Saturday, April 13, 2013
Grappling Mission 90% of my grappling back ground comes from BJJ(Brazilian Jiu-jitsu), but I have also studied Judo, Freestyle Wrestling, Sambo, Catch Wrestling, and Sumo. What many people don't realize is that I trained in grappling specifically for the street. I believe that there is a big chance that I can end up on the ground in a street fight even though I don't want to be there, and if I ever do end up on the ground on the street, believe me it's a forced position. It means that I had to go there because they took me down, we fell down, or I had to take them down because they were going to do too much damage to me standing up. The Training Kimono Learn the lapel chokes, sleeve chokes, and the defenses to them, and also how to fight for a good grip on the Kimono. However these techniques are not the main priority, when sparring, limited yourself to only grabbing their pants, because in a real fight even if they are top less or wearing a flimsy shirt, chances are they will be wearing pants/shorts. Know Your Partners One of the great things about BJJ is the amount of sparring that you do. You train with many different people so you need to know not who is cool, but who is a cool training partner, and more importantly who is not. I knew guys that were the nicest of people outside the gym, but inside they were an animal, they had that bipolar killer switch. You can't train the same way with everyone. With one person you can go soft and technical, with another you can work on lots of exciting fast movement, with another it's slow and tight, lots of weight pressure, and with another you can be creative and playful mimicking strikes and illegal moves, and with another person you have to protect yourself because they are all about the winning even if it injures people, and even if they don't mean it. Good Partners When you go one hundred percent all out on someone that is a test. Your are testing yourself more than wanting to learn. You can go fifty percent, but for one not all people have an accurate control switch where they can tone things down and then keep it there. Good training partners have at least a slow, medium, and fast, and they have the discipline to keep it there, but more importantly they are constantly watching you so they can make sure that your okay. One way to gain good partners is for you yourself to become a good partner and naturally like minded people will attract one another. With a good partner you can tap late or not even tap, you can both decide to work on last second submission escapes, with a bad partner you need to tap early, way early, even if it's not a proper submission, if they are just grinding on your sternum or face, just tap, no need to go home with a red streak on your face. Sparring Methods Soft work is when you spar with someone with out the use of speed, strength, explosiveness and weight. It allows you to develop mobility, sensitivity, and overall skill. Hard work is when you spar close to or at one hundred percent. Soft work with weight is also important. This means your doing soft work with the addition of weight, which really kills the mobility, but it now enables you to use your own body weight and your partners body weight in a skillful manner. You can administer control on your opponent by slowing them down, using your own weight rather than muscle. You can use momentum of weight change to move rather than be explosive and rely on your own speed to conserve energy and to adapt to your opponent better. If you just use brute speed you maybe fast but you can disengage from your opponent and create openings or crash into them which is too wild. You can train soft work all day and become super skilled, but if you don't practice hard work, you won't be able to pull off your skills in a real life altercation. It's two different things, development of skill versus actual fighting is not the same thing. If you all do is spar hard all the time, then your skill level will not be as high as those who practice soft work. Practice both, but you should spend more time doing soft work because your body can handle that more. And you should also modify and become creative with soft work and hard work. For example doing very limited goal oriented sparring which are like drills. The Kite On a rare occasion, when I had a terrible sparring partner who would go too rough and liable to hurt me, I would grab his sleeves, put my feet on his hips and stretch him out and stall in order to protect myself, I call this technique "The Kite". The principal here is that your main priority is to survive. All I do is just hang on and neutralize my opponent and wait for time to end because this guy is not a suitable training partner. With other better training partners I can still practice neutralizing them in other ways, and if you can't completely shut down their attacks whether your in a defensive or offensive position, then you can learn to just be sticky like glue and slow them down and tire them out while you conserve your energy. Escaping positions, Preventing attacks and preventing them to get to a better position, getting good positions, transitioning to a better position, setting them up for submissions, these things are all luxury. The most basic fundamental is to survive, and see how long you can survive. When your able to do this well, then you can seek out the other goals. Of course the ultimate desirable goal is to finish the fight with a submission or KO, but goals need to be reached for step by step. If you try to jump at your ultimate goal without taking the smaller steps then you are rolling the dice, good luck to you. Imagine Striking Also when sparring, whenever I ever noticed that my opponent could hit me, I would tie them up, cover up, or abandon position. I would also imagine striking at them if I had the opportunity. This made things extra hard but when we put on the gloves and did MMA training, I was very comfortable unlike my teammates. Also if they have the opportunity to slam you, even if your sparring partner is cool and won't, you should still do everything you can not to get slammed. Imagine that your opponent is ruthless and strong as hell. You should never allow yourself to be vulnerable to a slam. I use to be very good at getting the upside down armbar from the guard. A few strong guys thought they could lift me up and slam me before I could get the armbar and luckily I was always faster. One day I realized how I was risking my neck while they were risking only their arm, this was not a fair game, and that playing the speed game like this was not skill. So I abandoned this technique, and began to go for timing rather than explosive speed. Timing The definition of timing can be applied to all martial art styles but I learned it in BJJ. Timing means the ideal time/conditions to execute the technique. So if my opponent is hunched over in a Boxing type stance with his weight on his toes ready to spring forwards with a punch or flying knee, this is the wrong timing to go for a double leg take down. If my opponent is tumbling back with his weight off his feet because they lost their balance this is the right timing for a double leg take down. If my opponent is inside my guard and they are in a solid base with good posture this is the wrong time to go for an armbar, even if I'm quick and get the armbar "position" they can get up and slam me. But if they are recovering their base from my sweep attempt, this is the right timing for me to go for an armbar. Develop Your Defense You have to understand that in a real life altercation, a scary adversary will put you in a bad position, they will put you in a defensive position. If you focus on getting good positions on your sparring partners and working on attacking, then this is not really for self-defense, your training more for sport. While it takes a lot of skill to keep attacking you need to first and foremost know how to defend. Even when your training with people you know that you could beat, you should let them attack you so that they get practice attacking and you get practice defending. Don't always be so perfect in practice, mess up on purpose and give openings so that you have to learn how to recover from bad places. Also if you do get a submission don't crank it, just hold it, imagine that it's not working, and then learn how to deal with that situation. Someone people have high pain resistance, abnormally flexible joints, or just abnormal physiology where you can't tap them out, in the street there is no such thing as a tap out so learn how to keep going. Fresh Meat Many BJJ schools I went to, the new guy was considered fresh meat. The slightly more experienced guys would now finally get a chance to practice their moves on someone. This is bad because they are practicing on someone that is not as good as they are. So they are learning how to beat someone who is weaker/less skilled than you. I call that bully martial arts. In my style I take care of the beginners not use them as punching bags, and my challenge is to learn how to beat someone at my level or better than me. This is discouraging because you will not have as many wins in the class, but you will develop true confidence rather than the number of wins. The Four Steps To A Finish 1. Hyper-function Getting into the right position, making everything set to execute the move. 2. Immobilization Securing the move. 3. Submission Application of pain. 4. Dysfunction Breaking the joint. When people don't understand these four steps, they think they got the arm and I see them cranking back as hard as they can as if they are going to snap the arm even though the opponent is defending by holding on to both of their arms. What they need to do is stop expending all that energy and first think Hyper-Function, make the opponent release their arm so that you can isolate the arm. In practice you should then just straighten the arm but without applying any pain and just hold the position so that your body knows how to have stability here. So even against a wild non trained guy in a street fight you will have a higher chance to execute the joint lock. In practice you should slowly apply the subission with control until they tap or until you think it's enough, you don't want to hurt your partner and then say, it's your fault you didn't tap. Notice also to release the submission slowly because if you suddenly let go, it can snap back like a rubber band causing damage. Then finally in technique practice and not in sparring you should learn the difference between causing pain and how to break the joint. There is a difference. I've developed some joint locks that I call snap-missions that instantly try to break the joints, they are not as secure as your conventional joint locks but even attempting a snap-mission can cause some damage, which can add up like a jab. STREET STRATEGY I never cared for points, so I didn't work too much on my top game once I got relatively comfortable with it, I was more interested in the bottom game, because I felt that a truly tough opponent would never give me the chance to get on top. I realized that there were lots of good practitioners out there that wouldn't even let me get the guard position. So I decided to work on the half guard. The half guard is easier to get than the full guard, and it is good for the street because if done correctly you are laying on your side, balled up, his groin is right there for you to attack. I also use the opposite legging of the 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu Lockdown technique, so I can kick up at their foot to make my opponent lose their base like the Upa technique to make it difficult for them to strike down at me. From this position I also constantly threaten to take their back, so even if my opponent is not a seasoned grappler, it's still a good idea for me to use the half guard just so I can work towards taking their back. From my experience I discovered that brown belts and black belts will get out of my half guard and we end up in the quarter guard position. So I began to develop my quarter guard, I have a few brutal submissions from that position. CROSS TRAINING In BJJ, the saying is position before submission. When I face someone better than me in BJJ, I know they will be using this concept and if I use the same concept to face them, I am at a disadvantage because they are better than I am at doing this. This is why I cross trained in other grappling styles. The concepts are totally different and I get to use something against them that they may not understand. In BJJ the submissions are based on leverage, but in Catch Wrestling some of the techniques are not based on leverage but on a very kinetic two way action that does not give the opponent time to tap. In Russian martial arts I learned that it is more desirable to attack more than one joint at a time to compound the pain.