Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Connecting The Dots

I always try to to use the technique we are shown at the start of class during sparing at the end of class. I find that if I go for those new moves and especially if I pull the move off with some success, it's then in my bag of tricks for ever. Sometimes it leads to me getting tapped or being put in to shit spots but I really believe this helps to progress faster. The techniques our coach showed us my last training session slotted straight in to my tight game from side control. This is no fluke either, due to my coach not just teaching us random techniques. Every move we are taught connects to a series of moves we have been shown before. Having coaching like this also helps to progress faster. I stunted my growth at the start of my training by trying to collect too many techniques from everywhere. You tube, dvd instrutionals and even magazines. I was collecting a massive amount of info. This only confused me more and made me think too much while I was rolling. I've spoken about this in a previous post, thinking while you roll leads to death.

I also pulled off the very elusive triangle from closed guard last night while sparring and the feeling of getting it was very gratifying. I even went from triangle to omoplata back to triangle to finish. The triangle is elusive to me for a few reasons. One is I have short and large legs with low flexibility. The other is that I've never really drilled it in class.

One part of my game that I feel is lacking is my submissions from the closed guard. The game I play with the different guards I use, all revolve around sweeps. The only sub I pull with any real success is the Kimura from closed guard and half guard. The half guard kimura usually leads to a sweep then a pass. I do throw up the ocasional triangle, omoplata or armbar from closed guard but I would say they are very low percentage for me and if I really try to get it I often get my guard passed. 

I've studied tons of high level nogi grappling tournaments and by far the 3 most common submissions are the RNC, Triangle, and Armbar. Now I've been thinking a lot about this, and I would be crazy not to use this information and try to make my self a better grappler. I have been working on taking the back and getting the rear naked a lot. And I also work on my armbars from the doninate top positions. But I need to focus on my submissions from the guard a lot more.

I've always blamed my low flexibility and fat legs for my shit triangles and armbars but I think it is more poor technique. Not enough drilling the triangle and the options off the triangle and not enough working on my flexibility is the problem. To rectify this I'm going to focus on my flexibility and really start throwing up Triangles when I'm free rolling. I find if I really focus on getting the triangle I can normally get the position. But finishing it off is a whole other story. I'm missing a couple of things. One i think is keeping there posture broken down. The other is getting the right angle and distance. And the last is hooking the leg if they try to stand up. The Triangle is such a great move and is available from lots of different set ups. I think it's the submission i'm going to focus on over the next few months.

I've also been using one of the techniques from the Perosh seminar when I'm turtled and the top player goes for the under over control from the side. I clamp the far arm with my armpit then roll in to them pulling them over the top of me and me ending up in side control. I've also been getting a move when someone is just about to pass but I go to my knees then roll out to replace them in my guard. Lovein' that one.

C u on the mat,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Anthony Perosh BJJ Seminar

I arrived at the gym a little bit early and had a quick no-gi warm up roll. Which sure warmed us up, it was a hot day as it was. Add the fact that the fight night was the night before and we had celebrated the teams performance well in to the night. I was feeling the heat.
There was a decent roll up of about 20. This is actually the second seminar I've done with Mr Perosh, he is a 2nd Degree Black Belt under Carlos Machado. He is also 10 x Australian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champion, 3 x Bronze medalist at the Worlds and a UFC veteran fighting big names in the sport like CroCop and Jeff Monson. So it goes with out saying that when he walks on to the mat the dude has some serious room presence.
The bulk of the seminar was on attacking the turtle position and then defending from that position. We also went over some half guard stuff. There was quiet a few techniques that he showed that I really liked and can add to my game almost immediately. We did some competition style training isolating the turtle position. It was a great way to put the new techniques to the test and add them to my game. I was going to go in to detail of the moves that Mr Perosh taught us but like I've said before describing bjj techniques in words is very difficult.
He spoke about the importance of Gi training, keeping notes and using a flow chart of options from all the different positions. He said that his students fighting mma are not allowed to fight unless they do at least 2 advanced BJJ classes a week in the Gi. He believes that it is very important to train each area of mma individually.
When he spoke about keeping notes and having a flow chart game plan I was extremely interested. I've always taken notes ever since i started. At first they were just a list of all the techniques i was learning and it wasn't really helping me out to much. When i started to use it as more of a journal on my rolls and what i was pulling off in training and what i was getting caught with and why, it became much more useful. It helped me to figure out what i was getting better at and what I needed to work on.
I also have a flow chart of the moves I use in all the different positions. I try to have at least 2 no more than 5 options from every position. My flow chart is still under work and changes all the time. I'm still trying to build a good foundation in all the different positions and I often try something for a while then try something else from that same spot. It takes a lot of mat time to develop a solid game in all the areas but It is defiantly great advise to start trying to build one early in your jits journey. A shitty plan is still better than no plan at all, as they say.

So I got a lot out of the seminar and at $50 it was an absolute bargain. Anthony Perosh is a world class instructor and I feel privileged to have had that access to his wealth of BJJ knowledge. I really look forward to the next time he's up this way.

C u on the mat,


Monday, November 8, 2010

The Best Seat In The House

So the boys fight night was last Friday night, and it went off!! I travelled down early in the arvo before the fight night to show my team mates support and help out if I could. The venue was awesome. The Events centre in Caloundra is the perfect set up for a fight show. The teared seating had a mad view in to the cage and the place had big screens every where with a live feed of the fights so you wouldn't miss any of the action.
I went down to the changing rooms and a couple of my mates arrived not long after. They were both so chill it was ridiculous. I hung out for a bit, then one of our clubs lead cornermen asked if I could stay in the dressing sheds and help the boys warm up before there fights. Hell yeah! But by the time I ducked back to get some shorts and a training shirt the dressing shed was chokas. With 6 of our guys 2-3 of our cornermen and then all the other fighters and crew fighting out of the same corner as us in the same room. It was a bit full. So I looked for another job.
I was asked to open and close the cage door. Hell yeah! So my job was to let the fighters and officials in to the cage and hand the super hot ring girls the round number cards. Sweet deal. It was with out a doubt the best seat in the house.
One of my boys getting the W, I'm fist pumping in the background.
 The team all performed outstanding going 4wins 1draw 1loss. The atmosphere in the place was amazing especially when one of the local boys fought. At one stage I had one of my mates ground and pounding his opponent about 10cm in front of my face. I noticed his opponent was working for a submission so i was telling my mate to posture up and push his hips in, but the ref told me to shut up. Opps... i guess the door opener dude can't give advise. But my team mate didn't need any advise from me. He slammed his way out of a few triangle attempts and escaped a deep armbar to ground and pound his opponent to victory. It was one of the fights of the night. All the fights on the card were entertaining, but when our coach Ryan Dunstan got in the cage the place was going ballistic. He dominated his oponent standing, even getting of a huge flying knee, and the moment the fight hit the floor it was a wrap son!! He got the ref stoppage early in the first via more nasty G n P!!!

Now that's entertainment!
The after party was epic, it went for two days. I had some great yarns with my head coach, had some huge laughs with my mates especially the mate who's place I crashed at and I met a super cool cat from the brizy gym that is as crazy about the sport as I am. Also on the Saturday we had a BJJ seminar with UFC veteran and 2nd degree black belt Anthony Perosh at our gym. It was excellent. I'll post up a bit of a review later this week.

C u on the mat,

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Leverage & Feel Concept

I think one of the most important concepts in BJJ is Rickson Gracies ideas on leverage and feel. I still don’t have a good grasp on this theory. Hopefully I'll gain some insight when I attend Ricksons seminar early next year.
When I roll I try to keep leverage in mind rather than brute force and strength. I'm 110kg right now so I'm along way from a little dude but I try to play the roll of the smaller guy in training. I nearly always start on bottom when sparring. I worked out early on in my journey that battling on the knees is a bit redundant. So I play guard a lot, and try to use leverage to get a sweep or sub.
My knowledge of leverage is very small but if I keep it in my mind while I roll it helps me out a lot. I often gain an easy sweep by just thinking of the angle where my opponent has no post and simply pushing or pulling in that direction.
Every time that I can't make the technique work that I'm going for it is nearly always due to not having the leverage. I can try to muscle it and may be I'll get it but only because I was a bit stronger or bigger than the dude I'm applying it to. Which is really poor form, and will lead me to not doing well in comps when I'm up against dudes my size.

“Technical knowledge is not enough. One must transcend techniques so that the art becomes an artless art, growing out of the unconscious”
Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Japanese Zen Buddhist Scholar

I also try to use feel and sensitivity to help my flowing game. I try to preempt my opponents’ movements by feeling what his body wants to do next, but sometimes my body goes to react and then my mind stops it. Which sounds stupid, but it really happens.
Either my mind tells my body that I'm too tired to move or it might even tell it to move a different direction then I was going in. I'm kind of second guessing my self.
Saulo Ribeiro has a saying
"If you think, you are late. If you are late, you use strength. If you use strength, you tire. And if you tire, you die!"
I think that nails what I'm doing; thinking too much. I strive to roll with no mind and only reaction.

I reckon mastering these concepts is the key to becoming truly fluent in jits.

C u on the mat,


P.S. Six of my team mates are fighting this Friday night in Caloundra. I'm so pumped up for it I think a little bit of pee just came out. They have all been training like animals in preparation. The sacrifice that they go through to be ready for there fight and even to just make weight is inspirational. One team mate is even taking a fight on 3days notice. They all deserve the glory of victory but they all already have my up most respect.
This is the fight card.