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.