GJ "Deathmatch? Sure...Aztec or Mayan rules"

Today's title has nothing to do with this entry but was just something funny that my friend Dan said in practice the other day. A few brief notes on some drills I did this week:
Half-guard underhook pummel
Put your partner in half-guard, work on the top and bottom player alternately "swimming through" and getting the underhook on the side controlling the top players leg, i.e. the half-guard side.
Half-guard underhook sweep
Put your partner in half-guard, with the top player having the underhook on the "half-guard side". Bottom player "swims through" to half-guard, shucks the overhook and comes to knees. The sweep is done by reaching through to the far knee and calf and pushing through to the top position within either half-guard of the new bottom player. The new top player works for the underhook.
Partner leg press
From your guard your partner stands, control their wrists and put your feet in their hips. Lift them so that their torso is parallel with the floor. You are attempting to improve your strength and kinesthetic sense.
Scoop under
This attribute drills works on developing the getting underneath your partner from the guard. Put your shins medial to your partner's thighs. Get double underhook control and clasp your hands in a strong grip (no thumbs). Use your arms to pull and legs to lift while simultaneously rounding your body to pull your partner on top of you. You should be able to "float" them above you in this position.



GJ Breaking Technique

My weekend with Blauer Tactical coupled with some slightly fridgid temperatures in the Bugeishako has inspired some MMA drilling ideas. But first for warm-up we alternated sets of five push-ups with our dynamic stretching routine. We then transitioned into throwing thai kicks and having our partner catch them. The kicker retracts their foot and does a backfall followed by a Frank Shamrock stand-up. For abdominal warm up we did palm strikes from the crunch and cut elbows from crunches to the pads. We followed that with some shadow boxing. Now thoroughly warmed-up we did some drills:
Off a J-C-LH-C combination defender called "in" for clinch and "out" for creating distance. The attacker had to retain their combination and then adapt their motion to the call. It is necessary to plan, but it is also necessary to read cues and spontaneously react to the situation. Here we force either closing or opening the range following the combination.
Following J-LH-C-LH react to a fall or sprawl and return to your feet. The objective is to teach the rapid fight reaction necessary to switch from one game ("striking") to another ("wrestling").
Alternating 4 count kick ranges
This was the standard four count kick combos but your partner switched up the distances either stepping closer or opening the distance, forcing range adjustments to the first or final thai kick
In this drill we used the first three techniques of the same four count (i.e. LK-C-LH or RK-LH-C) and then inserted another technique at the end e.g. either kick or knee, a hook, cross, overhand, or uppercut. This is a way of developing "gamemanship" taking a simple combination and building a method of landing shots using similar combinations.
Needless to say in all these, technique breaks down perhaps because it simulates the ever changing variability of a round.
Next we worked on submission wrestling grips:
"Judo" Gene Lebell slap grab
Throw the gripped forearm from one hand to the other, setting up inside and outside lines. See "Gene LeBell's Grappling World, The Encyclopedia of Finishing Holds (2nd Expanded Edition)" (Gene Lebell)
Arm drag
Reach with your opposite hand to cup the triceps and pull. You can pull and sit a lá Marcelo Garcia, pull to side clinch, pull to the back, or pull to double leg.
I got this from "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Submission Grappling Techniques (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series)" (Royler Gracie, Kid Peligro). Double wrist control and pull to the mat this should extend the back but make them bend over. You are trying to access the ankle. If they jerk up and away you can shoot the low single. If they keep the hand there you can scoop the forearm and ankle together into the low single.
Judo tie-up
One hand posterior to neck the opposite superior to elbow. Opponent ties up equally. Elevate elbow grip side laterally and duck under.
Steering wheel
Control biceps from inside. Set-up double leg.
Over-under (50-50)
Pummel to double unders.



JKD & BJJ Newton's 1st Law...of Grappling

For Jeet Kune Do today we worked off the low jab and the reaction it generates:
Lead hand low parry
Trap and back fist.
Rear hand low parry
Jao sow while controlling lead hand.
Covers jao sow
If high line available head butt, followed by knee
If high line unavailable knee, followed by head butt
Retreats (creates space) follow with thigh kick into straight blast, clinch neck, HKE.
This s not a scripted formula but rather a method for picking up changes in range and line familiarization. Every action provokes a reaction from the simplest of physical collisions (thanks Sir Isaac Newton) to the psychological (thanks Sigmund Freud). Here we are simply the addressing the kinesiology of the interaction of our weapons and the range of our opponent.
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu we worked on elements of the guard game starting with the "knee in the butt" guard opener. I like to think of passing the guard as a five part formula composed of
  1. Creating posture
  2. Opening the guard
  3. Passing the legs
  4. Closing the range
  5. Securing position
Force vectors for opening the guard using the ''knee in the butt.''Most guard passing uses all these elements in different ways. The "knee in the butt" guard opener addresses point #2. This is a strong guard pass if your opponent (the one holding the guard) has longer legs than you.
Knee in the butt guard opener
  1. Control both armpits by gripping the kimono and pushing it into the deltoid or the meaty part of the shoulder just anterior to the axilla (arm pit).
  2. Create space by walking two "steps" back on your knees.
  3. Stand up and stagger your legs placing one knee just behind your opponent's behind.
  4. Return to the mat in a kneeling position, your shin sliding along their crotch posterior to anterior. Place your rear shin flat on the mat but splayed out enough to keep good base.
  5. Apply pressure anteriorly with your shin, posteriorly at a 45o with your rear hip, and inferiorly with the forearm of your rear side arm (see figure)
Force vectors for opening the guard using the ''knee in the butt'' variant.
Variation of knee in the butt guard opener
For the taller BJJ player if you cannot insert your shin and return to the kneeling position a variation is available.
  1. Place both knees behind your opponent's butt.
  2. Use both hands to control the pants.
  3. Use both forearms to apply pressure inferiorly on thighs (see figure).
Now if your opponent is opening your guard in this fashion you need a response (Newton again). Opening your legs rather than letting your opponent open your legs forces them to play catch up rather than you. The De La Riva Guard is set-up fairly easily from this position by placing a hook anteriorly by circling your same side around their lead leg, so that the calf is on the lateral side of their thigh and your instep is on their thigh. Control their ankle with this hand. Your other foot posts in the hip while you control this same side sleeve, your knee is medial to their arm. This stymies the foot lock attempts.
Shoot I messed up and couldn't get the hook
Use your foot in the hip and knee on the inside of their arm to push first laterally and then away. This created space should allow you to insert the anterior hook.
Dagnabit I really messed up and my opponent's starting to smash
Fear not. Pull laterally on the sleeve as you drive your knee (of the hip post side) to your chest. The two pulls should give your adequate room to put the foot in the hip.
Still stuck...
Try the reverse De La Riva, using the foot you would have hip posted with as hook on the opposite leg. The instep will be on the lateral part of the thigh. Control the same side sleeve or lapel with this hand as your other hand controls the ankle. By scissoring at the knee you can sweep and by pulling on the lapel/sleeve you can transition into X-guard.
We did a few sweeps from the De La Riva guard:
Grapevine extension sweep
Use your hip post leg to push on the knee/thigh and then pull the sleeve in this direction as you lift their (other) leg with your other hand and the anterior hook. Essentially you are elongating their base and then sweeping over the narrowest dimension.
Baby koala sweep
In this case your savvy opponent sags posteriorly onto their leg. Feed the gripped sleeve to your other hand underneath their forward knee. Use the hip post foot to block their knee and tilt them to this side.
Jack also told me to be more aggressive with the sweeps from the guard and to use open roll as time to drill sweeps.



GJ Emotional Content

This past weekend I went to the Blauer Tactical Personal Defense Readiness Instructor Development Seminar in Montreal, Canada. It was a thoroughly entertaining and educational time in which we covered the first few seconds of a street ambush in both concept and design as well as how to access the tools that I've been training for years. However, it was also much more than this as we discussed not only the physical but the psychological and emotional components of self-defense. Much of the material we covered was very applicable to combat sports both as a fighter and a coach but also applicable to the philosophy of one's approach to daily life. The coaching staff between Tony Blauer, Tony Torres, Tom Arcuri, and Marc Joseph were all very open and willing teachers. Plus I met a lot of TMA instructors looking to expand their self-defense skills.
The key for me this weekend was the message that
  1. "Good information does not replace good information" (Tony Blauer) rather good information enhances good information
  2. In self-defense/fighting, things are not right or wrong rather they are more or less desirable.
The PDR seminar offers a new, evidence-based, evolving system not a technique oriented style. It provides tools for empowering your students not only physically but psychologically and emotionally. It's also a great way to feel both information overload and yet feel totally pumped. I look forward to completing my certification requirements and integrating the PDR fundamentals into my own and my club's training.
Group shot from Personal Defense Readiness Seminar #13
Tony Blauer stands in the center of PDR #13. Tony Torres is on the far right. Your faithful scribe's head is just to the right of Mr. Blauer's in the back row.
Today I trained with Bart, Jeff and Matt at the Bugeishako. We talked a lot about both the Megaton and PDR seminars that each of us had attended. We then did a little shadowboxing followed by 4 count kicking combinations building up 1-5 kicks on each combo. We then used the emotional climate training (ECT) formula and applied to the jab. Me I know the jab. I live the jab and I even I feel like I get an extra 1/2 second to pick it up with ECT. And an extra 1/2 second is a long time for me to do a lot of stuff in. We finished with some tag team grappling rounds, due to the space and hazard conditions of the Bugeishako.

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