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Archive for the ‘BJJ Class’ Category

BJJ Class 105 – Burns

Posted by forlogos on August 26, 2008

Got some mat burn on the knuckle of my foot from the last class (from too much sprawling).  From this class I got a very mysterious burns near my ankle and one on my finger from too much spider guard grips.  Oh well.

Class was great and lengthy.  I really like attending the late class because it always goes an extra 30 to 45 minutes.  So even though I’m still taking it easy on my shoulder and going just once a week, I’m able to at least maximize the session.

Lately warm-ups has involved a lot of lower body stretches and this class was no different.  Thanks to my previous TKD experience, I feel like my lower body flexibility is better than most of the other guys in class, but it’s been years since I last kicked and my legs have never felt tighter…

Techniques learned today are actually two techniques that P taught me back in BJJ Class 96, spider guard to a “wrap your leg around an arm and underhook the same side foot on the opposite armpit, pull on arms and kick-up sweep” and a “sweep counter armbar”.  That probably made zero sense at all, but who knows, I might get to illustrate these techniques in the future.  And I really should as not only are my Snowboard Instructors getting a thick coating of dust, but I am also forgetting most of the techniques and tips that I ought to be remembering.

The techniques pretty much ate up the entire class time, but there was a lot of rolling in the after class extra time.  I had about 5 rolls, all with non-white belts.  My technique feels much better than it was weeks ago, still inefficient with lots of mistakes, but less sloppy feeling.  I rolled with my instructor too – that’s always fun.

I’m really looking forward to upping my training to twice a week, but am going to stick with my original “take it easy” plan and do that in late September.  Only a few weeks to go!!!


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BJJ Class 104

Posted by forlogos on August 12, 2008

I really should stop doing waiting too long before writing – I forget sooooooooo much…

Class was good overall, as I remember.

Warm-ups. techniques.  Side control to mount to Americana.  Side control to mount to Americana defense counter to armbar.  Two big tips for me is keeping hooks while in mount and controlling the head to help catch a wrist.

I’ve never really used hooks in mount as I always felt that it kept me too immobile and that keeping my legs locked in hooks would take away from my base.  Hooking the legs and puting the soles of your feet together seems to be the proper way to keep mount.  I just always thought it would be desirable to achieve a high mount.  While I see certain pros and cons to each, I’m not really sure which I should concentrate more time on….In any case, I should focus more on passing guard and getting mount, rather than focus on what to do with mount.

Anyway, I had a roll with an even (to me) white belt, the match was so close no one really had the upper hand.  He used to be a judo guy and kept putting neck cranks on – from under side control, in side control, inside guard – anywhere and everywhere.  I next went with a noob and basically gave pointers.


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BJJ Class 103 – Flow and no

Posted by forlogos on July 30, 2008

This was prolly the most draining class since I returned to training. The fact that it was very hot in the training hall wasn’t helped by my having spent a lot of late nights working on term papers for B-school. I was tired even before class started, but I decided that I should train anyway. Besides, I already skipped out on one of my gym workout days….

I stretched the whole time of the first class as usual and drilled a half-guard pass with a blue belt a bit. The late class started with light warm-ups and stretching, then we went straight to a basic side control escape (worst scenario) that starts with a big bridge then a hipscape to regain guard. This evolved to hipscaping as your partner passes, thus never even giving him the chance to get side control (the best scenario). This then led to the flow drill that just does that movement again and again on both sides.

After an extended period of that was rolling a few long rolls.

My first roll was with a smaller whitebelt. He moved very well but my weight advantage was able to overpower him. I tried not to muscle techniques, which I think I didn’t but he said I did when I asked him. Anyway, what’s funny is that I was able to do the half-guard pass that I drilled/learned before class. Then before time ran out I managed to do the defense part of the flow drill we did earlier. He would try to pass and I’d hipscape away and and he’d try to pass on the other side, and I’d do the opposite side hipscape. It had me smiling by the time the roll ended. In the middle of the roll I did an americana in slow motion. I think I should go and try for some techniques in slow motion, y’know to make sure that I have my body positioning right and such, giving my partners a chance to escape if I do something wrong. I’d get to learn the subs better, be more technical about it and not rely on speed/strength so much. Of course it won’t work for all techniques, but most of the subs done from the top would qualify for slow-motion, I think.

My next roll was with a whitebelt who I’d say was my height and weight. That’s rare for me because they’re usually bigger or smaller than me. We did a slower, more methodical roll with me playing on the bottom. I really have to work on my bottom defense, once my guard is passed. I’m getting better at doing the T-rex arms, but I’m having difficulty defending if my arms are trapped in under/over hooks or if I just can’t get my elbows in.

My last roll was with yet another white belt. My height, but much thinner and ligher. He had very good technique. I couldn’t do a thing I wanted. The only time where I was controlling was when we started and I was halfway with passing his open guard. I had managed to squeeze his legs together and was working my way up. He got a headlock on me and I was continuing to pass guard to get out of the headlock and into side control. He somehow managed to jump on his feet, which hasn’t happened in that situation before, and started sprawling on me trying to get a guillotine. Things went south from there and I was on defense the whole time. I’d like to roll with him again, I had the best time with that guy.

After that, I was done. Exhausted. When I got outside, my nose got congested due to minor allergies. I was hot, sweaty, tired, thirsty, ow on oxygen and couldn’t breathe. Fortunately I can breathe with my mouth!

Note to self: It’s time to start packing post BJJ shorts and a shirt. Going home after the jits in work slacks and a button-down shirt just won’t do in this weather.

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BJJ Class 102 – Tap city

Posted by forlogos on July 26, 2008

A great class!

Looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever said that I had a bad class. Guess they just don’t exist. I mean sure, there are classes were my technique felt horrible, my rolling was bad, or whatnot, but I really don’t think I’ve said that a class was bad. They’re always good. Yeah!!

Unlike the previous classes of late, I didn’t get to join the earlier class. I got to stretch and warm-up a bit better, which was good. Class started with a wrestling warm-up. I don’t know what it’s called or what it’s for really – it’s the one where you and your partner rapidly exchange underhooking each others arms. Anyway, that was followed by drilling switching Russian grips with (? – where you’re to the side and two of your arms control one arm of your partner) your partner, then a take-down to clock-choke technique. The transitions were cool and I will try (again) to illustrate these too.

I had 2 rounds of rolling before class was ended. I first rolled against a heavy, slow moving but very technical purple belt. He didn’t tap me or anything but I think he was working on his positions. Got to try several sweep and escape attempts, none of which was successful. I liked rolling with him. Every move was thought out and performed precisely. I’d like to roll with him again.

I next rolled with another purple belt. Before my injury, I would roll with this guy a lot. It was always tap city for me, but since he always plays open guard, he’s helped me a lot with my open-guard passing. It was no different this time and I’m glad to have gotten a few extra pointers on passing.

After class, I sat down with some white belts and we helped each other out a bit with some problems we were having. Did ten sprawls and went home. A good class, yet again.

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BJJ Class 101 – Catch

Posted by forlogos on July 18, 2008

Another long class.  Seems that lately all the classes I’ve been going to have been long – joining part of the earlier class, attending the entire later class, then about 20-30 minutes more after.  Of course am still taking it easy and not pushing my shoulder too hard.

I got to join the drills of the first class: basic scissor sweep followed by cross-choke.  Although I have been using the basic scissor a while, it was nice to practice it on a non-resisting opponent and trying to refine it further.  After drills a mini-tournament was held.  A pair of students were matched and only they rolled while everyone else watched.  Time was kept, and points scored.  I didn’t get picked to fight, but that’s fine as I didn’t want to join anyway since they started on their feet and takedowns would definitely hurt my shoulder.

The second class started with a few hundred jumping jacks and a cool turtle-roll flow drill.  It was cool.  I’ll try to illustrate it soon, but am already backed up with those and likely won’t find the time to do them.

After that was rolling.  I rolled for a while with a very heavy new, but not so new white belt.  Y’know, one of those guys that’s been rolling just a few weeks, watches a lot of videos, and absorbs techniques like a sponge.  I wish I was like that!  Anyway, I was able to negate his huge size and weight advantage with technique and got him with americanas and an armlock.  He kept going for collar chokes but couldn’t finish.  I gave him some pointers, particularly about how deep a grip the first attacking hand should have, and he eventually got me to tap to one.

I next rolled with one of the white belts that I consider almost blue.  I was sucking big time, but as time went on, I got better.  Particularly on top of half-guard, where I’d never really seen the value of cross-base until now.  I caught a few knees and elbows in the face with this roll, but it was all good.  Have a nice big bruise near my eye.

I rolled with my instructor last.  Even though a black belt always runs the classes, I rarely get to roll with them.  While I got to sweep and pass, I kept thinking at the back of my mind that I only pulled those off because he let me, I still tried and was surprised everytime something worked.  After a few minutes he must’ve been like “hmmm, am bored already” and he quickly changed gears and subbed me.

So that was it, another good night of the jits!!

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BJJ Class 100 – The Big Double O

Posted by forlogos on July 9, 2008

Finally, I’ve reached the landmark hundreth class!!  It seems odd that I just reached this now considering that I’ve been doing the jits for some two years now.  Oh well, that’s life…

Class was good. Again I joined the earlier class for rolling.  I didn’t get to join in when they were drilling the technique and no moves were taught in the later class – it was all rolling.

Rolling was awesome though.  I felt great today and did better against some of the people I felt horrible with last week. Got a few taps (I think I’ll putt he tap counter on hold until I decide what goals I want to aim for), tapped even more, and had a great time.  It just feels wonderful to be back.

I taught some people some techniques, asked help from others, and am proud for being as cautious with my shoulder as I was.  I actually tapped to someone as he did a roll from turtle – I tapped to a roll!!  My guard passes felt more crisp and my game felt better than it did in the last two classes.

Anyway, awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome awesome. Can’t wait for the next class!!

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BJJ Class 99 – anniversay

Posted by forlogos on July 4, 2008

Went to BJJ class… This class marks the one year anniversary of my shoulder injury. Just like today, it was the very first BJJ class I could attend in July and it also fell before the fourth of July. Thankfully, there were no injuries today – just a session of some good rolling.

As is usual with classes this year, I arrived too late for the first class and too early for the next class. I stretched and warmed up on the sides and was welcomed in to join the rolling of the first class. I rolled with a blue belt who played defense the whole time. My control felt loose and noobish, but it was nice to get to practice some top control.

Second class started with light jogging, which combined with the heavy gi, 90 degree weather, drinking a bit too much Gatorade beforehand, and the overall lack of fitness – I was exhausted after just a few minutes. We did the (read: tried) the guard wall exercise where while on you spin and rotate on your shoulders, go upside down and end up in the beginning guard position. It was a bit confusing at first, but I eventually started getting the hang of it.

A closed guard sweep to mount was drilled then rolling. I have a backlog of techniques to post about, so I really do hope I get to make a post on this technique. Rolling was great today.

I waited too long before writing this post out, so I don’t remember much anymore. I was extra careful with my shoulder and so tapped a lot, even if there was no tight submission applied. My best roll was with a whitebelt who had done some wrestling, and had great sweeps and base. Tapped a lot to him, but it was very fun. I noticed that my performance was inversely proportional to how long I was rolling, the more tired I was, the worse I got. Good thing I didn’t gas so quickly.

My technique was vacuum-sucky, but it felt infinitely better than the last time..

Happy July fourth everyone!!!

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BJJ Class 98 – Total reNoob

Posted by forlogos on June 19, 2008

So, I went back to BJJ.

I’m gonna take it slow, just one class a week. My school no longer offers a monthly rate for just one class a week, so I’m going to need to fight the temptation to go more than once…But I’ll also need to fight the temptation to go all out, train hard, roll ’till I can’t stand anymore, and say ‘yes’ to anyone that wants to roll… Man, I’ve got a real challenge!

After two months off, I wasn’t surprised at the plethora of new faces and the many new faces with skill. I am surprised, however, at the growth of women joining the academy. There used to be just one regularly training girl and now there are four.  That and there were a lot of promotions recently…

Class was a blur. It was all rolling. And since it was rotation rolling with a base row, there were no noobs to roll with. This return wasn’t as great as last time. My technique felt worse than ever and I was just one big pile of suck.

I sucked big time. And my suckiness must’ve seemed even more sucky as I did only every other roll and I turned down more offers to roll than I can remember. Oh well, injuries suck.

Oh, and I forgot to trim my nails so when I pulled guard once, half of one of my fingernails popped out and completely went the wrong way. I yelled ouch, bent it back, and my opponent said “you should cut your nails before class!” That made me suck even more.

Besides all that, rolling again was nice. It feels great to be back. I hope I get to stay for the long-term this time around!


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BJJ Class 97 – getting worse

Posted by forlogos on April 21, 2008

This was monster of a class – 2 hours long. Granted, I wasn’t active the entire two hours, but it was still long. Oh, and that’s not counting the extra 30 minutes I spent before each workday class just stretching my shoulder and the rest of my body.

I spent a good part of the day debating with myself whether I should go train or let my shoulder rest a bit. After going back and forth a bit, it’s obvious to see that I decided to go train.

Class started with drilling a throw (I really gotta learn what all these different types of throws are called) by yourself against a wall, but with a squat mixed in after you do the throwing motion. We then paired off and started drilling jumping guard. The kind of jumping guard where you’re both standing up, and one of you jumps up into guard, and the other guy has to keep his balance and be able to hold you both upright.

Then we drilled a very tiring and highly technical sweep, where you drop down after jumping guard, do spider guard, hipscape between your opponents legs, and make them fall to the ground, where you can establish side control, knee-on-belly, or what have you. Then to make things even more tiring, we practiced the sweep while your partner is trying to pass guard. I’ll illustrate this sweep with my snowboard instructors soon, promise!

I was paired up with tall S (to distinguish himself from the other S), a tall experienced white belt, during the sweep drill, so we paired off for rolling. I’m glad to see that I really do enjoy rolling – as soon as we started, I pulled guard, did spider guard, then proceeded to set-up the sweep we had just been practicing. I LOL’d as soon as I realized that I had just set up the sweep. I had a hard time doing the sweep while rolling because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s very technical. And I think the height difference, with tall S being much taller, made it harder for both him and myself to do.

Anyway, tall S also likes the triangle and manages to catch a lot of fellow white belts with it, just like the other S. So I was on the alert to avoid any triangle set-ups. During the entire roll, I was at the bottom playing defense. I had a few brief moments where I wasn’t on my back, but they were brief. I couldn’t keep him in my guard. I don’t think I even managed to even get closed guard. Anyway, I just kept defending and defending as he would go from North-South, Side control and mount. This went on for a long time. Then at one of the times he mounted, I reversed him, got sloppy (I did want to try the triangle escape that the other S showed me), got caught in a triangle and couldn’t even start to set-up the escape. After that, I was just gassed. I was so gassed and light-headed from the choke, I think I thought about taking a nap right there. But feeling empowered from Supercrap’s post on pushing yourself, I decided to keep on sparring, even though I didn’t have enough energy to even stand up. Well, I barely put up a fight when I had the energy, so I knew I was going to be working on nothing but my defense the whole time. And boy did I! I defended really, really well. My mind went back to the Jedi defense drill we did in BJJ class 91, and that’s just how I defended. If he went for one move, I would roll slightly to one side to neutralize it, if he went for another, I would go the other way to neutralize it. I defended my neck oh so well, even his attempts to set up chokes with his gi. I could tell he was getting frustrated cause he muttered “shitzy” or something like that a few times. I did tap to a gi choke attempt, although I had protected against the choke, it turned into a neck crank. I wanna keep rolling with this guy. Once I can keep him in guard or even maintain a top position, I’ll know that my game has really progressed

I sat to rest for a while, and after several minutes I rolled with P. I had gotten some energy back, but was still way exhausted. I concentrated on staying very technical and tried to do the open guard sweep to knee on belly, which I’ve been trying to do but haven’t managed to pull off yet, and he passed my guard. I was able to get half-guard and I don’t remember how I swept him (I was trying not to do my bread & butter Eddie Bravo half-guard sweeps, which I kept using on him before). I got side control, knee on belly and swung around for the far-side armbar, kinda like this. I still keep forgetting to squeeze my legs together and use my hips more when I armbar, so I landed kinda loose. He was able to stand and stack me, but when he released the pressure, I was able to trip him and finish the armbar. It’s the first time in a real long time that I was able to do an armbar, and even moreso, able to do it when being moved upside down and on my stomach. It wasn’t an easy sub to sink in, so I’m adding this one to my tap counter.

Right after that roll, I felt a sharp but mild pain on my shoulder. I iced it and sat around for some 15-20 minutes then went home. I’ve been icing it since my shower.

The next class I’m scheduled to go for is either two days from now, or on the weekend, 5 days from now. I think I just might pass on them and rest. I can’t risk this shoulder. After a few weeks, I stopped telling everyone I roll with not to pull the arm, since nothing has happened. I will tell every single person I roll with, even if I’ve told them several times before, not to pull on the arm and to avoid doing stuff to my right arm/shoulder, and I will always roll up my sleeve as a constant reminder for them while rolling . Also, before any submission to my right arm/shoulder feels like it is going to be completed, I will tap and yell out. I will not try to escape it, I will tap immediately. I will do this for as long as it takes until the shoulder feels normal again, even it takes all year. And, even if it doesn’t ever return to normal.

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BJJ Class 96 – shoulder pain starting

Posted by forlogos on April 21, 2008

Class 96 was a weekend open-mat session. After stretching and warming up, I started rolling.

I started with V (was this how I named people before or am I just starting this now?), a white belt who I remember from last year. He’s bigger than me and always did the kimura. He didn’t go for the Kimura this time, but we had a good long roll (or it seemed long). I completely gassed. I don’t remember how the roll went exactly, but I think he spent a lot of time trying to pass my guard. At one point he passed, I think he mounted, and I think I reversed. Anyway, I ended up in his guard trying to pass. While trying to break his guard open by pushing down on his hips, he grabbed my right arm and started pulling (armdrag). The pull, plus my pushing down and away on his hips put pressure on my right shoulder (the bad one) and it started to hurt. I think I yelled “stop!!!” or something cause we both stopped what we were doing, then I muttered something about his pulling my arm, me pushing away, and my injury. We rolled a bit more after that, but I got too tired and had to stop.

While resting on the side, I started talking to P. P is a newish white belt (3 months or so) and we started talking about this BJJ seminar he went to. He showed me a few moves that he learned, all of which were pretty cool. One was an open guard sweep that I would like to try out while rolling and hopefully incorporate in my game. I also showed him a bicep squeeze that I learned before, as the initial set-up of the cool sweep starts out kinda alike. We rolled a bit after that and he worked on his side control. I found it kind of funny, cause I think I was able to do most of the submissions we had shown each other. I tried the cool sweep, but it really opened me up for a guard pass, which he did when I tried it. I did several subs (which I’m not adding to my tap counter), but mostly just worked on technique and trying to get the leverage right.

After all that, I did one last roll with S. S is a whitebelt with experience, though I don’t remember how much. Anyway, he really likes the triangle choke. So while trying to pass his guard, I got caught in a triangle. I was trying to escape, escape, escape, but I couldn’t. Just as I was starting to think that I should tap, he pulled out on my right arm, the one caught in the triangle, and quickly triangle-armbarred it. I tapped quickly, but not quick enough as I felt something in my right shoulder. Again.

My shoulder felt ok, but it was time to call it a day. Well, I asked him about some triangle escapes, then I called it a day.

The day after, late in the evening, I found myself in AG’s friend’s couch propped up on my right elbow. I didn’t notice at first, but it got uncomfortable for my shoulder, so I changed position and leaned on my good left shoulder instead. On the way home, I was hugging AG as we were commuting home in the subway standing up. My arms were around her, but the bumpy motion of the train and my arms being around her resulted in my arm being gently tugged every so often. I had to let go of the hug as my shoulder was aching mildy. Not good. I went to bed that night not sure what to think of it…

Posted in BJJ, BJJ Class, Injuries | 2 Comments »