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#400079 - 06/20/08 10:06 AM Lessons from BJJ class...
Xibalba Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Lansing, MI, USA
Good morning!

Had a good workout at BJJ class last night - learned some cool new stuff, did some good sparring, and learned where some holes in my game are that I need to fill.

First off, I learned that I need to do no-gi sparring more often. I sparred with a rank beginner last night who had not purchased a gi yet. He had never done BJJ before (nor had he wrestled, according to his self report). He was young, strong, and quick, and I honestly had a heck of a hard time with him. I ended up with him in my guard, and I could not control his posture to save my life. He slipped out of almost every grip I got, and my saving grace was my ability to control his hips with my closed guard. He had no idea how to pass, nor did he know any submissions, but I could not keep him down nor could I sweep him. I did end up sitting up at one point to attempt a 'hip bump' (don't know the real name of the technique) sweep, but ended up on my back again with a half-guillotine sunk in instead. The bell rang ending the round before I could readjust the choke, but other than that I really did not have good control over this guy. This is the second time in as many weeks that I have done no-gi, and the second time I realized how much I rely on the lapels and sleeves for controlling my opponent. The last guy I did no-gi with I could manhandle when we had the gi-tops on, but being an ex-wrestler, he got superior position pretty quick when we stripped down to the t-shirts. Oh well, time to start more no-gi training .

The cool thing, however, was after this I rolled with the purple belt instructor and almost choked him out . We fit in two matches in our 3-minute round. The first we started from our knees, and he quickly got the takedown, established position, and got me in some funky chicken-wing submission in less than 30 seconde. I tapped, and we reset. This time, he went easy on me, and he started the match by turtling. I worked on taking his back, and managed to get one hook sunk in. At this point, he attempted to roll to his side while he tried a toe-hold on the foot I had sunk. Doing so exposed his arm, and as we rolled I tried to get my other leg around for an armbar. He stuffed that attempt, and turned over to his belly and I replaced guard. As he turned, I sunk my right hand palm-up deep into his right lapel (love that gi-sparring! ). I worked my left hand into his opposite lapel and went for the gi-choke. I actually had it in pretty tight, and he started to grunt and turn purple. But, he wasn't going to just give it to me, and he started to work one hand under mine to break my leverage. The bell rang ending our round just as he started to slide his hand underneath. I let go, and joked with him that if I had actually tapped him out I was going to ask for my blue belt right then and there . He told me that I was actually pretty close to sinking it in. We both had a good laugh, and then class was over.

Man, was that cool! I have actually known my instructor for a long time (we trained BJJ for a bit together back in '94 when I took my first foray into grappling), and he is a good guy without an ego. I know that he could manhandle me anytime he wants to on the mat, and that the only reason I had a shot was because he went easy and gave up position on purpose at the start of our match. But still, I walked away feeling like I had seen concrete proof of my progress, and it took the sting away from having such a hard time with a brand-new beginner.

Peace,
Mike

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#400080 - 06/20/08 10:52 AM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: Xibalba]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Wow, nice job Mike! I would be stoked if I even came close to tapping a purple belt. Impressive! I hear you about no-gi sparring, too. We don't do that at my school very often.

Thanks for sharing.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#400081 - 06/20/08 12:30 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: MattJ]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
It kills me that so many people don't realize that gi and no-gi jits are two different things. I always found it amusing when gi guys would tell me that I made a "mistake" by doing no-gi before doing gi jits. That's like telling a wrestler he made a mistake by not practicing judo first. One is not the other. Thank God that many are starting to realize that gi and no-gi are different animals. Guard play is different, as is every other position. In order to excel at no-gi, you must practice no-gi. Its that simple.

Many erroneously believe that no-gi is also somehow less technical. That is only true if, no-gi isn't trained technically. In my opinion, it is as technical as anything else, provided that one doesn't rely on attributes when training. Thats the biggest hurdle to clear.

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#400082 - 06/20/08 01:01 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: JKogas]
Xibalba Offline
Member

Registered: 03/11/05
Posts: 499
Loc: Lansing, MI, USA
Hi John,

In the little bit of no-gi that I have done, I find my guard game to be impacted the most. It is just darn hard to hold onto a slippery, sweaty opponent without those nice triple-woven lapels .

One my of good buddies in BJJ class also trains a couple of days per week at a rival school across town where they do mostly no-gi (small world - I am actually friends with that instructor as well, and he works at the same company as I do!). Anyway, he and I talked after class last night, and he gave me some pointers on getting the over/underhook from the guard to control my opponent. We vowed to do a bit of no-gi work every time we rolled with each other from now on. Should be fun, and I am sure I will learn a lot.

Peace,
Mike

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#400083 - 06/20/08 01:34 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: Xibalba]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Yes, I have been working underhooks a lot more now, too. Big difference in defense.
_________________________
"In case you ever wondered what it's like to be knocked out, it's like waking up from a nightmare only to discover it wasn't a dream." -Forrest Griffin

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#400084 - 06/20/08 01:37 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: JKogas]
Aezed Offline
Member

Registered: 12/02/02
Posts: 90
Loc: Cupertino, CA, USA
Quote:

Many erroneously believe that no-gi is also somehow less technical. That is only true if, no-gi isn't trained technically. In my opinion, it is as technical as anything else, provided that one doesn't rely on attributes when training. Thats the biggest hurdle to clear.




I train in both gi and no-gi, and I find them to be equally technical--it's just that the techniques are different. Many gi-only people in my BJJ class assert that since the gi game is much slower and more progressive, it's more technical. My retort is that if hanging on for dear life to someone's clothes is more technical, then maybe we need to re-evaluate our definitions

In any case, I feel your pain when training with young, powerful opponents, Xibalba. Unless I'm technically perfect (which, being a white belt, I never am) it's really, really hard to get good position on them. The good news is that if I do get good position, they're toast!

Good luck and keep training hard, I'm sure that blue belt is coming soon.

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#400085 - 06/20/08 04:25 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: Aezed]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
The biggest difference to me has been in the manner in which you grip and how you learn to control the body versus the way you control the gi.

Like Matt said, the underhook and overhook (particularly the overhook) is instrumental in controlling your opponent. Plus, the general way that you play the guard (from a strategic point of view) changes. You'll play less closed guard (unless you're stalling) and more open guard.

Perhaps I have just become more experienced with the no-gi game, but I don't see it as being that much faster necessarily. I think it seems (and is) faster if you've played a lot gi style and haven't learned to control the body itself, it seems faster because the control is gone. I mean to say, control is control...its just a matter of learning HOW to control one versus the other.

Once you have control, the game slows down. Without control, its going to be faster by default. But the same is true with the gi. I've seen guys roll like BULLS with gis on.

Good conversation.


-John

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#400086 - 07/08/08 11:45 AM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: JKogas]
AikiGhost Offline
Member

Registered: 07/15/04
Posts: 85
Loc: UK
Quote:

That is only true if, no-gi isn't trained technically. In my opinion, it is as technical as anything else, provided that one doesn't rely on attributes when training. Thats the biggest hurdle to clear.




Absolutely, if anything No gi teaches movement and flow earlier than Gi jits does. The gi basically allows people to stall more and get grips to hold things up that quite simply will not work without the gi.

Personally I prefer no gi jits as its more applicable to MMA but everyone will have their own personal preferences.
_________________________
AikiGhost 4 years MMA Submission Wrestling / MMA (ongoing)

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#400087 - 07/14/08 06:30 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: AikiGhost]
BJJ_blue_belt Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01/23/08
Posts: 8
I train no gi almost exclusively, it's a completely different game than gi. What works best for the guard game for me is controlling the persons head with one hand to keep them from posturing and using the other hand to manipulate their arms. I couldn't explain it really in words but it works.

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#400088 - 07/14/08 07:31 PM Re: Lessons from BJJ class... [Re: BJJ_blue_belt]
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
I prefer no gi as well and always have. There are a lot of us out there as well (that said, I always say, train both if you want to be well rounded). I don't approach the gi game any different than I do the no-gi game however. And I have to admit, my gi game isn't where I would prefer it to be, but I'm good with that.

In terms of guard play, several things change. You definitely have to control the neck to prevent posturing and work to control an arm with your other arm. However I find that climbing really high with your legs or using a rubber guard variation works even better. Doing that sort of thing frees your arms up even more to help with attacking.

That said, it's difficult to prevent your opponent from posturing up in a no-gi guard. Its going to happen sooner or later. What I do is create space and sit up using more of a butterfly guard.

Other options that work for me include a no-gi spider guard and the half guard. You certainly have to be a lot more active when playing no-gi guard. Stalling doesn't work NEARLY as well as it does when wearing a gi.

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