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JKD & BJJ "Kyle, give me a call if you have any questions about how to whip @$$." "Billy, expect a long message on your phone."

Today we did the Erik Paulson core combinations:
  • Jab-Cross-Lead Hook
  • Jab-Body Cross-Lead Hook
  • Cross-Lead Hook-Cross
  • Lead Hook-Cross-Lead Hook
  • Overhand-Lead Uppercut-Overhand
  • Double Jab-Cross
We did individual rounds of each and then progressive defense and clinching off these techniques in the following progression:
  • Free form (feed any)
  • Free form against wall
  • Free form against wall, defender works to clinch/plum
For BJJ we drilled for the Pan Am with rounds of:
  • 3 minutes to first point from the guard
  • 2 minutes in the guard, top player is ahead on points and stalls out
After practice I did a few 6 minute rounds. I have to work on my defense of a certain technique, people are getting too close...


GJ Scratch that the new record is 5!

We started with shadowboxing and then reviewed the Dave Rogers' 9 count. We then did some alternating level changing attribute drills:
  1. Kick to sprawl
  2. 2 turn forward roll 2 (this may be called the Ninja Drill)
  3. Spin around your fist to combinations
Next we worked on some core combinations, skill flows, and attribute drills. Core combinations (CC) are the basic alphabet and grammar of technique. You must know and excel at these basics to become proficient and they will appear over and over again in your training and sparring. Skill flows (SF) are longer compositions (words/sentences?) of the fight game and develop strings of techniques. It is doubtful that you will ever perform an entire skill flow, especially the longer ones, but you will use fragments in sequence to achieve your tactical goals. Attribute drills (AD) use sequences of technique to work on concepts of the fight game. It is doubtful that you will repeatedly see exactly what happens in the drill, but you will often see something similar to it. The idea is then to train a drill to cover a wide variety of general scenarios all depending on a single attribute. The attributes can be simple or multifactorial, e.g. from speed to clinching.
  • 3 Cross (CC)
  • Reverse 3 Cross (CC)
  • 2 Kick-Rear Knee-Lead Uppercut-Cross (SF)
  • 1 Kick-Lead Knee-Rear Uppercut-Lead Hook (SF)
  • 3-Rear Shovel-Lead Hook-Cross/Rear Uppercut (SF)
  • Catch (jab)-parry (cross)-power 3-retreat-tiip (AD: interception energy)
  • 2-defend power 3-2-duck and side clinch off cross (AD: setting up clinch)
Next we worked on plum isolating the neck control. We worked achieving the neck control by swimming, using neck control by twisting and bear hugging. We then switched to the basic pummeling drill and tried achieving either high or low double underhooks.
Lastly I covered the basic pummeling switch to arm drag. Here we open the pummeling space and cross grab the medial triceps to obtain the arm drag. We can use this to obtained a rear hip control, Marcelo Garcia grip, or kahata jime (lateral arm triangle) among others.


GJ The Bugeishako reaches a new training population high...3!

Steve and Tom dropped by for a little training in the moderately chilly Bugeishako. We started with the 9 counts. We then worked on a method for working to the outside when someone has the opposite lead you do, the reverse 3 game:
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Rear Kick (follow with reverse 3)
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Rear Knee
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Rear Shovel
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross-Lead Hook
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross-Lead Kick
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross-Lead Knee
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross-Tiip
Next we covered two amateur MT knee combinations or the situation where your opponent escapes after your first knee:
  • Rear knee-Lead upper cut-Cross
  • Lead knee-Rear upper cut-Lead hook
Next we worked off the wall from a muay thai clinch:
Pivot step
Make a 90o turn. The easiest way is to step your rear foot out 45o and then pivoting around your opponent.
As with the pivot step but grab your partner's head and pull as you step.
Clinch and turn
Tie up and clinch. Push forward and then drop step to turn them to the ropes/wall.
I also edited and added a figure to my Inside versus Outside blog.


The Four P's: Perception, Pain, Pressure, and PunishmentFor the JKD portion of practice we started with punatuken (3 strike drill) using the jab, cross, and lead hook. Jack then explained the workings of the four P's of perception, pain, pressure, and punishment. I try here to recreate Jack's lesson:
Also known as the preliminary analysis where we observe our opponent and try figure out what they are going to do. For example:
  • Stance: Is this a boxer or a wrestler?
  • Hands: Do they have a weapon and how are they going to swing?
  • Mr. Murphy: What are the unknowns and how is it going to bite you in the @$$?
This is also the point where we initiate a feeling out process.

In order to do anything with an attacker we must inflict pain, that is, do something to make them less worried about doing bad things to you and more worried about why it hurts so bad. For example, if you stub your toe the entire world disappears except for the pain in wounded digit. The same principle works in a fight be it in the street or the ring. In Jeet Kune Do there are two primary reactive ways for doing this:
  • Interception uses strikes to the body and extremities when your are attacked. We did this two ways today, the first was off the haymaker by slipping and jabbing. The second used leg kicks to stop the high line punching of a boxer (see King Arthur Williams versus Alexey "the Red Scorpion" Ignashov in K-1). Interception requires a high level of skill and athleticism to pull off.
  • Destruction breaks your opponent's strikes upon your "defensive" weapons. Elbow destructions pick up punches so rather than simply covering you destroy your foes fist. A knee destruction uses the tip of the knee (the distal portion of the femur) as a protruding target against the shin. A targeted and brutal version of the thai leg cover. Although destruction still demands athletic reaction, it is a little easier to pull off than interception.
The straight blast and transition to trapping/clinch/HKE (Head butt-Knee-Elbow). The straight blast theory is that
  1. You can run faster forwards than your opponent can backwards.
  2. Someone running backwards cannot adequately defend themselves.
  3. Therefore, throw a torrent of chain punches down the centerline while trying to sprint through your opponent.
This means that you deny your opponent offense by securing overwhelming domination and retaining it with aggressive forward pressure.

Once they stop backing up and the distance closes we transition to trapping and deliver a devastating "extreme dirty boxing" arsenal of head butts, knees, and elbows. This component still has forward pressure but is the "reward" for the first three steps. We use our fight ending tactics now that we have reasserted our dominance.
For the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu portion we worked three passes from the half-guard position. Strong head control is essential, one way to obtain this is to free the distal portion of the jacket and loop it under your opponent's arm and the securing your head control grip to the kimono here. Try to crush their head between your shoulder and forearm.
"Key in the Lock"
You are in the half-guard. Slide your free knee next to your partner's hip. This arm obtains head control. Your other (trapped side) controls your partner's far pant leg at the knee. Work your trapped leg foot toward your partner's butt, freeing as much of your leg as possible. Push on your partner's knee and wiggle your foot free (like a key in a sticky lock). If this doesn't work place your free shin over your partner's near shin and apply pressure, opening the half-guard.

Opposite Side Knee Escape
If your opponent denies you the above escape or moves their hips away from you slide your trapped knee to the mat on the far side. They will try to block your knee so underhook and use the "Itsybitsy Spider" to move their arm superiorly. Your head posts next to and superiorly to their head on the side you were on originally. Use your free foot to hook inside the thigh and leverage our your trapped foot. If this does not work, free your head control arm and place the elbow on the far side of their face, drag your forearm across their neck and face, turning their head. This will help open their half-guard.

Same Side Knee Escape
The above two have failed or the position has changed. Retain your underhook and pop your trapped leg knee to the side your originally started on. Grab their free arm at the elbow and make a same side post with head. Use your free foot to push/kick their half-guard off.
Should your opponent attempt the "Lockdown" ("Jiu-jitsu Unleashed" (Eddie Bravo) pg. 29) where they triangle your leg (inside leg is straight) your have two options:
"Tee Kay Vee"
Kick posteriorly then superiorly. That is, bend your knee and then straighten in a rising motion toward the ceiling. In other words, heel kick your butt and the kick to the sky.
Trapped Knee Lock
Retreat and stand. Place your trapped foot flat and then push their knees flat to the mat.
I did several hard rounds focusing on aggressive points and submissions. Kiko gave me some good advice for Pan Ams:
  • Get hot (i.e. warm-up and have a solid sweat broken)
  • Stay relaxed.
It don't get simpler and more correct than that.


The Octopus

I was wrestling with Nick today and thought about the many submissions that can be obtained from the triangle position. I was also thinking about how damn cold it is to train in one's garage when the weather decides to be wintry in the first week of spring, but that doesn't really help anyone. Victory comes to those who suffer. Anyway the Octopus or eight submissions from the triangle:
  1. Triangle
    (triangled neck and arm)
  2. Straight Armbar ("Hot Model")
    (triangled arm)
  3. Reverse Armbar
    (triangled or free arm)
    I use the reverse arm bar on the triangled arm as initiator to either catch this submission or break my opponent into the triangle. I use the reverse arm bar on the free arm to attack but also to reposition my triangle's angle.
  4. Americana
    (triangled or free arm)
    Triangled Arm: You can use the inside (medial side) of the leg nearest your triangled arm as an achor for the elbow, pull the arm superior and laterally to create pressure on the shoulder.
    Free Arm: Angle your body out to the side of the free arm and set up a standard figure four (arm pointed superiorly) for the lock. Remember: "Up is across and under", that is cross side grip to their wrist, same side secures beneath their arm for the figure 4).
  5. Kimura
    (triangled or free arm)
    In either case use your triangle to anchor their body while attacking with the kimura. I generally do this against the shoulder versus the elbow (hmmm...maybe I should try it) and use the "Down is same and over" axiom, that is the same side wrist grip, then reach over to secure the figure four.
  6. "Cow Renderer"
    (triangled arm)
    Similar to the americana of the triangled arm, use the medial surface of your leg to trap the elbow of the triangled arm and apply the goose neck to the wrist.
  7. Oma Plata
    (triangled arm)
    To do this you or your opponent must open up the triangle on the "arm" side. That is your either create space, pushing them away at a 45o angle or they tuck their arm around your leg and behind your butt. Open the triangle and pivot 180o while simultaneously putting your feet together and pushing away from your core. At the end of your pivot, swing your legs away from your partner ending in a skewed kneeling position. Slide your hips laterally away to flatten your partner's shoulders to the mat and improve the lock (the E in SPInE).
  8. Gogo Plata
    (triangled neck and arm)
    Not my favorite I have old knees and got tired of kicking my partner's in the face. The basic mechanics have been described previously.
I also noticed that I need to increase my activity becoming more aggressive and off-angle. I'm able to recover from near passes due to shear athleticism, I might as well use this attribute offensively and myself up by attacking from the guard at an oblique rather than being controlled straight on. If I do this I can attack more.


Tim Swings by the Bugeishako

Tim was in town on his vacation and so he came over to train. We were without any pads since the gym is locked up (I did swing by and see if I could grab some but the building was locked and deserted). We shadowboxed and then alternated some combinations (per the usual, see Monday for example). Tim showed me two great training combinations:
Dean Lessei 9 Count "4 3 Uppercut Cross Hook"
  1. Jab
  2. Cross
  3. Lead Uppercut
  4. Jab
  5. Cross
  6. Lead Hook
  7. Rear Uppercut
  8. Cross
  9. Lead Hook
Dave Rogers 9 Count "3 Catch Power 3 Slip Power Reverse 3"
  1. Jab
  2. Cross
  3. Lead Hook
  4. Catch (Jab) Cross
  5. Lead Hook
  6. Cross
  7. Slip (Cross) Lead Hook
  8. Cross
  9. Lead Hook
We also worked some knees and he brought up to great combinations for amateur MT (no head knees):
  • Deep knee-lead/rear upper cut-cross/lead hook
  • Deep knee-side thai clinch-hold to shin punt
  • Jab(-Cross)-Lead Hook-Rear Shovel-Rear Uppercut
I showed my Closed Guard Arm Trap MESHwork (review text version) so that Tim had something to torture his friends with.
Click here for PDF version of Closed Guard Arm Trap MESHwork


JKD & BJJ Snow Day

Class was pretty small today following the March Midwest blizzard (the greatest predictor of extreme snow in Illinois is whenever the U of I goes on Spring Break). We reviewed stick work and focus mitt drills before switching to the ground. Here we started with rolls and side falls before reviewing the hip toss:
  1. Partner has one (same side) lapel control.
  2. Obtain cross hand sleeve control, then loop your free hand over and then under to secure a grip on the kimono.
  3. Control the opposite elbow just proximal to the elbow, control against side with forearm pressure.
  4. Step in front and hip toss
We then reviewed the kimura (inferior elbow lock), figure four straight armbar, americana (superior shoulder lock), same side, and 180o armbars. I showed another variation off the 180o arm bar switching it to a inferior shoulder lock. Once we have the person on their side, kneel on their head, "pummel" switching the arm beneath your opponent's forearm, and re-lock the figure four. Pull or lift to release their grip on the kimono and then drive posteriorly and superiorly to lock shoulder.
There is an expression in BJJ: "position before submission", which I agree with heartily, however it is inexact In order to submit someone position changes dynamically:
Retain and submit
In this set-up we do not give up position or create very minor alterations in position to achieve the submission. The control aspect of the position is independent of the submission. These are beneficial because they keep you in strong position but have less leverage than other submissions. Examples from cross side would be americana, figure four straight arm bar, and even kimura.
Recoverable load and submit
These set-ups use a base position to set-up the position but then transitions to another half position to perform the submission. This has the advantage of more leverage and power in the submission, but since their is a dynamic change in position there is a higher chance of your opponent escaping. But as long as we retain the option to return to a full position (typically the one we transitioned from) this is a reasonable risk. The arm bar from the guard is a good example, we "lose" the guard position with the goal of greater pressure on the arm lock but we can almost always "bail out" back to the guard if the armbar fails.
Nonrecoverable load and submit
Similar to the recoverable loads these submission attempts give up position but make it more difficult if not highly unlikely to be able to "bail out" to the original position. This is not to say that they shouldn't be done, just let it be recognized that it will take several steps to get back to an advantageous position should the submission fail. An example would be the 180o armbar, once in the armbar position should the armbar fail, it will take several movements each with a specific risk of losing the upper hand to reestablish a strong position. That is, we will have to battle and balance our way carefully back to mount or sidemount, not simply smoothy transition.


GJ "Only the lonely...train during Spring Break"

Examples of rhythmZach and I worked out today for the inauguration of the Bugeishako v2.0. Its tough to gauge a workout when you don't sweat, we have a blizzard coming in so the ambient temperature even with the space heater was a trifle frigid. Following warm-up and some shadowboxing we alternated:
  • Jab-Cross-Hook-Cross
  • Jab-Cross-Double Lead Hook (e.g. Body-Head, Shovel Head, Double Shovel)
  • Jab-Lead Hook-Cross-Lead Hook
  • Jab-Overhand-Upper cut-Overhand
  • Jab-Rear Kick
  • Jab-Cross-Lead Kick
  • 4 Count #1
  • 4 Count #2
  • 4 Count #3
  • 4 Count #4
  • Deep knee, head knee
  • Curve knee, deep knee
It is important to note the "beat" of the combinations ("Tao of Jeet Kune Do" (Bruce Lee)) that is the frequency and regularity of techniques strung together. When we start techniques come with almost metronome-like precision as soon as our brains parses one action it initiates the next. There is little or no texture to the simple rhythm. As we progress we learn to switch-up, that is, accelerate or decelerate the frequency of our techniques. As we develop we learn to put in fakes using half and full beats, that is, punctuating the grammar of combat with either the suggestion of another move (half beat) or of the completion of our expression (full beat). Finally, broken rhythm is precisely that, the frequency of previous techniques is not predictive of the subsequent techniques or flurries. This is rare and extremely frustrating for the opponent facing it.
If we examine, the third and fourth kicking combinations we can see all these. Basic drilling is the simple rhythm. As we progress we may accelerate the cross/hook combinations to generate a half-beat switch-up. In sparring we can use the first two kicking combinations to generate fear of the final kick. This generated fear can be used in a fake to suggest one kick but actually throwing the opposite. A full beat fake up would be performing the first three moves of the combination and pausing, holding the action as complete and then delivering the final kick.
Zach and I worked on uchi komi of the double leg and ogoshi (hip toss). Notes to self, double leg requires:
  • Low start point -- tall people cannot shoot through their opponents line of sight
  • Lower initiation and deep penetration
  • Cup the calves
  • Perpendicular direction change with strong head pressure
The hip toss requires the Combat Chiropractor especially with the body grip hand. We must force our opponent to conform, they cannot be allow good posture during the throw. The body grip hand/arm must shoot violently through the direction of the throw to insure this destabilization. We finished with two short grappling rounds before the hardest exercise of the day, re-rolling the mat in the face of snow and ice on my car.


Bugeishako ('Martial Arts Garage") v2.0

Bugeishako: Joker's Modular Martial Arts Training and Parking Facility
Bugeishako: Joker's Modular Martial Arts Training and Parking Facility
View from the garage door side, SW corner. In the opposite corner is the heavy bag and stand.View from the (inaccessible) access door side, SE corner. Notice the space heater and protective polyboard after the siding people turned the outer wall into sadist wet dream of oddly protruding nails.
I've wanted a home training facility for a long time. Not that I'll have time to use it nor a real need as I have access to University facilities, plus at any given time I train with two or three local gyms. But it'd still be nice to have the space to train solo or in small groups. Just in case.
The just in case occurred this week when the South Wright Street Martial Arts Facility (SWSMAF "Swiss maf") was shut down for Spring Break with literally less than 24 hours notice. Loath to decrease my training load for nine days, I had to get my little dojo operational STAT. This meant a trip to the lumber yard for cover the nails protruding through the outer wall. Just imagine a scene from Saw III with a jagged pincushion coming out of a splintery wall. I've cut myself walking to my car.
The basic premise was that I wanted to both use my garage for training and for car storage. My car is new and pretty, I'd like to keep it that way and avoid scrapping ice off the windshield as much as possible. Thus the heavy bag stand is in the rear corner with yard implements and shelving behind it. The mat can be tightly rolled to fit just in front of it, allowing me room to park. The gym currently features:
  • 12' x 20' matted area
  • 80# canvas heavy bag on free stand (stand padded for safety)
  • Climate control (open the garage door/space heater)
  • Fight posters
In the future I hope to store some thai pads, focus mitts, and extra gloves for training purposes as well as hanging a mirror, matting the walls, and adding a pull-up bar. At least for now I can train without exposing myself to tetanus. As for working out today, well the ten plus hours involved in bring the Bugeishako on-line has been sufficient.

JKD & BJJ Bane of Muscle Memory

Yesterday I was introduced to punyo sombrada which is a lot like regular sombrada but also a lot different. I kept falling back into by habitual patterns much to Andy's amusement. Punyo sombrada goes like this:
Feed angle 1 (half 2)Roof block angle 1 (half 11) with checkhand, backhand punyo to face
Check backhand punyoRotate stick and feed overhead backhand (high noon)
Wing block high noonInsert in central hole and sweep down (stick/blade) across hand, feed angle 1 (half 2)
This is going to take a lot of work.
In BJJ we reviewed cross side offense and defense (also here and here). I've been calling the kimura a shoulder lock when in actuality it is an elbow lock. The figure four is set-up so that the wrist grip is as far distal on the forearm/wrist as possible while the forearm posterior to the arm, at the elbow is just proximal to the articulation of the joint. This locks elbow first and shoulder second. The alternative, Shooto version, attacks the shoulder first by moving the posterior arm more proximally so that it is halfway between elbow and shoulder and then lifting superiorly followed by pressure at the wrist that is posterior and superior. Jack also covered hip leverage armbars from cross side:
Same side Armbar from Cross Side
Inferior side arm takes opposite side underhook control with superior hand cupping the near elbow while extending the arm. Step your superior side leg over partner's head and slide knee slightly superiorly. Extend hips into arm (slowly). This is an easy move to defend but is high-yield as it gives up very little positional advantage.
180o Armbar (Opposite side Armbar from Cross Side)
Partner has opposite hand over inferior side shoulder (inferior side one armed hug on this arm) and tries to shrimp to guard. As they do so, pop up and step over partner's head. Imagine kicking them in the kidneys and grab their belt with your free hand. Stay tight and low, pull yourself into a perpendicular position extending their arm for the armbar. Pinch your knees, pull your feet to your rear, and extend your hips.
I wrestled many rounds after practice and it felt pretty good except for some stiffness in the leg a injured last week.
"Muscle memory" is a non-exact term. Your muscles really can't remember anything nor can you train a reflex since the neurological short cut for that is from sensory cluster to spinal cord to motor unit. However, our higher processes can learn new skills and with time make them efficient and seemingly thoughtless. For example, when we started walking we dedicated a significant amount of our processor, the brain, to this complex task. Now (hopefully) we can walk, chew gum, and talk on our cell phones. Motor skills such as martial arts techniques are the same. When we first start out they are difficult and we use a lot of inefficient muscle and neurological power to do them. We cannot relax because we are using all our muscles and way to many neurons to achieve a goal that the more skilled can achieve with a lot less. If we have a perceived similar basis (such as my problem with punyo sombrada and regular sombrada) we will often fall back into those patterns because they are cerebrally easier to work with. Thus, bad habits are hard to break.
We can tame reflexes but never master them. Yes, you can learn to withstand pain, not flinch (or better tactically flinch), or not blink but this is requires a concentrated higher conscious effort to mold. However, the reflex is hidden but still there and given the right stimulus can still be illicited in all its primal glory with no higher brain modulation. Thus, learning to "manage" our reflexive pathways is important relying on our ability to do so is hubris of the most blatant sort.


JKD & BJJ I got beat, out pointed, submitted and it's totally AWESOME

Today after practice I rolled for several hard rounds, the majority of which I lost. I got taken down by a white belt (2-0), I got heel hooked by a blue, and I lost about 84-0 to Jack. It was fantastic. Losing in practice is only a bad thing if you don't learn from it. I'll take a million "loses" in practice for one gold medal at a tournament like NAGA Chicago, Pan Ams, or, even dare I dream, the Mundial. If I lose or get submitted by someone I taught or lower rank than me its just the law of averages, eventually it will happen, and I'm obviously training in a program that works and is constantly pressure tested, the "lesser ranks" can beat the uppers, not only can they, it's expected. It means I must try harder and not be complacent in my own abilities.
Anyway we worked on the three methods for escaping the cross side position:
  1. Shrimp to guard
  2. Shrimp to 4 points (see also here)
    Head outside
    Set-up double leg, step up on most lateral foot, head up and in for pressure, catch opposite knee, turn and dump to side mount.
    Head inside
    Use the leg securing technique and move around behind your partner. They will most likely whizzer your near arm. Use your knee and body to bump them forward driving their face toward mat, free your arm.
  3. Outside roll to guard
    Use your far hand to create space by pushing on shoulder, insert near hand across neck, grabbing lapel nearest your face. Lift and bridge over your free hand shoulder, roll back into guard.
We then covered two submissions from cross side position
  1. "Cow Renderer"
    If they grab your kimono in order to put pressure on your neck to push you off, slide out 45o superiorly. Cup their hand with your shoulder and secure a grip on the grabbing hand's elbow. Compress to lock wrist.
  2. Kimura (Inferior Shoulder Lock) from Side Mount (see also here)
    If they grab their belt, straddle their head and secure a figure four position. Use a "deadlift jerk" to free their hand and kimura them. Alternatively, loop their elbow and grab your own kimono drop your elbow into their side and take the armbar.
I need to:
  1. Improve my control in the guard by securing better grips, disrupting balance, and keeping people's grubby little hands off my pant's legs.
  2. Use explosive sweeps and submission attempts
BTW we reviewed knife passing drills in JKD today.


GJ Blackorby Seminar Review

We did a light warm-up with shadow boxing, shoulder, belly, and knee tag. We finished with the Steal the Tail game. We reviewed material from the seminar yesterday. I worked some alternative combinations with Jeff (and shared some with the rest of practice):
  • "3 Body Shovel" -- Jab-Cross-Lead shovel-Rear shovel
  • "3 Shovel (Hook Cross)" -- Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Rear shovel(-Lead Hook-Cross)
  • "3 Shovel (Uppercut Cross)" -- Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Rear shovel(-Lead Uppercut-Cross)
  • "Reverse 3 Body Head (Cross)" -- Jab-Lead hook-Cross-Lead body hook-Lead head hook(-Cross)
  • "Body Cover Front" -- Cover (Low Rear Hook)-Lead uppercut-cross-lead hook
  • "Body Cover Rear" -- Cover (Low Front Hook)-Rear uppercut-lead hook-cross
  • "Catch 1 Shovel" -- Catch (Jab)-Jab-Rear shovel hook
  • "Catch 2 Shovel" -- Catch (Jab)-Jab-Cross-Lead shovel hook
  • "2 Body Shovel" -- Jab-Body cross-Lead shovel hook
  • "2 Knee Kick" -- Jab-Cross-Lead Knee-Push-Rear Kick
  • "3 Body Knee Cross/Kick" -- Jab-Cross-Lead shovel hook-Push-Switch-up Cross/Switch-up rear kick
  • "2 Knee to Three Knees" -- Jab-Cross-Lead knee-Switch to full clinch (trace over head with glove)-Three skip knees-Throw to kick range and kick
We then worked some ring generalship skills. Junior students worked pushing and stepping their way out of the corner while their partner tried to block them. The key was to put pressure in one direction and pivot step in the other. The senior students used timing set up the power hand load and spinning techniques while their partners tried to escape by straight jabbing or pivot stepping. We finished with 2 x 2 min rounds of working the Superman, Heatseeker, and Crane Technique trick plays. Juniors worked kick, tiip, and knees respectively during these rounds. We finished with a 4 minute round of alternating minutes of 3 lateral jumps and 5 squats or 5 push-ups hold for 15 seconds.

Black Holes

Black holes are theoretical astrophysical phenomena that are the proposed result of a star collapsing on itself and creating a gravity field so intense that even massless light is attracted to and consumed by it. Gravity and "holes" are the themes of today's blog.
Anterior-Posterior Unbalancing
The stepping fields following anterior-posterior unbalancing
When kazushi (unbalancing) is applied in the anterior-posterior direction your opponent will either step forward or backward on the side with the most pull/push
Lateral Unbalancing
The stepping fields following lateral unbalancing
When kazushi (unbalancing) is applied in the lateral direction your opponent will most likely step sideways with or against the pull/push
Sweeps in BJJ/submission wrestling and throws are essentially the same thing, the former is performed while in horizontal plane while the latter occurs more in the vertical plane. When someone throws or sweeps well the universal concept of giving vs. taking occurs: Your partner gives you the sweep or throw rather you taking it (aside: does this make a takedown a give-up?). This is not to say that physicality has nothing to do with throwing or sweeping technique, just that physical strength only gets you so far. In order to be receive the gift of a throw or sweep, we must sometimes convince our opponent to give it. Hence the concept of the Black Hole, the overt or subtle removal of a base or post that allows a throw/takedown/sweep to be performed effortlessly.
In throws and takedowns we need to displace our opponent slightly and use this dynamic change in equilibrium to perform the throw. The Black Hole is denying reestablishment of equilibrium by re-posting the foot, head, or hand). That is, your opponent falls into the "gravity well" created by denying them the repositioning of their limbs and center of mass. The Black Hole effect can be prior to, during, or after the dynamic disturbance to their "stance". For example, if you shot a single and secure the leg it behooves you to push or pull your opponent into the spot where they would normally use their leg to regain their balance or fall. In the second case, we can deny them their balance by shooting the single and switching to a double catching their "free" leg and denying the re-post opportunity. In the final case, we use the aftereffects of the disturbance to open the Black Hole. If we push, our opponent typically pulls and vice versa. Thus an arm drag or head snap sets up the single leg by their aftereffects not their initiation.
Thus we test our opponents, pulling and pushing them to see what they will do and how this will feed us a takedown. Most people work well on the primary linear axes of anterior-posterior and lateral directions. We back step and side step in daily life all the time. When circular and diagonals are introduced this becomes more difficult. In addition, more than one Black Hole can be opened by working diametrically opposite and perpendicular angles. Well coordinated athletes can defend one Black Hole but not two or more. If we have secured one limb and threaten to trip one way or dump the other, they not only have to battle for balance but also calculate the odds of you taking them two different directions and the chance of switching up.
Limb quadrants depicted on da Vinci's Vitruvian
On the ground neutralizing the triangular base is the key part of sweeping and reversing position. With apologies to Leonardo da Vinci, we can divide the human body roughly in quadrants. Each limb's base overlaps with the one closest to it, thus the left arm's area shares balance duties with the opposite arm and left leg. As with throwing we must create a Black Hole, wherein gravity is stronger than our opponent's base. The easiest way to do this is to shut down the limb in the direction where no overlap is possible, roughly the diagonals off the primary axes. However sweeps can also proceed in overlap directions by securing both limbs in overlap areas. In any case, we must deny the reestablishment of base by securing limbs.
Triangular base switch-ups depicted on da Vinci's Vitruvian
On the ground it is often more difficult to create the Black Hole effect. Your opponent can reestablish their base in many more ways. They can create a new base triangle by repositioning a foot or hand, as well as using the head, opposite foot or hand to create a new vertex of a triangular base. However, by controlling appropriate limbs and positioning yourself we can still open a "gravity friendly" path to the mat for your opponent. In addition to the push-pull energy of stand-up throwing sweeps have a lifting component, e.g. hooks inside or double foot sweep to biceps, that allows another way to open the Black Hole.

JKD & BJJ Fine Tuning

Today we reviewed JKD knife work and then the BJJ techniques from Tuesday. Jack mentioned several refinements:
Escape from Side Mount (Four Points Transition)
Use an armless Spider-Man transition. That is bridge the hips high then feed the leg nearest your opponent under your other bent leg and retreating. Regain 4-points and secure leg as described previously.
Kimura (Inferior Shoulder Lock) from Side Mount
Attack the elbow rather than the shoulder (Shooto style). Thus we set-up the figure four just proximal to the elbow and make the arm straighter rather than more bent.
Americana (Superior Shoulder Lock) from Side Mount
When your opponent push on you, retract only your shoulder, do not roll your entire body away.
Posterior Collar Choke from Side Mount
This is a high percentage technique it (a) threatens submission, (b) does not give up position, and (c) looks like you are staying active on top.

Ryan Blackorby Muay Thai Seminar

Ryan Blackorby Seminar Spring 2006
Ryan Blackorby came over and did a much appreciated seminar for several of us today. Ryan is a fantastic coach and my guys love him (and think he's a better instructor than me so I don't bring him over too often). We worked a lot of inside boxing/thai boxing and covered some neat trick plays.

Working the Body
Shovel Hook Basics
The shovel hook is delivered palm up at a distance about the length of your forearm. "Dirty boxing" or fighting on the inside means it is not a question of if but when you will get hit. For the lead shovel hook, drop the rear heel and pivot toward that side. For the rear pivot toward the lead while sinking into to rear knee. Always cover your head immediately after the shot, throwing shovel hooks risk a counter head hook. Use the shovel hooks to herd your opponent, if they step to one side shovel hook them back the other way.
3 Body
Jab-Cross-Lead shovel shook
3 Body Knee
Jab-Cross-Lead shovel shook-Rear hand knee clinch-Rear knee-Push.
Clinch hand is hooked behind head, other hand is on forehead. Pull your elbow your body as you throw the straight knee. The push should roll your partner back on their heels, use the angle on the neck to move them.
5 Double Hook (3 Body Head Cross)
Jab-Cross-Lead Body Hook-Lead Head Hook-Cross
Be sure to re-cock your hook hand between the body and head hooks
Catch (Jab) Cross Body
Catch the jab, return cross, and finish with lead shovel hook to body
2 Knee Cross
Jab-Cross-Lead hand knee clinch-Lead knee-Push (while obscuring vision with glove)-Cross
Side Cover (Body Hook) [Rear Uppercut-Lead Hook-Cross] Knee Cross
Partner throws body hook to floating ribs, cover. Return rear (struck side) uppercut, lead hook, and cross. Lead hand knee clinch-lead knee-Push-Cross
Trick Plays
Throw a hard rear kick. Now "show and go", that is stick your leg out laterally to fake the kick then thrust it back while throwing a cross. Do not pose, do not overextend. If your opponent ducks the punch, quit the punch and switch to lead knee.
"Heat Seaker"
Throw a hard rear kick. Now fake the kick but pull it, circling the check leg and throwing a rear tiip. Just as with a regular rear kick, the small step is required on the fake so that you can reach with the rear tiip.
Basic Jump Knee
Use four shots to force your opponent to cover up. Single hand clinch to top of head, opposite hand to forehead. Leap up and aim for superior chest, the pulling hand will make chin meet knee.
"Crane Technique"
Fake the rear knee, then throw lead knee. This will be a jump knee and will look like a one-legged hop to the knee. Extend lead hand (control top of head) rear hand to forehead.
Use basic ring generalship, cutting off one side (rather than trying to control both giving them a 50/50 chance to escape) allowing an escape route to set-up your spinning technique.
Basic ring generalship concepts
In the beginning break the escape into three pieces:
  1. Pivot approximately 135o so that your leads switch and you can look over your shoulder in the direction of the spin.
  2. Finish spin and step through (keeping switched lead) throwing technique.
  3. Use new rear hook to reestablish normal lead.
Do not crowd your opponent.
Spinning Back Fist
Deliver with a bent arm, rather than with a locked elbow.
Spinning (Downward) Elbow
As you turn bring elbow up and down, splitting your opponents guard. Use a lead snap elbow rather than a hook in the final reestablishment stage.
Spinning (Upward) Elbow
Come from beneath again splitting the guard. You can also reestablish with a lead snap elbow here.
Spinning Kick
Cock the new lead and deliver a "mule" or side kick to the floating ribs/liver/spleen. Although this is a spin the kick is thrown linearly straight from the body to the target.
Belly pad and focus mitts
  1. Basic Shovel Hook
  2. 3 Body and using shovel hook to position partner
  3. 5 Double Hook
Belly pad and thai pads
  1. 3 Body Knee and Catch Cross Body
  2. 2 Knee Cross and Side Cover (Body Hook) Knee Cross with 30 seconds of three kicks per side
  3. All four combinations with 30 seconds of five kicks per side and 30 seconds of continuous 4 count (lead kick-cross-lead hook-rear kick-lead hook-cross-repeat)
Focus Mitt (partner's power hand) and suitcase pad
  1. Rear kick alternating with "Superman"
Belly and suitcase pads
  1. Rear kick alternating with "Heatseeker"
Four Person Conditioning Drill (10 minutes):
  1. Hold suitcase pad for 5 kicks each side, hand off to kicker when done
  2. Squats (20)
  3. Push-ups (20)
  4. 5 kicks each side to suitcase pad, repeat
We will review this material this week and incorporate our new wisdom in our respective games.


[REPOST] Sweeps are applied geometry that are physically easy and technically difficult, the pain after practice should be from a headache not a hernia

The old Goshin Jitsu patch[EDITOR'S NOTE: For some reason this posted existed and then was lost from the the server. It was originally posted 1/29/06 and for some reason could not be reposted at its true date and time. It has been reposted today, I apologize for any confusion]
I taught the newer white belts today and decided to revisit my early bread-and-butter move, the scissor sweep. We worked five variations/combinations of this sweep, in decreasing success rate order. That is, the easier high percentage moves first and more complex versions later. As with most of the things I do I like an overall conceptual theme and then technical variations of this idea hopefully strung together in a fairly coherent and logical order.
All martial arts have an almost fanatical obsession with the geometrical shape of the triangle. It appears in Filipino martial arts in their footwork and is incorporated in every martial arts symbol from karate to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). In BJJ the triangle holds a symbolic and practical meaning as it represents the fewest number of points to create a stable base as well as being able to be flipped over and still end upright. One example of this is the seated triangular base within the guard. Your knees form two of the vertices while your feet form the third.
Variations of the triangular base in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

A narrow (parallel) base is probably the easiest position to sweep someone from and is the posture adopted by most beginners. As most sweeps work on angles off of the center line this maximizing of the base in the direction you are least likely to be swept is highly inefficient. The opposite wide base is more stable in the primary sweep directions but is simultaneously decreases mobility and is weak along the centerline. A balanced triangular base has a wide enough angle to provide stability in all directions without sacrificing mobility and will approximate an equilateral triangle.
Two disadvantageous variations of the triangular base should also be noted. The broken or staggered base is a result of a dynamic guard game that has caused a deformation of solid triangular base. This destabilizing is due to movement, attempted sweep, or submission and is the perfect time to re-sweep. As with takedowns, the perfect time to sweep someone is right after they defended a previous sweep. The second variation is the extended base where your opponent's triangular base has become barely recognizable as an extremely obtuse triangle. An example of this situation are when your opponent stands within the koala or X-guards. They've been placed in this precarious, extended position because of having lost their triangular base and their best bet is reestablishing a solid three points on the ground.
A cylinder rolls freely but only in certain directionsAnother important geometrical consideration is important in grappling, that of the cylinder. Early nuclear dosimetery models considered the human body as a cylinder and an approximation of a thick central cylinder attached to and supported by four cylindrical appendages is a fairly good grappling model. Sweeps are supposed to be physically easy and technically difficult, that is, the pain after practice should be from a headache not a hernia. One easy way of achieving this aim is to make people roll in the directions that they are "roundest". If you needed to get out of bed, most normal people would roll over side-to-side rather than end-to-end to get to the edge of the bed. Wouldn't it then make sense to use this same path of least resistance to sweep an opponent. I see many people trying to sweep their partner over their shin, ankle, and foot (the long part of the "cylinder"), rather than turning the force perpendicularly and sweeping them over their shin and calf (the round part of the "cylinder").
The perpendicular cut should always make things a little easierThe final geometrical tool is the perpendicular cut. If you are meeting heavy resistance, especially in a wrestling or grappling situation often "cutting" or changing the direction of force 90o will achieve your goal sooner and more efficiently than simply keep pushing straight on. For example, in tamashiwara (board breaking) common sense and injury prevention dictates going with the grain in the thinnest direction possible. If your assistant can only hand you boards end on, you have a choice of trying to chop them in half end on or repositioning them perpendicular and preserving the small bones of your karate chop. OK fine, I had to justify my silly figure. A practical example is the double leg, if your opponent does not immediately fall down on the initial shot a perpendicular cut can complete the take down, either laterally or from underneath. A sweep is the same when greeted with resistance, simply change direction by 90o and divert the pressure. The technical application is more complex, but the general concept is universal. With this geometrical theory of the sweep established, let's discuss the technique:
  1. Scissor sweep
    From close guard, control same side sleeve and lapel. Open your guard and slide your lapel side knee across your partner's belt parallel with the floor, other leg goes on the floor next to your opponents same side knee. Pull your partner forward at a 45o to the sleeve control side as you scissor your legs, sweeping to full mount. You are defeating the triangular base by lifting your partner off of one knee and the feet base points while disrupting the other knee base point with your sweep. Your are simultaneously preventing rebasing attempts with the sleeve control and leg on the outside of the knee.
  2. Scissor sweep variation: pushing the leg
    Should the leg outside your partner's knee be unsuccessful in destabilizing your partner, switch up perpendicularly and push their knee straight back, breaking their triangular base. Now complete the 45o lift and sweep. This time your are breaking the base by pushing one leg out of the triangle. You keep it from moving with your foot as you lift your partner off the remaining vertices of the triangle. The sweep is approximately perpendicular to the foot push.
  3. Reverse scissor
    The scissor sweep does not work, usually from your opponent collapsing on your cross body leg. Switch your grip, using your sleeve control hand to cross grab your partner's opposite sleeve and then reattaching your lapel hand lower on the kimono in the small of the back. Pull forward onto your cross body shin, and then tilt to the same (cross body shin) side. This can be hard on your hip and knee if you try to lift rather than tilt your opponent. In this case, you are using one knee vertex as a pivot point, and lifting your partner off the other two vertices.
  4. Scissor sweep attempt to cross body shin load
    Your opponent attempts to pass the cross body foot, detach from the lapel and control both sleeves. Sweep the cross body shin across and insert in the same side crook of your opponents elbow, effectively opening the guard. If the pass continues, thread your other leg across the belt line, this time with the knee pointing laterally or away from your other leg. Dive your head to this side knee and underhook the thigh. Use the shin inside the elbow and cross body shin to lift your opponent onto your legs and then dump them to their back over your feet. Rise up to knee on stomach. Here you effectively lift your opponent off their base, rolling them in their "roundest" direction. In addition we have performed a perpendicular cut, but not resisting their pass attempt but attacking 90o to the pass vector.
  5. Scissor sweep to hip bump
    The scissor sweep is faked or attempted with the opponent creating space, pop back to a low open guard with feet on the floor. Pop the sleeve control hand, cross body past your opponent's far shoulder (Cobra Kai Death Punch) and secure an overhook grip on the triceps. Other hand bases on the floor behind you. Base hand side foot is the pivot or fulcrum of the sweep, the other is the lever. Use a hip up to lift the base, and turn toward the overhooked side to a full mount. Again you use the cylindrical nature of your opponents shin and calves to make the sweep smooth and easy rather than trying to push them end-over-end.
And with that here endeth the lesson. That and a bowl of applesauce is not enough calories to train on.


GJ "The BIG Bone"

We started with our standard warm-up then started with muay thai rounds:
  1. Kick to knees
    Throw kick but do not retract foot drop near partner, reach with hands one at a time and secure plum. Three skip knees, turn x 3, on last throw to kick range and kick. Remember the throw should disorient, off balance, and drive their limbs away from their head and core.
  2. Punch/Kick-Knee Combinations
    On the straight knees use the distal tip of the femur (the big bone). Either grab on the outside line with the knee-side hand while keeping the other glove on forehead or pull both hands to knee-side hips.
    Lead kick-rear knee
    Rear kick-lead knee
    Jab-(either) knee
    Cross-(either) knee
    (Either) knee-cross
  3. Duck Under Thai Clinch
    Cover lead hook and control neck, lead knee. Wing elbow and duck under arm, retain neck control and push on triceps. Two lead knees. Step up then away and throw (or push) to punch range for cross-hook-cross.
  4. Conditioning
    Distance and 3 knees/3 punches drill with added partner carries.
We transitioned to junior students alternating plum position by swimming while seniors students did knee play. Some of us apparently are still unclear of what play means but it's light, tag not sparring. If you hit someone in the cup, apologize! And don't knee anyone in the head. Or I'll just pin you to wall and cut loose...
Next we worked some leg lever variations:
Leg Lever (juniors)
From outside line control their ankle with one hand and put your forearm in their hip. Lift the leg as you push the hip to the floor, dropping them into the "hole" created by their missing limb.
Handler Leg Lever Variation (seniors)
Shoot and secure single leg control along the outside line. Drop your elbow into the meat of the thigh as you sag into the floor. This is a leg lever with pain compliance. You can make it easier on your partner by using your triceps.
Leg Lift and Pull (juniors)
The leg lever fails, use your ankle control side thigh to bump the leg and secure underhook on the calf. Grab their far trapezius muscle and step back, pulling them to the floor. If they fail to fall by hopping, block their foot with yours and trip them to the mat.
Baseball Bat Throw
From an outside line leg lever set-up use a hip bump and use the arm nearest your partner to underhook at the knee. Lock grip with other hand. Now swing up and away (the end swing of a baseball bat swing) to jerk/lift partner up and flat (and into the mat). If they hop and defend, sweep the base leg.


JKD & BJJ "Pan-Ams T Minus 1 Month"

In Jeet Kune Do we started with knee tag and then did reaction shadow boxing. Jack clicked the sticks and we threw jabs or shuffle kicks. We then worked on midrange knife work off angles 1 through 8:
  1. Downward forehand diagonal -- open to close - check hand to forearm, slash wrist
  2. Downward backhand diagonal -- close to open -- forearm to wrist, sweep down and through to outside, slash wrist
  3. Upward forehand diagonal -- open to close -- check hand to forearm, slash wrist
  4. Upward backhand diagonal -- close to open -- forearm to wrist, pass, slash wrist
  5. Thrust -- open to close -- angle to outside, check hand to forearm, slash wrist
  6. Backhand horizontal -- close to open -- forearm to wrist, pass, slash wrist
  7. Forehand horizontal -- open to close -- check hand to forearm, pass, slash wrist
  8. Backhand outside thrust -- close to open -- forearm to wrist, slash wrist, disarm (secure thenar eminence, thrust to lower flank, put forearm on flat of blade, strip by thrusting at neck, underhook and grasp at elbow, control foot with your foot, enter "bargaining position").
BJJ we went over some basics (and even the mighty purple belt learned or relearned somethings =D ):
Escape from Side Mount (Shrimp)
Partner has neither head nor hip control. Shrimp out, pointing your centerline toward your partner. Bring lower leg in and rotate head away from partner as you transition into a closed guard.
Escape from Side Mount (Four Points Transition)
Partner has hip control. Shrimp out, and rotate to four points position. Secure nearest leg at knee, move out to side and drop elbow of posterior side arm to the floor inside of calf.
Kimura (Inferior Shoulder Lock) from Side Mount
From side mount transition to 45o angle between partner's shoulder and head. Elevate shoulder to free partner's hand from armpit. Secure figure four going posterior to shoulder. Switch base and place foot over head. Lift and push locked arm behind partner's body.
Posterior Collar Choke from Side Mount
Secure control of posterior collar with inferior (towards legs) hand and pull in close. Obtain cross collar control with other hand. Extend superior leg (nearest head) and drop hip to floor. The choke is three dimensional:
  1. Posterior collar pulled inferiorly
  2. Forearm pulled laterally across wind pipe
  3. Dropping weight in and under chin (scoop) by extending leg and dropping hip
I rolled for abour 45 minutes with Jeff, my leg still a bit tender.


GJ "Seven Deadly Sins"

Following the warm-up we played two attribute enhancing games:
Steal the Tail
In this game everyone tucks a quarter-folded kimono belt in their pants so that it sticks out like a tail. You then try to pull out everyone else's tail without losing your own. You cannot hold on or use your hands to defend your tail.
Bizarro Dodgeball
Two teams each member numbered. When your number is called your objective is to get the ball to your side without getting tagged by your opponent. If you get the ball and yourself to your wall your team gets 1 point. If your opponent tags you after you have touched the ball or forces your to tag the ball while remaining in contact with you, their team gets a point. The last person to touch the ball is "it" that is a subsequent tag by their opponent scores against the person who touched the ball last.
We then did an MMA Circuit Training Round with people doing 1 minute of each "half" of a station and then rotating to the next station, that is each station was 2 minutes split into 1 minute rounds:
  • 5 push-ups hold for 15 sec / Overhead medicine dribble off the wall
  • G & P Dummy side mount: 3 knees-3 punches-switch sides / shadow boxing
  • Shadowboxing for 2 minutes
  • G & P Dummy full mount: 3 punches / shadow boxing
  • Snatch and suplex 70 lbs. throw dummy / reset dummy for partner
  • Shadowboxing for 2 minutes
Next we worked into 3 minute rounds of boxing and muay thai:
  1. Basic boxing review (juniors)
    1, Double, Triple, 2, 3, 3 Cross, Double to Cross, 1 Double Cross, etc.
    Four count review (seniors)
    Tiip (first kick tiip, second regular kick)
    Tiip-knee (first kick tiip, second regular knee)
  2. Punch kick combinations (juniors)
    "1 Kick" -- Jab, rear kick
    "2 Kick" -- Jab, cross, lead kick
    "Kick cross" -- Lead kick, cross
    Four count game development (seniors)
    Taking 2-3 of the fighter's favorite 4 count combinations the holder should feed those as well as simple combinations and trick plays that interact well with them. For example I like tiip and opening with lead leg kicks thus standard combinations 1, 3, and tiip version 1. This choice of favorites plays well with tiip kick, "Fundamental", kick cross, jab kick, and trick plays such as fake tiip and fake lead kick to cross. During the development of this game don't forget staples like 1, 2, 3 (cross) and 4 (cross).
  3. Boxing body movement development (all)
    The "Tim": Jab-cross-lead hook-cross-bob and weave (lead hook) (with lead body hook)-cross-lead hook-bob and weave (rear hook) (with rear body hook)-lead hook-cross
    The "Mike": Jab-cross-lead hook-rear upper cut-lead upper cut-rear hook
Fighting is often, counter intuitively, said to be 90% mental and 10% physical. In other words, its not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dog. Many times a physically and technically superior fighter loses to the one with a better mindset. Without the mental component, upsets wouldn't happen and physically phenomenal fighters wouldn't falter before their peak. On way to look at this is with the (Judeochristian) Seven Deadly Sins, reapplied to combat sports:
  1. Anger
    "Fear leads to hate, hate leads to anger, anger leads to the Dark Side" -- Osensei Yoda
    Anger is a powerful tool and can be a strong weapon, but it is blunt, inexact and terrible. An angry fighter is sloppy, expends energy inefficiently, and is stiff were they should be relaxed. Combat sports is a game that you must enter with a clear head not with a red mist in front of your eyes. Yes aggression is vital but it must be controlled, a raging inferno that you can shut on and off in a split second.
  2. Envy
    In practice, you are only competing with yourself. Your coach is there to help and guide you but we don't get disappointed with you if you're not perfect all the time. Strive for improvement not perfection, that is 1% better every day not an unchanged 100% of yesterday. To often we worry about the abilities of others rather than not worrying about anything at all and enjoying the practice. In the end it doesn't matter what someone else's martial arts journey is but what your own path will be.
  3. Gluttony
    Winning in practice doesn't count. Too often "fighters" rack up victories in a fake arena, that of their own gym. We learn by failure and by mistake, we grow from this and become greater than the broken pieces of "defeat". If you are satisfying your ego by beating everyone less physical and experienced than yourself and not challenging your abilities on the mat, in the ring or in a cage, you are fooling yourself and your estimate of your talent falls far short of excellence.
  4. Greed
    Look for a small growth everyday, don't begrudge an injury or a slump, and always know when discretion is the better part of valor.
  5. Lust
    Love what you do, don't lust for it. Victories, ranking and glory are temporary. Experiences, wisdom, and nostalgic anecdotes are what compose a life. To often we praise the recent victor and then abandon them when they falter. Fighting is a relationship not a bloody one night stand. We must love our art and train our sport but never forget that the ideal does not come from winning the bad fight or losing the good but the effort and intention of the attempt.
  6. Pride
    Many fighters want to prove a point when they fight not just win the fight. They want to showcase skills or show up detractors. Thus they will fight a technically brilliant battle only to lose the war. For example, last night in UFC 58, BJ Penn out struck George "Rush" St. Pierre, but lost because St. Pierre showed superior ring control and takedowns. BJ could have out grappled and submitted St. Pierre but in combatative arrogance wanted to show the world a jiu-jitsu fighter could out strike a striker.
  7. Sloth
    "Champ or chump, train for a fight" -- Shonie Carter
    Competition takes determination and "coachability". Laziness in preparation for a match or fight means only one thing laziness in the ring. Even in practice underestimating a partner and getting lazy can at best lead to an inadvertent scramble and at worst injury to yourself. We need not be actively preparing for fights at all time, but we must at a minimum instill a mental energy and spirit into our daily practice.


Supplementary Training -- Rolling Tired

I rolled today with Kiko, Kyle and Odilon. Starting rotations again has made training a lot harder, when I need to train I want to eat or sleep, but this will pass as my body accommodates to the schedule. Anyway Kiko showed a neat variation on passing the guard where you rotate the belt so that the knot ends up on the side of your opponent, gives a lot more leverage than usual.
This morning I was thinking about "reversed 4 count kick combinations like:
  • Jab-Cross-Lead Kick-Rear Kick
  • Jab-Rear Kick-Lead Kick-Cross
  • Lead Kick-Cross-Rear Kick-Lead Hook
  • Rear Kick-Lead Hook-Lead Kick-Cross
Just a thought as to switching up 4 count offense. I'd also like to do a solo grappling specific Tabata protocol:
  • Grappling Burpee (n = 1 push-ups):
    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...
    ...n push-ups to...
    ...mountain climber x3 sprawl out to opposite side...
    ...Spider-man to back...
    ...repeat ad nauseum
  • Spider-man
  • Grappling Burpee (2 push-ups)
  • Shrimping
  • Grappling Burpee (3 push-ups)
  • Overhead reach and drag
  • Grappling Burpee (4 push-ups)
  • Wall handstand, rapidly touch chest with one hand
  • Grappling Burpee (5 push-ups)
  • Shooter's walk
  • Grappling Burpee (6 push-ups)
  • Continuous box rolls (forward roll-left bayonet roll-backward roll-right bayonet roll)


GJ "Poll response: If this blog is stupid then why are you reading it?"

Today we started with our constantly varying standard warm-up, from there we proceeded into brief rounds of:
  1. Shooter's walk pursuits
  2. Knee tag x 3
  3. Pummeling (juniors) or pummeling to body hug and break (seniors) x 2
  4. Lock-up to duck under (juniors) or lock-up trying to take the back (seniors)
  5. Head pummeling -- Use your head to control and push your partner (slowly)
From here we transitioned into boxing and thai boxing
  1. Basic boxing (everyone)
    Basic such as 1, 1 body, 2, 2 body, 3, 3-cross, 3 body, 3 body head, reverse 3, reverse 3 hook, 4, 4-cross, 4 body, overhand 4, overhand 4 overhand, "Four Angles", overhand 3, etc. Seniors also put in tiip to the belly pad.
  2. Basic boxing (juniors)
    Four count kick variations (seniors)
    We can take four basic kick combinations and make a plethora of drills/combinations out of them:
    Tiip (first kick tiip, second regular kick)
    Tiip-knee (first kick tiip, second regular knee)
  3. Distance drill/3 knees 3 punches (everyone)
    30 seconds of each. Distance drill is two rapid sameside knees on "distance", fight against holder. Three knees three punches is alternating knees followed by CHC or HCH.
  4. 70 Knees Drill (everyone)
    Alternating 1-2-3-4 kicks followed by 10 knees x 7, no time.
We then transitioned to the ground a worked four mounted escapes in decreasing level of usefulness:
  1. Bridge and roll
    Control the arm with both hands while blocking off the same side leg by bending your knees and bring your feet to your posterior. Bridge up and then over, rolling your opponent to the guard. This is a technical move don't explode without direction and forethought. This works well when your legs are longer than your opponents or you need to destabilize them prior to another escape.
  2. Shrimping
    Pivot to one hip and push on the knee in front of you, slide your bottom leg out. Pivot to your opposite hip, frame the neck with top hand, while pushing on the other knee with your bottom hand, lever your other leg out and put them in closed guard. You can sometimes lift your opponent's leg and slide your leg out this way if you have longer legs. This escape works well after a bridge attempt destabilizes your opponent or if your opponent is bigger than you.
  3. Benchpress
    Put your hands in their hips and explosively bridge up as you extend your arms. This should pop your opponent up and suspended on you arms as you rapidly pull your knees to your chest and go to hooks inside guard. Go for underhook control.
  4. Feet in the armpits
    Your opponent is riding high on your chest, lift at their armpits and insert your feet, extend and push them over your head. Slide out between their legs and sit-up.
We finished with some more conditioning, 1 min rounds of:
  • Running in place with domino sprawls
  • Domino push-ups (1-1-3-5)
  • Squats with domino push-ups, 5
  • Mountain climbers to frog up/sit-ups
We finished with relays of 1-2-3-3-2-1 shuttles and 50 push-ups. After practice several of us did gi grappling rounds for about 30-45 minutes. Kiko showed a Mario Sperry variation on the overhook lapel control where he controls the non-hooked side sleeve and takes the straight arm bar. Good variation.

JKD & BJJ Overhook Lapel Control

In JKD we worked the low line evasion to the jab, cross or lead hook.
Same lead, e.g. left to left, as they jab for your head they open the space below the floating ribs. Slip to the outside, lower your level, and deliver the jab.
Opposite lead, e.g. left to right, as they jab slip to the outside, lower your level, and throw the cross to the floating ribs.
Lead hook
Same lead, as they jab slip to the inside, throwing the rear shoulder forward, then rotate back toward partner to deliver lead hook. For training throw to partner's rear arm which is held tight to side.
In BJJ we worked on the overhook lapel control from the guard:
Use a cross hand sleeve control and then bring your same hand underneath and the through to figure 4 control. Use both arms to lift their hand over your head while pulling with your legs. Secure overhook position and cross collar control. HINT: Try to slide their hand along and off the lapel, do not jerk it straight off.
"Judo Chop" Choke
Slide overhook side foot up to hip and roll tightly into partner's side. Pivot out to this side and grab fold over trapezius muscle (overhook side) with free hand. Drop forearm down and underneath chin for choke.
Reverse Armbar
If they resist the choke, slide out along their hooked arm and roll your knee over their triceps. Extend your body to lock the elbow.
Oma Plata
If the defend the reverse armbar, spin through and set-up the oma plata. Use the overhook as pivot point, swing your legs through and out to the side while releasing the lapel. Use the freed overhook hand to control your partner.
Inside Reverse Kimura (the Frank Mir since he used this submission to win over Pete Williams in UFC 36)
If your partner tries to defend the overhook by bending their arm and cupping your shoulder, slide your hips away and place their elbow on the inside of your thigh. Now extend and put pressure on the elbow and shoulder. I usually feel it in my elbow first and from there it moves to my shoulder. This is a fast submission, go slow!
Push your opponents free hand down and slide your leg over to the triangle. Move their arm across your body and cinch the triangle (see three dimensions of the triangle). If they grab your lapel, double wrist grab and arch your back to pop it off.