Monday, September 28, 2015

A new toy

I still need to type up my notes from the last seminar.  Some good ankle locks, counters, counter-counters, etc.  Carlos Machado's teaching style is fantastic - just an effortless deluge of knowledge.

During the seminar, William was adding some detail to a technique, and then, almost as a side note, made a quick mention about X-ing the arms as your opponent opens your guard and passes your legs.
You use your x-ed arms to block their inside thigh - you can even grab some gi there if you want.

This position is like magic.  I can get on my side, block their thigh, and then when the timing is right I can "levitate" them right back into half or full guard.  Matt has been doing this for years and it is really frustrating.  You've done all that work to get your pass going, and next thing you know you are back in his guard.
If your opponent tries to go north-south, they drag you along with them.

Sometimes putting them back in guard is simply lifting their leg up and capturing it again.
Oftentimes they'll fight you on this.  Instead of trying to muscle their leg up and pull them toward you, it is often easier to pull yourself towards them.  Also, the initial movement is not "pull their leg in towards mine", rather the initial movement is to pull their leg up over your head.  This gets you
underneath your opponent more where you can control their movement.  They worry more about getting swept and forget to protect their leg that you are controlling with your hands.  It makes recovering guard that much easier.

I can also turn my hips toward the floor.  This adds a good bit of power to the lifting motion
when recovering guard.

You can't get cross-faced and totally flattened out as your opponent passes - then it will be too late to block their leg and establish an in-between position.

Some slick guys will try to do a wrestling sit out, almost as if they are going to go to kozuri-gatame (scarf hold).  If they shoot their leg all the way through, this can be difficult to stop.

I'm starting to get comfortable in this "in-between" position - I don't mind hanging out there.  The key now is to explore other options.  Is there a sweep from here?  If I can broadcast and sell the fact that I am trying to put them back in guard, they will base their weight back away from me.  I wonder if I can use that to execute a sweep?  Perhaps if I go after their other leg as well.  There is a whole world of exploring to be done from this protective position - right now it is a bit defensive...have to play with it more to see what offensive options there are.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Manipulating the shoulder joint - any joint actually

The other day in class we were practicing finishing kimura's.
Typically someone defends by grabbing their own belt or gi, but they also curl their legs
up, as well as shrug their shoulder up.  By doing this, it engages their obliques, psoas, abdominal
and other muscles.  You can actually lift someone completely off the ground with the arm you are attacking and they can stay in a ball.
To defeat this kimura defense, the key is to manipulate the shoulder joint you are attacking.
Get them to stop shrugging and you can break the kimura free.
One way to do this is to back your body away, and then come in low with your chest pressing on
the top of their shoulder (don't let go of the figure 4 grip).  This will drive their "shrugging" shoulder down, which in turn causes them to disengage the supporting muscles, allowing you to finish the kimura.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Finishing the kimura

We have been working on kimuras in class over the last couple of weeks.  It's a common attack - the figure four grip is very difficult to escape from, so it also makes a great grip for transition to armbar.
You also have the option of a compression due to the grip setup - options are always good!
But finishing a full on kimura with the opponent turned on their side can be difficult.  People are a pain in the ass when defending this attack.  They will grab their belt, cup the inside of their thigh, or make an S grip to prevent the finish.
If they are flexible they can even get a foot in and begin to pry the grip loose (ala Jeff Glover).

Here are a couple of options when dealing with these types of common defenses.

1. Vandry Kimura
Setup:  You have a full on kimura set up.  The opponent is on their side, you are clamping their head with your knees, and they are utilizing one of the above mentioned defenses to prevent the finish.
In this variation, the opponent needs to be in somewhat of a fetal position, i.e. his legs need to be tucked up.  If they are cupping the inside of their thigh (no gi) they will have to be in this position.
Pull the opponent in closer and then use your heel to hook behind your opponent's knees.  Perform a 'crunch sit-up' motion.  This will put so much pressure on his shoulder that he will tap, even if he never lets go of his defense.

2. Breaking the grip with your chest
Setup: Full on kimura setup - opponent on their side - figure four grip established.
You cannot break your opponent's defense grip with the standard options.
Pin your opponent's wrist of the arm you are attacking, then back away, making some space.
Come back in lower and position your chest against your opponent's tricep.  Drive forward, keeping
the wrist pinned.  This will create enough pressure on the wrist such that your opponent will be forced to release his grip - not necessarily due to pain - it's more of putting the wrist joint in a position that it cannot sustain strength.  Once the grip is broken, pull the tricep to your chest and turn the wrist to properly finish the kimura.

Carter used to talk about making different parts of the body twist in different directions, making opponents uncomfortable and limiting their defensive options.  Wednesday night, Josh showed how to use your knees to make an opponent's head look down as you go to finish the kimura.  This puts more pressure on the shoulder joint - also makes it difficult for the opponent to get his back on the ground - another common defense against the kimura.

Josh also showed an interesting progression when attacking from the back.  Perhaps you have a same side wrist grip, controlling one of your opponent's hands.  You'd likely be attacking with a choke using your other arm.  To transition to armbar/compression, you'll have to take one of your hooks out and lay the person down.  Your choking arm comes over and you make a quick switch to a figure four grip.  You can lock your ankles which prevents too much squirming.  Eventually you'll bring your leg over your opponent's face.  Since you have a figure four grip set up, you can attack with a compression - make sure the blade of the forearm is rotated correctly for maximum pain (make the thumb point up).  Typical kimura grips are monkey grips (no thumbs) and way down on the back of the opponent's hand.  When switching to a compression, you'll move up the forearm with the grip.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Making Space & Thoughts on a New Pass

Very interesting tidbit shared by William in class today.
We were working on the position where one of your shins is across your opponents mid-section, almost as if they are trapping it in an attempt to pass to that side.
This is not the shin across the chest/scissor-sweep type setup.  Your hips are square up to your
opponent, with the bottom of one foot against the inside of your other knee.

The opponent will almost always attempt to pin that knee and pass in that direction (as your other leg is typically blocking the other side).  Bringing your opponent toward you and onto your shin allows you to sweep them and end up with knee-on-belly.
You block their knee on the side that they are passing, usually grabbing some gi at the outside of their knee.  The other hand grabs behind the opposite tricep - this would be their posting arm which you will control.  The outside leg acts as a pendulum to generate momentum at the hips.

It's a simple and effective sweep.  I need to practice automatically getting the right grips and hand position - having to think about it too much right now.

Oftentimes you need to buy some time to establish your position better with the shin (getting it in).
In other cases your opponent may have you in side control and you want to insert your knee.
Using a similar principle with the outside leg, you can bring your heel straight up and down while maintaining the 90 degree angle at your waist.  Bringing your leg down while you turn makes a lot of space between you and your opponent.  It certainly gets their mind off of their attack, and more often than not you can make some space and insert the knee/shin, perhaps even ending up with the above mentioned sweep.

As I was rolling the other day, I was trying to practice the principle of "on your side you're alive, on your back you're dead".  When I was on top in half-guard, I walked/hopped towards my opponent
to flatten them out.  Their natural reaction is shrimp a bit to get on their side and face you.  To do this they have to let go of your trapped half-guard leg it seems.  When they do that you can simply kick your heel to your butt and escape your leg.  I think if you also drive your other knee into their hip it can help block a recovery and aid the pass.  This is going to take some more exploring.

Awesome roll with the Angry Koala today - a methodical ass whipping is what I got.