Robson Moura is a five time World Champion. More and more I’m beginning to realize that he is one of the most exciting competitors in the history of jiu jitsu, but I’ve known him for the longest time as the guy with a funny Brazilian accent whose instructional DVD I own.
In my book, he falls in the same category as Saulo Ribeiro in how good he is at teaching solid fundamental jiu jitsu. Just look around YouTube and you’ll understand.
Here’s a video of a technique I had done on me a long time ago. It’s nice to see it explained. I’ll be sure to use it next time I have my back taken:
It’s very disappointing that a damn tooth infection is holding me back not only from competing, but from training, sleeping, and working. But alas, shit happens. I’m already focused on the upcoming many weekends of battles.
Below are my four matches from the submission only event. I fought two divisions: blue belt gi under 175 lbs and the blule belt absolute. Both were 8-man brackets with I believe 5 people in the first and 7 in the second. I caught a bye in the first round for each.
A match at a US Grappling submission-only tournament has no time limits and must end in a submission. This format lends itself to a great experience no matter the outcome. I had all short matches, but I saw many 20+ minute matches, and overall everyone was happy (though exhausted).
Surprisingly, it was a huge relief to not to have think about points. It freed me to take risks in passing and improving the position. Also, it allowed me not to stall in dominant positions. I didn’t rush anything, relaxed, but always kept an eye out for submission (chokes, arm bars, etc) openings. Often, in regular, tournaments I won’t risk going for submissions when I’m up 2-0, 3-0, or 5-0, and so a lot of my matches against tougher opponents look like: takedown, pass, hold. I’m of course trying to mount and take the back, but not risking anything.
This tournament has taught me to relax even more, and not take the game so seriously. In order to learn (and win), I need to make myself more vulnerable and take a damn risk every once in a while.
Anyway, the four matches are below. I tried a new thing: I added voice-over commentary to the vids. Please let me know by voting in this poll whether you like or don’t like the addition of commentary for personal competition footage:
Good training at BJJ United as always today. Much like Ivan Drago (the Russian in Rocky IV), I had big plans for tonight. I brought two gi’s, because I was going to do the 6pm class, the 7:30 class, and the 8:30 one. However, much like the aforementioned Russian I failed in my plans. There are several reasons for this, but they boil down to the same thing… I need to grow a pair. I’ll have to fix this problem in the coming days.
Anyway, a guy in the locker room mentioned that he was impressed that I was staying for the next class given how hard the first one was. He mistakenly thought I was Rocky and not Ivan Drago… That led to a conversation about what we do outside of jiu jitsu. And it turns out that he is one of the original developers of Qt, which is a brilliant software system that I use in my daily programming work. This guy is the real deal. Program by day, kick ass by night. Now that’s the jiu jitsu lifestyle…
It’s amazing how many interesting, talented, and unique people the jiu jitsu academy brings together. And more than that, I noticed that people don’t really bring their work and off-the-mat life with them onto the mat. In a way, a jiu jitsu class is the great equalizer. I mean Al Bundy is a jiu jitsu black belt for f’s sake.
Now back to business… Jared showed the sprawl to the all-important back take. Good stuff. In the beginning he made everyone run backwards without looking back. I think that’s part of his twisted sense of humor, given that the room was packed. I thought it was pretty funny.
Jared always pushes the pace. That’s part of what makes BJJ United a great place to prepare for competition. But it was cool to see him stop the class and emphasize that we should not sacrifice technique for speed in drilling. Especially for stand-up (wrestling or judo) I find that people too often rush the technique or tense-up which breaks the crisp flow of the drilling.
Alright this post is already too long. If you read this far, you are probably my mom, in which case, I’m sorry about not calling more often.
I trained at Osagame (aka Philadelphia Judo Club) today and last Sunday. Judo is still a passion of mine, even as jiu jitsu creeps in gradually. It’s fun, especially given that Ray is a good person, good instructor, and good friend.
Here’s a video of some highlights from the two randori sessions:
I should also mention that Ray criticized a previous blog post where I mentioned my growing appreciation of taking the back versus working the clock choke. He then proceeded to attempt the clock choke on me during training, didn’t finish it, and took my back, where he then proceeded to submit me with a bow and arrow choke, thereby proving me correct
When I was a young lad of 26 (two years ago), all I knew of jiu jitsu was the clock choke. It’s one of the most effective attacks on the ground in judo because in the transition from standing to ground there’s an opportunity to get the proper lapel grip and hit the clock choke right away as the opponent begins to turtle.
A year and a half ago I started learning jiu jitsu. The more I learned, the more my view of attacking the turtle changed. The sports jiu jitsu game is very different in this aspect (as well as many others) to the sports judo game. In bjj:
You have more time (the ref won’t stand you up)
You get points for taking the back (putting both hooks in)
The opponent is less defensive, more dynamic, so there’s room to capitalize on gripping / submission openings
With that in mind, I’ve noticed myself thinking less and less about the clock choke when faced with an opponent in the turtle position, and more and more thinking “back take”. First, take the back, control the position, and then work for the submission.
This is why when Jared Weiner taught the clock choke yesterday right when the opponent turtles to avoid the pass, I was surprised how much I instinctively wanted to instead take the back. The positioning of the body for the two techniques is very different. For taking the back, I make myself into a “backpack”, tight on the person, but not applying huge pressure, and moving with him. While for the clock choke I have to pin him down (especially the near shoulder) with a lot of pressure from my hip.
It’s funny how the judo guy inside me is always fighting the jiu jitsu guy. I think there is a lot to learn from both disciplines, and neither should be neglected for a competitor in grappling sports.
Here are some clips from the training session two nights before that.
Click “like” on it if you want to see more of those: