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    First Day Lesson

    I'm putting together a tutorial on how to run the first class at my school and wanted to put the draft online so I'd have easy access to it. I'll be taking photos to go with this.

    First Day Lesson

    After warm-ups, take the new student to their own section of that mats. Have them lay on their back and have an experienced white belt or a blue belt mount them. Tell them to try to escape by doing whatever they want except punching, eye gouging, etc. Get them to do this as hard as they can, encouraging them to go harder. If they are timid, tell them to imagine they were trapped like this in a street fight to get them to understand the urgency.

    The person on top is to hold mount but not go for submissions. They should be prepared to take the back if they give it up, as most will do. Stop them when this happens, and with the training partner still on their back, ask them "If this was a real fight, would this be better or worse than before?" Get them to answer and explain why they think so. If they don't know, explain how they can now be punched and choked without being able to defend, with their training partner miming these to show them. Tell them that their first lesson is to not turn their back to their attacker.

    Have them repeat this exercise several times. Ideally, they will be unable to escape and waste a lot of energy bridging, hugging, twisting, flailing, etc. Big, strong guys and wrestlers will often be able to escape eventually, but usually not without a lot of explosive bridging and exhausting themselves. Either way, point out how hard it was for them to escape or how much effort it took. At its best, this exercise will get them to realize that they don't know what to do and make them eager to learn the answer.

    This is when you teach them the upa escape.

    Upa escape

    1. Lay down and have your training partner mount you with his hands posted next to your head.

    Details: Make sure your elbows are touching the inside of their thighs. If not, they will be able to drive their knees up into your armpits and climb higher.

    Common mistakes: A new student will often lay with their arms and legs flat on the floor. Get them to bend their knees and put their hands in good posture (hands by face, elbows to their ribs) to start building these good habits.

    2. Reach across and grab their right wrist with your right hand. Grab their forearm with your left hand. Pull the arm to your chest and hug it.

    Detail: Grabbing down at the wrist with the opposite hand is imporant as this is needed in the later steps.

    Common mistake: They will often grab the wrist with the same side hand since it's closer.

    3. Grab the fabric by their right armpit with your left hand.

    No-gi: Cup around their right biceps with your left hand.

    4. Bring your left foot up and trap their right foot.

    Common mistake: Once they begin drilling, they will often forget this step. Have their training partner post his foot to stop the escape if they forget to trap the foot.

    5. Bridge on your shoulders, driving your hips as high as you can, then turn over your left shoulder.

    Detail: Pull your grip on their armpit or biceps to help roll them over.

    6. Turn to your knees as they roll over and end in their guard with good posture.

    Once they are doing well with the escape, start correcting their posture in guard at the end of the move in preparation for the next move.

    Common mistakes: If you are having two new students drill together, teach the training partner to close his guard (cross his ankles) after being rolled over.

    ----

    Standing guard pass

    1. Start in closed guard with good posture, holding both lapels in both hands.

    Details: Pull down on the lapels to take the slack out of them before gripping them. Make sure your main hand (usually the right) is in front.

    No-gi: Without lapels to grab, just post both hands on their stomach.

    Coaching tips: Tell them to make their arms into "pillars" so they don't let their elbows get bent. Have their training partner pull down on their neck until they can do this right. To encourage good posture, tell them to look at the ceiling. This will get them lifting their head and straightening their back.

    2. Get to one foot as you go to stand. The first leg to go up is the one on the same side as your main hand (so usually the right).

    Detail: Pressure your knee in against their hip.

    Common mistakes: They'll often put the wrong leg up first.

    3. Get to your other foot and stand up.

    Detail: Your knees should be pinching their hips.

    4. Reach back with your left hand and grab their knee. Press down on the inside of the knee to open their guard. Keep control of the knee and make sure your left forearm is resting on your thigh. While still holding the lapels, bring your righ elbow to your thigh too.

    Common mistakes: They will often use their elbow to push down on the knee instead of their hand. After opening the guard, they will usually forget to touch their forearm and thigh, leaving them open to the triangle. Don't bother explaining the triangle yet, but make sure they know it is important to not leave that space open.

    5. Circle your right hand under their left leg and reach for their opposite lapel.

    No-gi: Reach for their opposite shoulder.

    Common mistakes: They will often reach behind their back to get their arm under the leg. Make them glue their right elbow to their thigh and pivot on it so they can only circle their arm under the nearest part of the leg.

    Detail: Get their leg on you shoulder, not your biceps, so your whole body is behind it, not just your arm.

    As you get the leg on your shoulder, sprawl your legs so they are stretched out behind you. Drive your weight into their leg like you want to touch their knee to their head.

    Common mistake: They will often go back down to their knees instead of sprawling. You may also have to coach them to actually put their weight into it or really apply the pressure, since some people are afraid to do this.

    As you sprawl, push their right knee to the ground and pin it down.

    Common mistake: They will often forget to do this or may even let go of the knee entirely in order to post on the ground.

    With a grip on their opposite lapel or shoulder, pull them into you, adding to the pressure.

    Detail: Grip the opposite lapel with your thumb in, palm down. As you pull, keep your elbow tight by bringing it towards your ribs. Don't let it flair out.

    6. Maintain this pressure (sprawling, grips) and start walking to the right until you are on their side and their legs naturally just fall off you.

    Detail: Keep your back straight and head up as you pass. You can even do a shove with your chest at the end to clear their legs.

    Common mistakes: They will often try to jump past guard instead of walking around with good pressure. They will also "shrug" and turn their head away to try to clear legs, which is bad posture and takes the pressure off.

    7. End in 100 kilos, with you chest on their chest, your right arm hugging their far shoulder and your left hand posting on the mat next to their near hip.

    ----

    Taking mount

    1. Start in 100 kilos. Switch your hips so you are facing their legs, with your right leg forward and left leg back, both knees bent.

    Coaching tip: If they have trouble switching their hips, tell them to act like they want to get on a horse and they'll usually get it.

    Common mistake: If they keep their legs close together, show them how they'll be rolled if their training partner bridges. Make sure they spread their legs so they have a good base. You can tell them to make a triangle with their head and feet as the corners.

    Note: If their training partner is also a new student, make sure they keep their hands in good posture and bend their knees so they don't get bad habits.

    2. Push on their near knee with your left hand as you bring your left knee over and drive it across their stomach.

    Detail: You can have them put their foot on their knee and defend so you can show why you push on the knee to open the space. Be sure that your knee makes constant contact with their stomach the entire time you are driving it across.

    Common mistake: They will often try to just throw they leg over instead of driving their knee through. Since we know this will just get them put into half guard, make sure they get that they need to drive with deliberate pressure across the stomach.

    3. Once your knee touches the ground on the other side, whip your foot around too. Turn to face them and square up your mount.

    ----

    Before showing any submissions, teach them about tapping out to prevent needless injury.

    You can do the americana with or without the gi so it is the standard first submission.

    Americana

    1. You have mount and they have their arms in good posture (elbows in, hands by face). Grab their right forearm with both hands and push it to the ground.

    Details: Don't use your thumbs -- tiger paws! Make sure your right elbow is firmly planted on the mat next to their head. Make sure their arm is at a 90 degree angle to their body, and their elbow is bent at 90 degrees too.

    Note: Make sure their training partner looks away as they push the arm down so they don't get elbowed in the face.

    2. Reach under their upper arm and grab your right wrist.

    Detail: Grip the wrists, theirs and yours. This makes the shoulder lock tighter since it prevents the wrists from bending.

    Common mistake: They'll start grabbing with thumbs again.

    3. Drag their arm down the mat, "painting" the floor with their hand, then lift your left forearm to crank their shoulder.

    Detail: The two most important points are to 1) keep your right elbow on the mat and 2) their right hand on the mat.

    Common mistake: They may try to crank it without first dragging the arm down. Let them try and see how much further it takes to get the tap, then have them do it correctly and compare.

    ----

    If both students have gis, you can do the cross collar choke instead.

    Cross collar choke

    1. You have mount. Grab their right lapel with your left hand and open it. Slide your right hand into the collar, four fingers in.

    Detail: Pull their lapel up to feed it deeper. End with your first firmly on the ground with your wrist straight, like you're doing a karate punch.

    2. With your left arm, reach under your right and grab deeply in the opposite collar, again "karate punching" the floor.

    Common mistake: They may reach over their right arm instead of under it.

    3. Pull your arms back and bring your head down to the mat to finish.

    Detail: Drag your forearms across your ribs like you want to bring your elbows to your hips. Flex your wrist like you're swinging a hammer away from their neck.

    Common mistake: They will probably flair their elbows out and drive their forearms into the throat. Have their training partner push their elbows together so they have to do it the right way for it to work. Tell them to try to tear the back of the collar in half and this should get them doing the correct wrist movement.

    Once the students have learned all the moves, have them drill them back and forth, starting under mount and progressing through them until the other one is mounted and so on.

    #2
    Looks pretty good.

    You might want to consider using unambiguous references to the different players - Teacher or T (or Instructor or Drill Instructor, DI), Student or S, Training Dummy (or Training Partner) or TP.

    For example, instead of "You have mount. Grab their right lapel with your left hand and open it. Slide your right hand into the collar, four fingers in" it would read "Student mounts Training Partner. Student grabs TP's right lapel with left hand and opens it. Student slides right hand into TP's collar, four fingers in."

    And again, "Common mistakes: A new student will often lay with their arms and legs flat on the floor. Get them to bend their knees and put their hands in good posture (hands by face, elbows to their ribs) to start building these good habits" becomes "Common mistakes: A new student will often lay with their arms and legs flat on the floor. The DI needs to get the Student to bend his/her knees and put the hands in a good posture (hands by face, elbows to their ribs) to start building these good habits."

    I do a lot of editing in my day job, and would be happy to donate my time to help with small shit like this if you'd like.

    Comment


      #3
      Nice first lesson plan.

      Comment


        #4
        I really like the idea about mounts. It shows what a difference proper technique and awarness of the situation makes, and instantly cements the importance of escapes in the mind of the student.

        Comment


          #5
          I like the plan, but I'm surprised you're throwing standing guard passes in at the beginning.

          Comment


            #6
            They will often try to just throw they leg over instead of driving their knee through. Since we know this will just get them put into half guard, make sure they get that they need to drive with deliberate pressure across the stomach.
            This is why we always tell people not to take mount like they're getting on a horse...

            I like the exercise but tend to err on the side of short term practicality in regards to what is taught, simply escaping being mounted and the different positions (with a few variations).

            Comment


              #7
              position before submission mantra?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Zankou
                I like the plan, but I'm surprised you're throwing standing guard passes in at the beginning.
                The idea that standing passes are more advanced seems to be a myth put forward by people who aren't good at them.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Aesopian
                  The idea that standing passes are more advanced seems to be a myth put forward by people who aren't good at them.
                  Or judoka. :'(

                  Comment


                    #10
                    http://www.grapplearts.com/Reverse-Omo-Plata-v1.html

                    I only know one and it aint this one. One more for the arsenal!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'd take out the guard pass. Have the theme be just mount. If you do want to show something else, show them the basic bear hug takedown onto mount as a counter to a punch so that they understand how they got to that position to start with.
                      I like the idea of showing why it's bad to be mounted and showing them how to bridge escape out of it, so definately keep that in.

                      Give them the general idea about mount.
                      First off, how to keep the mount when:
                      (i) The guy grabs you and tries to throw you off to one side (hook the head and post)
                      (ii) The guy tries to throw you forward (hook the ankles under his back)
                      (iii) The guy tries to bench press you off (swim your arms through his).

                      Then show them the americana and the cross choke.


                      Finally, people have a tendency to want to provide all of the answers and details straight away to beginners, but beginners cannot take all of that information in. Keep it simple and show them the basic principles without getting too bogged down in the details, however let them know there are more details for each position that will be covered in a later class.

                      If the person walks away from the class feeling good that he learnt something immediately useful then they are likely to come back again.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Aesopian
                        The idea that standing passes are more advanced seems to be a myth put forward by people who aren't good at them.
                        It depends what you mean by advanced. Standing passes are more "advanced" for newbs in that they're generally (a) faster; (b) open you up to all kinds of exceedingly complicated sweeps; and (c) present considerably more potential for injury from said sweeps.

                        Mario Sperry prefers to do only passes on his knees; clearly a pass isn't less good or effective just because it's from the knees, or standing for that matter. But I think it's not unreasonable to consider standing passes more demanding for a newb to execute with skill under pressure, without worrying that he is going to get dropped on his head with some brutal complicated sweep -- or even just a good ol' double leg.
                        Last edited by Zankou; 9/27/2006 8:27pm, .

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Zankou, you can double-leg from guard? Please elucidate.

                          Aesopian, while I agree that standing guard passes should not be too much for a new student to learn, I would say that I think you have too much material for a first day class. I would stick to 3 moves, say side to mount, mount to americana, and upa, for example. I think you run the risk of overloading someone with all the stuff involved.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            I didn't come up with this class and can't change it. Talk to Carlos Gracie Jr. if you have issues.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Locu5
                              Zankou, you can double-leg from guard? Please elucidate.
                              I think he means that you can turn over and double leg them if they try a sloppy standing pass.

                              Comment

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