it. I’d never been so confident in a fight before.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fabricio: Before the Fight

I’m going to change the face of MMA history. A lot of folks don’t believe it, but they better believe that I’m fully dedicated to this fight. And the funny part is that this is the fight I’m calmest about. I’m chill. Ever since the days of Pride when Fedor fought Minotauro, my brother Felipe Werdum has been telling me that I’ll be the one to beat him. My chance has finally come and I’m to show everyone I’m up there with the best of them.
Courtesy of Gracie Magazine

Saturday, June 26, 2010


That is all.

Training Day: Saturday

I pulled into the parking lot of the Eastside academy just as Profs Rodrigo and Carlos did. I'd gotten off to a typically late start, while they had been held up by the Rock and Roll marathon that had us all relocated to the Eastside for training in the first place.

My mom and dad in law were in town. But we weren't scheduled to drive out to Index until 2:30 p.m., which gave me plenty of time to train. Due to the late arrival of Rodrigo and Carlos, we went straight into specific training. I got to work with Clint, Nate, Sonya and a couple of blue belts I hadn't trained with before or frequently. The pace was very good and my biggest technical achievement was probably the collar drag during the King of the Guard line drill we did about midway through.

Unfortunately, I was running on empty having not had any breakfast before training. I managed a final roll with Bennie before heading back west for the big voyage north.

Some interesting observations about today's training. In sum, I'm very much looking forward to seeing how the new arrangement works once we move into the new GB Seattle HQ in August.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Like a Chisel to the Stone

"... it's not as pollyannish as I'm trying to suggest. A lot of the conversations that I have with people tend to be brutally honest, because I think the task of a trading coach or a guide is to confront people, to wake them up, to throw cold water in their face to really get them to see how much they have decided to produce the results that they are producing. That the results aren't by chance, but they are because the individual has made a decision, conscious or unconscious, to produce certain results."
--Dr. Ari Kiev

Training Day: Wednesday

Fundamental 1B:
Safe Stance: Safe Stance + Safe Clinch + Hip Throw
Pulling to the closed Guard
Kimura + Sit-up Sweep

Notes: We did an inside leg trip rather than a traditional hip throw (Prof. Carlos taught the class) ... With the guard pull, remember that you step on the hip and extend with the legfoot that is on the same side as the sleeve/triceps control ... Sit-up Sweep = Crossover Sweep in my Devil's Dictionary. Liking it a lot out of BJ Penn's Sit-Up Guard as part of the guillotine (arm in or out), crossover, kimura series. One of these days, I'll throw in the omoplata. But only against white belts.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Building a Better Back Mount

Hip Control > Hooks Control

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blame it on the World Cup?

Spain, Italy, Portugal ... I haven't watched this much soccer in years.

Training Day: Monday

Some good things and some not so good things out of day's training. On the positive side, my wedge half guard pass is working against better and better guys. Passing the half guard has been a challenge - more than I would like. And though I've had some success with the watchdog pass out of the half, it has not been as reliable as I'd like.

In part, that probably has to do with not having a reliable alternative, an option to preoccupy the opponent (the "D" in the PAD principle, at work). The wedge pass works great as a pair with the watchdog pass because if I'm able to get to the watchdog position, then I know that I've got access to the far side underhook. That sets up both the Royler/Knee Through and the Wedge. I may even be able to do the cross wedge from here - though the idea of going from half guard to mount by way of the Wedge pass remains almost 100% irresistible.

On the not-so-hot side of things ... let's just say that I'm learning about the neighborhood of rear mount one cranked ankle at a time. I'm pretty good about not locking my feet for any length of time when in rear mount, but I learned the hard way that even having both of your feet near each other can result in the same thing. The silver lining is that I'm doing more and more work to take the back from mount (as opposed to the other way around), and I'm feeling comfortable about my options from here (including a leg attack that Saulo showed at his seminar that probably would have saved me a likely 24 hours of minor agony.

One thing that Rodrigo has pointed out that I've noticed in Marcelo Garcia's rear mount game, as well, is that the hooks are a secondary concern. If the hooks aren't helping you roll the guy toward the choke (inside hook on the choke side pulling down, outside/under hook on the off side lifting up), then I'm thinking that I might as well get my legs the F out of there. The choking knee down against the upper back and neck and the off knee up and pressing more toward the middle of the back (sort of like a reverse S-mount) is probably a better, safer way to get the submission.

One of the moves from matwork, "skeedaddle" will probably help me get my hip out and back, freeing the leg on the choke side to come behind the head and upper back, knee down. Then, just step back over the body with the off leg to put the knee in the ribs from the back.

And we're back to the beginning in terms of the Fundamentals: 1A today on Monday

Technical Lift:
Standing Rear Breakfall + Technical Lift + Drill
Scissor Sweep
Front Choke from the Closed Guard

A good detail on that last one was a reminder to bring those elbows down as a way of getting an angle on the chin. Most of the mechanics on my collar choke are okay, but this is one critical detail - and one that I could have used on Saturday during some rougher-than-need-be collar choke attempts.

Training today was another case of "piu greca d'italiana". I'm tempted to write about it more at length, but it would be very easy to sound a wrong note and give an impression that I'm not interested in giving. So I'm going to have to figure out a way to finesse it. But I think there are some interesting things that I've learned about training over the years, about the community of training and how it evolves and changes over time, that I've never really heard anyone talk about before. And there is probably some benefit, at some point, to putting some of those observations into digital ink for posterity.

161.6 on the scale post-train. Not great, but the lowest Monday weigh-in this month.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Training Day: Saturday

The Open Mat/Henryque Send Off on Saturday was good training. I got to the Eastside academy later than I wanted (about 12:30 p.m.), but managed to get in three great rolls with Lance, Clint and Doug. It was great to see Clint, who is on his way back from shouder surgery, and both Lance and Doug are always good to train with. I forgot to swap out Mundial 2009 DVDs with Lance, but I'll probably get a chance to do that this week.

A lot of folks training. It was good to see Sauleh and Andrew training, also. I started to get leg cramps during my roll with Clint, probably because I did a make-up aerobic capacity workout on the treadmill (45 minutes at HR 135-145) that morning before making the drive over. I managed to roll through it, but there were more than a few hairy moments.

Played a lot of pass guard with Lance, working for the underhook from on top against his mobile guard. With Clint, I played more guard and realized that my collar choke is still far from where it needs to be. Half guard was more my style with Doug, trying to work the Rap Star entries, but mostly doing a lot of escaping.

I didn't stick around for the BBQ - in large part because I was starving and figured that I could get home and fed by the time the first hot dogs came off the grill at the academy. Besides, me and Mrs Side Control had a grilling date of our own planned: Ribeye Steaks, Crazy Heart and Ultimate Fight Night: a perfect way to finish a nice day of open mat training.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Training Day: Friday

A review of the weeks fundamentals started things off on Friday - though without the self-defense moves (16a: punch, push kick, body lock clinch and 16b: escape from rear bear hug).

Interestingly, although we started off the with head lock escape from the ground (the bridge and backroll), Rodrigo managed to combine all three of the other moves from side control into one. We did the side mount escape to turtle position (16b2) to double leg takedown from turtle position (16b3) to spinning armbar from side mount 16a3). I worked with Chaim on this, and his extra weight during 16b3 really helped make a workout out of it. He was also very tight on the armbar, which helped remind me of some key details.

Specific training with Elliott and JM. Mostly guard/pass guard. I'm doing relatively little pure half guard these days, focusing instead on creating opportunities out of Sit Up Guard and Breakdown Guard. Energy levels feel pretty good, though I'm about three pounds heavier than I'd like to be right now as Week Four of the tournament prep camp nears an end. I'll get a better sense of where I am weight-wise at the end of Week Five.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Building a Better Guard Pass

Newly added to my reading list:

"Find out where your enemy is. Get at him as soon as you can. Strike him as hard as you can and as often as you can, and keep moving on."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Training Day: Wednesday

Fundamentals 16b:

Technique Group 1
(Free Movement & Clinch Phases)
Bear Hug: Escape from Rear Bear Hug Over the Arms

Technique Group 2
(Ground Phase)
Side Mount Escape to Turtle Position

Technique Group 3
(Ground Phase)
Double Leg Takedown from the Turtle Position

Fightworks Podcast: Voices of the Mundial

Caleb referred to this session of The Fightworks Podcast as being one of the most feature-rich in the program's history. And after listening to just a few minutes, I'm already inclined to agree.

Voices of the 2010 BJJ World Championships
We have had World Championships before here on The FightWorks Podcast, but I do not think we have ever had coverage like you will find in today’s show.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Jack Johnson: Position Uber Submission

From Wikipedia
Johnson's boxing style was very distinctive. He developed a more patient approach than was customary in that day: playing defensively, waiting for a mistake, and then capitalizing on it. Johnson always began a bout cautiously, slowly building up over the rounds into a more aggressive fighter. He often fought to punish his opponents rather than knock them out, endlessly avoiding their blows and striking with swift counters. He always gave the impression of having much more to offer and, if pushed, he could punch powerfully.

And this:
Johnson's style was very effective, but it was criticized in the press as being cowardly and devious. By contrast, World Heavyweight Champion "Gentleman" Jim Corbett, who was white, had used many of the same techniques a decade earlier, and was praised by the press as "the cleverest man in boxing".
Patience. Agility. Deception. Always.

Jiu Jitsu in MMA: Team Carlson Gracie

A fun, historical piece on Carlson Gracie's great MMA team courtesy of Bloody Elbow.

MMA History XI: Carlson Gracie's Mighty Camp
At the time skilled grapplers with real fight experience were few and far between. Even fewer fighters could afford to train MMA full-time. The few fighters who could afford the luxury of training with elite coaches full-time dominated MMA. And while several tough training camps existed, by 1996 two had emerged as the most dominant: Carlson Gracie Jiu Jitsu and Ken Shamrock's Lion's Den.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Training Day: Monday

Fundamentals 16a for those of you playing the home version.

1. Basic Strike: Ready Stance + Punch + Push Kick + Body Lock Clinch
2. Head Lock on the Ground Escape 3 (bridge and shoulder roll)
3. Spinning Arm Bar From Side Mount

The detail of the day was probably in the spinning armbar. Rodrigo really emphasized putting the guy on his side as the "middle step" between taking control of the arm and finishing the submission. This meant moving your body, but it mostly meant using your leg/knee to wedge behind the guy. This detail was repeated a couple of times and is one that I need to make a part of my skills work with the "grappling dummy" this week.

In fact, Rodrigo went even further, dropping the knee on the non-lock arm and driving the other knee into the ribs on the side of the locked arm. Again, details.

Tatame was mostly side control/side control escapes with Shawn. Here I was reminded of needing to counter the seat of the pants/far leg grip insofar as none of my regular escapes did much good. From the top, it was good to be forced to try and transition to knee on belly to maintain some semblance of a top attack.

Tried the Givas Pass with Tom during the afterclass/open mat session to no success. He's a big guy, so I'll need to try it on some guys closer to my size before I start making any decisions about whether or not it is a keeper. The Flat Pass remains money - at least in getting to half guard.

164.6 on the scale post-train. A typical Monday weigh-in during the summer, I suppose (can you actually watch World Cup soccer without beer?). I'd like to shave 6 pounds off the main number and am flirting with the idea of using a weekday Gracie Diet to get there over the final month of training (which begins next week).

Return of the Son of More Roger

Roger Gracie: “I think people beat themselves sometimes”
Gracie says one way he keeps his mind intact is to not look at the brackets before his fights because he doesn’t want to worry about it. “If you look at the brackets, it takes you out of your mind,” he says, “The more you think about who you’re fighting, the more nervous you get. For me, I think a little, but I try to protect my mind and not think about it.” So, Gracie says he tries to keep his mind blank before his matches.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Drysdale on Roger

Robert Drysdale: Breaking Down Roger Gracie
But it’s not just that. He knows how to spread his weight, he knows his thing. I still see weaknesses in his game, but it’s hard to get to those positions so you can explore them. I think mentally he’s very prepared, physically very prepared, technically very prepared. He’s on a path where he wants to become the next Rickson Gracie. That’s what he works for. That’s why he has no sponsors, he doesn’t talk much, he’s that quiet guy. The “I’m the samurai” kind of thing. He’s a smart kid and I think he’s going to be the next Rickson.
Courtesy of The Fightworks Podcast

Pass the Guard

One thing guys have been doing against my standing guard pass is hipscaping hard. Typically, they are hipscaping to the left (hips to the right), which is the weak side for most people. But it does effectively block my standard attempt to get inside control with the forearm/elbow and knee on my left side.

If the hipscape is shallow, then I need to scoop pass to the left - making sure my right elbow is not exposed to a triangle choke. If the hipscape is aggressive, then I'm probably not going to be able to scoop the leg and instead need to get inside grip control beneath the knees and look for the A-Frame Sprawl.

By going sideways against my standing, the guy on bottom/in guard is more vulnerable to vertical pressure than horizontal pressure. The sideways/scissor sweep position negates my initial grips. But it is a bad choice if I am standing because the biggest vulnerability of that position from the bottom is in-line with my greatest asset from the top.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Roger Gracie: "Train a lot, eat a lot and rest a lot"

"He makes passing guard look easy, when it isn't."

"He doesn't go back, he just goes forward, coming up with the positions even if just millimeter by millimeter."

"He traps the opponent's hip like no one else does. I knew what he was trying for, I understood that I couldn't give him that space, but he managed."

"He mines the enemy defenses, putting the individual in indefensible situations."

"(He) is very tight and never errs. Roger doesn't leave any room for you to execute your game."

Giva Santana Seminar and Foster BJJ/Lotus Club Open House

Quite a day at Foster BJJ/Lotus Club on Saturday: a new, more spacious academy, two new black belts, three new brown belts and a handful of moves from Giva Santana, who heads Lotus Club out of Irvine, California in town to celebrate the new location.

Jeff B. was among the new brown belts, and you could tell that it was an emotional moment for him. They even did the "run the whipping belt gauntlet" thing, which was quite the spectacle of flagellation.

I think half the people at the academy were Gracie Barra folks from Ballard, Seattle and Buckley. It was good to see David from Buckley, who was very good to work with (and by now, I take my seminar training partners pretty seriously).

The moves from the seminar that stuck with me most were the guard pass and the moves to the back. The guard pass had you pin the same side shoulder by gripping both lapels low and driving them in that direction with a straight arm. With the back arm, you want to grip right on the knee, and then tuck your elbow. To open the guard, you sway back and forth for a little momentum, and then sprawl out, pinning the knee to the mat and using your hip on the other side to brace and keep the guard open. From here, step through and do a knee cross pass with the opposite leg to get to the side.

This pass reminded David of the Flat Pass, which I'm not sure I would have thought of if he hadn't mentioned it. It's got a similar, basic determination, and the idea of maximizing the angle as a way of opening the guard.

The other interesting moves were from the back. Giva liked a deep grip under the chest to the opposite lapel with the one hand, and a four-finger grip right behind the neck on the collar. These grips provided a lot of control and good choke set-ups.

The lapel grip is similar to something Rodrigo has shown us, using that grip as a pull to roll the guy out of turtle and into a position where you can take the back. One key is to get your knee in deep to block off the side you are pulling and rolling to.

There were two variations. The one had you take the back from here, and then attacking with the Ezekiel from the back. The second one had you drag the guy back into to you, as you settled into a half-side control/half north-south position with your head on the inside shoulder controling the arm. From here, you can choke by turning away and facing the legs. Make sure the behind the neck grip is good - you can afford to be patient and wait for it while you are keeping the head pressure on the near shoulder.

I would have liked to stick around a little longer, but there were so many people that it looked like it might be a battle for space during the open mat. But it was nice to see the new place, to be there to congratulate Jeff and the other guys who got promoted, and to learn a few nice new techniques and details. Suspecting that the seminar might not provide the most vigorous workout in the world, I managed to get in a make-up Threshold Training session this morning before the event. A good day of training and conditioning all around.

Friday, June 11, 2010


I've lamented in the past that the boxing analogues to my style of jiu jitsu are guys like George Foreman and Sonny Liston. Tough guys and worthy champions. But not exactly the metaphors I was looking for.

Maybe, though, this combination of size and deliberateness ...

Jack Johnson, The Galveston Giant...“Master of Ring Science”
Fleischer, as noted, rated Johnson # 1 on his all time great heavyweight list. Charley Rose rated him # 2. In McCallum’s 1975 “survey of old-timers” Johnson was rated # 2. Other historians who rate him highly are John Durant who considered Johnson the # 2 heavyweight of all time, Steve Farhood rated him # 3 in 1997, while Tracy Callis rates him # 2. Cox’s Corner considers Jack Johnson the # 3 heavyweight of all time.

Training Day: Friday

A nice review session to end the week. We continued working with escapes from headlocks and side control.

The highlight of today's training, though, was getting to roll with Cindy. It has probably been almost a year since we were able to get in a full 5+ minute roll, but things pretty much picked up where we left off, with me fighting off one submission after the other. This time both a Baratoplata and a triangle had me pre-occupied on the defense side for a significant share of our mat time.

Cindy is one of the best people for me to work with, especially in terms of flow and movement. I have a relatively slow, tight game, which is fine. But I need to do a better job of selectively turning up the heat at critical moments in order to take best advantage of opportunities. I'll never have a game as active as Cindy's. But rolling with her is a constant reminder of the rewards of movement.

Sambo in Seattle

Sea-Town SAMBO and The American Sambo Association is proud to announce
Igor Kurinnoy
Merited Master of Sports

July, 24-25, 2010 Seattle, Washington

Sea-Town Sambo/Seattle Jujutsu
1314 NE 56th St
Seattle, Washington
contact: Aaron Fields at

A partial list of Igor's accomplishments are:
-A three time World Sambo Champion.
-A Five Time Sambo World Cup Champion.
-A Silver Medalist in the Sumo World Championships.
-An International Judo Champion.
-Owner and Director of the Borec Sports Club in Moscow, Russia.
-A graduate of the world famous Sambo-70 Sports Club.
-The author/creator of the Sambo for Professionals Series.

Cost $100 pre-pay
150 at the door
75 for one day

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Genius of Rafa Mendes

Mendes celebrates “topping his division” and explains tactics
It was not one position that handed me my victory, if just because I didn’t stall. Indeed, never has a match between me and Cobrinha ended 0 to 0. He’s a quick and skillful athlete; if I were to let him move freely, he’d surely feel right at home and let his game go. It’s a fight; I need to neutralize my adversary’s strengths, so I don’t let him move as he wants to. That’s just an obvious part of how you go about winning.”
This is what jiu jitsu is all about. It isn't always about looking good or being entertainment (I'd argue that's a critical difference between jiu jitsu the martial art and the sport of MMA). It is about prevailing.
The more I see and hear from the Mendes brothers, the more impressed I am.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Training Day: Tuesday

Rodrigo started us off with the other collar drag takedown - the one I'm not so good at. I'm going to call it Dog Tail (as opposed to Rip Cord, the other collar drag takedown) because the key to getting into position is to circle away from the drag to attack the near leg (opposite the drag side). This circling is as critical to the Dog Tail as the step/stepback is to Rip Cord. Dog Tail also reminds me to get low on the leg (cue Frank Zappa's Zombie Wolf) with my head in tight and working ("circling") toward the back.

Rodrigo added a deep half sweep in case the guy sprawled or posted to avoid the takedown. Actually, he added two. The first was to shoot in with your outside, up leg, roll under, and reach for an X-guard type roll and sweep. Version two had you attack the sleeve rather than the collar, and go to both knees after the takedown and then shoot in with the near leg (the leg that had been knee down and part of the takedown) and roll under (back to front). This version was more than a little tricky for me. But the first version really seemed to feel right.

We also did the headlock defense, the one where you step over and hook the guy's up knee, and then hip out to get your far leg's knee on the mat. This combines with the leg over headlock counter we did last night that I think I forgot to write about.

Self-defense was the guillotine and standing guillotine counter ( look in toward the body, hold the wrist, reach over the back, close the elbow and walk around in that direction, kick the leg and takedown backwards ...). The A-frame triangle on the back of the guy sprawling was key to the set-up.

We also worked a side control escape to guard. If the guy has both arms over, his elbows checking your head and hip, then you can forearm brace at his forearm and neck, bridge into him and slide your inside knee between the two of you. If necessary, hipscape to get additional space to recover full guard.

In the advanced class, we worked that second takedown to deep half as part of the specific. Then a lot of guard/pass guard. I felt a lot like I did on Monday: moving pretty decently in my transitions from the guard and being patient and Roger-like when passing from standing (almost 100% of the time). The flow was very nice and I felt a lot less fatigued at the end of the night than I have in weeks. I'm trying to work through my progressions: sit-up guard with Skeedaddle or the guillotine/kimura to crossover sweep ... breakdown guard with Guy La Fleur ... Rap Star ... the half ... My guard game is starting to coalesce in ways I hadn't anticipated. I've essentially created a menu that is nothing but appetizers. But by the time the server delivers the espresso and Sambuca, you know you've had a meal.

Roger at Mundials 2010

A great take-the-back move in Roger Gracie's semi-final match with Bruno Bastos.

It was easier to see how he controls the arm and dominates the shoulder in the live feed. But you can still get the gist of the transition here.

A Review of the 2010 Mundials

Courtesy of Fightworks Podcast and J-Sho:

2010 BJJ Mundials Retrospective
With the free live web stream provided by Budovideos and the live blogging of Caleb on the FightWorksPodcast giving many 1,000s of BJJ fans a window into proceedings, this, the 15th Mundials of the modern era did not disappoint. Upsets, submissions, controversy and the crowning of the greatest player of our generation.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Training Day: Monday

A good session to start off the week. The Self Defense move was the counter to the front bear hug (under the arms), with the hip throw. The finish on the ground was a straight armlock with choke (a force choke, while you figure four the arm for the lock).

On the ground, we worked on side control, maintaining top position and switching back from regular side control with the front seatbelt control, as well as the "watchdog" version.

Not a lot of mat time on Monday. I got to roll with J.M. for about 6-7 minutes at a really nice clip to finish things off in an open mat. A lot of folks were leaving right at the end of the class - or shortly after the specific started - so it felt a little bit like an abbreviated session.

163.4 on the scale post-train. Yikes! You'd think that last weekend was the three-day weekend instead of this past one.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Mundial 2010 Review from Gracie Magazine

Get your Gracie magazine Mundial 2010 coverage here.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Training Days: Friday/Saturday

Back on the mat at the end of the week for a three-session salvage of Week Two. Very nice to be able to train on both Friday and Saturday. Because Rodrigo does a review of the week's techniques on both days, training Friday and Saturday gives you plenty of time to really get the moves ingrained into muscle memory. Add to that one from column A (Monday or Wednesday) and one from column B (Tuesday or Thursday) and you can potentially get not only three cracks at each of the moves of the week, but up to four competition/advanced classes, as well. And that's only training four days a week.

I don't see making Saturday's a permanent part of my training schedule. But it's been very nice to be able to add them in at least every other week. This week, for example, will mark the third Saturday training in a row. I can't remember ever reaching that mark before.

Three guard passes dominated Fundamentals training this past week, two versus the spider guard and one standing pass to double underhook pass. The two spider guard passes were the basic toreano, scooping the near leg as you lunge forward with the shoulder after bringing the feet down hard on the mat from inside control low on the legs. The second was the "double strike" approach. I described this one as uppercut punching a guy on your right side with your left hand, while chickenwing elbowing him in the chin with your left. That little mnemonic is helping me remember more precisely what the movements are. If you get stuck with the arm still in the bicep, then turn your chickenwing elbow into a uppercut to a guy in front of you, closing the elbow and getting rid of the spider guard foot.

The double underhook from standing was similar to the single underhook from standing. Here you step back to catch the off-leg (the leg you aren't underhooking initially with the guard-opening arm) to get the double underhook. Then drop low to your knees and draw the hips into your lap for control. Bear hug the legs and go for the collar. Remember to pin the hips down with the grip on the pants.

One thing about this pass I noticed is that I need to work it on both sides. When I stand, a lot of guys are hipscaping out so that the "spiderman elbow" doesn't work. I need to switch and underhook the other leg (typically the right leg in this instance) and pass to my left instead of my right.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Pass to Back Take

Taking the back from a blocked knee cross/Royler pass.

Return of the Son of Sick Again

Week One of camp was a pretty decent start. Week Two has been a little trickier.

I managed to train on Monday, during the Memorial Day Open Mat session. I got in a pair of good rolls with Chaim and Steve - bigger and stronger on the one hand, and smaller and quicker on the other. There were a couple of folks there: Glenn, Andrew from Everett, Pat, Elliott, Freddy and the one smallish woman blue belt who trains during the day and whose name I can't recall ...

Unfortunately, some of the other folks I'd hoped would make it didn't get there by the time I left. All that said, it was good to get a little time on the mat in on the holiday.

Especially since I've spent the next few days with a sore throat and other assorted cold symptoms. With any luck, I'll be back on the mat on Friday. I figure that it is probably better to miss a pair of trainings in Week Two than in Week Six or Seven, so I'm giving myself a break on the relatively modest mat time this week. If I can make it to train on Friday - and again on Saturday - that will give me a three-train week (including credit for 2 GB Fundamentals classes for the week). And, again, in Week Two, that's fine.

I've also missed out on one conditioning session. I did my tempo training Tuesday morning, but held off on the threshold work scheduled for today. Not great, but the goal is to be 100% in mid-July, not in early June. So I'm not going to fret about missing time now as long as I make up for it over the next few weeks.

My weight has remained at or just below 160, fortunately. I've been doing a lot of thinkng and rethinking about my jiu jitsu over the past few days: my match with Sauleh, my difficulties with the overhook half guard, passing both the full and half guard ... I want to think about trying to use the last few training days of Week Two to fix what I wasn't able to really put in place during Week One: specifically, the transition to knee block from half guard to set up the slingshot series.

The bow-out from the overhook half guard (see Saulo's Jiu Jitsu University, pages 179-180, to see one instance of what I'm talking about) needs to be much, much tighter. I've had a bad habit of trying to transition directly into Rap Star, which may or may not be viable. But the bigger issue is in creating more space to give me more room to work, more options (slingshot, regular half, deep half, Rap Star). That's the focus for the balance of the week.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Los Bros Nogueira

Sharing a birthday with Marilyn Monroe and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band does not suck.

But what sucks even less is being born one day before the twin brothers of jiu jitsu in mixed martial arts: Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.