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Monthly Archives: May 2012

May 30, 2012

Spotlight on Technique: Rear Mount

This installment of Spotlight provides fundamental tips to maintaining the rear mount. Like most things in Brazilian
jiu jitsu it begins with the hips! Your hips should be square with and slightly above your opponent’s hips. Why? Most of the escapes your opponent will attempt will involve the twisting of his hips to create angles between his hips and yours thereby allowing him space to escape. The most fundamental part of maintaining rear mount, and therefore the component which you should focus a great deal of attention on, is continuously shift your body so that your hips stay in line with the opponent’s.

Next is the legs and the feet, often referred to as hooks. Your hooks should be neither too deep nor too shallow. If the back of your knees are resting on your opponent’s thighs or your feet have been grapevine into the back of your opponent’s knees then they are too deep. On the other hand if your feet are just touching the inside of your opponent’s inner thighs then they are too shallow. The key is having your hooks set just right so as NOT to limit your mobility while still allowing zero wiggle room for an opponent. Drilling and sparring will teach you the positioning and maneuvering to best maintain hooks control.

Next is hand and arm positioning. There are many variations of where to place your arms and the ways in which to grip your hands. The most fundamental (and the one you will use most) is often referred to as the harness. The harness starts with your right arm going underneath his right armpit and your left arm going over top of his left shoulder. Link your hands together by having your right hand grip your left wrist and pulling it in tight to your opponent’s chest. Your arms now form a big harness encircling the opponent’s head and one arm.

Finally your head position. Your head should always remain tight to your opponent’s – ear to ear. Using the above example of the harness your head is to the right side of the opponent’s head forcing him to stay close to your left arm which is ready to choke him if he given an opening.

The rear mount when properly executed is the most dominant position in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, hence its placement at the top of the positional heirarchy -the cornerstone of BJJ strategy! The above concepts when drilled properly will tighten your game and make your rear mount something to be feared!

May 29, 2012

How Do I Maximize My Learning During Class?

I just spent a week travelling with Royce training at seminars and private lessons. During each lesson Royce would ask, “Guys, Questions?” To my amazement the room would always go quiet! Here stands Royce Gracie willing to share his secrets of grappling and you could hear a pin drop. Royce is a 3 time undisputed UFC champion, is the son of Grandmaster Helio Gracie, has met and/or trained with almost every grappler of historical importance on the planet and nobody had any questions. What!?

Asking questions during class is crucial to your learning curve. Ask your questions! If you are wondering about something then most likely someone else is wondering about it too. Are you clear about what to do in every position of the hierarchy? Are there techniques that you get caught with again and again? Are there techniques you just cannot execute again and again? Are you clear on all aspects of how you should arrange your training time? How to divide your time between technique, sparring, and conditioning? Do you know everything there is to know about competition? What about formulating strategies against specific opponents? I’m positive you don’t because everybody – even the superstar coaches of Scranton MMA – is learning new technique and strategy all the time.

The most important thing to remember when asking questions is to be specific and to be relevant. Specific? Don’t be vague – I can’t describe it any better than that. Relevant? If the class was centered on back mount submissions don’t ask a question about butterfly guard passing. When asking a question of an instructor think in terms such as:

“What  is the best strategy when you’re in this specific situation?”

“What is  your highest percentage techniques to pass the guard?”

“What  are the techniques I should I focus on learning first from this position?”

“Can I  feel you do that technique on me?”

On final suggestion: prepare some questions before the class. Use the internet and books to research the week’s theme. Have an idea of what is being taught and how it pertains to you and your grappling. Not every academy or instructor will do this for fear of looking foolish and being unable to provide an answer to your questions but Scranton MMA does. So don’t be shy! Ask questions and become a better grappler.

May 14, 2012

Royce Gracie Set To Visit Scranton MMA

As everyone knows by now legendary jiu jitsu master, Royce Gracie will be conducting two seminars while visiting Scranton MMA. The first on Wednesday 5/23/12 : a beginner seminar starting at 6pm. The second session 5/24/12 :an advanced seminar scheduled to begin at 6pm. These two events are open to the public so no matter where you train you can come and enjoy the experience of training with the most renowned bjj master on the planet! The beginner seminar will consist of all teens and adults currently ranked at white belt. The advanced seminar will be for teens and adults currently ranked with a colored belt. A very special one hour session will be available for ALL children under the age of 12! If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact the academy.

Refreshments will be available fpr purchase; water, sports drinks, energy drinks, and protein skakes as well as memoriable incuding t-shirts and photographs that you may have Royce autograph at the event. Photography is allowed so bring a camera but absolutely no video recording is allowed. See you on the mats!

May 13, 2012

Friday Night Arte Suave

This Friday, May 18th, Scranton MMA will be presenting on the BIG SCREEN in its entirety the exciting UFC documentary Ultimate Royce Gracie! He was the man that put mixed martial arts on the map in 1993, a pioneer of the UFC who influenced more fighters than anyone in history. This documentary captures the jiu jitsu master at his best, including interviews, behind the scenes footage, and of course, his classic matches against Ken Shamrock, Kimo Leopoldo, Kazuushi Sakuraba, and others! Join us at Scranton MMA at 7pm to relive this amazing career OR for many of the young kids experience it for the first time! This event is open to all members, friends, and family of Scranton MMA as well as the public. See you there!