Thursday, May 24, 2012

Leg lock defense with Alan Belcher

I admit, I screamed like a little girl several times during Belcher's recent fight against Rousimar Palhares.  And yes, what I screamed at least twice was "Tap!"  Good thing he wasn't listening to me.  Of course I've seen Palhares crank the crap out of better legs than mine, so I had an excuse-- but Belcher knew what he was doing, fo' sho.

Guess who's putting on a free webinar on leg lock defense?  That's right-- Alan Belcher.  I found out about it from Grappler's Guide founder Jason Scully.

It's on  Thursday May 24th 2012 at 5:30pm Pacific/8:30pm Eastern time.  Remember this is an online event so anyone from all over the world can join. Make sure you get your spot reserved, though-- here.

A sample-- his kneebar counter/set up for the "hug" choke:

I haven't been training much jiu jitsu lately-- gearing up for trial again next week.  I've been in the gym every day at lunch, but basically destroying any progress I might be making with snackies.  *sigh*  A handful of pretzels here, a slice of cheese there, and it adds up.  Today I have a sack of baby carrots on my desk, and I plan on making it to class at 8pm.  Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Check out the Jiu Jitsu Laboratory!

Prowling through friends' blogrolls is a bad thing to do when one has a lot of work to get done but isn't particularly motivated to do it.

Found this cool site, the Jiu Jitsu Laboratory.... written by David, a purple belt in Vancouver.  Check out their recent tutorial on the Leg Drag Pass. 

And check his thorough analysis of the berimbolo... including competition footage with Rafa Mendes, Samuel Braga, Ryan Hall and others, and instructional footage...

Yay, another addition to my blogroll.  David, if you're reading, I know that PhD you're chasing is keeping you busy, but I like your stuff, so please, MOAR POSTS. :)

Eat more fish!

I have a bag in the freezer of individually-frozen tilapia fillets and I've been eating lots of fish lately.  It's healthy protein, low in fat, super fast and easy, and takes to a wide array of cooking techniques, flavors, and ethnic themes.  This recipe calls for mahi-mahi or red snapper, but it tastes fine with tilapia too.  And it's gluten-free, for those of you with gluten intolerance issues.  Edited to add a second recipe (below.)
Fish with Apple-Pear Chutney
4 mahi-mahi fillets (about 4 ounces each; may substitute sustainable red snapper fillets)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter (may substitute canola oil)
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 small, firm apple (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch slices
1/4 cup finely chopped white onion
1 medium clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
Freshly ground black pepper

For the fish: Use paper towels to pat the fish fillets dry. Combine the chili powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Press the mixture onto both sides of the fillets.

For the chutney: Heat the butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the pear and apple (about 1 3/4 cups total), onion and garlic; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has slightly softened.

Add the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, cranberries, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, until the chutney has darkened in color and is fragrant; season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat and let stand while you cook the fish.

Heat the oil in a separate large skillet (preferably not cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Add the mahi-mahi fillets and cook for 8 to 10 minutes total (turning halfway through) or until the fish is just barely opaque when cut at the thickest point. The outside should be browned with caramelized spices.

Divide among individual plates; serve with a few tablespoons of the chutney alongside.

Five Spice Tilapia Salad
serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tilapia fillets
1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder, or as needed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 (8 ounce) package baby spinach leaves
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
1 tomato, diced
1 avocado - peeled, pitted and diced
2 tablespoons Asian-style ginger-soy salad dressing
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted almonds, chopped
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of the tilapia fillets with Chinese five-spice powder, salt, and black pepper; cook tilapia fillets until lightly browned and the flesh is white and opaque, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and coarsely chop into 2" pieces.

Place the spinach leaves into a large salad bowl, and top with the orange bell pepper, grapefruit, tomato, and avocado. Drizzle the salad with the Asian-style dressing, sprinkle with almonds, and top with the cooked fish.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Help preserve the grandmasters' legacy!

Shamelessly pinched, with a few alterations, from Meerkatsu:

A Red Belt (9th degree black belt and above) is the highest rank attainable by a BJJ instructor. There aren't many of these grandmasters around but they are there, somewhere, mostly in Brazil, a few in America. They have stories to tell, they know a lot about the sport and they've probably seen it all already.

Film maker Hywel Teague, owner of the popular video site BJJ Hacks, will be making a documentary about these extraordinary men. He will track down, interview and film the remaining red belt masters living in Brazil. It'll be an amazing film. In his words: "it will be an intimate and revealing look into the art of jiu-jitsu, focusing on a group of men with amazing history in the sport."

Hywel made the awesome films on Kyra Gracie, the Miyao Brothers and a lot more for BJJ Hacks. Formerly, he was also editor of Fighters Only, one of the the biggest MMA magazine publications in the world.

Check his Miyao highlight:

The red belts Hywel wants to film each have over 50 years of grappling experience. We're talking about guys who were learning their craft when jiu jitsu was barely known about in Brazil. As Hywel says, these guys are now mostly retired and sadly been largely forgotten.

"Most exist outside of the knowledge of those within the jiu-jitsu world. The attention is firmly on current world champions, but we should be careful not to forget the lessons these masters can teach us."

So here's how you can help. Go visit the and read more about the film. Hywel needs to raise money to make the film. The fund raising website is here:

Listen to Hywel describe the project on the FightWorks Podcast.

You can buy items or just donate. I'm going to sell a bunch of my gently-used gis and donate the proceeds. There's other cool stuff too, like rare BJJ gis, videos, books, prints and all manner of goodies. Every cent earned or donated will be on full public display - no shady hand dipping into the pot here, it's all above board.

I hope you can help too.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Train not for competition. Train for life.

A family friend of my husband's spent the weekend at our house.  Richard visits us regularly- he's a roadracer and the cycling around Austin is pretty demanding.  Plus, he loves TacoDeli.  As usual, martial arts and jiu jitsu came up in conversation.  This time, we were waiting for a table at the best Thai place in town (Titaya, if you're curious) and in a nearby strip mall, he noticed an aikido dojo.  No offense to any aikido practitioners in the audience (and I know Roy Dean could aikido me into the next century) but I do have a little bias in favor of BJJ over all other arts. 

Richard's perspective was, he wants to learn to quickly take an attacker and put them on the ground (not that he's a bar brawler by any means-- he's about 5'8", 140lbs tops, and with a ready grin that invites friendship instead of fists).  "I don't want to punch people, or kick people, and I certainly don't want to be down on the ground with them," he said... "Maybe I should take judo."

I kept trying to tell him that what I do is sport jiu jitsu out of my own preference, but that my academy focuses first on real self defense, and that this is what BJJ was designed to do.  I tried to explain how judo has become more and more sport-focused over the years.   But ultimately, I told him, whatever you study will be better than nothing at all, so whatever looks interesting to you, whatever you enjoy, whatever you find appealing enough to keep up with it-- that's what you should take. 

But of course you should do BJJ first :)

Unfortunately I know from personal experience that most schools don't have a primary focus on self-defense.  I wish I could move Richard to Austin for many reasons-- my husband loves him, and I think Austin is cooler than where he lives-- but among them is my pride in my academy and my instructor, for the emphasis on staying true to the heart and soul of Brazilian jiu jitsu.  I've come quite a long ways in my 3.5 years of training-- from "I will never get in a bar fight, I don't care about self-defense, I want to roll!" not so long ago-- and I owe it to my team and my instructor for showing me the light.

One team, one family, one legacy.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Training while visiting Las Vegas....

When I tell people I'm going to Vegas, they always get this knowing half-grin on their faces.  It's usually followed by quips about playing red or not staying out too late.  What they don't know is that my husband's parents, and an aunt/uncle, retired there some years ago so our kind of Vegas trip is quite different.  It's home cooking, lots of eating out, maybe a show or two, and family time.

And... training, of course.

Just came back from 10 days in Vegas and thought I'd share with you what I experienced when I trained at Drysdale's.  In another post I'll give you the scoop on Gracie Humaita Vegas.

Robert Drysdale's home academy is a really nice facility with classes at all hours, close to my inlaws' house, so it's a natural place for me to train when I'm visiting.  The Drysdale school is located in a lightly-traveled strip mall on Rainbow, one of the main drags in town but not near the Strip.  The enormous mat spaces are divided in two by a wall so you can have two classes running at once (and often do) without disturbing each other.  They have an enormous heavy bag rack, which you'd expect in a high-caliber MMA training facility like this, plus a weight-training area, mens' and womens' locker rooms, and even a ginormous tractor tire for flipping outdoors.  And if you have a significant other who wants to watch, there are seats on the side.

This photo, from a recent belt test, shows the smaller of the two mat areas (where the morning nogi class takes place.)  The other room is about 2-3x this size.

The schedule offers only about a billion classes, from gi and nogi to kali/escrima, judo, wrestling, muay thai, and boxing-- even kids' classes, strength & conditioning, cardio kickboxing, MMA sparring and BJJ drilling.  The BJJ classes are offered for beginners, all belts, intermediate and advanced levels and there's a competition class too (which I was welcome to attend even though I'm from another school.)  I usually train at the 9am gi class which has usually been taught by Sonny Nohara, a blackbelt on the smaller side (maybe 150lbs?) with great teaching skills.  One thing I particularly appreciated was his ability to create a focused drill on the fly if members of the group appear to be having trouble with a technique.  The morning classes are usually around 20-26 people in size, with a great range of belts (usually at least 2 black belts and 2-3 browns and a handful of purples as well as 10 or so blues/whites) and sizes.  Lots of friendly medal-chasers in the gi classes, and lots of pro fighters in the nogi ones.  (I watched Robert teaching Forrest Griffin and James McSweeney along with a bunch of other guys I didn't immediately recognize in the nogi class this past Tuesday for example.)

Last Christmas, I bought a class card that I think worked out to around $10/class, but it seems they're not too focused on punching your card.  I hesitate to say it because I don't want people taking advantage of their kindness, but that's what it is-- they're just a really nice bunch of guys who are more concerned with good training than nickel-and-diming a visitor.

Their warmups are more towards the S&C side of the spectrum, lasting about 45 minutes, using pliometrics and sprints and you'll definitely get a good sweat on.  (They do have A/C, but if it's not exorbitantly hot out, they roll up the garage doors and put on industrial fans so it's relatively comfortable.) As far as techniques go, I'd say I see a lot more inversion here than I do at home.  More inversion drills, and more of the people you roll with will invert.  People play a lot of open guard and the passing tends to be standing and light on the feet instead of a smash-pass kind of thing.  Classes I've taken have run the gamut, including takedowns (usually a wrestling-type versus a judo-type).  The mats are really nice and they have a digital round timer on the wall; you're encouraged to get water from the two water fountains whenever you need it.  When class is done, there's usually three or four 6-minute rounds, or some king-of-the-hill, and then people carry on with open mat. 

I consider this one of my homes away from home.  If you visit Vegas, definitely check out Drysdale's and tell them I said so!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Raptora vs. Predadora

My two favorite made-for-ladies gis are the Raptora and the Predadora, both by Predator BJJ (a division of Black Eagle.)  Fair disclosure-- I'm sponsored by Black Eagle.

It's a shame the Raptor (for guys) and Raptora (the ladies' version) was a special edition gi that's no longer available.  I am still going to review it-- in case they make another run of it, or if you can get your hands on one some other way.

The Raptor has already been reviewed a few times, by JiuJitsu Sweep, on Sherdog, by Meerkatsu, and the Grappling Addict among others.  Megjitsu reviewed the Raptora, both in pre-production and official versions.  And my review of the Predadora is found here.

The short version:  really nice silky soft twill pants with a slimmer cut than the Predadora, a rashguard-lined jacket that's pleasantly roomier than the Predadora, with gorgeous embroidery, and very little shrinkage.  But some flaws in quality control cut the A+ down to an A-.

Stats on an A1:
Weight: 3.5 lbs-- quite light for a lined-jacket gi with non-ripstop pants.

Pants measurements:  Waist 20.5", Leg length 32", cuff 8.5", front rise 9.25", rear rise 11".

Jacket: Front length, shoulder to hem 27", width at armpits 17", armpit to cuff 19", cuff 6".  I could not accurately determine if there was any shrinkage at all-- measurements varied by 1/4" here and there but it could have been user error. 

Can't explain how well I like the fabric of the pants-- twill that feels worn in, but not worn out.  Kind of the same texture as 1000-thread count fancy hotel sheets, only sturdier.  I hope Black Eagle continues to use this fabric for future pants, although I like ripstop too-- this stuff wears very well and is extremely comfortable.  But the stitching had some skips and errors:

The double layer over the knee extends far up the thigh and down to about six inches above the ankle.  When you're on your knees, you're still on the "padding" which is good-- but just barely.  I wish they would have reinforced the whole front or at least down to the ankle.

Fancy embroidered eagle on the lower left leg.

After six months or so of regular wear, there are a few loose or fuzzed-up threads in the eagle, but no unraveling or serious issues.

Here's a small example of quality control problems: such nice reinforcement of the triple-seamed construction inside the pants/crotch, but a handful of loose threads.  To be fair, there's no deterioration of the seam or other impact, so I suppose it's predominantly aesthetic.

Aside from the eagle on the left shin, the only other "bling" on the pants is the Black Eagle label on the right hip.

You know I love pants with six belt loops.  Raptora-- got 'em.

Solidly-reinforced armpit.  Note the triple seaming on the jacket panels.

The best thing about this gi is the rashie lining.  It's soooooo smooth and pleasant to the skin-- it wicks away sweat-- it's a joy to wear.  The interior has a lovely saying in Portuguese (you can google translate if you like.) But since I don't spend much time looking at the inside of my gi, I didn't bother.  I just know it feels really cozy-- especially in nasty hot weather.

The downside to a stretchy interior lining like this is-- when you hire someone else to sew your patches on, they may not be super picky about getting the lining to lay flat.  It's not a big deal, you don't even notice either from looking at the back or how it feels to your skin.  But it's there.

The tape inside the jacket hem coordinates with the color scheme, and isn't scratchy-- though a few loose threads are visible here at the left hand side.

Solid reinforcements everywhere-- and no pulling where the reinforcement overlays the rashguard lining.  (The wrinkles are photographer/stylist error.)

The back of the gi and the fancy eagle meant my school patch had to go at waist level, but doesn't affect the utility of the gi or my comfort when wearing it.

You can see here a couple tiny "fuzzed" threads in the eagle, which gets all the wear and tear of my feeble guard game.  No big deal at all and really quite impressive, considering.

The pants cuffs are also triple seamed, twice in purple and once in white.  No scratchy tape or anything to get frayed because this is like a French seam, wrapped and folded onto itself.

I tried to photograph the texture of the pants-- it's a true twill, but so flexible, fluid, and soft.  Like wearing PJs and not heavy at all, unlike for example the hemp pants from Datsusara, which felt like thick linen.

Interior reinforcement of the armpit.

Fit:   For me, the problem was the fit of the pants.  Ladies with less in the rear end will find the Raptora pants less baggy than the Predadora-- ladies built like me (definitely pear to hourglass) will find these more like guys' pants, a little slim across the beam so to speak.  But still definitely wearable and comfortable.

As for the jacket-- it's more comfortable than the Predadora, because it offers more cross-over across the front and is looser under the arms without being boxy and enormous like most mens' gis.  The skirt is a little bit longer than the Predadora without being too long-- it hits just below my hipbone but above the crease where thigh meets torso.  While I love the Predadora pants, the Predadora jacket makes me feel like I'm literally bust-ing out of the jacket (while I'm a 36 C right now, the Predadora jacket makes me feel like a 38DD.  Or something.)

I give the Raptora a solid A--- it's one of my favorites because of all the comfortable textures, the lovely color scheme, and the nicely-fitting jacket.  Too bad there were some stitching boo-boos, but they do not affect the wear and lifespan of the gi.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

I'm in Vegas!

Yep, trained briefly on Sunday afternoon with our super-feather, she knocked out 30 minutes of straight sweep drills before I had to hit the road.  I made a sack lunch for the plane with sliced tomatoes, grapes, apples, carrots and hummus... and read the whole flight to Vegas.

My first doctor's appointment was yesterday and I'm happy so far.  I had 16 follicles (18, 17, 16, 16, 15, 14, 14, 11, 11, 10, 10) and the lining was 9mm, and I'm going back for another ultrasound this morning.  Might get to trigger tonight, or tomorrow night though I'm hoping for tomorrow... we'll see!  Mitch is finishing a final exam as we speak and will hop on the plane here this afternoon.

I hope to be on the mats (at Drysdale's and the Humaita gym here) tomorrow.  I just don't feel comfortable borrowing my father in law's car without my husband around-- call me dopey, but murphy's law would make me have an accident and I would feel stupid.  So I'm finishing up making clips from the Basic B12 Curriculum and I'll post that review this afternoon. 

The Humaita school here has judo classes couple nights a week which I'm looking forward to.

RIP Maurice Sendak...

Friday, May 04, 2012

Rough night of training.

As I've mentioned, Gracie Humaita Austin separates classes (technique and drilling) from training (hard, directed sparring) from open mat (whatever you want to do.)  Tues and Thurs nights have our on-ramp class (for newbs) first and then training.  I started attending on-ramp this week in addition to the fundamentals program because (a) our browns and purples attend and rave about it, (b) I have yet to see Donald show something I know already, unless it's because he already showed it to me at my old academy in competition class or a private, and (c) it's nice to have technique 3-4 nights a week, so I can still be on the mat even if I wasn't feeling ready to be ragdolled in the training portion.

Last night we continued D's explication of back escapes, looked briefly at armbars from the back, and we concluded by touching on armbar defense.  As always, stuff you thought you knew before leads to facepalm and murmurs of "Duh!  why didn't I realize that?"  I partnered up with Pete, one of our smaller guys, and was impressed anew when I saw he wore a white belt... dude sounded and felt like a blue in every way.  So good to train with someone who listens intently to the instruction, processes it well, makes mistakes the first time or two (so I don't feel stupid when I do the same) and then naturally picks up a little intensity, switches sides, and is happy to point out where they feel you have gone awry.  I try to have zero ego about this (though I fail, otherwise I wouldn't feel stupid about mistakes) and I want feedback. This describes most if not all the people at the academy so it's win-win and I'm fortunate.

After that hour, I thought, I'm ready for some hard training!  I thought it would be like last week, just me and the smaller herd working with our super-feather bluebelt... nope.  One loosey-goosey flow roll to warm up and then you lined up down the mat across from your partner.  Everyone took two steps to the left, and that was who you'd roll with the first match.  Nonstop 6 min matches followed, always lining up between rounds and moving two steps to the left..  The first two were supposed to be 70-80% but epic fail for me-- I have a VERY hard time even keeping "70%! 70%!" in my head much less in my body when I'm rolling with a guy.  Even if he's only going 70%... to me, it feels like 100%, and I counter it.  Maybe not with 100% of my speed, definitely not with tournament intensity... but 100% of my weight and strength.  So by round 3, when D announced "OK, from now on, 100% each and every round" I had to chuckle and confess to my new partner (Andrew, a burly blue belt who probably weighs 60 lbs more than me and easily out-techniques me with his eyes closed and both hands behind his back) that I already blew my wad and would really be going 70% if that.

Oh, and I had to point out-- I slipped while doing box jumps in the gym yesterday at noon, so I had big bruises on both shins that looked like raspberries under the skin-- so please no knuckles into the shins.

By the time I got down the line to our super-feather, I was knackered.  She looked more energetic than I felt and I did my best to give her good tournament prep, but I feel like I did a fair bit of hunkering down, defending, and praying for the bell.

I had to quit after an hour.  I just couldn't do more.  I wasn't close to puking-- but my muscles were trembling and I felt sunburned, my face was so red.  Breathing was a challenge.  Definitely need to keep working on getting back into shape!

Cool followup to our sasae conversation the other day, thanks Tim for pointing this out!

Tonight, I will be attending a friend's Judo class... I feel like I'm cheating on my BJJ spouse with my Judo lover ;)

While you're still procrastinating actual work on this lovely Friday, how about you check out the Science of Skill post on short and long term goals in BJJ? I like Dan's writing.  He has degrees in psychology and kinesiology, he runs a BJJ school in Rhode Island, he's been training and competing for years, and he looks at things (as the title would suggest) with an eye to the science underlying the skill.  Because I feel I'm lacking in native talent, I'm always interested in ways to apply other strengths to enhance my progress in jiu jitsu... so his stuff is right up my alley.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

The back mount, by Rener and Matt.

Last October I was able to attend Rener Gracie's backmount seminar at my old academy.  I took extensive notes and re-wrote them the next day, trying to make everything in full sentences that would make sense looking at them a year later.

Well, I have only reviewed those notes 3-4 times since then, and it was kind of an exercise in curiosity when I shared them with my friend Matt, who did not attend the seminar with me, to see if he would be able to make heads and tails out of them.  He went one further and mindmapped it for me!

So-- here you go.  I don't swear it's all correct because my memory may be flawed-- and Matt wisely left a lot of detail out (I don't intend this as a substitute for attending Ryron and Rener's seminars, which are outstanding in terms of breadth, depth, and the excellence of the teaching skills displayed.)

The good news for you-- not only will I finally be reviewing a STACK of other instructionals next week, while I'm in Vegas slaving away as an egg factory-- but MAYBE Matt will do some other mindmaps for us-- seeing as he already has some of the same DVDs!  I think this mindmapping thing is an excellent adjunct to notes taken and I'm hankering after a copy of Inspiration 9 (the program which made it) of my own.

Check out his other mindmaps on his blog ... I love the one he did of Ryan Hall's Triangle (here's Disc One.)

Tonight, I am back for more abuse by my teammates headed to Worlds.  I'm getting used to being sore when I go to bed and sore when I get up.  I've lost six pounds, hooray!

Cheers and happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

If no one sees it...

So my title refers to a magical moment during training last night.  But I'll set the stage-- I did attend the on-ramp class and learned some fundamental stuff about escaping the back that I never knew before... the kind of stuff that leaves you facepalming and wondering how it was you never thought of this.  I had a great drilling partner for this and it went well except for the monster mosquitoes (I smashed two on the mat, and later D was like whoa, who's bleeding? nope, just biohazard corpses.)

Then, the bigger/higher ranked people went to one side of the room to assist 3 MMA fighters who have fights in the near future.

The medium-sized medium belts got grouped together.

Us smaller folk got split into two groups, to help our two teammates who are prepping for Worlds.  A group of 7 guys, all blues and purples, helping a blue belt lightweight killer, and then a super-technical smaller bluebelt and I were targets for our super-feather blue belt.  Nonstop 3 minute rounds for her, and she wore us into the mat. 

When she finally wanted a breather, he and I went at it. And here was the magical moment... I was kind of playing "zero gravity jiu jitsu"-- for me this means the kind of jiu jitsu where you're more focused on the relationship between your body and theirs, and you forget which way is up.  When this happens it's a BIG leap forwards for me, because it means I don't let the mat get in my way-- I find a way to roll over a shoulder or come up underneath myself or go underneath them or something like that.  People who play a lot of inverted guard will think this is the most obvious thing in the world, but believe me, it's taken a LONG time for me to get here and when it blossoms on occasion, it's just awesomeness for me.  So anyway I forget exactly where I was when it happened, I was probably trying to stave off a guard pass for far too long, was probably fully on my side facing him with my knees jammed together, and somehow, with the grips I had (belt and knee? maybe a cuff, under my own leg?) I got my shin in there and humped my hips and I swear it was the kind of shin sweep that makes the angels sing, because I went from "ohshitohcrapI'mpassedhe'spassedI'mscrewed" to "I'mincrosssidewoo!"  And of course we kept on rolling and the angels quit singing while they watched me butcher things, attempt to muscle things, and generally spazz... but when we were done, the glory of that shin sweep stayed with me.

And then I wondered-- if you shin sweep and no one sees it, did it really happen?

Now that I'm thinking about shin sweeps... this video from Jason Scully doesn't show whatever random cobbled-together thing I did, but it's still got some good stuff.  I know I use something similar to escape from technical mount.  Definitely some good ideas and food for thought in here.

Happy Hump Day :)

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Oh, I'm sore..

A little seoi nage, a little Boys, for your Tuesday morning...

A new month at Gracie Humaita Austin and looks like May will be all seoi nage and standing guard passes, all the time.

As Donald puts it-- you don't want it to be like Sexual Panther, where 20% of the time it works all the time.  You want it to work 100% of the time.  So, we did uchi komis for seoi nage for 45 minutes, then the most basic variant of a standing guard break into the stack pass for about an hour.  And even though my partner Marisa weighs next to nothing, I got up this morning and immediately knew I'd been doing something wrong, because my back is sore.

I'm trying to decide whether to go to training tonight.  Pros and cons as follows:

Pros: Tuesday night and Thursday night training is brutal, hardcore, nonstop rounds.  Maybe 30 sec-1 minute rest in between, but D picks who you are matched up with and it's go-time.  So I will get a good workout.  There's also the option of attending the on-ramp class first (our intro for whitebelts) and all our brownbelts say they learn things in the on-ramp, so I know it's not below me or anything silly.  Our whitebelts are sick, they're dangerously good (all of which makes me so sad I didn't/couldn't have started my training with D from the beginning.) And I ate donut holes for breakfast this morning so it's not like I couldn't use the extra work.  And my husband has his statistics class tonight, so I won't be missing his company for too long, he'll get home around 9:30 and I'll get home around 10:30.  I do have a gi in the car, so I could stay at work late and go straight to the academy, which would save on gas money. And then I would be less likely to snicky-snacky at the house.  I have carrots and hummus and navel oranges here at work (now that I have eliminated the offensive donut holes, haha.)

Cons:  My back is sore, as I mentioned.  I'm a lazy slug.  I'm afraid to go and be mush and have people think they need to take it easy on me, that I've gone soft and wow, what happened to the old Red Menace?

OK, it's fairly obvious I should go tonight.

My favorite judo throw of all time-- the sasae tsurikomi ashi-- and I just found a new example of it.  I love the slow-motion breakdowns at the end.

Here's a quick breakdown with competition footage at the end...

I know I've posted this one before, but I couldn't resist.  A Toshihiko Koga highlight, doesn't get much hotter than this.  (They disabled embedding!  so click on this link.)