Archive for May, 2013

As the big guy, 6-5, slim, 240/250 lbs, and I slapped hands, me, 5-11, 170 lbs, we got into the clinch grip. My mind was racing. My first thought was that I had to win the throwing match. I absolutely didn’t want to be on the bottom. Right after we slapped hands, and we were in the clinch, I did a fast ochie gari. Hip to hip with my leg hooked deep. Like a slow falling tree after being chopped down, he went falling and I got into his guard immediately.

Once I was in his guard, I didn’t feel good about posturing up so I grabbed his gi with both hands around his chest area and got low. I couldn’t pass his guard. So, I decided not to work any move, I wanted him to make a move as well as burn energy, so I observed and tried to maintain my position. He didn’t like not moving so he was bucking me. He grabbed at my hands. I had to break his grip. He tried crushing me with his legs. Eventually, he managed to trap one of my legs so I let go of the two-handed front grip and grabbed his right shoulder with a tight two-handed clamp behind his back. Then, I worked my leg up, waterfall, as I pushed his leg away, I mounted.

After I passed the guard, I didn’t waste time getting up in his arm pits with my knees, a high mount. He grabbed both his elbows as a protective move from the arm bar. I decided not to try an arm bar since he could roll on me or I would have to get aggressive in trying to free an arm. Then I heard someone shout, Time!

Over all, I felt good. I knew for fact that I wasn’t going to survive if it became a power match. Instead of muscle and aggression, I took my time, no clock, played conservative, and survived.

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Swear words and harmful speech is like a virus that needs to be removed from the mind to gain optimum health.  Profanity and harmful speech is a proof of a lack of thoughtfulness, a mind without control.

Every day is an opportunity to improve yourself. Awareness is the first step.   Think about these ancient principles. Note, Right speech is difficult.

What is right speech?

1)  Abstaining from lying.

2) Not divisive.

3) Abusive.

4) Idle chatter.

One should speak only that word by which one would not torment oneself nor harm others. One should speak only pleasant words, acceptable to others, without bringing evil to others.

Anguttara Nikaya


1) Speak at the right time.

2) Speak facts.

3) Speak gently.

4) Speak useful words.

5) Speak with kindness and without anger.

Anguttara Nikaya.


It is spoken at the right time.

It is spoken in truth.

It is spoken affectionately.

It is spoken beneficially.

It is spoken with a mind of good will.

Anguttara Nikyaya.

Right speech helps you become aware of your motives and know yourself better. Right speech brings peace and harmony in your thoughts and actions. Right speech leads to right awareness and truthfulness.

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In the advanced grappling class,  we worked on escapes from the side mount into the guard position.  Simple and effective. I’m all about defense.  Yet again, I trained with another Russian student, the seventh one.  My experience with Russian students is that I can see why Russia has been a super power for more than a 1000 years just by its people, tough, intelligent, dominate.  Russia sees sharing power with other nations as weakness.  Russia is a nation and people that demand respect with no compromise.  very interesting and mysterious group.

To really progress to the next level, I need to increase my flexibility in my hips and back so that I can do more moves.  Also, I have to work on timing.  I am about half way there with flexibility and nowhere near ready with timing.   I added a new speed exercise, basically, a front leg lift until toes rest on a chair seat.  You will need a chair.  Lay on your back while holding the legs of a chair from the front side. quickly lift your legs, this is a speed drill, until your toes rest on the top of the chair then back to the floor. I will try to do a set of 10 a day.

In the throwing class, we learned a defense throw against a wrestler that has gotten your back from the standing position. I learned that while standing having someone’s back is not a safe position. Incredible simple throw against the wrestler.

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For the record, I am all about technique, and trying to execute technique perfectly.  Also, I am working on in my study of jiu jitsu to be patient, self-aware, and calm under stress.  I fully believe in the Gracie Jiu Jitsu techniques and my instructors.

On Tuesday, in the advanced grappling class, I was frustrated. We were learning defense from the bottom; however, my class partner was focused more on sparring. This was the sixth Russian student that I have worked out with at the dojo. I was choked out about six times. I couldn’t careless.  At one point during the class, I advised my partner that I wanted to focus on technique and to take it easy. He didn’t respond.  At one point, I was getting baited into sparring back. Professor Pedro Jr. didn’t like what he was seeing.  The truth, I found the arm and hand positions difficult and even more so while being aggressively choked.   I didn’t fully learn the lesson and I doubt my partner did as well.

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With proper hip throwing technique, I consistently lifted a 260 lbs off the floor at least five times and I didn’t injury myself.  Because of all the intense stretching, iyengar yoga,  I have been doing outside of bjj twice a week, the stretching is now paying off in reducing injuries. I also have a lot less back pain.  A general observation is that I noticed that when I go beyond three times a week of jiu jitsu practice, my body starts getting chewed up or injured.

This month, we are working on jiu jitsu ground defense.  We learned keeping the elbows in and the hands cupped under the chin. If you’re not taking advanced grappling, your sparring game will develop slowly.

On Friday, A dermatologist took two biopsies, one from my face and one from forehead. a little smaller than a quarter-inch square.  Sort of shocked by it all. I tan easy.  The results will be in next week.

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Shocker! The throwing class has great defenses against wrestling take downs.  Apparently, the throwing class wasn’t just throwing.  A few months ago I was talking smack in the locker room with a purple belt about the throwing class. I told the guy, Don, I didn’t see the need for the throwing class because the fundamentals class was all that I needed.  At least that was what I wrongly thought.   I stayed for the throwing class on Tuesday, which was taught by Ramon Sanchez, ex Cuban National judo olympian.  Ramon taught us some useful judo defense techniques against the single leg and double leg take downs that impressed me. Students that go to throwing have an advantage over those that don’t go. 

During the randori part of the throwing class. I changed it up with the partners.  I got this idea from a judo blog.  After the throw, my partner and I would spar for a pin.  The object in judo was to throw the opponent completely in the air.  Ippon. That was not my objective.  My object was to land in the mounted position, knee on belly, or close to it. I remembered three throws, my 210 lb opponent landed on the floor and rolled away from me.  I didn’t have control, but that was a good move for an escape but not a submission.  The second guy was smaller. I landed in the side mount but got the pin.  Third, knee on belly, knees into arm pits, the ideal situation.

Tuesday was an amazing day of training in the advance grappling class as well, taught by Professor Pedro jr.  Part of the training, I had Walter as my training partner,  an ex Brazilian mma fighter and jiu jitsu black belt since 1994.   Great training and instruction.   Tuesday was the last day of attacks from the side mount. I learned an arm lock that I later saw on the show, The Shield.

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