Friday, August 20, 2010


Here is a link to a great blog entry about a guy who lost 100lbs thanks to BJJ. I lost 65lbs myself, so I can sort of relate. Inspiring stuff!


This Thursday we worked on some deep half sweeps with TJ.

I've got to be honest and say my mind really isn't made up about the deep half. I've got the Jeff Glover DVD, and I sometimes find myself in the position - but I'm not totally sold on it, and I cannot convert the sweeps often as of yet. I also agree with those who say it is sort of antithetical to the founding principles of BJJ. It puts you in a bad position and lord knows on the street, you're going to eat a lot of punches.

But I'm in no position to turn my nose up at a technique that clearly works in competition. So I'm going to work on it.

These aren't the techniques TJ showed, but they are interesting and show some of the diversity of the position.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I was looking for a particular omoplata sweep when I found this instead.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Man, is it hard to find decent video of back escapes! Think of how easy it is to find a youtube clip of a Rubber Guard move, Deep Half or the Alabama Crab Dangle. You'd think somebody would cover escapes from one of the worst predicaments in jiu jitsu. I suspect this problem highlights a troublesome trend in BJJ today - but what do I know? Anyone agree?

I digress. We worked on a couple back escapes today and Tuesday. Both were from a position where your opponent has the over-and-under.* There were some common principles.

- Slide your hips down and keep your elbows in.

- Shrug to protect your neck against the choke.

- Control the choking arm.

- Roll onto the opposite side as the choking arm.

- Remove a hook from one side.

- Move your hips to the free side.

Both the escapes wound up in your opponent's guard - which is a hell of a lot better than getting choked. I'll keep up the hunt for videos. If anybody finds some, let me know.

*We call it the over-and-under. Some people call it the seatbelt grip. The coolest thing I've heard it called is "the Chewbacca," because of the bandolier worn by Kashyyyk's favourite wookie.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Today we covered off some escapes from the mount. I'm not going to spend a lot of time dwelling and expounding upon it except to ask "what could be more important than escaping the worst positions?" I need to remember this and work on it. Escaping bad positions is one of my greatest weaknesses.

Roy Dean covers most of the techniques we did here - and a few we didn't.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Tonight we revisited some techniques we learned from Robson Moura at a recent seminar.

First we did a flow drill Robson showed us

Begin with partner A seated. Partner B is standing at his feet.

A: Kick out and technical lift.

B: Shoot in for the double.

A: Sprawl and move towards the back.

B: Turtle roll to recover guard. Arm drag, take the back and put in both hooks.

Then we reviewed an armbar from guard Robson showed us:

- Take a sleeve grip. Reach under his hand and grab your own wrist, Break the grip. Drag the arm back and over to the far side. Tuck it into your armpit as your dive your arm under. Bite down with your inside leg as you swing your outside leg over to finish the armbar.

This is a TIGHT armbar - but I found it a little tricky. I keep losing the arm from under my armpit. I'll work on it.

Next up, the cross hook sweep from Spider Guard.

Control both sleeves. Create distance and lasso one leg over your opponents arm - hooking it under the far armpit. Plant your other foot and use it to bring yourself into a position perpendicular to your opponent. use the grips and your hook to sweep him onto his side. Maintain control of the sleeve to hunt for the armbar.

I cannot find videos of these particular techniques online. But here is a neat-o omoplata set up he also showed - and a RIDICULOUS spider guard sweep i really need to try sometime.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Here's Draculino teaching a choke similar to one I learned from Glenio Weber in Brazil. i love this choke and have successfully used it in competition. This video also shows what a great instructor Draculino is.


It has been a long time since I posted - six months. I never did get around to finishing off the stuff from the Brazil trip. I'll get the photos up some day.

But re-reading this blog I realized a few things.

1) I've already forgotten - or at least neglected to use - a lot of what I learned in Brazil. I cannot imgine all the techniques I have completely forgotten since I started training.

2) This blog is a great way to keep track of things and remind myself of techniques, lessons learned and my thoughts and feelings about jiu jitsu.

If the anyone is reading this, please bear with me. I'm going to turn this blog into my own personal BJJ journal. Maybe there will be a few things other people can learn from. Who knows...


This firs post is just intended as a brutal assessment of my current skills and attributes. This is the foundation I hope to build upon.

As of this date, I've had my blue belt a little more than a year. I've been competing a little - just local tournaments. I figure that competition won't be a huge part of my BJJ career - but I believe it's important for keeping things sharp.

In the last 14 months I've had 11 matches. I've won 9. My two losses were to smaller purple belts in absolute. I've been submitted once. Not much, I know.

If you want to know what kind of player I am all you need to know is that I've pulled guard in 9 of these matches. If I was being brutal, I'd describe my style as slow and boring - and I'm okay with that. I pull guard, look to submit first, then sweep. If I sweep I am as likely to maintain position and ride it out as I am to finish it. I am not a great finisher from top.

Greatest current strengths: closed guard, taking the back, mount.

Greatest current weaknesses: open guards, passing, escapes.

Biggest influences: Shane Rice, Roger Gracie.

What I'm working on now: Tomorrow night, I'm heading into the gym with my laptop and reviewing every technique i learned in Brazil. hopefully, this will set the standard for how I use this blog.

Current training regime: I'm an old man with a busy job, a wife, a kid and another on the way. I train jiu jitsu twice/week in the summer. I try to do yoga 2X week (this is basically injury rehab and prevention,) and run once a week for 5km or more. In the fall I will resume MMA training in addition to everything else on this schedule.

Other jiu jitsu work: I continue my involvement with the good people at Check it out! I also have a few other irons in the fire...

There it is. Fast and dirty. I don't want to spend a lot of time getting flowery with my language. This is all about getting back to work.

To close, this is the kind of BJJ player I want to be. I know everyone has seen this video of Roger, but it is worth watching over and over and over...