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…