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Teppo Ebi – March 2nd

March 3, 2009

Inspired by Caleb’s post (and the comments) at Fightworks podcast about his Gi-Smell Pull Ups, I decided to get back into training way before my cast comes off, which comes off this week Friday (finally!).

In order to prep for my training session, I first started off thinking about what I can’t do. Bend right leg, nope. Ground work, no way. Takedowns, yeah right. Throws, probably only O-soto Gari but that’s it.

Other than that I can stand. I can wear my gi top and rash guard. So what’s left?

Grip fighting and wristlocks.

Stuff I always wanted to work on anyway. Broke leg plus super strong desire to train equals blessing in disguise.

Met up with Carl, Seth, Oguni and Mike (new guy) and we all headed down to Kurume. It was like old times except I had a cast on my leg, and wouldn’t be able to show off techniques to everyone else.

Paired off with Brent and we did (both gi and no-gi):
Grip breaks
Grip fighting drill no.1 (thumb war style, 5 sec hold wins, reset – one side breaks, other grips)
Grip fighting drill no.2 (same as no.1 but submissions okay)

That was it. After a while, grip fighting for the sake of grip fighting looked silly. Especially no-gi. Getting good grips means being able to perform a takedown or a throw. When Brent and I got good grips we kinda looked at each other and reset. And we couldn’t perform the wristlocks we drilled at a higher intensity because I wasn’t mobile enough to “yield” when I got caught in one.

It’s a work in progress. I hope to figure out a decent structure to drill when by the time my cast comes off.


The guys at Teppo Ebi are stepping up. Apart from their normal warmup, they added an additional 50 Hindu pushups and 100 situps. I’m proud of them. They still do 3 minute sparring rounds though.

Ran a 5 minute Round Robin drill with all the foreigner boys. Five guys total, a minute for each of them. It was funny to hear their complaints about it being too long. When they were done I added, I stayed in for 6 minutes once. They all looked at me like I was crazy.

After “training” everyone else began sparring and I really was envious of their rolling. I coached from the side, saw way too many sweeps and submissions. Drove me mad. But the thing that pushed me over the edge (I really hate my cast now) was the fact good old Tomo-kun was there. That alone made me want to roll. Tomo-kun is a very, very high level blue belt (and I believe absolutely ready for his purple). His last tournament he lost to the division champion by only one advantage point, afterwards the champion ran over everyone.

Mike and Oguni complained that they were too tired from one round of sparring. Carl told them to just continue rolling and try not to use any strength. Mike countered with a yeah but you need a lot of strength and sited rolling with bigger people. I smiled and couldn’t wait to spar with Mike.


At the end of the session as we headed home, Carl said that he felt sorry about picking on one white belt in particular because he doesn’t tap out (he refuses to but will do so on occasion). I said, screw ’em, tap him out.

The way I see it tapping out is a way of saying several things. One, hey I got caught, no biggie, lets reset and have fun again. Two, hey you’re doing the submission correctly, awesome, lets reset and have fun again. Or three, hey you should have escaped this by now, don’t wanna hurt you so tap to let me know we can reset and have fun again.

Anyone who is caught and doesn’t tap is an idiot. That’s totally different than fighting off a submission attempt, or fighting out of a submission. That’s getting caught in a choke, trying to escape but pass out because of not tapping out. I’m not saying we should just crank the armbars on those people, but they’re not being good sports about it, they’re not learning anything (like the proper way to escape) they’re caught, they’re not going anywhere, they’re not doing you (or themselves) a service by fighting off a potentially dangerous situation.

In my case, I’m trying to get better at my submissions (after years and years of sucking at them). I’ve improved my escapes as well as my top game. And now that I’m better at those aspects of my game, I’m finally working on my submissions. So my mindset set when it comes to my submissions is rip, tear, break, murder, kill, kill, kill. Obviously if I don’t have it (I didn’t set it up properly) I let it go, BUT if all signs are a go, it’s choke city.

The only submissions I don’t go murder-kill-crazy are armbars. Then I kinda go “is that the last slice of pizza? Get outta my way, it’s MINE!” mode. So yeah. Armbars are like pizza for me. And I love pizza.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 3, 2009 2:59 pm

    Reading about tapping I am reminded of some things I learned.

    Tap Early, and Tap often.
    Don’t get mad that you tapped. Look how you got into that position in the first place and work on that mistake.
    The guys who do not like to tap, all run into that one guy in the gym who will make them tap wether they like to or not.

    Good to see you are still training injured you will be a grip fighting master.

  2. March 4, 2009 8:16 pm

    Wow, great stuff Dan. That’d make for a great poster on the side of the school wall.

  3. T.MV permalink
    March 5, 2009 10:13 am

    Hi Patrick, excellent blog. I just found it while pretending to work (searching for jobs) at school.
    We’ve met and talked at bunch of times of various ALT meetings in the past. I didn’t know you were right in Futsukaiichi. I’m in my 5th year and getting set to finish up on JET this summer(I live in the same jutaku as Grace and Carl). I’m looking to stay in the area and would love to hear about how you were able to do it. I’m not into martial arts (although I enjoy watching MMA events) but I do know a thing or two about comics (I’ve got several thousand in a storage locker back home) and science fiction. Drop me a line, it would be great to talk to you. Mike

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