Something we take for granted..


So this is something that seems almost contradictory to most other people, but for those of us that practice the art.. It makes absolute sense.

I believe though, that we forget how fine the line is between keeping your opponent close enough to where they dont have space to capitalize on opportunities and yet keep them far enough away that you can keep your arms tucked underneath them. We are taught from jits 101 that you need to keep your arms in.. Which in of itself is not wrong. The problem is that we also have to decide how much room we are going to give them to move so that we can better our position.. This is no easy task as any practitioner can tell you.

As a purple belt, i can tell you that i am still playing the gamble in deciding whether to give up space or pulling my opponent in closer… I believe that this process doesnt go away the higher you go in ranking. I believe that the process in fact gets more difficult the longer you stay in the life style.

Not being one to run away from the challenge, i look forward to the redundant procees until i become fluent in making the right choice!

its been a month… OWW!!

so its been a full month, thanks to the holidays, since i last hit the mats. oh my goodness! the difference a month makes! maybe i should have spent that time at least keeping up with my cardio… running, rope, anything really.

unfortunately for me, i have an issue with my lungs. they dont really care for cold air. most people would call it “asthma” (which seems to be the new catch all phrase for any type of breathing problem), but in the old days, we called it for what it really was. reactive airway disease. how do you tell the two apart? true asthma can be triggered emotionally, where as reactive airways cannot. so to determine which one you have, or someone else has, make them cry or get upset.. if it triggers an attack, they have asthma!

how does this play into my return to jiu jitsu after a month long hiatus? well, since i am older now and decided that i would do other things than keep up with my cardio… last nights training session was a beast! we played a brutal game of “crazy 8’s”. how does one play this game? pretty easy… you set your timer for 8 minutes, pick 8 guys to round robin with and you go until one of you scores 8 points or gets the submission. winner stays. all matches start from standing.

so how did i do? well, i learned that i cannot ignore the take down part of the game. i was able to get most of my opponents down with an ichi mada fake to an inside leg take down, which i was lucky enough to pass their guard as we were heading to the ground. my biggest opponent.. i dont know the name of the move, but i stuffed his reaching hand with a cross grip and swept my arm over his exposed shoulder, i then hooked my hand into his belt, and then sat into the space underneath the both of us while pulling him over my head. even though i was successful, though sloppy, the take down part of the game really sucks down on your strength and energy levels. by the time i was half way through most of the sparring session, i knew was running on fumes and i was sucking down way too much wind.

didnt do too well on my submission game truth be told. i was able to get to most of the dominant positions, but my technique has gotten a little rusty, or the guys i train with have just gotten stronger. i noticed that i am having to use a little more strength to get the submission than what i would have normally liked to use. i also noticed that the guys have been able to work their way out of the submissions either by brute strength, or by being able to hold off until the lactic acid in my arms/ legs have done its job and caused me to abandon the submission attempt. definitely something that i need to address in future sparring sessions.

i am hoping that this cold snap that we have this week will not last too long and i can get back to running or at least out in the garage to get with the rope. as we get closer to summer, i hope to spend more time once again doing crossfit and lifting more so that i can get ready for the next tournament season.

50/50 guard to side control…

so the 50/50 is not some place that i really like to start from.. too easy for a quick/squirrely opponent to get an ankle or straight knee lock if your not fast enough to catch what they are doing or if your not nimble enough to pull out of the 50/50 fast enough…

this move is something that we learned from the 50/50, but i like to provoke it or get the move from a failed de la riva. the idea is basically the same.

so starting from the 50/50, the idea is to provoke your opponent to stand up first. this can be done by the classic “reach around their ankle and grab the far side of your own lapel” move. most higher belts will know that this can never be good, so they will more than likely either start a gator roll or they will stand. in this regard, you are hoping that they stand. if and when they do, move to step B.

once they stand, the unoccupied hand will reach around for their belt or the back of their gi pant. the far leg (the leg not actively involved in the 50/50) will then swing to your opponents far side leg and the top of your foot should engage them just below their crotch area, but closer to where their femoral artery should be on that leg. your 50/50 leg will then disengage and move just below the opposite leg in a modified X guard. you will then extend both your legs to make him shift his balance.. once he does, you will then use your x guard to pull him back towards you. using his momentum and the hand that is gripping the pants, you will cause your opponent to almost sit on top of you. as he does so, the objective is to sweep him to the four o’clock position, causing him to fall over. remember that ankle that you occupied at the beginning of this move? dont let go of that gi engaged lock! as your opponent hits the ground, you will follow him, keeping the locked ankle and drop your full weight on the hip that is not on the ground. this will make for an easier pass to full on side control. so you will get the points for the sweep/take down and depending on your tournament rules, you could also get points for keeping side control.

for me, i like to get this move from a failed de la riva since most of the components are already in place. its just a question of moving your hands to the exact same locations and youll be doing the x guard from the outside instead of being inside and under your opponent. non traditional, but since it is so, most people dont train for the counter move… the result is the same, sweep to their four o’clock and follow them over from the sweep into side control.

hopefully, ill have a little more time to hit the gym and train some more, if i learn anything new and worth while, ill post it and keep you guys updated!

train smart,  not hard!

50/50 sweep and submission..

it has been a while hasnt it? lol!! sorry to the few followers that i have on this page… it has been busy @ work and i have been going through some really tough personal problems that has pretty much consumed my fire for jits. with the help of my brothers on the mats and staying occupied… im hoping the hurt im feeling will pass like getting cauliflower ear.

anyway, on to the move… so this is not really one of my favorite positions to get caught in, the 50/50 guard.. i dont think it really benefits anyone in terms of advantage, but it is a good position to hold someone that is a hard roller if you have to catch your breath.

this move will start from a right side opponent knee ride. The left hand braces the opponents right knee and your right hand braces @ the foot/ankle joint. you would then slightly hip out to get out from under the knee. as you are doing so, you would hip back in and turn on to your right side slightly and using your left foot, brace that against your opponents right hip. at the same time, you would make it a point to get a good gi grip on their right sleeve. once the foot is in their hip, they should change posture to relieve the pressure on their hip, when they do, your right leg will then shoot between their legs in such a way that your right foot should be able to come up to replace or hook over the left foot. you would continue to push through with the momentum and that should be enough to knock your opponent down to the mat. congratulations, you are now in the 50/50 guard.

from here, still holding on to the gi sleeve, you would then take your left foot and push it into the shoulder area of the right arm. once you create that pressure your right leg will then change locations and shoot at an angle to cut across your opponents left hip area. as your leg shoots across, your left leg will come out of your opponents right shoulder and you will pull that same arm towards you and away at like a 30 degree angle. as he is falling towards you, he will rotate towards you, which will allow your take your left leg and bring it around his back. basically at this point, it is a simple back take maneuver. from there, you get your hooks in or start for a bow choke or a simple collar choke.

hope you guys enjoyed this one, when i get another class in, i will be sure to share the knowledge!