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Paraestra – Jan 17th

January 19, 2009

Saturday was an interesting day at Paraestra. I got an email from Ide-san saying he was going to teach class on Saturday so I was looking forward to it, not knowing that he was teaching the Saturday night class. I attended the morning class. Oops!

Anyway, it was my first time back since OJJ last weekend and I wondered how my wrist would fair during the sparring session. We also had a few visitors from Hiroshima, one of them a professional Shooto fighter and purple belt in jiu-jitsu. Yes! Guess who was the first one to roll with him during open mat sparring. That’s right, me!!

Hiroshima pro Shooto fighter (in black) showing off a front choke

Anyway, this training session also opened my eyes and changed my opinion of the position I rarely transition to – the mount.

First we went over how to transition from an Americana attempt in side-control to an Ikkyo (or gooseneck) wristlock in full mount. I think I’ll use that next time I’m in side-control.

Finally, we stayed in full mount with a palm down/palm up collar choke. Then using the same set up for the palm down/palm up choke we did a transition to other submissions. The transition calls for the leg that’s the same side as the attacking arm to be up – foot flat on the ground, knee off the mat – not pinching the torso of the sparring partner. Having the leg up benefits in two ways. One – it increases base and prevents an upa escape, the choke is still possible. Two – the wide open area is a feint. As the bottom practitioner uses the space to escape, simply move up into high mount. From high mount, keep the first grip (palm down), pinch knees together or lift up the head to trap leg under. An armbar and/or the triangle is already set up in that high mount position.

Because everything is pre-positioned it doesn’t matter if I get bumped off of mount. The triangle will still be there.

And the dim light bulb in my brain finally went off. Poof!

I’m small and light and I have to use that to my advantage. “To know my weakness is strength.” Whenever I get mount it’s guaranteed I’ll lose it. What Tomari-sensei showed in class was that if everything’s set up correctly, it’s okay to get bumped. It’s the tried and true notion of planning three steps ahead of the opponent.

I know, I know, every single badass in jiu-jitsu has in one point of time stressed the importance of being able to plan ahead. I sunk in on Saturday. It’s like, all that has to happen is to let the bear walk into the trap.

After class was over we were also treated to a mini-lesson from the Hiroshima Shooto guy. First was a Darce choke from bottom side-control! Bottom side-control!! Then front chokes from the guard, stand-up, top and bottom side-control! Everyone who wasn’t part of his crew was busy taking pictures and going “oooh” and “ahhhh”. Everyone except Tomari-sensei. He was nodding and going, “yeah, that’s right.”

Showing off more pointers for the front choke

Guess when you’re a black belt in Japan and your school also trains Shooto fighters as well then you’ve seen almost everything.

Sparring Highlights

Pro Shooto Purple Belt
I’ve rolled with amateur Shooto fighters. I’ve rolled with purple belts. And I have to say they’re nothing like what this guy was capable of.

It was like being in the middle of a fierce rainstorm with nowhere to go.

There was always pressure from him. All of his submissions came incredibly quick and backed by his crazy Shooto strength. His intensity was at an explosive super sonic level.

After tapping out for like the 50th time, I had enough and decided to see how long a rolling-at-110% P-Dawg could hang with someone like him.

And, believe it or not, I never got submitted after that. And, more importantly, my wrist held up!

I don’t really remember much about the details of our match and, to be honest, I only picked up on the general idea that if I went at a higher level of intensity I can pretty much hang with the best of them. Granted I was never a threat and it mostly me escaping attacks. I know I’m not submission specialist, I probably won’t ever be, but it’s something.

I was lined up to spar a few guys from his crew but as it turns out my hand got cut. Don’t know how it happened, but it did. So I passed on rolling with them to tape that up and missed out on the fun.

9 year old Yamashita-kun
Yup, I sparred with a kid. This young man also trains in Judo and went to today’s session all by himself. Under no adult supervision whatsoever. Just goes to show how safe Japan is. He was supposed to come with his father, they made it a plan to come together, but somehow his father didn’t wake up in time. Ah, the joys of business drinking parties.

I had lots of fun with Yamashita-kun. Being taller, heavier and stronger, I decided to limit myself and work only technique. At one point he had me in a headlock in the turtle position and wouldn’t let go. I tried to escape but he wouldn’t have it. I didn’t want to use obvious strength against him, but picking him up and putting him into bottom side-control was pretty easy.

Even when I went faster against Yamashita-kun, he kept up. I was pretty surprised about that. Then again, he’s a bouncing jiu-jitsu ball of energy so I probably did nothing to wear him down.

Big 1st stripe Blue Belt
My usual Saturday training rival. I had a difficult time working out of the big guy’s closed guard. He tried to get to my back and work hip sweeps and Kimuras every time I ended up in his guard.

He slapped two armbars on me and I had to tap by default. For some strange reason we were two massive planets and everyone headed in our direction due do some blue belt gravitational pull (we were the only two in the room). The first pair I smashed into was Tomari-sensei and the Hiroshima Shooto guy. When I tried to escape, Big Blue didn’t notice that I smashed into two people and cranked the submission. Ha.

Also I tried to submit Big Blue with a clock choke by fainting to get the back mount therefore leaving him open to the choke. It didn’t work, not for the obvious reasons though. As soon as I pre-set my choking hand, Big Blue was working to get that grip off. Sure I got the back mount because of that but I was really hoping to get that transition working.

*notes on today’s techniques

Mount Ikkyo transition from Americana
Being in top side-control attack the farside arm for an Americana. Bottom side-control stretches arm out and up to defend. Follow arm up and go to full mount. Slide hand (on wrist) up to the back of opponent’s hand (near knuckles). Point opponent’s elbow straight up and fold arm and wrist under – maintain grip. Trap tricep area against chest. Finish by pushing down with body and pulling up with hands.

Palm down/palm up choke
Choking grip is deep in the collar and should lift the shoulder off the mat as the elbow is driven into the cheekbone. Transitioning to the choke, forearm goes under the chin and is pushed in and up (like how to finish a sleeve choke). Do not be kind with this submission, like the sleeve choke – being rude finishes the choke. Second hand comes in under – collarbone level should work fine.

Palm down/palm up choke > high mount
Choking grip is the same. When applying the choke to prevent an Upa escape, raise the leg that is of the same side as the choking grip (right arm, right leg), point it out at, more or less, a 45 degree angle. If the opponent tries to backdoor escape, drive up into high guard. Keep pinching! Lift opponent’s head to bring leg under. Can apply a straight armbar or Kimura to trapped arm – depending on the arm’s position. If bumped from mount into guard, the triangle can be applied then.

Darce from bottom side-control
Opponent has top side-control on the left side. Right arm should be in-between opponent’s head and nearside shoulder. Take left hand and drive it under to opponent’s farside hip. Bump and spin off to the side – going into north-south position – trapping farside arm between your body and opponent’s. Pull in tight, secure the darce and finish.

Front choke from everywhere
Works like a rear naked, elbow points in the same direction as the chin. Choking with right arm. Wrap arm around the neck, hooking behind the head – pull down to secure. Bring left forearm to push down more/pull head into chest. Quick grip, left hand palm up. Slide right hand into bicep – finish choke. Opponent’s ear should be on your chest “listening”. Can work this from any position the opportunity presents itself except for back mount.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 19, 2009 10:26 pm

    Great post.
    I’ve rolled with that guy a while back. He whipped my ass big time, felt just as you described. All I managed to do was pass his guard once and have knee on belly for about 3 seconds. The rest was tap-city.

    See you Tuesday?

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