Posts Tagged ‘helio gracie’

Probably not the arm bar your familiar with.  This week, we learned the arm bar from the guard.  It is not like most arm bars because the finish was with the body to the side.    The reason for the finish to the side was to avoid a strong man from having the ability to body slam.  Since the arm bar was from the side, an opponent couldn’t lift you into the air for the purpose of a body slam.  This was a brilliant move by Helio Gracie.  If there was a move that I want to perfect it would be the guard arm bar Helio style.

Here are the steps:  Start with the opponent in the closed guard.  The opponent breaks free and does a one handed throat choke.  1) grab the choke arm with a tight baseball bat grip.  2) immediately open the guard legs.  3) The opposite of the held arm, put foot on hip of opponent.  * 4) The hip stays in place and the body stretch back while the free leg comes over the arm.  5) Break arm.

As of writing this post, I am currently a three striped blue belt.  I may have missed a detail. In any case,  I recommend seeking expert instruction.

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govt bjj repres in fl 2013

October 1, 2013, at the Newport Beachside Hotel in Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, 300 plus jiu jitsu students in white komonos celebrated the 100th birthday of Grand Master Helio Gracie.  Sadly, as many know, Grand Master Helio Gracie passed away in 2009; however, the memory of Helio, his teachings, and practice of Jiu Jitsu lives on.

The birthday celebration began with awards presented by the City of North Miami Beach which proclaimed October 1st as Helio Gracie Day.  There was another award, presented by a state congressman, a purple belt.  All in all, very good propaganda for jiu jitsu and good representation in government.

Right after the awards was held a special event, the Helio Gracie Challenge, a self-defense techniques contest.  This special event featured five contestants whom were the winners from previous years.  In the end, Roberto Flesishmann won.

Pedro Valente gave an excellent speech on Helio’s ring fights from 1932 to 1936.  Ten fights from the best fighters from the United States, Japan, and Poland.  Impressive was Helio’s tremendous courage to fight incredible opponents.  In post fight interviews with Helio’s opponents, they praised his superior defense.

After the speech was a video presentation by the Valente Brothers, Pedro, Gui, and Joaqium. In the video, they told stories of their experiences with Helio at his home and on the mats.

Finally, a slide presentation of Helio’s amazing life.  The presentation ended with the last time he was seen alive by Pedro.  In his door step, smiling. a hand wave of good-bye.

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This week I learned again the Single Collar Grab Defense.

What is the Single Collar Grab Defense?  First of all, this is when the attacker grabs the collar, or shirt, of a victim, but with their elbow bent.  The attacker’s other hand is ready to strike the victim.  This is a bully type attack.  The defense is almost a surprise.   As the attacker grabs the victim shirt, the victim steps wide and across the attacker  while grabbing the shirt grip hand and slapping up the elbow.  The victim’s elbow is tight to the body so that the attacker cannot push the arm down.   Once you step behind, keep hold of the elbow and twist the hand to the shoulder, It is a lot easier to demonstrate than write.

This lesson, when I first learned it,  was the beginning of an awareness that grabbing someone was a bad idea.  All people should be respected.   I started thinking differently about how to conduct myself if I were to become angry.  Grabbing someone is grounds for a fight and could lead to serious injury.

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At the fundamentals class on Wednesday, I was very rusty. I need to go back and apply myself to the fundamental program. My practice partner, a three stripe purple belt, made me humbled. Also, Gui noticed that I had fallen back. Most fights are won with fundamental technique. The advanced class was double the lessons of fundamentals, almost overwhelming. The Helio Gracie Tournament, a techniques tournament, is in October, maybe I should focus on that?

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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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Once again the ancient tradition continues. Like so many times before, thousands and thousands of years, the recognition of the transfer of knowledge from master to student occurred last night. This tradition stretches back thousands of years and many continents.

Same as last year, it was another great Winter Belt Ceremony at Valente Brothers; however, this year was a little different. Royce Gracie brought four or more brown belts from his academy. Royce had his brown belt students black belt tested at Valente Headquarters and those that passed received their black belts at the ceremony. After the belts were given out, the Mayor of North Miami Beach, whom is a purple belt, gave the Valentes brothers the key to the city for their help with the armed forces, law enforcement, and the betterment of its citizens through jiu jitsu training.

Pedro and Gui gave their speeches on jiu jitsu and its healthy lifestyle. The best speech was from Dr. Valente. As Pedro translated the email letter, the room became completely silent. Master Dr. Pedro Valente, red belt, could not make the trip this year but he emailed his speech and watched the ceremony via web cam. This is what I understood. The Valente Brothers Academy is comparable to the best universities in the United States. We are very fortunate to have this place and to have access to the teachings. Getting a diploma from Valente brothers is like getting a diploma from Havard, Yale, and MIT.

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This week, a guy asked me to stay for sparring class on Thursday. I didn’t. I have thought about it about twenty times since then. I know that is what I needed to do. The people there are looking for fresh blood. I put sparring and throwing off because of the Helio Gracie Tournament. I am slowly changing to a more advanced training program. Also, I have an ongoing shoulder injury, shoulder bursitis, but I know that ice and anti inflammatory drugs will get it back to no pain. I just need to rest. I found some strength exercises for rotator cup strengthening. I notice that it gets inflamed when I workout with heavy weight class, specially, the bear hug moves.   I could barely get my arms around the opponent. My arm lengths gets strained and causes damage to my shoulder.

I will be out-of-town during the Gracie Diet Seminar given by Rorian Gracie. It is open to the public on October 27. I would definitely be there if I could. Really, it is an honor that such great Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors and role models come to the studio.

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Wow..Next week, September 30, 2012, is the Gracie Challenge, a Sunday.  My reaction when I saw the challenge date was I am not ready. How can I post pone this?  I can’t.   Once I gathered myself, I took a look at the web page and read about what this test is about.  The last challenge, I didn’t have a clear picture.   In the article, three things jumped out at me, strikes, headlocks, and collar grabs.  I narrowed down the stand up test moves.  I didn’t do any of this the year before. I was dead last.  I am also reviewing old tapes of Helio Gracie since I can’t really afford the private lesson at this time and try to review potential test moves during the fundamental review part.   I started writing down all the moves and classifying them. I am going to give it my best.  If I can advance to the second round then I will have accomplished my goal.

This week, I focused on others.  This allowed me to view the fundamental moves better.  I discovered two mistakes.  one on the closed double collar grab and another on the mounted elbow escape.

Being able to measure the distance is critical in self-defense.  I am having trouble with measuring the distance.  I am hoping this challenge will help me improve upon it.

I was a bit moody.  Some days I am friendly. Some days I am the lone wolf. I don’t want to be the lone wolf.   I really hate that about myself.  I wish I was up beat all the time. Whatever I am experiencing real or un real, I am going to keep coming back.


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