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8.31.2006

GJ "Pain is an illusion"

Last night we started out by working from the over-under or 50-50 position, from there we worked on pummeling. Essentially take your over hook and place that hand on your chest then swim through the hole under your partner's armpit. Thus as you replace your overhook with an underhook they do the same on the opposite side.
From this set-up we entered into the thai side clinch, by inserting a forearm to the neck and overhooking the arm, step overhook side foot to the outside of your partner's foot and drop step 90o out with your other foot, pulling them forward and bringing their head down for the knee.
Alternatively we could go directly into the full thai clinch or plum position, by "swimming" up control the head with two strong hooks. In this position too you can turn/throw your opponent by stepping up on side side and drop stepping 90o out with the other foot, effectively pulling them to the "black hole" you created by doing so.
Remember that the primary objective of both these positions is to punish your opponent with knees or elbows, and in a street situation eye gouges, head butts, and biting. It is important to attack aggessively and switch lines as the damage done in one area forces your opponent to react, e.g. as you knee in the midsection they typically expose their head for elbows.
In any situation action almost always outweigh's inaction (running from a conflict like a gazelle is an action). In any fight from the ring to the street two things will happen you will either get injured a little or you will get injured a lot, even fatally. Research into trauma has revealed three time periods within which people die:
  1. Immediately, i.e. your SOL and you won't know your SOL because your dead.
  2. Within about 1 hour (the Golden Hour of Trauma) in which you have a short amount of time to get to the hospital and get resuscitated.
  3. Within a few weeks as the complications from the trauma, e.g. infections, cause mortality.
In any case this means that should you lose the fight and you do not die immediately you have about an hour to seek medical attention, that's pretty good odds in my opinion.
The senior students then spent about 30 minutes on leg reaps. I showed two combinations, the Hoedown ("Reap the leg, doe see doh, see your partner on the floo'") where you go ILOR to ILIR alternatively use OLIR to ILIR or OLOR. We finished with 2 x 5 minutes of Tabata intervals...no one wanted to stay and train after that...I can't understand why...

8.30.2006

JKD & BJJ Rock-Paper-Scissor Combination

Last night we worked a very tight flow useful for scoring points in sport jiu-jitsu:
  1. Scissor sweep
    Use cross collar gi control and same hand sleeve control, the cross collar side shin sits across the belt line while the other leg drops next to their sameside knee. Pull your opponent forward at a 45o angle while scissoring your legs to sweep them to the mounted position.
  2. Loop choke
    If your opponent bases to prevent the sweep, loop the collar forearm under their neck and slide your other arm over the back of their neck and under your elbow. Try to straighten the top arm through the hole between your antecubital fossa (elbow joint)and their neck, mean while lean as to pull the collar tighter that is toward the shoulder of the top arm. If they tap great, but they may simply roll, so take the 2 + 4 points (sweep and mount)
  3. "Judo chop" cross collar choke
    Should your opponent push the top elbow forward over their head they free themselves from the choke. Should this happen, off-angle away from the side that you have collar control, bite down with the leg, and "judo chop" their grabbing the fold of the kimono high on the shoulder. Drop your elbow down to loop under their neck and apply the cross collar choke, pull yourself up to them.
  4. Straight armbar
    Should they frame and create space to defend the choke, go immediately to a straight armbar.

GJ "Courage comes from suffering"

Solo Practice
  1. Shadowboxing
    You can always work movement and technique either with or without a mirror, the key is visualizing an opponent and what both you and they do. Shadowboxing is a relative term, any technique you do can be practiced, e.g. shadowwrestling, shadowgrappling (although both these look even dorkier than shadowboxing) or more isolated sprawls, shooter's walk, and shrimping.

  2. Bagwork
    Find a bag and the appropriate protection, visualize as above.

  3. Attribute Development
    Working on the physical, mental, and emotional aspects that are not specific to being a fighter but are important for making better fighters. Weightlifting especially corework and cardiovascular conditioning fall under physically developable attributes. Reading books and watching videos from instructional or fights can also be productive. Blauer Tactical Systems has a strong history of working on the emotional arsenal.

  4. Training Journal
    Simply reading this isn't enough, try keeping your own training journal highlighting the aspects you need to work on. You'll be surprised how 15-30 minutes of review over a piece of paper or keyboard can clarify and cement things in your mind.
For our second practice of the semester we had almost 80 people in attendance. We started with a light warm-up and stretching. We then worked into elbows first the horizontal ("scratch your back") and then the vertical ("fix your hair"). Each pair had one pad, one sided did 10 elbows and then switched, working both sides. Everyone was encouraged to both practice the "cutting" and "clubbing" elbows, using proper upper and lower body dynamics.
Next we switched to straight knees, forming groups of five with one set of Thai pads. One holder worked with one hitter, delivering one minute of straight knees to the thai pads. Meanwhile everyone else worked skip knees on the wall. It is important for the holder to place one thai pad horizontally across the body, with other pad running parallel to it, creating a seam where the hitter delivers their knees. The holder should remain upright and push into the knees. Fighters should deliver knees parallel with floor, driving with their hips while firmly controlling the head with both hooks -- do not interlace fingers. Holding for knees teaches you how effective a weapon the knees can be, I have yet to find someone who would want to be kneed after holding the pads.
Next we worked into the standing guillotine choke, we used a similar framework from last practice, using the SPEAR to intercept the attack. A deep knee causing them to bend over avails the line of the neck, thus allowing them to sink the choke. Drop the arm next to the head deep before bringing the forearm across, make sure only the neck is trapped between your arms, then grip the blade of your hand and gently arch as you pull your arms superiorly.
Defending the guillotine is fairly easy, don't get caught, that is never let the person get a hold of you and force your head down. However as they secure the choke you can still defend by using the same side hand grab the forearm across the windpipe, and throw the other arm over the shoulder, pulling the person laterally (a defensive Combat Chiropractor) while angling your body 45o in the direction of the non-choked side.
It is important to note that techniques are situational not sequential, that is, they happen as needed not because they were necessarily trained in a specific order. Always take moves as they are given not as you expect them to occur.
I then dismissed the beginners and started with 3 minute pad rounds for the advanced group:
  1. Walking the Body
    Per Miyamoto Musashi "The Book of Five Rings" (Miyamoto Musashi), it is axiomatic that you should be able to throw strikes from any position. In combat sports no-one does this better than boxers. When they deliver a low line punch, they return to their "fighting stance" with a another punch, allowing the natural body mechanics of returning to equilibrium to generate and deliver another shot. Some prime examples we use are:
    • "Walk The Body 1" -- Body Jab-Rear Uppercut-Lead Hook-Cross
    • "Walk The Body 2" -- Jab-Body Cross-Lead Uppercut-Cross
    • "Walk The Body 3" -- Jab-Cross-Lead Body Hook-Rear Uppercut-Lead Hook-Cross
    • "Walk The Body Rip" -- Jab-Rear Body Hook-Lead Uppercut-Cross
    We introduced the italicized ones in practice.
  2. Sprawl, Fall, or Follow
  3. G n' P Practice
    Last practice we worked on punching with a powerful, rapid extension style of MMA superstarFedor Emelyaneko. The man punches harder on the ground than most people do standing up. Aside from doubtless genetic gifts he uses a technical full extension to deliver his power. This extension should provide his opponent's with opportunities to submit him, but by punishing them with a barrage of brutal strikes they cannot access his arms to do so. With this in mind we worked this round with the head down, controlling the biceps of our holder, from here pop-up and way creating a enough room to throw either three long straight punches (maximizing the linear path for the generation of energy) or two extended hooks (maximizing the deliverable torque). The holder either holds a V for the straight punches or a midline pad for the hooks.
  4. Conditioning (Four Count Sprawls)

8.24.2006

GJ Crowding

No I'm not talking about the bumper crop of rookies at practice tonight. The official count was 62 people training this evening, that's ricockulous. However I'd like to discuss crowding within the context of fighting. Force is generated by mass and acceleration so when we strike we use the change in distance, i.e. the extension of the arm, in the fastest time possible along with "putting our weight behind it" to maximize our force. As the biomechanics of our muscles is most powerful in a limited portion of our range of motion, the generation of maximal straight striking force occurs from a flexed (cocked position) to an extended position. To often however in striking from the street to the ring we shorten the distance too much in an effort to inflict more forceful blows. We delude ourselves into thinking that closing the distance will allow us to generate more power even though we are shortening the pathway of maximal contraction that would create the greatest accelerating vector. For example, if you were to bench press from a hyperflexed position you would be able to lift less and mess up your shoulders because of the biomechanically unstable starting position. However a good bench press works within the maximally efficient ROM that targets pectoral contraction, the objective of the exercise. A punch is similar. Try punching a bag with your fist touching it versus at a longer extended range, the second punch should be more forceful.
In practice we ran through an abbreviated standard warm-up before talking about the SPEAR psychology and physics of self-defense. We ran through the basic concept and thought process behind the SPEAR before showing its more universal applicability to common street attacks. We added the option of entering different arsenals, particularly highlighting a Thai style using simple elbows (vertical/"fix your hair" and horizontal/"scratch your shoulder") and knees ("touch your hand with your knee")
We then demoed grappling, Thai boxing, MMA, and two simple self-defense scenarios, especially our infamous gun self-defense ("they take the money, you run").
We worked three rounds with the advanced guys on the pads, but working on striking on the ground for 3 minute rounds:
  1. Ground Kicking
    We worked three kicks, (1) the roundhouse from the guard, working on the hip follow through to throw a strong kick on the ground, (2) the ground "tiip" or up thrust where we use one hand post to drive the heel into the pads, and (3) the stand-up roundhouse post on the same side hand and foot as your throw a head kick, spin through and stand-up.
  2. Extension punching
    Based on the concept of crowding we opened the distance in the guard to rain down three rapid extended punches. We did this both popping up from the arm control position as well as from a standing position.
  3. Flow Drill
    We worked three forearm/hammer fists to the far pad from the side mount, take the mount three punches, get bridge and rolled to the guard for 3 punches, cover the hook and take back, three punches to the thai pad posted on the triceps. Repeat.

8.22.2006

JKD & BJJ Fear is my ally


For the Jeet Kune Do portion of class I showed a few striking combinations on the pads:
  1. Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Cover/Parry (cross)-Cross-Hook-Cross
    This combination was used as our warm-up and to run through the punches.

  2. Jab-Rear Kick / Jab-Cross-Shuffle Kick / Shuffle Kick-Cross
    This round used basic Thai punch-kick combinations and reframed them in the context of JKD.

  3. Shuffle Kick-Evade-Jab-Cross-Lead Hook-Evade
    Jeet Kune Do emphasizes range and movement in its approach to fighting. This round tried to train those attributes while using the focus mitts. The hitter must initiate (close), evade (open), react (close), and exit (open).

  4. "Fear will teach you" round
    Using the basic punch-kick combinations you know make sure your partner is defending and moving well by slapping at their head or body after a combination. One sharp face shot with a focus mitt will teach people to expand the range and keep their hands up far better than telling them to do the same.
For the BJJ portion of practice we reviewed the hip toss and rear uki-waza throws. The set-ups are essentially the same, your opponent has a same side collar grab and you use a cross hand sleeve control while wrapping your other arm inside to his control his back (grab the kimono not the belt). Form a tight controlling grip, close an exert head pressure against his temporal mandibular joint (the insertion of the jaw). Release the sleeve and grab the far arm. To hip toss step rudely in the way and toss over the hip, to sweep pull forward and use the natural reactive straightening to pull them over your knee in the direction of flexion of the knee, do not sheer them laterally and pull them on top of you.
I then covered the basics and fine-tuning of the side mount position.
Extended/traditional side mount
The superior arm controls the far collar, pinching the head between the forearm and shoulder, turn their face away from you -- making them exponentially weaker, try next time you bench. The inferior arm controls the pants or posts on the hip. Stay on the balls of your feet, driving your pelvis to the mat, your only points of contact are your toes and chest. Keep your head low and tight to their body. Stay as perpendicular to them as possible creating the longest lever versus their shortest.

Kneeling/no-gi side mount
Use a broad kneeling position, inferior knee controlling their hip, superior knee circled inside their near arm, posting their triceps on your hip. Pinch the head using the armpit or collar as grip. Alternatively use the inferior arm as an underhook and form a wrestler's grip with the other. Another position for the inferior hand in is posted at the far side, forming a pincer between the knee and forearm. Still drive your weight into the mat, keeping your hips low. Tuck your head flush with their body and always turn their head.
Defense against the side mount is simple -- don't get there. Thus if you can achieve the top position and are never placed in jeopardy of being side mounted you have "defended" it. If the pass your guard, keep fighting to get back to your guard, that is work your side mount defense early to prevent them from achieving the side-mount. If they do get, take a breather and remember patience is a virtue -- they are in the offensive position, wait a second and see if they attack. If you need to escape here are two options
Shrimp to guard
Tuck your near hand near their hip, the far hand goes under the inferior armpit (an underhook if you will). Grab the kimono and use slight pressure to slide your head free allowing your to look straight up. Use a short explosive "bench press" to create reaction and then shrimp your posterior as far away from them as you can, then slide your bottom knee inside and pull them to the guard as they "fall" into the hole you created with your shrimp as they try to reacquire the side mount. Some troubleshooting: You can use your far hand to push in their triceps, breaking their hip control of you and allowing freer access for your leg. Alternatively you can sink your shin inside their elbow joint (the antecubital fossa) and push away breaking the hip control down in this way.

Shrimp to four points
If one road is blocked we can take the other. In this case after clearing your head as before, your shrimp will turn your body to prone position (belly down), from here establish a four points position by pulling your elbows and knees together. From here the "shot" is available as is rolling to the guard.

8.15.2006

JKD & BJJ Knee on stomach

We worked the side underhook clinch to the uchi-mata ankle pick. Get a strong underhook and put the top of your head directly into their lateral jaw. Step in front and reap their thigh (above the knee) up and laterally, immediately followed by grabbing their far ankle. We did two set-ups, off the jab and the jab-cross. Use the parry of either to warp the arm into the underhook clinch position.

We also worked to the knee on stomach position today:
Acquiring the position
From sidemount grab the cross collar and apply neck pressure. The inferior hand reaches across the body and bases on floor. Now slide knee up across opponent's body, placing full weight on shin across body and balancing off extended other leg.
Cross collar to mount
Use a cross collar choke to force opponent to protect neck with hands, slide to mount position.
Baseball Bat Choke
Insert superior hand on collar on near side of neck and insert rear hand on far side of neck, hands touching. Drop inferior shoulder to solar plexus and walk around opponent's head to cinch the choke.
180o armbar
This is one of my favorite moves -- can't do it worth a damn but still cool. Use knee on stomach to force opponent to push on up knee, drop toes on mat to absorb pressure. Insert inferior arm superior (above) the forearm and pull up. Step superior foot across body, over opponent's head as if to kick them in the back. Grab their belt with your free hand and spin 180o to the cross body armbar position with the new inferior leg bent on the near side of your opponent. Tighten the arm bar as usual.
Arm wrench
This is another "hug" lock. Your opponent exposes their arm in the sidemount position. Underhook it with the inferior arm and step over their head with the superior leg. Slide to a point just distal to their elbow joint and use your arms to hug their straight arm applying counter pressure with the crook over your neck and shoulder.

Oops...I won

Sorry I said I'd be back and post our results, but I started using my "blog time" to edit together a video of our team's fights. Originally I intended to post it, but we have a little over an hour of fight footage so that's not going to work. Anyway my guys, representing Team PAC did excellent. As a whole Team PAC went 8-2 taking home three World Classic Belts. Two of those were mine and my student Joe's. If you want a copy of the DVD drop me a line.

Team PAC victorious at the 2006 IKF WCT
Jeff "Half-Track" Serafin, Mike "Joker" Aref, Mark Diffley, Joe "Samurai" Zhu, Head Coach Ryan Blackorby
Jim "Dangerously" Daleiden, Dennis Ho, Matt "Love Simian" Sztelle