Tag Archives: Submissions

Watching Tape.

Last night for the first time ever, I watched a video of myself rolling. Considering how long I’ve been grappling, that probably seems a little weird. At no point did I have the inclination to review how much of a woefully shite catastrophe I am at all of this. I’ve seen a video of me getting drubbed in a competition, so it’s probably why I’ve never thought to review my actual ‘rolling’ game. The worst critic I’ll ever have is going to be me. Everyone else is either complimentary or nice enough to not tell me I’m shite to my face. I appreciate both.

Morbid curiosity got the better of me though, and I needed to see how I looked/moved. I remembered the class well, and felt that I rolled alright on the night, considering how knackered I was. I’d been there from seven, rolling for an hour before class, so the rolls afterwards probably weren’t necessary but I don’t like passing up the opportunity to spar. Sparring keeps me mentally fresh, smashing away any of the week’s REAL stresses, and keeps me semi-balanced as a person. I can’t tell you how many kittens I’d have to kill otherwise.

The whole Lazy Grappler shtick started off because of how lazy my approach to training was. I’m a hobbyist, so sometimes I was all too happy to just show up once a week, or skip weeks altogether. This was at a point when my understanding of grappling just wasn’t there, and motivating myself to go get my arse kicked was difficult. I’d eat Chinese food, and play Xbox instead.
Now, it’s more of a ‘style’ thing. I’m very relaxed to say the least and this video confirms that. Even in difficult positions, I’m probably a little too relaxed.
I don’t think I even know what my 100% looks like as a result. I imagine it’s an injury riddled mess of flailing screams. So I roll calmly, breathe freely and try to flow.

What I can see when I roll is that I’ll give shit away, in a little submission gift basket. Hey, you guy. Here’s an arm. Why don’t you grab it and try to unhinge it? Thanks dude.
I was tapped three times in the video. Two heel hooks from the instructor Fenrir (this wasn’t because I was too relaxed, he’s just very good), and a kimura from a guy I’m lead to believe is called Dave (I D’arced him in return, even though it was my fault I got subbed). I was pretty comfortable everywhere else, even in big bad Ali’s armbar. It looks far worse than it actually was. I shrugged that shit off, and called him atrocious things that should never be spoken of.

Save for Fen, I was hunting subs even in my relaxed state. I used to be pretty lazy to the point where I’d happily roll without hunting for subs. Grinding on people, or floating on them just to work positions; but my understanding of positioning has improved to the point where I should be looking for subs every roll. I’m currently doing that heel hook hunting stuff from different positions, and I’m also partial to a choke or two. NoGi isn’t my strong suit though, so I’m playing with it.

I messaged Fenrir after seeing this video to thank him for filming it, because it’s a highly beneficial learning tool that I’ve completely neglected. I’ve picked out holes in my game, and I’m going to start filling them one by one until I’m a grappling super-machine. Or at least a less shite version of my current self.

I’d appreciate it if you watched the following video (I’m wearing green shorts), and gave my instructor Fenrir a follow on YouTube. His instructionals are straight fucking fire, as the kids say.

Toodles. x

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The Dark Arts and Other Wares.

Hello again bastards. I’ve been in hiding for a while, toying with writing bits and bobs, but the bug just hasn’t been there. Training has continued as it normally does, but to the point where I’m constantly thinking about training, and the idea of also writing about training makes my heart ache. Plus, writing with mangled BJJ hands just isn’t cricket.
I’ve just finished up my latest stint, and I’ll be taking a much needed break until Saturday, so I figured I’d use this as a prime opportunity to bring you up-to speed since my Birthday.

Since my last post, I’m still training more Gi than I am NoGi. It’s how my work/life balance fits and it’s suited me this way for years. If I could train every single day like a grappling mega-beast (alternating between Gi and NoGi) I would; but I can’t, so there’s no point on dwelling on it. What I need to do is  make what training sessions I do count. All mat time is valuable, and should be treated as such. Sadly this means I act the cunt a lot less on the mats. BOO!

Being aware of the fact that I can’t just be good at one part of this fabled art, I’ve made a considered effort to train NoGi with the right people, so that my game elevates quickly. The results so far have been really positive. Or at least the feedback has been.
I’ve been working with our local NoGi coach/Norse God; Fenrir Thorvaldsen. Getting a gauge on his leg lock system, and working both defenses and attacks from various positions. We’ve crammed detail into these short sessions, and I’ve done my best to ask the right questions to extrapolate as much data from that big juicy head of his as possible.

The results whilst rolling have been tremendous. There are leglockers at my club that have gone from completely dominating me in the leglock game, to having a battle to a submission. I’m a still a realist, I’m not winning these exchanges currently but my understanding of The Dark Arts has come on far enough in a short period of time, that I’m making these exchanges difficult for my opponents. It’s no longer a whitewash, and I’m able to have fun with that aspect of grappling. Before they’d setup the heel-hook, I’d tap. Rinse. Repeat.
I’ve started to understand leg pummeling, auto-pummels, ankle control etc and how they fit into the big bastard leglock jigsaw. With more time on the mats, and a better understanding of tying these movements together I know that I’m going to be leg-locking the fuckers that are trying to leg-lock me. That’s pretty fucking brilliant, and exciting.

In addition to Fenrir’s guidance in the last month, I’ve also attended another Speedy seminar. Learning some ‘flying’ armbar attacks, and re-working some nasty lapel trap chokes. It was great to refine old techniques with new details.
After the seminar, I had two really good rolls with Speedy. One blindfolded, and one with my eyes piercing through his soul. He absolutely obliterated me with gentle ease. When I was blindfolded, it felt like I was rolling with two or three men. It was a truly horrible experience. All gaps were filled, there was little room to breathe, etc.
When I had my eyes open, it allowed me to shift my focus to his feet/legs. Speedy’s a leg-locker by trade, so I knew I wouldn’t really get anywhere with my attacks/attempts but it’s a fun new approach that I’m playing with, so I had to try and get a hold of him in a new way. All it did was open me up to armlocks that I never thought were possible.
After the rolls, he complimented me on how technically I’d rolled, but I didn’t feel like the strongest swimmer that day, because I was clearly drowning.

Last week I taught some classes at our little club in Billy’s absence.
I feel like my coaching has finally come onto where it should be. I’m actually confident in my own abilities, the techniques I’m teaching and leading a class. Normally I’d be a mess without the support of certain peers, but I finally feel comfortable in front of the class, leading them into battle. This has been helped by assisting Grant as he leads the classes at the Hut. Adding details, refining techniques for the class, and just giving him a breather when he’s getting battered from a kid or something.
I’m going to carry this mentality on at the weekend, when we have another bi-annual inter-club. I want to make a considered effort to coach from the sidelines, because I’ve neglected it before, and my training partners deserve better than that. These guys are family, and it’s only fair that I support them as best I can, like I’ve been supported in the past by others.

Before I go, I’d like to celebrate a cracking day off. I trained three times today. My first session was at 10am at Navarro’s Fitness & Fighting Gym with Danny and Grant. We rolled and dicussed/tried techniques.
My second session was acting ute for Danny’s private with Fenrir.
My third session was my regular Wednesday BJJ under the tutelage of Billy at DMMA.
I feel truly fucking knackered right now, but in the best possible way.
It was a great way to spend my day. I enjoyed each individual session for different reasons, and really wish some bastard would just pay me to do this 8 hours a day. I’ll need at least £35,000 a year please. Any takers? No?

Right, fuck off then.

Fenrir.

Fenrir Thorvaldsen
The word Fenrir comes from Norse Mythology, you can look it up if you feel so inclined. I’ll save you the bother though, it basically means Wolfbastard.

That’s exactly what Fenrir Thorvaldsen is. He’s a total fucking Wolfbastard of grappling. I’ve been fortunate enough to know this man for around 7 years now, and for the most part I’ve completely taken that for granted. I’ve dipped in and out of his classes for years, preferring a more Gi-centric approach to my training. Fenrir doesn’t do Gi. He has in the past, but I’ve never seen him wear one in the flesh. His strengths are NoGi, in what can be best described as a hybrid grappling style. He’s been training so long (36 years) that he can easily point out what’s shit and what isn’t. He uses elements of Catch As Catch Can, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Folkstyle wrestling, Sumo (when he was fat) and well you name it he’s probably used it, played with it, added it to his game or disregarded it altogether. The fact is there is no supreme grappling art because it’s all very much attribute based, as most Martial Arts are. X will beat Y if X is a massive monsterous cunt. Y will beat Z if Y has greater technical knowledge, etc.
It’s knowledge vs braun and very much the inbetween bits too, to put it simply.

I think I first met Fenrir back in January 2010. I’d briefly dabbled with training elsewhere at another local club that now specialises in K1/Kickboxing. They did MMA previously, but their strengths have always been kickboxing. From training there for a while, I had this notion that I could grapple. It was the bit of MMA that I wanted to understand, so that I can properly enjoy the sport as a spectator. I had no illusions of ever doing MMA myself, because the idea of getting my head caved in, properly seriously frightens me. I just wanted to get to a point where the boring bit of MMA made sense (the grappling).
So when the long rumoured DMMA opened, I went over with a curious eye, and as I’m sure you can imagine the rest is history. Needless to say, I don’t find grappling boring anymore. It’s my go to therapy.

I remember the first time I met Fenrir distinctly. Billy (one of the other coaches) was taking a packed NoGi class, and Fenrir was just there looking laid back and all dreadlocky. There were plenty of familiar faces, and I felt right at home quickly. That was probably a big part of my immediate downfall.
At the end of the class, the ritualistic rolling started. I’m not sure who asked who, but I ended up getting to roll with Fenrir. The clock started, and he immediately started working an X-Guard. I had no clue what an X-Guard was at this point, so in my usual serpeant laced tongue I may have thrown some shit his way about how it wasn’t doing anything. I think my  words were along the lines of, “Is this meant to be a stretch or something? Because I’ve already done that before class.” His head shifted to look at someone else nearby, they locked eyes in a knowing way. They both knew I’d fucked up, but I didn’t. Fenrir then swept me through the centre of the earth. I could feel the Earth’s core burning my arse hair to a cinder. From there, he moved to side control and swiftly into North/South with such ferocity that my contact lens found its way onto the side of my eyeball (a horrible fucking feeling that I don’t recommend you try). That was the first time I felt the Monson choke. After the roll, I was told by someone else that he’s one of the other coaches there. So he probably thought I was a massive fucking cunt from day one, but hey that’s life – I wonder if I ever apologised to him for being a prick? If I didn’t he’s had plenty of time to learn that it’s just my way. SORRY FEN.
Apology or not, I was hooked. I hadn’t been so quickly dismantled whilst grappling before. It was a fresh feeling. I was still very much a novice, but it wasn’t a pressure I’d ever felt before. I knew that DMMA was going to be my new home away from home.

Fenrir over the years regrettably has had an injury or two (he was basically Mr. Glass from Unbreakable). He still took the NoGi or the affectionately dubbed Submission Wrestling classes as he called them, and showed a ton of techniques but we weren’t really getting to see what he was capable of. The back of your mind knows what he’s capable of, but you quickly forget/neglect those thoughts when you don’t see a coach sparring alongside you.
It’s what happens when your life revolves around grappling, fighting and extreme sports. He’s basically one of those adrenaline wankers that are all over YouTube now.
In the last year though, he completely changed his approach to his own rehabilition and started doing Hot Yoga; with that, he lost quite a bit of weight and has strengthened ligaments, tendons, muscles in areas where he was probably weakest/or most vulnerable. He’s able to roll again.  Being honest, I think I preferred rolling with him when he was 90KG or thereabouts, because I could blame my size and his strength for his absolute domination. Now at 74KG, I know he’s just techniquing the fuck out of me. He’s a complete Wolfbastard to roll with. A relentless, technical, snarling beast of a shit, but they’re definitely the best rolls I’m currently getting. I’m getting pressured in ways I didn’t know were possible, and I’m learning on the fly through threat recognition. My leglock game is basic, but through Fenrir’s insistent attacks, I’m starting to learn how to defend subconsciously. That’s the sort of coach that he is. Complimentary, brilliant and he’ll help you along the way with your roll. Also helping you after the roll, etc. Why have I been taking this man for granted for so long? Injuries aside, I could have been taking a more concerned effort to learn from him over the years, in addition to my focus on the Gi with Billy, Speedy, etc.

My Gi game and my NoGi game are worlds apart as a result. I wouldn’t class myself as a great grappler by any means, but I have a far greater success in the Gi than I do NoGi. Recently, I’ve been trying to balance that out with extra NoGi rolling sessions. That’s where Fenrir’s top students come out to play, and fuck me up with stuff I should know but just don’t. Getting a tap off of one of them feels very much earned. It’s also allowed me to re-focus my training and make sure that Fenrir is very much aware of his part in making me the grappler I am today (he’ll probably want to abandon ship now).

This week I’ve had some time off work to chill. So I wanted to grab a couple of private lessons with Fenrir to make some adjustments in my game. I’ve worked a ton of stuff this week in addition to my usual training regime; and whilst it’s a lot to take in, for some miraculous reason it’s gelling with me. Good coaching I guess. I’m pretty sore as a result though, but it’s been a fucking blast being able to train during the day with a grappler of his calibre. Even the rolls before and after, whilst absolute drubbings are an incredible learning experience in which I’m able to try new shit, old shit and just see what works and what doesn’t with someone of his  grappling acumen. I’ll play my game, whilst he plays away at his own game, colliding somewhere in the middle with a yelp or two along the way. On Monday after working some super top secret stuff, we rolled for about an hour, filmed it and it helped serve as a great stepping stone of things to work today. We’ve already put in place adjustments to strengthen my game where it was weakest, and I’m looking forward to continuing to work those aspects so that the next time we roll, I might be able to give him a little hell back for a change. That’s how this works isn’t it? We learn from the best, so that we can crush the best.

If you’re ever in Dundee, or the surrounding areas (Tayside, Fife etc) and you’re looking for a brilliant grappler with a ton of knowledge, it’s a disservice to yourself if you do not seek this man out. You can find him on Facebook and Youtube.

I’ve rambled enough now. I’ve got another class to go to. Toodles y’all.

Caging an Animal.

We’ve all been in someone’s full guard, unable to pass. It doesn’t matter what belt you are, what belt they are, sometimes you just don’t have the knowledge to get passed their damned dirty legs. It doesn’t really matter if they’re lanky and flexible or have two super strong tree trunks sprouting out of their hips, if your technique is good, you will pass. If it isn’t, you won’t.

Assuming like myself you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll have amassed multiple techniques to pass the guard, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport of waste. You’re constantly searching for the technique that works for you. So you’ll quickly disregard what doesn’t work for you. The problem with disregarding techniques is that just because it didn’t work then, doesn’t mean it won’t work now. As you get further into your understanding of this fabled art, you start to realise that you may have been wasting the wrong techniques. We’re all too quick to ignore something because it doesn’t fit our body. But why doesn’t it fit our body? Is it that we’re too fat? Or are we just lacking the mobility required? Body-type, attributes and understanding of movement are all vital to make a technique work, but you have to re-tread old ground to understand whether you were just being a bit of a spaz before, or whether your body is truly incapable of those particular movements.

Body-type and attributes can be altered by getting fit, but let’s dumb shit down right now and assume you haven’t changed shape at all in the whole time you’ve been doing this Martial Art. You’ve somehow managed to gain no fitness whatsoever, you’re no more explosive than you were when you first started, no faster, no stronger, etc. You’re the same as you were on day one (that’s obviously not the case, even if you don’t look visibly different, you’re an animal now).
So what can change? Even with your suitably inept body, there’s one thing that will have changed that you have no control over in this ridiculous hypothetical world that I’ve created. That’s your understanding of movement. If the diseased carcass that you hoist around the mats isn’t fit for the job, luckily your brain is.
You see, the longer you do BJJ, the better your body becomes at proprioception.
That’s your understanding of how your own body moves in relation to itself. Crack that, and you’re cracking a code that will improve your grappling no end. BJJ is a human game of Twister. Left foot yellow spot, right foot red spot. Etc. Understanding where and how you should be moving is so bloody important, and as you get further down the rabbit hole, you should be revisiting techniques to see if you can now crack them. Let’s jump back into our own dimension! Holy smokes, what’s happened Batman? After years of Jiu-Jitsu, you’re faster, stronger, and fitter?! Then you’ve got no fucking excuse. You should be combining that with your new fangled understanding of movement, and get on the fucking mats.

Tonight, it was bestowed on me to teach some good old fashioned Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I revisited the concept of passing the closed guard. I worked some variations with the class, both knee slice passes (delicious). Both used a similar concept, which was caging the hips (or caging the animal if you will). Your opponent cannot sweep or submit you, if you cage their hips. Or at least, that’s the plan. I wanted to show that you could use either the near side or far side knee for the slice. We then either ended up in side control or scarf hold depending on how you approached the knee slice. To wrap up, from the scarf I showed a few bonus subs, because it’s always beneficial to know that there are finishes off of the techniques you’ve just worked. Kimura, straight armbar and a wrist lock. They’re nasty, but that’s life. That’s what people say.

We only had ten minutes of rolling at the end, which is dreadfully low I know, but I wanted these techniques to sink in. The purpose of both passes was simple, passing the guard (obviously), and understanding how to move. I hope that I got enough of that across tonight, and if I didn’t, shit happens. I’ll just look forward to the next time that I get the opportunity to coach, and do better.

Right, toodles!

Polaris 2.

It’s been a month since I’ve posted anything. I’ll cut the bullshit, I haven’t had anything interesting to say, or at least publish. I’m still training as frequently as possible, and mixing between Gi and NoGi. So that’s good. I’ll likely touch on that another time.

RIGHT. Onto Polaris. After the first Polaris I’d pretty much reserved myself a seat on the sofa ready to watch the next one. I’m fortunate enough to have a pretty sweet setup at home. I have a home theatre PC setup in the living room, connected to a 50″ Sony Bravia. So grappling events get a  pretty great airing when they come around.

The thing that Polaris has going for it, was here again. Passion. The people involved with Polaris, from what I can gather is a collaboration of some of the UK Jiu-Jitsu scene’s greatest minds. The UK scene reached a point with Polaris 1 whereby companies like Tatami and Scramble were in a position to put on this show, that no-one really expected. It was an incredible show, and it seems that the whole scene is behind it. Rightly fucking so.

FloGrappling handled the streaming of the event itself, at a pretty reasonable price. I hope in future though that they up their bandwidth, because I had quite a bit of pixelation throughout, on a 152Mbps connection. That might have been a problem with the location of the event actually. I work in telecommunications, and happen to know that quite a bit of Wales infrastructure is piss poor. The player controls weren’t the best. I couldn’t rewind anything, and the quality control was stuck on Auto. It mostly streamed in 720p by the looks of it, but I’d have preferred to have knocked the quality down if it meant no pixelation. Aside of that, things ran pretty smoothly.

The announcement team were Josh Palmer, John Kavanagh and Nick Osipczak. This is a pretty great team. Josh runs the show with John and Nick adding their opinions where needed. MC Tone again did a great job with the intros.
The venue looked pretty great with the lights dipped, and things ran pretty well throughout. Now let’s talk about the fights.

Luca Anacoretta vs Pedro Bessa.
Gianni Grippo vs Tom Barlow.
Robson Moura vs Baret Yoshida.
Vitor Ribeiro vs Daisuke Nakamura.

Eddie Cummings vs Reilly Bodycomb.
AJ Agazarm vs Dan Strauss.
Michelle Nicolini vs Gezary Matuda.
Gary Tonon vs Maskazu Imanari.

There was not a bad fight, and I really urge every one to give this event a watch. For me, it further cemented my opinion that submission-only are the only truly entertaining grappling events. Points fuck things up. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but I just don’t get the same buzz with the Worlds that I do with either Polaris or EBI.

I’m not going to cover every fight, but simply highlight my three favourites. You should really watch the whole fucking lot though.

Robson Moura vs Baret Yoshida was incredible. Moura is a technician on the mat, approaching 20 years as a black belt. He’s 37 years old. Baret we know is a very tough grappler, that has a very dangerous crucifix game. If this were a points match, the judges would get RSI from turning cards constantly. It was stunning to watching. Moura arguably had the best flourishes of the fight, coming close to finishing Baret a few times in a nasty sequence, but Baret wasn’t without his dominance. Moura is always calm, but he looked as uncomfortable as everyone else in Yoshida’s crucifx. This was an instant classic.

Daniel Strauss vs AJ Agazarm. The social media heat between these two guys was pretty hilarious. Even the handshake at the start showed the tension between them. There was shoving throughout, words exchanged, taunts, and more importantly than anything else, some really fucking high level wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu. The size difference was really noticeable, but AJ seemed unfazed, having fought many big guys before. They had a great back and forth, with Strauss creating far more submission opportunities. This was my fight of the night.

Garry Tonon vs Maskazu Imanari. On paper this seemed like a great idea, but I think a fair few of us knew how much of a mismatch it was likely to be. Tonon is successful at elite BJJ competitions with his attacking style. Imanari on the other hand had great success with his leglock game in MMA, at a time when people didn’t know what the fuck leglocks were. The attacks and knowledge between the two were great, but even with a big weight cut, Tonon looked huge compared to Imanari. This was a smashing fight.

All in, this event was another brilliant success by the people running the show. There were plenty of finishes, some more shocking and devastating than others. And one thing that was prevalent throughout the entire night was the respect and love for grappling.

Get your arse over to http://www.flograppling.com/ and get it watched. It’s only $19.99 for a month of viewing, which I believe will include the Pan Ams, as well as a plethora of other content.

Jiu-Jitsu vs Wrestling.

THE GREAT DEBATE (well not really).

The summer months have been unkind. A lot of the people that train Jiu-Jitsu are either off on holidays with their families, or exploring the world in other ways. The decline in club attendees leaves a limited number of guys to train with. The guys that are left are mostly smelly, disgusting wrestlers.

I say that with a little tongue-in-cheek, because whilst I mostly prattle on about Jiu-Jitsu, I’m firmly in the camp of grappling’s grappling. Whether it’s Sambo, Judo, Freestyle, Greco, Catch, BJJ or Steven Seagaldo; I don’t care. There is no clear path to victory, it’s down to the individual and how they excell at their individual art. If you’re an exceptional wrestler, that doesn’t give you an immediate pass against an exceptional Jiu-Jitsu guy, and vice versa. It’s styles, attributes and most importantly of all, proprioception.

Proprioception if you don’t know, is your understanding of your own capabilities and how the body delivers them. So for instance, if you close your eyes and try to touch your nose, your spacial awareness along with all those sexy little neurons firing off, link up and direct that blind little finger straight to the tip of your nose. Apply that to grander scale, and arm goes here, leg goes here, hips sprawl, etc. That understanding is vital in grappling, and once you’re good at it, it becomes a subconscious effort on your brain’s part. You don’t know you’re doing it.

Anyways! Back to training. I’ve been carrying on with BJJ as I would anyways, but I’ve always been taking in what I like to think of a NoGi grappling clinic. This is straight after my BJJ class on a Wednesday night and is run by one of our wrestling coaches, Paul Hughes. He’s amassed a plethora of techniques over the years, and he uses these little sessions to share his wide berth of knowledge. I feel that I learn something every single week, and it’s expanding my game into areas that I either haven’t explored before, or at least should have. I truly believe it’s doing me the world of good.

Tonight though, I decided to do some ghetto rolling. A small portion of the gym was free, so Ewan, Kenny, Olly & myself decided to roll. The sambo class was on in the cage, and the fitness class was on the mats. We had a little shark tank/two on the mat sorta affair going on. This was a great little session. I got absolutely whooped, as I often do, but it was great to experience completely different styles, and just try and work with that. Some of it was completely fucking baffling, mind.

Ewan is a freestyle wrestler that doesn’t really do subs. So he’s just this horrible, smothering pressure and squeezy bastard. Doing things that I haven’t really encountered before, but that’s good, because with time, I will get used to it.
Kenny is a catch wrestler. He knows how to use his weight well, doesn’t mind being on bottom, because he’ll sweep and drive through you into some nasty slick, sweaty, Jesus blessed bastard hold.
Olly is probably best described as a NoGi wrestler. So his style is very wrestle based, but for submissions. Neither catch nor BJJ, but experienced and difficult to deal with.
I am prodominantly what you’d call a BJJ guy. I flail about, I’m all too comfortable on my back, and it can lead to me getting crushed, tied up like a idiot, etc.

It’s a rare and wonderful thing to have four different styles all having at one another. Sure I got a bit battered, but I’m learning as I go. And with the way I learn, this is all very fucking helpful. I need to fight these cunts to one day better other cunts like them. I think I’ll end there.

Have a good weekend, you motherfuckers. x

Keep it Simple.

Hello again wonderful people.

This week I found myself in the unlikely position of teaching. The club’s head BJJ coach is away on holiday, and I was given the opportunity to take his place. I’ve been training regularly, and it’s pretty much a given that I’ll be at the BJJ classes come rain, sleet or shine. My complete lack of confidence in myself didn’t deter me from teaching, I just charged forward in both classes and made sure the focus was on keeping it simple.

I wanted to keep momentum on what Billy was already covering, whilst maintaining a basic enough approach that everyone could pick it up, and it seemed to go down well.

On Monday night, I covered a mount escape (knee elbow nonsense) that lead into a half guard. Once you’re in half guard, I gave the option of creating space to take the back, or sweeping from deep-half. The deep-half lead a few places too with the assistance of a fellow purple belt by the name of Grant (Donald asked a question that I failed to answer, and luckily Grant knew the answer. I’d forgotten, like a chump).
I then made a simple game out of this. You start in mount, escape to half, use the deep-half sweep then step over into mount. Your opponent now has a turn. Rinse and repeat until the time is up, then swap partners. It was bloody exhausting, on a very hot and humid night, but it went down WELL.

On Wednesday night, I showed off a simple triangle setup that I saw a while back from a visiting black belt by the name of Yannis. I’ve since added my own little tweaks to it, not because it’s better but because it works for me, that way. That’s all Jiu-Jitsu is really, concepts and ideas that you adapt to suit.
From here, Judo Paul was exploring the armbar off of the failed triangle. So we added that in, then later tweaked it further with some grip changes to make it a super-tight armbar.
I then put Paul in a shark tank because he’s training for a fight so fuck him, he needs to work. We then rolled normally for the rest of class. It was good fun, and again I think it was pretty well received. It’s certainly boosted my confidence in the techniques I know, because whilst I still roll like I’m drowning in quick-sand, I do know shit, and I think from time to time you have to show people what you know, just to realise yourself that you actually know it. That sounds a bit stupid, but it makes sense in my ghat damn brain box, yo.

In the spirit of keeping things simple, I finished up Wendesay night by attending Wrasslin’ Paul’s weekly NoGi Question Time. Paul’s a wonderful grappler (and also a different Paul from Judo Paul, who knew?), who has dabbled in many differents arts, but his specialities lie in wrestling and Catch As Catch Can. He’s a very smothering grappler, that will drive you through the floor until you can feel Satan’s pitchfork stabbing at your arse.
He has these little sessions, where you’re given the opportunity to work whatever the fuck you want. So tonight we worked some techniques from turtle, and pressure in side control. It really is question time, you say “Uncle Paul, show me a really fucking tight choke from turtle.” and he will. It’s all basic stuff, but from a very different school of thought, which is vital in this sport, because whether you want to admit it or not, grappling’s grappling.

I’m still on a very enjoyable path at the moment. I’m far less of a cantankerous cunt, because I’m training often, and enjoying each class I attend. In the words of some self-help wanker, it’s never too late to invest in yourself. DO IT. DO IT NOW.

Love and kisses, fuck off. x