Month: October 2008

No-gi Class – “Somebody Call My Mama!”

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Class was excellent. I have been riding an emotional high since Monday night. I remember an MMA fighter once saying that although he has often not wanted to go to practice, he has never regretted going. I feel the same way about BJJ. 

We worked on the single leg takedown, passing guard afterward and then transitioning to side control. We also worked on hip switches, the turtle position and another guard pass.

My cardio is up and I rolled for 5 – 3 minute rounds after class with a different person each time. I didn’t tap anyone and no one tapped me; although I was taking it easy tonight. I realized tonight that my strengths are positional dominance and defense. I don’t have to get the tap at all costs and usually will give up a dominant position if I notice the guy can’t get out. This probably has cost me taps over the years, but it let’s me work my overall game.

The last guy I rolled with looked exhausted before we began. I think I had a little more energy until my leg cramped. When it cramped, I let go of my guard and he sank back and tried to put on an ankle lock. I defended using the method Carlos taught me last week. When I reclaimed the mount he ‘tapped’ from exhaustion (does that count?) and uttered, “Somebody call my Momma!”

Sunshine State BJJ Open

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I didn’t participate but I went to watch everyone compete and lend support to our academy. We had over 20 guys and gals participating, including kids. I believe we (Combat Athletix/Smiley’s MMA) came in 1st for gi and 2nd for no-gi overall. I might have that reversed. A lot of our white belts placed as well.

I have competed in Judo competitions but never BJJ. It just so happened that the first time I saw BJJ up close was during a Judo tournament. It was around 1998 and a guy performed a flying armbar on one of my teammates. It caused a near riot. Our guy was so upset and confused that it got everyone else upset and confused.

The one difference that I noticed was that the BJJ tournament was packed and everyone was right on top of the action. People were really into the matches as well. I could feel the energy and can understand how it could sap some of your strength if you are not used to it.

It was interesting to watch.

A visit to the evil chiropractor…

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I didn’t really go to the chiropractor, but a guy in class last night kept giving me ankle adjustments. It was the same guy who was my training partner during the Luis Palheres seminar I attended a few months ago. We hadn’t grappled with each other since that time and the scenario was the same, including the outcome.

I was able to gain positional dominance again and again but twice he was able to sit back in a scramble and slap on a basic ankle lock, which I didn’t know how to protect myself from.  I immediately sought out assistance from Carlos, a newly promoted brown belt and who was running the class, on how to defend them.

The guy had exposed a basic chink in my armor.  He has only been training for five months but he explained (during the seminar) that he has been doing ankle locks since he started because someone slapped one on him. At all my previous schools we never really focused on ankle or leg locks. I can count on one hand the number of times we were either shown a technique or how to defend. It was quite unnecessary to show us because we weren’t allowed to do them in class anyway.

So last night was good for me. I know that I will be developing this facet of my game.

I also rolled with Carlos. He provided the other half of the chiropractor visit. He performed upper body tweaks; a near kimura from his guard, armbar attempts and techniques I can’t remember. I can’t even recall what I tapped out to.

[The vid above shows an ankle lock defense.]

Dana went full retard —- “Never go full retard.”

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Last night’s TUF episode was truly entertaining, although the decision-making left me thinking, “Hunh?” I have always thought that having alcohol in a house full of men quarantined in a “McMansion” with nothing to do was asking for trouble. The producers always get what they want. It also exacerbates any alcohol issues the ‘fellas’ have.

Yet, the two guys, Junie Browning and Shane Nelson with the drinking issues on last night’s show were a danger to everyone. I mean, put you in the hospital dangerous. The only thing saving this episode from truly getting out of hand was the fact that the sober ones wanted to remain in the house and not get kicked out for beating up a drunk guy.

Dana’s decision to keep these guys in the house boggles me. I can recall plenty of times, when I was in the Army, guys who would turn into angry raging drunks after a few beers. No one was safe and someone usually ended up getting hurt. No matter how many times Dana called the pair “retarded” it didn’t change the fact that they were always a second away from having a visit from the paramedics the night before.

He endangered all of those other guys by letting them stay. It is also unfair to those kicked off the show for fighting. Some of those altercations weren’t alcohol related and I’m sure they would not have done it again, knowing what was at stake.

But I must admit, this season’s crew are making up for the last season.

How often do you train?

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Check out my grappling books on Amazon: Grappling Games: BJJ & Submission WrestlersTapmonster: Ideas about Grappling for BJJ and Submission WrestlersGrappling for Newbies20 Ways to Increase Grappling Skills off the MatThe Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and much more.


Nephews promoted to Yellow Belt

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This past Friday my nephews were promoted to yellow belt in Hapkido Karate. I signed them up under me for the family plan for BJJ but since my oldest nephew Kenyon loves Karate I also negotiated a day a week for them to take Karate. My instructor Smiley was nice enough to let them join the advanced class as white belts. 

After about 3 months of training they both passed their one hour exam from last week and the ceremony was held Friday. They were both grinning from ear to ear afterwards.

Of course their progress in BJJ is much slower but they are coming along.

Elite XC – Wow!

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Kimbo and Ken Cancellation: I can’t say I’m upset that Ken Shamrock is not fighting Kimbo. It looked like that weigh-in was a set up and the to say he can’t fight because of that cut is bogus. I think Seth Petruzelli and Kimbo is a better matchup. Seth has some experience suitable for a match up for Slice.

Ninja Rua vs. Benji Radach: WoW! Rua has a chin on him but Radach has tranquilizers for fists. The first round was short on defense as they both swung for the fences but it was entertaining. I feel bad for Rua as he lost due to a slip that landed him on his back followed by his head being used as a shock absorber for Benji’s strikes.

Gina Carano vs. Kelly Kobold: Kelly Kobold came to rumble but Gina Carano is a monster. She almost RNC’d her from the front (I don’t know how!). Those four kicks at the end were marvelous. I think Carano’s heart was tested in this fight because Kobold really wanted to destroy her.

Arlovski vs. “Big Country” Roy Nelson: Heavily outmatched. Nelson could probably make 205. Roy also looks like he is about 5’11 instead of over 6ft. I think we are about to see a big change in Elite XC in talent. They interviewed Tito Ortiz also. By the time he recovers from his surgery I think they will have enough talent to make some interesting match ups.

Jake Shields vs. Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley: What was Shields thinking about when he went for the arm bar in the first round? The second round though he demonstrated why. Daley just needs to work on his ground defense.

Kimbo vs. Seth Petruzelli: I suspected that Kimbo would not pull through on this one. I think he was over anxious and ran into a awkward punch. Most people don’t know how to time their punches against people who practice or practiced Karate. Seth held his foot out in front to keep Kimbo at a distance and had time to measure his punch. It just goes to show that dreams (Seth’s) can pay off.