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1point2 @ West Point Judo NOOBERY

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    I hate the waiting, the not knowing when to warm up, the hunger and thirst and stultifying florescent lighting. I pretty much hate everything about tournaments except the actual fighting. Anyway, I'm no great shakes on the mat, but here's my commentary:


    In general, I'd like to see more bread & butter white belt BJJ and less fancy stuff that you're not quite able to pull off yet. You've got good legs in your half-guard game, but you aren't using your arms well -- always kill the biceps and pressure the neck or the top player will crush you and control you.

    Things I said out loud while watching:

    0:08 You're a judo brown belt, why are you pulling half guard from standing?
    0:45 Spin for the kneebar!
    0:58 Kill the biceps!
    1:18 Take his back.
    1:30 There's no choke there! You'll just tire your arms while he passes to mount!
    1:43 ... like that.
    1:58 Elbows in, elbows in!
    2:10 Nice!
    2:15 Take his back, take his back!
    2:24 Don't hold him! You want to make space from the bottom, not collapse it.
    3:20 Kill the biceps!


    I spent this entire video shouting "break his fucking grips!" Everything that went badly for you in this fight had to do with his having superior grips that nullified your game.

    2:00 That triangle from bottom was a decent idea, but it'll always get you passed if you miss the arm (i.e. just get the head).
    2:45 Good!
    2:48-3:55 Postura! Postura! Posture up, get your grips, stand and pass!


      Originally posted by Jack Rusher View Post
      Thanks, Jack.

      I pulled guard because I feel unsettled in the no-gi clinch. I saw the kneebar but haven't ever learned, drilled, or landed it, so went for the barely-there heel hook. I think I know what you mean by "kill the biceps," but I don't really, so maybe we'll discuss it @ the TD, or if it's simple could you just explain it? As for back-taking, it was on my agenda, but I didn't feel it was there. Could this have been due to his hip pressure?

      Posture: I was not being explosive, probably for psychological reasons.

      Strategy: Overall I tried to replicate my performance @ NYSS, ie, wait for them to make a mistake. These guys were better than that (with hips & grips, specifically), and I wasn't being aggressive enough. This took me into places like spider guard and half guard, where you're absolutely correct; I shouldn't have been.


        Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
        I think I know what you mean by "kill the biceps," but I don't really, so maybe we'll discuss it @ the TD, or if it's simple could you just explain it?
        Most of the time the top player will want a position like this:

        ... to prevent that, it's a good idea to use a hand position like this:

        ... I don't mean using the knee the way he's doing here (necessarily), but getting the hands up to pressure his neck and prevent his arm from wrapping your head in the manner depicted in the first picture. This is a good way to avoid getting flattened out and pinned. Once you're framed up to prevent him from crushing you, start looking for an underhook with the arm that's under his neck.

        Originally posted by 1point2 View Post
        As for back-taking, it was on my agenda, but I didn't feel it was there. Could this have been due to his hip pressure?
        It looked to me like you should have been able to hip bump and take his back, but I can't know the exact pressure you were feeling.

        We can work on any of this that you want at the TD. Also, if your BJJ coach does private lessons -- and you can afford one -- it might be a good idea to go over those two videos with him.


          Thanks. Me and positional drilling will be getting to know each other very well the next few weeks.


            Quick notes on the no gi match:

            0:17 By now you, a Judoka, have pulled not guard, but half-guard. Cross body half-guard at that. Then, instead of making a frame, like JR illustrated in his second photo, you allow yourself to be flattened out. You need to fight for position in a more aggressive manner. Once you're are down and flattened out, you're his bitch.

            At 0:41 Your foot that you've thrown across his body is totally exposed because you don't get the leg far enough across his body to tuck your foot away beyond his hip.

            At 0:44 You lose effective control of the leg when he steps over. You slide down his leg, away from his hip when this happened. That is why you didn't finish, not to mention significantly injure, him.

            At 0:52-53 your hook slides from inside his knee to inside his hip. Behind the knee is generally a superior leverage point in my opinion.

            1:15 You're reaching up with your left leg, but your right leg is static underneath him. The right leg should have progressed to the hip. Climb up to his head like a monkey, or get him high and stretch him out, but avoid that in between state.

            1:18-23 He makes a frame against your face to flatten you out. You need to be the one doing the framing.

            1:29-41 You waste some time with an arm triangle attempt from underneath half guard while you're far too low to pull it off.

            This is immediately followed by the herculean upa, but you fail to contract your knee to your chest to set up the hook. So instead, he gets mount. See subsequent "ball" explanation below.

            2:41-43 More pressure on his neck needed.

            2:44 Quit diving for feet like a deranged white belt and start passing people's guards.

            Your subsequent leg lock attempt failed because your elbow-to-rib clamp was weak. You know what's just as important as clamping your knees in the footlock game? You guessed it, a hearty and hale elbow clamp. Never mind all that. Next time, sweep him or pass his guard. Get on top, get in control.

            3:23 Again with the cross body half guard. Show me you can make the same side half-guard work. There are more options with the same side half-guard, namely taking the back.

            3:26-32 Again you allow yourself to be flattened out. Ball up to prevent this. Bring your knees to your chest, elbows to your sides, and then insert your hook and spin to the side when he rides high trying to pass
            Shut the hell up and train.


              Thanks jnp. Am internalizing.

              I had never heard terminology for same-side/cross-body half guard before. I saw the distinction, but had never heard it named.


                You can thank Jack. He asked me to help you out. I realize I come across a bit harsh, but I am, in fact, a grumpy old man.

                The cross body half-guard only works if you can stay on your side. The moment you get flattened out, your mobility is severely limited. Block the cross face by placing your hand on your forehead and making a frame.
                Shut the hell up and train.


                  My forehead?


                    IBJJF Berlin Open 2015, men's master 1 blue belt division. I forget the exact weight category but I was 77.7kg and at the bottom of my weight class. Won gold in no-gi after 3 matches (all won on points), lost my 1st absolute no-gi match by triangle/armbar, 1-1 in gi (both chokes), didn't stay for gi absolute because it was late and I was starving.

                    My first no-gi match. It's been a long time since I've competed, and it shows. I won on points, something like 7-4 with 1-1 advantages I *think*.

                    My third and final no-gi match. I win on points but I'm not sure what the score was.

                    My 1st match in gi. He pulls guard, I pass, he turtles, I win by RNC.

                    I got out-worked in the gi finals and succumbed to an Ezekiel choke from half-guard.

                    Next time I will enter the adult division, pack a lunch, and try this "sprawl" I keep hearing about.



                      This is from a while back. I took 2nd at the Berlin BJJ blue belt challenge (nogi division). I think it was Adult under 79kg?

                      Anyway, I hit a kouchigari, opened the closed guard, passed to half, used a cradle to pass awkwardly, ill-advisedly gave up the pass to take a weak crucifix, and finished with a RNC. Hooray for top game!


                        Welcome back 1point2!
                        Shut the hell up and train.


                          I competed for the first time as a purple belt, in the nogi advanced Masters -83kg division of Grappling Industries Berlin 2020. Due to an earlier bout of flu and nerves depressing my appetite the week of the event, I weighed in a half-pound below the -77kg class, but was unable to switch divisions. I went 3-2 to take bronze. This result is a good antidote to my earlier feelings of inadequacy with regards to being in the "advanced" division.

                          (I didn't compete in gi because I stopped enjoying gi BJJ just before I got my purple belt and therefore chose to stop playing gi right after I got my purple belt.)

                          I lost my first match by heelhook from the saddle, which he achieved after I went for a lazy folding pass that gave him the DDS entry. (He had pulled guard after a few clinch-ups and a surprisingly nice standing kotegaeshi attempt, which I honestly defended using my light-contact karate experience (plus shen fa from judo).) I learned that I am too cavalier about engaging someone's leg-entanglement guard because I can just improvise/slip out/pressure my way to safety against lower-level opponents. This opponent eventually took first.

                          I lost my second match on points 2-11 to the guy who took second. He was willing to both wrestle and pull guard throughout the match, and had excellent posture. I was somewhat happy with my leglock defense, but I feel I failed to use my second and third-string attacks from my shin-on-shin guard after he blocked my main SLX entry. I also failed to shoot for takedowns or pass more aggressively, which could have made for a closer match. For this latter I partially blame my S&C.

                          Next I won on points against a guy who continually pulled guard and did nothing from it. I felt comfortable the whole time, got screwed out of both points and finishing positions by the ref, and feel that I should've been able to finish this opponent. More aggression was called for in this match, both in guard passing and submission hunting.

                          Next was my favorite win. I was up against a fella who was simply jacked. Shoulders as broad as a bridge. I felt unsure of my ability to take him down and totally unwilling to pull guard against him, so my strategy was vague. I ended up stuffing all his shots while continually pushing for upper-body clinches, which he repeatedly separated from. Eventually I realized just how much he was retreating, and made pushing forward my strategy. This seemed to fluster him, and I believe I scored two points from repeatedly making him retreat out of bounds. He finally took a shot that was notably worse than all the previous, and I spun around his turtle, inserted the hooks, flattened him out, and rear naked choked him. By this point he seemed gassed rather than out-techniqued.

                          Finally I fought a fella who wanted to play rubber guard. I hit my kouchigari, defended his many attacks from a tight closed and rubber guard, and eventually passed his guard to win on points. In this match I was too willing to let him set up his guard, and was again too lazy in passing. I also gassed towards the end, producing a defensive, stalling style for the last exchanges. The lesson is to be in better shape and more technical counters to rubber guard so I can attack aggressively with passes, scrambles, and takedowns.

                          Videos for all but one match are on my YouTube channel.

                          Overall I was relaxed and played a good version of my game. My failures are actionable and improvements to make are clear:

                          - more conditioning
                          - more technical and aggressive closed & rubber guard defense
                          - more technical leg entanglement defense/counters/attacks
                          - don't rely on shen fa to defend leglocks from overall worse players (this lesson extends to other areas, like countering the diving Kimura guard pass)
                          - more rigorous practice on the whole chain of attacks from bottom – not just "A game" versus "B game" moves but an "A game" that includes multiple options of equal strength depending on their reactions & choices
                          Last edited by 1point2; 1/27/2020 5:48am, .



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