Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Same old story; the busier I get, the more stuff I let slip, including this journal.  Training has been going pretty well.  I seem to have shifted most of my training to the secondary location, as the primary one moved its hours too early for me to get in there and still have a reasonable hope of completing my degree. 

Stuff that’s been somewhat working:  Have been nailing Doc Ken’s sweep off the arm drag where you reach around their back and just grab their lat and pull ‘em over the top.  This has been working like a charm.  Downside: tried it on Matthias and he laughed at me as he passed my guard off this.   Still, must remember to thank Doc Ken and tell him this has been working for me. 

Stuff that’s still no good:  Escaping side mount.  Working from half guard.  Establishing an attacking base from half guard.  Passing the open guard of just about anyone who knows what they’re doing.

Stuff I should look up:  Setups for baseball bat choke from side.  Anaconda from turtle.   Saulo’s x-pass to the open guard.  Stacking and smashing pass.

Notable taps since last entry:  Don’t really remember how long it’s been since I updated. Pretty far back, I caught brown belt Tran with an armbar from guard. 

Caught Eddie (black) with an arm triangle from mount  last night, but in fairness, he was pretty exhausted.  Also, I can see him letting me get the tap to prove a point or teach a lesson.  In a way, he’s the most selfless of the blackbelts, although he definitely rolls the hardest out of the three (which I love).  

Set up a darce on Marco.  He was DEFINITELY letting me work and seeing what I had, but the entry into the position still felt somewhat legit; it was Charlie’s gable grip and dump from turtle.

Tapped Gavin with a guillotine from darce in nogi.  Pretty sure this was a legit tap, although Gavin is also very selfless and lets me get position all the time.  I only think it was legit because it felt like we were going pretty close to full out.  Which brings me to my next point-

Whining:  I miss training at the bigger school and getting all kickass training partners. I miss Collin and Gavin teaching nogi, and I’m not really interested in checking out the new Sambo class which fills up that spot.  I miss training with Andy all the time.  I’ll have to figure out a way to get back in there.

Random thoughts:  I like how Marco teaches.  Matthias is also an awesome teacher, but he teaches right to the middle of the class.  I feel like Marco, intentionally or not, teaches toward the upper half of the bell curve, and frankly, I feel like that benefits everyone.  Rising to the level of the lesson is a good thing.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Lots of Mat Time.

Caught the nogi class last night, but the teacher wasn't there so we mostly just rolled after reviewing some triangle stuff.  Then today, went across town to another gym and trained with a couple fellas preparing for an mma fight.  Totally fun, but a little different than i thought it would be.  I thought it would be rolling with strikes, but it was just rolling today.   

Rolls were all good and challenging   Hit a tripod sweep live against charlie, which felt pretty cool.  Reviewed a couple of sweep options from open with Gavin and did some slow rolling.  Got mauled by Shawn (but had a good time) and had a decent roll with Chris.  Hit a darce on some guy who's name I can't remember, and hit two armbars on Dorian.  That shouldn't matter for his fight though, it sounds like his opponent is a boxer, so if it goes to the ground, it'll be on Dorian's terms, most likely.

Good training.  Am a little banged up, but would love to work out at that gym again especially if its all good guys like today.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Quick Update

Made it in a little late, we were working on standup.  Hopped in the mix, and did pretty well, much better than i thought.  Went against Marco twice, and once time I got his back (and hopped on it, like a clown) (Charlie yelled at me for that, and told me always bear hug and throw him on the ground), and the other he kind of missed my leg and I got his back.  Awesome.  My whole theory of standup is a Frankenstein's monster combination of arm dragging (Marco and Eddie), posture (Gavin), and composure (Doc Ken).  I had more fun with it last night than I ever have before.  

Rolls:  1st up was Charlie.  I passed his guard with the knee over the leg pass. He turtled, I went for the loop choke we did the other day (which I didn't record because I was too busy praising myself), set it up wrong, and he reversed me.  I turtled, he darced me good.  If I don't beat those grips, that attack is over before it starts, especially with Charlie.  We reset, I muscled the sucker sweep from leg lasso, and time.  Roll seemed really, really short.

Next was Ricky (Blue).  Passed his guard after a fight.  He played de la riva, and I think it was working for him.  (after Class, richard showed a pass for de la riva where you throw his left leg across your body and collapse your right knee to his side.  Seemed legit.)  Tapped him twice but I forget with what.  God, his half guard is strong.  As time was being called, I had baseball bat grips, and was already trying to crank on it as I tried to pass his half guard.  Once Ricky realizes he's better than me, I'm not gonna stand a chance against him.  Also, this roll convinced me that de la riva is the future of my oopen guard, as it slowed me way down when he played it on me.

Last was exhausted Mark (blue).  I went for a triangle and he tried the smash pass.  I reached underneath my leg to adjust, while placing the other foot in his hip. This seemed to keep things a bit tighter than than reaching over the top.  Will have to try to play this in the future.  Got two triangles, and one time he tapped from knee on belly.  Brother, I've been there, although i don't think my knee on belly is anywhere near as painful as the "Eddie Special."

After class, hung with Richard, Ricky and Henry for a minute.  Tried the Collin sweep a few times on Henry and Ricky.  Richard showed a tripod sweep and a counter to the guy fighting the tripod sweep. Grad near ankle , hook outside ankle with foot, push body with other foot.  

Monday, August 1, 2011


I read all over the place the dangers of using other people in your gym as a barometer of progress, and by and large, I agree.  Ideally, the gym should have guys who you're a lot better than, to try new and risky stuff on, guys who are right there with you, and guys who are way, way better than you , to point you in the right direction.  Also ideally, one should be comfortable enough with  one's ego to not keep a "tap tracker."  Unfortunately, we don't live in an ideal world, and when I tap someone who I know is much better than me, I can't help but get excited and wonder if this means that I'm finally getting good at jiujitsu.  

Tonight, I tapped out Collin (brown).  This guy is easily one of the best guys at our school, and has taught me more about jiujitsu than just about anybody.  I think he probably understands jiujitsu at as deep a level as anyone at our school, and honestly anyone I've ever met.  I should say right now that I only got the tap because of some weird, fluke position we were in where he was attacking the legs.  Well actually, let me start at the beginning.

We started from my guard. He baited with an arm to get me to open, which I did.  I somehow always take the bait.  So the first breakthrough I had was to not try to leg lasso or do any of the other dumb stuff that i do from open guard.  Instead, even though I really don't know how to play it,  I went right to de la riva.  Now don't get me wrong, he still easily, easily passed, but it slowed him down noticeably more than anything I've tried so far.  So he gets side on me, and I somehow get a leg in and take him over the top. 

This is when stuff gets interesting.  We kept reversing each other in either backwards half-guard or backwards  sidemount. ( I think it was half.)  Then he starts attacking the leg.  I did as Vaughn showed the other night, and figure four'd my legs to slow him down.  He layed out for it, and I rolled and kicked him off. Somehow, I don't remember how, we wound up in that same weird position.  He locked me up tight, almost felt like some kind of slicer.  Some how I wound up on top, and posted my hand in such a way that i could feel my leg coming loose when i stretched.  I used the posting hand to keep him from turning over and to start setting up an arm triangle.  As soon as I came loose, I popped over the top and locked it on.  Put my foot in his ribcage and just squeezed.  

When he tapped I couldn't believe it. I asked if it was a choke or a crank.  He said choke, but I don' t know. It probably was mostly the fact that he had just gone with Marco (black) and didn't want some huge guy on top of him...  In any case, we reset, and I somehow got out of there without him tapping me.  

As weird as this sounds, I felt ungrateful, like I was screwing him over after all he'd taught me and shown me. In addition to being almost ridiculously knowledgeable about all manner of grappling minutia, Collin is also a super nice guy, and a very patient and attentive teacher. He's also the best guy who I get to roll with consistently; because of that in a way, he's taught me more than anyone else.   And although I know its ridiculous to feel bad, I can't help but think it just feels wrong to tap your teacher.  It's tough to explain, but there it is.  

And then on the other hand, as I mentioned before, doing well against someone who's game is way better than yours can be a good sign that you're actually absorbing technique and doing the right stuff naturally.  In any case, I'm proud that I've tapped him once, for the hundreds of times he's tapped me.

In other, sadder news, tonight was Vaughn's last night training with us, as he's headed back to NYU. We caught a roll tonight and he was all over me.  I lucked my way out of a choke, and the rest of the time, he was looking for sweeps or passing my guard.  I swept him exactly once, and it did me no good.  Its almost funny to me how much I learned from him in 10 weeks.  Even tonight, before he left he showed me a version of the toreando pass that I'm excited to try.  Bottom line:  It sucks to lose that guy.  He raised the bar for the skill level of blue belts, and even gave upper belts stiff competition.  

Finally, rolled with this Marine guy who had a black belt in whatever combatives course they offer.  Interesting roll, way different than a typical bjj roll.  He had me in some pretty compromised spots, but I somehow turned one of them into a sweep, and even got my first baseball bat choke in awhile.  Hope he keeps coming.

Interesting night.  As I said, mixed feelings about the roll with Collin, but I have absolutely no doubt I'll pay for it in the very near future.  Stuff to work on:  passing the open guard, pulling de la riva against good guys.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Downs, Ups, and What To Do From Scarf.

Made the basic class tonight.  Really really wish I could make it in there more often, as I could definitely use a review of some basic jiujitsu concepts, which will become apparent as the entry unfolds (scary foreshadowing...)

In guard pass drills, I hit a bunch sweeps, including Henry twice.  Its good to know i still have any aptitude against him!  He's really made a few breakthroughs lately, and may be on the cusp of a few more.  Scary....  Sat out on the wall after the second time, I was gassed.

Partnered with (Chad? Chase?)  a tough white belt, who's given me some problems before in guard pass drills.  We went over a standing guard break where you pop your knee into his butt.  We also played with a stack pass and a pass off a counter to the stack pass.  I'm going to give into the temptation not to describe those in detail because 1. I'm tired and 2. Well really, i should go on and descibe them.  Sucks being lazy.  Anyway, (Chad? Chase?) was a great partner, and I hope to work with him again.

Firt roll was with Richard (white), the huge MMA guy who gives me a hard time.  We started from my guard.  I got the underhook cross collar grip, and opened up to try to do something with it.  Big mistake.  He hopped over my leg right in to scarf hold side control.  I tried that defense where you triangle the guys head but he was having none of it.  He armbarred the shit out of me, and it popped twice loud enough so that we both heard.  I don't really know the guy that well, but he seems super nice, and I definitely don't think he meant to or anything.  He's just so big that any extra pressure he gives counts for a lot.   Any way, i guess he felt bad, because he basically let me guillotine him after that.  I wish I got to roll with this dude more, because he's a challenge everytime. 

Alright, that was the Down.  The Up was that I did pretty well against Eddie (black).  Started from his guard.  I broke it open , he switched to a modified DLR, I alternated from low to high posture, and once I cleared the leg, I passed his guard into mount.  Got the grips for a head and arm choke, but he locked up tight, and I didn't feel like it was close, so I switched for the armbar.  Tried twice to break his grips but he was locked up.  Thought I was close, but he pulled it out when I gave him a little space.  Good Roll.  He was definitely letting me work, but he doesn't just give stuff away, so I must have been doing something right. 

I think that was it for rolls.  Before our roll, Eddie showed me an escape from scarf.  The first thing is to fight your elbow to the ground, no matter what.  It won't be pretty, it will definitely be a dog fight, but the second anyone gets there on you, commit yourself to winning that battle.  Its 100% the most important thing to do to survive that position.  Following that, you can do some stuff that Richard suggested (from wrestling). Its called chasing the leg, and you just run towards the guy's leg and start climbing him.  Once you get there, use both arms to push his arm over the top of your head, and take the back.

After my roll with Eddie, he asked why I didn't commit to the attack.  I told him I tried twice on that armbar.  He said, I meant the arm triangle.  Makes me think I should have gone for it harder.  Just go ear to ear with the guy and put the pressure on.  Next time.  In the meantime, I'm taking my sore left arm to the shower. 

Vaughn's Triple Attack From Mount.

Against all expectations, I showed up early for once in my life.  Caught a quick roll with a slightly winded Richard (blue), who had just finished rolling with this monstrous new blue belt.  Used some of Andy's guard passes, and passed to side, then quickly to north south.  Went around to the other side, and somehow managed to secure mount, but I don't remember how.   Set up technical mount and secured the arm, but couldn't break his grips.  Made two attempts to finish, but Richard pulled off a very savvy escape.  We basically called it there as class was about to start.

Guard pass:  I got swept by some of Vaughn's excellent movement from guard.  Hit a hip bump sweep and maybe a pendulum sweep, but i don't remember on whom.  Ended up sweeping Cue (purple), but i think he was playing light.  He swept me easily later.   

Vaughn taught tonight.  It was potentially his  last class with us as he is moving home soon, and I know I will be very sad to see him go.  Learned so much from that guy in such a short time, and its always a pleasure just to be around people who are as enthusiastic and excited about  BJJ as he is.  He showed a triple attack from the mount. 

Setup:  Grab left sleeve with left hand.  Pull straight back, as if doing a seated row.  Once arm is extended, grab over the elbow on the FAR SIDE of the arm, pull it over the body, then fall on top of it, putting your weight o it.  Reach around the back of the guys head with left hand, grab the guys wrist.  Pull the wrist and push on top of the elbow with other hand to bring the guy to his side.  Sit high up on him, keeping the knee to the back of his head and other foot tight to his chest.  

From here:  You have the arm bar, the normal gi choke, and the choke i don't know the name for where you put your underhook arm behind his head.  For the normal gi choke.  Get a cross collar grip with the arm underneath his head, i.e. his right collar, and grip on other collar with other hand.  Pull down toward his belly with that hand, and towards the ground with the other.  Switch posture to very erect (huh huh), ans shrug shoulders upward for the tap.  

Rolls:  First got Henry (Blue) again.  More of the same.  Hard to break him down, and increasingly difficult to pass his guard.  Got mount at one point i think, but he quickly reversed me.  Need to work with him more, as finding away to be at his hips will help me a lot.  

Last roll.  Went with Jeff, a white belt close to my size who i actually remember from when I first started training at school.  I remember him being good, and he said he'd trained before, so i figured I'd give him a roll.  Went for an armbar from mount, but he bumped me off and I pulled guard.  Got him with an armbar from mount, a triangle and a guillotine counter to a single leg.  Good roll, but I was probably still keyed up from trying to work on Henry and went a bit hard.  Buuuut... this guy stepped on my glasses back in the day and I had to pay for 'em, so I don't feel too bad.   

After class, worked on some open guard stuff with Henry and Richard.  My thugs Andy and Charlie both skipped tonight, so I didn't get my traditional post-class working over, but that's okay.  

The first time I ever wore a mismatched gi top and bottom

Super late. Showed up with just a gi top and borrowed a blue pair of pants.  Unfortunately my lack of preparedness was reflected in rolls as well. Basically missed the class, just enough time to get destroyed rolling. 

First up was Wylian.  I went super hard, and I think he did too.  Unfortunately this pretty much ruined me for the rest of my rolls.  He passed my guard, but I put him in in  half and actually caught one of the sweeps that ken showed the other day.  First I went for the grab the wrist pull him over the top, but when that didn’t work I took the back door once he gave up the under hook.  Still, couldn’t pass his guard.  Overall, did worse than last time we rolled. 

Next up was Henry, a new blue belt and old friend from school.  He caught me off guard with how good his guard recovery is now.  Obviously training with Wylian has tightened his game up in spots.  Passed twice, but he recovered easily and put me back in half and full.  I’m pretty sure he swept me at some point.  To be honest , I rolled like  shit against him, and he’s gotten a lot better.  

I think I need to not give up the closed guard so easily.  I’ve been trying to work the open a bit more, with mixed results.

Last two rolls were with Mike S. (blue) and Vaughn, and to be honest they were a blur.  Nothing too significant to report. Overall a bad night, but bad nights usually just make me want more at the end.

Ankle Locks Gone Nuclear

Friday July 22

Another glorious nogi class.  Tonight we had a seminar by Reilly Bodycombe, a practitioner of American Sambo.   He posted some footage of grappling matches he’d been in, and some of the stuff he was pulling off was seriously impressive.   Brown belt Andy  wanted us all to show up with wrestling shoes, gi tops and jorts, but since everyone chickened out, he did to.  I could tell he still wanted to do it. 

Any way, being a sambo guy, our Guest had a pretty serious take on leg attacks and leg control.  The only problem is the setup that he covered through out his seminar is illegal for any competitions I would do, so although the stuff he covered was cool, it won’t necessarily be too applicable to my game.  That said,  this seminar fixed a huge hole in my jiujistu,  as always, in an after class one-on-one post roll advice session.  Me and Vaughn were practicing straight ankle locks (totally legal), and Reilly showed us how to go nuclear.   Grab high up on your chest (guillotine grip), roll your shoulder up, and back., You shouldn’t be able to see your shoulder.  Keep your elbow tightly pinched to your side.   Ridiculous difference to my previous shitty attempts.

Anyway, when Reilly called for rolls, he said something about going for leg subs and me and Vaughn thought he meant  ONLY leg subs, so we went super light as neither of us felt confident in our abilities.  Vaughn set up a knee bar and a straight ankle lock, and walked me through a knee bar.

Next up was Reilly himself,  who guillotined me , ankle locked me, then took pity and let me work the stuff he showed in class.  Super nice guy, hope he ends up sticking around.

Next up was Dmitri (purple).  I was felt like he was going light with me, but couldn’t match his pace.  I guess the nogi class just gets me fired up.  Anyway I set up a bunch of subs that I can’t recall, but didn’t really insist on them, as he was playing so light with me. 

After class  I rolled with both Andy and Collin and moved much better, actually threatening to pass Andy’s guard at times, doing so once,, and setting up two attempts of an arm triangle.  Collin mostly brutalized me, but I passed his guard as well..

 Afterwards, Andy reviewed some passing theory.  First pass is a knee slice pass where one hand goes to the knee that s on the ground and the other hard against the guys far hip, pressing down hard to keep him from turning in.  slide the knee through, bringing the other one with it.  Lift hard on the guys knee and keep pressing, to secure the pass.  If he resists this, switch to second pass: grab far side of each knee, pull apart, when he resists the pressure, smash the far knee down and throw your shoulder down for the pass.  Keep your hips low and turn in.  I need to get him to go over this with me again...

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wednesday 20 July 2011

Drills then pass the half guard.  I passed purple belt Mike’s half after a ridiculous struggle to crossface him enough to get his back to the mat.   How come little guys can make me go flat and I can barely get anyone’s back to the mat?  Something to work on…  Anyway, re-established guard  on someone, can’t remember who, then got passed by Mike (easily).  The rest of it was so crappy.  My half still needs lots of work.  Purple belt Ken taught tonight, really well I might add.  He first reviewed basic half guard escapes.

1st:  1. Get on your side.  2. Block Cross face. 3. Switch hands.  Pull guy high on you with underhook and legs.  Come up to your knees, facing away from him,  and pull the one knee through.  Turn back around and re-establish guard.

2nd 1. Get on your side.  2. Block Cross face. 3. Switch hands.  4. Pull guy high on you with underhook and legs.  5. Switch grip on hands to grip on knee.  Can either grab his belt to pull him high or push up on his armpit with underhook.  At this point either come out the back door or, if he wizzers the underhook, abandon the grip on his belt and grab his wrist with that hand.  Thrust hips back underneath the guys and turn over for the sweep, keeping your elbow tight to your side.

3rd Guy starts to stretch out the leg you have trapped in half guard,  pull it way out to the side with both legs and keep shrimping as ou do so,  when its far enough out, basically use it as a single leg and push the guy over with your head,  keeping your grips on his other knee to help yourself.

Rolls:  First up was Vaughn.  Lessons learned tonight; if I give Vaughn my back to try to avoid him passing my guard, he will bow and arrow choke me ten times out of ten. Have to be more careful with this, and also be less complacent when in his guard.  I still haven’t figured it out his guard, it fells different from pretty much everyone in there.  We reset with him in my guard and started getting busy, buit then time was called.  Must have been 5 min rounds tonight.  Ah well.  Disappointed to get choked so easily, but I must say, Vaughn really has his attacks figured out from right there, he even showed me a couple variations that make more of a loop choke, and a nasty way to finish with the knee.  Showed me the defense too, which is to pull as hard as you can with both hands on the choking hand, and once its in front of your f ace, pop your head out.  Must practice this. 

Next up was Doc Ken.  This was my only good roll of the night, mostly because the good Doctor was letting me work a ton.  I basically did a bunch of stuff okay and one or two things pretty good.  First I hit a hip bump sweep, which I haven’t in awhile, so that’s okay.  Got my mount super high on him, he actually was kind of letting me, to see what I’d do. Switched to s mount and went for the armbar, but it wasn't even close.  Wound up in turtle, grabbed his leg and basically sat back into my guard. I think he gave me that one to.  From guard, I tried breaking him down and got absolutely nowhere.  His posture and grips were awesome, totally how I want to be.  Then I got ambitious.  Setup lasso guard and instead of baiting the sweep, I went for Vaughn’s version  of the roll to triangle, where you switch the hands grabbing the wrists and just roll your lower leg over the top for the triangle.  No one was more surprised than me when it actually worked!  I think he was more expecting the sweep set-up.  Anyway, my surprise quickly turned to disappointment as he executed a very technical escape from the triangle and never once exposed his arm for the arm bar.  Damn it!  We ended in half guard, with me trying desperately to remember the stuff he’d gone over tonight so I didn’t embarrass myself too badly.  Time.

Last roll was with Chris L (blue). For this roll, I think my recent health issues had reduced my legendary powers to a mere fraction of their glory.  Ah well.  We did our usual back and forth trench warfare, with Chris going for his patented version of the hip bump sweep and me trying to do the defense for it.  I must say, he had much more success than I with that counter the last time we rolled. Anyway, at the end, he caught me with a kimura from his full guard that was damn close.  I might have survived it, or he might have cranked on it and got me or at least converted it to the sweep(most probably one of the latter options, as Chris hits lots of kimuras), but blessed providence saw fit to call time.  We chuckled about it. 

Stuff to work on:  order of operations for half guard sweeps.  Review this.  Maintaining open guard.  Passing open guard.  Resestablishing guard instead of givng up the back. Get to it.

Friday no gi

Dealt with some vertigo issues over the past three or four weeks. Pretty much only doesn’t bug me during jiujitsu.  The trade-off is that I gas out really quick.  Any ways decided to catch the Friday nogi class.  Gavin taught.  We did a bunch of kimura stuff.  Best thing was a counter to kimura with a kimura from the guys half guard.  Bring shoulder low slide forearm deep beneath guys arm. Sit up and twist into them.   Makes waaay more sense seen than described. 

First roll was with Vaughn.  I gassed myself trying to pass his guard, but I finally did (how!?!), and got an arm triangle on him.   Later, he rolled for a knee bar, which in retrospect he had and I should have tapped to.  Instead I muscled my way out.  Kind of realized after that he had it, and mentioned it to him.  He was cool about it and went over a couple technical escapes and ways to prevent the finish.  His guard is really tough to pass, both gi and nogi.

Next up was a totally new little guy named preston.  I went pretty light with him, mostly doing catch and release with a little teaching stuff in there.  He didn’t seem too into it, but it’s tough to tell, especially at the very beginning. 
Next up was Andy.  I got brutalized the whole time.  I need to stop giving him my back, because unlike the sucky guys, the good guys have no problems finishing from there.  He tapped me a bunch of different ways.  He let me pass once and easily re-established his full guard from me having side.  I have a lot of work to do.

Next was Collin. He locked on two supertight guillotines back to back. Andy started yelling that I wasn’t defending the choke.   Then, for the first time in a long time, I lost my composure and kind of went nuts.  I don’t think I’ve rolled that hard since I was doing nogi at school, and frankly it was a little embarrassing.  Collin pretty much always rolls like that, but it’s okay because he weighs 155.  And he‘s more of a silent assassin than a lumbering beast.  Anyway, I at least got out of one of his guillotines and passed, but of course he got me in the end. 

Last roll was with a new guy named Jeff.  Super nice dude, talked to him a bit before and after class.  I sort of couldn’t turn the volume down from the Collin and Andy rolls, so I went super hard, way harder than I should have.   Usually if I tap a white belt 3 times, I‘ll slow way down and either let him work or go for sweeps only. Tonight though, I got so worked up trying to be competitive with the two brown belts that I was all over this guy and couldn’t stop.  He was cool about it after, but I felt like a moron and a bit selfish.  I owe that guy a nice deliberate roll.

All in all a pretty disappointing night.  I know it’s stupid to be mad at myself when really good guys can pass my guard or tap me multiple times with the same maneuver, but I can’t help it sometimes.  I guess I just think my defense should be further along than it is.  At least I know what I need to work on: open guard defense and defense for Collin‘s ridiculously effective guillotines.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Not sick enough to skip...

Monday July 11
Drilled, then a new version of guard pass drills where you start in turtle and the guy tries to take the back.  I did way better than I expected to when in turtle, getting Chris K and Neil (blue) in my guard.   Vaughn worked me.  He’s good from pretty much everywhere.   Chris K and Neil both got their revenge as well.

Techniques:  1st, sweep the guy (from turtle)  by clamping his arm to your  side (must be over his elbow) if he overcommits his arm to grabbing your collar. Base out with foot CLOSEST to the guy, drop your clamped shoulder to the ground and roll over it, taking him over the top.  Turn in and push on his hips with both hands to keep him in place as you complete the turn.  Establish sidemount

2nd and 3rd were two attacks on turtle that I don’t think I remember at all.  Oh one was a clock choke. I remember you get the grips, then base on your head and walk around, turning on your side so that you put a ton of weight on the guys neck.  3rd was a variation of this.

Rolls: First up was Chuck (purple).  I should mention here that this was my first day back from an illness which I’m still not completely over.  Consequently was not the hulking virile specimen of inexhaustible courage that I usually am.  In short , I punked out a bit tonight.  Anyway, started in Chuck’s guard.  He opened up and I attempted that climbing pass he showed me earlier.  It must have been working a little , because he pulled me into his half guard.  Luckily I was able to get my leg high; I did the arch your back and kick off with your foot pass which surprisingly worked. Chuck’s half guard is sick, so I think I got a bit lucky, especially in light of the stupid mistake I made of having the underhook and literally giving it up and giving him the underhook.  Tried to take mount and he swept me and I quickly pulled guard.   I forget how, but he got the pass (or maybe he went right to side from the sweep). Anyway, he went  right to setting up some choke, and I luckily was able to pull him over the top, as he scooted to follow me.  I think I played Andy’s classic butterfly half for a minute, might even have got  a sweep off it.  Anyhow, got sidemount on Chuck, time was called.  I wish Chuck would stay after class, so I could roll with him more.

Next up was Charlie (purple). Charlie beat the crap out of me.  I threw up two guillotines that I thought should have been closer to getting him worried, but Charlie was having none of my reindeer games.  He tapped me twice, and had me in mount as time was called.  I was gassed, but also Charlie knows his business.  I might have got a sweep on him(the Charlie aka reverse scissor sweep) But we ran into the wall.  This roll drives home the point that I need to do a better job of remembering where I fucked up as well as cheering on my victories.  I definitely need to work on not letting people pass my open guard.  Need to remember Colin’s advice of putting the hands on the inside of the knees and kicking out after grabbing the sleeves.

Last up was Andy (brown) who took it super easy on me.  Possibly the nicest man in jiujitsu. He let me work my game, fed me sweep opportunities and even fed me two submissions.   I got the double knee push plus double foot grab sweep to counter a standing opponent, he put his arm out to keep me from coming forward and let me take the armbar, which I did in sort of a catch and release way.  Later he gave me some pointers on passing.  I always slide my knee over their thigh and try to pass that way.  The sort of backdoor for that is to grab the outside of their pants at the knee and PUSH away to get the pass. When they invariably counter by pushing back, pop that sucker straight down then roll over it with your shoulder.   He showed this, then essentially spoon-fed it to me when we were going live, even letting me catch an arm triangle sub.  When I couldn’t finish, he told me he likes to finish as a sort of clock choke, gable gripping his hands and coming around, but keeping his hips and shoulders facing the mat.  Awesome.  Love training with that guy, he’s gonna make me better. 

After class bs’ed with Henry Ricky and Wylian about their tournament…  A great night of jiujitsu.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 1 2011

Friday nogi

Almost no one showed tonight.  Ended up being myself, Andy, Vaughn and Neil (blue).  Neil looks so much like Sam Mcpheeters from the punk band Born Against that I almost think it IS him, and he’s infiltrating BJJ to expose its sexist, racist, homophobic, capitalist, patriarchal, anti-womyn biases.  Then I remember I’m not 16 anymore.

Andy showed a bunch of leg attacks that made me feel both stupid and fearful.  Stupid because I cannot perform them adequately and scared because I invariably have knee probs after nights where we “work legs.”  Still Andy’s such a good teacher and the stuff is so important to having a well rounded game that I gradually felt myself warm up to a few of the holds. 

Rolls: Got Andy first.  Mounted no offense.  Got subbed from Andy’s crucifix. Never passed his guard.  Moved okay, didn’t totally walk into any sweeps. 

Next Vaughn.  He started off tapping me pretty quick by falling back for the knee bar.  I decided then and there that I hate tapping to those even more than Collin’s one-handed guillotines, and resolved to avoid getting caught with them in the future.  Caught him with a darce from side after I believe passing his guard.  A little bit later he almost caught me from half guard with a darce by dragging my defending arm all the way across my body.  If he would have used gable grips to bring me in instead of going directly to darce grips, he would have had me.   Instead I was able to get my hand and wrist on the inside.  Good back and forth with Vaughn as always.

Last roll, I got Andy again, and though you may not believe it dear diary, this roll went pretty well.  Still got caught, I can’t remember with what, but I used Andy’s butterfly half do get full guard back. Felt awesome. We both kind of chuckled when I did it.  Also I passed his guard once with the Tozi pass.  Need to brush up on this pass and a few others and stick it back in the arsenal.  

Actually I forgot, I did a little light rolling with Vaughn after this.  I was trying to work x-guard against a standing opponent, he let me go, then when i went to stand against him, he did this awesome sweep that wasn't x guard but seems possibly better.  Will have to ask him what that was.  He also showed a couple unique ways to attack turtle where you get double underhooks and just roll forward over the guys head, pulling him over you and setting up back attacks after you've put the hooks in. MUST remember to try this,  it seems too basic and easy to NOT be effective.  Then Andy started showing how he sets up the crucifix from turtle.  I was pretty wiped,so i'm not sure how much I remember, will have to get him to go over it with me again. All in all, a great night of rolling, despite the small turn out.     
June 29th

Got to class late as usual.  Guard break I barely remember.  I think I got blue belt rick with some kind of leg lasso sweep, but he really defended it vigorously in a way I’m not used to.  Will have to ask him about that.  Charlie passed me I think, as did blue belt Nick.  Couldn’t pass Charlie’s open guard. 

Techniques:  Purple belt Mike showed the flower sweep.  I need to work on this. Once grips are set and you plant you right foot firmly against his left leg, scoot towards your right foot.   Once he follows, kick up with your left foot, and punch up with your left fist, which is grabbing his pant leg.  He should go right over.   

There’s another sweep set up where you grab his right sleeve with both hands, and using your right hand, punch it across the midline towards his body.  Hip out to the left AS YOU DO THIS. Reach over his back with your left arm and grab him tightly.  At this point, just pull him over you and roll, using your legs to create momentum.  When I get guys in this position, I would always try to pendulum sweep, but this way, you just bear hug them and roll.  Purple belt Ken says it not a cerebral move, just grab them and roll hard.  I NEED to drill this one; it could be a valuable sweep option. 

Rolls:  Started with young man Chris (blue belt).  He hadn’t rolled since April, so I was mainly helping him get the dust off.  Got an Americana from top half guard, but that’s cause he’s rusty. 

Next was Andy (brown). He was definitely trying to help me with this roll.  Felt like I moved okay a lot of the time, but he funneled me into his crucifix several times.  The first time I was somehow able to escape by jumping over the top and driving into him, but it was a desperation move.  He said the technical way to fight it is to drive into the guys legs as soon as you feel him start to set it up.  Next time he put me there, he caught me with a gi choke. Again,  he’s so good at funneling me down the path he wants me to go. Still, am noticing small improvements in my ability to move around him and prevent him starting his butterfly half game.  It’d be nifty to figure out a flying triangle from knees or something… like I’ll ever catch that.

I made the mistake of telling Andy I was gonna tap Collin tonight, so of course he let Collin know.  Collin did not appear to be terribly intimidated by my challenge,  and used the next six minutes to disabuse me of any notions of conquest I may have had.  He tapped me twice, once with that kimura from armbar set up from mount and once I cant remember how.  I will say this though. I rolled maybe the best I ever have against him, reversing him twice from half guard (with the Vaughn sweep) and throwing up a triangle that, while definitely not a serious threat, was the closest I’ve ever come to committing to the attack against him.  Afterwards he showed me why he can pass my open guard at will: once he gets the inside pant legs to grab, he’s pretty much passed.  The solution is to bring both hands up inside the knees, and when your opponent tries to set up his grips, grab his sleeve and simultaneously kick straight out, breaking his grip on the pant leg.  Collin’s understanding of the science underlying bjj is more astounding the longer you talk to him. It's so awesome to be able to learn from that guy.  

After class Charlie brutalized me.  I moved okay, but this roll was all Charlie.  He caught a De La Riva sweep by basically just scooting and pushing me over backward.  I remember having okay top half guard at one point and he nailed an awesome sweep from there.  I escaped his mount once using the Tran escape, and another time he armbarred the living shit out me when I tried it.  I need to keep the arm in tight for that escape or Charlie will take it every time. Love those after class rolls.

June 24

Another glorious nogi class.  For once, I showed up super early, so much so that the gym dude at the door was like “Yo, I don’t know if they’re having class today.  I mean, you usually show up 10 minutes after everone else, so if no one’s here, maybe its canceled.”  So it’s true; I’m that guy.

A cool thing that happened:  I was the lowest ranked and least experienced person in class tonight.  It was myself, Vaughn (4 stripe blue), Rick (purple), Steve (purple), Andy (brown) and Collin (brown).   So ,got to feel no pressure. 

Tonight Collin showed 2 wrestling takedowns and several submissions from sidemount.  My wrestling still sucks as bad as ever, but I do really enjoy training it and hopefully improving.  1st was a crossover arm bar:  give up the under head grip and push on the bottom side of the guys chin.  Use far side underhook to grab guys elbow or tricep and rotate it.  Follow the guy's wrist with your head, so he can never bend it.  With the hand that grabbing the arm, the optimal position is your elbow on the guys stomach, holding his arm in place.  Once its straight over him, spin first leg over his head.  When second leg comes around, turn the first knee up and put it in the guys back.  Lay back for the arm bar.  Can also get a kimura from the initial postion if the guy forces his forearm into your throat by pushing forward with your chest to get his wrist to the ground.  If he breaks free of the kimura, switch back to the crossover armbar.

Rolls: First with Steve.  Tried to wrestle but chickened out, pulled guard, he got to half from a series of failed sweeps by me, and started throwing down the one arm guillotines.  It sucked.  Even tho he didn’t catch me, the control he had over my head is scary.  Like Wylian said the other day, he's a couple of adjustments away from being a monster with that one.  Scrambled back to full guard where a landed the worlds sorriest kimura sweep (hey it freaking worked gimme a break) and got to full mount. Had to fight as always to maintain the mount, his defense is so strong. Started threatening the triangle, bridged and I transitioned to technical mount, where I started on the armbar. Got the grips; he shoved his hand between his legs.  Somehow I finished the armbar by laying back close to his legs and fighting the arm out.  Don’t remember if I had the knee up or the leg across.  After the roll I told him to keep working that one handed guillotine, I just hope I didn’t sound like too big of a douche saying it.

Next was Rick.  He tossed me around all over the place, and I never felt like I had any good postion on him.  Nevertheless,  he reversed me once and I snatched up the guillotine and just kept turning with him till I got the tap.  Awesome.  This dude absolutely is one of my most dreaded matchups because not only is he bigger and stronger and WAY more technical, he has such good instinct for position that he doesn’t need the second or two that I need in a scramble to ask “Where should I go? “  He just freaking knows.  Anyway after this he turned it up a bit and tapped me twice.  Despite that, I had a couple of okay escapes, such as my first successful gramby roll from turtle.  Love rolling with this guy, hope to see more of him.

Last roll was with Collin. Fought him off okay at first, but once he passes guard that’s it.  His style feels so inexorable, like the tap is inevitably coming and theres nothing anyone can do to prevent it. I did escape his mount once though, using the infamous Tran super secret shrimping mount escape.  Bless you, Tran!  Collin's such a freak, he’s so good its like hes thinking of ten other things he COULD have done as he outmaneuvers  you like you were stopped. 

After class roll was with Andy.  So fun.  Never really got anywhere, but I do remember using a Marcelo Garcia sweep where you put your knees under his leg, grab his ankle, then go up and out with other knees. Pretty nifty.  Also escaped from his dreaded crucifix, which is a not too shabby feather in my cap this beautiful Friday evening. He had to stop cause his stomach hurt. Afterwards he showed us how to beat his famed butterfly half guard.   You under hook the opposite arm, the step up with the same side foot.  Then you smash his knees with your knee and step out with other foot .  It was more detailed than that, but that’s the basic idea.  We’ll see if I can actually do it soon…

Friday, June 24, 2011

Standup night

June 22
Tonight we worked two basic judo throws, which I totally totally sucked at.  So frustrating, because I really think I understand what I need to do to execute properly, but it felt wrong 9 times out of 10. Also did a quick grip fighting exercise, which, as important as grips are on the ground, it must go doubly so when on foot.  Due to my disgust with my ineptitude, we mercifully now skip to the fun part of the night. 

Rolls: Got Big Steve (new Blue).  Steve moves better each time I roll with him, but he seems to have the same problem I have, namely committing to stuff against good guys (not that I’m one of the good guys!)  I threw up a lazy triangle to see if it would stick, and he totally caught the leg in such a way that he could have used it to pass, but he was still in defense mode, even though it didn’t fell to me like I had him in danger.  Caught him with a front gi choke at the bell, I should go for those more, both to keep people honest and to have some semblance of being able to choke with the gi. 

Next Chuck (new Purple). Started from his guard. Tried hard to fight his grips and avoid getting broken down.  He opened up, and I tried to do that climbing the leg pass that Collin demo’d for me the other night, but he killed the pass and then took a minute to show me the proper way to pass, which involves throwing one arm up and over the arm pushing down on your head and switching hips and resetting.  That’s why I love rolling with Chuck, dude can switch flawlessly from intense rolling to breaking down technique so that even my dumb ass gets it.  After we reset, he ended up getting an awesome scissor sweep on me, and I luckily got him in my guard. I was pretty boring from guard, but Chuck didn’t seem too bothered about it. Love rolling with that guy. 

Finally, rolled with Chris (blue belt and four stripe chemist).  Felt like I moved alright against him.  Passed his guard off of him attempting a front gi choke (man, those were in the air tonight)  (oh lord).  He went right to turtle.  He totally feels comfortable working from there, which is not my experience of turtle at all. If I’m there, I’m usually panicking.  Fought futilely for darce or anaconda grips.  Sort of got Bow and arrow grips, and got the hooks in, but he defended it really well.  Stretched the non-choking arm out, and pushed the hook out with his knee, turned in to me, and then he was in my guard.  Beautiful.  Time.

After class, got another roll in with Chris.  Started from my guard, which he popped open and then I started playing open.  He got to half, and I tried to do that hip bump sweep from half that Vaughn showed, with no success.  Couldn’t get charlie’s reverse scissor sweep where you turn the guy over and pull on his belt.  ( I think I might have, or been close at one point)  So I used that guard to get back to full guard, which is sort of a neat trick; from here tried to work open.  Did two things different: I put my foot on his hip and my knee in chest, like Vaughn does, seemed to work ok for keeping him off.  Also tried to grab his arm while keeping my arm at my side, again like Vaughn does.  Interesting.  Also, remembered to pop the guys elbows out (ala Matthias) when he post on your body.  Used this to get him down, and threw up a piece of shit triangle that I gradually worked a bit tighter, but still not proper triangle alignment.  Switched to attacking the kimura, he gave up his posture to defend, and swept him. Tried to finish with a mounted triangle, but couldn’t hit it.  He pushed me off and I wound up in guard I think. Might have missed a step.  Anyway, as soon as I was I guard I quickly threw up another triangle, and this one was a little tighter than the first.  Attacked with the combo armbar and got the tap.  Chris is definitely one of my toughest rolls at blue belt and we usually go pretty even, so it felt good to get the sub, even if I knew it was mostly from him being exhausted from showing up an hour early for class.   Fun night, even tho I didn’t get to roll with Charlie or Andy after.  

June 20

Unfortunately this will be a truncated version, as I am exhausted (and nothing supercool happened).  Passed Charlie’s open guard (b y luck), Chris passed mine.
Techniques: submission finishes from leg lasso sweep.  1st: stepover armbar.  Switch your feet on the trapped arm, then step over his head after securing the arm.  Switch directions, you got it. 2nd :kimura from when you don’t trap the arm. The trick of this one was dragging the guys arm over his body by gripping beneath his arm with your right hand, then bringing your left hand through for the kimura grip.  A bit tricky, but it seems like a way to not muscle something I normally muscle.  Wish I wasn’t so tired.
Rolls: Ricky ( Blue Belt).  He broke my guard open, but then I swept him with that same sucker leg lasso sweep.  I need to stop going for baseball bat chokes til I know how to set them up, because I’m seriously wasting a lot of time on it.  Some okay back and forth, but I’m dissatisfied with how this roll went.  Should have been a little more ambitious.
Wylian (new Blue)  This kid is scary good.  He almost got me with the same choke mike put on me the other day, and I got out of it by passing his guard in desperation.  Need a better technical answer.  Passed his guard once or twice, but couldn’t do anything with it. Need a top game!
Jeff(blue):  I was pretty tired by this time, and Jeff handled me pretty good.  I finally started to rally just as time was called, but I didn’t do anything to noteworthy except horribly botch an anaconda attempt.  Oh well, get it next time.

Post class rolls Andy (brown) Always nice to get handled.  Andy moves so well, and thinks so far ahead of me its ridiculous.  He’s so good at funneling all my activity, so that I’m forced to play his game.  He let me pass his guard toward the end just to see what I’d do.  Answer: not too much.  As dismal as this entry sound, I actually had a great time tonight, and although I’m pretty tired and about to pass out, if I could do it again right now I would.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Guillotine Friday

Walked in to beloved gym, and there were a bunch of guys I didn't know warming up.  Earlier in my training I might have felt a tad territorial to new comers, especially talented ones.  Let me tell you, that sentiment is totally gone, and has been replaced by joy that I get to roll with new people and rip off the bits of their game that I like.  One of the guys was a GB guy I've rolled with before, a guy named Kevin who's training for an mma fight in July.  He's as tall as I am, and will be fighting at 170.   He should have huge reach against whoever he faces.  Nice guy, wish he trained with us more. 

Anyways, we drilled as normal, then Collin began teaching.  Technique was how to give the guy a bad single leg from butterfly, or open guard, and then a series of subs off that.  The part i felt most comfortable with, and will ultimately be of most use, is what to to when the guy is in turtle but has a leg.  My fav two that he showed were the japanese necktie and a one handed guillotine.  To get the neck tie, you put darce grips in as deep as you can, then gable grip and sort of crank his head down, almost as you would to turn him over for an normal darce.  Begin sliding around to his side, then use your far foot to catch the foot closest to to you.  Put right shoulder on his head then roll over it.  Tap should be instantaneous. 

For the one handed guillotine, cup the underside of his chin with your hand, bring your armpit down on top of his head tightly, and pinch your elbow in tight to the side of his head. throw right leg underneath and away, and fall to right shoulder.  Left leg comes over the top to prevent the roll.  Drive elbow towards knee.  Both of these felt a little out of my grasp, but functional.  I could forseeably add either of these to the arsenal with a bit of practice and drilling. 

Rolls: Got Vaughn first.  He was damn close to tapping me with a triangle that he scored off a botched double underhook pass from me, but I struggled my way out.  I got some criticism from Big Mike (blue belt) after this roll that i never seriously attempted to pass his guard.  I'm tempted to say that I agree.  Partly though,  I'm just way out of practice passing guard nogi, and have forgotten what works.  Both Vaughn and Mike refreshed my memory.  This roll underscored for me how dangerous a well-played open guard can be, even without the gi to grab.  I passed Vaughn's guard for like two seconds, but without the gi to grab, i couldn't maintain it.  Another part of my game which needs work. 

Next was Kevin (blue).   I think this guy just wanted to see what i had, because it didn't seem like he was trying too hard.  I caught him with a guillotine and a triangle where i put my foot underneath and kicked out.  I saw this guy at the last tournament, and he looked like hell on wheels, getting kimuras from everywhere, so either he was being really nice or the fact that i have 40 pounds on him may actually count for something.  I need to remember to go check his fight out if I can. 

Last was Steve (purple) aka the artist formerly known as old man Steve.  Tonight was a huge milestone, probably never to be repeated, involving me outwrestling Steve.  We started from knees, he came in hard, and i somehow reversed him and went right to side  AAAAHH! It was awesome.  He immediately went to turtle and, having watched a bunch of stuff on the interweb today about darces and anacondas, I made an executive decision to not worry about any of the stuff Collin showed tonight and to try to get the darce or anaconda.  Steve's so good at playing turtle tho, and he frequently gets all the way out or even reverses me from there.  But tonight I kept a lot of pressure on his head and this seemed to help a bit. More satisfied with my attacks on turtle than i ever have been, even tho nothing landed.  At least i was able to neutralize him for a bit there.   Somehow or another, he got out from under, and went to half and then side on me.  Started raining down guillotine attempts (One handed, no less.  Applying what we learned in class? Isn't that sort of like... cheating?)  Anyways, sure enough, one of them went deep, and he flopped back to fully commit to the choke.  I don't know why, but I freaking hate tapping to one handed guillotines, so I resisted pretty much as hard as i could, and sure enough, I somehow got the hell out of there and got him back in half guard.  We had one of those awesome jiujitsu moments then where we wordlessly acknowledged each other's performance, then right back into it.   

And this is where i did the one other genius, milestone thing of the night.  I somehow found myself setting up brown belt Andy's trademark butterfly halfguard, and using it to get back to full.  I don't know why, but I somehow understood how to use it tonight, and even tho I'll probably never use it correctly ever again, it still feels pretty cool.  Anyhow, right as i put him back to full , he kind of dove forward as if to pass, I threw up a normal guillotine and caught him.  He's another of those guys who it feels like if you caught them, you must be having a really good day, because they don't make too many mistakes. 

Overall, a pretty damn good night.  Only complaint, as always, is that it seems to short, and that i didn't get to roll enough.  Could have stood for a roll with Collin and Big Mike, as well as several of the visiting guys, but i guess all in all I can't really complain.  Got to roll with several awesome jiujitsu players, and if that's not a good Friday night, I don't know what is. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Slugged out grill + more leg lasso open guard.

On time!  Lets see how long that streak lasts, now…  Normal warm-ups, then guard pass.  Normal today, but I still tried to play a lot of open.  White belt Jamie got a pretty good pass from me fumbling around trying to play open, when usually I try to break him down.  Interesting thing, I had a much harder time getting the leg lasso than I normally do.   In technique portion, Marco addressed how to properly do it.  Wait for your opponent to start sliding his knee forward, and straightening his arms.  When he does, bring the legs up and pinch knees together, pressing his arms together.  Hips sideways, then go for the lasso while pushing away with the foot (in his hip) and pulling both sleeves.

So anyway, guard break drills.  Things of note: I have absolutely nothing for Marco.  I tried not to get excited  and to be really deliberate, but of course, the second he let me get to half, I thought to myself, “This is it.  Here comes the glory.  I shall pass this black belt’s guard with ease, then crown myself the king of all jiujitsu.  You there, servant boy! Bring me your finest meats and cheeses.”  Needless to say it didn’t quite work out like that for the kid.  I went flying, and I don’t even know exactly how he did it.  I was able to pass Vaughn’s guard with some difficulty, then I got blue belt Nick in my guard.  We had some good back and forth, then I took a pretty big knee to the right eyeball.  I stopped for a second, then somehow got the leg lasso sweep from him having me in north-south. Pretty proud of that, the kid is good.  Then a purple easily passed, same one as before whose name I don’t know.  Time.

In techniques, we looked at rolling to an omoplata and rolling to a triangle from leg lasso.  For both of these, start in normal leg lasso, then slide right foot underneath to go into turtle next to the guy, using the leg lasso foot on the guys hip to move around.  Then either roll over shoulder closest to the guy and kick out (for omoplata)  or half roll and turn back in, throwing leg over guys shoulder for the triangle.  Need to drill this way more.  After class Vaughn showed a cool variation of this, where you establish cross grips on the guy’s sleeves,  then roll straight into the triangle. He said you can set that up from half guard if your quick about it. I MUST remember to try this, it felt way tighter to me than the first way.  We also went over that hip bump sweep from half guard. I need to remember to post my arm BEFORE I attempt that sweep.  I think it will work.

Rolls tonight, I got Ricky(blue), Nick (blue) and Mike( blue). All awesome rolls.  With Ricky I started with him in my guard and resolved not to break him down, to play open.  I’m glad I did, I caught him one of my first ever standing open sweeps.  I leg lasso’d, grabbed the opposite foot, then put my other foot on the lasso’d bicep.  This felt good. I got him above my hips and he pretty much went straight over. I need to scramble better tho, because it was anyone's game there for a minute.  I went to knee on belly looking for baseball chokes, and he of course got deep half.  Swept me.  I some how got my leg free and threw up a triangle.  He got his hand in just in time.  I sort of kimura’d him from there, cause his arm was trapped in such a weird position.  We reset, then time called. 

Next was Nick.  Started from his guard.  It seems like the whole roll was spent trying to pass his guard.  I finally did, went to side control, knee on belly, and started looking for baseball bat choke.  Got swept, wound up in guard.  Hard to break nim down, but I think I finally did.  This roll was pretty technical.  I went to mount at one point and tried to play technical mount, but he got to turtle.  Tried to darce him, but he sat back to his guard.  That’s such the right move for when I try to darce you, because I freak out and let go immediately.  Time .

Last roll Mike. Mike showed some finesse in this roll that I wasn’t expecting.  At one point we wound up on knees.  He grabbed my lapels and threw himself down sideways.  Came pretty close to getting the choke, but I somehow got out of that.  After that I baseball choked him from knee on belly (finally! The only fraking move I went for tonight!)

After class, I drilled for a bit with Jamie, who as I said is really learning quickly.  Managed to catch another shot to the face, so i have matching bruises today.  

Thoughts.  Work on ALL unorthodox sweeps.  Figure out the best way to set up baseball bat choke form side.  Maybe its from knee on belly, maybe it would work better from someplace else for me.  Practice the techniques shown tonight, because they are supercool.