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Training Session – Dec 18th

December 18, 2007

What we did:

Ten min warm up; jogging; light stretching

Up and down the width of my school’s judojo:

  • combos
  • kicks
  • forward rolls
  • backward rolls
  • shots
  • leap frogs (just by ourselves – done as high and far as possible)


  • four point base switch – 1 min
  • sit outs – 30 sec
  • stand up in base 10 count
  • sprawls 10 count
  • Spin on turtle – 6x switch

Takedowns – Review

  • Double leg takedown – 5x; 5th time follow thru
  • From the clinch – wrestling and Randy Couture underhook side takedowns – 5x; 5th follow thru
  • Alive drill – low resistance (can move around), from the clinch, go for takedown but no follow thru – 2 min
  • Alive drill – same as previous drill with 30% resistance – 2 min

Groudwork – Instruction

  • Guard pass/mount escape drill
  • Proper side mount control – dead drill holding side mount; top holds, bottom attempts escape – 1 min
  • Side mount escapes – elbow and spin out escape.
  • Alive drill – low resistance, from side mount; top holds, bottom attempts escape – 1 min
  • Alive drill – full resistance; top holds side mount, bottom attempts escape – 1 min
  • Light slow rolling, from the guard – 3 min

Thoughts on Training:

A few things I want to address before I show off pictures.

First, proper position. After teaching my friends (Brent and Esteban) how to properly control the side mount, I had a harder time with them as we rolled. It wasn’t quite a cake walk rolling with them before, but I just made my life that much more difficult.

Of course, everyone in BJJ has heard the “position before submission” statement. I don’t particularly agree with that but it does ring true. Proper positioning always open up a whole new world of possiblities. And it doesn’t matter if you know a ton of submissions, if you can’t get to the proper position to set up those submissions… what good are they?

Which leads me to thing second thing I want to address, movement. Sure, we all know how to pass guard. Sure, we all know a bunch of submissions. But what about transitions and moving from one position to another?

I resently bought a magazine called “Submissions: Fighting Spirits”. It’s a Japanese magazine that comes with a DVD that shows a lot of submission techniques. And I suppose that’s the money maker. No one wants to buy a book about how to move correctly on the ground, but that’s what is important in the game. Movement from the bottom guard keeps the guard. Movement in side mount, opens to better positioning like gaining the back or better submission attempts. Show me a person who moves well on the ground and I’ll show you a fantastic grappler.

In the magazine there are only ten transition techniques out of 33 pages of techniques. But I believe movement from position to position is important. Take my case for example, I need to move more now. If I’m content to fight from a position – as opposed to fighting for a position – then I’ve limited my options and I’m prone to using up my energy (like trying to escape from a well controlled side mount when I could have fought to regain guard or tried for something in mid-pass).

It’s always a better stratagy to improve your situation going into a position than it is to improve it while finding yourself in a position you don’t want to be in. Like Mr. Miyagi in “The Karate Kid”. What’s the best defense for a punch? “Not be there.”

Not saying you shouldn’t train your escapes, but I’d like to know more ways to be more fluid on the ground and not have to use my escapes. I guess that’s one thing I’ll have to take a closer look at as I continue training.

Hmm… now that I think about it that saying “position before submission” makes more sense than I gave it credit for.

Anyway, on to the pictures.

This is my school’s Judojo. In the background are my students and an teacher. Good thing you can’t see their faces cause I didn’t get their permission to post up their pictures. And in Japan anytime you publish or post up or show a picture of someone else publicly it has to be okayed by them first. It’s all good though, you can’t even recognize them.

Guy in the red sports jacket warming up, Esteban.

Our trusty and very old timer.

Brent and Esteban work on a clinch drill

Me and Esteban in the clinch drill. Yes, Esteban is tall. That or I’m really tiny.

Doesn’t quite look like it but, Esteban going for a takedown.

Me taking down Brent. I’m trying to grab a contact I lost on the ground. Ha, I don’t wear contacts…

Brent returning the favor.

Me in Esteban’s guard. It doesn’t last long…

See told ya. Despite all my strength and technique working in conjunction, I stay in side mount. That’s okay, cause I get my revenge later.

I don’t know what’s worse… getting mounted by Brent.

Or giving up my back (I got tapped). I guess the tapping out part kinda speaks for itself.

You can’t really see it, but there’s a nice cut on Brent’s ear. He got that rolling with Esteban. Moral of the story kids: roll hard but roll safe. Then again beats getting a hyperextended arm…

And finally, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – the deadliest technique I know…

The Ankle Lock Bite!

It’s ineffective because of the clawing rabid growl counter Esteban is doing.

Sorry, I’ll post up more “serious” stuff later. I have plans on showing a movement drill we practice and the wrestling takedown seen (sort of) in these photos.

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