10/27/2011 – No-gi

October 27, 2011

10/27/2011 – No-gi

Trained:  breaking the guard and stacking.

1.  Breaking the guard.

Start with hands on chest, work them down, elbows inside partners knees/thighs.  Once you have control of the hips, shift one knee out, the other under the seatbone, then lean back to break.  Works much better when they’re sweaty and can’t lock their legs properly.

2.  Stack pass.

after you break the guard, swim both arms inside guard, gable grip as low as possible.  Simultaneously lift his hips and scoot your legs under his ass.  Lean forward hard – stack his knees on his chin, bring one leg up to block hips, reach across for same shoulder that you lifted the leg on.

Rotate torso away from raised leg – fall into side control.  Bottom leg to hip, active toes.

    Lessons learned sparring

1.  Starting to realize just how important it is to be active, both with legs and arms.  In the guard, open or closed, squeeze those knees together and restrict movement or throw balance.  Grab the back of the head, a bicep, get an underhook – don’t let the opponent sit there and do what they want.

2.  I need to work on my shrimping.  Particularly where to put my hands.  Go back and read the jujitsu university entries and practice.

3.  I’m freezing up and watching as I get passed or swept, instead of trying to stop it or start to shrimp out of it.  Need to be moving.


1.  First sweep from guard.  Took control of head from guard, reached under his left leg with my right arm, opened up guard, rolled right over into mount.  Feels even better when you’re the guy doing it than when you’re being swept.

2.  Kept from being passed in last session.  Definitely something I need to work on.


10/26/2011 – Muay thai

October 27, 2011

So, this wasn’t my first (or second, or third) muay thai class, but it’s the first one I wrote anything down.

A few notes about Muay Thai.

1.  It does not come naturally to me – at all.

2.  Holding pads and focus mitts is just as important as throwing combos.  But, see number 1.

3.  This was the first class where I felt even marginally competent or, more accurately, that I have a shot at eventually becoming marginally competent.  Which is nice.

Trained – Combination 8 and combination 9

Combination 8

jab, cross, long lead uppercut, cross, jab out

a.  Kru Mel emphasized that your shoulders should be smacking your cheek, esp. on cross, long lead uppercut.  Easier when you tuck your chin, which I really need to work on.
b.  The long lead uppercut feels odd.  key is not to lean too far into it – centered over feet at all times.

Combination 9

step jab, overhand right, left uppercut, right uppercut, left uppercut, right cross, jab out


a.  idea on the overhand right is to keep the elbow parallel to the ground, arc it over, gently
b.  footwork on the overhand right – BIG step to the outside foot of oponent.  Want to end up next to him, so you have to turn into him.  If you take too short a step, you’re going to take a knee.  And that will suck.
c.  Elbows tight on uppercuts.  John suggested thinking that you have a tennis ball trapped between your bicep and your chest, and it has to stay there.
d.  footwork on uppercuts – thrust with lead foot on lefts, trailing foot on rights.  Really crouch and then pop up, with energy coming from your toes, through your hips, up into and through your fist.


1.  John suggested rolling the shoulder forward when holding the focus mitts.  It really helps to keep the elbow from being bent back.  Keep doing that.
2.  Feed and return – need to remember to clap gloves before throwing focus mitt

10/24/2011 – gi

October 27, 2011

Trained – kimura sequence from guard

1.  From the guard, drag one of your opponents hands to the mat.  Get a motorcycle grip on wrist with the same hand.
2.  Reach across with free hand, snake arm around trapped arm.  Get your bicep up nice and high so that your elbow is making a pocket around their elbow.


a.  Finish the kimura.  Lock the hand on your attacking arm to the wrist of your trapping arm.  Open guard (maintain close contact with legs), half shrimp towards locked arm (just enough to get a little leverage), throw leg up on back and start cranking.  That leg is important – will trap them in face down position while you torque the shoulder.  Else they’ll just roll out.

b.  If they posture up, follow.  Throw trapping hand back, pop hips, and use their momentum against them to sweep.

c.  If they push into you, guillotine.  Hard to pull off – there’s a lot of fabric in the way.


Got completely choked out by a young woman during sparring.  Was in mount, decided to try sitting arm bar as taught by Coach EJ.  Everything went swimmingly, but I left her arm loose, she locked hands.  Decided to let go instead of trying to muscle it, and in the process of releasing gave up my back (mistake).  Thought no problem – will work my turtle.  Didn’t defend my collar, she flipped me one way, things went gray, thought “no problem, will just roll back into the choke.”

You know how when you nod off in the middle of a meeting or a conversation you’re following along just fine, and then realize “wait, I’m not following the conversation anymore, I’m engaged in some sort of internal dreamy monologue.”  Kind of the same thing happened here, except instead of realizing “wait, I’m in a meeting, this isn’t right” it was “wait, I was rolling, this definitely isn’t right.”  Eyes snapped open, and there’s Coach Danny standing over me shaking my legs.  Clearly, rolling back into the choke didn’t work.

Lessons learned:

1.  tap earlier, silly
2.  the great thing about this discipline is that it only takes one opening, one mistake for things to turn around quickly.  I had a size, strength, and speed advantage over this young woman, but I screwed up and she capitalized quickly and hard.  I was impressed.
3.  control that arm better when trying to pull a sitting arm bar.  Coach EJ’s technique of isolating the arm by using your knee to mash the shoulder into the head works really well – particularly if you have a strength advantage.

10/20/2011 – no-gi

October 27, 2011

Trained:  sweep/attack from guard predicated on wrapping your opponents arm across their neck

1.  From the closed guard, swim and break the arms to get their arms down on the mat.  Grab one arm with opposite hand (e.g., grab their left wrist with your right hand), pull it across their chest to opposite side, reach around the back of their neck and secure the arm so that its wrapped under their throat.


a.  arm triangle.  Lift head up so ear is on their bicep, gable grip around, squeeze.  This is difficult.
b.  sweep – reach down with free arm, hook under knee, use the arm and the leg to roll.

Notes:  hell of a lot easier to break down their arms if you use your legs to move them.  Pinch the knees, pull their torso forward while you’re swimming.  Much, much more effective.

Significantly more intense than previous classes.  Awesome.

Trained:  escape from seated back mount

Two alternatives  –
1.  defend neck, slide down as far as possible, baseball grip one arm, yank arm over head, roll into opponent

2.  defend neck, roll onto one side or the other.  Reach down with one hand, simultaneously extend leg (snap!) and push hook down.  Shift hips on top of opponents leg.  Wiggle to the outside until you can explode back into guard.

Also – arm bars

from guard – as before – just get more fluid

From mount

shift forward.  Reach across, grab target arm by bicep.  Shift knee well under target arm shoulder, crank into opponents head.  Flip other leg under so ankle is under non target shoulder, ass on belly.  Control arm, swing around to back, legs over, squeeze together and lift.


Did the drills with Coach EJ in this class.  He was very patient, gave me some great advice while we were drilling.

Class 4 – Gi grab bag

October 27, 2011

Coach Danny taught this one.  Was only me and Mark.

Class 4 – 10/4/11



Grip breaks

Collar – grab wrist, with both hands if necessary, three quick pulls in succession.

Sleeve – swim arm around to torque fabric out

Knee – Grab wrist or fabric with same side hand, reach across with other hand, use it as a pry bar.

Cross collar choke

Arm bar

Straight arm lock – would love to go through this one again – I don’t remember exactly how to pull it off.

Sitting arm bar

Double grab arm, then two options
–  lift up on inside leg, roll under into guard or half guard
–  lift up on inside leg, dive inside shoulder
If they spin around top
–  grab leg with far arm
–  reach up with far arm and grab belt, grab collar or sleeve with near arm
–  roll under into guard, or
–  hook inside leg and sweep

Class 2 – Gi

October 27, 2011

Class 2 – Guard
–  Grip Drill
–  Options from grip
–  Collar Choke
–  Scissor Sweep
–  Lift up on leg before rolling
– Arm bar

This ended up being a solo lesson for me, which was great.  Notable moment – finally getting the collar choke right and making Coach Miguel gag.

I think this was September 7, 2011.  Somewhere around there, anyway.

Coach Aaron taught a standing guard pass.

Oponent is on his back, legs up – you’re standing back, not engaged.  I’ll describe this going to the left.

Step in, push opponent on the forehead just to distract him and throw him off balance.

Right foot steps in, plants underneath opponents left buttock.

Grab lapels at center of chest with right hand, a handful of gi at the knee or shin on the left leg with the left hand.

Throw/push left leg down.  Step well around with left leg.  Drag right leg, knee bent, knee forward, accross inner thigh of left leg.  Idea is to trap the left leg, lean back into your opponents crotch, pulling towards chest with lapels.

Work that right leg through, staying close to body entire time.  End up with armpit over chest, right leg thrust past oponents ear, preferably under his right arm.

Flip over into side control.



(note- tried this in my no-gi class today.  Got the right knee down, but didn’t stay close enough to his body.  He shrimped to his left and swept me.)

What is this?

October 27, 2011

I started training Muay Thai and BJJ on September 7, 2011, a week before I turned 39.  My wife calls it my midlife crisis.  I call it the best thing going that’s not my wife or kids.

This is a training log.  The first couple of posts are rump entries from my google doc.  I’m using this format primarily because hashtags will make finding stuff much easier than it would be to do so in a google doc.  I seriously doubt it will be interesting to anyone, but I’ll go ahead and keep it public for giggles.