1/31/2013

Shoyoroll selling Competitor gis next week

Just got info that Shoyoroll is coming out with white and blue competitor gis next week


Looks pretty similar to comp lite sold in the mundials. If this has cotton pants, might consider getting it

1/30/2013

The lesson of Magid Hage's baseball bat choke

In the recent Abu Dhabi Pro trials in San Diego, Magid Hage tapped out 2 big name opponents in Zak Maxwell and Clark Gracie with baseball bat chokes from half guard bottom. The choke is actually finished from bottom mount position which makes it a very uncommon sight in high level jiu jitsu tournaments.

The match against Clark Gracie:


The match against Zak Maxwell:


What makes the case very interesting is that not many people focus on things that are considered by nature "low percentage" or not often seen in high level jiu jitsu competition. Some even gather statistics of most common submissions, passes etc. and focus their training around those. I guess the lesson here is that you can also to believe in techniques that are not often seen at the high level and be succesfull with them. One could also argue that there are a vast number of potentially "high percentage" techniques out there that people just don't polish enough.

In order to do this, you of course must believe in what you're doing when you start focusing on a certain technique. Don't get discouraged even when Rafa Mendes or Marcelo Garcia doesn't believe in it. There is still a chance that you can make it work for you.

I guarantee if someone would show me the berimbolo, Estima's inverted triangle or Rodolfo Vieira's signature throw for the first time without me having seen them used in competition, I would probably shrug them of as something that probably won't work if the opponent is skilled.

1/19/2013

Neck pains and anaconda positions today

Yesterday night I was celebrating my friend's PhD in Medicine and had a few drinks. Despite not feeling my best in the morning I decided to head to wrestling practive at 12.30 this morning. I was really sweating like a pig in warm up which included a lot of moves that made me dizzy like trying to throw myself up to my two feet from the headstand.


The techniques of the day were very interesting from a jiu jitsu perspective because we basically went through what you can do from a anaconda control. In jiu jitsu this is a position where most people don't think about points anymore but instead look to finish with either an anaconda or a darce choke. In wrestling, you can't choke people out so the technique is mostly used for gaining top position on the mat.

Our set up for it was pulling your opponent down to catch it from the collar tie position. Sometimes you end up getting this control also from when your opponent shoots at your legs.

What I call "anaconda control":

  • Tie and drag to the mat by sprawling, from which you can either
    1. Spin under like in an anaconda shoke to gain top position (side control)
    2. Spin to the back to get a point
  • Tie and step to the side of the trapped arm and grab outside the knee and finally clasp your hands together. Sit back and throw him over your shoulder closer to his head. Come on top
Today's training was a lot of fun, although I hurt my neck while sparring and my ankle while warming up. My right ankle has now taken damage 3 times this month, 2 times from twisting it while sprawling and today twisting it in warm up.

1/18/2013

My training log, a nice app for jiu jitsu

I've heard numerous times that people train less in reality that they think they do. Therefore, I decided to start keeping a training log on how much I actually train jiu jitsu, wrestling and gym. I started keeping track using this free app called my training log for Android. The application allows you to record your weight development and other details as well, but I will stick to just recording my training sessions.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like:


At the end of the year 2013 I should have fairly good idea on how much I actually train when taking into account holiday break, being ill etc. The app also records the actual hours spent training so I will have a number on that. I also decided to write down what technique I have practiced in each session, such as foot locks, takedowns or arm bars from bottom. After a while, I will be able to see if I have really been able to work on my weaknesses or have I just sticked with my strengths.

1/12/2013

Another wrestling class, thoughts on wrestling stance

I had another freestyle wrestling practice yesterday and let me tell you it was tough. We started with some basic "gymnastics" such as cartwheel, advanced somersaults, bridges etc. The techniques this time were a double leg, a fireman's carry and a fireman's carry forward, which I've never seen before.

My training partner Toni and I have been thinking a lot about the stance we are going to use in wrestling and jiu jitsu. Usually in wrestling they have their strong foot forward but I think I'll be using my left foot forward instead. This is not wrong per say, because I know that wrestlers who switch to mma often will learn to use the weak foot forward stance to have a better stance for boxing.

My thought work so far is as follows:
  • When no grips are in place, assume a staggered fairly low stance (one foot forward, one back) putting your left  foot forward
  • Keep your left arm on top of your left leg to protect against takedowns on that leg
  • Keep your right hand up and looking for the opponent's arm or neck
  • If you get a control of the neck (clinch), try to control the biceps with the other arm. Often in jiu jitsu the arm just gripping below the elbow which I think ruins your control of the inside space. 
  • When you have control of the neck I should try to have the leg on that side forward
  • When you are clinching with neck control, do not put your head on the other guys shoulder. You can even go forehead to forehead. If you're clinching with an underhook, I don't think putting your head on his shoulder can be avoided
A good stance display

We finished yesterday's training with 5 rounds of sparring. On the 5th round, I was so tired you could do a shot but not get up from it.

1/09/2013

First wrestling class is behind me

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of joining Helsingin Painimiehet (http://hpm.pp.fi/) for my first wrestling practice. We started with a pretty regular wrestling warm up including some indoor football. We covered three techniques:

  1. The double leg from the collar tie. The version we did was different from the jiu jitsu version I am used at least by the fact that we tried to clasp our hands together. This is something I've never seen in a BJJ class but it kinda makes sense if you can reach it. The double leg was not a blast double and the point was to get in in a angle and push the guy to the side with your head and body
  2. Countering the double by connecting your hands under his belly and rolling him over to the side you choose to look towards. Then you kinda follow the momentum to roll to top
  3. Countering the double by putting your arm deep under his belly and using the other hand to grab his ankle from the outside. Then you simply drop your head below him and roll him over towards the side of the trapped ankle.
After the techniques we did 5*2 min sparring with rotating opponents. Wasn't really familiar with exact rules but I seemed to do ok, apart from the fact that I hurt my right ankle while sprawling AGAIN!

All and all, nothing too dramatic or fancy details yet, but if I keep going, I am sure to get a lot of reps and takedown sparring compared to an average bjj guy. I would sure love to hit my first double leg in a competition.

1/07/2013

Starting my freestyle wrestling career tomorrow

"I swear it upon Zeus an outstanding runner cannot be the equal of an average wrestler"
Sokrates

Despite being 29-years old , I will participate in my first ever official freestyle wrestling class tomorrow. Of course, I have trained doubles, singles and knee taps in jiu jitsu and mma training but I really wanted to do at least a class of week just on wrestling. Fortunately for me and my friend who will be joining me, the class is name wrestling for fitness, so we don't have to get mauled by the competitors. As wrestling is something often started at a young age, it is basically a group for senior hobbyists.

What my friends think I'll be training


I am glad I decided to go with wrestling instead of judo to complement my jiu jitsu because hip throws (and basically all throws and trips) seem to be really hard for me to learn. I've just started to believe that Judo takes a long time to learn, despite my glorious bronze medal in a judo comp when I was 9 years old. Yesterday in training we were doing osoto garis and uchi matas and I just felt really uncoordinated again.

I guess the main thing I am looking to get out of the wrestling classes is not actually the takedowns themselves but better scrambling and mentality in scramble positions. In jiu jitsu being relaxed while rolling is something that is emphasized, so sometimes sometimes the takedown aggression and scramble aggression suffers from this.

Another thing that might improve is that "faith in the shot" that many people I have trained with have talked about. This simply means that you have to believe in the shot, otherwise you will hesitate too much or give up the takedown attempt when things get rough (opponent sprawls or something). I believe my "faith" will get better just by increasing the number of live shots in sparring. A cautious estimate could be that my shots might increase from say 5 a week to 20 a week. In a year that should amount to a lot of reps and improved faith.

Made my own protein bars yesterday

Yesterday, we made some protein bars. I had never tried this before so I felt a bit worried whether we would just be wasting a lot of good and expensive ingredients. The ones we tried were nut based protein bars, but there are plenty of other ways to do them. It was surprisingly hard to find a decent recipe online for these, so I figured I shared our version


Here's the easy recipe (makes about 10 bars):
  • 2,5 dl of peanut butter. We used an organic Urtekratim peanut butter which was almost as cheap as the cheapest brand around. Its nut content is approximately 99,5%. When buying peanut butter, try to check that it doesn't have too much added crap in it
  • 8 table spoons of honey (do not choose honey that is too runny)
  • 2,5 dl mix of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecan nuts, cashew nuts and dried cranberries
  • A dash of olive oil
  • 1,5 dl (or more) of protein powder. We only had strawberry flavored available so we didn't put too much in due to the artificial flavor of it.
  • Linseeds
Put the nut&seed mix to the oven for a few minutes (approx 180 celcius) with a little dast of olive oil on top. The you prepare a mix of peanut butter and honey in a kettle with low heat. Then add just a little water and the nut&seed mix.

Once you have it all mixed up just spread the doughy mix on greaseproof paper and put some linseeds on top. Then shape it into bars and wrap in the paper. Once you got everything wrapped, store them into the freezer.

The bars tasted amazing right after making them but they were a little too sticky at first. After they spent some time in the freezer, the texture improved a bit. If you are worried about the texture, adding more protein powder might also help.

The ingredients: