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JKD & BJJ "The hardest part about training is denying myself apple strudel"

Entenmann's Old Fashioned Apple StrudelI love Entenmann's Old Fashioned Apple Strudel and I've done so since I was a little kid. It never fails that as soon as I'm on my competition diet and training I'll run into apple strudel at the store. After practice tonight I swung by the store for some dinner and breakfast. There it was. Just sitting there, giving me a come hither look, seducing me with its sugary, applely goodness. I went over and I looked at it, caressing the white box with my eyes, dreaming of apple filling. A long minute passed, as sweat gathered on my brow, and I turned dragging myself away with halting steps. I'm not training for a tournament, I'm training to earn my strudel.
Tonight I worked some boxing focus mitt rounds. I feel sluggish but that is most likely and effect of being on the other side of the mitts for the first time in a while. For the BJJ portion of practice we worked a useful flow pattern:
Angled Cross Collar Choke
Insert one hand cross collar. Post one foot in the same side hip to off angle as the other "bites down" with the calf across the shoulders. The free hand comes over the top grabbing the fold of the kimono for the choke.
Straight Armbar
To defend the choke most people make posture, extending the arms. Thus switch to a straight arm bar by throwing the foot in the hip over the head and sliding your arms down to control your partner's arm. Squeeze the knees, pull the feet to your butt, and extend the hips.
Sweep to Armbar
In defense of the armbar your partner attempts to stack you. Reach the cross hand to the armbar and catch under the thigh. Extend your legs while lifting with the thigh with your hand and sweep them unto their back. Finish the armbar as above.
Triangle / Oma Plata
Your partner turns their thumb superiorly and bends the arm. Now they follow this direction by walking (not jumping) their legs away aligning with your central axis as they turn over from supine to a prone position. As they do so you can pick up either the triangle or the oma plata
We also did two reactions to triangle defense:
"Hot Model"
Your opponent is caught in your triangle and stays squared with you, attempting to look up and create posture (the infamous "Look to Jesus" maneuver -- the Hoosier Open was held in a Catholic High School Gym there was a large cross high on the wall). As they do this they will protect their neck but extend their arm. Quickly open the triangle and use the leg on the same side as the arm within the triangle, cross it over your other leg...just like a hot model would.
Extension Shift Sweep
Again your opponent is caught in your triangle and stays squared with you, but this time they stack you. Extend your legs and then pivot in the direction the triangled arm is pointed (away from the shoulder within the triangle), underhook the same side leg and lift, sweeping them to the cross body armbar.
I rolled a bit after practice, exclusively with people that competed this weekend and have some comments on that:
  1. Always come out ahead
    Regardless of whether you win or lose this is supposed to be a fun activity. So if you won great, enjoy your moment and try to learn something. If you lost, well the other competitor was better for those brief minutes on the mat, take this experience and grow from it. In any case regardless of the outcome, come out ahead.
  2. Lower body > Upper body
    The roll vs. the bridge n' rollSorry guys but despite your prodigious bench pressing workouts your lower body will always be stronger than your upper body. This is the primary reason to use the lower body. Secondly, gibbon factor aside your legs are longer than your arms and are more able to create space for you to escape. Thus when your are in positions that limit your upper body's strength, e.g. when fully or side mounted, the use of your legs becomes vital to escape.
    The bridge and roll is a fundamental escape from the full mount position. In it you first bridge up and then your roll, hence the name. It is not just a roll, a roll leads to your back being taken. By bridging first you lift your opponent so that they lose contact with the mat and use this displacement to turn them over. To counter the displacement they must extend a leg, creating the shrimp escape.
    An excellent way to train the bridge and roll is to do it slowly while escaping. If your slow, methodical lifting of the hips and the rolling over works, when you do it explosively it will work as well. Also don't hang your hat on one escape, have a Plan A, but also B, C, D, E, and F (as in f*cked).
    ShrimpingAnother important use of the lower body is escaping the side mount. Your opponent has most control of the side nearest them and of your upper body. Thus shrimping away from them creates space which allows you to either turn over and go to four points or put them back into the guard. The key though is to first bridge to allow your lower body the maximum amount of vertical clearance that allows for the maximal amount of horizontal coverage. That is, lift your hips up and then away from your opponent, before trying to get them into guard or switching to four points.
  3. Underhook
    The underhook has been discussed briefly in the past but may need a little more commentary. Jeremy Horn predicates much of both his stand-up wrestling and grappling game on underhooks with good reason, in the offense-defense or balanced positions where neither fighter has the advantage the fighter who obtains the underhook typically has control of the situation. Thus from standing wrestling, e.g. the takedown phase, to top or bottom position in the guard or half-guard the underhook can be a powerful leverage tool for takedowns, submissions, sweeps, and escapes.
    The simplest of all of these is as an opponent passes your guard into half-guard, establish your underhook on the same side as the lateral (outside) leg of your half-guard. Use this to escape out the back door and access the back or threaten this to reestablish guard or sweep if you know how.
    Excellent drills for this are pummeling to double unders and the half-guard underhook pummeling drill.
  4. Base
    Your center of mass (COM) dictates where you go. Torque is defined as force x distance, and a person can exert greater force the closer they are to you. Thus, the closer and higher above your opponent's COM the easier it is to move you be it a throw or a sweep. Closer means an easier time exerting force on you as more proximal muscles can be recruited while higher means less effort is needed to lift and upset your balance. Thus keeping a good base means
    1. Keeping your COM either distant from your opponent's such as when you stand and pull their legs flat before passing and dropping your COM in low, or
    2. Keeping your COM on or below level with your opponent's such as when you pass by sprawling on the legs.
    Low COM is accomplished by keeping the butt low by attempting to drive your hips through the mat. Distant COM is achieved by extending your opponent as much as possible at their points of engagement with you.
I finished with 3 x 3 minute rounds on the thai pads with Jeff, I'm looking for speed not power, but have a stutter step before initiating kicks. I'll have to trim this in the next few days. I finished with a 3 minute cardio round designed by Jeff:
  • 30 sec pitterpat
  • 30 sec alternating kicks
  • 15 sec jumper squats
  • 15 sec push-ups
  • 30 sec knees
  • 30 sec pitterpat
  • 30 sec knees

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