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

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среда, 21 августа 2013 г.

Passing the Guard

Passing the guard in my opinion is one of the most important components of the BJJ game and the reason for the success of such all time greats as Roger Gracie and Rodolfo Viera.

My thinking is that first you need to develop a strong bottom game, a good guard. Which one you prefer is upto you, whether closed guard, open guard, half guard. I prefer the half guard because I have a lot of moves from this position and I give a hard time for my opponents trying to pass me.

The second most important component is passing. 50% of the time you spend on top and here you have to first work your passing before trying to go for any submissions and controlling your opponent.

There are basically two types of passes available - 1) standing speed passes (e.g. Torreando pass) trying to pass the legs from standing and 2) passess from the knees mainly through applying pressure to the opponent

There is a multitude of different passes and I think the trick is to find the ones that work for you and perfect them. Here is a video of Rodolfo Viera passing technique that I found useful and fits well with my passing game:

среда, 14 августа 2013 г.

How Long to BJJ Purple Belt?

I think most academies you will go to, people will tell you that it does not matter what belt you are and that what is more important is technique. While I cannot agree more to this statement, belts count a lot in BJJ. 

While at white belt you spend most of your time especially six months into training thinking about when will be the magic day when you get your blue belt, when you actually get to blue belt things change a lot. You are on the other side of the fence I would say. Those hungry and athletic white belts will want to hunt you down and get that sacred submission on you.

A couple of weeks ago I experienced such a moment. I was rolling with a white belt, may 6 or a year into training BJJ. I was quite tired and I think it was my fifth sparring roll and there he was going as hard as he could to try to catch me on something. He was at least 20 kg or 45 lbs heavier but having managed to attempt to take my back he latched on to try to get the choke on me. How upset was he that despite his best efforts (I mean with all his strength he tried to force everything he knew) he could not do anything and he was really upset. 

I think the blue belt is when white belts really start hunting you. I thinking many of us were that guy. Four striped white belt looking to catch a fresh blue belt on some submission hold. 

What is for sure important is belt colour whether we want to admit it or not. It is an enormous boost when you come to training and beat a guy of a higher grade and it is also an enormous set back when you come to training and you lose to a lower belt. Happens to me I think every day. Some time I go hard and try to win while at other times I like to roll light or for position, to maintain position but not use strength and of course sometimes the guy is good or you just werent focusing. The most important thing is to learn from the mistakes  as at the end of the day what is important is how you fight in competition. You can lose to everybody in training but if you come back home with a bundle of IBJJF medals and they don't, this is the real test. 

Gradually we become used to the blue belt. After a year or more you become more mature and technical. Suddenly white belts pose no real threat to you. It is no longer about you defending but it is now about attacking and holding the position you attain. As I became a mature blue belt with nearly two years at blue belt, I realized that it is nothing special for me to be able to successfully defend against other blue belts and hold my ground. Now it is time to develop my attack: actively initiating sweeps and guard passes. I don't want to recover guard from half guard. I want to transition and obtain the dominant position and then retain it at will. The more I practice the better I become at passing the guard but when I get there in side control, I want to retain this position at will. This is the next level I think and even if some submission does not work out, I want to get side control and then work to transition to mount or back or submission depending on the situation giving no room for my opponent to escape. I think this is where purple belts try to gain this additional level of expertise and whats sets them apart from the blue belts. Unlike blue belts, they already have a strategy, what passesses they like, which sweeps from the bottom work for them and they not only can defend but can also start to attack when they see the opportunity.

I have read that the IBJJF minimum number of classes for Blue Belt is somewhere around 120-130 and for Purple Belt at a minimum 360 classes. I think at Alliance it is also minimum 360 classes.

Thats a minimum of 140 classes at blue belt. Today I have had 228 classes as a blue belt so I don't think the minimum counts for much and the level at each belt can vary drastically. 

I've seen some guys here in Russia that are very good at blue belt while in the USA I have encountered some purple belts that did not appear to have that much grappling skill as I would have expected. I think really the difference is in the style of training. There are family BJJ guys that train two times per week. These guys are like 35-40 years old and it is just not fair to try to compare a 20 year old guy who trains 5-6 times a week and does conditioning. Both can be of the same belt colour.

In my fair assessment, I think I would like to hit pruple at around 350 classes at blue. I thinks thats a fair number. at three times per week thats only two years and a half which is fine in my opinion. You need to earn it and I think you want to feel purple belt and not just get it. 

Purple belt is an elite grappler in BJJ. Its a Judo black belt and a really skilled guy that should be able to easily overcome any white belt in class and also teach blue belts a thing or two about BJJ. I also think the purple belt should be well rounded, knowing at the minimum two or three good guard passing techniques, two good submissions and know one type of guard as the "go to place". Plus I think a good purple should have competed at least a couple of times. Its important to be a complete fighter that has the experience to share with the younger grades. It would be a shame for me at white belt to get advice from a purple belt about competitions if he has not entered. Of course everyone has there one situation but for purples that teach I think they should have some competition experience so they know what works and what does not in a comp.

понедельник, 29 июля 2013 г.

BJJ and Your Girlfriend: Five Tips How to Get More Training In

1. Try to avoid talking BJJ/UFC/Grappling related to her and NEVER do grappling moves on her. That will make her either MAD or BORED!!

2. If you want to get some training in, you've got to make sure that your girlfriend is busy with something that she enjoys - and the important thing is that you are not needed for this. It can be anything, whether horse back riding with girlfriends, taking her parents out or travelling with them, or just very simple things like financing some girl time for her, like manicures, etc

3. If she has something special planned or is going away, that day, DONT schedule a bjj session the day before or on that morning. It will make her MAD. Instead take her out for nice dinner, buy her some Flowers!! and train when she is gone.

4. You need to make sure you work around her schedule. That means if she is working late that day - BAM!! BJJ Training Session that evening or if she is going out with some girl friends BAM!! BJJ that evening. You need to get the timing right and perfect this.

5. Training In the Morning. Yes! this works very well if you have a day job and can't be just away at the gym every evening. Do Mon-Wed-Friday training early in the morning when she is asleep (say 7am) and then Tues-Thursday you can do in the evening. Some of us have to work for a living!! but in order to get to do what we love, we have to plan our lives the smart way.

Any Comments Very Welcome and if you still get into a fight over BJJ just make up and do something nice. There is no point in fighting. All you really have to do is find some time and clean the house and cook a little. When she comes back from work tired - you surprise her!

понедельник, 8 июля 2013 г.

Roger Gracie back to Jiu Jitsu!

We have all enjoyed Roger Gracie's mma career to date and no doubt if he continues he will have some success but I would like to dedicate this post to ask Roger to return back to BJJ!!

Roger Gracie has had an incredible career on the BJJ circuit but every fan in the world and every grappler that I talk to would like to see him return. We all want the best BJJ fighter in the world compete! Metamoris was awesome but we gotta get Roger BACK!!

Please comment on this post if you would like to see Roger Gracie BACK!! 

- Xande vs Roger Gracie?

- will Rodolfo Viera be able to pass Roger Gracie's guard?

- how would Marcus 'Buchecha' Almeida do against Roger?

- Andre Galvao vs Roger Gracie No-GI Superfight at ADCC?

It is only us, the fans, can convince Roger so please guys comments welcome and share this post on facebook!!

Changing of the Guard

Jiu jitsu is constantly evolving. The new generation of bjj superstars that included the "holy trinity" Roger Gracie, Marcelo Garcia and Ronaldo Jacare, have now moved on to new things, either MMA or bring up new competitors onto the scene. Few others have been as dominant as these three during the first decade of the twenty first centuary but now it is time to see new legends emerge.

The biggest three that have now emerged in my view are Rafael Mendes, Rodolfo Viera and the ever improving Marcus Almeida "Buchecha" who looks like the new king of BJJ GI competition. The latter two are the two dominant monsters at absolute with few, save Braulio, who can stop their dangerous attacking game.

For many fans it would be a dream to see Roger back in the game meeting the young lions with the GI and of course it would also be interesting to see Roger back in ADCC as well. 

I believe there are a couple of tournaments that are drawing more and more attention and the biggest is the Abu Dhabi Pro Worlds. With cash prizes awarded to the elite competitors and great media coverage it is exciting to see the sport taking the next leap. 

It is now interesting to see the new breed of bjj fighters rising up. Keenan Cornelius and Mendes brothers are bringing a new style to bjj and it is interesting to see them compete against the old school fighters and what will come of it. 

Marcelo Garcia, Saulo, Roger Gracie, Lovato, Renzo and many others are bringing in their students to compete and it is exciting to see how they do against the mature crowd. It is amazing how the sport continues to evolve and many new guys are able to impress.

пятница, 4 января 2013 г.

Training BJJ to Improve, some experience

I am a second year blue belt at the moment. Up until a few months ago, I used to train around 3 times per week as the norm which I think is how much most guys train at my academy. Recently however the owners introduced a new time table with classes in the mornings and also on Saturdays. As a result I have found myself training 6x per week instead of 3 and I have to say that I feel much more rapid improvement in my technique as well as overall fitness level as well.

I feel that training more regularly has allowed me to spend more time working techniques where I was missing important details and also one of the new classes is dedicated to stand up which I think will help me much more for competitions. I think I do much better from the top, passing the guard and I plan to in the future focus on throwing with judo or using wrestling takedowns and then end up on top of my opponent. If I lose out on top, then I can still pull guard and work from the bottom but if I can gain points standing than why not spend a little time on this as well.

I also am a big believer in private lessons. Been to the Roger Gracie Academy in London a few times and definitely every time I get a private there, I learn a lot of new details which I was missing before. It is important who your teacher is however but almost always if you have some specific questions, you can get help.

I have also read that you need at least 360 classes for purple belt. I really want to reach purple belt level but then focus on competitions first as I want some trophies at blue belt. Gonna need to train more for that of course. I think if I train hard all year, then perhaps I have a good chance at the end of the year.