Monthly Archives: April 2012

April 11, 2012

Break on Through BJJ Style

Jiu Jitsu is a journey of sweat, blood, and often times tears! Many a grappler have cried themselves to sleep at night anguishing over their “game” or lack there of. Then without warning an epiphany occurs and a grappling breakthrough is achieved! Breakthroughs are an exhilarating time: a light bulb goes off and your technique jumps to another level. All the hard work and long hours at the gym have paid off. These spikes are crucial for your development in brazilian jiu jitsu and and directly correspond to your promotion of rank – sometimes it is possible to identify exactly what happened that caused the breakthrough other times it is a complete mystery.  With that said are breakthroughs simply a matter of fate? Are some grapplers destined to experience them while others are meant to languish in technical misery? Perhaps! However take heart in the knowledge that there are several habits you can develop to facilitate a breakthrough and even make these spikes a regular occurrence.

1. Attend Classes. This should go without saying but sometime people find excuses not to train! Avoid excuses. Regular class attendance will create muscle memory and techniques will flow out of you more and more smoothly.

2. Private Lessons. Private lessons are a great way to hit a spike! With the undivided attention of the instructor the most obscure details of your game can be identify and lead to a breakthrough.

3. Watch Video. We aren’t talking youtube here! Instead record your rolls and analyze yourself later. Be critical of yourself – tear your game apart. Identifying a problem is the first step towards correcting it!

4. Attend Seminars. Seminars with a high profile black belt are a great way to experience a breakthrough for two reasons. First you will undoubtedly learn technique that will help your game and second you experience a boost of morale and often take a renewed approach to your training regimen!


April 9, 2012

April 15th In House Tournament

The April 15th in house tournament is right around the corner! This special event is being held in honor of the Wendolowski family and is a fundraising event for The March of Dimes “Walk for Babies” event being held in May. As you know by now it is Team Reese versus Team Mcguire – the question being “how will this tournament work?” This tournament is meant to first and foremost be FUN; with that being said the rules are a special format designed to allow all grappling disciplines to compete on an even playing field. So here are the rules:

Forming the Teams

The formation of the opposing teams will be a blind draw. As members arrive they will find boxes labeled “kids”, “white belt” , “blue belt”, and “purple belt”. Write your name on the index card provided and drop it in the appropriate box. Once all members have registered Tom and Jeff will be to form their respective teams by blindly drawing names from the boxes until no index cards remain.

The Competition

Beginning with the kids each captain will send out a member of their team. A coin flip will determine which team sends out their representative first. This allows the second captain an advantage of selecting from his team a competitor he feels can defeat the competitor from the first team. This advantage will then alternate between captains each subsequent round.

A match is scheduled as 2 five minute rounds. The first five minute round is a submission victory only round. If a competitor earns victory in this round he earns 6 points for his team. If a victory does not occur in round one the second round begins after a 1 minute rest period. Round two is a five minute round that can be won via submission, ippon, or points. Earning a victory in round two nets a team 3 points. If at the end of two rounds the score is tied each team will earn 1 point.

Further clarification of the rules are thus:

An IPPON will only be scored only if the throw is a “significant impact” during which the opponent lands completely flat on their back.

Points are earned as follows:

-1 point for pulling guard

2 points for a non ippon takedown

2 points to a sweep that results in a position (if opponent guards or stands points are not awarded)

3 points for securing a 5 second cross side hold

4 points for securing a 5 second full mount

4 points for securing a 5 second back mount (two hooks or one hook with a harness grip)

April 5, 2012

Spotlight on Technique: Breaking Posture

Every bjj guy knows that if you don’t break your opponent’s posture the likelihood of a submission is greatly decreased. Often times breaking posture is as simple as grabbing the lapel of the gi and yanking the opponent down to your chest. When it isn’t that simple however what can you do to break the posture and not burn yourself out? Below you will find two posture busting “tricks” to add to your guard game!

The Ab Crunch

As the name implies this trick involves an ab crunch – a motion of bringing you knees to your chest. Your opponent is in perfect posture inside your guard with his hands controlling your belt or pants. Rather than yanking hopelessly on the collar slip both of your hands in behind his respective elbows. As the opponent attempt to either stand or break open your guard simply flare open his elbows and do an ab crunch. Posture broken!

Shake n’ Bake

Your opponent is in your closed guard and manages to keep posture, plant his feet, and stand. Rather than open your guard right away keep your legs locked. Now reach up and grip each of the lapels with your hands.  Next violently shake and jerk to and fro like you are preparing some delicious fried chicken Shake n’ Bake style! Before you know it his head will be shaking like a bobblehead doll on route 81.  With this disruption of equilibrium he will be unable to maintain balance and drop back onto his knees with broken posture.

Try these techniques next sparring session and remember that in both tricks the movements are rapid, jerky, and sharp.

April 3, 2012

Spotlight on Technique: Rear Naked Choke

The aptly named rear naked choke – hadaka-jime in Judo or mata leon in jiu jitsu – is one of the most powerful submissions in all grappling. This strangle when properly applied should provide your opponent with no way out forcing them to tap or go to sleep. When applying this submission there are several factors to keep in mind in order to finish your opponent efficiently.

– Be sure the point of your elbow lines up with the point of your opponent’s chin. This will ensure even and constant pressure on both carotid arteries.

– Next visualize your squeeze as a two phase motion. First is an inward motion in which you are trying to make your elbows touch. Second is an upward motion bringing the V of your choking arm towards the crown of his head. This in-up motion will ensure a vacuum seal on the arteries.

– Finally, relax. Take a nice deep breath and apply a slow steady pressure with the above describe method. Even hum a nice lullaby if you wish to not only keep yourself calm but to help lull your opponent into a nice restful nap.