I am a shark, the ground is my ocean...and most people don't even know how to swim. - Rickson Gracie

Search Grappler Blog

суббота, 27 ноября 2010 г.

Guard players - a style that really stands out

Guard players are one of the most dangerous jiu jitsu fighters and grapplers out there. You carry out a takedown but get caught in the guard of these people and once they lock that guard in it can be really tough. Even if you do get a chance to break the closed guard it can be extremely difficult to do anything from there before they recover the closed guard.

Some of the guard players can be boring of course. If a guard player does not have an aggressive guard, he may just wait and wait and wait for a mistake and so it sometimes can get boring. It's great to develop the passing though. If you can pass the guard of a great guard player, then your game is dally on the top level. Passing is an important element and being able to defend against a very tight guard player is vital.

I think what many guard players fail to do though is they focus too much on this one element at the expense of other parts of the game.
All they seem to do is to try to get to closed guard and then look for sweeps and submissions. Guard players can be really conservative or risk averse, so instead of taking a chance they rather not do anything and this can make some boring matches. I love to see an aggressive player not only able to play just classic guard but when I see a very effective butterfly guard, I am very pleased to see some awesome well rounded technique.

понедельник, 15 ноября 2010 г.

Draculino BJJ Training for iPad:2/5 for Drac iPad App!

Got the iPad recently, great product well done Steve Jobs, but in terms of content for brazilian jiu jitsu and mixed martial arts, the UFC (they don't offer anything!!) and Apple should have done a lot more.

Basically there really is little content to actually choose from in my opinion. I downloaded the Draculino BJJ Training application with the video library for the blue belt that includes over 50 techniques to watch, but to be honest for the 23 pound sterling they charge, its not really worth it I think. If they want people to pay this much money for an app, not only does Draculino's teaching that has to be top notch (which it is) but the app itself must be awesome as a product.

There is basically only one feature which is the video library and the video quality and size was small and it seems like a product done in a rush that could have been done much better.

I did not see neither the technique search bar, nor the 3-angle video where you can see the technique demonstration and choose the angle. A lot to improve here. Training is fun, but if you pay money for a product, it should be high quality.

2/5 for Drac iPad app!

суббота, 13 ноября 2010 г.

Ideal Academy for BJJ

What would a perfect academy be if you could choose all the best traits and take away the problems? What do Academy owners do and what are they not doing and should? here is just a few things that I think that should be up there on the list:

1. Good instructors - this has got to be at the top of every list. A good teacher is really a big thing and actually it's hard to find a great teacher that can take you the whole way from white belt to world champion

2. Facilities - some may say that it doesn't matter where you train, but if your gym is not clean, the toilets are dirty, it's just not a place where people want to stay for very long. The academy is a second home and so it should be a good home for an athlete

3. Good environment. A great team, good sparring partners will take you the other half of the way to being a top class bjj player.

4. Location. Your club cannot be more than 2 hours away. You just can't travel there enough and stay for long enough unless this is your full time occupation.

5. Development - progress is important. If you don't make progress, you are wasting your time. The academy you train at should give you every opportunity to train with different people, learn from elite fighters in seminars, compete and much more.

6. Cross training can be very helpful whether you want to practice submission grappling or wrestling. The opportunities should be there to take you bjj to the place where you want it to be.

7. Conditioning. Many clubs believe that it is the responsibility of the bjj fighter to do the conditioning on his own time. I don't believe this is the right approach, it is the instructor that should be there to provide a programme for card and strength training needed.

What other things should be on the list? Something to think about.

четверг, 11 ноября 2010 г.

Train As You Can For As Long As You Can

Training I feel is the only way to become a great BJJ player. Romullo Barral is famous for training an enormous amount and is truly one of the most incredible BJJ players out there.

You have to put the mat hours no matter how productive your sessions may be. It was often that I said to myself that by studying 2-3 times per week in private sessions that it was thesame as 20 ordinary classes. While this may sometimes be true, you have to really do both I feel to improve.

Train with fighters that are better then you technically and weaker and practice different things. Practice what you are bad at. Over and over I practice now a few things that I am not good at. Butterfly guard, spider guard, open guard with one foot in. You basically have to practice the positions you are bad at.

Competing really helps though. By competing you really test yourself and at the same time learn from your mistakes. I went to a competition last weekend and have learnt a lot since then by going through my mistakes in a private class thereafter.

You benefit a lot from your losses and I think while you practice new moves on beginners, you definitely should train as much as you can with fighters that are better then you. You pick up new things and it gets your head working on how you should improve even though your ego may suffer.

Of course from time to time you do go and train with someone weaker and you feel good, but it is better to improve then just stall your progress.

Practice your techniques, don't just sparr. Share with you partners the techniques that you have learnt and they will share their moves that work for them. This exchange I think is very useful and you develop. Not always do you have a teacher at your side and everyone has a different game. There is a lot to learn in jiu jitsu, and the sky is the limit!

суббота, 30 октября 2010 г.

BJJ Rules

There are many resources and blogs that talk about brazilian jiu jitsu on the internet. Thousands and thousands of articles have been well written on the subject. What surprises me however how little discussion there is about the BJJ Rules.

BJJ rules is an important subject for anyone looking to compete. In my school for example we focus a lot on leg locks which is not normally part of the ordinary syllabus for brazilian jiu jitsu white belts.

I think it would be excellent if there was someone that could run through the rules and especially I think the illegal moves for each belt category because sometimes it is not entirely clear.

There is a move that I am practicing right now which is sort of a triangle body lock from the back which allows me to get the submission by crushing the stomach of my opponent. I can't quite understand whether this is a legal or illegal move under BJJ rules.

I think in competition the rules are not explained all that well and we would all benefit from a good quality explanation of this on the internet by an authoratitive figure.

понедельник, 11 октября 2010 г.

Strikeforce Heavy Weight Division - That Good?

Everyone keeps saying that the Strikeforce HW division is becoming a real powerhouse and is the best in the world and specificly better then the UFC but is this really true?

Well, lets start with Fedor. Fedor, Fedor and Fedor has not fought much since he got triangle choked out in 69 seconds to Fabricio Werdum, a guy that went 2-2 in UFC and got fired. Well, it looks like he won't be fighting any time soon and certainly not before Q1 2011 when the negotiations are going to begin between Strikeforce and the weird guys from M1.

Next up is Barnett. He has talked and talked about how he could beat anyone at the UFC and now has signed with Strikeforce. The truth is and I agree with Dana White on this is that Josh does not really care about anyone but himself and the money. He will walk away from Strikeforce or the UFC if it suits him. The guy just doesn't care about anybody or anything and he feels absolutely no guilt about Affliction MMA going down in flames. Why would someone want to trust him it is unclear, a guy with a bunch of failed performance enhancing drug scandals.

After that you've got Werdum who I actually respect and Antonio Silva who has a real future in MMA as well. Both guys are great in my opinion but just won't make it to the big UFC stage because they don't speak english. Well, they've already fought but these guys are real, they will fight anyone any time.

Overeem or OBEREEM, the champion, the vicious striker with a guillotine choke that has sent even Vitor Belfot tapping out in Pride is the real deal. I'm really impressed with him and I think he will soon be moving over to the UFC once he accomplishes his dream in becoming the K1 champion this year. Dana White will sign this guy and I think Overeem will agree when he finds out that Fedor is too scared to fight him and Werdum is probably the last bout he will have left at Strikeforce.

Well, thats it guys. Lets not mention Kharitonov and Aleks Emelianenko. Both of these guys are really out of shape and should not be fighting in their condition. I hope they do join some good MMA team soon though.

пятница, 8 октября 2010 г.

Fedor fighting?

I love the way Fedor and his management behave. First they react by wanting a rematch straight away. Then they realize that Werdum is not fighting and they challenge Overeem who they did not want to fight before and since Overeem is now busy (and they knew this and that is why they challenged him) they don't want to fight until next year.

Shit! what happended to fighting Antonio Silva, Josh Barnett or even Kharitonov?! Well, all of them are still strong opponents for Fedor and losing to one of these guys would send Fedor out of the top-10 rankings all together.

So what does M1 together with Fedor decide instead? Ah!! lets not fight until Q2 2011 and meanwhile just negotiate endlessly with Strikeforce. Now Scott Coker says to us (the fans) that Fedor is too busy to fight this year and that his schedule is full..... I'm luck WHAT!!!???? He is not fighting anybody, what is he doing? Last year he fought once, the year before he fought basically once since Arlovski was like in January.

I think basically the guy should either retire or fight. I think he still loves to shine like this unbeatable champion where as really his is a judo/sambo fighter with good but not elite ground game and heavy hands who is not in shape to fight anymore at the top level. The guy just needs to face it. Either you train properly with good sparring partners (take Roger Gracie and learn the triangle armbar setup) and compete 2-3 times per year as a real champion or you retire.

Fedor is an amazing fighter but this whole idea that he is still the greatest and that Sambo is the best is crazy. There are monsters out there like Brock Lesnar, like JDS, like Overeem and Werdum. These guys are at the very top now and for Fedor to go and say that Lesnar vs Carwin was a fight between two second-rate fighters is just stupid. Lesnar or Carwin have huge weapons against Fedor. If he thinks he can easily beat them, he just need to step up because talk is cheap and those guys are real dangerous, no one can deny that. Join UFC or Strikeforce. Right now Fedor belongs to neither. He works with M1.

пятница, 1 октября 2010 г.

Triangle-pass-counter sweep

Attacking with the triangle is dangerous I find as it can often allow the guy on top to pass your guard. There are two ways of getting round this. One is just to put the knee inside and attempt to recover guard. This is not always easy to do of course but has worked for me in the past. Of course you are back to square one. It seems there is an alternative but not sure how easy this move is to carry it out. Will definitely have to practice this one next week. Check it out in the video below:

This counter just seems like a better way to go as you can essentially sweep your opponent and get a dominant position off of his attack. This is great!

суббота, 25 сентября 2010 г.

Roger Gracie Sweep from Half Guard

I first noticed this move that Roger does from half guard on the bottom watching him fight in the Worlds and then later on Youtube. I can see that against Marcelo Garcia and later against Bruno Bastos he used this exact sweep with great success. I guess it is just a matter of practice and perfecting your sweeps in the half guard. Having a couple of half guard sweeps that you know really well I think can mean the difference between winning and losing and what makes this sweep so good is that you don't recover guard like some of the other techniques you may have in the arsenal with this sweep but basically get side control on top which is a great place to be considering your opponent was about to pass your guard.

Very nice Oli. Thank you very much for the video!

UFC 119 - Review

Awesome card. Excellent fighters.

Evan Dunham vs Sean Sherk = amazing fight!! Not sure about the decision but well done to both guys. Sean Sherk certainly has a great submission defense but Evan Dunham is a dangerous guy.

The Dolloway win was pretty cool I have to mention. Marcelo Garcia style guillotine choke looked outstanding. Clearly he is a promising fighter for the UFC.

Now Nogueira vs Ryan Bader upset me a bit. Nogueira technically I think won that fight. He landed more strikes and he was much more technical. I think he lost on only takedowns but many of them pretty much apart from the first one were not damaging in any way so I think the decision should have gone to Little Nog. Jon Jones would be an interesting matchup for Bader though. Would love to see this fight next.

The main event had Frank Mir scoring a KO with a knee to the head of Mirko. Mirko I think should give up on fighting now. There is nothing he has to offer any more. The fight looked like a sparring session really and although the win was decisive and Mirko still has a huge fan base I don't really see why he should continue with his career. He just doesn't seem to have the tools no more to compete at the highest level against guys like Frank Mir. He fought a smart fight but where he should be dominating is on the feet and it seems he does not have to offer the striking that he once devastated opponents with.

BJJ Grading and more news at Lion Sports Club

Last month, the club held the first ever grading of BJJ practitioners in Russia by a Russian instructor. Leonid Gatovskiy (Gracie Barra Brown Belt) has for the first time awarded blue belts to four very dedicated students that were not able to go to Poland for the summer BJJ camp held there where the team was graded. A big congratulations to all the guys.

On more news from the club, the schedule has been changed to include many more additional classes in brazilian jiu jitsu as well as for the first time including separate classes for students who wish to practice grappling. For sure this will attract many more students to the club and I think it is only a matter of time before the club sets up an affiliate elsewhere in Moscow.

The club will also likely be holding a seminar later this year most likely with the possible visit of Draculino but this has not been confirmed yet. Vinicius Magalhães is one of the biggest names in BJJ and is a true legend of the sport. This will be a great honour for him to come to Russia to the only Gracie Barra school there so far.

Competition wise it will be exciting to see more competitions from the club to give the students a chance to test their skills in both gi and no-gi competitions against some of the best bjj, sambo, judo and submission grappling clubs in the country and from abroad. Hope to see this soon as well.

среда, 22 сентября 2010 г.

Jiu Jitsu - Don't Stop Training If You Can

The one thing you need to do to get better I think is to be unstoppable and I don't mean unstoppable on the mats, no. You need to be unstoppable in you jiu jitsu attendance.

Jiu Jitsu is not about who is faster, stronger or any of that. It is really about how regularly you train, how attentive you are in class and how dedicated your our to your progress. Training is the only thing you need to do and in order to progress you just need to do the hours.

There is always something that is going to bother you whether it is your knee, shoulder, neck or something else. You just need to continue training and improving and one day you will get a little better.

I think of it in terms of 100 hours actually. Every one hundred hours you get a little better. You should of course try to take something away every class but every one hundred hours you should really see a little improvement, like a technique that you did not use much now becomes more usable or effective or you learn some new transition which you know like to incorporate in your game.

The first 100 hours you will see a lot of improvement and while the next 100 the improvement is not as dramatic, it is still there. You get tigher and crisper in certain positions and you learn new techniques. The other guys you are training with are also getting better and so it is difficult to see progress sometimes but it is there. Often you won't even know what level you are until you try to sparr with someone like a fresh blue belt only to find out that you as a white have the skill level to match him.

Explore the world of jiu jitsu and just try to make as much as you can out of every lesson. Try visiting a different academy for perspective, when you go on vacation take a private lesson and you just might begin to see things differently and this is the key to improvement.

среда, 18 августа 2010 г.

The Feared Triangle Choke

It seems the triangle choke will forever go down as one of the most lethal moves in MMA. A move that caught the great Fedor Emelianenko thanks to the crafty skills of the ADCC champion Fabricio Werdum.

It is the same move that saved Anderson Silva from losing his title in UFC 117 allowing him to come back from behind when defeat was only minutes away.

Lastly, you had to love the skill and precision with which Ryan Couture (son of Randy Couture) applied the move at Strikeforce Challengers on August 13. It was precise. He moved his hips, controlled the leg and applied the deadly hold by forcing the head down to tighten it further.

The triangle has proven to be a deadly move, almost impossible to escape once locked in, it is worth perfecting.

понедельник, 16 августа 2010 г.

New Shoulder Injury

Two weeks ago was training some BJJ moves. Sweeps from standing omoplata and knee bar from standing omoplata. Short training session actually, about an hour long due to severe weather conditions, namely smoke, over here in Moscow.

Came back after training with pain in my right shoulder which I had surgery on the year before. Hasn't recovered since. Still experiencing mild pain and really I've done almost everything I can. Giving the shoulder a lot of rest but for the moment very little progress.

Going to London this weekend and planning to see this doctor: http://www.londonorthopaedic.com/who-we-are/brian-cohen who will hopefully will be able to help me.

Just hope no surgery is required for this. I've only just a few months ago have got back in to training and now this. Extremely disappointing for me as I was planning to compete in the Grab and Pull tournament in Brighton this weekend as well.

четверг, 22 июля 2010 г.

Cuts in Judo

On Tuesday this week, was training drop seonage and managed to get a cut right above my eyebrow. Quite deep cut actually, lots of blood everywhere. Don't even know how I managed to do it, but I collided with the head of my partner. I don't think this is a common thing to happen in Judo!

So anyway, got five stitches, now can't wash the wound for a few days. Not good, gonna miss training until mid next week I think. A real shame but if you don't get stitches for such a wound, I understand it does not heal well but with stitches it heals quickly. Never heard of anyone having such an injury in judo or bjj.

среда, 21 июля 2010 г.

BJJ Person Profile

- He does not care if he wins or loses, the only thing he does care is how he performs and absorbs technique

- He goes to training because he needs it, he wants to do it, he loves it, its automatic - he does not think about going to training, just does it

- He likes the community of the BJJ academy and his instructor inspires him to improve

- He spends all his free time or a lot of it thinking about BJJ, watching videos and other materials on the subject. Admiring BJJ heroes seems like an endless pursuit.

- He would love to compete in BJJ and test himself

- He never stops thinking about the next thing he wants to do in jiu jitsu

- Nothing can stop him from doing what he loves to do and nothing can upset him more than a serious injury

вторник, 13 июля 2010 г.

Flavio Canto

-----A Brazilian Judoka with a good ground game, Flavio Canto tends to say he doesn’t differentiate between judo and Jiu-Jitsu in training. “They’re two sports with different rules,” he says. But they should be trained together as a whole, so the athlete will become well-rounded with finishes and takedowns. ---- GracieMag

A great judoka with a solid ground game is a dangerous gi player and I am a great fan of guys like Flavio Canto that are well rounded. Jiu jitsu and judo are so connected, that you in the end cannot fully master one without the other.

Check out the video below:

Flavio Canto wikipedia profile here

пятница, 9 июля 2010 г.

The Holy Trinity

"The Holy Trinity" - the three greatest BJJ fighters of the decade - Roger Gracie, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza and Marcelo Garcia. So outstanding are these guys that they are literally untouchable and head and shoulders above the rest. All three also have very different styles of jiu jitsu.

Roger Gracie is probably the greatest technician and fundamentals master, perhaps the best ever jiu jitsu fighter in the Gi but also an outstanding no-gi jiu jitsu practitioner. Roger has not been submitted for more than 10 years now.

Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza - an incredibly gifted athlete and a very well-rounded fighter, possessing not only amazing dynamic jiu jitsu but also high quality judo and no-gi takedowns. A true star destined for MMA success.

Marcelo Garcia - considered by some the greatest pound for pound no-gi submission specialist with three ADCC titles behind his belt and more to come.

Watch this video about Ronaldo Jacare's visit to the Beverly Hills academy I really enjoyed.

четверг, 8 июля 2010 г.

BJJ Game

Brazilian jiu jitsu is my passion. I think what makes BJJ so great however is the rule set, the submission rather then position focus.

Having said that, I think one thing that many BJJ fighters ignore is the takedowns that Judo and Wrestling give. The takedowns give your game an edge but also teach you how to improve you game and the transitions. This is why Ronaldo Jacare Souza is such an amazing success.

Jacare is not only an amazingly talented jiu jitsu fighter, he is also incredibly well rounded as a martial artist. He comes from a Judo background but also has great wrestling takedowns and now with his striking reaching a new level, he is going to topple anyone on the middleweight Strikeforce arena.

It is therefore a shame for me to see that so few clubs even in the US where BJJ is so much more developed are offering wrestling or judo. I imagine it is tricky to find instructors that can teach both martial arts but you also have to remember that the greatest artists around are very technical in their Judo and many possess great wrestling.

My dream academy would certainly offer all three of these martial arts. All three fit naturally together and should be nurtured from day one. More time needs to be dedicated to master them, but then thats life.

пятница, 2 июля 2010 г.

Romulo Barral HL

There is one guy that just seems to be getting better and better and that is Romullo Barral. His guard is simply outstanding with literally everyone apart from Roger having trouble dealing with it.

With the gi, Romullo I think is in the top-5 players in the world right now, pound for pound. His spider guard is incredible and his ability to pull a triangle on anyone just takes your breath away.

The thing is, I've seen Romullo close up in ADCC 2009 and he looks so much smaller then the guys he competes with. Xande Ribeiro looks huge by comparison and way more powerful and yet somehow Romullo manages to overcome these guys, even guys in the ultra heavyweight division when he competes. Amazing.

среда, 30 июня 2010 г.

My Judo

Although I am mainly a brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner, I am also a great fan of Judo which I started even before I found out about BJJ.

Both martial arts are really important to my training as I focus primarily on the gi game which I want to develop first.

Judo has been a great martial art to cross train in as I continue to develop my top takedowns and takedown defense. Although I still have a long way to go, after about two years of training, I feel I am gradually improving and can pull of a few moves that would give me the advantage in a BJJ match and I think also the element of surprise.

Judo I think is losing popularity nowadays but to me, it still has a lot to offer both in terms of improving my technique and also my physical conditioning.

To me it feels Judo has a different mental game though. BJJ guys tend to be more dedicated to the sport while Judo guys tend to be more focused on athleticism.

Just looking at the number of blogs and youtube videos there are for BJJ and Judo, you can make the conclusion and yet it is well known that there are probably ten times as many Judo practitioners as there are BJJ guys.

For me though, BJJ and Judo are a part of one whole. I don't care much about Judo rules but want my technique to dominate and this is where I want to achieve progress.

Judo blackbelts have a certain skill set which gives them success in certain aspects of the game and the goal I think is to take the best parts out.

Saulo Ribeiro is one elite BJJ player who basically took the core Judo techniques and adapted them to his game and has done very well and this is what I want to do and believe in.

Nevertheless I can understand the issues that some people have with Judo. The strange enough competition rules is the obvious flaw.

Just one example is the "standing up" rule that gives you an idea of how unrealistic Judo really is especially in newaza (groundwork). Basically the thing with it is if you are a BJJ guy and catch your opponent in an armbar or triangle, the guy can literally just stand up and as soon as both of his feet are on the ground, the referee can signal the end of the match.

Of course in reality it often takes some time to get the submission to take effect. The triangle choke in particular. Judo however does not allow you to fully apply the triangle choke if the guy is strong enough to get up to his feet which is not a difficult feat to accomplish considering it is not required to actually lift the guy off his back.

You may say then "why do Judo, especially groundwork if it is so unrealistic?". My thought is this. If you want to dominate Judo and Sambo guys like Rigan Machado and Rickson Gracie did in the 80s-90s, you need to be that good to be able to handle your opponent from standing and make sure that on the ground he has no chance and by that I mean no chance at all to even get his feet up. When you sink and armbar or triangle you should control your opponent and not allow him to do anything. BJJ gives you all the techniques required and it is just a matter of perfecting the techniques to such a level that you totally control your opponent on the ground.

Archetypes in BJJ

Guys, I always thought that eventually someone will put together something like this.

Check it out here (very funny): http://www.kampfkunst-board.info/forum/f24/bjj-stereotypen-32554/

In fact I am pretty sure it covers all of us at least a little bit. For me, I feel sometimes like the "this is my first lesson guy" because I hate to answer the question "how long have you been doing BJJ".

When I started doing BJJ it was especially not great. I had two years of Judo experience already and so when I said I was new to BJJ and then submitted the guy with an arm-triangle or something, it was kind of like "by the way, I've done judo". But its not like you have to disclose your martial arts background to every partner who asks you just before a sparring match whether you have done BJJ before.

By the way, check this link out for some comedy :)

вторник, 29 июня 2010 г.

Jiu Jitsu Lifestyle

Here is a short video series about jiu jitsu, the martial art that has taken over the life of so many people and transformed them. 600,000 now I understand are practicing the martial art and I think the number is growing fast.

понедельник, 28 июня 2010 г.

Reasons Why Fedor Lost!

Here are some of the primary reasons Fedor lost this fight however:

1. Fedor has never trained with decent sparring partners for grappling. Instead he trains in Stariy Oskol with Sambo guys that are nowhere near as technical as somebody like Fabricio Werdum. These guys don't have a guard as technical and as difficult to pass as Werdum's so I think this is part of the reason why Fedor got so confident there. What Fedor needs to do is something that is normal for many top fighters. Anderson Silva, GSP, BJ Penn, Machida and Lesnar all train with elite BJJ players and ADCC level grapplers. Fedor needs to leave Stariy Oskol and train with good sparring partners.

2. Training facilities and trainers. Fedor's conditioning may be decent but his coaches are part of the reason why he lost. Not many people know that Fedor was not made by his current trainers he has today in fact. They inheritted Fedor, the awesome machine that could dominate Pride. He now needs to consider whether he may really benefit from modern MMA training and coaches.

3. People around Fedor. Fedor has a lot of people around him who are there to get his money and use his fame. Starting from Rinat Layshev, Igor Petrukhin, Vadim Finkelstein and ending with a crazy guy they have over there who things sauna and "Banya" is training. They are extremely arrogant and talk so much shit it is unbelievable and thank god for Fedor people outside of Russia don't hear this crap. They were saying that Sambo is the best martial art in the world, Fedor is the best fighter in the world, and on and on. These guys are screwing with his training and his mind.

4. Religion and priests. We never knew Fedor like this but when priests start to accompany you to fights that is the worst sign you can have. "God wanted Fedor to lose?", if Fedor is not insane, he will be soon with these guys. I am telling you that those priests have been messing with Fedor's head for ages. Now Fedor has to go and prey instead of training. Good luck Fedor if you carry on like this.

5. Bring the wife. Fedor has not been taking fighting seriously for a few years now. He is told by his mates that he is unbeatable and that he can relax i gather. That is why he lost in Sambo last year - he did not train, and he was doing movies before the Arlovski fight that even his trainers started talking before being told to hush hush.

remember he got married just before the Rogers fight? Now he brings his fight to San Jose, bad sign.

Lastly, Fedor went in to MMA to make money for his family. This was a mean machine who was training with nasty guys like Volk Han. I think Fedor forgot where he came from and how hard he had to work to get there, who made Fedor. He should really look for outsiders to help him here. Speak to Mousasi and GSP, speak with guys that have accomplished something. Train with Roger Gracie.

Fedor has to do a lot of work before he goes in and fights again. The fact that they already want the next fight in September and that he will never leave M1 is a bad sign.

Five Top BJJ Players Getting Famous

5. Pablo Popovitch

Hats off to the guy that beat Marcelo Garcia in the ADCC which is what he did in 2009. Pablo Popovitch, if you ever seen him fight, is an incredible grappler. Incredibly skilled, talented and powerful grappler that has been for years been overshadowed by the Marcelo Garcia phenomenon. Pablo really does deserve praise and someone to follow this year.

4. Braulio Estima - Gracie Barra is proud of its champions and Braulio Estima's performance last year has been more than impressive. Not only was he able to dominate everyone in his own division at ADCC 2009, he looked also unbeatable in the absolute taking gold thanks to his inverted triangle choke he does so well.

Braulio is a true champion and a very accomplished BJJ fighter having been BJJ champion many times before. Although for years outshined by guys like Xande and Ronaldo Jacare, Braulio is really showing his worth nowadays and will surely do well in mixed martial arts as well.

3. Demian Maia - there are few talents in BJJ who can make UFC fighters look like amatuers. This is what Demian can do literally playing with his opponents once the fight reaches the ground. Although Maia could not takedown Anderson Silva in his last fight, surely he has a great career ahead of him in the UFC once he improves his wrestling and striking.

2. Ronaldo Souza - Jacare is one of the most athletic and yet incredibly technical fighters. Having dominated the jiu jitsu and grappling scene for years, he turned to MMA with great success. Ronaldo is able to take down even the most versatile fighters with ease and once on the ground, they are helpless to resist him. His last fight against Villasenor in Strikeforce confirms this.

With his takedowns looking the better than most wrestlers and striking rapidly evolving, Ronaldo Souza will very soon be the middleweight Strikeforce champion. Good luck to him.

PS: Jake Shields I think got scared of how good Souza really is and has run off to the UFC.

1. Roger Gracie - when you look at what Roger Gracie has accomplished so far, he can't help giving credit to his achievements. He is the first fighter to win the BJJ Worlds Absolute 3 times and the only guy to submit all of his opponents in 2009 worlds by taking mount. He is also the only guy to submit all of his opponents in ADCC 2005 winning both his own weight and absolute. This guy is truly the greatest BJJ specialist ever and one of the best grappling stars in the world.

Roger is an extremely humble and hard working guy and is a great pleasure to see him compete. I just wish he fights MMA more.

I would personally also love to see him fight in Sambo just for fun, as Rigan Machado and Rickson did just to see how he would do. The rules are different but it would be interesting to see how BJJ vs Sambo does these days.

суббота, 26 июня 2010 г.

Jiu Jitsu Prevails: Fedor loses to Werdum

How unbelievably arrogant were the M1 Global commentators in the Fedor vs Werdum Strikeforce show. The crap that comes out of the mouth of Finkelstein, Igor Petruhin and Rinat Layshev and their friends is unbelievable.

Propoganda message number 1: "Sambo is the best" - yeah they go on and on that Dana White nor any of the brazilian know what Sambo is. That Fedor can do anything he wants to a jiu jitsu fighter because he is the best in the world, no one can submit this guy, blah, blah blah. I think at some point even Fedor decided he could do his sambo tricks on Werdum.

Basically what happened was Fedor went in and forgot who he was dealing with. When he fought Nogueira he understood how dangerous Nogueira is from the guard. He was very cautious despite trying to GNP Nogueira.

This time however he tried to pass Werdum's guard with no respect for Fabricio's guard game and submission abilities. What happened, well, it turns out Sambo and Fedor are not invincible after all. I guess Fedor forgot the Arona fight and what happened there.

For some reason he decided he could do more than just land strikes from the guard. He tried to pass the guard and naturally Werdum landed a nice triangle choke. Vai Cavalo locked it in quick and real nice and once its locked, well, unless your name is Roger Gracie you are not getting out. That means even if your name is Fedor Emelianenko, you are still going to tap. That is what happened.

After that basically the guys commenting the Russian side of the show started to feel embaraced, embaraced that Fedor lost, embaraced by how little chance they gave Werdum and tried to explain that this was like an accident etc etc

The thing is though, these guys give so little respect to guys like Fabricio Werdum, who is just as much of a star in jiu jitsu as Fedor is in Sambo. Fabricio shook Fedor's hand and spoke about how much respect he has for Fedor.

The M1 team however do exactly the opposite. All they talk about is Fedor, Fedor, Fedor. That is a genius, a professor, the best fighter in the world, unbeatable and on and on and on. Not only do they not show any of the other fights in Russia but they don't even talk about Fabricio Werdum when he enters the arena.

I'm not even sure whether they actually know anything about Werdum. All they seemed to talk about when Werdum was entering the arena was that how little cheering there was.

Fedor, I think the guy is great but with all this crap around him and some of the crap that he believes in, he is wrong about some things. He got arrogant I think in this fight and gave too little respect for Werdum.

At the same time the problem is that these guys believe that Sambo gives you all the ground game that you need. BJJ on the ground is superior however and this has been proven. When did we ever see someone good from Sambo win the ADCC. Sambo is great for throws, but on the ground, it is simply not a complete art.

Now I am not saying Fedor can't win fights without jiu jitsu, but what I am saying is that if Fedor was as wise as his people say, he would train in proper facilities where he would benefit from being exposed to elite BJJ guys, elite Wrestlers etc. You can't just sit there in Stary Oskol and practice Sambo and Boxing all day long thinking this is all I have to know.

Guys from Greg Jackson's gym and many other top gyms in the US these days have a much better training programme then what Fedor could have.

Honestly how can one train for an ADCC champion without at least a BJJ specialist as a training partner. He should have gone to Roger Gracie's academy in London and practiced. He has no one to test him back in Stariy Oskol. I just hope Fedor steps down from whatever throne Finkelstein put him on and starts thinking about how to get better.

Of course he should listen to his coaches, but shit, they should have told him this ten years ago. They have the money, just not the will. They paid for it this time.

четверг, 24 июня 2010 г.

Buvaisar Saytiev Amazing Move Plus Wrestling in General

When it comes to wrestling, I have great respect for the sport. Below is the video from one of the modern greats.

Saytiev is truly one of the greatest in the sport today and for him to pull off such amazing moves is just extraordinary. The guy started winning big in 1995 and is still at the top of his game.

Having never done freestyle wrestling myself I have to respect the sport having trained with some wrestlers in no-gi grappling at my academy. There takedown defense I particularly respect as well as their top control. These guys are very quick and well-conditioned and it just shows how great this sport is in producing powerful and agile athletes.

Sadly, while MMA has experienced a tremendous boost in growth and other sports like Judo and Sambo have benefitted from popularity and support from the authorities, others have been declining.

Taking a look at wrestling, I found this particularly to be the case. I was looking at the number of clubs available for adults in two major capitals of the world, London and Moscow and frankly I was amazed. Basically there is probably one or two clubs total per each of these cities where an adult can go and train wrestling which is aweful. I don't know what those federations are doing but certainly they are doing very little if anything at all to boost the number of clubs offering GrecoRoman and Freestyle wrestling.

There is a lot of discussion in fact to whether you can do wrestling from the adult age having never done it before. Some say you can't but I think this is a problem with the motivation schemes that some of the trainers especially in Russia have. The trainers do not want to take you unless they can make a champion out of you in five or ten years time. Of course if you are 25 or even 20, they can't and in this case they can't make any money or get any title themselves as a world-class trainer.

A similar thing goes on in Judo but thankfully there are so many Judo enthusiasts out there teaching the sport, it is growing immensely without any need to focus on elite athletes or money.

Frankly BJJ has an edge here. It is not troubled with all this necessary insurance or affiliation. Just look at Judo. If you have great skills and you are from abroad and just want to come over and compete at some local tournament, there is a whole lot of paperwork you have to deal with. Why do you have to be a member of the British Judo Association? If a guy breaks his neck, his BJA membership will not help him that is for sure.

BJJ is free from this, at least for now. The only crazy thing in this regard I have seen is that in the UK for the BJJ AbuDhabi Pro Trials you have to have an EU member passport which is absurd. So if you are Russian, Ukranian, Belarussian - you can't compete at all. Ridiculous.

Fedor vs Werdum on 26 June

Many believe that Werdum does not have a chance against Fedor in this fight but having red some different perspectives, I have to agree with Fedor and Couture in saying that indeed Fabricio Werdum could be a dangerous opponent for Fedor, especially on the ground.

While I don't believe Vai Cavailo will be able to do anything to Fedor from the guard. Werdum needs to take Fedor down and pass his guard which I believe he will not have much of a problem doing.

The key will be to keep Fedor on the ground and go from submission to submission. I believe Werdum could try to either submit him from side control. After all we have seen Mark Hunt lock in that americana. Another possibility would be to take Fedor's back and try to submit him from there.

While many believe that Fedors ground fighting is incredible, I would have to disagree. Fedor is a great armbar specialist but talking about his positional ground game, I think it is nowhere near top-jiu jitsu level. Fedor had trouble passing Cro Cop's guard and Ricardo Arona showed that Fedor can be dominated on the ground with elite BJJ.

While it is a difficult to task to beat Fedor, I agree with Arona that this is the key for Werdum, to escape the danger standing and go for the takedowns. Fedor's KO power of course makes him exceptionally dangerous and I think no one can really predict what will happen.

I thing for sure though, Fedor is extremely quick and Werdum will have to be as quick in this fight to control and take advantage of his strengths.

Watched the Arona fight just now. I think this one really shows how many different holes Fedor has in the ground game. He does not really have a guard, could not stop Arona from passing it at all, trying to do this guillotine choke which clearly was not doing anything. He gave his back and got mounted so many times and if Arona could strike to the head from the mount, Fedor would have been in a lot of trouble here.

Arona's takedown's are probably on part with Werdum's so Werdum should use this strategy to gain a dominant position and work from there. This is a dangerous opponent for Fedor, maybe even as dangerous is Lesnar. I think people don't realise that Werdum cannot be submitted and the only way Fedor can win this I think is by keeping it standing and trying to KO Fabricio. Very excited about this fight.

среда, 23 июня 2010 г.

Academy Life

BJJ is a life long pursuit for sure. Of course the turnover in the academy is great at the beginner level but over time you develop a relationship with the core team in the academy.

What I want to say is that of course you must treat your team mates with the same respect that you also expect from your partners. It will take something like ten years to get your black belt before you might decide to setup your own academy and therefore you should develop a relationship with the guys and of course your instructor who will show you the way forward and help you achieve the progress that your seek.

Everyone is different of course. Most of us have a background in some martial art. At my academy where our instructor is very keen on no-gi grappling, there are many guys who have a background in Greco-roman wrestling or freestyle wrestling. These guys tend to be very hard working and also well conditioned and there are of course a lot of things that you can pick up from guys like this especially in the takedown department.

Since I train at a Gracie Barra academy in Russia, there are plenty of guys with a Judo and Sambo background. Since both of these martial arts are very closely interrelated, many have cross trained in both.

These guys have a lot of judo throwing experience and in the case of sambo pracitioners the thing to watch out is leg locks and in particular straight ankle locks and heel hooks.

Many BJJ guys, blue belt and below in other countries don't even come across leg locks until purple, but in Russia the situation is quite a bit different. You constantly have guys coming over to train or sparr who are extremely proficient in leg locks and therefore a part our training is devoted to leg locks and especially defense.

Jiu jitsu makes you comfortable from working from you back and I think that is what BJJ pracitioners should take advantage of of course.

The Academy is a place where you will spend many many thousands of hours training with your partners so it is good to make friends. This I think also helps motivate you to come. You come to meet your friends and practice the sport you love.

вторник, 22 июня 2010 г.

Strikeforce signs Kharitonov and Overeem

Big news for Strikeforce that has come to my attention. I think I managed to miss this one last week. According to MMA Junkie, on the 17 June, Scott Coker announced that Valentijn Overeem and Sergei Kharitonov, two great Pride heavyweights have signed with Strikeforce.

I am thrilled about this of course, to see more competition in the Strikeforce Heavyweight division and more Russian representation at the top.

Sergei especially has been long considered one of the top heavyweights until recently and actually I have been surprised that it took so long. Now all they need is convince Ricardo Arona to return and this organization would be doing great.

Of course the key would be to focus on raising new talent of course but now they at least have a chance to test themselves against the top guys in the sport. With Fedor retiring, a new generation of fighters needs to come to Strikeforce in the heavyweight division.

Personally I would love to see several fights in this category now including Kharitonov vs Brett Rogers or Valentijn Overeem vs Bobby Lashley. It would be a great show if we got to see some of these big guys face each other.

As a jiu jitsu fan however for me it is always exciting to see some jiu jitsu talent in action and that is why I would love to see Jeff Monson and especially Ricardo Arona in the mix at Strikeforce. This is the place where they should be competing right now. For Arona, there are a few interesting matches at LHW including guys like Gegard Mousasi.

Kharitonov has a strong Sambo background though and his punching power is on par with Aleks Emelianenko, so I think its going to be interesting how he does in his first fight.

Strikeforce HW division I feel now has a lot of technical and powerful strikers and it would be great if apart from Fabricio Werdum there could be some more wrestlers/jiu jitsu players. I don't really count Bobby Lashley as I think he needs a few big career fights to prove he has what it takes to transition to MMA.

понедельник, 21 июня 2010 г.

Training Regularly - Difficult to Do When You Don't Feel So Good

Training regularly is the only way to achieve results in jiu jitsu and that is why I make every effort to come to training on time unless there is something extremely important that needs attending.

Sadly I caught the flu or some nasty infection that keeps reoccurring which is a real shame. Although I do everything possible it is just sad to miss training.

Well, at least Fedor vs Werdum Strikeforce event is coming up this weekend which always promises to be an exciting night. Since Fedor is fighting, the event will be on pay-per-view in Russia, something that never happens here since MMA is misunderstood by the majority of the public. BJJ vs Combat Sambo here we go, great fighters, poor commentary, I am looking forward to it!

пятница, 18 июня 2010 г.

The Triangle - Symbol of Jiu Jitsu

Triangle is an extremely effective technique in both jiu jitsu and judo. The first time I tried it, I loved how effective it was provided you achieved the correct position. How wrong was I for thinking that I have mastered the technique after a year of training.

The triangle choke is perhaps one of the most effective and deadly techniques in jiu jitsu. It is the definition of a high percentage technique especially considering the fact that it is almost impossible to escape it once you have locked your opponent in its deadly trap.

The thing to note in the triangle is the detail and the variety. By detail I mean the amount of detail there is to the triangle choke. It is a vital submission to master but you have to be able to apply it perfectly, like second nature, with speed and precision, doing everything perfectly, moving the hips, locking in your opponent, using your hips and groin muscles to apply pressure, controlling the arm and apply pressure to the back of the head.

If you think that's all the detail to the basic triangle from the guard, you are mistaken. Not only you must master the basics but also understand how your opponent will try to escape and prevent this.

By variety I mean of course the number of situations and variations there are. The reverse triangle submission is a favourite move of Braulio Estima, the ADCC 2009 champion in the Absolute as well as multiple time BJJ World Champion.

You can apply the technique from the cross body (top and bottom), from the guard, from the mount and from the back. You can transition from one position to another and from the classic triangle to the reverse triangle as well as from other submission attempts back into the triangle.

The classic combo that I was taught at my academy was of course from the guard. First go for the armbar, then switch for the omoplata and then back to triangle then armbar. A great exercise where you practice controlling your opponent and transitioning from one effective submission to another. (among other things)

Please check out some of the youtube videos below that give a test of variety to the triangle choke.

среда, 16 июня 2010 г.

Believe the Judo

Those of us that love Judo and believe it is a strong martial art that can benefit your BJJ, here is a great demontration of the powerful Kouchi Gari through that can be used with devastating effect landing your opponent on his back in side control.

The important thing when you use your Judo against a BJJ guy from standing is that in the gi, there is little he can do to defend against your attacks. Knowing your grips and being able to surprise your opponent from standing gives you the edge and while some may try to pull guard, it is actually tough to do against an experienced Judoka who is also knowledgeable in BJJ.

In the end the fight will go to the ground and my base is still jiu jitsu but even if you consider the basic hip through and carry it out successfully delivering a clean through with full force on your opponent, very often you will full and stun him for at least a second that would give you a chance to start working your BJJ.

Judo groundwork is different and it is fair to say I think that although BJJ is more effective the reason why Judo have a different focus on the ground is simply the time constraint. It takes a while to pass the guard against an experienced grappler and although some of the jiu jitsu techniques are no doubt more effective, if you have less than a minute to do everything, you won't have time to be subtle and play for position as you would do in a jiu jitsu match.

вторник, 15 июня 2010 г.

Judo and BJJ

I am a great fan of the judo game. I love working to gain a strong grip and take the opponent down and then work my jiu jitsu to find the submission.

There are many judo sceptics nowadays who say that you have to train wrestling, muay thai and bjj to be a complete fighter, but in my opinion unless you want to be a professional fighter in MMA then you should do what you love and have the passion for.

BJJ in the gi is a great art that teaches you all you have to know about ground work and working for the position before submission. I believe this is the most effective martial art for ground work and yet there is so much more in gi grappling than just ground fighting.

Takedowns make BJJ this great. Yes, you have freaks like Roger Gracie who lose the stand up game only to defeat each of his opponents, but you have to remember that all the great BJJ fighters like Roger Gracie, Ronaldo Jacare Souza, Saulo & Xande Ribeiro, Terere, Fabricio Werdum and many others are very good judo players and this is not a coincidence.

Getting taken down by a proficient Judo fighter can be demoralizing for one thing. If you have a strong Judo back ground you are immediately at an advantage over other guys. You can take them down at will and gain an attractive starting point from where you can work your jiu jitsu.

If you don't believe it, test yourself against a black belt in Judo or master Sambo practitioner. If you stand with these guys, it will take them less then a minute to through you to the ground so if you never trained in this, take a grip and fall down.

Your opponents however may not want to collapse or jump into guard and here you may find the difficulty. Failing to jump into guard you may already be at a disadvantage facing a judo player.

Practice both. There is a lot to learn from Judo players even though some of the techniques you may need to modify. Guys like Jacare were so successful because not only they had amazing BJJ but also they could hold their own standing.

среда, 9 июня 2010 г.

Draculino Demonstration

Draculino is an absolute legend in the BJJ World and one of the top names in Gracie Barra. His technique is flawless and learning from him is a real privlege for anyone.

Those of us that do not have the opportunity to train with him at Gracie Barra Texas can still enjoy his new instructional website or just take a look at some of the videos on youtube with him.

Here is one of the best technique demonstrations I was able to find on youtube. Draculino not only demontrates ground fighting techniques here but also shows the whole transition from standing to submission on the ground which I think is particularly valuable. The volume of techniques shown in this demo is also impressive.

I have to say I am doing well with the technique where you attempt the kimura from side control, trap the arm and then turn into taking the back. Draculio shows this technique in several of his videos and I have to say that this is a real high percentage move once you gain side control, so practice it and get better.

понедельник, 7 июня 2010 г.

Wrestling, MMA, BJJ Near Me

Ok, I have to say that it is extremely exciting to find out that there is a new MMA/BJJ/Wrestling club opening near me in the UK. (West Sussex)

Sounds like there is plenty of opportunities to improve wrestling, MMA and BJJ. I am more and more interested in improving my takedowns and for this I have really wanted to focus on my wrestling. This is a great opportunity therefore and I will definitely go there in september when I visit.

Just look at the top MMA guys out there that have been dominating the UFC. GSP, Rashad Evans, Brock Lesnar,,, then you have King Mo Lawal in Strikeforce. Just shows that if you have a great takedown, that is a really great start.

I'm really more focused on my Gi game but wrestling and leg takedowns are really important to me since I want to have the ability to take my opponent down at will. My jiu jitsu is rapidly evolving with training and this is something I have really wanted to improve.

Wrestling goes extremely well with your BJJ and Judo especially if you are interested in grappling or no-gi. Free style wrestling improves your takedowns and takedown defense and I think a really strong, confident takedown can give you the edge that you really need in competition and you can at the very least get 2 points and demoralize your opponent a little bit.

Roger Gracie takes the absolute BJJ Worlds for the 3rd time!

Roger Gracie is an incredible competitor. He always goes for the submission and his skills are god-like. The BJJ Worlds 2010 has confirmed this once again.

Check out the results here

Roger is simply unstoppable and now the greatest ever in jiu jitsu. Watch the clip below.

Taking the back is actually one of my favourite moves in BJJ as well. Its just such a great position to be in if you can maintain it and attack your opponent at the same time.

Roger is really the man and someone we should all be looking upto when it comes to BJJ. Some of the guys out there have really great takedowns and that Ricardo Demente guy is a real rising star it looks like. Roger is really head and shoulders above them all technique wise though. I am definitely going to visit his academies when I come to London next.

воскресенье, 6 июня 2010 г.

Brock Lesnar vs Shane Carwin

July 3 2010 will be an important day for MMA that will determine who is the top dog in the heavyweight division in the UFC and in my opinion, in the world too. Shane Carwin will collide with Brock Lesnar in UFC 116 in the main event in one of the most anticipated bouts of the year.

Don't miss it. I know I won't and check out the trailer too. See below:

Official card

Main card
Heavyweight Championship bout: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Shane Carwin
Middleweight bout: Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Welterweight bout: Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
Light Heavyweight bout: Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
Lightweight bout: George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino

Preliminary card (Spike TV)
Heavyweight bout: Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer
Middleweight bout: Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic

Preliminary card
Middleweight bout: Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
Welterweight bout: Daniel Roberts vs. Julio Paulino
Heavyweight bout: Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola

I really believe Shane Carwin is going to take this fight but he will need to use all the skill that he has. The fight for sure is going to end in a knock out and both of these guys have powerful hands.

What really Shane should do is to keep this fight standing, use some of his power striking when he breaks the clinch and take down Lesnar if possible.

If Lesnar takes this fight to the ground however, I think it would be better to stand up rather then go for any submission against him. I still think it would be possible to catch him but it would be risky as Lesnar can easily catch you on the ground with some power strikes to the head and he also has great control as we have seen in the last Frank Mir fight.

Wanderlei Silva is out with an injury last minute and has been replaced by Chris Leben.

Plenty of fireworks in the main event but the rest of the card is not exciting in my opinion unless you are a great fan of some of these other guys which I am not.

Ultimate Fighter TV Series

I heard about the TV series for a while now but did not really get a chance to watch it. This weekend however I watched Season 1 and I have to say it is much better then I ever expected. The quality of the production is great and you get to see some fights with Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez and Forrest Griffin before they became famous in the UFC. The coaches are Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture with Dana White regularly featuring so its pretty great. Really enjoyed it.

The show is entertaining most of the time. The beginning part, the build up to fights and the fights themselves I think are the most exciting. You get a little bit bored with their physical team exercises that have them compete and I would rather see them show some of their favourite moves, or see them sparring on the ground against someone famous.

I think there is so much that they can do to make this show interesting that they should do well for a long time.

четверг, 3 июня 2010 г.

Rio Sports Tour BJJ Camp - Girls Only

Rio Sports Tour is constantly organizing new camps in Rio for training and now it looks like Leticia Ribeiro is running a camp there soon.

Check out the video below:

She truly is the one of the best female bjj players around today. I am sure some of us guys would love to go too of course! :)

Here is the link to the Rio Sports Tour website by the way : http://riosportstour.com/

I was thinking to come when I save up enough money but for a couple years I think I won't be able to visit. The previous camps I am sure have went very well looking at their testimonials so if you really do have a chance to go I am sure it is awesome. By the way, if you can, bring a friend or even a group. More fun that way for sure.

вторник, 1 июня 2010 г.

Fedor Next Fight Poll Closed!

So it looks like after 85 votes we can really get a sense who the fans want Fedor to fight next. Everyone's impression has been confirmed.

I have the greatest respect for Fabricio Werdum. He is one of the jiu jitsu greats and his stand up is rapidly improving as we saw in the Antonio Silva fight.

Nevertheless, MMA is NOT jiu jitsu as many jiu jitsu guys would like to believe, and at this game Fedor who is ranked #1 in the world should be fighting someone in the top-5. His contract does not allow him to do so and some of the fans would like to see him fight at least a decent opponent.

I therefore took some top-10 heavyweights in the world and put together a poll to give us all a chance to see who really is the fighter that Fedor should face next.

My view of course is that he should fight the best. The UFC wants to sign Fedor and it is the organization that has the top fighters. Fedor cannot hope to stay at the top defending his record against barely top-10 opponents.

Alistair Overeem's display of skills against Brett Rogers was impressive but is he really a top-5 fighter? It looks like a portion of the fans will settle for second best and have Overeem vs Fedor but the fight that everyone really wants to see (apart from M1-Global) is Fedor vs Lesnar. Make it happen Vadim!

If Shane Carwin (undefeated) goes in and KOs Lesnar, we could have a new #1 ranked heavyweight very soon. A win over Werdum would prove little for Fedor on the other hand.

No Visa - No BJJ Comp

I am sad to report that despite living for more than 10 years in the UK, I have missed the Gracie Invitational and Seni 2010 due to problems with issuing a VISA.

Its time to get rid of VISA's and let people that want to compete, do so. Not only are VISA's expensive, the UK and the EU just doesn't gain any additional security by having them. Time to have a competitive economy and attract people to live here, spend money and generate taxable income. There is not other way.


среда, 26 мая 2010 г.

The Wristlock from the Closed Guard

I am trying constantly to develop my game, selecting techniques that really work for me and practicing them in a competition setting.

When I look at techniques that I really want to use, I look for two kinds of factors. i) how much they put me at risk i.e. if I fail to carry out a technique, what will this lead to? will I get submitted myself if I fail? will I get mounted?

The reasons why I love the back grab from north south is because it is effective, it gives me plenty of choices and a chance to get another 4 points in a match. If I fail, I still have a decent chance securing the mount or at least the cross body.

ii) the second thing is of course how effective the technique is. Of course if you practice a single technique over and over, you will get better, but I prefer to have a set of techniques for every position which I are already well-practiced by me. You don't want to try a new technique in competition.

There are techniques which are more effective for you. I personally love going for the kimura, especially from the guard but also from cross body or north south. Very often I can recover my position from the kimura and there is very little I lose.

Now one technique that I recently been thinking about however is the wristlock from the guard. The closed guard is kind of a safe place to be if you are on the bottom as long as you can keep your opponent off balance and from passing your guard. There are some moves that really expose you while others are really safe.

Moves that I consider relatively safe and want to develop are things like the basic cross choke. You don't open your guard and if you can secure the under arm hold or a brabo choke, you are safe if your opponent powers out because you are still in guard and you start over trying something else.

To add to this one, I am thinking about the wristlock. Of course I think it takes a lot of practice but it is worth exploring. The opponent very often does not expect it and in many schools the wristlocks are very often overlooked.

At the same time wristlocks in the adult divisions are permitted from white belt level unlike leg locks for example so you can start developing wrist locks from your closed guard right from the beginning.

вторник, 25 мая 2010 г.

Scissor Sweep

The scissor sweep is probably the first sweep from the guard that every beginner learns when he first comes to a bjj academy.

I have to say I love this move because it is so effective against most beginners and sometimes intermediate level guys.

Often of course it does not work perfectly since the guys often have a very good base and understand this move very well. Opponents that are heavy are of course good at using the opportunity to pass the guard.

The scissor sweep I understand is always criticized for being one of these moves that only works on beginners, but I think it is always worth exploring your opponents base and taking advantage when he is off balance to try to go for a submission like the triangle from there.

My personal favourite is kind of a modified scissor sweep where you try to push away your opponent's leg which he uses to stabilize himself. Alternatively you can underhook your own leg under his and take advantage to take him off balance to the other side. I have found that this one does not always work however.

If you have a great defensive guard then I think you should always be able to recover your guard if the move does not work and then go for something else.

The hip bump sweep and the flower are two alternative sweeps which I try to use but these are harder to implement in my personal experience. The hip bump depends on how tied up you are and you really need to find the timing. In a no-gi situation I have had better success with the hip bump becuase your opponent cannot control you as much and make sure your back remains on the ground.

So go for the scissor sweep first. If it does not work and your opponent keeps his base, look for the submission. Check out the armbar here http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=9042427621842584977#

If that fails recover back to closed guard and try something else.

Judo and jiu jitsu are similar I think in one thing. Both standing and on the ground, your opponent will proceed to try to defend against any technique you will do and therefore it is a combination of techniques and how well you can do it that is going to make the difference.

The scissor sweep on its own may not work but if this is your position from which you regularly work from, then you will practice regularly a combination of moves which will give you a game that will allow you to be prepared from any situation.

If you take the scissor sweep, all too often your opponent will try to defend by stabilizing his base and then trying to pass your guard. Consider how you would counter this situation and practice it over and over again.

One option could be to stay in control and proceed to pull your opponent into a loop choke as you can see below:

Too many times you see the loop choke being performed with rolling but this is a more simple variation which is more practical I think and has been performed successfully at a higher level. The key I understand is not to make the grip too deep as this will not allow you to gain the appropriate position to make the hold tight enough to submit your opponent.

Taking the Back

Reaching the back mount is a really important part of my game. Position before submission is my moto as well and if you can pass the guard and then achieve back mount that really puts you in the lead for points.

The back mount for me is also a great position to be in terms of attack vs defense. You can continue looking for the submission and rest while your opponent is a bit demoralized. When you lose the position, very often you still achieve mount, which is a great place to be for a down-side scenario.

There are many ways of achieving back mount from a whole variety of positions: from cross body, guard, half guard... to name a few.

Below is a video that I have found on youtube with the new generation of Gracies demonstrating another variation of achieving back mount from the closed guard.

(well, it seems to me if you can't secure the arm at the last moment, this one maybe quite difficult to accomplish but a Gracie from the academy replied to my post on youtube that it can be done effectively so I will just have to practice it more and see) If I am not mistaken, Rener Gracie is demonstrating the technique in this video.

Taking the back is an important element of the positional game and in my opinion it is also worth thinking about how you can transition to the back from the half guard, perhaps one of the most common positions which you typically end up in, trying to defend so your guard is not passed.

Below is one of the best videos I have seen on this subject.

Of course the video also shows quite a few other ways to reverse the position and attack your opponent which need to be mastered. Right now I am working on trying out some of the Rigan Machado techniques he demonstrates in one of his DVD sets and really enjoying it.

As I train with guys that I close to my level in terms of technical knowledge of jiu jitsu, the more I see that I need to improve my technique and think about where the holes in my game are which I need to improve in order to win fights. Very often I actually find myself in the half guard either on the bottom struggling to defend or on top struggling to pass and this is what I am working on now. The gi game is so technical and allows you to use so many different techniques that it takes a lot of mat time to master but this is what everyone of us has to give in order to gain the knowledge and grow.

Check out the detail in transitioning to the back from half guard here from the Yamasaki BJJ school.

Lastly, Rubens Charles Cobrinha (4x BJJ World Champ) and Romero Jacare Cavalcante demonstrate how to take the back. Instructions from the greatest stars from Alliance

Finally I found this video as well about taking the back from the guard which looks very good. Taking the back from the guard is not an easy task when you are fighting against an experienced opponent with a good base but I think this one is doable if you can stay really tight and focus on not allowing the guy to get back upright.

Journey to Blue Belt

The Blue Belt is the first grade in jiu jitsu and perhaps one of the most sought after. One of the first things white belts aim to get is not success in competition but the blue belt actually. Of course it is not the belt itself that people seek but the level of technical proficiency that the blue belt represents.

What I think is important however is to focus first on being a great white belt. First try to be the best white belt that you can be.

At the start of your journey you will tap and lose to everyone. Even white belts that have gone to a few classes, but with time this will change. The initial improvement in jiu jitsu can be very quick and soon you will tap newcomers to the sport with armbars and triangles yourself, passing their guard and mounting them since they do not even have a vague understanding of the concepts.

Once this stage has passed, there will be a group of guys that have been going to classes for several months now, all still white belts but already dedicated to develop the skills further.

You should focus on developing your technique and at some stage you see that your technique allows you to overcome these beginners who already know something about the basics of jiu jitsu.

Once you are regularly tapping many of the newcomers, its time to test yourself in competition. You may have six months or more experience on the mat nad this time you get to test yourself against similar white belts in a competition setting.

Winning in a division with 20 or so guys demonstrates that you are a quality white belt, that you have mastered well the techniques of jiu jitsu.

The last test at white belt once you have accomplished something in competition is to test yourself against bigger guys. At your academy you are bound to find guys that are bigger than you and are still at white belt. Choose some guys that maybe 15-20 pounds heavier than you and test your skills in this case.

You will be at a weight and size disadvantage but this is exactly what you want. You want to test not you strength or athletic ability but your jiu jitsu. If you can sweep several guys that are 20 pounds heavier than you, then this should tell you that your technique is working.

This is a way of progression that I see in jiu jitsu. It is based on where you are relative to fighters of the same grade. The more often you train, the faster you will progress and develop you defensive and attacking game.

пятница, 21 мая 2010 г.

UFC 116 - Terrible card apart from the main event

They have got to be kidding us if they think we are going to pay for such a card. Brock Lesnar and Carwin everyone wants to see, but Wandy does not qualify for a co-main event. The rest of the fights are for the undercard. Seriously, well done to Scott Coker. Strikeforce does make better cards and the fights are far more exciting. No one wants this garbage.

Preliminary Bouts:

Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola
Daniel Roberts vs. Julio Paulino
Julio Paulino vs. Daniel Roberts
Jacob Volkmann vs. Paul Kelly
Goran Reljic vs.Kendall Grove
Brendan Schaub vs. Chris Tuchscherer

Main Bouts:

Kurt Pellegrino vs. George Sotiropoulos
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
Matt Brown vs. Chris Lytle
Wanderlei Silva vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Shane Carwin (UFC Interim Heavyweight Champion) vs. Brock Lesnar (UFC Heavyweight Champion)

четверг, 20 мая 2010 г.

How long to get a BJJ Blue Belt?

Enjoy the grade you are at, and be the best! train hard, and if you are that good, go compete and bring back the gold. worry about improving your game, not about the colour of your belt. You will attain respect by showing great technique

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art that takes a lot of practice and a lot of dedication. Unlike many other martial arts where you go to a grading and just display some techniques, in jiu jitsu you really have to earn your belt with plenty of hours on the mat.

The more often you train the faster you will likely progress. With 2 sessions a week it will probably take you over two years to get it but if you train say 4-5 times a week, you progress will be much faster.

BJJ blue belts vary in skill level enormously. Some guys on the mat will be the newly graduated, 2-years into jiu jitsu guys with plenty of holes still to get rid of.

On the other hand there are some guys who have spent years and years as blue belts, perfecting their technique, competing regularly and training intensively in order to perfect the skills. Some of these guys may already be at a purple belt level but are still training and competing under blue.

Draculino talks a bit about this. When he was winning and competing with his blue belt, he was already beating brown belts in his academy and I think this just shows how varied the skills levels can be.

There are two other things I wanted to mention about promotion:

1. Being a Fresh Blue Belt - Basically means you are a Target!

When you do get the next belt, especially blue belt, it becomes a time when all the white belts focus on you, focus on beating you. Yesterday I went to a different BJJ club and literally there were 30 or 35 white belts and no one else. I was the only blue belt there and since no one knew me, they all wanted to try sparring with me.

When you become blue belt, every white belt wants to try and win in sparring so I think it changes everything for you. When I was a white belt, I loved sparring with blue belts and submitting them. When I became the blue belt, I became the target of the white belts.

2. Competing sucks if you've just been promoted, because really you are no longer that good for your grade!

When you become a great white belt, this is the time for competition. Any time soon you are going to be promoted to blue belt and once you get the blue belt, its going to be much harder for you to compete because the blue belts competing have years and years of experience and likely far more technical skill than you at this point. So take your time with each belt, first enjoy sparring in class, sparring against guys your level now, above and below and once you feel that you are up for promotion again, go compete and prove your are great at the belt you are at before you go up!

Enjoy the belt you have and your time will eventually come when you will be promoted. In the end, it is your skills that matter so focus on perfecting them but investing in mat time.

Jiu Jitsu - Train More

The thing with jiu jitsu is that the only way to get better is to train more. Training more though does not mean violently sparring with everyone in your gym three times a week and getting injured every other month.

The way to train is to train often, focus on technique and add weight training when possible. You want to train your cardio as much as possible but also you have got to focus on stay away from injury and on the mats practicing as much as possible.

When sparring, I think it is optimal to give it your 60% of strengh and effort. Focus on technique though. Look for openings and go for a better position. Look to take the back of your opponent, look for the submission but in any case control the fight.

The thing I hate the most is those crazy sparring fights when the whole fight is just scrambling from one position to the next. Avoid this. I enjoy the gi game. Securing some nice grips and working to pass the guard, but then also controlling the opponent and not letting him do what he wants.

When you see the big jiu jitsu guys at the worlds, you notice how calm and calculated they are. Speed is good but you want to focus on control and technique.