Friday, December 28, 2007

A Work In Progress....

Rolled at Chadstone today and picked up a few things that I'll incorporate into my game. At the moment and for a while now, I've been to flat on my back!!! When my guard is passed I'm ending up either turning the wrong way or staying on my back and getting squashed. I had a good roll with Richard and saw that he anticipates which side I'm looking at passing on and turns in to that side before I move. I rolled into turtle a couple of times, as Jeroen suggested, when I knew they were passing and this worked well for me. Also dropping the bottom hand down to block them turning in when I managed to pass also made it much easier to get around. Getting into half guard I'm finding myself facing the wrong way. I try to turn back in and either lose the leg in my half guard or end up flat on my back. Big Steve pointed out that I need to hip out more and I realised that I wasn't sticking my arse out at the same time.... All in all a great session and really good to see Big Tom back on the mat!!!!

Demian Maia Science Of Jiu-Jitsu Defending The Guard Pass

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Options....

I was having a discussion the other day with Jeroen about my lack of finishing options from mount, side control, etc since we switched over to no gi. That feeling of getting there and then thinking, bugger what now, while trying to hold the position and not get swept! Anyway Jeroen gave me some sound advice which I'll follow through on. I found some nice finishes from half guard on grapplearts.com (follow the link) some of which we've done from Marcio Feitosa the head instructor of Gracie Barra in Brazil.

+

A Roadmap for the Rear Naked Choke


Merry Christmas and a safe and injury free New Year!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Dave BERRY - 3rd Button Down!!!!




Last Saturday's training was fantastic. Jeroen taught us three escapes from armbar and Dave organised for Dave BERRY to come down and put us through our paces for the second hour or so. The armbar escapes were straight forward and made a lot of sense to me. I particularly liked the 3rd one where you grab your own bicep then catch the leg as it's coming over your head and stack.

Dave BERRY certainly lived up to the odd comment that Dave or Jeroen have made over my time at Extreme about him. What a great guy... Exremely down to earth and one of the few people that I have met who have a particular aura about them that says, "don't f*%#k with my shit!!!" but in a nice way....

Got this snippet from the Zen Do Kai web site.

"Well we tried just about everything to develop realism with this newly added dimension of safety, at one point we all wore 'Kendo Gu' (i.e. head and body armour) but Dave Berry used to cheat in the clinches and spin his opponents 'men' (i.e. head gear) around sideways they couldn't see, thus more broken body parts."



What I learnt from the session with him was:

1. The fundamentals of a good stance and his circle concept of balance.
2. You don't have to load up every punch.
3. Punch straight to the head and not to the side when drilling so that you get used to catching a punch and in turn get used to actually getting hit (minimises the head lift and flinch reaction)
4. Look at the chest rather than the face.
5. The punch you don't see is the one that knocks you out.
6. Left hook. Don't bend my arm in and fist leads shoulder.
7. Speed and technique = power

Thanks Dave for organising for Dave to come down and hopefully he'll come down more and impart more of his knock about common sense knowledge on us!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Welcome Back!!!!




Thats welcome back for me I mean... Having trained lightly through my dodgy knees and rib for the last month or so, they have come good and I'm able to train/roll pretty much at an injury free pace and BOY do I notice the difference!!! After training last Friday and Saturday, I pulled up like an old man on the Sunday. Getting back into the full intensity of drilling and rolling reminded my body just how physically demanding BJJ is. I was lucky that I was able to train around the injuries and a big thankyou to everyone who sincerely took it easy on me during this time. I knew I was back to normal last night when Jason was going for the Guiness World Record for most submissions in 60 seconds on me!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

2007 Pan Pacs



Where do I start? It was a long day but a good day.... Headed up with Big Rick (aka The Champ) and my eldest boy Grant looking forward to a great day. Checked out the draw and found out there was only me and another bloke in my division. White Belt Senior 2, over 79kg. 5 blokes in Ricks division White Belt Senior 2 Fat F#@%ks!

Met up with Jeroen, Jason, Dave, Tony, Niles, Klaus, Chris and Big Tom and got settled. Niles was first up winning by submission with a very nice Ezekial choke from mount. Jason was up next in no gi and got stalled out to lose on points. Rick, Tom and Chris followed with Rick and Chris both winning their divisions and Tom not having his best day... You looked flat buddy!!! Klaus lost his roll by a single sweep (10 lessons my arse!!!) and I finally got to roll and ended up sweeping and mounting from guard to win on points. I could here Jeroen coaching from the side and it helped me to settle and consolidate my position once I pulled guard. The Chadstone boys did well and I managed to capture quite a few rolls on video.

Looking forward to No Gi training now and staying injury free for at least the next week or so!!! See you on the mat!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

No Gi Grappling




Funny Captions Please.......



Things like:

ICE THE PYTHON ICE THE PYTHON.....

OOOOOOYYEEAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! OOOOOOOYYYEEAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

F#@.*K THAT STINKS

Friday, November 2, 2007

Just sand.....



When new students arrive at a dojo it is customary for the Instructor to give them one of his pep talks on the meaning of life in general. One of these talks went as follows:

The new students sat on the mat eagerly awaiting the arrival of their Instructor. The Instructor walked in and wordlessly picked up a large empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks about 2 inches in diameter. He then asked the new students if the jar was full?

They agreed that it was.

The Instructor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. He then asked the new students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The new students laughed. The Instructor picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. “Now” said the Instructor, “I want you to recognise that this is your life. The rocks are the important things – your family, your partner, your health, your children – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, your car. The sand is everything else. The small stuff.”

“If you put the sand in the jar first, there is no room for the pebbles or the rocks. The same goes for your life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. There will always be time to go to work, clean the house, give a dinner party and fix the leaking taps. Take care of the rocks first – the things that really matter. Set your priorities."

"The rest is just sand.”

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Making the best of a bad situation!

Had to miss the last 2 training sessions now because of my dodgy knees!!! Not happy Jan! Still rather than wallow in self pity and beat myself up over it, I went and filmed the boys training on Tuesday night. Not only did I get support from you all it was really good actually watching what Jeroen was teaching from a different perspective, ie the sidelines. The added bonus of recording it was that I can watch it again and again and hopefully reinforce the techniques in my mind. This way when I get back on the mat I won't be to far behind the 8 ball. Not surprisingly the blokes who have been at it longer looked really polished and by watching everyone, I got a much better appreciation of the subtleties involved in the basic moves. Dave as an example did a really nice simple sweep on Klaus from his guard with great knee position and Chris passes Andrew's guard keeping his weight on him throughout. Andrew's sound effect towards the end really shows what the right amount of weight applied can do...... See you on the mat!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

6 Weeks.....

Went to a physio today in the city. It seems I've done the medial collateral ligament (MCL) on the inner side of each knee as well as bruised (at this stage) the cartilage in my right knee. 3 - 6 weeks to get better!!! Bugger

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Future Champions

I took my eldest son Grant to Judo training last night with Dave and his kids Harry and Charlee who both train as well. They train with the Mormington Judo Club in Vale Street, Mornington and Grant has been training for a month or so now. The coach there is Michael Picken - 5th Dan black belt who has a fantastic ability to teach his young students. Both Grant and Harry were graded last night to yellow belt. Harry being older and training longer then Grant, went back to white belt (he had a birthday) then got graded to an older yellow belt if that makes sense. Both did very well and it was fun to watch them both rolling with each other, Harry getting Grant in his guard and trying to sweep him while Grant was trying to posture up... Now where did they learn these skills??? Give these kids another 5 years and they'll be twisting and cranking and throwing us around I'm sure!!!! I look forward to Wednesday nights to see my boy training and to discuss Tuesday nights training with Dave. I'm sure some of the other parents stare in wonder at these two Dad's rolling around on the stage.....

Grant showing some nice form

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Competition Debrief

Had a great training session last night. Reviewed what was required for the gradings next week and then rolled for about half an hour. Jeroen then gave Nyal and myself a debrief from our comp. He talked about our posture and what was wrong with it and why it was so difficult for us to guard pass. Again it's the little mechanics of the body that make all the difference. Silverback not Grannyback!!!!

Here's Nyal's second roll and victory....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How to get Guillotined in 40 seconds!!!

Live and learn... And to think, Jeroen put a fantastic defence to guillotine choke on his blog that I did watch, but should of reviewed Friday night!!!

THE NYALINATOR !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Nyals won his first ever competition roll last Saturday at the Dominance MG Spring Tornament in Richmond. Well done mate. Do you want me to put the one on where you beat the girl as well????

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First Victory.....

Finally got it to work.... Thanks Steve I'll upload Nile's fights tonight and one of the purple belt fights that I filmed as well. It's a newly promoted female purple belt, Maryanne (I dont know her last name sorry) who won the blue belt Mundials this year, against one of the male purple belts. Her work rate, strength and jiu jitsu skills were evident and very impressive.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Popped Our Cherries!!!!!!!!


We came, we competed, we survived!! Not to mention learning heaps and enjoying the day with like minded competitors. Niles picked me and my oldest boy, Grant, up in the morning and off we headed to Richmond for the 2007 Dominance MG Spring Tournament. There were about 40 people competing including two girls. The divisions were broken up into lightest to heaviest in groups of 5 starting at the lightest and going up. Niles was in the 67 - 72kg division and apart from the girl in this division he was the lightest. I lucked out in the 77 - 88 kg division weighing in (fully clothed) at 87.5 kg. Niles was up first and won his first ever competition roll. Well done mate. He went on to lose, win and then lose for a very good first time out. I videoed all of his fights and like mine, we will be looking forward to a debrief from Jeroen.

I on the other hand lasted about 40 seconds in my first comp roll when I got caught in a very nice guillotine and had no choice but to tap out. I went on to win the next two, with my third match going into overtime. I managed to sweep and guard pass and ended up the winner. Video to follow.....

Friday, October 19, 2007

The best laid plans........

Not a pretty sight I know and quite painful to boot!!! This was yesterday at it's worse and thanks to Jeroen's magic ARNICA cream, ice and a couple of Neurophen, today it is almost pain free, and less swolen. As you can my wedding ring is restricting the swelling making the healing process that much harder. I'll be right tomorrow though, I'll tape it to the next finger and be as mindful of it as I can when competing! Jeroen tells me Bernie Jenkins from Ringwood Extreme will be there with one of his students so I'll introduce myself and do my best to represent our club well.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

1ST COMP COMING UP.....

This Saturday 20/10/07 at the Dominance MMA club in Richmond is the Dominance MG (Mixed Grappling) Spring Tournament. Divisions are decided by experience and weight
in a round robin style of competition. it will be a good ice breaker for the lead up to the Pan Pacs for an idea of competition rolling, etc. The Nileinator and I will be flying the flag for Mornington Extreme and I'm really looking forward to it. Had a roll with Jeroen and Jason yesterday and understandably it was like Bruce Lee playing with Chuck Norris, however, I always learn something and did so on this occasion. The lesson I learnt was don't try and pass Jason's guard (or anyone's for that matter) by holding onto his gi pants UNLESS you have an extremely good grip on said gi pants. Apart from the obvious reasons for having a good grip, when he kicked his leg to release the grip, my fingers got wrenched apart and (just like my toe) my ring finger is now the size of a small watermelon!!!! Live and learn.... So lots of ice, drugs and tape between now and Saturday and I'll be right! Photos to follow.... See you on the mat!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Brother IZ

Life is full of surprises isn't it? Most surprises come early when you're young and growing up and I suppose everything is a surprise then. My kids are constantly surprised with the basic things we as adults don't think twice about. But the joy you get in the amazement your kids exude is a surprise and a pleasure combined! As we grow up and learn to accept and embrace our emotions (stay with me here) and loosen the chains of embarrassment, we open ourselves up to surprises that we may have otherwise turned our back on. Now without wanting to sound like a complete poofter here, the surprises I love the most are the ones that move me emotionally. To me they are the best because you can't fake an emotion to please yourself only others. For example the birth of my first child had me crying with joy and worry at the same time. Joy when I heard his first cry and worry for my wife who did it pretty tough. The sudden and unexpected death of my father that still makes me cry now when I think of him.... So true surprises the older you get are few and far between. Brother IZ is a true surprise!!! The following clip is a tribute to this 38 year old Hawaiian singer who died in 1997. I first heard of him a couple of years ago and was honestly truly surprised by the emotion he brings out in you when he sings... To look at this huge overweight man wearing a straw hat with flowers and holding a tiny ukulele in his meaty hands you can't help but think "spare me" then he plays the damn thing and sings and bugger me if the world is not a better place!!!! Surprises I love them!

Biorythyms Go Up......

Great training session today. My knee was still a bit niggly during rolling but held up well. I managed to get Rick in side control then north south and pretty much kept this position throughout (thank fuck!!!) Rolled with Wes next (welcome back mate) and then Marco. I was happy with howI moved and managed to make a good account of myself. I'm concentrating on moving quicker from position to position and looking for legs to grab on to and it worked for me today. The MMA class was great and I picked up a valuable footwork tip from Dave. Thanks mate. I gotta get some new gear!!! I've had my 16 ounce gloves since I was 17 and the laces are a pain in the arse.... Thank fuck the boys got me a set of knee pads as they make a huge difference when rolling and training. Cheers again!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

How do I feel???

Great question. It's funny I seem to go from one extreme to the next... At the start of training full of beans, eager to get amongst it, get a sweat up, burn some calories and learn something usefull at the same time and then at the end of training, squashed, twisted, cranked, yanked, bruised and battered!!! Did I mention squashed?? Now as silly as it sounds, this is all a very good thing. I'm not a spiritual person by any stretch of the imagination but I would say that these physical extremes strengthen your inner core. (Hope I'm not sounding like a wanker here??) That is to say it has always been my experience that when pushed physically where pain is involved more so than fatigue, the fight or flight response really kicks in. In an environment where there really is no escape from pain, ie: on the mat, you have to deal with it (borrowed from Jeroen). Now I'm not talking about tapping out (or being put to sleep) because if your at that stage, effectively you have lost the fight so the point is moot. What I am referring to is, as an example, someone significantly heavier and more experienced is knee riding your chest and although you believe at any moment your ribs will implode, you still have options! Now to the point of my ramblings. The more you experience this position the more comfortable, acclimatised, used to dealing with it you become. If you take "flight" in these situations, ie give up when you still have options, then it will be that much harder to "fight" when the pressure is on and therefore a number of things can happen. You'll get your arse kicked, you won't learn how to defend pain compliance attacks, you may lose the respect of your training partners but more importantly you will lose self respect as ultimately the truth is inside. A question I ask myself in a lot of situations is "what have I got to lose?" and the answer usually is, "it depends on what the wife says!!!" See you on the mat...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Choke From The North South Position - lockflow.com

Side Control

Marcelo Garcia begins the position with the
guard already passed, pinning his opponent
in side control.

Begin attack

Marcelinho begins the attack (by starting to)
positioning his left arm at the hip of the
black belt Fabio Clemente.
Hip control

Notice how the Aliance star's hip is low
and his legs are pulled in, bent at the knees.

Arm reach

In the next step, Marcelinho passes his
right arm in front of Fabio Clemente's face
until he fits his armpit into his opponent's
neck. With that done...

hips

Garcia puts his legs back, with the angle
wide open. In this position Marcelinho
has an excellent base and still has all his
weight concentrated on his friends chest,
to make it even more difficult for the one
on the bottom to move.

Hip positioning


Next, Marcelinho positions himself
sideways, resting his hip on the ground,
From here, Garcia moves in the direction
of Clemente's head as though he were the
hand of a clock and, in so doing, ....







Grip


opens up room to pass his arm through
till his left hand meets his right wrist







Choke

Upon carrying out the choke hold,
Marcelo puts pressure on the torso of the
Machado brother's black belt, while
exerting pressure with his arms. Fabio
can only give up.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Some Pretty Cool Quotes

"Pain is the best instructor, but no one wants to go to his class." -Hong Hi Choi, Founder of Taekwon-Do

"The more you sweat in training, the less you will bleed in battle."-Navy Seals Motto

"We tottered together upon the brink of the fall. I have some knowledge, however, of baritsu, or the Japanese system of wrestling. I slipped through his grip." -The Return of Sherlock Holmes

"In walking, just walk. In sitting, just sit. Above all, don't wobble."-Yun-men



"The test of a good teacher is not how many questions he can ask his pupils that they will answer readily, but how many questions he inspires them to ask him which he finds it hard to answer."-unknown


"Children never give wrong answers, they merely answer a different question." - Unknown

"I have learned - that you can get by on charm for about fifteen minutes. After that, you'd better know something." - unknown

"I have learned - that you can keep going long after you can't." unknown

"Karate is a form of martial arts in which people who have had years and years of training can, using only their hands and feet, make some of the worst movies in the history of the world." - Dave Barry"

"Judge me by my size do you? Size Matters Not."-Yoda

"Go to Safeway, buy a six pack of 'harden up' and drink the fucken lot!" - Paul Smith

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Ulnar Collateral Ligament Injuries of the Thumb


Sorry Jeroen I can't help myself....... Hope I got it right this time!

Introduction

Injury to the ulnar collateral ligament of the thumb is fairly common. This strong band of tissue is attached to the joint at the bottom of the thumb where the thumb connects to the palm of the hand.

Anatomy

The joint that is affected at the bottom of the thumb is called the metacarpophalangeal, or MCP, joint. Any hard force on the thumb that pulls the thumb away from the hand (called a valgus force) can cause damage to the ulnar collateral ligaments. When the thumb is straight, the collateral ligaments are tight and stabilize the joint against valgus force. If the force is too strong, the ligaments are damaged. They may even tear completely. A complete tear is also called a rupture.

When the collateral ligaments tear, the MCP joint becomes very unstable. It is especially unstable when the thumb is bent back. If one of the ligaments pulls away from the bone and folds backwards, it won't be able to heal in the correct position. When this happens, surgery is needed to fix the ligament.

F*#%@EN INJURIES!!!!!!!

Just when you think you're rolling along training hard and making some progress (not to mention loving every minute of it!) BAM, something gives!!!!! The ligament on the inside of my right knee has been giving me grief for about 2 weeks now. Training today went well however. Took it easy with the knee but still felt soreness when it was in a particular position, defending a guard pass attempt! I must have been going to well defending Rick's attempts to pass my guard as he decided to squash my previously injured left thumb with his arse!!!! Bloody WOFTAM.....

Which leads to my favourite saying: "Go to Safeway, buy yourself a six pack of Harden Up and drink the fucken lot!!!!"

Oh by the way, thanks guys for the knee guards!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The AC Joint.... Friend or Foe?


I find my AC Joints switch allegiences on a daily basis! Usually on a Tuesday and a Saturday!!! I played chiropractor/doctor and found a bit of info in relation to AC injuries and the one I reckon I suffer from! Jeroen will correct me if I'm wrong!!!!

Impingement Syndrome is the most common non-sport related rotator cuff injury. If the supraspinatus tendon passes beneath the acromion, the bone on top of the shoulder, the tendon and the lubricating tissue, or the bursa, is then pinched when the arm is raised into a forward or upward position. Repetitive impingement can make the tendons and the bursa inflamed, resulting in the disease referred to as impingement syndrome.

Factors that put people at a high risk for impingement syndrome:

• Shape/Thickness of the acromion : as discussed in the biology section, the shoulder is a ball and socket type joint, the acromion being the socket, and the humeral head being the ball. In some people the space between the undersurface of the acromion and the humeral head is very narrow, and thus is more likely to pinch the supraspinatus tendon.

• Bone Spur : Some people have bone spurs on the front of the acromion, which increases the risk of impingement syndrome.

• Muscle Imbalance : Either by injury or atrophy, the muscles in the shoulder may become imbalanced, which affects the shoulder motion, especially in the forward direction. Any change in motion increases the risk of impingement.

The symptoms of impingement syndrome are as follows:

• Pain : Impingement syndrome begets an aching pain in both the front of the shoulder and also the outer side of the upper arm. The pain will increase on contact as it is tender to the touch, and also certain movements will result in sharp searing pain.

• Weakness : Due to imbalance, and improper shoulder movement, the shoulder will become weak.

• Lack of Mobility : Some movements may pinch the tendon in such a way that the shoulder will not be able to rotate sufficiently to allow the arm to complete the action. Other motions may simply be too painful.

Impingement syndrome breaks down the supraspinatus tendon near the attachment to the humerus bone. In most severe cases, the tendon may pull away from the bone completely.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wednesdays.....

Trained with Jeroen today and he gave me some great pointers for defending guard passes. It seems I've been turning the wrong way and really getting myself into a bad position! Me being the youtube addict that I am managed to find a nice video of a brown belt defending guard pass attempts by a purple belt. The purple belt looked very familiar.... I'm pretty sure he was Jeroen's first roll last Saturday! Anyway the brown belt does a very nice job (or so i reckon but then what do I know?) of defending. See what you reckon...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!


Wow what a day!!! At the 2007 Australian Jiu Jitsu Champions Cup at the Aquatic Centre today Jeroen and Jason both took out gold medals in their respective divisions. Loaded the car up with my 3 kids and Dave and his 2 and off we went. We got there just after Jason won with a flying armbar (I can't believe I missed it!!) I was revved up to see Jeroen compete! This is the first jiu jitsu competition I've been to so I was looking forward to seeing how they are run, etc. Pretty relaxed but a bit all over the place as far as whose fighting who and when! But what do i know? Regardless I really enjoyed myself and seeing how I had my 3 young kids with me, thats saying something. Niles and Chris from Mornington were there and it was great to see the guys from Extreme Chadstone and Ringwood competing and overall they all did very well. Jeroen flowed well and squashed the absolute shit out of his competitors, dominating every match and winning two gold medals. Well done again to all!!!!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sharing the love......

Got these in an email from grapplearts.com and liked them. More of what Jeroen has been telling us. I've added a link to Jason SCULLY'S site as well.

16 TIPS FOR YOUR CLOSED GUARD, BY JASON SCULLY

These are very important aspects of the closed guard to remember and practice. These tips are especially helpful with no-gi.

1. DON'T GIVE HIM SPACE. When having your opponent in closed guard you don't want to give him any space. Space for him means more opportunities to work a pass.

2. DON'T LET HIM POSTURE. When he has his posture he is able to get his elbows in and head up to work out of your guard.

3. You want to GET CONTROL OF YOUR OPPONENT'S HIPS, HEAD AND UPPER BODY.

4. CLIMB YOUR LEGS HIGH up on your opponent's waist, closer to his upper back. When they are higher up it is much harder for him to sit back and get his elbows in. You also have your hips off the ground, which allows for better movement on the bottom.

5. KNOCK HIS HANDS OFF YOUR BODY. When he has his hand flat on your body he has the opportunity to push off of you. As emphasized before, if your legs are higher up his waist/closer to his upper back it is much harder for him to push on your body and regain his posture.

6. PULL HIM IN WITH YOUR LEGS. Do not rely on using just your hands to pull your opponent in close to you. It will not work. Your hands against his whole body are not an even battle. You want to close your legs tightly around your opponent and bring your knees into you:
this will cause your opponent to lunge forward.

7. CONTROL HIS HEAD. This is a really important point. Where the head goes the body follows, so you want to try to control your opponent's head most of the time, at least until you have moved onto something better. If you have ever experienced someone constantly pulling down on your head while you were in their guard, you would probably agree that it is very frustrating. Also when you pull down on their head you want to pull down on the upper back of their head because that is where you get the most leverage. It is much harder to pull down on your opponent's head once you get closer to his neck area. Don't control directly on the neck

8. TRY TO CONTROL HIS ARMS/SHOULDERS. Immediately after controlling your opponent's head and bringing him close to you you want to get control of at least one of his shoulders or arms. This gives you a lot of control. You can either overhook one if his arms or underhook one of his arms, but always remember to keep control of his head.

9. After you gain control of your opponent you want to START MOVING YOUR HIPS out so you can start working some attacks. Most attacks are going to come from the side or with your hips out, so you need to be a step ahead of your opponent and start moving your hips out right away.
Many people make the mistake of not angling out while having a closed guard, but it is very possible to have tight control with a closed guard and work angles at the same time.

10. You want to STAY TIGHT at the same time as making your movements. An example of this would be placing one of your feet on the ground to aid in scooting your hips out, but retaining control of your opponent's head and shoulder/arm as you do it so he can't sit up. Once you get your hips out you want to immediately get your legs tight around your opponent's body again. Think of yourself as a Boa Constrictor, always on the move but staying tight at the same time.

11. If you feel you can't stop your opponent from getting his posture and opening your legs. then you need to OPEN YOUR LEGS VOLUNTARILY BEFORE HE FORCES YOU TO DO IT. Remember you want to always be a step ahead. If he forces your legs open, he will have the upper hand and will most likely be able to control your legs and hips.
Always be ready to react and go into a position if you feel your opponent is going to open your legs.

12. When he sits back, TRY TO SIT UP WITH HIM. Remember you always want to be tight. When he goes to push you back, lots of times he will open up an opportunity to gain control.

13. ALWAYS PRACTICE REGAINING GUARD CONTROL. During your practice sessions allow your partners open your guard and work passes. Then fight your way back into guard. To do this always practice your hip escapes (shrimps), this is a really important fundamental movement that is used in a ton of techniques involved in grappling. Also do not let your opponent get control of your legs above your knees, close to your waist. You are in a bad spot if your opponent gains control of your legs close to your hips, or even worse gains control of your hips all together.

14. IT'S IN YOUR HIPS. Remember a lot of the grappling game, especially on the bottom, is in the hips.

15. Always PRACTICE YOUR BACKWARD ROLLS. These are very important in getting back to your knees if your opponent stacks you up and there is no way for you to stop him from passing your guard. If you can roll back to your knees, you're in a much better position. Also work on getting back to your knees during your grappling sessions so you can increase your reaction time.

16. Always PRACTICE YOUR SHOULDER BRIDGES. These are very important should your opponent pass your guard and you need to escape or prevent the pin. You can develop the right mechanics and reaction time to bridge into your opponent and back on your knees, or make at least enough space too scoot back into guard.

Finally remember that the closed guard can be a great tool and many attacks and advantages can come from it. Remember to work with it. Too many people use the closed guard to just hold their opponent and stall.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

It Actually Works When You Commit To It....

Very good training session last night.. It's always good to learn something new and then have it work for you on the mat. Having said that it's the same story that as I go along I'm remembering more and more, you have to go for it or it aint gonna work!!! As I learnt when trying to half heartedly pull Dave on to his stomach from seated position and having him go straight into side control on me. My comment to Jeroen was, "I didn't think it was going to work" and that's why it didn't!!! I defeated the move before even trying it! Not that my moves (limited at the moment) will always work, but if I don't give them a fighting chance, they never will.... I've got a new knickname for Niles as well, "The Fucking Monkey"!!!! Added to my list of "always try and do" is, prevent Niles from taking my back.... See you on the mat!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

All Hail The King......


What a fight!!! Randy Couture and Gabrial Gonzaga UFC74 live at Las Vegas. With a great supporting undercard we were set for an enjoyable afternoons entertainment. Jeroen, Jason, Bruce, Dave, Tom, Chris and Niles came over to my place for the fights and we all had a great time. To top it off randy "smashed" Gonzaga to a stoppage in the 2nd round much to the relief of a nervous Jeroen.... I had a "couple " of friends around as well for a bit of a bbq and they all only had nice things to say about the boys. Things like, "they are all very handsome" and "do they teach girls as well?" were the comments most used by the women, where the guys tended to say things like, "what a great bunch of blokes" and "you're all crazy". Of course now that they've tasted a bit of MMA that's what we do at training.... Bash the shit out of each other and bleed all over the place. Even my wife Anna is a bit worried!!! I must say it was a pleasure to have the guys around and as I was saying to Jeroen, now that I understand a bit of ground fighting, MMA fights are a whole new ball game as a spectator! Roll on UFC75, we'll do it all again and this time bring your wives, girlfriends, boyfriends, significant others, etc along as well.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

All set for Sunday

I managed to buy a globe for my projector yesterday so instead of a big screen little picture (not happy Jan) scenario, we'll have 120 inches of pure UFC excitement!!! It should be a great day. I've got a few friends coming as well all of whom I've talked non stop to about Jiu-Jitsu and my fanatasism of training. There will be some delicious Philippino food and plenty of grog as well. what more could we want?? Perhaps a stripper or two, twins maybe wearing nothing but... hang on, that's a in a perfect world!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Good The Bad and The Ugly

OW........

Great training session last night.... Could hardly sleep afterwards but I pulled up okay this morning. We drilled simple sweep, triangle from guard and armbar from mount, then Jeroen showed us an Ezekial Choke from mount and side control which was very effective. Had a great roll with Rick (he's still a big fucker!!) and Dave gave it to me as well... I haven't had a roll with Tom or Klaus for a little while so I'll try and get one in this Saturday. Always good to be squashed by Tom and Oma Plata'd by Klaus!!! Sorry about the knee ride as well Niles, it's all I had left in the bag at that stage!

Friday, August 17, 2007

SPARTAN TRAINING

I've only just started (the last 2 weeks) having a crack at the following workouts but find them not only strenuous but really grappling specific. They concentrate on legs, shoulders , abs and back, and the workout takes (me) around 20 minutes to complete.



Prior to this I was following one of Randy COUTURE'S high intensity circuit weight training routines which is pretty intense.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

26/06/2007 The Day I Started.....

7 weeks ago yesterday I started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Jeroen Lynders at Mornington Extreme Ju Jitsu and Grappling. Let me say right at the start a number of things:

a. Jeroen is an awesome coach and an all round good guy
b. All of the guys who train there are incredibly welcoming (indicitive of the sport)and hard training
c. I wish I had of started this 10 years ago
d. There's not one part of my body that hasn't ached, throbbed, twinged or collapsed in the last 7 weeks (although I'm getting over the pain a lot quicker now)
e. I'm 41 in 2 weeks time and it's the first time since I was 17 years old that I've felt this motivated and interested in contact/fight training, due to all of the above!!!

That said I wish to apologise to all of my friends/work collegues who have had to put up with me sooking about how sore I am and generally talking about BJJ all of the time.

Prior to starting BJJ training I was right back in to running again and making some good fitness and weight loss progress thanks in the most part to running Guru Steve Taylor, whom I work with. Since starting I've become a YouTube junky on all things BJJ, MMA, etc and WOW is there a lot out there.....

My immediate BJJ goals are to:
a. Improve my position
b. Keep both arms in or out
c. Relax and breathe.......

We have Gradings in September and I am very keen to compete at the Pan Pacs in November.... See you on the mat!