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Conditioning Nastiness

One of my friends sent me this conditioning evil. I thought I could do one better:

  • Stand-up (that is go from a prone position, bring your heels to your butt and rise to a standing position) to...
  • ...jumper squat...
  • ...sprawl to...
  • ...push-up to...
  • ...mountain climber x3 sprawl out to opposite side...
  • ...spider-man to back...
  • ...repeat ad nauseum



Warm-up consisted of cleaning the Combat Room after IHSA Football and the Dynamic Warm up from "The Team Renzo Gracie Workout: Training for Warriors" (Martin Rooney).

I worked a few rounds of grappling with Jeff and Dan. While everyone else did 4 x 3 min rounds on the pads (basic boxing, basic thai, Joe mystery drill #1, Joe mystery and truly evil conditioning).

Worked on some basic takedowns with the juniors, that is the hip toss from the front and side clinch position. I think the side clinch version works better when (a) you're taller and (b) when you have to jockey extensively for position. In either case key points are staying tight, controlling the far ELBOW, and making opponent comply to your structure not vice versa.

Next we covered the leg lever. That is an ankle pick with hip pressure taking the front leg. The application of the push and pull is important here.

The senior students worked on soto makikomi, either dropping to one or both knees and using either an under or over hand wrap. The key is wrapping the arm tight as if trapping a shoulder seat belt on. From the front the rotation is 270o degrees. To the side you have to fit next to your opponent and turn 180o degrees. This throw is distinguished, in my opinion, from ippon seonage by the direction of the wrap, in soto the wrap is more in the horizontal plane while in seonage it is more vertical. In either case dropping adds a greater impetus on the throws and that is the way I like to throw them.


JKD & BJJ Day late, dollar short

It's been a slow (training) week with fights last Saturday and Fall Break at the University. I forgot to jot my notes down on practice yesterday:

We warmed up with some movement, J, JC, JCH, JCHC, quarter sprawls (think alternating long lunges, same side hand to floor), and head movement.

We worked kicking interceptions off the jab, cross, and hook. Personally I think it is really difficult to intercept jabs with kicks, except for tiip or shuffle kicks. Picked up the jab with elbow destruction.

Also worked some (foam) stick sparring and then worked into neck play.

For the BJJ we did a bit of drilling

  • Shooting practice -- lower level, replace your butt with your head (at least level-wise), strong drive up and in, then push and change direction 90o. All of which is totally useless without a good set-up.
  • Falling arm bar. Control elbow of kimono, put foot in opposite hip and sit to this side, other leg hooks over to finish armbar. Foot stays in hip. To defend, drop down and leave armbar knee side up while pulling elbow in tight.
  • Side mount escape #1 (poor hip control) -- Bridge into opponent and move hips laterally away, shrimp to guard. Use arms, in good defensive position to push.
  • Side mount escape #2 (poor head control) -- Bridge into opponent and move hips laterally away, coming to four points, attack leg to put opponent on back.
  • Side mount escape #3 (good head/hip control) -- Insert far forearm in neck to create space, widen space with near arm in neck, bridge away and roll over far shoulder, opponent follows so fall into guard.
  • Kimurasit-ups
  • Alternating arm bars

Did a "few" rounds in anticipation of C3 next week.


GJ Outside vs. Inside

Inside versus outsideMy simple thoughts on "outside" and "inside". The outside (line) region is the two areas lateral to your partner's shoulders. Inside region is the area medial to your partner's shoulders. Outside control is hands controlling from the outside region and inside control is hands controlling from the inside region. Outside control is slipping to body hook/head hook, a thai side clinch, whizzer position, or side mount while inside control is the straight blast, plum position, double underhook position, or full mount.

Only a few of us at practice we had a nice light workout.

Warm-up: 2 min rounds of the prison riot drill, jump squat sprawl pyramid push-ups to 5 then pummeling, shadowboxing, side rolls using the wall followed by forward rolls.

Thai pads: 2 min rounds x 2 using the "punch mitts"

  • J-C (thai pads) elbow-elbow (to own punch mitts)
  • J-Straight elbow (thai pads) elbow (punch mitts)
  • J-Straight knee (thai pads) head knee (punch mitts)
  • J-C-Straight knee (thai pads) head knee (punch mitts)
  • Kick to knees, three skip knees (thai pads) head knee (punch mitts)
  • "Knee" combinations (knee-elbow-elbow on pads head knee mitts)

6 rounds of the "Pinnochio Stance" lead hand is extended while rear hand cover in order to clinch head. Partner throws punches and clinch off this position.

  • Evades to outside of extended hand attach with outside thai clinch to plum
  • Evades to inside of extended hand attach with extended hand and then attack with other hand
  • Throwing punches use rear hand defense to set up insertion.

Everyone did tag-team knee play!

Arm bar vs. taking the back set-up:

  • Same side wrist, cross hand at elbow
  • Arm drag to forearm under armpit, secure triceps
  • Cross hand wraps from underneath, secure triceps

Depending on how deeply the arm is secured control can be inside or outside. Now we can transition from one region of control to the other, alternating between the arm bar and taking the back. A flower sweep can be added for kicks. Thus after getting the grip, we can keep going in that direction to take the back, grabbing the opposite lat and opening the guard. The cross hand arm can be used to slice under the same side thigh and be used to lift for the sweep. Alternatively, after securing the grip, we can move in the opposite direction and secure the arm bar or if opponent resists we can go back to the sweep.


GJ Looking for the the proper insertion

I have a sore throat exacerbated by talking and training for two hours.

Anyway the term "insertion" in the non-Biblical/pornographic sense is used to describe access to a combination or technique. For example, getting double underhooks is an insertion it opens the game up and has a wide variety of follow-ups. Without the double unders none of these techniques are possible.


  • squats
  • jumping jacks
  • arm swings
  • deep knee-head knee
  • leg swing
  • advancing and retreating bob and weave
  • three bobs to the back
  • Thai neck pummeling
  • pummeling
  • cross (arm drag) pummeling
  • knee tag
  • shoulder tag
  • hooks inside lift to stand-up
  • Frank Shamrock-up

Covered the outside neck grab knee, sweep the head to skip knees. On the insertion, the rear hand must be up to ward of the errant hook. Should he hook, cover and bump it to tie-up. The sweep over the head protects and keeps opponent close for knees.

Thai pad rounds

  1. Basic cover (cross-high, lead hook-side, leg kick-leg point knee at 90o to leg) return cross-hook-cross. I think this is a strong, basic, reaction with high yield. More advanced people can vary his with returning "3" off the high and side cover, thai reaction (C-H-Kick) off leg covers, and the short reaction off body hooks (U-C-H or U-H-C)
  2. This round we used the openings created by throwing strikes to add reaction. Call out combination and give reaction at end of drill.
  3. Conditioning for beginners 2 min of cover return kick with incremental increase in kicks, switching left and right. Advanced cover return X kicks plus one missed kick spin and return kick on opposite side. Final minute 20 sec pitterpat, 10 sec push-ups, 20 sec pitter pat, hold push up position for 20 sec then do 10 push-ups.

Ground flow: Partner shoots, late defense, sit to guard, insert hooks and arm, sweep to opposite side. Take kesa gatame. Bridge and roll and take side mount. Escape by pushing from safe position and shrimping legs to guard.
Alternatively, escape kesa gatame by sliding hips out, triangling head and establishing top position.

A transient thought came to me during practice: the complexity of techniques that you know means nothing compared to flawless basics. When I visited Japan, I trained at a gym there, within in ONE round of shadowboxing they asked me how long I trained boxing/thai boxing and where I'd fought. The most complex combination I threw was J-C-Kick.


GJ "Down is the same and over, up is across and under"

This is Lauren's very succinct description of the kimura where the hand is pointed toward the mat, you grab straight and then reach over the top of the arm to secure the grip. The americana you reach across the body and come under the arm.

Warm-up included jumping jacks, squats, push-ups, Thai neck pummeling, side shuffle, carioca, skip squat, shooter's walk, shooting under the heavy bag.

We then did single/double leg shots from circling, two step lunge walk with a 90o turn. Also worked on sprawling, hips down and "laces to the mat".

Today we did thai reaction;

  • Off jab cross: Catch, angle step parry, cross, body hook, cross / shovel hook / knee / thai kick
  • Off tiip: Pat to outside with angle step, kick to back of leg, continue on angle, throwing head hook, cross. Also try patting and cutting back leg.
  • Off cross hook: Cover both, cross, hook, cross. Or cover cross, bob and weave hook with body hook, cross, hook
  • Off leg kick (yes cover works but), leg evasion, return evaded leg kick ("Wish him on his merry way"). Or return head / body kick with "rear" leg. Or fall into cross, hook, cross combination off evasion.
  • Off body kick, body evasion and "paint the face", that is, karate style low block kick into floor (trying to stick it to the floor). Leg kick. Alternatively catch the kick, knee to tibial nerve and driving punches or cut kick inside (then outside). In both cases step with the kick to reduce momentum.

Guard movement

  • Opponent is standing up and trying to throttle you. Grab wrists and open guard, use knees to push back and then pull forward, settling into arm triangle. His arm will be next to your head and your arm will wrap around his neck, catch your own bicep and put your other hand behind your head. Submit here or grab lat and move to rear mount and finish with rear naked choke.
  • Opponent has you mounted, shrimp to guard (go to one hip and push same side knee then switch to other hip and create a frame while pushing other knee). Once in guard, opponent stands straight up. Open guard and cup heels, push straight back with knees, toppling them backwards, rise forward (you may have to angle body to more easily accomplish mount).

We also discussed the figure four position at is strength for submissions, showing it in standing kimura, americana, and guillotine. I just wanted to introduce the concept and strength of the figure four.

Had people practice inserting off the punch and then going to an arsenal that they feel comfortable using. The key is a strong insertion and THEN using your "arsenal", be it boxing, thai boxing, jeet kune do, judo, wrestling, or just fighting dirty.

Discussed the Fundamental Exam, I would like to see everyone be able to do

  • Breakfalls
  • Hold pads
  • Core self-defense (punching and tackling)
  • Spar

Also held some rounds for Kelly and Joe. I noticed that in practice I will often have a theme, however I often lose that theme when holding after practice. I will have to make note of themes or areas that I want to work with my fighters and hold pads accordingly. Training without a plan is just bad form.


Goshin Jitsu Sparring Day

Warmed up with 6 minutes of shadowboxing, the neck clinch pummeling, and shadowboxing with sprawls.

Worked many rounds of timing 2 min w/ 10 sec break.

Proceeded into sparring.

Did some triangle defense. Jeff showed the reverse body lock defense, where you wrap your hands around partner's waist and create posture.

Finished up with first take down.

Reiterated importance of challenging self and how it makes you a better competitor and self-defense practioner

JKD & BJJ "Controlled asswhipping...the only way to improve"

Today's title quote is from Billy Stamp (one-half of Brains and Brawn, Inc. :-D ) and he's right the only way to make yourself better is to get "beat" and to "lose" a lot. If people cannot push you, and threaten to beat you, then the only point of training is to stroke your own ego.

Worked double sticks:
Start open, angle 1 right roof, leftt hits hand, right jab, left forehand, right backhand, left redondo, closed position.
Angle 2 pass, right forehand, left back hand, right redondo, go to open.
Keys are angling and attack short and long not trying to cross the sticks at the same spot.
When sparring double stick vs. single -- single wants to crash, while double wants to stay open.

BJJ Drills

  • Shrimping
  • Shrimping as partner tries to pass
  • Standing up -- post one hand the other forarm on knee, post hand leg goes back, lever body to standing
  • Hip trust, from seated took one leg horizontally in front and hip up
  • Circling legs
  • Shadow triangle, move hips

Inside leg trip (drop ouchi gari) to ankle pick. As opponent steps out of trip, cup opposite heel and pull horizontally across mat.

Flower sweep
From guard control one sleeve, slip opposite hand under thigh. Simultaneously bump ribs (thigh grip side), lift thigh, and make a huge C with opposite leg -- going through where opponents legs used to be. Set up can be "forced" by walking or jerking hip into place, unbalancing opponent making him open to sweep, arm bar or oma plata.


Some drilling ideas

Neck clinch pummel
Outside hook same side knee, trace hand over head, and go to skip knees, transition to (a) thai side clinch, (b) double underhooks, or (c) front head lock

Drive to the wall
Four straight (JCJC) clinch to wall straight knee to skip knees fit takedown

Rip off strikes
Throw JC, defend JC, clinch and rip to wall, 3 skip knees


Normalizing kali/kickboxing nomenclature

Use the clock face.

Thus an 8-count becomes
1:30 (overhand, downward elbows, "judo chop")
7:30 (body hook "liver punch")
4:30 (rear uppercut)
9:00 (lead hook)
3:00 (rear hook)

Just a thought...

GJ "The Thursday After"

Warm-up was approximately 100 squats, sit-ups/leg raises, and 20 dive bomber and 20 regular push-ups.

Did 2 x 3 min of the Dean's warm-up shadow boxing.

Worked on throwing long, well extended jabs and crosses, by throwing from 1/2 step outside tiip range. Then started entering with the cross and leaving with the Checkmark. That is straight leaving at the 45o angles. Advanced guys threw CHC or CUC combinations.

Transitioned into angles -- angled 45o off jab or cross, throwing shovel hook - body hook - cross / lead hook / kick. Or entering with thai kick or knee followed by body hook - cross / lead hook.

Did 3 x 3 min on thai pads with the body mechanics combos from this past weekend.

Finished up with throws and takedowns. Using a thai entrance off a wide punch we can set up a side or frontal ogoshi. In general, taller people hook the head and smaller people do the Zerlentes' maneuver and make a scooping motion at the hip line. Next we used the rolling kick defense where the kick deflects off the hip to pick up the shin, a shot can be taken directly from here or the leg can be hooked and a front hip bump / leg sweep. Passing the kick results in a mostly or fully turned opponent, leading to the rear double. Lastly, JC-Lead knee-skip knees-same side outside leg hook. Countered with reaping the leg and turning in the opposite direction.

Worked a round apiece with Jeff and Derek. Shot INTO and through Derek's side kick, although my face hurts now. Saw Matt's set up for the Fireman's -- he uses the transition from under to overhook as his opening a drops to both knees and throws over the head.


JKD & BJJ Highly Dextrous Kali

Warmed up paunatuken (three count drills) using the jab and cross. Progressed into some light sparring with light knees and elbows once we clinched.

Andy and I worked on some more advanced stickwork. First we covered palisut (ice pick grip):

  • Pick up an angle 1 thrust and sweep down and across body
  • Check elbow and thrust to kidneys
  • Partner checks with free hand and feeds angle 2 thrust
  • Forearm check and upward backhand knife slash to wrist
  • Return angle 1 thrust
  • Partner outside sweep check, clear hand be ready for angle 1 from the top
    We are supposed to pick up disarms from this drill, I need to work on them before I can verbalize them.

Double stick passing with three returned strikes

  • Start open and pass angle 1
  • Return jab and retract into closed.
  • Left forehand, right back hand, left backhand redondo. Still closed.
  • Pass angle 2. Feed right forward and go closed. Left back hand, right backhand redondo. Go to open.
    Needs A LOT of work

Double stick sumbrada, need to work on insertion points for breaking the rhythm

  • Pass angle one and feed backhand, return to the beginning of the pattern.
  • Rather than feeding angle 5 thrust, feed angle 1.
  • Rather than feeding angle 1, abiniko to angle 2, make sure to get all the way around and not just place stick in your partner's immediate FOV.

I was strongly considering going to compete in Indiana this weekend, but my knees took a serious beating this weekend with people trying to bend them in the non-flexion direction. I don't have the stability or flexion I'd like to train let alone, so I'll probably give it a pass.


1st GJ MT Fightcamp Day #2 "Wet Noodle School of Fighting"

Extreme training teaches you a lot about yourself, it teaches you how far your real limits are while incorporating new information under stressful mental and physical conditions. I learned that I love pain, it is my friend.

Same shadowboxing warm-up with a slightly longer run today.

Elbow combinations

  • Slip and step the cross with lead snap elbow-rear knee-hook-cross
  • Slip the cross with lead body hook (upward angle lift liver)-rear knee-lead elbow-rear elbow
  • Catch (jab)-inside ducking cover* (cross)-rear downward elbow-lead snap-rear downward elbow
    *Slip to the inside with lead hand elbow pointing at partner as in straight elbow
  • Catch (jab)-parry (cross)-rear downward elbow-lead snap-rear downward elbow
  • "Judo chop" and grab neck with inside hook on elbow, return elbow


  • Straight right, slip just off angle 45o step with straight right to chin-uppercut-cross-kick
  • Straight right, slip just off angle 45o step with right shovel hook to solar plexus-uppercut-cross-kick
  • Straight right to body, low cover using elbows-outside hook rear knee-hook-cross
  • Lead body hook-uppercut-cross-hook-kick
  • Jab-knee, catch (jab) and jam knee with shin return kick
  • Thai kick, step off going in direction of kick, chop inside of leg with kick followed with cross or complimentary angle kick on thigh
  • Thai kick, pass the kick by "punching" it to the floor, for KO return kick with same leg (i.e. he throws right kick, you throw right kick) or opposite leg kick
  • Shorter than your opponent -- angles
  • Tiip interception -- fake entrance and draw kick
  • Knee defense -- use Llopis posture: extend lead hand and cover with rear hand, use lead hand to create range and fend off, insert rear hand to control neck as needed.

Reaction Drill

  • Check lead leg-two lead kicks-cross-(hook-cross)-lead knee
  • Check rear leg-two rear kicks-hook-(cross-hook)-rear knee

Conditioning Drills

  • The dictated shadowboxing replacing knees with kicks
  • Pyramid kicks 10 to 1 + 1 one side, repeat other side, knees to finish round

Oh yeah the Wet Noodle School of Fighting is part of the emphasis on relaxation in all parts of training. The more relaxed your are training the faster and more powerful your striking becomes. Plus your body will be more efficient and less prone to wear out and injury. If relaxed is your state of mind on the pads, in timing, and during sparring, you will function the same way in ring, in a self-defense situation, and in life!


1st GJ MT Fightcamp Day #1 "Shin to Win"

Warm-up -- Dictated shadowboxing

  1. Jab-knee
  2. Jab-cross-knee
  3. Jab-cross-hook-knee
  4. Jab-cross-hook-cross-knee
    "Shield" -- Leg cover lead leg
    "Cover" -- Hook cover

Elbow combinations

  • Lead hook-rear snap elbow-kick-cross
  • Clear jab-straight elbow (slick your hair back and drive forward with elbow)
  • Knee to medial thigh, tight half turn, opposite curve knee to kidney


  • Knee defense: As opponent knees shove his hips back, and duck out
  • Avoid leg kick, opposite kick to head
  • Soft leg cover with simultaneous cross-hook-kick
  • Squat into kick, letting it "roll" on thigh, simultaneous cross
  • Tiip defense: Step to the outside of the kick, tap with near hand return kick, knee, punch or elbow
  • Spinning back fist -- close distance and punch, open distance, or tiip to butt

  • Biomechanics Combo
    Rear kick-cover kick to lead-rear kick-avoid kick to lead leg-lead kick-lead knee-cross-hook-rear kick

  • Side clinch knee combo
    Catch jab-parry cross-cover hook and clinch lead hand on neck rear hand on bicep-lead knee-pop arm over head with rear elbow wing-lead knee-push to punch range-cross-hook-rear kick

  • Combining the above two into one drill

Dictated thai pads

  1. Jab-kick
  2. Jab-cross-kick
  3. Jab-cross-hook-kick
  4. Jab-cross-hook-cross-kick
    "Hard Cross"
    "Hard Lead/Rear Kick"

Four person drills: switching between three stations

  • Thai pads

    Kick combo #1
    Lead kick-cross-hook-rear kick
    Kick combo #2
    Rear kick-hook-cross-lead kick

  • Focus mitts

    Catch jab
    Parry cross
    Cover hook

  • Param/clinch with "knee play"

Technical Development

  • Reaction drill
    Sit down stand-up

  • Kicking
    Pivot on the ball of your foot and get full rotation. Try using a piece of paper under your foot to get freer rotation. Try shadow kicking, and spinning when you kick. Pivoting on the ball of your foot is important to protect your knee and to generate more power.

  • Punching
    Get full extension using the entire length of your arms. The cross needs a hip pivot and a twist. The shoulder protects the chin and punch from the floor using the legs to power the punch.

  • Use angles and opposite strikes (e.g. lead hook-rear kick) catch opponents within combination.


GJ "Everyone but Joker is strong!"


  • Pummeling
  • Knee tag
  • Shoulder tag
  • Neck control pummeling
  • Jab (bob) Cross(bob) Hook (weave) Hook (weave)
  • Triangular footwork to kick
  • Catching the kick
  • Tiip-(thai) kick-knee range finder

Thai pad rounds (3 min)

  1. Basic thai warm-up
  2. 4 Counts

    Low (leg)
    High (head)
    Stepping w/ hook to kick back of leg (pad holder rotates hold 90o)
    Stepping w/ cross to kick back of leg (pad holder rotates hold 90o)
    "Short" -- the kick becomes a round knee
    "Flat" -- the kick is thrown with shin horizontal, power is generated by hip thrust toward opponent, not by rotation
    Regular -- The punches set up the kick at the "perfect" range
    "Long" or "Drunken Pirate" -- opponent retreats too far to land kick, show the foot, and use kicking foot to hop to proper kick range.

  3. 4 counts (repeat and expand from above)
  4. Tabata protocol conditioning rounds (3 min + 3 min optional)

    20 sec on 10 sec rest (shadowboxing)
    Crosses and hooks
    Jump squat sprawls
    Crosses and hooks
    Mounted punches
    Up the wall squats with punches
    Stand up sit up w/ head kick

To my surprise and awe everyone completed all six minutes showing a bunch of heart. We also organized the lockers and packed them to bursting with our new thai pads.


JKD & BJJ "Count to 10"

Today we reviewed the double leg set-ups out of hubud, namely the under hand elbow pass, the arm drag, and from neck control following lop sao pok sao.

We also worked the defending the shot by putting the forearm in stiffly and going to knees.

On the ground we covered four techniques:

Outside straight arm bar to taking the back
From inside the guard, your opponent wraps your head, you slide out to this side, put your foot on his hip and roll your knee on top his triceps muscle. Using your arms to scoop the elbow and applying pressure with your head at his wrist apply the straight arm bar. Should this fail, immediately pass the arm by and take the back.
Cross collar choke
Open the collar, insert the first hand deep, such that the lateral side of the hand proximal to the thumb is tight against the posterior quarter of the neck. The curve of the neck should match the curve of the hand and wrist. The second hand inserts under the first arm on the opposite as deep as possible. Pull the arms straight back (as if doing a row) either breaking opponent's posture or pulling yourself to him. Hold for a count of 10 or the submission. At the end of the choke, the arms can be flared a little for more pressure.
"Judo chop" variation.
A second set-up for the choke, control same first hand position and same side arm. Pivot sideways as if going for arm bar, but then "judo chop" the opposite side of the neck with the arm control hand. Grab the fold of the kimono (overhand grip) and pivot back, using the same pulling motion to sink the choke.
Rodin's Thinker choke defense
As opponent controls both lapels, maintain good posture, butt on heels, arms controlling and pushing down, while looking up. Insert top hand side arm, over lower arm and under top hand arm, placing hand on head and elbow in opponent's hip -- emulating a jiu-jitsu Rodin's Thinker.

Drilled some holding posture in the guard, did a few rounds with the kimono, and then trained some MMA timing.