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Kick Defense Agility Drills

  1. Jab: Catch, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover
  2. Jab: Catch, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover
  3. Jab: Catch, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg CoverRear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Evasion, Lead Kick
  4. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover
  5. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover
  6. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Leg Kick: Lead Leg CoverRear Leg Kick: Lead Leg Cover, Rear Leg Kick: Lead Leg EvasionLead Kick
  7. Jab: Catch, Rear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover (knee to elbow, elbow sits on lateral surface of thigh, glove on head)
  8. Jab: Catch, Rear Body Kick: Lead Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover
  9. Jab: Catch, Rear Body Kick: Lead Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover, Rear Body Kick: Lead Kick CatchLead Kick
  10. Jab: Catch, Rear Body Kick: Lead Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover, Rear Body Kick: Lead Cut Kick
  11. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Body Kick: Lead Cross Body Cover (lead knee comes to contralateral elbow, elbow on the medial side of the knee, glove on head)
  12. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Body Kick: Lead Cross Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover
  13. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Body Kick: Lead Cross Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover, Rear Body Kick: Lead Kick CatchLead Kick
  14. Jab: Catch, Cross: Catch, Lead Body Kick: Lead Cross Body CoverRear Body Kick: Lead Body Cover, Rear Body Kick: Lead Cut Kick


Pruning the decision tree, retrieving the shears, and finding a point

Pruning the decision tree: The first drill we did tried to work skills to set-up reaction. If you use one or two longer range techniques, such as a jab, jab-cross, kick, jab kick, your opponent will either be hit or react. If you do it again they will typically counter. On your third application, you should then be able to pick up their counter and find the opening it presents. It is critical to move in, deliver your opener, and move out to read the response. The move in to deliver the opener and react to the likely response. The entire point is that, in a fight you have to create reaction in order to land effectively. You have to be brave enough to place the opening bet but patient enough to grow the pot. You have to cultivate your pitch before you seal the deal. In other words play the long game to find the rapid victory.

Retrieving the shears: The second drill we did tried to explain how to regain momentum, when someone is deliver their opener pushing you toward the ropes, how to recover the action. In it we tried to read the first opener and react to the second, pivot stepping or countering to shift momentum toward your opponent. Key to this is interrupting your opponents striking and striking to push them into the ropes. The fight swings on a pendulum the fighter who controls the angle and speed of it’s swing is most likely to win.

What’s the point when my technique fails: The point is to learn, to grow, to try something new, to realize the limits if your knowledge and work to develop to a higher level, to conquer fear, to realize the lesson inside the fight in the gym is not one of win or lose but how adversity can be challenged and we can become better complete human beings because of it. The point is that that job you want, that raise you need, and that girl you like aren’t going to punch you in the face (and if they do not with a fraction of the power I can), so go for it.


Wrestling Practice Notes

Double leg
Use your rear hand as a distance gauge by placing it on their forehead. Use the other hand to wrap the neck, pull toward. They should reach to your shoulder. Use your tie hand to lift their triceps and shuffle in, placing your head on the lateral side of their ribs. Grab their thigh with your ipsilateral arm and step through with your opposite leg as you grab the thigh on this side. Drive laterally as you pull on the legs.

Russian Tie to Reverse Double Leg
If your opponent collar ties use a two handed baseball grip and rotate your shoulder as you pull this across your body. Leverage their arm by driving your elbow into their triceps. Retain the grip on the wrist and with your near hand grab a grip at the biceps. Squat, putting your weight on their arm. Now hook their near foot and lift to your far hand. Pull with this hand and reach behind their leg to tap the far knee.

Pummel Arm Drag Pull Down
From the pummel use the under hook to pull as the overhook pushes and drop step making them plant. Now shove their underhook arm down and reach across with your underhook to pull their triceps across. Grab their far hip with your free hand and drive with your head into their scapula, pulling them to the mat in 4 points.

Russian Tie to Pull Down

From the Russian tie, reach up with your wrist control hand to their biceps and transfer your top control to the far hip. Pull them laterally to 4-points.


Jab-Cross Stationary Read


  • Jab - rock back - rock forward - rock back - step - cross using quarter turn of the base foot (walk up and down the mats x2)
  • Lead kick walk: Switch step - throw “kick” by raising knee and flicking straight up - drop foot for next step (walk up and down the mats x2)
  • Rear kick walk: Step - throw vertical flick kick as above -drop foot for next step (x2)
  • Alternating kick walk: Walk throwing alternating vertical flick kicks (x1)


Step jab-cross, retreat step, fake jab (range finger), bring rear foot to heel of lead (L position), and throw lead kick to inside of lead leg, recover backwards to opposite stance and then step back into original stance (2 steps out to open range and look…to see what they will react with.

Stepping In

If they are simply being defensive it is a reasonable risk to step into range and attack.

Option #1: Using the above set-up, place your kicking leg in a new stance (i.e. drop from kick right into the stance, no recovery) and throw cross - hook - cross (video)

Option #1A (lead kick): After the cross  - hook - cross, throw a lead head kick by driving the knee toward the head, flicking the kick to the head (video versus Southpaw)

Option #1A (rear kick): After the cross - hook - cross, slap with the lead hand as you pivot off to the lead side, (if ipsilateral leads) point your lead foot at their rear foot and deliver a rear body kick (video).

Option #2A (opponent is hunkering down): After the kick, drop the foot wider as you step in and deliver the upward elbow between their guard (video).

Option #2B (opponent is hunkering down): After the kick, drop the foot in the middle, grab their head with your rear hand and their same side arm with your free hand and pull into the knee. You can drop the kneeing foot down, switching stance, pull the arm down on the side you have control and deliver a horizontal elbow to the jaw (video).

Option #3: After the kick, rechamber foot near the rear leg, cat stance-like. Throw the tiip and step forward bringing your rear foot to your front foot, chamer the tiip again:

Option #3A: If they do nothing, tiip again

Option #3B: If they defend by using the lead hand to hook what they think is an incoming tiip, throw the cross (video).


Use your hips, punching and throwing

Little pre-semester start practice tonight and we worked on combining striking with throwing, specifically the ogoshi (hip toss). We initiated each exchange with a jab cross, our partner threw back a cross.

The “Turn and Burn” Versions:

Straight cross: Use a catch parry and hook their cross wide to allow you to setup the underhook. Use your free hand to elbow the face then step across and turn to do the hip toss.

Haymaker: Use the SPEAR and use the near elbow to the face, step across hooking the head with the far arm and hip toss (counter the strike). Alternatively wrap the head with your near arm and turn the opposite way to hip toss (with the strike).

“Side Clinich” Versions

Straight cross: Use a catch parry and hook their cross wide to allow you to setup the underhook. Step up next to their hips and clinch from the side, grabbing their far arm with your anterior hand, your hips perpendicular to theirs, break their posture laterally away from you, step through a hip toss

Haymaker: Use the SPEAR and step into the side clinch as above to hip toss.

We also talk about the to use the side clinch to setup the single leg and knee tap. We also looked at the sacrifice throw to the back by sitting to your butt and placing your posterior leg, straight behind their legs. Use your dropping momentum to transfer pulling energy to their hips and pull them to their back.


Kicking It - Ian Ransburg Muay Thai Seminar

Reviewed kick defense, the base foot is flat on the mat and the base leg straightens. The check leg is at an angle, as if you had a “V” coming from your center line.

Jab - Rear Kick - Lead Kick: Your partner picks up the kicks with the leg check on the ipsilateral side.

Jab - Fake Rear Kick - Rear Kick: Throw the jab rear kick combination, if your opponent is checking, fake the rear kick by rotating the hip, tricking them to defend with the leg check. When they put it back down, kick the leg.

Jab - Fake Rear Kick - Lead Kick: Set-up the jab-kick combination. Fake the rear kick to make them leg check, freezing on one leg for an instant, switch step 45° across their center with your rear leg, and throw the kick to the opposite side.

Jab - Fake Rear Kick - Rear Tiip (the Heatseaker): Again set-up the jab-kick combination. If they are leg checking then turn the kick into a tiip by rotating the foot down and medially before thrusting forward.

Have your partner practice the same side and cross side leg check by throwing jab - rear kick - lead kick. To defend, leg check laterally for the first kick then across the centerline to pick up the other kick. Step back in the opposite stance then walk back to your original stance.

Jab - Fake Lead Kick - Sweep: Provoke the cross leg check, by faking a powerful lead kick by stepping in, then use the opposite leg to kick sweep their legs as your same side arm comes across their guard.

Low-line Kick Evasion: Your partner comes with the jab-rear kick combination and you leg check. The next time they do this, roll onto the flat of your rear foot and retract the leg to the opposite stance, landing on the ball of this foot. Return a kick.

High-line Kick Evasion: Roll your lead arm so that the forearm is perpendicular with the floor, elbow pointed laterally, rock back on the toes of your lead foot as you lean backward to allow the head kick to fly over your chest and face. Return a kick.

Ian also talked about using the jab and the cross to hide bringing the rear foot to lead foot to throw the lead offensive tiip. He also discussed tactics for closing with a larger opponent, including (1) Throwing the jab to the rear glove to “staple” it so that you can throw a body shot (2) following the retracting strike of a larger opponent, (3) reading the decreasing range adjustments your opponent makes as they get “comfortable”.


Fall 2017 Megaton Dias Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Seminar

Strategy, Technique, and Mechanics

You need to apply strategy to win, taking the techniques you know to create reaction and opportunities to attack. You need one good takedown, one good guard pass, one good sweep, and one good submission. Thus we can prune techniques from our game because they are not optimally effective for our style or body type, but we cannot prune them from our mind because we must fully understand the art of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Learning technique is easy, application and strategy taking time and sweat. There is no right or wrong, there are better and worse options.

Understand the mechanics of each movement and how it teaches you something in the greater context of jiu-jitsu. Understand what principle         does the mechanic embody.


You will get into better shape with jiu-jitsu, but you cannot excel at jiu-jitsu unless you supplement your training with conditioning. 

Escape From the Rear Mount


On the side you wish to slide to your back on, place the ipsilateral forearm on your forehead with your ear to your biceps. Your other arm comes across with the hand protecting the “negative air way”. This is a defensive posture to prevent grips around your neck.


If they have the seatbelt, grab the top forearm with your ipsilateral hand and push down with the underhook side arm. You are going to have to go away from the overhook arm of the seatbelt to escape.

Collar Control

If they have collar control, grab the forearm of with your ipsilateral hand. You will have to go in the direction that their collar grip hand is pointing.

First, bridge up and move superiorly toward their head, this removes leverage for the choke. Next move your back to the floor on the appropriate side, either the one you selected with good defensive posture or the one your opponent has selected for you by their grips. Move your back to the floor, before they attempt to mount, shove their superior leg between yours  and as they attempt to get on top, slide away to open guard.

Worm Guard Sweep

Control the distal end of their gi skirt, place your ipsilateral foot in their hip, wrap the skirt under your leg and pass it to your opposite hand. Regrip with the ipsilateral hand. They must either stand or post up on the opposite leg to set-up the rest of the worm guard, you may have to wrestle them to create reaction. Now pass the gi skirt behind the other leg, grab it with your opposite hand then regrab with your ipsilateral hand but now palm up. Bring your free leg behind the posteriorly wrapped leg and place the foot below your hip post post, anterior to their other leg. Control their near arm and pull them to their back as you roll on top of their legs, pinning them together. From here, either “hike” their leg through for the mount or slide your knee nearest their far hip to the floor, then pivot your other leg free to the side mount.

Worm Guard Choke

If you attempt the worm guard and they stay down, dropping their head to create pressure, pass the gi skirt under their neck and pass it to the opposite hand, your ipsilateral hand will regrab it with the arm behind the neck for the choke. The wrapped leg can come toward you, with the knee near the ear. The other hook can go wide or drop between the legs to bait your opponent to create more forward pressure.

Worm Guard Armbar

You have set up the worm guard but because they are in a tight kneeling position you cannot thread the leg for the sweep. Move laterally to your opponent and place the free foot across their distal shin. Pull anteriorly to allow your wrapped leg to slide above their knee and across their abdomen. If they fall forward, rotate 180° to a prone position to armbar. If they posture pull them backward into the standard cross body armbar.

Two-on-one Guard Sweep

You have cross grip control of the gi sleeve and ipsilateral grip control at the elbow. Your elbow grip side foot is in their hip. Grip their opposite heel with the elbow grip hand. Now your free leg goes behind their same side knee and you extend your post at the hip, sweeping them to their back and the ground.

Two-on-one Omoplata

Use your elbow grip to pull anteriorly and up while the wrist grip pushed inferiorly and back, creating a window for you to pivot to the omoplata. Look for this when they a posturing more.

Two-on-one Triangle

Place your free foot in their cubital fossa, if they are bringing their head down/lowering their weight, pull their arm across as you move your foot in their elbow joint into the triangle.

Spider Guard Armbar

You have one foot in their hip with same side collar control and the opposite foot in the cubital fossa with ipsilateral sleeve control. If they have their hand on your pant leg you will have to free this grip, if they have control of your collar then cup their elbow and pull gently as you swing the leg over the head and squeeze with the opposite knee for the armbar.

Spider Guard Triangle

 Use the same palm up guidance of their extended elbow to pull the forward as the elbow control side leg snakes behind the head for the triangle.

Baseball Slide Pass

When passing the guard look for one leg inside and one leg outside, now reach cross collar with the inside arm and drop your forearm laterally across your opponent’s neck as you slide your inside knee over and laterally to their thigh. Grab their gi sleeve on this side.

Baseball Slide Counter Knee Bump

If they are doing the knee slide, pinch their leg with yours and turn on your side, counter grab the gi sleeve with your same hand. Grab their belt with your top hand, using this hand and your top knee bump them forward to come to your knees.

Baseball Slide Counter Roll

Use your bottom leg to extend and pull you underneath your opponent in three “slides”. Place your palm on the lateral service of their far knee. Bridge and roll them to the far side. Bring your hook on the side closes to your opponent under his leg and lift, allowing your to insert your far hand and go to side mount.

Leg Drag

Cross grip their gi pant leg and grab under the heel with your ipsilateral hand. Hip bump forward and then pull your hip back, pull the leg to the far side, rotating your gi pant grip on the far side of their leg, lean forward placing their knee in your axilla. Now free this hand and grab their far collar, and lean toward this side bringing your knee between their legs and to the mat. Secure your position and walk around to the side mount.

Second Degree Faixa Preta

Today I was promoted to second degree black belt. I don’t believe I’m that good of a black belt and I’ve done martial arts for so long that I don’t put much stock in promotions, stripes and belts anymore. To me you’re only as good as what you can back-up with your skills and only as talented as what you can transmit to others about doing the art. That being said, I’m tickled that my instructor and his instructor think enough of my evolving jiu-jitsu to promote me.