First Day of Summer Break – Jiu Jitsu

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I am drained, but in a good way. I’m recovering from a day time class of BJJ and not from teaching in a college classroom.  I am “off” for the next 3 ½ months, so I can invest a lot more time improving my BJJ skills among other things.

Today we worked on a drop throw from the clinch and three escapes from the Kesa-gatame. One of the escapes led to setting up a variation of the Twister.


I held up pretty good during sparring. I rolled with Joe (white belt) during my first roll. Joe is becoming a fixture at the academy (gym) as he has been there every time I have been in the last two months. I haven’t been able to go regularly so I know he must be there all the time.

We started standing up and I was able to get a sweep and an ankle pick during our roll. Eventually I was able to tap him out with a knuckle choke.  I hadn’t sunk one in a while so I was fumbling a bit when setting it up. Joe asked, “ Are you doing a knuckle choke?”  I said yes as I locked it in and he tapped.

My next roll was with Steve (purple belt). Steve is a dominating type player, real aggressive. We started from our knees.  Let’s just say he spent time practicing his knee on belly and mounting skills during our roll. He literally jumped to the mount when I tried to insert my butterfly hooks.  We ended our session with him tapping me with an arm-bar.

My last roll was with Smiley (instructor).  I spend a lot of time thinking about how to pass his guard. He has this way of sitting up with one leg up and one leg down but they are both folded inward. He always manages to sweep or roll into guard (to keep you from passing) when attacked. I went for broke today trying to pass. I did a ridiculous move where I threw my legs past  his in order to get to his side Almost like a 35 degree cartwheel.. I think it caught him off guard because I almost landed in side control. But I ended up in his open guard after the scramble. He tapped me with an arm-bar in that exchange.  The next one I grabbed his head with both hands and tried to leap frog over his legs. I ended up in his open guard and I ended up being caught in the Billy Jack (neck crank).

After we rolled, he told me I was getting much smoother.  


Another cool thing that happened was that I was able to give advice to Christine after she finished rolling with one of the guys in class. She asked me what she could have done differently and I was able to rattle off a few options. That’s how I really know that I am growing in the sport.

For those who have been following: My knee held up just fine today.


5 thoughts on “First Day of Summer Break – Jiu Jitsu

    Tree Frog said:
    May 4, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Well, I doubt you’ll actually pull this off on Smiley, but maybe you can stack and get something better than open guard.

    That being said, I have tried the somersault over open guard into mount a few times. Only gotten side mount off it though, as they usually scramble like hell once I’m airborne.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    May 4, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Thanks Tree Frog,

    If I could get to that first position I would be thankful.

    I used to have a cartwheel pass in my arsenal when I first started practicing BJJ but it fell by the wayside along the way. I don’t know if people in general are hip to the technique or if it just never seems to be the right opportunity.

    Tree Frog said:
    May 5, 2009 at 8:55 pm

    There’s a blue who uses the cartwheel sometimes at my gym. It just takes a while to actually do, but hey, sometimes you’ll catch someone off-guard.

    I usually put one arm down between the legs, grab a knee and then try to spin/rotate quickly towards the side I have control of the knee on.

    I’m a white belt though – not much works well, so I’m willing to try just about everything.

    Patrick said:
    May 6, 2009 at 9:06 pm

    I’ve been following. Good to hear about the knee.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    May 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks Patrick!

    Hope the recuperation is going well.

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