Saturday, November 26, 2011

BJJ in Orlando Florida

I was looking for a place to train on Orlando (while there for work) and came across the new Alliance Orlando.  I walked in to a building that wasn't yet a full operating gym, but knew they had classes going from their facebook post.  The General Manager was very welcoming, very engaging, and offered me to come back for the class in a half hour or so.  When I came back, I know that I was in the right place when most people waiting were speaking Portuguese.

The class was run by BB Michel Langhi, brother of Michael Langhi.  Michael Langhi is the head instructor, but was back in Brazil.  It was a "real" training session with long warm ups and 3 or so rounds of 7 minute sparring.  They are just starting, so the class sessions have not been separated between experience levels, but the drills were in separate groups.

For me, this was the first time that I had trained BJJ with Brazilians.  Its not like it is any different for me, the noob, but there is a novelty.  More experienced people will gain a lot from training with the upper echelons of the sport.

The important thing for me was that this place was great experience (instruction, welcoming-ness, facility).  I look forward to training here again.  To train with the sports elite gets me thinking a lot about the sport.  Think about it (ca. Falling Hard), can you ever train with professional football/basketball/baseball players?  No.  Here is the chance to train with BJJ's professionals.  It makes that training session different.  Even if you are just here as a BJJ tourist.

BJJ in Littleton / Centennial, Colorado

I was in Denver and had the opportunity to train at Easton BJJ in Littleton.  Easton BJJ has six branches, which I was at a South Denver suburb branch.  This was my first time training at a larger school, but there was little difference except in their being a well organized curriculum.  My impressions:
  • Very welcoming to a drop in - it is a little intimidating/awkward showing up at a new school to train just for a night - they were very friendly and accommodating.  Thanks!
  • They required an instructor to watch you roll before attending class or sparring - meant to monitor the spazzes - safety measure. 
  • Floated/elevated springy mats were very nice.
  • They had separate Beginner (up to 3 stripe white belt), Intermediate (above 3 stripes), and Advanced classes, which seemed like it could make it easier for a beginner to start training to only spar with fellow noobs (or more spastic).
My biggest impression was the uncommon number of Over 40 folks.  I asked Head Instructor, Chris Stolzman, about the gentrified popularity of his school.  He noted that they had a well attended kids class and many of the older folks were parents.  Another instructor responded to my question on the percentage of aged students, "this intermediate class here is pretty typical, it has 2 of 10 people over 40, so 20%."

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Roy Harris Interview on BJJ Over 40, DVD Review

Roy Harris has a great instructional DVD specifically targeted to the OMJJ's over 40 years old (Volume 3 of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: The Best of Roy Harris).  When I started BJJ, it was very difficult to keep at it.   Being very out of shape, I would get very winded. Gassing combined with little moves to use, I was like a big fat wrestling dummy for the youthful ones to beat on.  After class, all I could muster was laying down (and moaning).  The more practical techniques I learned, the easier BJJ became.  I wish that I had watched Master Harris's DVD sooner.  The apparent lack of information/technique geared to the older player is an original reason that I started this blog.  This DVD gives a great blueprint to start BJJ, regardless of age.  Even after you have a foundation, it still has many lessons to offer. 

One thing is totally apparent when you watch the DVD.  Roy Harris is a master teacher.  He really has a passion for educating and has the skills to be clear, concise, while covering a lot of information.  His voice sounds a bit like the Saturday Night Live skit, Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey.  However, this may not be so much of a laid back demeanor, but a method of teaching to make it easier to listen to his lesson.  I don't know.  I wish that I would have asked him.  Master Harris was kind enough to answer a few questions about the DVD and its targeted audience.

Roy Harris teaching a seminar in Norway, where he returns for another seminar on October 29-30, 2011, see Trondheim BJJ
Master Roy Harris is a Fourth Degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Joe Moreira. He was one of the Dirty Dozen, the first 12 non-Brazilians to get their black belt in BJJ.  He has trained with the Who's-Who of the sport: Rorion Gracie, Royler Gracie, Rigan Machado, Jean Jacques Machado.  His BJJ school is the Harris Academy in San Diego, CA.  Master Harris has taught hundreds of seminars in 24 countries for companies, police and military, including special forces from Poland, Slovakia, US Marines and the US Navy Seals.  He even instructed the Anheuser-Busch "Bud Girls." Ay, chihuahua!

The DVD covers theory, i.e., protect yourself and make your opponent do all the work, and has a lot of practical positions and techniques.  He goes through basic concepts of fundamental movements and positions, before getting into techniques.  The detailed explanation of "fundamental" positions and movements goes beyond what you would see in class, although they are basic concepts.  He makes it easier to grasp by combining explanation, followed by demonstration, and then a powerpoint-style wrap up of why the moves are important.

One of the more "controversial" techniques is to grab your collar when mounted or in side control and wait for your uke to give some space and then sweep or recover to guard.  As Master Harris explains, "Basically you use this defensive position to get them to uncross their ankles. Pretty sneaky, huh?"  I have used this one especially when I gas out.  People rightly think it is stalling, but that is OK.

"Tell me more, Master"
I talked about stalling and why it was common in BJJ with Master Dave Trader (my Master where I train).  Dave explained, "BJJ has a history of very long or even no time limit matches.  So, the tolerance for stalling is much higher than in wrestling or judo which have short time limits.  Also, the focus on achieving dominant position requires you to not rush.  Rushing to achieve a sub or position can cause you to lose position and possibly the match or fight." Master Harris uses the defensive positions as a "wise man's" technique.  Why try to match the superior strength and endurance of a younger opponent?  It is a losing battle.  Let them do the work, get frustrated, screw up and then sweep or improve your position.

The most difficult thing that I have with using his approach is being pragmatic and defensive.  After realizing you gave up mount or an opponent has got your back, I am in panic mode.  I am not thinking, OK, get you defenses and wait for him to screw up.  I am not in the mode to think defensive, but that is more a symptom of my lack of maturity in the sport.  Hence, why I am a white belt.  Master Harris points out that defense prevents injury by reducing the number of times that you get tapped out.  In one example, an aged student went from 10-20 taps night to 10 a week.  As he states, "You like that word "survive", huh?" 

The technique portion of the DVD is also very good with some neat bemt armlock approaches (without movement), good submission escapes, etc.  He wraps up the DVD by showing sparring and "playing," a less than full speed sparring that focuses on trying techniques.  I sometimes can get out of the survival mode sparring and get into the "playing" mode with the upper belts, but that is also a level of maturity in BJJ that comes with experience.  he adds, "Its not about who taps who. The focus of training is to learn."

Here is the interview...
OMJJ: You explain in the dvd that these techniques are for the occasional BJJ practitioner that has a family, job, greatly needs to avoid injury, and wants to have fun with the sport.  Are these techniques not right for competition?
MASTER HARRIS: While some of the techniques and tactics can be used for competition, it must be remembered that competition isn't the only aspect for Jiu Jitsu. While there is the competition and self-defense aspect in Jiu Jitsu, there is also the playful, hobbyist's aspect. Each aspect requires a different mindset to be useful. 
It must also be remembered that there are a lot of Jiu Jitsu practitioners that are not interested in competition. While most of the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu that is taught in this country is competition oriented Jiu Jitsu, there are a lot more hobbyists now-a-days. This is the reason why I developed the Over 40 DVD! 
"Don't believe the lie that says,  'You're wussing out if you don't train hard.' That stupid mindset is for twenty year olds who have very few responsibilities in life!"
OMJJ: What advice do you have for the older BJJ noobs to get the most enjoyment out of the sport and keep at it?
MASTER HARRIS: Here's what I recommend: 
1. Not all instructors "get it." They do not understand your needs. So, shop around town until you find someone who gets it!
2. If you can't find an instructor within a reasonable driving distance, start a training club in your own garage. Take three to six months to find the right people.
Speaking of this, here's a funny story from my school:
A group of guys in the 40's and 50's decided to do what I had asked of them ("train on your own outside of the academy environment" - because that's where your progress will occur). They started their own training group in a couple of garages. Over the course of a few months, they trained in secret, not telling anyone what they were doing. They focused exclusively on escaping from the mount and side mount positions. 
Several months down the road, many of the young guns started to notice they could no longer hold down the old guys. Of course, the young guys started asking questions. The old guys told them they were training one day a week at this guy's house and one day a week at that guy's garage. Of course, the young guys wanted to cash in on this newly found resource. So, they asked the old guys if they could join them. The old guys said, "No." There's more to the story, but I am so happy that (a) the old guys got together on their own and trained outside of the academy environment, and (b) they said "No" to the young guns!
3. If you don't want to do either of the above, then you need to be vocal at your young gun training facility. You need to tell the other students, "My back is giving me problems today. So, don't go hard with me!" You also need to tell the spazzes at your academy "No" when they ask to roll with you. Speak up and let your wishes be known. Don't believe the lie that says, "You're wussing out if you don't train hard." That stupid mindset is for twenty year olds who have very few responsibilities in life!
OMJJ: At your school (Harris Academy in San Diego, CA), what percentage of white belts are over 40? 
MASTER HARRIS: The over 40 crowd represents around 5% of the students at the Harris Academy. Over the years, I've had guys in the middle to late 60's training with me. My oldest student was 73 years old. He trained with us for a year! 
OMJJ: Are there any different approaches that you take to help the Over 40 BJJ beginner get started in the sport (versus approaches for the younger student)?
MASTER HARRIS: For starters, a male who is over the age of 40, and just starting Jiu Jitsu, needs to understand that he is no longer a twenty year old. He needs to accept the fact that his body is "more mature" (which means it will take much longer to heal) and that he has responsibilities outside of the classroom. 
Second, he must focus on his priorities. Why is he there in the first place? He's there because he wants to get in shape and learn a bit of self-defense. So, focus on getting in shape and learning a bit of self-defense. In other words, turn a blind eye to the competition team. Forget about the fact that you used to be a decent wrestler. Forget the good ol' days of competition - how you long for them…..or how you'd like to see how you might do against one of the really good guys at the academy.
Third, have periodic talks with your instructor. Make him responsible for your safety. Place "some" responsibility upon his shoulders. Tell him your expectations and ask him if he is willing to meet you half way.
Speaking of talking with your students, here's a story from my past: 
Over the years, I've had all kinds of people come and train with me. Two gentlemen who came to train with me were surgeons. Each one pulled me aside and said, "Just so you know, I am a surgeon. I depend on my hands for my work. I need you to protect my hands during class. I am relying on you to help me accomplish this goal. Can you do that?" My response was, "Yes. I will help you accomplish this goal." 
Long story short, I watched them like a hawk. Any time they were about to begin sparring with a "spaz", I changed their partners. Other students wondered what I was doing, but my surgeon students knew. They were very appreciative! 
Thanks so very much, Master Harris.  It is going above and beyond to take the time to help us Over 40 Practitioners learn from your experience.  It is people like you that make this sport so great.  You can buy his 3 DVD set directly from Roy Harris or from other retailers.  It is also available as an iPhone App.  It is very OMJJ Approved!


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ex-soldiers in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

At our school, we have a few folks that served in the military.  Given that we are in the States, at least two I know where in Iraq.  One guy, was in his late thirties and in the infantry.  He never really said much about it, just that he was there.  After class, I saw him stretching and wincing.  I asked what the problem was and he said his sciatic nerve.  I asked, if it was from kicking the heavy bag.  He nonchalantly said that it was from Iraq, daily patrols with the weight from ill-fitted body armor, a rucksack and the other gear.  Herniated disks and other various maladies are what he contends with after moving on from that job.

That is such a real sacrifice to have made.  I can't imagine doing that work in my late thirties.  I whine about my physical degradations.  Hence, this blog, but I made choice to do the sports or was just born with clumsiness that has caused my few physical impairments.  These ex-soldiers were working, doing their job, got hurt (or worse) and sucked it up to live with the problems later in their lives.  Problems that they got from doing a job in public service. 

So, in respect and tribute to the servicemen and women on this Memorial Day weekend (oh yeah, its Labor Day weekend...uh, who cares, I always get them confused), OMJJ is thankful and gives this truly amazing fireworks salute.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Top Ten Signs That BJJ Is More Than Just A Hobby

Here are my Top Ten Signs That BJJ Is More Than Just A Hobby:

10. Your laundry area looks like an MMA store.

9. People at work don't bother asking why you have bruises on your face and limbs or have a slight limp.

8. Your wife gives you a curious look when you turn off a BJJ instructional video just before she enters the room (because the background music sounded like an adult entertainment video).

7. You watch BJJ instructional videos more than movies.

6. You get annoyed when people think BJJ is the same as karate/TKD or that you are "training UFC."

5. When you have time to lay in bed in the morning, you think about BJJ techniques instead of work.

4. You thank people for kicking your butt, as just having a good roll.

3. At times, you are more intimate with your ice bag than your wife.

2. You tell people about your BJJ blog.

1. You see the face of Jesus in a bruise on your arm and he tells you to improve your deep half guard.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Father Daughter Activity = Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Part 1 of 2

I was brought to BJJ by my 9 year old daughter.  I wanted to find a sport that we could both get involved in, both for the getting-in-shape and the something-to-do-together aspects.  We started with Tae Kwon Do after she attended a TKD presentation at school.  TKD had some benefits (exercise, memorization, discipline), which also created negatives (mindless following of directions, memorizing unrealistic "forms," less-than-intense physicality).  After a year, we quit.

I was then looking for another sport to try together with my daughter.  I sought Muay Thai, since she was half Thai, that would also give her the cultural aspect to learn.  However, I could not find a Thai instructor within driving distance. So, BJJ seemed to be a good idea to me, as I wrestled in yesteryear.

For my daughter, BJJ wasn't really her sweet spot,  She was a more girly girl type into fashion and drawing, but still liked boy stuff (shooter games, ziplining, roller coasters). Jiu Jitsu required focus and seriousness.  Two things she needed some work on.  These two things showed little improvement in the beginning.  However, she wanted to go to class half the time, since she made some friends with the son and daughter of Arturo Ayala, the Muay Thai instructor and a BJJ team mate.

I then had rotator cuff injury and elbow surgery that basically had me out of BJJ training for 6 months.  I took her inconsistently to class during that time.  After being lazy for another 3 months to get started again in BJJ, we both started taking class consistently at the beginning of this year.

I resolved at this time that I would not force and nag her to go to class, which was the case about half the time before the hiatus.  I told her that if she blew off class too much (like twice in a row), I would cancel her BJJ training.  She has actually not required a lot of coaxing since then.  I think that it is partly because she is getting older and she has friends in the class, but it is also definitely a component of the head instructor Michelle Welti.  She is amazingly patient and not everyone is that way with my daughter, who is a chatterbox.  She also looks up to Michelle, who is a successful BJJ competitor, but my daughter's admiration is more on the personal level.

Assistant instructor Andrew Babeu does a great job too, be her connection to Michelle has the "its a girl thing" component.  Andrew, I know sometimes you may roll like a girl, but you are just going to have to dig deeper into your inner girly to really connect with the girls on the team.

My daughter's liking the class has also helped me be consistent in going to class, as I had to justify any class skipages with more than just my easy-to-accept-an-excuse self.

I believe that we have also passed another milestone in BJJ with having done our first competitions.  After my getting a gold medal at the New York Open, my daughter was really excited.  She wore the medal around the house and told her friends at school.  She said that her one friend thought she was lying.  I asked why.  She said, "he's seen you're fat."  Rotten kids.

This weekend was the Copa Nova tournament in Ashburn, VA.  I had planned on competing, but started to get sick the night before.  It was really hard to get out of bed to go to the tournament, but she really wanted to compete, and her not making it would have really bummed her out.  She was very excited, a little scared.  All the emotions that I had before the NY Open.  This was something that we discussed and it was great to share in that experience with her.

I was surprised that she was so adamant on competing.  She never really took class very seriously and retained limited knowledge of technique.  Michelle and Andrew had to prep her for the tournament, by getting her to not make noises when she sparred (a family trait).  I first signed her up for only the Gi division, but she wanted to also be in No Gi.

Although she lost her 3 matches (they gave her 1 extra match for practice), she progressively improved her performance. She got a bronze in the No Gi.  That made her happy and proud.  She was very disappointed that she lost.  The next day, she was in a great mood.  The roller coaster ride of emotions that competition brings on is apparently the same, young or old.

Will this experience at competition drive her to take BJJ more seriously?  I hope so.  That's why this is a two part blog.  Once I know that answer, I will write Part 2.  Whatever the answer is, BJJ has been a great experience for both of us.  Who would have ever thought a sport that is typically relegated to the domain of sweaty dudes wrestling would be a good fit for a Father Daughter activity?

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Arthritis and Joint Pain in BJJ

"My arthritic shoulder is killing me from driving it into his face for so long."  Does this ever happen to you?  If so, you are old.
I think everybody has some problems with joint pain and training.  It must just be that us old people feel more pain.

I have been using the following remedies and snake oils:
  • Ibuprofen - easy and effective
  • Hot tub - effectiveness is not important
  • Ice packs - only when its severe or with other issues
  • Tiger balm - my wife hates the smell, saying I smell like an old man...go figure
  • Cherries, juice, extract - I don't know if it does anything, but tastes good
  • Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM - like the cherries, the 2 week delay until they start working makes it harder to judge its effectiveness when combined with other therapies
  • SAM-E - also helps with mental instability
The Mammoth has a great blog post on nutrition to reduce joint inflammation and other problems.

Arthritis and joint pain seem to flare up and subside these days, never really going away.  When I started BJJ, it was a much more of a constant problem or that I am just now more accustomed to having to deal with it.  Now, it is just an inconvenience and annoyance to deal with.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Thankful for BJJ

A more serious blog for once...

It doesn't really matter that I am not the ripe age for a BJJ noob.  I may never be the greatest at it, but BJJ provides an experience that is very much needed in my life at this age and most other ages.  Here is my list of reasons for thanks, not in any order:
  • Feeling good physically
  • Belonging to a team, a group of people that I respect (most of the time)
  • Adrenaline rush of competition
  • Feeling of accomplishment for what I have done; something that nobody else can take the credit for, unlike other things in life
  • Laughing at funny BJJ stuff and team member antics
Here would be a list of things that I hate about BJJ, but that list would be obvious to anyone that loves the sport.  BJJ is complicated, difficult and sucks in so many ways that make it a great experience in life.


Team Dave Trader JJ had 3 competitors at the IBJJF New York Open, which all won medals.

Michelle Welti with a silver and bronze in blue belt adult.  She looked really good and dominated except for one nemesis opponent.

Arturo Ayala with a bronze in a tough white belt weight class.  His second opponent wins the tournament's Douche Bag Award by showing up at the podium and saying that he was Arturo and taking his medal.  The the IBJJF did the right thing and gave Arturo another medal.  Can you believe/tolerate that there are such people out there in our sport?

I was very fortunate to win my one match and a gold medal in the white belt senior.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Farting, Sweating on Opponents, and Subjects in BJJ That Are Not to be Discussed

Given that I am planning to start competing in BJJ, I thought that my would-be competitors may think twice, if they only knew somethings about my game and other subjects in BJJ that are not to be discussed.

Such as homosexuality....

Sorry, I will not even go there, but if I did, the first image that comes to mind is Wanderlei Silva in this compromising photo:

Wanderlei Silva had the chance to respond to the photo recently in HDNet's The Voice Versus (@1:07):

Some take it as a point of pride, along the same distorted lines as pride in having cauliflower ear.  Others accept it as a novel, always humorous statement of sorts.  Female BJJ practitioners may find it awkward as the uke receiver or the deliverer, but I would not know, as the token female (kicks-your-ass-blue-belt) at Dave Trader JJ never farts...never...never, because girls don't fart.  Honestly, I should not single her out as she has no context in the subjects of this blog.

For me, making an opponent fart is credited as one of my most momentous achievements in BJJ.  Rolling with Black Belt Master Dave Trader, I made a (failed) attempt at a stack pass and, voila, he had a reverberating pontification from down under (which was now pointing up).  Although in the direct line of fire, I found my ability to force any undesired physical adjustment on Dave to be worthy of laughter, salute, pride...and then he swepped me and submitted me.  But, Dave, you can never belittle my shining moment.  The moment, my imposing will forced you to...

Sweating In Your Opponent's Eyes or Mouth
Now, it is time to get serious.  BJJ practitioners have many unique skillsets that are specific to their individual attributes:
  • The egotist (I will never lose (or be put in a situation that I could not win))
  • The bully (I will spar with my overcoming strength and not care about technique, as I will disappear and take a crap during drills)
  • The happy-go-lucky (I love BJJ, thanks for choking me)
  • The staller (wait, that's me...)
For me, my secret weapon is sweating in my opponent's mouth and/or eyes.  Its a technique that most just don't have the physical attributes and abilities (i.e., fatness).  Although I don't know from the receiving side, I can assume from my uke's responses that there is nothing more disgusting or distractive than having beads of sweat fall in your mouth and eyes when your opponent is on  top of you. It may be a kind of a Chinese water torture, but much much worse.  Just think of how many terrorist attacks would have been averted, if they used sweat instead of mere water in waterboarding.

I sweat so much that I have started to keep a sweat rag with me throughout class.  I keep it tucked into my belt like a football referee.  As my days are numbered as a BJJ practitioner, my sweat rag is well-positioned as a new technique for myself as a BJJ referee....  The flag flies and I bark, "illegal toe lock, advantage red, resume from the guard position." But, the sweat rag flag falls on the face of an innocent wife by-stander at mat-side and I am once again, the pariah of all that is disgusting in BJJ.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Circumsizing the Fat from the Old Man

I wish it was as easy as a religious-based torture to deform defenseless babies where they are most vulnerable.  However, I am finding rapid weight loss at age 43 to be impossible.  I am planning to enter the IBJJF New York Open on April 16.  I started with much fat hovering around 243-246 pounds.  I have been on a strict diet for 3 weeks and now hover around 239-241 pounds.  I need to get down to about 218 to make the 221 class with gi.  In my wrestling days of yesteryear, I could drop 10 pounds by just starting to diet and I had much less fat then.  Now, however, the fat sticks to me better than gum under a counter.  My diet consists of a berry walnut greek yogurt protein powder almond milk smoothie in the morning, which can tend to look like pink/orange chunky baby poo, if strawberries are used and the nuts are not blended fully.  Then, meat, greens, almonds, cottage cheese for the rest of the day.  That's it.

I need a tape worm.  The dieters friend.  Fourteen years ago, I was on Koh Lipe, before it had many tourists and had few boats to the mainland.  I was filtering water from an old mini filter and got tape worm.  I knew it was tapeworm for two reasons.  One, you could see it in your #2s.  Secondly, I understood why my dog would scoot across the floor to scratch its anus.  Yes, it itched like a mother ..........  It turns out that tape worms used to be used as a weight loss treatment back in the days of snake oil.  I lost 20 pounds in three weeks on the island (down to 185).  Just for kicks, after I got back on the mainland, I decided to test my parasitic pet, before I killed it with medicinal poison.  I ate a whole pizza one evening.  Stuffed myself to the gills.  The next morning.  Zero weight gain.  My wormy ate it all up.

I am getting desperate with my diet.  Its time to blame it on my age.  I decided to do some Internet research to find some tips on losing weight for the aged.  Here is what Life Mojo said (and my comments):
  • Take walks in the park... (sweet, I like that)
  • Try using stairs... (aahhh, man, but I love riding my stair chair)
  • If you have arthritis that makes some movements painful, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an excellent way for you to get aerobically fit. (I knew it, BJJ is the cure all)
It turns out that medical research shows that "weight loss in old age may signal dementia."  Good.  That means that I am NOT losing weight AND, thus, I am NOT losing my mind.  Yeah.  This weight loss problem is a good sign.

If need be, I will just enter in the ultra heavy weight "pesadissimo" division and contend with my other fellow walruses.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Daintiest Big Man and Past Gas

I guess that I realize now that I am not just old, I am also a wuss.   400 lb Josh labelled me with, "you are the daintiest big man I have ever rolled with."  To my defense, his comment followed after he flopped on me going into side control.   The reason for his comment is that I make a lot of sound effects.  So much so that I have created a new language:
  • "uhhhh" translates to "your body weight has pounced on my guts, please proceed to another position"
  • "oouchhh" translates to "you have trapped my extremity in a submittable position causing pain, please be alerted to my tapping"
  • "shiiit" translates to "note to self, please keep your elbows and arms inside the vehicle and at your side at all times (or get caught like this once again)"
  • "eeeeh" translates to "that's my jock strap and not my belt, please remove your hand"
  • "(sound of rapid panting)" translates to "I'm going to die, please prepare for stalling tactics"
Actually, last Saturday Andrew was sparring with another and asked mockingly if I was alright.  I said, "you can hear that (panting)."  Sparring partner Josh answered, "the jiu jitsu school in Gainesville can hear you."  Gainesville being 6 miles away.

"How long does it take to get past gassing terribly (when you are old and feeble)?"  I was wondering that myself, as I was having a lot of trouble getting back going after not taking many BJJ classes at the end of last year.  I remember Master Dave saying it takes a week or two.  For the Aged, it took about 5 weeks and I am just starting to feel good with sparring, not yet able to go 100% for 15 minutes.  When I started, it took 3 months.  But, then again, I am the Daintiest Big Man.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Breaking Opponent's Grip When Doing an Arm Bar

I have tried the kick the opp's opposite bicep method with poor results. Today Jay the Judo BB showed me a Judo method, which is very OMJJ Approved. All it requires is falling to your side. Even I can do that.

When you are in position with the arm trapped and about to lean back, the opp has a tight bear hug grip on their own arms. I f I fall back, they may just roll with me and get on top. The trick is to further close your bear hug on their arm and grab your Gi on the elbows. Then, fall sideways and arch your torso to extend their arm above their head. They cant hold their grip when it is extended above their head. With the grip broken, you then need to move back to perpendicular to the opps body and finish the arm bar.

I have not tried it in sparring, but it seems easy, requires little energy (i.e., fall sideways) and stops that problem with my arm bar. I am so slow that any opp can see me broadcasting the transition to arm bar a mile away. They then lock their grip and I am stuck hugging an arm that if I execute the arm bar they roll right with me and on top of me.

This video is similar, but how Jay taught it was to just lean to the side and not change the position to be nearly on top of opp. But, hey look, they are old too.