Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Practice - 9.8.2008

Didn't get a chance to blog about last night's practice last night, but I'm hoping I can remember everything *crossing fingers*

After finishing a light warm-up, we sat down on the mats with Mel. Mel said that he'd take requests before moving into the curriculum, and proceeded to go around the circle to see if there was anything that anybody wanted to work on or had questions about. One guy asked if we could review or be shown another takedown/sweep. While that was supported a few times, I then asked to be shown a triangle from the mount. We were shown this before, but not in so much detail. We were being shown another technique from the mount (which one I can't think of right now) and the triangle was another option. So I wanted more detail, a better explanation. Another suggestion was what to do after you've taken somebody's back.

So the first takedown was one I haven't seen before, and I don't remember the name. So you start off in the normal "equal/equal" hold - Right foot forward stance, right hand gripping your opponents left lapel, leg hand gripping fabric at about your opponents right elbow. Your opponents grip is the same on you, hence the "equal/equal" name. Step forward with your left foot, placing it even with the opponents right foot, or even slightly past, and not right next to it either. As you do this you're going to pull down on your left hand (the hand that's gripping the elbow fabric) causing them to be a little off balance. As you do this your right shoulder should end up in their right shoulder, and your head should be looking down their back. Then bring your right leg between your left leg and your opponents right leg (that gap you left when you stepped forward with your left foot earlier), and hook your opponents right leg. Then you'll lean foward sweeping that right leg back, think of it as trying to kick up to the ceiling and you'll get a good sweep with good follow through. As you lean forward, you're right shoulder will be pressing against their right shoulder, and at the same time your left hand will be pulling down their right elbow and your right hand will be pushing on the left side of their chest. This is a really cool sweep if you get it down. If done properly, 1) if in a match, this could knock the breath out of your opponent, giving you the upper hand. Or 2) if on the street, could do the same but worse since you'd more than likely be on pavement or something harder than a mat, give you the opportunity to run away from the attack.

Then he reviewed the leg hook takedown he showed us on Saturday. I learned another detail for this one too. When you hook their left ankle with your right ankle and push, make sure you're not pulling/pushing your opponent sideways as if you're trying to lay them down across in front of you. You're actually pushing them backwards, and that ankle hook you have will keep your opponent from being able to step back and regain balance.

One day, I'll remember the actual Japanese names for these haha All the takedowns he's shown that I've seen so far have all been from his Judo training. Mel actually has a poster with the 5 groups of Judo takedowns at the gym, Gokyo No Waza (techniques seen here).

Then we moved onto my choice, the triangle from mount. Triangles work great for me because I have really long legs. So I thought it'd work best for me to find different ways of getting 'em in :-) The rest of the class on the other hand, is made up of shorter people. So really I was the only one who was able to get my legs locked in the triangle while still on top haha Anyways, to the technique. To get this triangle in you'll be basically walking your opponent right into it. This is setup I was taught for it.

So you have the full mount. One thing you'll want for this is an arm under your opponents head. One technique that uses this: an ezekeil choke. So once you have your left arm under your opponents head, you start to bring your right arm in to put in the choke. Instictively your opponent will bring in their left hand to try and block it (they're unable to get their right hand in because it's blocked by the position you have them in). When they bring in that left hand, grab the wrist with your right hand, pin it to the ground, and put their left wrist into your left hand (the one that's underneath their head). Then you'll start to weave your right arm under your opponents left bicep to make them think you're going to put in an Americana (which to do right, you wouldn't want your left arm under your opponents head, but in the heat of the moment your opponent might not realize this detail). To defend against the Americana, they'll try and straight out their arm, and this is the momentum that you'll use. When their left arm starts to straighten, it'll move from a 90-degree angle facing up, to a 180-degree flat line from their shoulder to their fingers. Grab their left wrist with your right hand and keep that momentum going. At the same time you'll weave your right leg under your right arm and over their left arm, picking up their head with your left arm that's already underneath their head, and swing your right leg underneath. Then you'll grab their right arm (fabric, wrist) with your right hand and bring it across their chest, making your right foot available to hook that left leg around.

Now, as I said, I was pretty much the only person who could get a good triangle lock while still in the top position because of my long legs. But if you aren't "blessed" with this, or if you weren't able to get your right leg in as far as you would have liked, then you have another option. This technique can also be used of your opponent decides to oopa and roll you onto your back. If this happens, then you can reach your left hand down to grab your right ankle. Then you'll roll to your right shoulder, rolling onto your back. While doing that roll, you'll take your right foot and place it on the right hip of your opponent. Once you make it onto your back and take the angle (in this case, shifting your upper body right so you're looking into their left ear...this'll make that triangle even smaller), then you can lock up the triangle.

After all this, it was either work stuff after taking the back, or a little time to roll so that we could put into practice what we'd gone over already. We opted to roll. I rolled with a guy smaller than I, but has been at jiu-jitsu for awhile longer (3 stripes). I feel I did really well. Neither one of us got a submission, but we both did well technique wise I think. Sweeps and overall control were good. I watched a Gracie Insider video the other day on taking the back from the guard. I end up in guard a lot while rolling, and my guard is pretty strong. Haven't had a white belt pass my closed guard yet. Most often, the person will then resort to cutting their forearm into my throat. At first I'd try and push their arm back to the side it came from, but found that they'd usually grab my collar and it'd just stop there. Then I found that I could push on their elbow and force their arm to follow their hand. And then I could hug them and catch my breath. But I'd stop there. After watching that video though, I've taken advantage of this technique quite a few times, especially last night. Now I just need to work on rear naked chokes and various collar chokes from the back. I've been shown some in the past, but they've slipped my mind. Next time we get a night to have Mel show us whatever technique we want though, I'm definitely asking about working after taking the back.

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