Thursday, January 31, 2008


Roy Harris said that the KB swing and turkish getup were the two most relevant exercises that built up functional strength for the grappler/mma fighter.

I decided to use this as my workout today-


KB swings- 35lbs
Turkish getup- 35lbs


those left handed turkish getups are strenuous!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Some more insights

PM class


1. roll under takedown
2. collar tripod sweep


-bf guard- must butt scoot towards opponent and get underneath them to be able to lift them. hard to get double underhooks right away, though. must figure ways.
-once you rock them up, you probably only have one chance to hit the duck under or footlock x-guard (unless they don't know what they're doing)
-hand fighting- can use overhook armlocks to get opponent to react, and then sweep them over with hook
-x-guard- should focus on entering this from all open guard positions
-footlock x-guard- good, but need to practice it some more

-x-guard- don't need to even have it fully locked on all the time. can obtain underhooked leg and kick out knee and stand.

-half guard passes (shin across)- the arm weave/shoulder smash is very good. club head, heel to butt, sprawl, walk around. driving into opponent's chin with crown of head is also good here. switch to arm control and rotate wrist on other hand and drive to flatten opponent. also remember the wrestler's cradle option. remember foot pry and shin to shin as well.

-half guard bottom- best way to stop submission attempts- rock them and get their weight off center. don't let them settle again.

-side control- that collar is right there, probably. try some chokes.

-triangle escapes- posturing with both hands seems to work decently, at least to buy time. need to figure out step two.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


today's focus was toriani passes and counters. very useful stuff, and i'll have to revisit it soon enough.


-toriani pass to kos
-toriani pass counter- sit up, hand in collar (stiffarm punch), break grip (better w/whole arm), sit out and yank collar down (slamming face into mat!) to take back
-toriani counter to ankle pick
-ricardo kick over pass- from toriani control- trap one leg and underhook opposite leg. keep pants grip on knee for trapped leg. grab belt line or belt on underhooked leg w/ head down tight. kick over and replace knee to hip, and finish securing the guard.


-felt pretty invincible tonght- very quick and accurate with things. my balance is improving, my submissions are better, and my butterfly guard/open guard is getting better.
-looks like the bf guard/open guard is going to be my focus for the next few weeks. must sweep and then work off of the knee slide pass series. it's going to be fun.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Testing the footlock x-guard

AM class


1. from guard- take back off 2 on 1 w/ cross grip
2. hip bump sweep from #1 with fake choke attempt


-the footlock x-guard is tremendously good, just need to work on it and fine tune it.
-i have yet to try out the 101 pass series. should be excellent.

-new developments- clock choke off of crossface/sprawl; omoplata clock choke!

PM class


1. pendulum sweep
2. spinning arm lock from guard

looks like i'm going to be trying out x-guard for the next few weeks. also gotta pass solely off the knee slide again. woo hoo sim!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sim Go Seminar @ the Stronghold

I've been looking forward to the Sim Go seminar, because his open guard game is very similar to what I'd like to try to accomplish. I learned quite a few excellent techniques and subtleties from him this weekend.

Quick Recap-

Bottom Game

BF guard- butt scoot towards them, push triceps up and rock up, locking S grip
*active hooks
*45 degree angle to start

-they cross feet-
duck under, take back and choke
*over/under harness

-they cross feet option 2- foot lock x-guard
kick leg through, footlock x-guard- finish lock or sweep off it

sweeps from footlock x-guard-
1. knees to chest, grab ankle
2. they base, you ankle trip while rotating knee

passing off footlock- from marcus avellan
sit up and sumo step 101 pass

back control-
*stay with your head at or before plane of their head, don't go beyond or you're too far
*take to side of choking arm-use instep on knee, throw them like medicine ball

hand fighting-
-1 on 1
-baseball bat grip break

power half-
use to break them down and take them over to side

as you're taking their back from duck under- they react by falling to half guard
-you lock up head + arm choke

Paragon half guard-
from knee across- stop knee from hitting mat
brace with frame across neck to make space
underhook leg
kick leg straight, go all the way around

outside hook- go underneath and take back
front hook- go over

watch for kimura and knee bar

Top Game

Guard pass- knee slide (they counter with shin across half guard)
weave arm and grab opposite knee, smash legs down, club head, walk around

-they cross feet- grab head, smash legs down with shoulder
uncross feet w/ free leg, shin to shin, pass

they underhook and come to knees-darce
punch arm, rotate hips,

darce setup- side control- they ball up tight
KOS and make them react, come to knees
lock darce scissors (low shoulder in armpit)- cinch them over to side, not back
no thumbs
lock up choke

-you can't darce them over- sit out + uppercut punch through
walk leg over leg

they walk with you- roll them over head
look to side where you're taking them to avoid rolling them over your face

darce/brabo- shrug shoulders, pinch elbows, drive

guillotine- forearm blocks shoulder

arm in guillotine- gooseneck- grab chin
touch elbow to knee, crunch in

Tuesday, January 22, 2008



I'm really frustrated from something that happened on the mat today.

Part of it is my ego is getting to me and telling me that such and such person shouldn't have tapped me, but I DID slip up and get caught today.

It's time to turn up the intensity, especially against people who are coming at me full force.

Gotta chalk it up and make sure that I learn from it.

I think my main issue today was-

1. being lazy/underestimating someone
2. not having proper passing posture
3. letting someone close the guard on me after it was already open
4. not reacting right away once the hand was in the collar
5. not defending the cross choke properly

Gotta clean it up!

Attacking the turtle

PM class


-clock choke
-bow and arrow choke
-crucifix choke
-kick over fall back collar choke


Generally, I'm being too passive. Not really "in the zone," partially because my stamina is down from the outside conditioning.

I am letting some opponents advance too far, and generally am letting them put me in disadvantageous positions.

Can't let opponents grab me anymore. Gotta break right away and grab back. Can't let them get the deep De La Riva guard. Gotta go back to that guard passing posture BEFORE they get set up.

I will NOT get straight collar choked from someone's guard for awhile. When the hand goes in, I'm "answering the phone."

Also, I have to finish more relentlessly when I have the submissions in.

Lots of tuning to do, but I'm headed in the right direction. Just a bit frustrated today, but it's all in the learning process.

Deadlifts, Squats

Deadlifts- 95 (10), 115 (7), 115 (7)
Squats- 95 (10)x3 sets
Deadlifts- 135 (3)x 2 sets

Monday, January 21, 2008

Sweeping single leg

PM class


-sweeping single leg
-sweeping single leg drill

-"punch" through with jab, not hook, to wrap up the leg.
-get to side as much as possible- they can't sprawl

guard drill-

I've realized the importance of passing to half guard and using smashing pressure passes rather than quick passes. There's much less space available and fewer options on the bottom. Today I rolled with a wrestler who was explosive as ever, but I was able to keep replacing guard because his passes were all loose and fast.

Loose will work against slower opponents, but against quick opponents with shifty hips and a good guard game, it will be much more difficult to pull anything off.


Triangle counters-
-both hands in hip and posture up (hip on side of free arm)
-rotate to side, pressure with hip, both hands in bend of knee and rip knee to ground to open triangle

N/S escapes


n/s spider escape
n/s triangle escape
n/s escape to back


-tendency that's been uncovered- trying to wrap opponent's head and clasp hands when in n/s. opening myself up to armbars. need to keep arms tight to body.

-kimura from top- gotta be persistent with it and continue to apply pressure/wait it out. wear down their stamina and then finish.

-knee slide guard pass- counter- bump their butt with your knee as they try to pass, throwing them off balance.

Kasparov- The Lesson in Defeat

This is critical- finding the lesson after each victory/defeat.

Losses push you to analyze and refine far more than victories.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Modified 300

I'm back to the gym after about a month or so off.

Modified 300 (no stopwatch, but it was between 30-40 mins at a semi casual pace)

25 pullups
50 deadlifts (95 lbs)
50 pushups
50 squats (95 lbs- instead of box jumps)
50 snatch (30 lb dumbell)
50 floor wipers (95 lbs)
25 pullups

Did it at a decent pace, but I can definitely improve after I get used to the workouts again.

The BJ Penn fight last night inspired me to train harder.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Triangle escapes

PM class


-working off the same sweep series from this week.
-my variation- get perpendicular and then shift hips to make self parallel, keeping tension in arm. can use grip across belt or knee, whatever works. works even if they try to double leg you as a counter (most likely reaction)

-patience with submissions. get to dominant position, wear them out, take the submission at the right moment.
-half guard- anticipate bridge into you, slide knee through to mount. stabilize and wait for them to get tired of bridging. FINISH HIM!
-superman triangle escape- anticipate the armlock attempt, get ready to yank out. need to stack properly.
-rod in door triangle stall- good base to get composure and tire opponent out.
-superman punch triangle break- need to get timing down correctly
-need to work on triangle escapes, period. gotta get comfortable to being in them and escaping under pressure
-need to be aware of angle of opponent's shin across shoulder blades. keep at an angle, don't let them get perpendicular.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Starting from side control and from triangle!

PM class


-omoplata from cross grip/spin to turtle setup
-sweep from cross grip/spin to turtle setup

guard drill-
-working on combining spider/butterfly/half/x guard for gi training
-timing is getting better

-cross choke from guard is often there! try it more
-guard passing defense is getting better
-clock choke setup- you get one lapel for the choke (from turtle with hooks), but are unable to secure the rolling bow and arrow choke, straight lapel choke, or RNC. control arm underneath and dismount. finish the choke!
-need to start from me being side controlled. there's no other way i'm going to get better unless i start from here with training partners i can trust. need to practice escaping from the bottom and escaping submissions.
-need to start from being triangled. same concept as above. need to build up triangle escape, as that's one of the most common/devastating attacks from the bottom.
-superman triangle escape- having trouble with it being susceptible to armlocks. maybe i'm not stacking properly. need to build up armlock escapes also.

-big hole that's being exposed- my side control escapes are opening me up for spinning armlocks and kimuras. need to find out why and put an end to it. good thing it's been caught in training, and not in a tournament!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Crazy spider guard to omoplata/sweep

"Timing is faster than speed...more powerful than power"- Roy Harris

technique- superman triangle escape. double hand plant if they try to move around underneath you. seems susceptible to armlocks, however.

Gracie Barra PM class-

part of warmups- flip opponent to turtle from guard, opponent rolls out (over shoulder of arm closest to opponent)


we worked from a crazy spider guard variation. from cross grip of open guard with one foot on the hip (same side of controlled arm) and other foot in the bicep (like triangle setup). you kick your leg over the arm (while keeping the grip) and land in turtle with the arm between your legs. from here, you have the option of sweeping (continue to pressure shoulder with hip, hip towards opponent) or doing an omoplata. very interesting setup, and i'll have to experiment with it for a bit. i've seen rubens charles doing similar sweeps, so i am definitely intrigued.

-keeping a loose game and letting myself get out of bad situations. gotta remember to never stand unless i control an arm. otherwise, doing well and need to keep it up.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Sensitiivity and timing when escaping from the bottom

So, today I was doing a mount drill and was on the bottom of mount. I managed to replace half guard and sweep over two opponents with the same sort of move. Not a traditional half guard sweep, but more from me being sensitive to the "hole in their structure." I was sort of feeling them out initially as they were smashing me, but the second I felt a lack of pressure coming from X direction, I was able to make my move and sweep them over. This felt like a tremendous breakthrough, and after I did it on the first person, it worked again on the second person! Something that I have to internalize and continue to work with.

Secondly, I worked a lot on escaping from the bottom. I'm starting to combine movements a lot more fluidly, and it's beginning to work out better for me. Combinations of bridging, spinning the other direction, coming to my knees, etc. They all create space and ultimately allow me to get out from the bottom.

A nice move I learned- for back control, you reach across with the arm under the armpit and trap the opposite side arm at the elbow. Combined with hooks, this makes it really hard to escape the back. Gotta work on this. You have a free arm left to do whatever you want.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Escaping the back

PM class


-ankle pick from lapel pull
-pull guard to tripod sweep
-escape the back

rolling notes-
-need to up the aggressiveness vs. opponents. open the game up, but don't give up submissions so easily.

-need to practice getting out of triangles

Review from yesterday

AM class


-guard pull to tripod sweep
-baseball bat choke with farside lapel trapping arm

rolling notes-

-starting to survive a lot better. gotta hold out and not tap until the last second.

-gotta work on side mount escapes

-kimuras- i'm getting them wrapped up but am having trouble breaking the grip. manny showed me the move where you slide down to the palm (past the wrist) and rip away and then finish. gotta work on this.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Tuesday class

PM class


-uchi mata reps
-guard pull to tripod sweep reps
-baseball bat choke off opponent's lapel (arm trap) from side control


felt out of it today, and tapped a bunch. was not in jiu jitsu mode, honestly, but i needed to get on the mat to get some stress out.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday class

beginner class


-cross choke from mount
-upa escape from mount



-n/s lapel choke
-arm drag butterfly sweep
-cross choke setup from side control

rolling notes-
-gotta work on opening the lockdown half guard
-paragon half guard with gi- susceptible to lapel chokes from top
-must keep pushing with the kimura setups

Friday, January 4, 2008

No gi

free training-

-leg on shoulder pass details- 3 ways to stop stiffarm defense
-marcelo pass to half guard
-paragon guard entries

no gi-

-single leg from high-c
-guard opener and pass over leg

rolling notes-

-the arm in guillotine is excellent. gotta keep at it.
-the ten finger guillotine is also excellent.
-gotta work on pressure and top control
-gotta develop a quick darce

Turtle power

AM class


-crucifix rolling choke from turtle
-crucifix fall back choke from turtle
-super clock choke from turtle

-arm clamp turtle sweep
-turtle to guard transition


-to take out nearside arm- sit out and isolate, trap
-clock choke variant- elbow on other side of head!

rolling notes-

-i've come to the realization that if i get super good at half guard sweeps and guard recovery, i'll be hard to deal with.
-gotta do something about stacking in my guard while controlling my head. stall to the max, but i gotta get something going.
-must up the aggression and killer instinct once the submission is there.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Opening the game up

PM class


cross choke from guard- crunch and lean towards side of bottom hand (don't hip out). curl wrists so blade of wrist cuts into throat.

hip bump sweep- rotate body away from hand holding down chest/lapel and grab over shoulder for the sweep.

kimura from hip bump- the base out with arm- you wrap kimura. roll back perpendicular. keep arm attached to torso, bend arm and bring hand to head.

guard opener and pass- pin lapel and arm, stand up and open. leg on shoulder pass.


I'm generally opening my game up a lot more. Gotta be fearless in the new year. Trying new things and letting myself flow with the movement rather than getting caught up in the same techniques. Gotta put myself in dangerous situations so I can practice escaping and surviving.

One thing I notice is that I'm not committing to moves. I keep remembering at the Roy Harris workshop, he was watching me and said "you have to commit," referring to my hesitancy to go for certain moves. I can't get this out of my head, and I realized that I am almost too careful at times. Gotta go for moves head on and see where it takes me.

GB in the new year

AM class

2 mins spinning armlock from guard
2 mins omoplata
2 mins any armlock from side control

-omoplata- lock triangle, and to sit up it's easier to get parallel, open and kick legs straight. readjust and lock triangle while scooting away from body.

rolling notes-

-working on pressure while passing and from half guard/side control. must watch base and adjust accordingly. anticipate opponent's escape attempts. must attack aggressively while thwarting escapes.

-sweep defense is getting good. gotta keep developing it.

-number one goal in someone's closed guard- keep your head up!