12/28/2012

Supplement review: Q5 Warrior Purple



Scramble has recently become an European distributor of Q5 supplements. Q5 is a supplement company founded by Bill Thomas that sponsors many jiu jitsu athletes including Comprido and Kurt Osiander. The company focuses on producing quality supplements locally, and without artificial ingredients such as colors and flavours. Q5's product range includes whey proteins, vegetable/berry based nutritional supplements, fish oil and energy supplements for athletes.  

With my recent order, I decided to try me some of their Warrior Purple which is a dietary supplement consisting of vegetables and nutritious berries. Warrior Purple's key purpose according to Q5 is to be a great source of anti-oxidants. I am no nutritionist, but according to general "understanding" anti-oxidants protect our bodies from oxidation damages (damages caused by the transfer of electrons away from the substance or damages by free radicals) caused by stress or strain. This particular supplement also contains a decent amount of fiber as you can see from the fact sheet below.

What is it made of?


As you can see it is a serious berry and vegetable mush. What does the more exotic stuff in the mix look like in nature?

Açai berries from the Amazon:

Camu camu with a ridiculous amount of vitamin-C also from the Amazon:


Mangosteen from Indonesia and certain parts of South-America. Only the white part is edible:


Goji berries from China:
The strongest flavor I get from the Warrior Purple is the açai flavor. When you look at the picture below and see what the powder looks like, it is no surprise. The strong berry-concentration also requires you to add this to your protein drink in moderation. Q5 recommends vanilla-protein with Warrior Purple but I found out that strawberry works really nicely with it as well. I absolutely love the flavor but my girlfriend for example dislikes it quite a bit. To each his/her own, I guess.


Although eating vegetables and berries to get our necessary nutrients is very important, if you've never taken any supplements I'd suggest you would start with protein. Although some protein powders can most likely be found from your local supermarket, in most cases I would order it online due to cost and quality issues. Q5 also has whey protein which is produced with grass fed cattle in New Zealand if you have the extra buck.

12/27/2012

Christmas cardio on boxing day

Although I tried to control my eating this Christmas and cut down on candy, I still felt horrible while training on boxing day. We did some judo drills that involved doing a standing kata guruma or fireman's wheel with lunges and my legs got really tired really fast. One reason could be focusing too much on lifting weights at the gym and not enough on actually training with intensity.

All and all a pretty decent Christmas in terms of nutrition:
+ Stuffed Turkey, should be fairly ok for you
+ Reindeer meat
+ Some casseroles, pretty basic stuff
+ Salmon and other raw fist

- Pecan pie
- A cheese basket from work
- The occasional candy since they seem to be lying around everywhere



Mendesbros online training review (MB Online)


As a Christmas gift this year, I got a subscription to Mendesbros.com online training program. I had been contemplating buying a subscription myself, since I've started to play around a little with reverse DLR and leg drags. The simple inspiration to try these techniques out was born because I've noticed how succesful they are against me.

For me there are not many complete techniques I haven't seen before but a lot of details and concepts that are new to me. A good example would be how in a basic armbar from guard Rafa pushes the opponent's elbow to his chest with his palm before pulling the arm with both hand to the center line. This small detail helps to off-balance the opponent and get the arm to the center.

A glimpse inside:


Although the brothers came into the spotlight with their fancy sporty techniques such as the berimbolo and the 50/50 guard, they also have a strong foundation in basics which they are teaching on the site. The brothers are firm believers of certain basic concepts such as "posture is everything" and "toes on the mat while passing" in order to stay agile and give more pressure.

It seems that every other technique on the site is fairly basic and every other is advanced. Also, the fact that they cover basics and concepts means that even if you're "game" is nothing like the Mendes', you would most likely get some benefit from watching the videos

If you compare the Mendes site with the pioneer of online BJJ which is  Marcelo Garcia's MGInaction, you see the two sites have a lot of similarities and some differences:
  • They both mostly teach the specific game of the athlete(s) in question. I would say that the Mendes brothers' game has more variation to it than Marcelo's though. And of course there are 2 brothers, whose games (believe it or not) is not identical.
  • Mendes brothers teach more classic fundamentals on the site such as closed guard techniques and cross chokes from mount. Marcelo often has an assistant instructor showing the more basic stuff or to be more precise, the stuff not in the heart of his own game.
  • Marcelo has slightly more footage coming in every week, especially sparring footage. However, the Mendes brothers spend more time explaining details which make their videos slightly longer.
  • Marcelo's sparring vids have tags on what techniques will be performed in that roll so you can search sparring videos that have the technique you are trying to learn.
  • It takes a relatively long time to download a video on both sites. This is probably a very common issues with these heavy sites.
  • Both sites cost 25 USD a month with discounts if you pay for a longer period
Overall, both sites are very good with instructionals on techniques that are hard to find from anywhere else.

If you want to check what videos are currently uploaded you can just go to mendesbros.com and click on "view inside". There are also some sample videos from the site on the Mendes bros Youtube channel.

A few samples:

Berimbolo:


Knee cut against knee shield:

12/19/2012

Freestyle wrestling like GSP

Although I have been training jiu jitsu again consistently after returning, I have strong urge to train more mma and wrestling in particular. The reason for this is that I would like to improve my scrambling and takedown skills a bit more. I am still in thinking whether I should "cross-train" in mma or freestyle wrestling.

I while ago in Denmark we were training a knee-tap to direction change (to double leg or something else) stakedown series which has been used by GSP multiple times fighting in the UFC. The general idea of these direction change combos is that your opponent will have a much harder time keeping his hips heavy when the angle of the takedown pressure is changing constantly.

I was also told the knee tap is much harder to do when your already clinching with your opponent. Instead in mma it should be the entry takedown when your opponent goes for a jab or a cross.

Here is a quick video on MMA trainer Carsten revising the combos to me through a foggy lens

video

Here is a compilation video of GSP doing it in his fights.

11/15/2012

Making quinoa for dinner

Quinoa (or kvinoa) is a plant that has an eadible seed originating from South America. Nowadays it appears on many recommended diets for jiu jitsu athletes and mma fighters. I've seen at least Urijah Faber, Mac Danzig and Martin Kampmann mention it as part of their diet. Mike Dolce who is the nutritionist of many UFC fighters including Gray Maynard, Chael Sonnen and Thiago Alves recommends it.  I am no nutritionist, but Quinoa has a lot of fiber, iron and protein, so I guess I'll choose it over McDonald's.

Here is what it contains:


Quinoa dishes are often salads or bowls. Many times it is combined with mint, tomato or scallions. I added a few vegetables sauteed on the pan (carrot, cauliflower), chickpeas (use them all the time), mint and nuts (cashew). I also use some olive oil to bind the flauvours together. And of course, added a steak, since I'm no hippie


Preparing quinoa often requires that it is washed before use, check your package

11/14/2012

Christian's "The BJJ Globetrotter" book released

Last week I was training with Christian at CSA in Denmark and he mentioned that the long awaited book of his adventures as the BJJ Globetrotter will finally come out in a couple of weeks after a few revisions. They seem to have had a little spurt towards the end because the book is finally out in both electronic and paperback formats.


When I was visiting CSA, they had a lot of people from different places including Moldova and Russia visiting there. I am quite curious whether some of these guys I met appear in this book. At least there are places I've visited myself that Christian went to on his tour such as Impact MMA in Singapore.

Instruction on how to order are at Christian's globetrotter blog:

http://www.bjjglobetrotter.com/?page_id=2483

11/08/2012

First time training with a Gracie

While staying in Denmark, I had the rare opportunity to train with the first UFC Champion Royce Gracie at CSA Academy. As you most likely know, he is a son of the legendary Helio Gracie, the co-founder of the entire art of Gracie/Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. For me this was a very special day, because his books "Ultimate Fighting Techniques" were what brought me to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I picked the first one up at a local bookstore in Hong Kong in 2005 and I guess I kinda never put it down. So it wasn't really seeing UFC that made me do the switch from stand up arts to grappling but a book about it.

The seminar had a really good format with a sequence of techniques suiting even the people new to jiu jitsu. First, only one technique was shown, then another but you did them both in sequence and so on. This session would actually be perfect after a basic course to tie together the basic concepts of jiu jitsu.

A quick overview on what we were doing

- Pummel for double underhooks and take down by bending the back
- Step to mount
- Walk his hand up and try a modified side choke from mount
- If opponent doesn't tap, secure his wrist from around his head and get a figure four grip, push him to his side with your head and then your chest. Secure back mount, spread the chicken and choke with mata leao.
- If opponent resist the push, you go for technical mount and go for an armbar. There was a really good detail about pinning the arm to the mat for the technique to work better, but for the details you will have to attend one of his seminars
- Finally there were 2 counters to armbar defense (bicep slicer and a triangle)


I recognised some of the techniques from the book that got me here, which was pretty sweet. I also got some advice from the man himself and the few assistant instructors he brought with him. I wasn't so lucky when I tried to figure out the techiques in the book for the first time :).

As a final excercise we played Jiu Jitsu chess, where you could do one move then the opponent would counter with one move and so on. This was a very interesting game because you could have unlimited time to think about your next move without any time pressure.

An interesting curiosity was that Royce was wearing a dark blue belt instead of a black belt. The dark blue was apparently given to people who passed the Gracie instructor's course while his father was teaching it. I also remember Helio preferring to wear a blue belt instead of his normal red belt. Royce wearing this cool belt means I of course outrank him and he wanted to take this cool photo with me :)


11/01/2012

Gi Review: Koral MKM Kimono

Overall impression and fabric

This time I am reviewing an A3 White Koral MKM Competition gi. The gi is quite similar to the old Koral Classic gi apart from a slightly snuggier fit if I am correct. However, as the old Classic gi is no longer available the closest thing to a good old Koral is the MKM Competition (in case you're wondering MKM stands for "O Melhor Kimono do Mundo"). This Koral gi is a common sight in BJJ competitions all around, other most common gis being a Shoyoroll or a Atama. You also see top fighters such as Rodolfo Vieira, Marcus "Buchecha" Almeida and Michael Langhi competing in this gi.

What is interesting and kinda cool about Koral is that along with Keiko Raca, they are one of the few gi companies actually producing their gis in Brazil. The fabric on the MKM actually resembles the facric of Keiko Limited gi which is a good thing. Koral also claims that the gi is 100% pre-shrunk. Many gi companies make this claim, but for Koral it is actually quite true. The gi seems to be 98% pre-shrunk. This worried me at first, because I am 182 cm and 84kg and don't know if the A3 would have been too large for me. It wasn't it fits me great!



The gi is of "average" weight for a single weave gi at around 2kg. This makes it around 300 grams heavier that the Koral Light Gi. If you really want to make the gi lighter, you can remove the patches fairly easily as the gi has a lot of them.

The gi jacket is made of single piece of fabric of good quality cotton, which means there is no seam on the back. It is sturdy but soft on the skin.

The pants are pretty plain with one small patch on both sides. They are quite light, might even be lighter than the Koral Light pants. A large area around the knees has double facric but otherwise, especially around the ankle the fabric is slightly too thin to my liking. I actually like the Koral Light pants slightly more, because they are made of coarser material. Here is a close-up on the border of the double fabric and single layer fabric.


Fit and sizing

Here is the official sizing chart by Koral which seems to be really accurate and since the gis don't shrink that much, you can usually rely on it.

A0 5'0" - 5'4"/1,55 - 1,60m 95 - 120 lbs/Max 60Kg
A1 5'4" - 5'8"/1,60 - 1,70 m 125 - 155 lbs/Max 75Kg
A2 5'8" - 6'0"/1,70 - 1,80m 155 - 190 lbs/Max 85Kg
A3 5'11" - 6'2"/1,80 - 1,90m 190 - 220 lbs/Max 95Kg
A4 6’1” - 6’4”/1,90 - 2,00m 220 - 255 lbs/Max 120Kg
A5 More than 6’4’’/2,00m More than 255 lbs/120Kg

The measurements of my gi are almost exactly the same as with my Koral Light Gi apart from the pant leg being shorter at 97cm instead of 100cm. See review for Koral Light Gi


Key issues with fit

- Wide cut jacket from around the gut and especially around the shoulders
- The pants are quite wide and on the shorter side
- The pants are not tapered around the ankle which gives this gi the 70s look

The comparison is made to Gameness Platinum Gi in size A3 because also like the Koral MKM, it is an established medium-weight competition gi. The sleeves of the Koral are slightly longer (the Gameness has had more washes though). The big difference of the jackets is that the Koral has much more fabric around the shoulder area suiting a person with a more muscular build.


The pants have the same length but the Koral is a bit wider, especially around the ankle area. This makes it easier to grab the pant fabric on the Koral. On the other hand, with the Koral you can still manouver your leg better after your opponent has a grip in the pant leg.



Details

The sleeve width is around average for an A3 gi at approximately 17,5 cm. Here is the comparison to Gameness Pearl which has a wider sleeve at around 18 cm.


The collar is quite thin but pretty close to the Gameness Pearl's. The big difference to the Gameness and actually also the Koral Light Gi is that the collar is much sturdier and stiffer. The stitching on the collar is also very heavy as you can see on the second picture.



The pant string system is simple and it stays tied really well. All Koral gis have this type of pant string. You really don't need 700 loops to keep those pants on.


There is some "Koral Fight Co" tape on the inside of the sleeve.


Conclusion

Key issues regarding Koral MKM gi:

- Gi top fabric is of very high quality

- The gi is a bit on the baggier side as almost all Korals tend to be, especially around the shoulder area. If you have a very slim build, the fit might not be good for you.

- Thin collar but it is very sturdy and harder to manipulate than an average thin collar on a competition gi

- Good pants in terms of weight and material but they are not tapered around the ankles as I would wish

This is most likely the best (and the most expensive) Koral gi around since the old Classic model is no longer in production. Many people have reported quality problems with the new Classic model.

Overall, a very good all around gi. It just feels "Right". Only thing I would get fixed are the pants around the ankle (they are not tapered). Get this if you're not super slim and want to get a Koral

You can order the gi in Europe at http://raspagem.fr/fr/ and many other retailers listed on the Koral site.

Overall grade: 9,5/10

10/24/2012

Jiu Jitsu on the brain. The best beginner guide & philosophy book


Jiu Jitsu on the Brain by Mark Johnson is the only philosophical and zen-like book on jiu jitsu I have read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and it also resembled the great classics such as the "Art of War" and "Book of Five Rings". Mark is a black belt (when the book was written, a brown belt) teaching at West Side Academy in Utah. He also teaches English in high school which probably helped to make the book a really enjoyable read.

The book is organised into sections from the "empty black bar" to 4 stripe. The black bar starts with the basics (how to put on your pants) while the fourth stripe requires some experience in order for the reader to relate to it.

The book discusses many issues including:

- Why your gi should not be a fashion statement but clean
- How you will start to appreciate a non-injured body
- Why Pit Bull is the official jiu jitsu dog
- Why smoking weed will most likely not enhance your jiu jitsu
- Why you shouldn't make tapping a higher belt a big deal or brag about it
- Why it is completely cool and even important to train in whatever academy suits you best at the time
- Why you should hunt for submissions in a tournament despite what Helio said about the importance of not losing when FIGHTING. (This was particularily interesting in the light of the previous Metamoris tournament and because the author is a Pedro Sauer student)
- Why jitsu will make you a more complete person and less of a loud mouth punk

I strongly suggest everybody reads this book as most of us including myself will have something to improve about our jiu jitsu selves. It does not matter whether it is an unhealthy gi addiction, being a meat head in sparring, immature attitude towards other teams/martial arts, getting frustrated too easily, or a lack of hygiene. If I happen to teach one day, I might make this book compulsory for beginners..

The book felt like a breath of fresh air after all the advantage wins in the worlds, shameless marketing of everybody's own brand of jiu jitsu, and all other politics. I kinda felt that the author somehow was the opposite of Eddie Bravo (no disrespect intended, there is a place for all of us). This was funny because Mark says we should get rid of all our Tapout gear and Eddie is usually sporting a Tapout rashguard.

Get the electronic book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jiu-Jitsu-on-the-Brain-ebook/dp/B006V5AFYE

If you want to read it on your laptop you need to download the free Kindle app.

More of Mark's thoughts in his blog tapordiecompany.com

10/23/2012

Is my quest for berimbolo defense finally over?

I have gone throught this a bit in training and now have 2 phases of defense:

1. Early phase, using leg drag control push opponent's knees together when he is going to the side and grabbing your belt in order to start spinning. Opponent's leg can be either on the outside or between your own knees. This pretty much kills the inverting and allows you to grab his collar as in a leg drag and smash/leg drag pass. Sometimes you also have to push the knees together using your chest for extra pressure

2. Late phase meaning your hip is already down and opponent is inverting: With this technique, you have to keep the "upper" leg drag control on the pant leg and switch it to the inside. As he is going to try to go under you, you just circle away and wait for your moment. Then you put your weight slightly on top of him and grab the cloth around his hip. After this you somersault over him while placing the bottom of your foot on his calf/knee area next to the pant grip allowing you to force him to expose his back for the hooks.

This worked for me perhaps the third time I tried it which is more than I can say for most berimbolo defenses so far. Here is where I got this..


10/18/2012

Examining Satoshi Souza's weapons of choice

 

Roberto Satoshi de Souza of Bonsai Jiu Jitsu started to appear in the jiu jitsu competition limelight a few years as a very dangerous brown belt competitor. Before this, he was already a very active and succesful competitor at lower belt levels in Japan. Satoshi's final black belt breakthrough occurred at the past European Championship where he snatched the gold right in front of favourites Michael Langhi and JT Torres. He also has a notable win over top lightweight Lucas Lepri.

"Toshi" is one of the five Souza brothers (including the also well known Marcos de Souza) and has been living in Japan for quite a while now. He is teaching and training at Bonsai Jiu Jitsu in Shizuoka. The brothers had the priviledge the learn jiu jitsu directly from their father Adilson de Souza. Bonsai Jiu Jitsu's connection to Atos Jiu Jitsu has most likely also affected his style because there has a been a number of great Atos fighters (Bruno Frazatto, Gilbert Burns and the Mendes brothers) visiting the Bonsai academy in Japan throughout the years. The brothers are also known to train with Atos to prepare for competitions.

The reason Satoshi originally caught my eye in a BJJ spirits DVD was that he has a very aggressive and crowd pleasing style that many of today's competitors lack. He also has a versatile and fast style which is very difficult to figure out the first time you see it. Unlike many competitors, he doesn't always go for the same thing which also makes what he does difficult to examine. After watching hours and hours of footage, I have been perhaps able to find 2 techniques that are very distinctive to his style for a brief technique analysis.

1. Reverse De La Riva

Satoshi's guard of choice is his reverse De La Riva guard which he often spices up with a leg lasso control. In leg lasso reverse DLR he has s traditional leg lasso and sleeve grip on the outside and a reverse De La Riva hook and an ankle grip on the inside. He often decides to pull guard in his matches and has a number of really good options from this position.

Personally I am most impressed by how good his transitions to other guards and submissions are from the reverse De La Riva. Although Satoshi seems to prefer the standard Reverse De La Riva approach which is securing the hooked ankle or pant, sometimes he abandons the ankle grip for an underhook control on the opponent's opposite leg, which is his preferred grip for the roll over sweep and the triangle.

The underhook grip is often used as a transitional position in Satoshi's game to other types of open guards and in many cases is combined with removing the De La Riva hook to look for other options. Most of the time, this other option is putting the removed De La Riva leg on his opponent's opposite hip resembling a arm bar attempt position.

Based on a ton of competition footage, some of  his most succesful techniques from the position are:
  • Coming up on a single leg sweep
  • Tripod sweep by moving the hook leg behind the other leg's ankle
  • Roll over sweep (with either underhook or wrist control)
  • Triangle from underhook control
  • Taking the back/sweeping in a scramble by inverting
Here is a quick highlight of his Reverse DLR guard work I put together:

video

2. Diving ankle pick single leg

When not pulling guard, Satoshi's most common take down seems to be a "diving" ankle pick single. He basically likes to shoot for his opponent's ankle like a Superman and comes of for a single leg control. I think the takedown might be so succesful because it is initiated from outside the normal range for jiu jitsu takedowns.

Here is quick compilation of his diving ankle picks:

video

10/09/2012

Takedowns from Russian 2-on-1

My facebook buddy from San Francisco posted nice takedown from the 2-on-1 grip. I've been trying takedowns from this grip especially in submission wrestling after I visited Paragon jiu jitsu where I was taught about this. The control is not the 2-on-1 that Marcelo uses although the grip is the same. In the Russian, the key is how you position your head. I normally try to go for a far side double or kata kuruma on the near leg depending on the opponents stande, but here is a very simple trip from the Russian.

10/06/2012

Combined jiu jitsu & rugby training

There is a lively rugby scene here in Cascais and our team invited the rugby guys to do a joint training session every Wednesday. The rugby guys get to train slightly different takedown & takedown defense tactics and we get some explosivity drills and physical training. For me, it has been especially fun to spar with rugby guys becayse it teaches you "Gracie style" self defense. You probably have better technique but you have to defend against athletic guys who never quit.

Last session we did some bjj + rubgy style excercises where you have for example
  • Run, dribble and break through a wall of two guys
  • Go wall against wall to push the guys to the other side (on video)
  • video

  • "fighting horse" championship where you sit on another guys shoulder and fight fight other pairs (on video)
    
  • video

10/03/2012

My quest for better defensive maneuvers continues, it's leg lasso's turn

I've been recently studying defenses against things I have struggled with in the past. Particularily, I've been focusing a lot of triangle defense and berimbolo defense. I have also had problems against the leg lasso in the past. I have been able to defend against it by stalling but passing it has always been difficult for me. I've tried Andre Galvao's way from his dvd and Tony Pacenski's from his but I think I've finally found a way that suits me quite good. Here it is

9/30/2012

Continuation to berimbolo defense, a berimbolo counter

I have realised that my worst imaginable opponent in a competition is a guy who is really flexible, good at berimbolo and pulls guard every time. I guess that is pretty much one of the Miyao brothers. Against this type of opponent I can not work my stand up or even pull guard because his expertise in the berimbolo makes double guard pull an unwise decision. When looking at the Miyaos fight, you notice that 90% of the time a double guard pull only leads to a faster back take unless your berimbolo is at the same level..and we all know it isn't.

In addition to my competition fears, I now have guys in training who use the berimbolo all the time, so I've been forced to look for solutions online. There are already many videos up there, but I think many of the defenses and counters are suspicios and don't fully understand how the berimbolo works.

I posted a good defense by Carlos Holanda of CheckMat here:

http://webjiujitsu.blogspot.pt/2012/04/more-about-how-to-defend-berimbolo.html

Now, I've stumbled on a good counter imo. Here is the video:


Weirdest injury I sustained this week

I've been fairly unlucky this week as I've got some cauliflower pains on my ear and some neck damage from landing funny..

However, I've never seen anything like my nose which has apparently bursted a vein


9/26/2012

Jacare documentary released

Being one of my favourite BJJ competitors of all time alongside Terere and Bill Cooper, I have been training Jacare's ankle pick takedown and tried to figure out more about his game during past weeks. Right on time, Jits Magazine released this mini-documentary about him.



9/24/2012

Leg reap rules causing headaches

Haven't been writing in a while, but I sure have been training. Started thinking of IBJJF leg reap rules today. According to IBJJF rules, a leg reap is basically when you "cross your outside foot inwards across your opponent's crotch".

I have felt the pain against the de la riva twist/berimbolo and understand why leg reap rules were created in the first place. This rule however seems to have some not so cool consequences such as limiting the use of one leg x-guard (although it doesn't really reap the knee) because your opponent can try to force you to reap from that position.

Now, I have managed to train one triangle escape to a level where I execute it in sparring against high level guys. Know I've started thinking there might be a possibility of an accidental leg reap if the opponent opens the triangle quickly.

The escape goes like this:

1. I grab opponent's sleeve or wrist with the hand not inside the triangle and sit down placing my foot on his armpit (like in spider guard but choosing the armpit instead of the bicep).


2. I lean back to the side of the triangle putting pressure directly on the spot where opponent's legs are crossed. For extra leverage I try to put my other foot on the opponent's hip/belly area similar to one leg x guard


I AM NOT SURE IF THIS IS A LEG REAP BECAUSE IT IS ONE THE BELLY AND NOT THE CROTCH AND THEREFORE THERE SHOULDN'T BE ANY DANGER TO THE KNEE. IF THIS IS A LEG REAP THEN THE MOUNT ESCAPE WHERE YOU SWING YOUR LEGS OVER YOUR OPPONENT'S BELLY IS A POTENTIAL REAP TOO.

8/17/2012

My favourite submission in the Judo Olympics 2012

Many people, especially in the jiu jitsu community noticed developments in the ground game portion of the Judo Olympics 2012 in London. There were a number of chokes and armbars that ended fights, and I even recall seeing an oma plata attempted by an Austrian male judoka.

My favourite however, was a reverse triangle in the female under 52kg division.


When you look at how the situation went, it just goes to show that your ground tactics should be something else than laying face down on the ground after a failed throw attempt. The lady doing the submission gets it in easily, goes to her side to adjust it and comes back on top to finish it by holding her opponent's leg.

Here is what it looked like as a sequence

 "LOCKING THE TRIANGLE"


"FINISHING THE TRIANGLE"


8/16/2012

Pattern of naming a fight wear company

Sometimes I see a pattern in the way new fight wear or bjj gear companies (especially new ones) come up with their brand names. If you need to start one, just follow this formula:

1. Think of a grappling move such as Kimura(wear), X-guard, Reversal, Clinchgear, Tapout, Sprawl, Scramble, Ezekiel, Submission FC, Da Firma and Grab and Pull did...If you can't think of any move to step 2. (Don't go with anything too specific like front head lock or reverse de la riva guard)

2. Think of something animal (especially dog) related such as Bull Dog, Bull Terrier, Black Eagle, Panda, Gameness, Killer Bee, Dragao, Gorilla, Golden Tiger..if can't think of any animal besides "Cow", go to step three

3. Make it sound "Japanese" or "Brazilian" like Fuji, Hayabusa, Faixa Rua, Da Firma, Hakai, Isami, Keiko Raca, Kasakura, Ronin, Tatami, Fushida, Atama and Albino & Preto. If you don't know Portuguese, Japanese, or Google Translator, go to step 4.

4. Just put your name on it: Padilla & Sons, Howard, Machado Kimonos, Graciegear, Kyra Gracie, Ouano



If you can't think of anything so far, name it something weird like Shoyoroll or Contract Killer


7/27/2012

GiFreak.com helps you find the best gi reviews out there



I stumbled on this site a while ago, and it includes some of the reviews featured in this blog. As no single person is able to review all the relevant equipment out there, gifreak helps you to find the reviews easier from different sources.

http://www.gifreak.com/

Here is what Megan has to say about her site:

"GiFreak.com started after we saw just how many different kinds of gis there were out there. We had a experience in the blog and forum worlds, and knew there were people getting online every day asking questions like “What gi should a skinny guy buy?” or “I want a gi with rashguard lining…who makes them?” So we wanted to make answering those questions easier on a couple of different levels…mostly by making it simple to find gis that have exactly what a grappler is looking for, and also connecting people with reviewers who’ve already done the leg work of assessing the quality and performance of different grappling products.
The site is based around two core features:
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7/25/2012

Lagarto popped by for training today

Today, we had Lucio "Lagarto" Rodrigues in training with us. Didn't spar with him though, because I didn't have much energy. Besides that, I've been training 5 days in a row and the fatigue is getting to me. Luckily we have guests arriving just now so I can't train as much in the coming week.

Been just trying to focus on the stand up game and improving my grip fighting. This is partly because Sergio told me that I am currently better on top. I also believe that for the first time, I have a system for stand up also (If I get this grip and the opponent has this foot forward, I'll do a ouchi gari etc..if he has the other foot forward, I'll do a kata guruma etc.). Funny thing to really train stand up after having pulled guard in almost every match I've ever had.

Here is Lagarto beating Lovato Jr in the Euros. Nice overhead sweeps and toreanda passes



7/13/2012

Old Rickson Gracie Budo Challenge highlights

Rickson Gracie budo challenge was fought with a point system that awards 3 points for decent submission attemps and mostly 1 point for other succesfull IBJJF point scoring techniques. A guard pull is also penalised with -1 point.

Oddly, Marcelo Garcia lost his first fight and could not face Shinya Aoki in the final of his weight class



BJ Penn brown belt fights from 2000

There aren't many of BJ's BJJ matches online, but I found a couple of nice ones.



7/12/2012

I knew there was reason I was getting this so cheap..

Ban instructionals and focus on a few moves!


IMO, FOCUSING ON A LIMITED AMOUNT OF TECHNIQUES FOR A SUBSTANTIAL PERIOD IS BENEFICIAL

Many people, at least I, have a tendency of wanting to try new and cool techniques in training all the time. We all now that sometimes we should just do the same things over and over for a better result but it gets boring after a while. It has become even more difficult nowadays because there someone coming up with a new cool technique video or dvd every day.

The past 2 weeks, I've decided only to work only on takedowns and the triangle choke. This means, that in sparring I never pull guard and always go for a triangle from reasonable positions. This might reward me with a good triangle in a few months, but in reality I can not go for the triangle all the time in sparring either because:

1. I can not get into a position where the triangle is an option (closed guard, over hook half, side mount etc.). Or...

2. I can get into a position where I can attempt a triangle but the opponent is making it nearly impossible to choose it as a reasonable attempt (opponent clasping his hands together in closed guard)

What this means is that IT TAKES QUITE A LOT OF TIME to get a reasonable number of repetitions in live sparring for these techniques. I think a month of focusing on these might be a minimum time. This means my bjj training is currently almost as boring as going to the gym.



In reality, you probably even have to exclude some techniques permanently from "your system" because the amount of techniques in jiu jitsu is infinite. Marcelo Garcia has made it clear in his school for example, they don't teach any spider guard.

IF YOU DON'T WANT TO FOCUS ON A SINGLE TECHNIQUE, FOCUS ON A CERTAIN SYSTEM OF TECHNIQUES

If you have too short an attention span to work on a single technique, at least try to work on a single system for a month. For example, during the past year, I've almost never used the classic cross face side control. Instead I always religorously go for the old school version shown below. The old school control offers a different system of submissions and transition than the cross face control.

Originally I started with this side control "system" because it gave me a fast way to the back, but now I've started getting kimuras, because I've sticked with it. If I would have tried to develop both side control systems at the same time, I would probably been less succesful.

The different systems:




7/03/2012

A judoka with cheat codes against Judo

This guy just won't be thrown and seems to use wrestling instead of classic judo in judo comps.

Don't miss the Olympic Judo and read a good blog about it

I remember being in Japan during 2008 Olympics and watching the judo games on my small Japanese tv. They had judo team commercials everywere at the time. Now, as the London games are approaching, I intend to watch the games again. Even though many of the throws (especially the way they sacrifice position) might not be a good idea for BJJ, you can at least catch world class grip fighting and some practical throws in the mix..

A good blog about an Australian guy preparing for the competition at:

http://www.ivojudo.com/my-blogs/olympic-training/

7/02/2012

Open mat radio with Tom Callos (Keenan Cornelius' father)

Nice interview of Tom Callos on BJ Penn, Keenan Cornelius etc. on my favourite BJJ podcast

I also love hearing about non-black belt competitors such as Keenan Cornelis. Being one myself, helps me understand how hard I would have to work to get even moderate success.


Link to episode: http://www.openmatradio.com/2012/07/01/episode-28-tom-callos/

7/01/2012

Finnish police fitness test

I started wondering whether I would pass the fitness test part of the application process to the Finnish police force. It seems I would pass at least the minimum requirements. Every time you do better than the minimum, you get additional points.

Minimum requirements for men:

1. Run 1500 meters, in less than 7.15 (probably would make it in 6)
2. At least 15 Abs in 30 seconds with a 5 kg weight behind your head. Knees bent..
3. Going over a 2.3 meter obstacle (preferably with out using your feet)
4. Dragging a doll of 80 kg with a back grab for 20 meters
5. 5 chin ups
6. 62,5 kg bench press (at least 2 repetitions)
7. 100 meters swim in 3 minutes or less

Women have reduced standards for this test


My loop choke attempt was on the chin and deep half got destroyed

First guy was over weight and I went straight to final. Portugal nationals Medium Heavy purple



6/28/2012

Gi review: Shoyoroll Comp Lite XII

Overall impression and fabric

Had a good experience with Shoyoroll Count but as many gis, it ended up shrinking so I decided to try the A3S Comp Lite instead. The gi was huge when I tried it on, but as I new from previous experience (my Ouano with rip stop pants shrank a whole size), it has already shrank substantially so I can wear it to training (I am 5.11 or 182 cm). The positive thing is that it will be competition legal for a long time.

There are basically three new SYR Comp lite gis available (black/yellow, white/red and the blue/red Uniblue). The problem in getting one (outside Ebay) is that they are, as normal, sold out and only 100 were made of colour scheme. However, I anticipate that the Shoyoroll light fabric will be used in future gis as well, making this review worth while.




Being a competition gi, the jacket is very light. There are no exact details revealed on the fabric but the weight can not be more than 450gr (or even less). It seems to be a pearl weave. The jacket is super soft but sturdy compared to most light weight jackets I've tried on. I am now training in hot weather and the gi feels great and doesn't crack open my skin. This in turn helps against skin infections etc.



The pants are rip stop pants, which in my opinion is a shame because SYR cotton pants are perhaps the best gi pants out there. Of course, rip stops are slightly lighter. For rip stops, these ones are pretty good though, as they don't have the "shine" of Atama mundials and some other rip stops
The fit and sizing

The gi has probably the longest pants I've ever owned. Fortunately they shrink quite a bit, and the process is still on-going. As you can see, the A3S is designed for tall lanky guy but I can make it my size by washing in hot weather and actually have a longer life for that than an A2 (being 5.11 and 184 pounds) Another option would be to get an A3 and hope the wideness will shrink. So, please not that A3S is longer than A3.


Measurements of my own gi (please notice that these were taken after 5 washes)

Key issues with fit

- The pants are super slim and long. If you're like that, they are one the best options out there
- The jacket is very slim fit. It resebles and A3 Keiko Raca with longer sleeves (at least for now)

For consistency, I compare the fit to Gameness Pearl again. Both gis are size A3 (SYR being a slim). The sleeves are much longer but still slimmer and have a narrower cuff. They are roughly as wide from the gut..


The pants really have a lot less room around the behind and thigh areas. Again, not for people who have really strong legs or short legs. The pant legs are clearly longer than in the Gameness A3. The pant width is similar


 
Details

The jacket has good stiching, but there clearly are issues with the pants..


The collar is slightly thicker than Gameness. Although it is thicker, it feels softer and easier to twist.


The sleeve cuff length is 17,2 cm. This is super narrow for a gi this size. Only other gis that compare are the Atama ones..


The pant chord is pretty much the same as the Ouano Competition gi and other SYRs have. It is the bungee cord style but really doesn't come undone.


Conclusion

+ Jacket fabric is really comfortable and light

+ Slim size is a nice touch but it has really long pant legs

+ Nice colour scheme
- Rip stop pants have stiching issues

- Lack of new design apart from side patches




Overall grade 9-/10