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October 2007 Archives

Wednesday October 3, 2007

Throw Like a Man

We did some mitt drills today and I got paired up with a new guy that only shows up occasionally. I've never actually worked with someone who didn't actually punch before, he seemed to be playing patty cake with the mitts. I understand that you should go slow in order to work on technique, but this guy didn't seem to hit at all.

I've noticed that when doing a combo with a hook in it, I tend to not keep my hand up on the side I'm preparing to hook from, telegraphing the strike and leaving myself wide open. I need to focus on resetting my hand before the hit so that I don't get clocked.

After that, both sides put on gloves and we did defensive drills vs jab and cross, consisting of deflecting the incoming punch away in a sort of patting motion. I need a lot of work on this, but my partner seemed afraid to hit me. At one point I stopped, lowered my gloves and asked him repeatedly to hit me in the head, that he wasn't going to hurt me. I tried to go really light with him, but I did end up tagging him once or twice. I hope to work some more on this on Saturday.

Saturday October 6, 2007

Eat a Fist

Worked what we covered on Wednesday some more, with a friend who was a lot more experienced than my previous partner. I did okay with the block, but had some trouble dealing with any counter punches when the tables were turned.

Defensive Jab
* Move in, move out
* Shoulder up to cover jaw

Always Be Closing

Worked on a couple guard sweeps with a buddy, then coach came over and gave us some tips for getting out of the turtle.

Guard Sweep
* Guard has to open for leverage
* Get a overhook on their posted arm to keep them in place
* Have to be posted on hand, not elbow
* POP the hips in order to flip them
- It's like judo, have to unbalance and sweep before they regain posture

Escaping Turtle
* Elbows inside knees
* Head down, hands on lower backside of head
* Active defense, move body in order to block incoming attacks
* Don't be afraid to move hand to other side of head

Coach also mentioned that we shouldn't be afraid of experimenting and getting submitted off it. We're in training and that's part of the learning experience.

Friday October 12, 2007

Hell and Handlebars

A couple buddies invited me to go mountain-biking with them this afternoon. They let me borrow a helmet and bike and we headed up to the State Park to ride a trail or two. Only one small problem with this... I hadn't been on a bicycle in probably 20 years.

Turns out it's true that you never forget how to ride a bicycle. What they don't mention is that it takes a bit of practice to remember how to do things like steer, stop or not fall over.

I bravely hopped on the bike, tooled around the parking lot for about a minute, then we headed out towards a trail. I figured I could learn how shift gears and work pedals with straps on them as I went.

Hit a tree about 30 seconds in, but after that I did okay. I crashed a few more times, but nothing serious and no injuries beyond a few bruises and scratches. I had more trouble just getting moving and trying to keep my feet from getting tangled up in the pedals than anything else.

After riding a trail up and down, one friend went home and the other took me touring around the park on paved and gravel roads so I could get more practice in just riding. All in all I had a really fun time, and I've started looking at prices for a beginner's mountain bike (like I need more hobbies...).

Saturday October 13, 2007

Hook and Crook

Did a light warmup then worked some mitts and defensive drills with a buddy.

Hook Defense
* "Answer the phone"
* Hand goes up to head, behind ear
* Turn slightly to the side
* Catch hook on glove

Basic Rules (to be broken later)
* Always step with your Jab
* Never finish a combo with your Cross
* Circle to the side of your last punch when you finish a combination
* There is no such thing as a rear-sided Hook

Sweep It Up

Drilled a guard sweep with a guy around my size.

Guard Sweep

* If they lean forward or down on me, makes it easier
* If they have a good solid base, it's much harder
* The upa is very important, unbalance and then sweep

Monday October 15, 2007

Back to Basics

Our first basics class that coach set up for those of us who need to brush up on beginner stuff (like me). We started out with an extended stretch and warm-up session. We also focused on some exercises we can do at home, like shrimping, upa, triangle/armbar, and a forward/backward spider rotation.

We then drilled basic escapes from mount and cross body.

Cross Body Escape 1

* Make sure forearms are at throat and waist
* Upa, then turn onto hip and spin into them
* Should end up in a half , or a full if lucky. I'm usually able to reach a full guard because of my hip flexibility

Cross Body Escape 2

* Get an underhook in their armpit
* Bump and shoot out the back
* Keep arm around their waist and take their back
* Hard to prevent once the underhook is in

Mount Escape 1 (sweep)
* The trick is the bump, get them off balance then roll off my shoulder
* If they stuff the sweep, can transition into a guillotine or kimura

Mount Escape 2

* Bump hips, get onto side
* Bottom leg should be straight and flat, top leg up on ball of foot
* Hook their outside leg ankle with foot, bottom elbow should be at their knee to prevent it from moving up
* Use elbow & foot to pull their leg back while slipping my other (flat) leg underneath
* Immediately switch hips to other side and swing back in for half, butterfly or full guard

Mount Tricks

Did a lot of varied and interesting stuff in class, including some head control drills, takedowns, and a couple submissions from mount.

Head Control (receiving)
* If they have a one handed grab on my head
* Grab their wrist with opposite hand
* Rotate into them and raise shoulder while keeping a grip on their wrist
* Hook their upper arm with other arm

Head Control (giving)
* If I have one hand hooked on their head
* Pull down and out towards other arm
* Other arm goes up and around neck for Guillotine

Double Leg Takedown
* Whichever leg is forward, that knee goes to the ground
* Inside arm grabs waist
* Outside arm grabs leg
* Lift, drive and rotate

Armbar from Mount
* When in a high mount
* Cross their arms, whichever is on top is the target
* One foot goes up underneath the shoulder of the non-targeted arm
* Hook top arm with inside arm
* Rotate body and switch hooks to other arm
* Inside hand now goes down and hooks their leg
* Other foot goes over their head, with heel up against their neck/jaw
* Angle provides a better armbar than a directly horizontal one

Triangle from Mount
* Get one arm around their neck and use hand to latch onto their clavicle, armpit area
* Pull up (sorta-crank) on their neck to lift head and get knee under their shoulder
* Control arm on other side with free hand/leg in order to get leg up over arm and behind head
* Other leg now comes out to lock the triangle

Saturday October 20, 2007


Did some mitt work, just moving around with partner throwing up the mitts for a jab cross. Then we worked on defense some more, from jab, cross and jab/cross. I'm getting a little better at slapping away an attack, but when I get crowded with combos I tend to lean back and go straight back, rather than keeping my form and moving out to the side.

Eat Your Wheaties

Grouped up with a couple guys my size and we rotated working on mount escapes/submitting from mount. Having drilled the stuff on Monday, I was having a bit better luck though I still had to struggle sometimes to get out or to lock in the submission. I was really pleased to be able to apply what I had learned, it seemed to really click with me and worked well.

Unfortunately, I'd end up fighting to get out for a minute or two, then fighting to sub for a minute or two, then the other two would be paired up and take about 15 seconds and it'd be my turn again.

After 6 or 7 rounds of this I crashed pretty hard. I had only had a breakfast bar before I hit the gym and had already been working out for an hour and a half. Just ran out of energy, ended up cutting out around 2 to go get some lunch.

Note to self : In the future, eat some breakfast before spending 3 hours at the gym.

Also watched some advanced students drilling while I cooled down. They were going over how to recover when someone pushes your legs down for a pass.

Recovering bottom position from pass
* Don't try to lift legs back up, it's their body weight against your lateral leg strength
* Flip hips (switch to other side)
*Slide back into guard position

Monday October 22, 2007

Passing Ways

This was our second beginner class, and we covered passing the guard in various ways.

Guard Pass Basics
* Have to have your base before doing anything
* Either be up and away from them, or down against their chest, not in the middle

Guard Pass 1 - Single Leg
* Get posture
* Get one knee into their butt
* If necessary, can put one arm back and lever their legs apart
* Put one leg up on shoulder
* Push forward diagonally, using outside arm towards their opposite shoulder
* keep head up!
* Slide to their side into side control

Guard Pass 2 - Double Leg
* like number one, except get both legs on shoulders when you drive foward

Guard Pass 3 - Slide Across
* After guard is broken open get knee up into combat base
* Slide across their leg to outside, then switch hips into side control

Guard Pass 4 - Step Up
* After guard is broken open, use forearm to hold one of their thighs down
* On the same side, stretch leg straight back
* Bring leg back up, on the outside of their leg, up past your arm
* This typically gets you into a half-mount


We did some light rolling, then worked on some side control escapes. I need a lot of work on my escape from side control, I never seem to be able to clear enough room to get out. I think it may be a matter of I'm not shrimping enough.

Wednesday October 24, 2007

Slip and Slide

Had a large class today. I got paired up with a guy my size and coach drilled us on some mitts : he'd call out a number and we'd do that many of a certain punch. Did jab, cross, lead hook, rear hook, lead uppercut and rear uppercut. Then we did the same thing with 2 hit combos, jab/cross, hook/hook and uppercut/uppercut.

After that we both put on gloves and worked defense from jab, cross and jab/cross. Then he had us back up against the wall with our partner throwing at our head to work on deflecting and slipping. Finally, we finished up with some light sparring.

Things to focus on
* Strike off the toe - coach said my feet were too flat when I was doing cross and hooks
* Be careful about slipping a jab towards the side of their cross - you could get it in the face

When we were sparring, I had a definite reach advantage on the guy and I was able to slip one in over his jab at one point, which was cool.

Saturday October 27, 2007


Thought I'd be an overachiever and wrap my hands before going to class. I was able to do both hands the same way, so while I might not have it correct, at least I'm consistent. After finishing that and getting ready, I realized I had nothing to eat, so I had to stop by a bagel shop for breakfast. The girl behind the counter asked me what happened to my hands...

Jumped rope for 10-15 minutes, then did some shadow boxing and then began working the bags. Apparently I was so proud of the fact that I got my hands wrapped that I neglected to bring my gloves, so I had to wear some of the nasty gym gloves.

I worked the slip bag a bit, which I've never done before. The trick is give it a good hit then move out of the way since it's going to come right back at you. I also worked a moving bag, and coach showed me the purpose of it. It's for training footwork, so you back up to get the correct distance if it swings toward you so you don't crowd or you can move in to hit it if it swings away from you.

I also did some kicks and combos on a heavy bag. Coach critiqued my technique a bit, apparently when I get in a hurry it goes to shit. He told me to imagine that there are strings attached from my hands to my hips, so when I jab, my hips should turn that way and the same with the cross. He also cautioned me on turning my elbow out and punching with my arm when I do a cross. It should drive forward from my body, not come out at all.


Drilled the guard passes from Monday and learned learned a couple new sweeps from guard. I then did a "light roll" with another guy my size for 20+ minutes, just moving from position to position, going for a sub then letting it go.

Guard Passes
* Single Leg - keep head up very high to prevent a triangle, push them over as you pass
* Double leg - keep weight forward on them to prevent them from pushing out with their legs
* Combat mount - To get to side control rather than half mount, slide out on inside leg and get both legs outside
* Step over - leg goes out and around their foot, to plant up by their hip - end up in side mount

Guard Sweeps
* Knee Over
- get arm/head control, make space and get knee in between
- pull forward to disrupt balance
- push with outside leg, sweep with inside leg, push with outside arm (on head), pull with inside arm (on arm)
* Hook and Bump
- Isolate arm to side by grabbing wrist
- Other arm overhooks same arm, grabbing wrist if possible
- Bump hips and roll
- If it fails, go for kimura or guillotine
* Half-Butterfly
- Pull weight forward, roll
- Push with inside leg, sweep with bottom leg

Finished class by doing a 20 minute roll with someone around my size. We wouldn't lock in subs, just get it and then allow the other to escape. This allowed us to work our sweeps and escapes for a while.

Monday October 29, 2007

Easier When Drilling

After warming up we worked on guard sweeps. I got to drill with someone around my size but a lot more experienced than me, and I learned by watching him that I've been neglecting the whole sweep part of taking their supporting leg out.

Knee on Waist
* Knee should be along the waist, not higher up on their chest
* Bottom leg should come up high, on top of their knee
* Use bottom leg to sweep as you flip them over

* Their weight has to be high up on you for this to work

Catch the Arm
* Often requires a set up in order to get their arm in position
* Can transition into a kimura or guillotine

Arm Swimming

Did a variety of stuff tonight, starting out with some stand-up grappling, then take downs, and finally some ground techniques and rolling.

* Keep the elbows in and tight against the chest
* Can use an elbow to block their arm as you're working one in

Body Lock
* Get both arms around them
* Lock hands behind back
* Get hips low up against them and lift

Stand-up Arm Control

* When they have one hand on the back of your head
* Grab their wrist with opposite arm
* Lift shoulder and pull their arm inward
* Rotate body out and pull them off balance

Head Grab to Guillotine
* Keep elbow centered on their chest
* Pull their head down and to the side
* Other arm goes up and over head

Double Leg
* change level - keep good posture, but go low
* shoot - knee that is in front goes to the ground between their legs, head goes to the outside pressed up against their body
* lift - grab waist and lift, keep that head tight up against them to prevent a guillotine
* rotate - rotate their body to throw them off balance and take them down

Reverse North-South Escape
* Knee up
* Head out on same side
* Elbow goes back and sit out
* Reverse hips and take back

Locking down a Kimura
* Open your damn guard!!

Wednesday October 31, 2007


Just had an open gym because it was Halloween, so I skipped rope for 10 minutes, did some shadow boxing and then started working bags. I bounced around between a thai bag, working my jab, cross, hook and various kicks, and a distance bag. Coach came over and watched me a bit to give me tips on my distance. Apparently I'm still crowding too much. He suggested I come in and work a stationary bag some more in order to improve, and to draw a mental line on the floor that's at the correct range and to not cross that line.

The weird thing is that I tend to crowd when working a bag or mits, but I'm too far away when actually sparring.

About halfway through class a friend showed up, so we both put on gloves and worked on our jab/cross defense for a while.


We were going to drill submissions, but coach came by to give some pointers and it evolved into working more on holding guard and guard passing. He showed us how you can find triangles in a lot of the correct positions, like your legs when you've got a good base, or your arms when you're down and mounted on someone.

He reiterated the importance of arm and head control, so that if you lose one you still have something and can use it to re-establish control. We then drilled at 80+% with one person trying to escape out of guard while the other tried to control them. I was the one trying to hold guard most of the time, and I think I did okay.

A few things I learned :
* If they get both arms wedged in and are about to break my guard, use both arms to pull an arm loose and get control of it, then work for head control by pulling legs forward
* When I'm going to be passed into side control, don't hold on to the head - I'm just helping them along

About October 2007

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

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