Thursday, January 28, 2010


Well I have been managing to get back on the mat on a regular basis again and I am working on incorporating some different tactics into my game. Re-incorporating might be a better term as these are moves which used to be a mainstay of my guard game but I haven't really been focusing on them recently.

First on Saturday I trained at the class on Bainbridge. Tim taught a technique that used to be my go-to sweep. I haven't been using it recently; I have been working on other guard positions, but I got some great details that made me want to invest more time in it.

Starting from a sitting up guard position you trap his lead leg (right) between your left shin and your left arm. Grab your lapel with your left hand. Grab his left sleeve with your right hand and feed it to your left hand. This will compromise his balance and cause him to lean forward. Reach over his shoulder as deep onto his back as you can, and fall to your right, kicking up your left leg like a butterfly guard sweep as you push his left knee with your right foot. It sounds complicated but it's basically a glorified butterfly guard sweep as Tim succinctly put it.

The second technique is one that I'm terrible at and would like to spend some serious time on. If the guy puts his knee on your stomach from the sitting up guard position, which he probably will try to do, you use your hook to lift his leg and go under his left leg, whcih will probably be posted out. Bring his leg up to your shoulder then bracing his right knee with your elbow bring your left leg up to put him in deep half-guard. It's hard. I sort of used it last night but my opponent wasn't putting much pressure on me.

Monday and Wednesday I trained at Maxercise. Both nights we worked on an arm drag from the butterfly guard. I like how John focuses on the same techniques all week, it really gives me an opportunity to get into them and practice them.

Basically if you're sitting in the butterfly guard andyour opponent grabs your left pantleg with his right hand make a pistol grip on his sleeve with your right hand, grab his tricep, break his grip by kicking his leg, then launch yourself backwards, pulling his arm. Post your hand on the ground, come up to the back.

Before I came to Maxercise I trained a lot of no-gi and I used armdrags all the time. I evenually kind of got tired of them because I relied on them so much. Last night I hit that armdrag so much it was almost unfair. I want to try it at the Bainbridge class on Saturday and see how it goes.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Well only made it to class Wednesday and Saturday this week, which kind of sucked, but they were both decent classes. Wednesday we covered breaking the guard ala Saulo and did some positional training. I would really like the opportunity to train with him more. I really like the way he explained the positions he showed at his seminar.

I really have come to loathe breaking the guard from the knees. I don't think anyone that doesn't outweigh me by 50 pounds or more has successfully used that open against me in over a year. I much prefer to stand up, it puts you in a much better position to pass and it seems so much more effective.

We did some situational training which is always good. I was reminded how critical it is to position yourself when you're on the bottom, it a way that doesn't allow your opponent to control you, and to make your grips first and get to a place where you can fight. If you spend time fumbling around for grips, a quick opponent with a good bull pass with blast right through your guard.

Saturday's class was at Brian, Zak and Tim's club. Zak taught passing the half guard when your opponent has his knee across your hips. It was nice to cover this again; I've been having some issues passing the half guard recently, and I picked up some good details.

Training was excellent. I went with Tim several times and Brian, and Sam once during class then afterwards. She trained especially well, took my back several times. I like the way she comes in low to pass, it makes everything more difficult, and I've been emulating it.

Hopefully I can make it to class tonight, although I will be late for sure.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bumps in the Road

Well my training in 2010 has gotten off to an uneven start. This is the onset of the busy time of the year for me, as an accountant, and my class attendance is starting to reflect that. I wasn't able to make it to Maxercise last night so I trained a little with my friend John at Bucks County Community College. We drilled some stuff mostly and did some cardio. I hope to be able to make it to class tonight.

Last Saturday was quite a fun day for me. I think I spent more time in my gi than out of it. I started my day training with Brian and Zak, and it seems that most everyone is back from their holidays as class was full. It's always impressive to see a long line up of the students there, I think there was five brown belts, and several purple belts. Also plenty of tough blues.

Brian went over a technique that was sort of a continuation of what we had worked on last week. Basically it was how to take the back if your opponent turtles to avoid your bull pass. We covered back attacks not too long ago at Maxercise so it was a nice comparison and review.

Training was absolutely awesome! I didn't touch anyone lower ranked than a brown belt all class. I trained with Brian, Zak, Dr. Joe, and Tim four times, as he's coming of an injury. Training with Tim so much really helps and gives you a different perspective on things. He was able to provide me with some insight as well.

After class I had my now traditional death match with Sam, who was especially fiesty and it was fun as per usual. Soaking in the hot tub was a perfect way to end the class.

I went from the class to the Saulo Ribiero seminar at Maxercise. I was pretty tired and starving so I hoped that it wouldn't be too strenuous, but actually we didn't really drill or train anything, mostly Saulo lectured about his history, his association, Jiu-Jitsu University, and some concepts about jiu-jitsu. I'm sort of processing everything but he did hit on some subjects that I've been thinking a lot about which I'll talk about later.

Thanks for reading.