Month: July 2009

Knockouts in BJJ – What happens when you don’t protect your rolling buddies

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I don’t even know what happened. I had to have other people tell me what they saw and then piece the story together.

It was about 7 of us. We jogged, stretched, performed some calisthenics and then I decided that I would demonstrate some take-downs. I showed the guys a double-overhook outside leg trip, a version of a bear hug inside-leg trip and finally a harai o-goshi which is a hip throw with a sweep. This is the throw where I ended up being thrown on my face.

The entire time I was cautioning the guys to go slow and take it easy. What troubles me now more than anything else is that the guy that threw me on my face told me that he had 7 years of Judo experience in Japan and that he wrestled for the University of Central Florida.

So how did I end up being thrown on my face?

At first I was going to make light of the situation but as I think about it I am tired of being injured by big guys with no sense of their own strength.  Since I was instructing I let him practice each throw two times and then I would check on the other guys. Before the second throw where I went unconscious for a second or two I thought about not letting him go a second time. I should have followed my instinct.

A couple of the guys in class said that I landed on my face or neck. Which to me, seems impossible with that throw.  I sat out for the majority of class and then I rolled with Joe and the big new guy that helped me go into the land of unconsciousness.

As Joe goes to class at least 5 times a week he continues to get better and it is getting harder and harder to grapple with him. We rolled for about 5 minutes and then I begged off as I was exhausted. In my roll with the new guy with 7 years of Judo and wrestling at UCF he was able to gain the top position and we spent most of the time in the half-guard, guard to mount game with him on top. In the last seconds of the round I swept him, obtained mount and tapped him out with a knuckle choke.

New Rule: I am not going to grapple with or act as a throwing dummy for some guys. Not at all.  It is not worth it!

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

Sometimes it’s the Simple Things….

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Recently, I have been analyzing a lot of videos to learn more intricate techniques. However, watching this clip of Marcelo Garcia reminded me that often simple techniques is all it takes to be dominant in BJJ.

At the 42 second mark of the video he captures his student in a rudimentary wrist lock. At 4 min and 58 seconds Garcia performs a basic step over guard pass. Both moves required timing, but I don’t think anyone would doubt that they could pull off the same technique with ease.

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

Working from Positions & a little bit of Boxing After BJJ (17)

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I didn’t write up my last class, but that day Carlos had us work on the baseball bat choke and a couple of variations. I realized that the baseball choke is what Smiley has submitted me with a few times (and a random purple belt who came to class once). The subs were so quick and sometimes painful I couldn’t recognize what was being done. But it made perfect sense when I learned it in class. We’ve practiced another version of it before, but this time it was from side control.

Today we worked on sparring from different positions; guard, side control, being mounted and half guard. One minute rounds the entire time. Following that we grappled for 4 minute rounds at the end of class. I sparred for one round with a new guy, Daniel, and all I did was play the positional dominance game. He had good instinct and I predict he will do well if he comes back.

I was trying to take it easy today as I hurt my heel racing my nephew, Kenyon, last Friday. It’s ridiculous, a 35 year old racing an 11 yr old. I know. But, I didn’t hurt myself in our first race. After I beat him, he said, “I wasn’t expecting that,” and he wanted to race again. I out ran him again and then I pulled up lame. (On a side note my nieces and nephews are always surprised when they become teenagers or are getting close and then an adult beats them at something. I remember my father beat me in basketball, the one time we played, when I was 14 and he was 37,  No flair, he just dribbled and went for lay ups. I was dumbstruck!)

But anyway, I was trying to take it easy, but a couple of the guys began boxing/MMA after BJJ class. I could feel my body wanting to jump out there but my thoughts were holding me back. I took the plunge anyway and asked Ryan (purple belt instructor) if there were any boxing gloves I could use. I found some and then paired up with Carlos, who is a BJJ brown belt. As Ryan told us to “take it easy” and to “go light” I threw double jabs and straight rights at first. Then Carlos kicked me in the leg. He also had an overhand right that kept surprising me. I surprised myself as I threw a “karate kick” roundhouse at his head. A little later I threw a front kick and then tried a teak kick but he caught my leg and after a few seconds of me hopping around he swept my other leg. I scrambled for the top position but fell right into a triangle and had to tap. We started again and he rushed me just as the buzzer sounded. He didn’t “hear it” though and scooped me up and slammed me (as I heard him describe it 🙂 ) on my back. Thus I am writing this with a very sore latissimus dorsi muscle on my right side.

Ahh, but it feels good!!!