Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sharing the love......

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


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.


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


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


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!