Muscle Taps and Body Triangles

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Last night I went to the advanced class. There were four of us there and after a warm-up we jumped right into technique. We started off with a takedown (throw), which is the same way the fundamentals class begins. There’s just one major difference between the fundamentals and advance class though.

We practiced the full throw 30 times each.

Last night’s throw of the night was O soto gari. I haven’t completed that many throws in one night since my Judo days. I didn’t know how I would fare but I made it through my 30 throws with no problem and handled being thrown that many times with no problem as well.

Next, we had to do 30 arm-bars from the guard (each) and then we free rolled for 10 minutes or so. Prof. Robierto instructed us to not to go hard and that we should be moving from position to position. If we achieved side control or established the mount then we should provide some space (through continual movement) so the other person could practice their escapes. He also added that if the person’s attempt to escape was 100 percent correct then let them have it and if they were close to a submission don’t fight it with all our might.

After free rolling we bowed out. The hour went by pretty quickly.

Today’s Practice – Wednesday – Fundamentals

Today we reviewed how to defend against chokes from behind. I was paired with Jake (white belt/stripes?).  This defense ends with a throw. Even though we only had to do three throws and Jake was throwing ‘relatively’ softly, each time I landed it hurt my back a little. My back isn’t sore from last night and it didn’t hurt after I got up it was just on impact. He wasn’t throwing that fast and seemed to be in control so maybe it was a technical issue.


We also worked on defending back attacks and then a choke when you have someone’s back. Following this we had a drilling session where four people were placed on the ground to defend back attacks (with hooks automatically in) and then four people would attack. If you were submitted from the back then you went to the back of the line. If you can get the person off your back then you stay where you are.

I had to defend first against, I kid you not, a new white belt who is about 6ft 7 and at least 225 (at least). I held him off for a good little while before he submitted me with a strength submission. I don’t know if it was a choke or a squeeze across my jaw bone but whatever it was it was tight. He “grrrhhhed” as soon as we began and until I tapped. I think my mistake was trying to defend with the ‘technique of the day’ instead of my go to defenses for defending if someone has my back. ‘Techniques of the day’ often work against similar sized opponents or someone weaker than you  because you have a little room to play. But since the guy is bigger, used a lot of muscle and aggression then I should have relied on what I knew to keep him from getting a strength tap. I fared better in my next rolls with both smaller and bigger opponents by relaxing and using what I knew. I will have to drill the new techniques some more before I can use them to defend.

After this drill we bowed out…

Oh yeah, I put a body triangle on someone from behind for the second time in my grappling career.  The first time was last week. I didn’t know I could do that. But I can! 🙂


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