Friday, December 16, 2016

Private forum for development

I will start a private site for developing a sparring and rolling system.
It will be private so that I can use more freely vids and instructionals.

Or I'll use Grapplers guide's blog, which is also not public, but might give some feedback on ideas.

Just letting you know that it might be slow here for a while...

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Short and simple

I've been thinking about future open mat system. Students might not know how to spar or roll - not in an alive way or not by using progressive resistance.

I think I need to collect some very simple concepts to get rolling and sparring alive straight from the beginning. "Keep it playful"? Yes in a sense that tapping is not bad. It's about learning and learning opponents reactions.

So 27 Feb, 2017 I need to have an idea on how to progressively develop sparring and rolling so that every one has fun and can develop better physical condition...

Easy :-)

Saturday, December 10, 2016

10000 repetitions?

We all know Bruce Lee's quate that he does not fear a person who drills 1000 moves, but a person who trains one technique 1000 times and also that research states that to master a technique you need 10 000 hours of training.

So it's important to drill, but what to drill! What is the key feature one has to nail down to be successful. It's harmful to drill 10000 hours something you don't need.

Some ideas how to find out is to figure put what is the problem in your game and start fixing problems. Can't start standing something and see the holes in your game or reactions in opponents moves. Start doing microdrills and positional rolling to learn.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Starting a cross open mat for all martial arts

My idea is to start managing an open mat session every weekday from 2 pm to 4 pm.
I'll try to get judo, boxing wrestling, han mo do, taikwondo, karate, kempo...and what ever martial artist is interested to join.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

watched a webinar and planned next year

I watched Lovato Jr's webinar and in my mind I'm comparing his approach to Stephen Whittiers Pillar approach. Something is similar, but Lovato has much more defind grips.

I feel like at the moment that I just need to work on my A game - and have fun. Very much drill and roll my own moves and not learn new. If a boxer works all his life on few techniques, what makes me think that I could handle hundreds or even more?

I'm going for more simple - more tighter and same basic positions all the time.

Next year. I've started to plan it, but rolling partners are little open. Might need to visit local gym to get more rolling sessions. It's a little challenge but nothing that can't be smoothened with money. I'm not the most wanted visitor, but it only means I get a notch more real rolling experience :-)

I'm also thinking of doing karate and aikido to complement my boxing, BJJ and weight training.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Gameplan starts from stanging

I drilled my mini gameplan today. I think it works, but I need more feel to kuzushi. More feel to the direction opponent is giving pressure or unbalanced. Moment of unbalance in not long and I need to move the same time as opponent - not after he has reacted.

Nice workout!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Weak person - I'm bending

I know that todays desition to go and buy a origin gi on black friday offer has nothing to do with my gi's. I don't need a new gi. New gi will not make me a better grappler. It's total loose of money, BUT

I want one and I'll get one.

I hope that "investing" in a new gi gives me new motivation to show it off on the mat and many times a week, too.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

problem with game planning

Jason Scully has a nice sheed where you fill in techniques to positions and guess how your roll goes.

I started to fillit. It starts both standing like a match starts. What do I do ? First I check my posture and opponents posture. Can shoot for douple legs or fake it and catch his collar. I try to get a cross grip from his collar and bring my other hand to collar too. I pull his collar and try to break his balance. If I get his balance broken, I might go for face plant, or single leg. If opponent postures up, I'd go for a ko ouch gari.

But this is just starting the match and if I see an opporturnity to catch his collar. I might catch his sleeve or we might end up in a clinch. I'm trying to say that technique comes from situation and opponents reactions. So game plan should be done or listed by opponents reactions like his pushing me, pulling me...arms up...broken posture... and so on.

I will try to figure out more later...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Distance is game changer

One way to organize training is by your distanse from opponent.

Save distance is when your hands can touch each other when straight. It's a gracie jj way of measuring. It means that opponent has to step closer to kick you.

If you are in rim distance ( Rodney King's) measure for CM1 game. Rim distanse is when opponent can reach your block, but not your chin:-) Opponent has to step to hit you.

CM2 is punching distance. Not a good place to hung around.

Then it's clinch and takedowns.

In ground you have three distances: feet, knees and elbow frames...
Also chest to chest and then you are in trouple.

One vs 1000 - do we need 10 000 reps

Why do I train? Not to be the best competitor in set rules, but for fun and physical conditioning. To be in shape. I don't value the self defence aspect either. Don't really need it, but friendship that comes with combat sport is valuable.

I think I need to make my game much more simple...very simple...almost not even thinking anything.
If a boxer drills a simple move like a jab all his life...why should I try to take on 1000 techniques? and can't apply any. Maybe just during drilling or next month, but should the technique stick with you.

I just did some old karate stuff and I had the moves. Not same but still...and the break has been 20 years or so...

So I need to figure out what the fight is all about in clinch and ground game. It's not about doing technique...totally wrong way to learn is to learn a large number of submissions or escapes/sweeps. It's so stubit that I'm angry with my self for going along with it. I should have known better from the beginning, but I listened to local clubs instructors. Now, also they have grown to understand that previous approach was very wrong. (They have a SBG instructor now:-)

But I need an old mans game. Very very simple. Just enough to keep me save and pointers how to turn it around...maybe like Dale gives very simple concepts for sweeps. Not the sweeps. Just concepts.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Pullups and strength training

I am feeling tired today, but I went to gym and did a light workout. I was surprised that I did a new record on pullups (chinups) 17 clean ones. It's my goal for this autumn so not bad and not even recovered from workout sessions.

I'll be changing to next period which is more strenght and muscle. This was more stamina.

But no grappling, just few clips and a comment on GG2 forum.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Recovery day - simple is difficult

Today is my day off. I'll be watching some clips after this, but I have to clear my head first.

What's the reason for my training? Mostly it's to keep in physical condition and maybe even fight back dementia by remembering techniques and reating to it. One big thing is to be mindfull during training - and very much during sparring and rolling. And relaxed and carried away again:-)

To make my training more fun I'm trying to make it more simple. I know that I'd pick up all the moves, if I'd have two sessions a day rolling and maybe one 12 round session of sparring, but it's not going to happen. Next four months I'll get about two sessions of low skill rolling per week and same amount of sparring. I think it might not even keep my current skills up.

So I need to make things simple, but it is very difficult for a person who has drilled zillion techniques thinking that "devil is in the details". Now it's all about concepts and flowing from situation to another. Concept based thinking is all about aliveness - it just don't work with out opponents reactions. So making it simple is also making it difficult to learn! I don't have enough rolling time and karate students can react to pressure same way as a seasoned bjj guy. (So I'm getting wrong answers in my few rolling sessons.)

But do I break a sweat - yes. Do I have fun - yes. So what seems to be the problem? I still have an inner need to be good and even challenge younger guys... I don't know why, but I like to win or atleast feel like I am surviving. I don't care a bout tapping once or twice during a roll, but continues clapping is annoying.

OK head is cleared. Take some deep breaths and dive in instructional clips - standup, clinch,ground!

Friday, October 21, 2016

What did I learn today?

First, three hours drilling is too much for a not so young guy like me...and I have a strength training session coming up in few hours. Not clever.

Second, push pull concept is difficult to understand...I don't know why but it was... I need more tools for this one.

Some basic skills or technique has to be there for student to move - like technical stand up. It's just safe to get up that way.

We will continue training with karate group. Very different concepts...karate does not have much aliveness, but we did get a lot of repetitions in :-) Have to think of it more as a physical attripute development time - not game development...

Mixing karate and Jits

Today is a test. We will have one hour session of Kyokushin karate as a "warm up" and then go to yesterdays drills. Same drills 1) pummeling for double unders, taking back, single leg or head lock
2) half guard - getting opp back to mat (shoulder of justice) and opp getting back to deep half
3) open guard opp standing and feeling. Idea is to feel the pressure and react to it.

Yesterday my instructions where unclear so I will try to formulate what I want.

First drill

First drill is "how to start a mats". Engaging for pummeling should not leave an opening for shooting a single leg of double leg. It's important to get a good starting angle straight from beginning? (What's a good angle and how do I get it and where to go from there... future questions :-)

So it's important how you get the clinch and what kind of clinch. Yesterday we drilled over under and today we will continue with it. Just to make it a little more simple. So what am I thinking. First, can I catch opponents hand? Any way - like grapping it or catching it in my armpit - and then push it to his body. It opens a way to his back - or single leg. If I push opponents arm towards his body and he is aple to resist it, it can open a dive under arm to take his back. (This is a good 1 - 2 -1 last one is if he sees the dug under early and pulls his elbows down, then we are back to pushing his arm against his body.) Remember to use lat pull.

So first was catching opponents hand - in armpit or just his wrist. (Maybe this is enough for one day? What is the situation when you don't catch his wrist? How does he move or react? Maybe it's a situation when he shoots and you sprawl?) BUT yesterdays drilling had more elements like double under. Very hard to get... and a front pinched head lock, which is easy to get and also takedown is easy, but risk is getting your back taken after your takedown. When to go for douple under hooks in pummeling? It has to be a reaction for pushing opponents arm down! I do a lat pull and as he stops the motion I will push his arm against his body and pummel in when he resists my push? Maybe...

Head lock is when he keeps his arms locked tight to his body and does not let me have an underhook. Head lock needs a twist - a pinch to break his posture otherwise you are going for a flight.

So what is my instruction... Drills starts from over under clinch - pummel and do lat pulls. Move your opponent - also push. Keep a good posture. Stay grounded. (Okay.. to many already).

Second phase -  catch opponents hand in your armpit or grap wrist and lock it to his body. (Take his back or do single leg or lift him with your hips.) I think here is where we stop and discuss opponents reactions to getting his arm pushed or locked to his body. I think my reactions would be to move backwards which would open a pinched head lock attack with a small "uchi mata" type of breaking balance...

Second drill

Second drill is a half guard situation - not my drill (Every one can contripute and this is from Juho.)  Both bottom and top players have roles. Skills are flattening opponent and shoulder of justice. For bottom person getting pressure of from shoulder of justice and fighting to get to side and then deep half. (Might be good to scrample to get the deep half - like postional tips? but for drill, it's top players turn to fight to flatten...)

Third drill

Ok third drill is about feeling pressure when you are on ground and opponent is standing. My first goal is to get back up. This is not a grappling match and when kicking and punching is involved, I don't want to be sitting or on my back. So if no pressure, do a technical stand up atleast to kneeling position. If opponent pushes you to your back (Pushing your head, chest of lifting you feet.) You want to keep you feet between you and your opponent. Free his grip and get your feet to his thigh or just above his knees to feel his movement. You lift your hips a little to get pressure and the game begins.

So today we will play from situation that you are on your back and feet on opponents legs. Your elbows are open for balance and counter opponents leg throws. How is opponent going to pass?
Lifting your legs. Throwing them to side. Pushing them down? And your reaction... If he steps back  - no pressure - sit up and stand up. If he pushes your legs down - sit up (arm drag or scoot away to stand up) If he throws you legs to side - try crazy legs aca leg pummeling.) If you miss - always grilled chicken and knee to the side opponent is passing.

My instructions...none :-)
We will solve problems when they appear :-)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Something to learn from todays session

Ok, feeling was good, but biggest potential for improvement is instructios. Instructions should be very much shorter and clearer. I need to get the show going on faster and with smaller steps.

Just give a simple goal and see what happens. I should not show the technique. For them to copy me technique, is not the goal. Goal is to learn a concept and understand it in own movements.

Now I worked like a traditional instructor. I showed a drill and others mimiced it. Ok, I tried to give to concepts, but it ended up being too long discussions.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Starting to build the system at practise

Principal of development

Don't solve problems until they appear. Keep it real and playful - progressive resistance - aliveness.
Always posture - pressure and go with the flow. (Have to be two directions to go with the flow...)

Three games: stand up, clinch/takedowns, groundwork

Tomorrow I'll do my first training session with this new approach.

Standup -  will be an introduction to CM1 game. I think we will just try to keep the distance all the time in "rim" and work on CM1 blocks and posture. Work legs on moving...

Clinch game - pummeling to get a dominate posture? Double unders, slip to back, single leg, quillotine, russian 2 on1, head lock, kimura grip...?

Ground game - guard game from bottom. Different frames and distance. Keeping midrange and reseting frames - getting back to safe positions?

What are the ideas

Keep safe - defense first.
Allways control 3 - 4 points :-)
Get a better angle.
Let him do the work? Wait for a reaction...
Study (listen) to opponents preassure.
Breath - be relaxed - don't muscle - use gravity.
TAP early

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Random thoughts on solo drills

I need to collect some most basic solo drills

  • Grilled chicken around the world (SBG name for safe posture on your back)
  • Grilled chicken - single leg takedown
  • Turtle - granby roll - grilled chicken - knee rule - crazy legs
  • closed guard: grunch, hip bump, airoplane ( heavybag between legs?)
  • shadow roll
  • Ukemis all directions
  • Kicks around the world (windmill drill)
  • heavy bag
  • shadow boxing - sparring
  • deep stance - shiko-dashi ( 1 min hold?)
  • Rope
  • (Shadow sparring in three games: standup, clinch, ground? )
    • What's the triggers? Reactions? Compinations? 

What is the purpose of drilling?
- physical attributes
- mental health (mindfullness)
- technical skills: - recall - automate routines ("safe postions" or home base)

Monday, October 17, 2016

Starting to develop from drilling

Drilling alive

Technical development might need some dead drills, but I'd like most partner work be alive with progressive resistance. You don't have to go all in to practise timing, but there should be always atleast two directions or options to goto to make it more realistic. I think learning to feel pressure and balance are key skills.

Drills for standing 

Semicontact karate - first technique wins?
Crazy Monkey boxing (have to check if I can use this name...)

Drills for clinch

Pummeling fight
Judo randori? as uchikomi? Flow judo?

Drills for ground work

Passing guard - or just trying to pinn opponent
(version only hooked grips - no fingers)
Escaping... (progressive resistance)
Flow drill - sweeps and escapes
Minigames: pocket drills, small technical issues like standing when in opponents closed guard, resisting opponents douple leg smash pass...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Three games - standing, clinch, grappling

One way to make a situation easier is to slit it to section and most commen in fighting is to do it according to distance of opponent. Long range is stanging. You could have trappling before clinch, but it's not so common and last is ground work.


Next step would be to find safe games fro standing, clinch and grappling. For standing I like Rodney Kings approach Crazy Monkey Defense. I am not a CMD instructor so I will not use that name and very likely I don't really understand it the way Rodney uses it. So I will call it something else like "alive heavy bag" drill. Here the heavy bag will punch you back:-)


I have drilled some pummeling games, judo breaking balance and ofcourse uchikomi randori. This is hands down the least known element for me. (Maybe I really need to go to aikido again to get more ideas... aikido has no resistance... I want timing so it's not a direct answer, but might give inspiration.) Also there are variation of different rules of wrestling like "mongolian wrestling or sumo" to take ideas from.

Ground work

Grappling but later it should include punching, too. Maybe the game is:
  • Can you pass the guard vs keep in control
  • Can you control opponent ( in side control, side mount, back..) vs escape
  • Can you submit opponent


Goal of drills or mini fights should be to teach concepts and timing, but not to teach bad happits. So the rules should take in account that in final stage punching is allowed. Games/drills should have an easy assesment - winner is easy to see - clear criteria for when game is over. Criteria should improve technique or be a very solid position. ( I am thinking of chest to chest and having shirt with a circle sticker on chest - when stickers touch and opponents back is on mat - it's over.)

Game should have allways atleast two directions to prevent stalling. (So just laying on the mat with "home a lone" posture is not what I want - Maybe I need to put "stickers" to knees too, to get knee on belly responces :-)

Next step

I think I will work on entry level games on each area - stand up, clinch and ground. Games should be so simple that 8 years old and also 58 y olds can do it, with out technical knowledge of punching. (I would like punching to be technically correct and not just pushing arms straight or playing tag... for me it's been an annoying feature in CM games, but fun part of sparring equals things up.)

BUT drills/games should not teach bad technique ...Bad technique is when you don't have a realistic image of the most times in aikido ... or BJJ in that matter. (Assuming you think it has something to do with self defence and not sports.) 

So am I building a system for self defence...or sports? Neither I think or both if you like. Mostly ideal would be to have fun and keep in good physical condition - and rules should mimic reality of fight or atleast keep you always in 80 - 20 advantage.

It should teach you to be safe and manouver to postions that are in your favour.
It should increase strength, stamina and agility ( balance)...
Make you feel good...

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Maybe I could start making a new Jits?

What if I plan a new Jits that has progressive resistanse (aliveness) from lesson one...
Kind of learning game ...that would at final stage be like full Jits with punches and all.

Make your own Jits

I watched a multiple world champ webinar yesterday. I've followed his lessons for three years now. I know his game, but it's his game.

I also bought a six hour course on Jits for any one and thats not quite my Jits either. Closes to what I can do is Stephen Whittier's   approach. Stephen is SBG coach like Martin Aedma who lives and coaches here in Jyväskylä where I live. So a lot of answers are very near, but answers are to wrong guestions. Martin is a top competitor - I am an old jitska who wants to keep in fair physical condition. Don't get me wrong, I want to get better, but I don't have 10 training sessions per week to refine all the details like Martin or any serious competitor needs to have.

I need to figure out an easy concept base learning plan that has clear ideas that I do remember and can build on. I think I don't need any subs for a while - just passing, pinning and recovery if I loose my top position.

Very much waiting to read Jason Scully's new conceptual fundamentals... It might have good building blocks to my "new" game... It's not new, just very little refinement to old one. Basically I am learning to move :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Get your thinking mind away

When you think, you are late. When you are late, you muscle. When you use muscle, you get tired. When you get tired, you loose. This sounds very much like Rodney King, but it's actually for Saulo Ribeiro.

Way to not think is not to antisipate opponents move, but more like feel where he is going. Ofcourse you need to have a lot of repetition to be sharp and instictively know all the posibilities. You need to stay in presense. Not what is going to happen or what just went wrong. It's the moment that counts.

Also staying at the present moment relaxes you. Breath, be relaxed, have fun...and tap.

Monday, October 3, 2016

It's just for fun

I have had some hassle at work and it's still going on.

I am getting to mat today. I've been able to do some boxing during this break and I'll use boxing as a warm up today also.

Leading idea for next half a year will be FUN. I will try to get to mindfullness, too. It's an idea of keeping at present moment - no antisipation of opponents reactions or moves - just rolling and punching by the feel of it. (Very much opposite what I have been doing.)

Today I'll start with Monkey Sau - a drill by Rodney King. After opening closed guard you feel opponents legs and move accordingly. If it goes well, we will go to recovering guard when opponent has passed your legs and closing in to side control.

My current inspirations are Stephen Whittier BJJ Plus 40 (Pillar concepts) and Rodney King's Crazy Monkey Defence.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Near side arm, sidecontrol and getting to mount

Control cross side

Very big rule is that it's no use getting to side control, if you can't control your opponent in it. It's lot of work to pass ones guard and second later notice that you need to do the work again. Judo is a good source of pinning opponents!

One big tip for me was to move before I have to. When you move to a better position in early stage you have lot more control and also it messes up opponents escape attempts.

Near side arm

We are working on getting to mount from cross side. We will do the basic "arm in" and "arm out" versions, but before that I will study how to control opponents near side arm. That is the arm he wants to prevent my head control and also to keep my hip far to make space. I want to get my knee/or hip under his shoulder or smash his arm between us (or make him cross his arm over his center line).

So basically the fight is about keeping opponent flat or turned a way and controlling near side arm.

This opens a lot of possibilities:-)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lesson 6 - side control escape to turtle

I will test the brainstorming process on this one. This article will be updated during next days!

Brainstorming is a process that should be done with a partner but here it's more like mapping the terrain.(Not testing my asssumption with a partner.)

is: I am under opponent on my fours and I have a grip on his leg.


my goal is to a) do a takedown b) pull guard c) take opponents back. My reactions debends on opponents moves. First, do I have a good grip on opponents leg (and his foot,too).

If I an deep under and have a good grip, is he trying to put pressure to my back (sprawling) or trying to pull a way. My options are a) pull his leg to my chest and sit back to tilt him on his back. b) to go forward and side and use shoulder of justice on his hip to break him on his belly c) to lift my butt up and do a wrestlers sit thru to take his back d) pull guard.

Even thou the situation is fairly specific, looks like goal is difficult to pinpoint. What you get depends so much on opponents reactions. At the moment my goal is to go with the flow so if he pushes, I should let him come forward, but redirect his mass or adjust my frames and grips.

Maybe the first question when on my fours and opponent is in front of me is:
1. Can I catch his leg ( go forward)? If not,
2. Can I catch his hand and go backwards? if not,
3. Can I lift my hip up, prevent opponent from getting to my side or back?

3. Problem

When under opponent in turtle one should cover his neck and collar. Also opponent might be looking for lock their arms under your armbit to turn you over and finish with darce/anagonda.
When opponent is attacking your neck, you also feel pressure and it's difficult to go forward.
(But opponents hands are at your reach and you can grib it, but you have to catch it first.)

Other problem is opponent taking your back. You can try to block him with your arm or back off and rotate to opposite side he is rotating to. If you have a grip from his leg, you can prevent him from taking your back - and it's good for you to go to 90 degree angle (Not directly under him.)

If you are flat on your belly, you have difficulties to move, but you can protect your neck easier.
One problem is not really seeing what is happening over or behind you?

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lesson 5 double attack

Here are very good details on what double attack is all about :-) Under is a version that starts same way Saulo Ribeiro teaches his version. Saulo waits for opponents reaction and if he protects his arm, he goes for the choke. (I know I have a clib of Saulo's instructions, but could not find it :-)

Here is the Saulo Ribeiro version :-)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Street Jiu Jitsu

Just watched Rene talk about street jiu jitsu

Crazy Monkey Jits....

I think also Crazy Monkey Jits is very much about keeping it real, but also SBGi is very much in the same concept. You need to make the fundamental skills work in all delevery systemsCurruculum

Learning setups

I had a scissor sweep training session and after it we did positional rolling from closed guard.

During positional rolling I felt like an idoit. I was pulling opponents arm and he was keeping it tight to his body. Camoon ... he's not giving his arm to me. No way! To get something done you need to have good setups - like pull arm... and then push it to trap it for triangle... I know this, but why doing it do it!

Setups need drilling! First positional sparring in closed guard could be just to get an under hook or opponents arm a cross your center line or make him touch the mat...

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Fundamental movements isolation drilling

I don't get enough rolling with a partner. I have a plan to compensate it. I need to drill fundamental movement skills and memorize key features of techniques. Drilling actual submissions is not very useful, because it's more of you get what opponent is giving you, but you can memorize grips and mechanics of movements.

You can drill a lot your movement skills and even shadow reaction drills. These are just tools for your roll. Actual roll you need a partner and be sensitive of his pressure, balance and handles he gives you to manipulate him.

So today I'll watch some clips (actually rewatch and try to memorize) and then shadow roll and repeat the moves with focus on triggers that starts my movements. (So I need to imagine my posture and grips, but also what opponent has and is giving me. Totally unrealistic, but it's a step. Not a final technique.) More like rehearshal for an experiment and experiment will continue first with a co-operative opponent and finally in an alive roll.

(Isolation drill is a term that SBGi uses for none resistance technical rehearshal to learn a move/technique.)

I could also do some techniques for purple belt test....just isolation solo drilling...two years before the test...

My fundamental movements

I did try to make a list yesterday on what could be useful to drill - for me.

1. Technical stand up ( lifting hip up to gain momentum before stepping back

2. From flat on back ("grilled chicken") to sit up to low single leg takedown

3. Grilled chicken - basic 360 movement and "knee rule" aca crazy legs

4. Scrimb all directions

5. Cranby

6. Wrestlers sit thru from putt up all fours

7. All ukemis

8. All shadow boxing, grappling and judo

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Lesson 4 - Toreando pass

What is the difference between x-pass and toreando?

For me x-pass is very similar to toreando. I think of it as baiting a reaction with my foot between opponents leg and when he goes to grip it, I start "a toreando" ... most likely ending knee on belly or blocking his hips with my leg

In Polar JJ toreando pass is after standing up from closed guard and opponent has his feet on your hips. You grip his pands and push on knee down, step a little sideway to loose the other foot and pass by pressuring opponent with your shoulder. Your arms are making X! - like in x-pass :-)

Here is an important tip - don't let your opponent bring his knee back in by letting go of his pants too early.

Where to grip opponent?

There are many options on where to grip opponents legs. First inside or outside? With inside grip it's easier to split opponents knees apart and little less danger of spider guard...maybe. With outside grip it's easier to push knees to side and just come forward.

Also do you grip knees, ankles, pands or legs or knee and ankle - cloth or body?
(I'm not going to answer these - it's what you are after - or what do you want opponent to think that you are trying to do.)

Push his legs or run a round?

Why would opponent stay on his back if there is no pressure? (Maybe in competition jiu jitsu people prefer to play guard, but it's not a very safe place to be in martial arts thinking.) So if you don't have pressure, opponent is very likely to sit up and atleast make a grip on your sleeves. One way of passing is pushing opponents feet to mat and going a round his knees and there are counters, but there are counters to every move.

I like Ribeiro's way of waiting for a reaction - it gives you a split second more time to work your move. Here is Leandro Lo explaining his take on toreando.

End up shoulder on opponents belly or knee on belly?

In a way I don't care. It's a pass. BUT more important is do you have control of opponent! Can you progress from your position.

This is not a very complete study of toreando pass, but for me here is a lot of details to think about. Biggest take a way is "bull fighting" - it's not paint by numbers, but reacting to opponents moves.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Lesson 4 recovering guard with scrimping

Early ideas

You need to know when your guard is passed. It's when you cannot recover your frames. This the time to start escaping. Escaping is more difficult when opponent has control on you. Opponent wants to control your hips, shoulder, and/or head. Basic idea for passer is to get close and control, so goal for escaper is to keep distance and opponents weight of off you.

Progress of a pass

Often a pass starts by passing legs and getting hip control and then going for shoulder or head control. One main goal for passer is to keep opponent flat on their back.

Recovering guard with scrimbing

If opponent does not control your hips, it gives an opporturnity to try to get your knee between you and opponent. This is easy if you have "long frames" (you are framing your elbow against opponents shoulder and with near side arm his biceps). If you need to bridge, it would be better to direct opponents weight of you and bridge at 45 degree angle. Scrimbing is the move that makes space and also lets you turn to your side. One idea in scrimping is that you can "run a way" with multible scrimbs by moving your shoulders away, scrimbing and again moving your shoulders - if opponent is following you to keep their weight on you.

Lot of problems

Recovering guard is not easy in live roll. First fight is to get to your side - and your own "safe position". My safe postion if I have lost my frames is to keep both hands near neck and block opponents arm from getting head control. Opponent has his weight as an advantace. My goal is to move him so that he can use his weight as little as possible. I try to keep his hips far a way, but watch out for loosing near side arm. Both arms have their "problems" near side arm can be pulled to flatten my and framing with upper arm will transfer his weight to my shoulder and push it to the mat. Two big danger with arms are open armpits and crossing you arms - or elbow crosses your center line.

So when is it safe to push with your arms? When opponents is not on top of you. After pushing you have space and opponent falls to side, not on you. Then it's safe to push. (As safe as it are always inviting an armlock when you have straight arms and opponent catches them.)

Lets make it easy

When opponent has you in tight side control and uses his arms to pull him tight to you - WAIT. There is no danger. His arms are busy.

When he is tired of applying "shoulder of justice" - swim your hand under his armpit and walk your fingers against your face to release pressure. Turn to your side.

If you have your outside arm hanging some where - bring it in to your chest - push it in under opponents jaw or hit his crown of head with you biceps to turn his head and pull your arm in.

First assignment is to get to a safe side position facing opponent.

Next - get you hips a way from him to make space for your knee to get in.

Third - it's a fight. Block him from getting head control - keep you head far far a way or hook his leg to not let him get to better side control...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Lesson 3 Scissor sweep

Scissor sweep instructions
Sweeps are interesting. Very simple. You need to take a way opponents post, handle his mass (balance) and have a fulcrum point to break opponents balance. In scissor sweep pulling sleeve takes a way post. Pulling from collar makes opponent lighter and kicking his leg and rotating him from waist, makes him fall.

Question is where to put your knee and how to get the best possible angle.  Perdo Sauer shows here that leg is relatively straight and shin works like a plow. It connects to (here Perdo's left hip) and pulling motion twists his hip and small kick makes him fall. Here knee is lower than toes. Maybe you could say that shin is across opponents hip at the moment of sweep - hip bone to hip bone.

To get more pull from collar one suggestion is to stay on your elbow and lean back.

Here is Lovato Sr showing one variation of scissors sweep. Knee is on sternum and grip is from opponents elbow - not sleeve like usually. Often opponent counters this sweep by putting his weight backwards, which leaves his arm for an amrbar.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Learn to flow

If you study martial ARTS, you need to be sensitive of pressures opponent is giving you. It you are strong, fast and muscle your technique, you can win for a while, but most likely some decades later you need to adjust your game.

I don't have the strength but I can't flow either. I know about breaking balance and concept of 1 - 2- 1 like push - pull and push again. Ribeiro has a quate "It's no use knowing, if you can't apply".

How to learn to flow?

One interesting and helpful drill was from Jaakko Saari 6dan Judo instructor. He introduced a drill that is called "mitten wrestling". You can hook with your hands, but not allowed to grip. Maybe grappling gloves would work the same way?

Second idea is "if you can't do it slow, you can't do it fast either". It's very likely that opponent can react to your change of direction if you do it slow. He will not loose balance, but that is not the point. Point is to start feeling if you have his balance in control and study his reactions. You will end up in bad positions with this drill so it's also learning survival skills :-)

One way to learn is to "just do it". I'd start with small steps and do one or two "go with the flow" situations first. To learn it, it has to be a priority in rolling. It will increase enjoyfullness. Rolling with a flow is nice.

I just got a good advice on how to learn to flow. Flow is not about winning. It's about learning opponents reactions!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What to learn and how?

Big picture

Brainstorming is a great tool to study a specific situation or a move, but it's important to have an overall vision on what do you want to learn. Yes, Polar JJ basic program, but the point of view on ones learning can vary.

be a lionFirst you might have your goals at bjj competitions or self defense - No gi or MMA? Same or similar technique, but small details on where to focus. At the moment I like the idea of "Street Jits". It's more grappling than MMA ground work, and has strikes to make it a little more self defense. To keep rolling alive the goal is to submit or atleast be safe. Why... it's fun.

Survive or don't get in to trouble

Very big concept is BJJ is to survive and here I need to make some changes. I have learned to survive in bad positions, but I don't think it's a good way to study Jits. It would be much better to deal with the problem as soon as possible than let it develop in a bad posistion. So most of the time you should be countering opponents attempts before it gets even close to being even control.

Focus in the learning should be in very first steps - position, pressure, retaining guard, finding setups or passing opponents guard - and controlling opponent like keeping your side control, keeping your mount and so on.

Gentle art - I want to learn it

Another big concept in most martial arts is softness - you should not resist opponents pressure, but flow with it. This is a skill that has to be learned. You don't want to go where opponent is pushing you, but more like take him where you want him to go. It's not just giving in for pressure. There is a lot more to it.

Can you see your opponents next move?

One interesting concepts is antisipation - do you know opponents next move? Saolo Ribeiro says that if you think, you are late. If you are late, you have to use muscle. If you use muscle, you will get tired. If you are tired, you will die. I'd say that's a vote for not thinking. Kit Dale is very much against drilling sequences so that they are automated and more on thinking and even greating techniques during a roll. I have a karate background and lot of drilling. I think that you need to repeat "tool" movements so that they work. By tool movements I mean movements like: scrimp, granby roll, grips, grip breaks, posture...list is not complete, just to get an idea. It's like writing. You need to know how to write your letters - but you can make any word out of them. So drilling is important, but real resistance is the key. With out it, you are working wrong skills.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lesson 2 Guard posture

Lesson 2 in basic program has 5 techniques, but I am focusing on guard posture. I did get good instruction and common guidelines for Polar JJ guard posture during my belt test.

Polar JJ postureBoth arms are relatively straight and elbows tight. There is no pressure on opponents upperbody before he tries to posture up. You can use your arm to post and get some support when standing. Goal is not to leave any handles for opponent to work their technique. (Pedro Sauer teaches very much similar posture.)

SBGi postureJason Scully teaches a fairly upright or back straight posture. One interesting concept was "L:ing" his knees.

Postures are many ways similar as SBGi has, but biggest difference is in tailbone. Matt does not want his back to be straight, but tailbone tucked in to prevent opponent pulling with his knees and making him post with his hands to get balance. Image is not the best one as it's during hand fight and there is space under elbow.

In no gi idea is to hover hands over opponent, but not to post on him.

There is also a guestion of toes pointing down or tucked under putt.

Martin Aedma has his toes up and more bent over - holding opponents armpits tlo control his hands. He does not like arm drags when one of his hands is on opponents sternum.

THIS IS just preparing for my roll. I will test different options and how they feel. It's essential to know what you are trying to do when you are in opponents guard. You try to keep your balance, check opponents upper body and control his hips and fight could be about grips - controlling opponents hand - arm to make your escape possible or more likely. You don't have to control opponents hand, if you break his legs open - like pushing from his belt and stepping backwards. So all depends on your game and opponents game. It's not like some technique fits all situations. (And all Jits are not the same - like competition, street, no gi, mma)

What am I waiting for when I am in opponents guard?

 Opponent will try to break my posture:
- unbalancing me with his legs
- trying to pull me down behind my head, underhook or over hook
- tries to catch my hand, pull it cross the center line or catch it above his sternum for armlock
- tries to climb his legs higher to get better control
- tries to angle his hips for more options
- choke my
- hip bump ( and continue with other sequences)
- scissor sweep
- open his guard for other options

Drilled posture in positional sparring

I tested all postures, but Jason's "L:ing". I was very pleased with SBG concept of tilting tailbone to keep sitting upright. It almost made opponent open his guard and let me pass. Polar JJ posture with relatively straight arms worked, but I had to switch hands when opponent gripped my hand on label.

Also my tools for breaking posture worked. I used undulating pulls on label, pulling elbows outward, gripping sleeves and always pulling with my legs. I got into side guard quite easy, but then I had some trouble. (Need to check my side guard follow ups from GG2.)

So keeping posture was good and breaking opponents was technical -> good. 

I also used a posture from PSBBJA blue belt techniques. It's same as Pedro Duarte taught on his seminar here in Jyvaskyla. (On your balls of your feet.)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

First lesson - keeping mount

I refreshed my mount maintainess today. Mount is a position in Polar JJ lesson 1. It's just a position, but I wanted to drill keeping mount against a technical sw (nogi bjj) guy.

There is basically 4 different mounts: low mount, mount, high mount and side mount (technical mount). My intepretasion of different instructions (Pedro Sauer, Gracie University, GG2 and Henri Akins)

Low mount - keep pressure with your hips (super man) and use  shadow hooks to prevent opponent from freeing you hooks - also you can cross your legs behind opp. back. If opponent is trying to free his legs from your hooks. Pull your knee to opponents armpit and get your hook back when he bridges. It's also possible to push with your arms to create more pressure to hips.
(All top mount positions need to be drilled, but first is low mount. You need a save position where to start your game. Low mount is not a threat, because your hands are engaged in keeping balance and hooking. I should drill also transition from low mount to mount or high mount.)

Mount - fight opponents frames. You can minimize bridge by keeping your hip of opponent and keep your knees tight. Game is all about not letting opponent get to side or make frames. In mount hands are free and should be used to setup attacks.

High moung - sit on opponents chest and be heavy

Side mount is if opponent catches your arm or foot and is able to start getting side ways.

Todays lessons take a way was to react fast - don't let opponent use frames or start using the arm he has caught - move early, not late and variate on different mounts. Goal is to get to high mount, but low mount is kind of safe position.

If you start loosing position, you can back of to opponents legs and start a smash pass routine, or kick to side countol or knee on belly. Key is to be proactive - not to fight for the postion, but move so that you are in control.

Learning diary for purple belt

I've declared to go after purple belt and my goal is to get it in minimum time - two years.
I'll be 60 then. At that age only way to go is for technique. Can't muscle anyone and never was very fast either.

I will use this blog to go over Polar JJ basic program lesson by lesson. Not every technique, but some thing from every lesson. Goal is to keep me focused and also to build my own teaching platform for Polar JJ basic program.

I will try to find my own thoughts on how to learn and teach Jiu Jitsu in a way that a Physical Education professional would do it.