Archive for the ‘BJJ’ Category

The toughest people in Jiu Jitsu

November 1, 2017

As I sit here on hiatus from my own training due to my first and hopefully last popped rib injury, I am just reflecting on my training and thinking about who the toughest people I have meet in jiu jitsu are. I don’t know about you I have had my share of roll with competitive and top level black belts and colored belts. Yes they are tough and have incredible technique, of course!  I just want to give gratitude to the every day person like 99% of us come in and train after a long day of work. The come and train giving their all. Even if they are getting there ass kicked show up day after day. Believe me the grind is real and hard…in life and on the mats! I salute everybody who comes to class and gets their daily dose of medicine and choose to come back time and time again. You are the toughest person in jiu jitsu, thank you!

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Jiu Jitsu Life choose me!

February 20, 2017

I often get asked during open mat if I have been training everyday or how many times a day I train. I often reply without blinking for the most part,” I think every day this week.” Often times I tell people I even did  a couple two a days. But how in the world could this be? I don’t know man I just don’t have a desire to do anything else for the most part. For me the mat is my church, my therapy, my exercise, my chance to learn more about myself as I try my best to understand what it we are doing. Most importantly its fun, I don’t know how many times I have felt wreck emotionally, physically, or mentally and by merely showing up on the mats my spirit seemed somewhat lifted. I believe everybody has their own journey and has a gift  or prism in which the world might somehow make sense to them. To me it has been jiu jitsu of late and I wouldn’t trade it for anything else.

All of the hooo hummm aside what I have been working on is just simply revisiting the basics. Trying to gain better understanding  of why the simple things work. Trying to also get a better control of my de la riva guard game. Always on improving on my defense. Secretly my goal is to learn how to become untappable and to feel comfortable rolling with anyone. Long ways to go, one hip escape at a time.  Here is a great video on escaping side control with Firas Zahabi and Karel Silver Fox Pravec, a bunch of gold nuggets in here so take your time, watch it and sink it in. Then go back and watch it again and again! Till next time. See you on the mats!

 

My neck my back

February 9, 2017

T minus 5 more month until my baby girl is here, my girl friend and I are expecting happily I might add.  Although it is our first child for the both of us and we are freaked the !@#!@ out at what to expect, how to parent, what kind of world our kid will be raised in etc….One of the first questions that popped into my head which I really haven’t expressed with my girl friend is how and when will I get my training in. So naturally I have been training as much as I can and at times even twice a day (before work and after work).  Mind you I wil be the first to say I do not train that hard and for me its more about frequency. Being more on the lighter side…..although I have put on more weight of late close to 160 now where in the past I have been lower 150 or high 140. Anyways I am getting off track…life is all over the place… I got work responsibilities…looking for extra part time work while looking for a new place to live for my girl friend and I…..and all I can think about while at work is getting to jiu jitsu in the evening so I can just relax and get away for just an hour or two at night…the fact I also found out the sex of my baby girl (omg a girl!!!I am blessed but a girl!!!) makes me want to train even harder and longer just thinking about the future got to keep my game on point and sharp to keep the boys away….but why am I rambling…because I have been stressed and the one thing I have in my life that keeps me in check and balanced jiu jitsu for now is off the books for the next couple day because I tweaked my neck….so now I have nothing but time to think……fml….I know im complaining but I am blessed to have the life I have…..but I like to complain….so here you go internet….

Escaping the Mount

February 25, 2016

Here is a short video with Flavio Meier showing some options of escaping the mount.

These are some of my favorite moves, basic yet effective in getting you out from the mount and into a better position. Like all jiu jitsu techniques you will need to drill these escapes cooperatively at first, then with some resistance/positional sparring, then give it a go during live training and see if you can pull it off. Give it  a try and let me know what you think.

You can learn more about Flavio Meier here:

http://www.kravmagainstitute.com/inst…

Flavio now runs his own Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Santa Clara, CA at the Krav Maga Institute headquarters. He also holds a Krav Maga Instructor Certification through Krav Maga Institute. In addition to teaching full-time, Flavio has been an very active competitor, winning every major tournament, and coaching many athletes to the top of the podium in every major BJJ tournament.

Notable Titles:

2x IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu NoGi Champion (2015, 2014)
2x Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Champion (2015, 2011)
SJJIF World Jiu-Jitsu Gi Champion (2014)
US Open Champion (2014 x2, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010)
Houston International Open IBJJF Champion (2011)
American Nationals Champion (2010)
Miami International Open IBJJF Champion (2010)
IBJJF World Jiu-Jitsu NoGi (2012 Bronze, 2011 Bronze, 2010 Bronze)
Pan American Jiu-Jitsu NoGi (2011 Bronze, 2010 Silver, 2010 Bronze Open Weight)
San Francisco Open (2015 Bronze, 2014 Silver, 2014 Bronze Open Weight)
SJJIF World Jiu-Jitsu NoGi (2014 Silver)
IBJJF International Master (2010 Bronze)

SAucY!

February 18, 2016

There are many styles of guard passing; tight guard passes where you are using pressure to make your opponent concede the pass. Speed passes where you use your agility to confuse or get ahead of your opponent to get the pass, or a combination of the two together.  Trying to find your own flavor of guard passing can be difficult. Many circumstances come into play such as your training environment (instructor’s philosophy, teammates (how they like to pass and influence), your physical attributes, and even temperament come into play just to name a few.  I believe that finding a style of your own takes time and experimentation. Being only a blue belt only myself I find that I am barley starting to establish a resemblance of having my own distinct flavor. So how do you find what works for you?

First I believe you need to have a basic catalog of passes in your arsenal. Bread and butter techniques consisting of fundamental passing techniques crucial to understand how different style passes work. Techniques that are universally taught wherever you learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. These techniques I believe that are important are a mixture of speed and pressure passing techniques. Pressure passes including; double under and single under. Speed passes such as torreando and the knee slice pass. It is important that you learn these techniques from your instructor and get them technically sound. They will help give you reference point to learn new passing techniques and strategies. After learning these techniques individually you can also learn to chain these movements together.

After mastering your basic passes you can start to develop an approach on how to attack passing the guard. Learning from and watching your higher belt teammates and asking questions as to why they will use so and so grip when or how they pass will also be a big influence. Other external forces that come into play might be the types of guards you come across in your training environment. Is your gym heavily influenced by the modern game with open guard players who like to invert and intertwine their legs in-between yours? Or is your academy mostly old school playing heavily closed guard games and feet on the hips and biceps with collar and sleeve grips? Try to expose yourself to as many different body types and games and experiment. Get a feel of your own body, balance, and posture so that when you can have as much familiarity as you can with all types of positions.

Last I think your style of guard passing will be dependent on your attributes and temperament (internal factors). Some people like to play the methodical game, some people are explosive and like to use speed and percistance to their advantage. You might even have a favorite BJJ athlete you follow and try to emulate. No matter what style it is that you play always remember to master the basics first. Once you have mastered the fundamentals you can easily start applying these principal movements into your own personal style and start developing a game that is uniquely your own.

Here is a favorite movements of passes I like to drill from MG in Action’s Henrique Rezende. You can find many vidoes like this one and more on their site at  www.mginaction.com

“When one has reached maturity in the art, one will have a formless form. It is like ice dissolving in water. When one has no form, one can be all forms; when one has no style, he can fit in with any style.” -Bruce Lee

Taking the back!

December 1, 2013

Trying to clean up my jiu jitsu game by going back to the basics. I love learning new techniques and peoples interpretations of the same move. Often for myself when I find myself doing well and finishing, as well as a white belt can do, I often find it is from a basic position and submission. Often times I am finishing using the same basic technique from different positions. Weather it be an armbar, triangle, or bow and arrow choke. So today, this month actually, will be dedicated to controlling and finishing from the back mount. Time to study my Ryan Hall Back Attacks!

 

 

Movement

September 14, 2013

Jiu jitsu is awesome,  nuff said, but why do you suck so bad? Looking back at my career, I am a white belt still and ave been introduced to jiu jitsu years ago but have only got under two years in of training., I have noticed a certain progression an individual new to jiu jitsu goes through. Unless you are super athletic or have been wrestling since you were five years old, you will go through these stages to.

First stage:

you are going to be fresh meet for all the other seasoned white belts and higher belts. At this stage you will be focused on survival. Even though in class you will be learning basics such as armbars and cross collar chokes. Chances are you will be spending your time rolling trying to breath.

Second Stage:

You will be learning how to move. No longer will you feel like a fish out of water but it will still be hard for you to control your opponent in certain positions. Finishing submissions might often be difficult. This is where I am at right now in my training. I just feel like i am slowly coming into my own and understanding some fundamental movements. Recently  I have been focusing on my guard passing. One aspect of guard passing and movement in bjj which has me fascinated is the intricate leg work. Especially of those high level competitors watching them move in and out of half guards, Spinning to the back of their opponents, windshield wiping  etc. Its just an awesome site to see.

here is a little inspiration, sit back relax and watch.

old school

July 28, 2013

4:37 a.m. cannot sleep; maybe just maybe I shouldn’t have had that late night cup of coffee but who cares anyways. I have been up now watching jiu jitsu on you tube and some of my DVD’s all night.  I am starting to believe my father when he said that I am addicted to jiu jitsu. Well, I guess better this than alcohol right. There are worse addictions, believe me I know but I digress. Today’s guard pass of the day we will keep it nice and sweet. Something from the old school style pass brought to you by none other than Kurt Osiander.

Here is a little bit of  Old school style, Check out Ralp Gracie rolling up Budo Jake at the 24 min mark. Beautiful!

Guard Passing 2

July 15, 2013

Guard Passing 2

Continuing on with my last guard passing post I just want to reiterate again that there are so many different guard passes how does one keep from being overwhelmed? Whenever I personally feel like something is too much for me I like to go back to the age old wise acronym I learned in 8th grade while playing basketball. K.I.S.S. keep it simple stupid! To me there really is no good or bad passes. Every pass can be used at a specific time and place and there is a reason for everything good and bad. For example when I do my toreando pass should I grab at the knees or closer near the ankles. When approaching an open pass should I step inside the middle using an A frame to cut through or begin by
reaching for the pant legs or I can initiate a toreanda? Whether you like pressure or speed, passing on your knees or standing up, you should get familiar with a couple of basic passes, mix them up , and find which ones work for you best. Passes I believe everybody should be familiar and I consider fundamental would be:
torreando, knee slide pass, double under pass. Majority of the other passes will be variations of these three main passes often used and combined together, mixed and
matched with all kinds of grip variotions etc.

For myself I am light and lanky and like to use my personal attributes when passing such as the ability to maintain distance due to my long limbs, and my speed. Therefore I use a lot of toreando passing often moving from one side to the other trying to tire my opponent or keep him flat on his back. I often try to use Leandro Lo’s variation of the pass, I feel it is quick and an aggressive style thigh fits my body type. I am still learning the nuances of the pass and my options; being a white belt I still have a lot to learn and more rolling to do. So enough banter lets see the man himself in action!

 

Guard Passing

July 8, 2013

The curious case of Samson Hayilu! How come my blog is all over the place? How come now I am  writing about so many different martial arts? Ok I admit it I am  a martial arts whore, I love it all from the traditional to the contemporary styles, even MMA. Mostly my evolution as a martial artist has lead me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, my new girl friend!  So I am just going to be using this blog to get stuff on my mind, to think, and try to understand whatever it is I am thinking I am studying. Don’t take my writing as dogma; my thoughts, my ideas are always changing from one day to another. In addition I am just a white belt so I just might be flat out just wrong…it happens but yea. So  here we go.

Lately I have been focusing on my guard passing. Watching a lot of people  at my gym, online, on instructional etc I have came to the conclusion that there is just way to many freaking guard passes. Even looking at the basic various guard passes such as toreando or cut through passes it seems that everybody has their own variation on how to do it. What I have been trying to do is understand why they are doing what they are doing. Why person x has one grip and person why has another for the same pass. The underlying principles of what is happening, what I am trying to accomplish and my opponent trying to defend.

One of the conclusions I have came to is trying to chain certain passes together and maintaining the same grip for those chained passes. I feel that in doing this it allows me to stay one step ahead of the guarder, giving me the allusion that I am actually faster than I really am by knowing his possible reactions and already having a game plane based on his reactions. Here are  a couple of videos that show this in action.

http://www.graciemag.com/2013/07/gui-mendes-breaks-down-a-grip-that-makes-a-knee-slice-long-step-leg-drag-possible/