Monday, 12 January 2015

Great News!

Hi guys. I know I've been really lacking in the blogging department recently but as I've mentioned before, I have several things in my life I am trying to accomplish at the moment and blogging was kind of hindering my ability to do them.

However, I feel the need to update you on a recent development in my Bjj Journey. This last Thursday,  8th January 2015, I was overjoyed to receive my purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. In front of a class of my good friends and team mates my instructor and good friend, Ian Rossiter, promoted me to purple.

Ian was very wily with his method of promoting me. He was initially demonstrating back attacks on Glenn (Cutter) who then kind of feigned a bad neck. He then said he'd grab his camera to take some photos as we had quite a full class for the new year. I didn't have any suspicions at this point and Ian went on to demo a choke counter to a rear mount escape. On the second run through, Ian proceeding to talk through the beginning of the technique while slyly taking the belt out of his jacket and wrapping around me and tying it on. You can see from the picture below that I was caught completely by surprise and when I finally realised I was totally blown away.

Definitely the highlight of my Bjj life so far and to be able to get it in front of most of my regular club mates at DV8 Bjj in Worle, instead of having to go off and get it in front of a load of guys I didn't really know well or train with, was brilliant.

Also getting promoted a little later in the lesson were Rob Morris and Chris Whiting, two guys who have been training with Ian in Weston for ages and have definitely put the time and effort in to duly deserve their promotions. Well done guys.

What a friggin amazing experience that was. A big thank you to Ian, my friend and mentor for so long. Thanks also go to Chico Mendes, another of my Bjj Instructors when I train up in Bristol, and my good friend, Glenn Cutter, who runs our DV8 Bjj class down in Highbridge and Burnham and who has helped and supported me so much in the last couple of years. And finally of course to my regular training partner, Marcus Hedley, who has pushed me and helped me improve my game so much over the last four years,

What a great start to 2015 for me and for the club. I can't wait to see what the rest of the year has to hold. Hopefully I can encourage some of our guys to compete in some of the local comps.

Happy New Year guys. I think I could get to like this blogging stuff again too so I may have to renew my efforts here too. ¬m/

Monday, 24 November 2014

DV8 Bjj - Highbridge and Burnham

DV8 Burnham Class.

Hi People. I doubt there is anyone that still reads this as I haven't updated for nearly a year. This is because I have been doing various other projects. One of which was learning a bit of Web design. 

The reason for this post is just to pump a web site I have just built called 
This is the first website I have built. It you find any problems with it please feel free to comment to inform me as I built the thing from scratch but am very much still learning. If/when I build more I am most likely to post them up here to link for friends. 

Anyway. Training's going well. Still train regularly with Ian, very occasionally with Chico and have been once (but intend to go more) to Glenn's class down in Burnham. 

I'll try and touch back here again soon to give you an update but I've been sooooo frickin busy. 

Catcha laters ¬m/ 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

DV8 Bjj 16/1/14

Great class on Thursday down at the new place on Coker Road, Worle (Weston Super Mare). Loads in attendance and we also had Glenn Cutter's 'other' son, Luke, along to take some pictures.

Ian started us off with a Clock Choke. We actually did this last lesson too but as I haven't typed that up yet I'll go through it here. You've got your opponent turtled up to your right with you resting across his back. You reach under his neck from the nearside with your left hand and take a deep grip of his right collar. Reach over the top with your right arm and pass your hand under his arm to take a secure grip of his right wrist, holding it in place. Now finish the choke by kicking forward with your nearside (right) leg and leaning back as you go. To make the choke tighter you can angle to 1 o clock with the kick forward.

Next up was a counter to the clock choke set up. In fact you could use this as a counter to someone attacking your turtle in general if they put the arm over. So starting from the opponent laying over you with the collar grip, reaching for your wrist. You pull his reaching arm into your chest. You then move your legs away from him slightly so you can get your head positioned near his stomach while you pull your left arm out and grab his pant leg at the ankle. You now have the leverage to turn the guy over the top of you, flipping him onto his back, with you carrying on the roll to land beautifully in side control top. Very nice move.

We then moved on to the Anaconda Choke from Single Leg Takedown Defence. First off he showed it from if the opponent is attempting to single leg your right leg from Turtle. You've sprawled to defend and managed to pass your right arm between his head and shoulder to reach under across the chest and grab him at the arm pit on the other side of his body. You can then rest your weight on his back and kick the leg leg he has secured hard backwards to break his grip, continuing the downward pressure so his arms are stretched out. From there you can push your right arm further through to close your other arm around that hand. You now rest your head off to the left of him (his right) and barrel roll off left. As you roll the opponent will roll with you, taking him over your head to land off to the side in an arm in guillotine position. Then you can close your body in toward your opponent by balling up and wrapping the top leg over for the tight choke finish.

The last move was a counter to the Anaconda set up. When he gets to the sprawl by kicking his leg out, you pull his arm in to your chest. Then posture your head up into opponents right hip and sit through with your right leg to turn the guy over. If he's sensible he'll roll and you'll get side control. If not he ends with his arm in a hammer lock position. A nice finish to a really good class.

All that was left was to take some class photos, one of which you see above.

I've been having a good run of training in the week too at the moment so Bjj life = good for Marty. ¬m/

Monday, 13 January 2014

New Year.

I've been criminally neglecting my blog page over the last month. In part due to the fact that I've had a very busy end of year festive period and also because I'd temporarily lost my blogging mojo. I've only really been using my blog recently as a way of cataloging any techniques I've been training in lessons with Ian and occasionally what I've been covering with Marcus, and sometimes Chris, on weekday lunchtimes.

As I'm still pretty busy with studying to expand my knowledge base in web design, as well as spending time with my family and enjoying my influx of new stuff from the above mentioned festive period, I am content to update this page as a knowledge base for the time being. I am happy with this style at the moment although I can't imagine it's amazingly interesting to others. In the future I have plans to change the blog to a different style but for the here and now this suits my purpose.

I'll also apologise to people who do follow it (I know there are a couple of you ) for not updating recently but I'm going to do a job lot run down of my last month pretty soon.

While I've got a bit of wind in my sails though I thought I'd tell you about my recent Bjj related gift haul. This year I didn't request any clear cut technique books as, quite frankly, I have them coming out of my ass. I literally have more technique books than I can possibly learn from properly in a year of Jiu Jitsu. So instead this year I went for books on Bjj with a more literary bent. Firstly was the highly recommended Bjj Globetrotter. This has quickly become the book the most Jiu Jitsu enthusiasts should of read. A guys 140 day trip around the world to train Bjj in as many places as possible. This could well be a dream come true. A lot of us Jiu Jiteiros would love this opportunity to train across the world with loads of different clubs and characters in this art we love. But with life, money worries, a lack of courage, most of us don't have the balls to take that trip. If I won the lottery tomorrow I would convince my wife and kids to travel the world like this guys has done, visiting a different club at every destination. That'd be sooo cool. But alas, that will never happen so I'll just read the book about someone who did it.

Next up was a copy of "Don't Wear Your Gi to The Bar and Other Jiu Jitsu Life Lessons" and I have already read and finished this one. It's quite an amusing little book with some funny stuff put in with some important Jiu Jitsu Does and Don'ts. Lot's of stuff in there from Personal Hygiene to Rolling with the Class Spaz, all written in an anecdotal style for a few giggles. A decent book to read on the bog or in the bath if ever I read one.

The last book I received was a copy of Zen Jiu Jitsu, Beyond Rolling. The 30 Day Program to Improve Your Game 1000%. This one also wins the award for the longest book title in my collection. The general premise of this one is that the author, Oliver Staark (a self confessed pseudonym as the author wanted to remain anonymous), challenges you to follow his program for 30 days and is completely convinced your Bjj game will improve. I'm only one chapter in on this so I'll do a bit more of a type up on this when I know more about it and have maybe even tried it out.

My only other gift for the day that does not get mentioned in January was another gum shield, to replace my nearly worn away, old Shock Doctor Max. My new one, a Shock Doctor Gel Max in Orange. Perfect :0). Thanks Mum. If I had to recommend a gum shield to anyone this would definitely be it. easy and straight forward to fit, looks cool and comes with a sleek little case for hygienic transportation. Awesome.

But that's not all!! I also took the liberty of pre-ordering myself a brand new Gi. The most recent offering from Strike Fighterwear is the Crowd Control 2.0. This gi, like the last version, has had every major decision of it's manufacture chosen by the companies fans on social media. I personally tried to by involved in this process pretty much every step of the way and was pleasantly surprised when most of my choices matched those that were chosen. This encouraged me to plump for the extremely reasonable pre-order price of £55. I was really tempted to go for the £100 for both variants offer as Strike Fightwear also offer for pre-order as limited edition, the second best option, which was a sweet Blue and Orange variant. I elected to go with the black and blue that I feel I helped pick though. I can't wait for this to land on my door step (hopefully toward the end of January).

So that was it guys. My year end gift haul and I feel pretty damn chuffed with that little lot. I've still got a lot of books to read without drowning in technical knowledge. My gum shields (along with my belt) are probably my most consistently used piece of Bjj paraphernalia and I'll always want new Gi's!!

Happy New Year Guys. I'll start typing up all these technique write ups now ¬m/

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

DV8 Bjj 28/11/13

So this week at Ian's class (once again this is written a week behind) the numbers had dropped slightly, most likely due to Christmas impending.

Ian started us off with the drill for Kimura setup where you have the opponent postured up in your guard, hands pushing into your lower stomach/hips area. You bring your hands under his forearms and clench you fingers together, as if in a prayer. You then push up with your hands while drawing up with your knees to open his arms and collapse his posture down onto you. Between your arm pushing and his instinct reaction the opponent will (might) put his hands to the floor to either side of you. This is the standard set up for the positioning for the Kimura. From this position you can work the drill. Select one side (for this example we'll use the left/his right) and grab his (right) wrist. Opening your guard you can then sit up, throwing your arm over his right shoulder, to reach over and grab your own wrist. As this was only a drill for the set up we then released and sat back down, then did the same thing on the other side. Rinse and repeat for 5 times on either side. Then swap round so your partner gets a go. This drill is great for practicing the movement to Kimura.

To actually apply the Kimura once your got to the figure four lock (the bit where your left hand is holding his right wrist and your right hand is reaching over and grabbing your left wrist), you pull your opponent's upper arm into your chest and then fall back, pushing the guy's arm up at a ninety degree angle. At this point you also re-close the guard to ensure he can't try and shift to escape. The Kimura is a very traditional move that I have been using to great effect recently. I generally prefer to set it up by just tilting sideways and gripping my opponent's wrist while it's still on my jacket/front/hip. The motion of tilting sideways might make just enough space for me to sit up, throw the arm over and lock in the kimura.

The Kimura Sweep has basically the same set up as the first method except there is no need to grab your own wrist. In fact you can even nail it if the guys has hugged his arm around you as long as you have the space to sit up and slam your hips into him quite hard. Open the guard, sit up and throw the arm over, reaching down as if for a kimura but instead, just slam your hips into him with a big thrust while pulling on the arm to stop him from basing out. He should go over on to his back with you following straight to mount.

Moving us on from the Kimura-ish stuff we went on to it the guy gets his right hand to his leg and grabs his pant leg or belt to block. To counter this you just push your left leg through and the swing it up and over his shoulder, turning out to the side as you go. You then bring your left leg down across his right shoulder whilst passing your left arm over his back (or grabbing his belt) to stop him from forward rolling out of position. To finish the Omoplata you can either lean forward hard to pressure the shoulder or, if he's resisting particularly well, you can grab his opposite shoulder and pull yourself toward it. This will really pile on the pain though so you need to be careful with this move.

Alternatively, if he just pushes your right leg away and twists back toward your guard before you get into Omoplata lock position you can pass your left leg across his shoulders and throw your right up over his left arm to lock up a triangle. If you need to adjust because his arm being wrapped behind your leg is stopping to choke you can posture out with your body and then grab your left leg with both hands and pull inward with that leg to pile on the pressure. He'll either tap out to the shoulder lock or release and let you lock up the triangle.

Gotta catch up with writing this stuff up so I'm gonna sign off here and try and get another log typed up tomorrow night. ¬m/

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

DV8 Bjj 21/11/13

Once again I'm writing this one a good week or so after the day. I've been getting more training in again during the week now which is a huge bonus although it's in our chilly new Warrior Gym in Worle. The gym isn't that bad if others have been training in it and warmed the place up but when you're the first person in of a day the floor is bitterly cold. Still you can't whinge when it's an opportunity to train. Which reminds me, I need to start writing the stuff down that we drill in during these lunchtimes sessions cause we're really covering a lot of good stuff.

Anyway, on to the Thursday class at Warrior Gym, Worle, and Ian (Rossiter, Black Belt - Checkmat) was going a bit old school self defense to begin this class. Starting with defense for a standard side headlock (school boy style move). For the first your opponent has you in a standard headlock using his right arm wrapped around your head at the side of him. With your left hand you reach up and grab him at the shoulder. Your right hand reaches under his nearside (right) leg. From there you use the strength in your legs and back to stand up straight, thrusting forward with your hips to lift the guy off the ground to tip him on to his back. If you want to add a little juice to this move, say if you're in an MMA fight or a street fight, you can lift hard and slam the guy down in a pretty cool WWE style.

The second defense shown was where you move to stand sideways on to the opponent with your nearside (left) leg behind his legs and you reach around behind his back to grip his other side at the waist with your left hand. With your right hand you can grab his head locking arm or his leg. From there you just sit backward, pulling him over onto his side.

The third one is where you use your offside (right) arm to underhook the opponent's leg. With your left arm around his back as for the first, you just sit back whilst you pull and turn, throwing him over onto his side with you right over him.

After drilling how to counter the side headlock we then did an escape for if the guy (stupidly) tries to keep the head lock on from his newly established disadvantageous. What you do here is get your head side arm (in our examples case it will be the left) and drive the blade edge of your wrist into his neck /throat, starting at the base of his neck at using a scooping style motion to push up his neck. The pain of this will force the opponent to release the headlock giving you time to transition to a good Armbar or Americana.

Changing tact from the headlock escape, Ian moved us to some Closed Guard action. The opponent is in your Closed Guard, postured up.  You need to grab his right collar high with your left hand and lower with your right hand. You then pull him down to your left side, escape your hips to the right and press your right leg down over his back. Now (maintaining the collar grip) swing your left elbow out and over his head and then close off the cross choke by pushing your left elbow toward your right wrist. A nice tight eye bulger right there.

Ian followed up with a counter for if the opponent blocks the choke with his right hand. If he does this his left arm will likely be stretched out and exposed over your right side. All you need to do is bring your right knee down across the back of his arm to really painfully hyper-extend his arm. A real quick tapper.

Another great session of training and getting back on top of things with the week day stuff. Definitely gonna start logging the weekday stuff me and Marcus do to as I need a reminder for this stuff. Some of it is shit hot.

Catcha later ¬m/

Monday, 25 November 2013

DV8 Bjj 14/11/13

Second week training at the new Warriors Gym, Weston Super Mare, and once again it was the only training I got in that week. NOT HAPPY!! It's a problem I have since resolved thankfully but it was a sparse and miserable two weeks for me.

Still, on the up side it really made me appreciate when Ian's Thursday night class came around. Reasonably good numbers turned out at the class with a couple of old faces coming back and a new guy too. Good stuff.

Ian started us off with a double leg shoot takedown. The usual drive in left knee first, arms reach around legs with your head out to the right and push your head to the left to 'turn the corner' taking the opponent down to the floor with you jumping straight to side control. Nice and easy for the first one.

The next technique me and Marcus affectionate named the 'Mutha Fucker Choke'. The opponent has just tried to shoot in for the double but you've managed to sprawl to defend it. From there you reach under the guys arm on the right (his left) and take a fingers in grip on his collar. With your other hand you take a thumb in grip at the back of his neck. To finish you just need to bring the left arm over his head to the right (his left) side and try to push the your elbow toward your other wrist. This will tighten off the choke. You can finish this technique from the side or pull the guy into your guard for more control.

Next up was the Sprawl to Anaconda Roll. Once again you've sprawled against the takedown. This time you pass your arm through the gap between his head and shoulder (obviously using the arm on the side where his head is sticking out) and under his opposite side arm to grab the back of his arm and pull it in.You now bring your other arm down on the outside until you can post your underarm hand into the crook of the outside arm. Now, using the outer arm to clamp inward, you knock the opponent's arm in to avoid any basing and roll yourself and your opponent over to that side and then curl in toward him to finish the choke.

Moving to a different tact Ian changed to the Overhook Guard. First up was a cross choke. The opponent is in your guard postured up with his hands posting up on your waist/lower abdomen. Grab the opponent's cuff of his right wrist with your left hand using a pocket style grip (turn the cuff inside out on itself). With you reaching under his wrist you pull up with both hands whilst drawing up with your knees to break his posture down and stretch the arm out long in front of you.Switching grips to use the right hand to keep his arm stretched in place you bring your left arm inside then wrap it over the top of the outstretched arm and then back under to grab at the opponent's opposite collar. You can then let go with the right hand and tighten up the Overhook Guard position. To finish off the cross collar choke you just grab his right shoulder with your right hand and drive your elbow towards the wrist of your other hand for the choke.

The second submission from Overhook Guard was the Rickson Armbar. If you try to go for the gi choke but the opponent postures himself up slightly and drops his head down to the side and uses his free arm he can block out the choke. From here you open your guard and escape your hips out to the side, then put your far side foot on the nearside hip of your opponent and use the knee of that leg to press against the back of your overhooking arm putting immense pressure on the opponents trapped arm at the elbow. I've always loved this technique even though I haven't hit it a lot in free rolling. I think I'm going to try and incorporate the overhook guard and some of it's techniques into my game a bit more. I'll add it to an aim sheet.

That's the end of another uneventful week of Bjj in my life. Fortunately I know (because I've already lived it) that next week picks up a bit. ¬m/