Saturday, April 18, 2009

Friday, April 17, 2009 - open mat

some decidedly sparse notes on some things I'm working on... very much preliminary at this point:

  • straight armlocks/overhooking the arm as a point of control/contact... wrapping up opponent's arm above the elbow from guard (open or closed), from top side control, and from a failed triangle position

I've always been a fan of wrapping up an arm just because it's an easier grip for me, and because it's especially snug in gi work. Got the option of securing it using your own/their lapel. The opponent can armlock themselves rather easily if they're not paying attention/spazzing; but more importantly, it's a quick move for me.

I normally preferred using this when in guard, opening guard and then using my insteps to take the opponent's knees/base out from under them. I liked wrapping the arm when in top side control as well, but acknowledge that this gives up a little bit of control in terms of keeping them pinned. If going for the armlock from here, it has to be fast. I don't know that it's a high percentage move, since it opens the door for them to escape when you raise up/remove the pressure to move into the armlock by stepping over, or by sitting up with the shin planted in their armpit. Some things to work on, for sure.

I won't pretend to have more lofty ambitions than to study butterfly guard in order to later move into studying x guard. I think x guard is something that I could get into, being of similar (short, stocky legs) build as Garcia, and admittedly preferring an open guard/leg strength/flexibility based approach. However, some folks in class have mentioned an interest in butterfly guard, seem to have a natural tendency to end up with one or two butterfly hooks in when trying to shrimp escape from mount, so maybe this is an option to look into for their sake.

or maybe they need to work harder on shrimp escapes towards the end goal of replacing full guard. who knows?

I can't say I'm going all deep end into this specific guard, but it is an inadequacy. May as well address it in my own pursuits and learn something about butterfly guard, even if what I learn is "wow, my butterfly guard isn't a bread and butter position for me right now"

Looked at probably twice or three times the volume of stuff I'd normally like to for a simple open mat session. Didn't drill enough, either. Really more of an academic effort than anything else, and that's fine. Incubating ideas is just as important as executing them, I suppose.

but for now, happy to just look at and apply the basics. I can see a host of bad habits to remove/not allow to solidify.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

class notes 4/07/09

was fortunate enough to have some brethren from our parent school come down to work with our small group last night. The theme: mount escapes.

shrimp drills are omnipresent in our warm-ups, but strangely absent from the toolbox once folks start rolling. And I am certainly not bragging, I get sat upon as much as the next person, and find it just as annoying when it's my partner's sole offensive. Jiu Sitsu, as I've come to call it.

Nothing earth-shatteringly new on this basic shrimp escape, aside from several details that have likely either not been brought to everyone's attention, or have been neglected in favor of an easier/sloppier form.

  • framing position with the arms/elbows-- digging the floorside elbow either against or underneath your mounted opponent's knee to create distance/relieve weight pressure; your other forearm bracing against the opponent's pelvic girdle firmly -- failing to post this arm past their centerpoint could encourage your mounted opponent to proceed to taking your back when you shrimp up to your side

The other two variations involved shrimping out to half guard, rather than replacing full guard. In the first variation, once you've shrimped up to one side, you extend your lower (i.e.-- closest to the floor) leg alongside your opponent's outer leg or hook. You then reach across with your other leg to capture their foot, drag it across your own extended leg, rolling over into half guard.

In the second variation, you instead reach under their foot with your own, hooking it before rolling over into half guard.

The importance of staying tucked in, securing your underhook, and being prepared to sweep, submit, or reset to guard from this bottom half guard position was discussed as well.

from these basics, I can see us expanding out into sweeps and subs from half guard, half guard escapes, and in the longer term, opening the door to introducing butterfly guard concepts (since sometimes as you escape mount, maybe you don't get full guard or even half guard, but you have a butterfly hook (or two) in).

Half guard is a bit of a favorite for me, personally, provided that it's used for more than just stalling, or applying the lockdown (to no accompanying progressive move), or in lieu of working on replacing full guard.

I've taken a large amount of my half guard game from Stephan Kesting's Dynamic Half Guard DVD, which I am certain I will review at some point here. In brief, though, I can't give Kesting's work enough praise. I've found all of his DVDs to be exceptional, and his web site is a boon to any grappler.

I'd encourage anyone who has somehow come across this blog before Kesting's site to do themselves the favor of checking out

Monday, April 6, 2009

An introduction of sorts...

I've no idea where this will go, but my initial intentions for this blog are the following:
  • Random thoughts and observations on Brazilian jiu jitsu
  • techniques I like, techniques that are eluding me, techniques that I keep getting caught with
  • product reviews for grappling/mma gear I've tried
  • and not getting derailed too terribly often (no promises)

As of this posting, I am a one-stripe blue belt. I am a female in my thirties. I've been studying BJJ for several years now (probably around five or more years, but with several interruptions to consistent training), and intend to do so for as long as my mind and body will let me. I've not yet competed, but I don't know that I never will.

I started at a Royce Gracie school, and that is where I was last ranked, and so I feel a bit of loyalty to that network of academies. I may not be black-out drunk on the so-called Gracie koolaid, but you can certainly smell it on my breath.

Presently, I train with a small group of mostly beginners. It's a slow rebuilding process with a new affiliation/school. "Slow and steady wins the race" my grandmother used to say. At this point, I am content and actually refreshed at the instruction we're now receiving: getting the basics down, solidly, before moving on too far ahead.

As for the review end of this blog-- I am a confessed and unabashed gear whore. I love trying out new grappling shorts, rashguards, gis... and will readily extol the virtues (or reveal the shortcomings) of whatever I've bought. So maybe whoever is reading this might either save or confidently blow their hard-earned cash...

This is my first real attempt at blogging. I certainly welcome useful comments, especially as postings pile up and I start questioning techniques. I believe open dialogue is one of the crucial means of improving in this art, and that is probably my largest wish for this blog.

oh, and disclaimer: I won't always be this formal and on task.