Month: February 2008

Zhoozhitzu do Graugardo: Thinking Ahead

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I have had Christian Graugart’s blog page listed for quite a while now. To those who are familiar with his site, you know that he provides pretty useful tips on BJJ. I happened to watch his latest video yesterday and was impressed with how easily he dominates his sparring partners. He always seems to be thinking 2 to 3 steps ahead of the people he is sparring.

Here is a video where he demonstrates a little bit of his thought process when he is grappling with opponents.

I have to admit that I have been trying to remember chains of sequences but am not at the level where I can lead opponents into traps with any regularity. I am at the stage where I try to gain the dominant position and then try a number of submissions from the dominant stance. I adapt to whatever occurs but that’s about it….

Traveling, but keeping pace….

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I will be traveling often these next few weeks (academic job hunt, weddings, etc..). However, I have maintained the 100 reps a day regimen I set up last week. The positions that I have applied for and that have responded to me are in cities that have plenty of BJJ and submission grappling academies. That is one of the quality of life issues that is very important to me.

I am still looking forward to the tournament (April 12th), but I am wary of losing class time. I have to stay in rolling shape and be ready for a tournament pace. I know the 100 reps regiment will not be enough.

I’ll figure something out though…

BJJ and the Stability Ball

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I have finally used a stability ball (my wife’s) as a part of BJJ training. In the past, I have seen a few videos with guys describing the benefits of using it for BJJ, but it never prompted me to act. I tried it out Saturday night just to see what would happen.

It truly does require balance, timing and coordination. A few times, I found myself rolling faster than anticipated and crashing to the floor. The guide it came with, says that it “trains the body in functional movement; helps balance; strengthens the core; promotes flexibility; and stabilizes the spine, etc…

I can’t vouch for any of that yet, but I can see how my ground game, in terms of mobility and agility could improve if I used it enough.

Check out my new books, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Grappling and Grappling for Newbies on Amazon.com!

“Heel Twist Mount Escape”

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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.

I watched an interesting video clip on how to escape when mounted. The guys on the clip state it’s a technique that can be used if the traditional escapes fail.

I like to introduce unique techniques to my game because of the shock value. I find that you gain valuable time to pull off some of these moves because of the split second delay that occurs when your opponent realizes that you are trying something different. Time that can be used for a reversal, to gain positional dominance or a submission.

Training Chart: Preparing for Tournament

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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.

I want to participate in the April 12th tournament in Jacksonville, so I need to alter my training regimen. After a week of knowing about the tournament I hadn’t changed my routine, at all, of a minimum of 30 reps and attending class until yesterday. I drew up a chart that I will use to prepare for the event.

I am happy with being able to participate, etc., but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to do well.

Here is what I came up with. I will attempt to do 10 reps in every category (for 100 total) every day (except class days) unitl the tournament. I completed my first run through yesterday (Sunday) in about 30 minutes with the assistance of my heavy bag and imagined resistance:

Throws: Double overhooks w. leg trip/Overhook, underhook hip throw/Elbow grip, underhook foot sweep/Side step, side step foot sweep/ Tai-otoshi/ Osoto-gari/Ouchi-gari

Takedowns: Ankle pick/Single leg (spin out)/ Double leg/ Bearhug, inside leg trip

Positional Dominance: Mount/Side control/Back mount/ North south/Sprawl

Basic Submissions: Ezekiel choke/Knuckle choke/ Americana/Kimura/Mata leon (RNC)/ Armbars/Guillotine/Triangle/Head and arm triangle/Lock down calf-crush

Guard Defense: Open guard/Butterfly guard/X-guard/Spider guard (only tried once)

Submissions from Guard: Armbars/Kimura/Guillotine

Guard Sweeps: Butterfly guard sweeps/X-guard breakdown/Scissor sweep

Escapes: Side control escapes/Mount escapes/Upa-bridging/Shrimping (both sides)

Guard Passes: (Sorry – I don’t know the names of these techniques) Knee in over thigh to scarf-hold/Grab both legs and throw to side/Gable grip both thighs and toss to side/Bear hug legs and inch upwards/Chicken wing leg – butterfly guard pass

Side Control to Mount: Knee on belly/Hip switch to mount/Create space w/arm to slide knee over/Knee over slide

Fight Quest: My Addiction to BJJ is Ridiculous

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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.

I am sitting here blogging while watching Fight Quest and I’m thinking about how hooked I am to BJJ. I wish this episode could last for 3 hours or more. I’m envious of the total immersion lifestyle. I guess it’s the grass is greener syndrome.

Eventually, in the United States, we will have the level of interest that exists in Brazil and those who wish to make it a greater part of their lifestyle will be able to do so with minimal effort.

There also seemed to be more high level belts than lower level where they were training. It almost felt like I was watching someone attend a Jiu-jitsu resort.

The training probably seems really tough to someone who has never experienced or seen it before. Especially with Doug getting choked out and Jimmy getting his elbow hyper-extended by the over anxious purple belt. Yet, to me it is one of the safest martial arts or ‘sports’ I have ever participated in.

Oh yeah… I think Doug spazzed out a little when he had his actual fight. I think he reverted to the “animal ferocity” he is always talking about in order to gain points. I think they cheated him of that last round too.

90 Days In…..

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Well, I’ve been working on my BJJ skills for 90 days straight. How am I doing in terms of progress?

Well, I’m not sure. I know that I have improved in many different areas. However, it is hard for me to judge to what degree. My flexibility and mobility has improved and  I have become more agile. I am better able to dominate my sparring partners positionally. My open guard  and butterfly guard has improved and I have introduced the x-guard to my game. My tap out to being tapped out ratio has improved. I tap people out more than I get tapped out now (at least in my mind). Further, I feel closer to the BJJ world due to this blog and constantly working on techniques even when not in class.

However, even though I am uncertain or at times my growth seems imperceptible, the numbers don’t lie. In 90 days I have performed over 2, 700 reps of BJJ techniques. That has to be good for something even if I can’t always recognize the growth….