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"Megaton" Dias Seminar -- "I hate to lose, but I love to compete"

Me, newly promoted black belt Bryan Hefner, Jack McVicker, Wellington "Megaton" Dias, Brad Peplow, Kyle Watson

I attended the "Megaton" Dias seminar hosted by Jack McVicker.  As always Megaton is impressive with not only his technical knowledge but ability.  He talked about competition and that it is important to know the rules, to know how to most optimally play the game.  Despite how boring a 3-4 hour rules meeting is, it is important to attend these to know exactly how the game will be played and how the rules enforced.  With even small point differences determining championship outcomes, detailed and comprehensive knowledge of the rules can mean the difference between a strategy that earns first and second place.

He further discussed that knowing a whole lot of technique is not difficult, a few days of instruction would cover the known syllabus of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.  However what separates a white belt and black belt, and an average black belt from a recurrent world champion is rolling and drilling to refine the application of the technique.  It is this that takes years to develop.  Megaton, as coach who himself lives, breaths, and eats competition, he wants to make everyone a world champion, but with time has learned that the individual athlete, with the desire to be a champion will be the one that does so.

De La Riva Pump Handle Sweep / Gun Turret Sweep
From De La Riva guard versus either a seated or standing opponent, control the hook side ankle with your same side hand and grab their opposite sleeve with the other.  Push their leg not controlled by the hook back with your free foot, lengthening their stance.  Sit up and pass the sleeve control to your other hand, releasing the ankle grip, creating the "pump handle".  If they have caught your pant leg free it by extending the leg while maintaining control of the sleeve.  Grab their ipsilateral collar with your freed hand.  Pull down with this hand, as you lift with your hook and other hand, sweeping them laterally.

De La Riva to Leg Underhook Sweep
From the same set-up as above, use your free foot to push their leg back, to create space, then unhook your foot and pass it medially inside your opponent's leg (and arm if they are controlling the gi).  Bring your entire  leg underneath their leg and overhook their ankle with the same side arm.  Replace your hook on their medial thigh, with your knee on the lateral side of their leg.  Use this hook to elevate as you pull down on their sleeve, again sweeping them laterally.

Megaton's Standing Pass
From the close guard, control your opponent's lapels and pin them to the axilla bilaterally.  Stand up in the guard and place one knee between the "cheeks of the butt" so that the knee passes as freely as possible, you want to end in a knee up, staggered kneeling position.  Obtain cross collar control with the hand of the vertical knee.  Roll your knee to the ground, over their thigh, going parallel with your controlling arm, you can help open the guard with your free hand.  As a courtesy to your training partner, attempt to maintain their ball integrity as you drop the shin across.  As you come forward, your arm drops across their neck, stapling their chest to the mat.  Use your free hand to pull up on the their sleeve on this side and step your rear leg over their trapped leg, before baseball sliding through.

Standing Pass Variation (Inferior Heimlich Manuever)
If your opponent's guard is too tight to get the knee in, presumably due to a leg length differential between the two of you, grab the gi pants and push down on his lower abdominal muscles just medial to his hips.  Keep your legs wide and/or staggered to prevent your opponent from sweeping you.

Ippon Seoinage (Up Yours Hip Toss)
Control the gi at shoulder height ipsilateral to their same level gi control.  Your arm can be over or under theirs (although I preferred over).  Pull them medially with your arm, so that you meet when you spin inside, shooting your other hand fist up pinching their proximal arm between your forearm and inferior deltoid. Pull down with the gi control hand, wrapping and trapping their arm.  You should be using their arm to throw the universal sign for "Up Yours" with your fist.  Your butt should hit their same side hip, anteriorly, and then you bend forward throwing them to the mat. 
Megaton is not a proponent of dropping to the knees a he feels that it is too easy to take the back and he has lost mobility once he has hit the ground.  He discussed but we did not practice a variation where he squatted low enough to lift his opponent with his hips by going between his opponent's legs.

Fake ippon seoinage to lateral double leg
Setting up the throw as above but when you spin, "miss" the butt to hip contact and spin through, under their arm so that your are perpendicular to their side, head in front.  Now shoot for the double with your anterior arm catching their near knee and your posterior arm catching their far knee.

Spider guard to X-guard Split Sweep
From any variation of spider guard with one foot in the crook of the elbow (cubital fossa), catch their heel opposite, and bring the leg inside and behind them before setting up the high hook, foot anterior to the inguinal area of the X-guard.  Overhook the trapped heel with your arm and then place your low hook, just posterior to the back of their knee (popliteal fossa).  Retain control of their gi sleeve on this side.  Extend their stance and sweep them laterally by pulling the arm down.  If they don't extend you can release the lower hook and push with the bottom of your foot on the inside of their thigh.

Reverse De La Riva Timing Sweep
You are on your hip just outside their leg, the hip you are on has your leg going on the medial side of their leg with your hook on the lateral part of the thigh.  Your other leg can push on the same side hip or be tucked supporting your hook.  Control their collar on this side with your same side hand, while controlling the far sleeve with your other hand.  As they go to slide their leg through to pass, elevate the hook as you bring your hands inferiorly toward your feet.  This should throw them over your shoulder on the same side you are posting.

Reverse De La Riva to the Back
From the reverse De La Riva above, place your posted hip side hand on the lateral side of their ankle and your other hand has a cross hand grip on the collar.  Pull them forward with this hand, and dive your head between their legs, coming out the back door.  One hook on the side you had ankle control should still be inside.  Underhook, from behind, this ankle with your arm, and push forward.  This should allow you to scramble forward to take their back.

Sweep to 50-50 Guard
Your opponent passes your spider guard by controlling and stepping past the leg not controlling the cubital fossa.  They remain standing but in such a way that they could take knee on stomach.  Bring the leg on this side between their legs and then medially so that you wrap the near leg.  Reposition them as necessary with the cubital fossa control to do this smoothly.  Now readjust your the leg on this side to lasso guard the arm, pulling down and putting lateral pressure with the shin.  Pushing diagonally with the wrapped leg and lasso guard arm, sweep the backwards into a straight ankle lock position.  This is the 50-50 guard -- "50% chance you will submit him, 50% chance he will submit you"

Straight Achilles Lock from 50-50 Guard
Roll to your shoulder so that you invert their foot and wrap the ankle with your arm, grabbing your lapel.  Now roll the opposite way, up to your knees, placing their knee on the floor and their lower leg perpendicular to the mat, then arch to finish the lock.

Achilles Compression Lock from 50-50 Guard
To avoid the straight ankle lock, your opponent triangles their legs.  Push on the thigh, just distal to the knee, to expose the triangles ankle.  Place the blade of the same side hand behind their Achilles tendon and then Gable grip your hands to apply pressure on the tendon.  If their triangle is loose you may get a calf compression effect instead.

Crab choke
The crab choke (at least the no-gi variation) has stirred up controversy after the match between at Augusto Tanquinho and JT Torres at the 2012 No-Gi Worlds, so Megaton thought it was best we covered it.
Your opponent is attempting to pass by underhooking both your legs, as they do this you grab the same side of both collars with your thumbs adjacent to the carotids on both side.  Now scissor your legs (crossing the ankles), placing pressure with the thighs into your fists into their neck bilaterally to finish the choke.

Loop choke
From half guard with your knee in their chest, use the hand on this side to get a loose cross collar grip.  Drop this leg out, allowing them to fall forward, shoot your other hand in, behind their head, inferior to the dome of the skull, and place the back of the hand beneath your distal arm, just proximal to the elbow.  Reestablish the leg you moved with the foot back in the hip.  Drop the elbow of the arm that is over the back of the head as you pull the gi collar up and across.


Propped choke series

From the guard, prop yourself on one elbow in order to feed the cross collar grip.  Drop back to the mat while simultaneously pulling your opponent's elbow on the same side as the cross collar grip away from their body.  Put your foot in the hip in this side and pivot, bringing your other leg across their back.  Cross collar choke by grabbing the fold of the gi opposite your cross collar grip.  You can also transition to straight arm bar, if their elbow remains lateral to your leg.  Since you are leaving the the cross collar grip in place you can choke by placing your opponent in the straight arm bar position and providing counter pressure with the legs.   If their elbow moves medial to your thigh, choke with a reverse triangle, using the cross collar grip to provide pressure with the triangle.


Punishment Performance

I have been looking for ways to challenge myself.  Not because I believe my skill set so superior that I'm bored, but because as I get older, with more real life on my plate and a greater history of injuries, I find myself rolling or sparring not to improve myself and become competitive but to not to lose.  I have enough athletic talent and skill to "weather" almost any storm, but surviving is not a pathway to improvement it is a slow descent into mediocrity.  It is treading water rather than swimming toward a destination.  It is a lack of goals.
I have therefore proposed a scheme for myself when grappling with others.  I will approach each partner as a challenge, based on their relative ranking.  For each partner I will attempt to submit or score points equal to an a priori total.  I will, of course, use strategy and technique coupled with but hopefully not dependent on athleticism.  Failure to meet a goal after a round, results in push-ups, say a set of 20 regardless of how many points I was short.
My goal is not to steamroll my training partners but to break my habit of a stalling.  To attack with intent not only to win but of improving game.  To look for points and find ways of earning them.  Not every round or every day of training needs to be this way, certainly days spent isolating a position or submission set are just as valuable but do not change behavior.  This way I am pushed by the clock, and hopefully will start making my game more dynamic.

Belt RankSubmissions/Points
(Rank - 4)
4 Submissions,
3 Submissions and 4 Points,
2 Submissions and 8 Points,
1 Submission and 12 Points, or
16 Points
(Rank - 3)
3 Submissions,
2 Submissions and 4 Points,
1 Submission and 8 Points, or
12 Points
(Rank - 2)
2 Submissions,
1 Submission and 4 Points,
or 8 Points
(Rank - 1)
1 Submission or
4 Points