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August 2007 Archives

Wednesday August 1, 2007

Bing Bing Bang

Today we worked some combos, then threw knees into the mix.

Some Notes
* I need to hold a wider stance, and need to move my feet
* For some reason I kept getting too close to what I'm hitting. If I'm working off the line, I need to step out rather than in towards them.
* Take the time to do each hit correctly, I rush through stuff and my form get's screwed
- Coach said each shot should be worth something, if you miss on the first, the second could connect, if the second gets blocked the third could get through, etc
* When kneeing, lean back and put some power into it
* Keep hands up

We also did a bit of clinch work at the end, which I've never done before... and boy do I suck

The Clinch
* Relax, stay loose
* Control their head
- Try to keep hands on the crown of their head
* Use weight to pull on them, not tense arm strength

Whackey Smacks

Was just 3 of us tonight so we worked on tachiuchi, which we haven't done in a long time. Went over some of the old Shinkendo stuff like uichi-komi, tsuki-komi, uichi-tsuki and juppon. Took a minute or two to remember them but my muscle memory is better than that of my mind apparently, because once we started going I had most of the motions down already.

My sensei is going to have a smelting this weekend, so I'm going to spend a few hours helping him make some more steel before heading to the gym. It should be educational.

Friday August 3, 2007

Bikes and Benches

Hit up the gym tonight and did 20-25 minutes on the bike at a heartrate of around 140. I think I need to push it up to 150 or so to really get a good workout, it didn't seem very hard at all once I figured out how to work the stupid machine.

I also did forward press, lat pulls, rows, crunchs, dumbell rows, shrugs, and some ball pushups.

Saturday August 4, 2007

Slide & Clinch

Jumped rope for 15 minutes then did some shadowboxing for a while. Coach critiqued me and gave me some tips on uppercut.

* Whole body goes down with fist so that head stays covered
* Power from leg to throw the uppercut

I rotated out padwork with a couple folks and worked really hard on my footwork. I continue to get too close, so I tried focusing on keeping a good distance then moving in doing a combo and moving out. For a moment I think I had the back foot slide happening correctly; hopefully with practice it will become more natural.

At the end of class I asked someone to work clinch with me some more and we spent a few minutes just trying to control each other's heads. It seemed to make more sense than on Wednesday.

The Clinch
* Hands go on the crown of their head, not their neck
* The goal is to have both hands on the inside
* Once both hands are in, it's easy to toss them around by the head

Triangle Madness

Rolled a few times today, first with one of the newer guys and then with the buddy that got me doing BJJ in the first place.

I got to use the clinch work I had just been working on for standup, using it to take the new guy into mount right off the bat. So far I'm still able to stay ahead of the him, got a guillotine and shot a triangle out of nowhere. I think it surprised me more than it did him, my legs just ended up in the right spot somehow and I locked it down before I even realized I had it.

I'm still able to get mount pretty easily on him so I was trying to help him with the couple mount escapes that I know, he just needs to slow down and stop trying to muscle through things.

With my buddy we went kind of light (since he outweighs me by 50lbs) but I did try for another triangle. I wasn't able to get it, but I switched to an armbar and got him to tap for the first time.

He gave me a few tips as well for areas I've been having trouble with.

Taking the back from halfguard
* The trick is to get a hook on their far arm, which if they're good it could be hard to do

Sweeps from guard
* Try rocking other direction first in order to get some pushback, then reverse direction for sweep
* If I can't get the sweep, drop back down into kimura

Making Steel

Helped my sensei make some steel today. This was his first time with a new smelter so he wasn't sure how well it would turn out. He started at 7AM and went till about 3PM, loading in charcoal and iron oxide every 10 minutes. To get the steel out we had to disassemble the smelter, brick by brick. By the end he was exhausted and I took over and tore the thing apart. 100 degree weather, boots, pants, long sleeves, gloves, hat, pulling molten steel out of a 2000 degree charcoal pit. It was a bit warm.

About 6 lbs. of steel out of 30 lbs. of iron ore and 110 lbs. of charcoal. Not quite as much as he was hoping for, but enough for a sword. Hopefully he'll have pictures and video we took of the whole process up on his website soon.

Sunday August 5, 2007

Lunge For Victory

Hit the gym today for an hour and a half. Did 30 minutes on the bike and kept a heart-rate of 151, didn't seem too difficult once I got going. Went ahead and knocked out most of the other stuff that was on my list that I didn't get on Friday. Mostly legs and abs. Did 90lbs on lunges, but I think I should be able to up that a bit soon.

Monday August 6, 2007


We worked some escapes tonight, from cross body and from mount. I knew I was in for trouble when I realized that everyone there was not only more experienced than me, but most were significantly heavier, the closest being probably +30lbs. Towards the end of class I ended up rolling with someone who's 195 and strong as a damn bull, and at the very end he passed my guard, got into side control and popped my damn rib again. It hurts to breath, luckily I still have a little bit of medication left.

Cross Body Escape
* Get forearm under their throat
* Get other forearm under their hip (not chest)
* Shrimp out
- Use arms to hold the space, don't have to muscle
* Recompose guard

Mount Escape 1 (Upa)
* Overhook arm on one side
- If they're holding tight, stretch up to get arm clear, then hook
* Hook their leg on same side with foot
* Bump and roll them off shoulder
- Power comes from hips, and it's rolling them at 45 degrees off the shoulder, not sideways

Mount Escape 2
* Get up on on hip
- Flatten bottom leg out
* Hook their outside foot with other leg and pull it back past the flat leg
* Use hand/elbow to hold their knee in place so they can't pull leg out
* Roll over to other hip and shrimp
* Recompose a half guard, butterfly guard, or full guard if lucky

Friday August 10, 2007

Grip Update

Did 30 min on the bike today, averaging around 22mph and a 151 heart rate. I think I'm going to start doing some treadmill, slow at first, but working my way up to some intervals.

Making a little progress on my grip training. It's definitely time to move up to the next level of gripper, though I'll still be using the first one for warmup.

Monday August 13, 2007

Tighten My Game

Drilled the same stuff we did last week, which gave me a chance to tighten up my technique with someone my own size. While light rolling for warm-up I got to try out a half-guard technique I've been wanting to use and it worked surprisingly well (Thank you Eddie Bravo).

The Whip Up
* If I've got them in half guard and I have underhooks in
* Use the Lockdown to break their posture
* Put hands on their sides near armpits
* Push legs up in air while pushing them up with my arms
- This should pitch them forward and they'll try to come back
* Shrimp out to the side

I want to get some more work on this, then the next step will be to follow it up with some sweeps.

Cross Body Escape
* I'm trying to muscle too much
* Make space with the Upa, turn hips completely on side
* This should leave me plenty of space

Mount Escape 1 (Upa)
* I can also use my arm to keep space open on their other leg as I'm coming back in to get the half butterfly or full guard
* I've only really worked the left side, I need to drill the right side a lot because I start getting my feet confused

Mount Escape 2
* Can also work by holding down the outside arm and getting a gable grip on their back

After drilling everything multiple times, we did some open rolling. Had a triangle on someone, locked in tight with my hand on his head, but he was able to get out by getting his feet around my head and ended up doing some crazy ass head crank with his calves because I wouldn't let the triangle go. I asked him what I did wrong on the triangle and he gave me a few tips.

* My hips were square, I need to have them at an angle
* I had his arm coming straight out, if it's crossed to my opposite hip the triangle gets a much better angle
* I realized afterwards I wasn't tightening my thighs like I should have

Coach mentioned he's going to be starting a new beginners class an hour before the regular Monday class in order to drill basic techniques. I'm not sure which one he's planning on putting me in, but I'm hoping I can do both. I definitely need work on my sweeps and passing the guard.

Wednesday August 15, 2007

Hands Up

Had an open gym today, so I did 10 minutes of jump rope and then did some pad drills with another guy around my size. Coach had suggested we work together because we're both having problems in the same area, particularly distance, footwork and keeping our hands up.

* Keep hands up at temple level
- This way, as you get tired and your hands drop they'll still cover your face
* Step in for jab, step out for cross
* Uppercut should use power from legs, DRIVE up
* If opponent is taller or shorter, don't move body upwards or downwards to hit them, adjust the angle of the arms

Since I worked arms yesterday at the gym, my shoulders almost gave out on me while holding the mits. Coach gave me some new wraps and instructed me on how to wrap. It'll probably take me a few tries to get it right.

* Knuckles most important
* Thumb second
* Wrist third

Start over thumb, around wrist and wrap knuckles, back to thumb, then knuckles again (3 times), then pinky, knuckles, ring finger, knuckles, middle finger, knuckles, index, knuckles, do X pattern twice, then go to wrist.

Saturday August 18, 2007

Take Your Time

Did 10-15 minutes of Jumprope, some shadowboxing, a bit of bag work and then paired off with a guy around my size to do some mitt work. We did some pretty complex combos compared to what I normally do..

* Go slow at first in order to get the form down
* Keep hands up
* Don't let the cross get sloppy the second or third time

2-3, 2-3-2, 1-2-3-2
* Use the rotation of the cross in order to power the hook

1-9, 1-9-2, 2-9-2, 1-9, 2-9-2
* Drive up with the uppercut
* Keep head covered

Triangle Magic

Had a bit of an epiphany today while rolling today. I've been sneaking in a triangle on a lot of folks recently but didn't realize how I was doing it. I finally realized that I had put together something on my own that set it up for me and stopped them from blocking it. I realize this is probably common knowledge to a lot of people, but it was the first time I've put together something like this on my own so I'm very pleased.

Triangle Setup
* When in guard, fight for an overhook
* Use the overhook to keep their posture broken down
* Keep that arm tight against my body, pinning hand with my side
* Use the space to push my leg up through and around their head
- With that arm locked up they have trouble blocking it

I paired up with a guy my size and did a couple long bouts with him. He's a lot more experienced than me so he gave me some tips on tightening up my triangle and a guard sweep I've been having trouble with. I also used the whip up and transitioned it into a sweep for the first time, was pretty sweet even though I ended up in his guard.

Finishing the Triangle
* Make sure their arm is crossed over their body
- this gets their shoulder up against their neck for one side of the choke
* Get a underhook on their knee and use it to get the correct angle

Sweep from Guard
* It's a surprise move, have to be fast so they can't block it
* If they stop the sweep, try for a guillotine
* If they stop a guillotine, go for the kimura

He was wearing a NAGA t-shirt from when he competed a year ago, I need to pick his brain about it some more since I'm wanting to hit the one in ATL next year.

Monday August 20, 2007

Mount Up

Did a warm up tonight and then coach just told us to pair up and roll. I've decided to stay in my weight class for a few weeks in order to let my rib fully recover, so the skill level I had available was pretty high. I ended up rolling 5-6 times, all with folks a lot better than me so I was tiring out a lot. When I get in positions that I don't know what to do I tend to get lost and spaz out, so it's something I'm trying to correct. As the night wore on I got a better handle on it, so when I ended up in a bad spot and didn't know what to do I'd turtle up and try to slowly work my way out rather than hold on, muscle everything and gas.

I had trouble making triangle attempts because most everyone I rolled with never gave me the opportunity to get overhooks on them. As soon as I got them in guard they had their arms locked in and were already breaking it open.

Got a few tips while rolling

Holding the Mount
* Have to keep arms free so I can post either way in case they try and sweep
* Suggested when I get on top just try to surf and see how long I can hold it, don't worry about submissions right now

Coach mentioned that we may be participating in a grappling tournament in Birmingham sometime in October. I asked him if he thought I would be ready for something like that and he seemed to think I'd do well in the 1yr & under division, assuming they have one. He also said he wants me in the beginner class once it starts, so that I have more opportunity to work my game rather than playing defensive and trying to avoid being submitted like I have to do with a lot of the more experienced folks.

Wednesday August 22, 2007

Leg Kicks Hurt

Finally got some gloves on my own and got busy breaking them in. I've been holding off on using my new wraps till I got them, now I need some practice actually wrapping so that I can get them on in a reasonable amount of time.

We drilled kicks, single punches, 2 punch drills and some punch/kick drills. I found it was easier to isolate and work on my technique when I was repeatedly just using 1 or 2 strikes and then resetting.

At the end of class we worked on accuracy a bit and alternated some light leg kicks on our partner. Even with little force, that shit hurts when you're as skinny as I am. I learned to turn and take it on the back of the thigh pretty quickly.

Breaking in new gloves, leg kicks fucking hurt

* Leg comes up
* Once leg is up, then turn and use hip for power
* Doesn't come from far away


Spent the first half of class watching a video of some Nakamura exponents doing Toyama-Ryu kata, then the second half of class doing the kata.

1 - Enemy to the front
2 - Enemy to right side
3 - Enemy to left side
4 - Enemy behind

I need to get some practice in outside of class, since I haven't been making it in enough to stay in good condition or keep my form. I've asked my sensei for a copy of the dvd we watched so that I can get them down before we move back to Kendo.

Saturday August 25, 2007

Hot Potato

Was hung over so I got to class about 30 minutes late. Skipped the jumprope and just stretched, hopped around and some shadowboxing to warm up.

I then paired up with a classmate around my size and we worked on single and double mitt work we had worked on Wednesday. Got several pointers from coach and senior classmates.

Boxing Notes
* Hot Potato - bring hands back as fast as they go out
* Ice Skating - slide feet rather than taking steps
* Jab - don't turn all the way sideways, shoulders should still be facing opponent

I haven't sparred in a while, if we don't in the next Wednesday class I'm going to try and grab someone to get a few minutes in on a Saturday to gauge my improvement.

Drill Bits

Coach told us he didn't want us just rolling today, but to rather pick something and drill it. I was planning on working some sweeps but he said I needed to work on my submissions instead, so I paired up and did some subs from guard.

Triangle from Guard
* If one of their arms are inside
* Get foot on hip on the side of their inside arm
* Push with foot to rotate body and get other leg over their neck
* Once top leg is in place, lock it underneath knee of other leg
* If I'm in the proper position, I should be looking at their ear
* Squeeze thighs
* Lift hips/arch back
* Pull on head

I noticed the whole 'overhook the arm' setup that I've been using has a significant drawback in that it traps their arm on the wrong side, which means I've got to move it after getting my legs in place. I'll have to play with it some more in order to work that out.

Armbar from Guard
* If both their arms are inside
* Get a foot on their hip
* Push off on hip in order to rotate body
* Put other leg on their back to hold them down
* Bring pushing leg up on their head
* Should be on the back of their head, but far enough in so that it doesn't slip off
* Secure their arm
* Lift hips/arch back

Monday August 27, 2007

Down and Out

Had a pretty intense warmup today, going from our regular running (forwards, backwards, sideways, etc) to crab walk up and and down, shrimps, backward rolls then stationary conditioning like hindu-pushups, neck, triangle lifts, situps, upas and finishing up with about 10 rounds of sprints back and forth across the gym. From there we paired up and worked on mount escapes and transitioning from there into a guard pass.

Mount Escape
* When overhooking their arm, bring arm back up towards my neck for a tighter grip (not across the chest)
* Upa should be strong and up on a shoulder, pushing them diagonally off me, not sideways
* Make sure non-trapping foot stays inside so that they can't use it to keep me down
* Once flipped move immediately into a pass

Mount escape alternate (to half guard) (I still need work on this one)
* If they post when you upa, preventing you from rolling them
* Bring hook arm back in and place both hands on their hip to create space
* Turn to outside, flattening out the bottom leg
* Bring that leg through the space under their posted leg
* Turn back inside to the half guard

After drilling a while, coach had us start rolling at 65% from inside someone's guard. I had a pretty good roll with my partner, keeping her defending from inside my guard a lot, staying out of her submissions and even getting her back at one point. I'm still having trouble when I get flattened out in cross body so she showed me an escape she likes to use that doesn't require as much strength.

Escape from Cross Body
* Get underhook on outside
* Pull with legs and push with underhook to slip out
* Take the back!

Thursday August 30, 2007

Boxing Hands

Gym's going to be closed for a few days due to the upcoming holiday, so I did the full 3 classes.

Started out drilling single hits, then moved into combos. I've noticed it helps a lot for me to work simple stuff like this since I seem to get really sloppy when I try to put a long combo together. After that we drilled a new defense, using a slightly different hand position than I've been doing so far.

Boxing Hands

* Rear hand on temple
* Lead hand at temple level, but out in front of face

* Slap away incoming punch
* Should be palm out
* Motion should be small
* Don't push it away, just deflect

Falling Down

Finally got a chance to try Judo. The sensei took me aside and had me do breakfalls so that I could be thrown without being hurt. He had recently had back surgery and was sporting a fetching corset, so he wasn't able to show me, but he did a good job of explaining what I needed to do. I took 3 months of Shin Nagare Karate last year and I had learned some falls and rolls, so I wasn't completely lost.

I still sucked pretty badly though, my legs always end up reversed of what they need to be. I ended up practicing forward, backward & side falls as well as a rolling forward breakfall. He then had a classmate throw me onto a cushiony mat about 50 times, which was fun.

He explained to me the three important concepts of any judo throw - off balance, entry and execution - and told me about the importance of rotation to get someone off balance.

* Chin to chest
* Hand(s) slap at a 45 degree angle to legs
* Relaxed
* Exhale on landing
* Side Fall
- Bottom leg should be straight
- Top leg should be bent at knee, resting on ball of foot

Generating Power
* A powerlifter stance in order to generate the most power
* Feet shoulder width apart
* Slightly crouched
* Back Straight

Slap Hands

We did some more boxing, refining what we had done earlier and bringing the intensity up a bit. Coach told us to not lose technique when drilling, slow and right is better than fast and wrong. A few notes :

Boxing Stance
* Lead hand is slightly in front of face rather than against head on temple.
* This allows for quicker jab and a quicker defense

Jab/Rear kick combo
* I can do this one pretty quickly, after the jab the natural rotation of the body swings the kick right into them

Cross/Lead kick
* This one is a bit tougher, due to the footwork required for both the cross and the lead kick
* Should step out for the cross
* Feet should do a shuffle-step in order to create the correct space for the kick.
- Lead leg goes back while the rear leg goes forward.
- Shouldn't have a bounce, head should stay level.

* We worked a trapping drill with a partner.
* Coach emphasized that it was designed to help us increase our hand speed.
* It is not something we'd use in a real fight.

About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Larptastic in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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