Thursday, June 30, 2011

Conditioning: Cardiac Output

Still experimenting with LSD-type training with minimal treadmill. Here's today's routine. It took about 35-40 minutes or so.

400m
Berardi round
matwork round
1/2 guard round (10 reps w/60s r x3)
360 drill round (10 reps w/60s r x3)
1200m

I've done this routine with abswork and the 3-part toreano drill, but I think I like it a little bit leaner, keeping skills-related activity to a minimum. This is a pure cardio circuit, so the idea is more constant movement and effort rather than precise movement. That's where the tempo training (Tuesdays and Saturdays) comes in.

I'll probably shuffle this so that I do all the shoes-on work in the beginning and the jiu-jitsu drill work at the end. That saves a little bit of time - though I have to admit that there's something I like about finishing up on the treadmill (though 800m at a time is probably a better way to go than 1200m!).

I really need to do a video of matwork sometime. I think it's a really nice combination of jiu-jitsu exercises that can be used in everything from cardiac output type work to anaerobic/lactic circuit training. I'd like to try a circuit of alternating matwork and Berardi rounds sometime - definitely something for the second half of the training camp.

I've been thinking about the diet thing and am probably headed back for another try at the Warrior Diet (with the Gracie Diet approach for undereating). I think the key to pulling it off over time, though, is staying active and training not just regularly but frequently.

One point Griff made recently about these sorts of diets in general (including the Paleo, for example) is that they tend to be harder when you are in a sedentary environment. That makes sense on a number of levels, not the least of which that the whole point of Warrior/Paleo diets is that they are based on a time when Homo sapiens was far from sedentary.

Here, I need to take more advantage of my Little Prince status. I was thinking of how difficult a time Prof. Rodrigo is having gaining weight in spite of eating more. The issue is activity. Training hard every day - and twice a day most of the week - will keep your metabolism at a level where it will readily devour just about any calories you can throw at it.

So that's the game for me for the balance of 2011, the mid-year resolution, the plan for getting to a walk-around weight of 150 over the next 30-45 days.

Very much looking forward to training tomorrow and getting back on a MWF kick.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Training Day: Wednesday

First training day of the week, having missed out on Monday.

Prof Carlos had us working on both attacking the turtle and defending from turtle. He helped fix a major mistake I was making in transitioning from the front to the side (putting my knee down instead of sprawling into the guy's hip from an angle, and showed us a very nifty tuck and hop into reverse watchdog that reminded me more than a little of a move I saw Ryan Hall do in a promo to his taking the back instructional video.

A drill day since I wasn't able to stick around for Live Training afterwards. I never have as much time as I'd like for the early class and the late class has me trying to put out maximum effort when I'm well into my 14th hour. That's why I always feel like Saturday is the optimum training day, at least for me.

Looking to get back on the mat Friday for sure. There's a chance that I'll be able to do some training tomorrow if I drive down to Federal Way (much closer than GB Eastside). But even then I'd be a little time-constrained.

159.8 on the scale post-train.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview with John Danaher

In general I am fairly easy in giving out belts as I do not attach great importance to them. If you make jiu jitsu a lifetime study (as I hope all my students do), the vast majority of your training years will be at black belt level and beyond, so the amount of time taken to acquire the various early belts is not a significant issue. In all truth, you do most of your learning over a life time post-black belt.
Read the rest here.

Monday, June 27, 2011

(Man) Without a Face(book)

Wow, I've been on Facebook for less than a month and my account is already having issues?

I'll have to remember that when those guys go public.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Stated Status


The writer believed that a character living in a quantum universe would not perceive time with a linear perspective, which would influence the character's perception of human affairs. Moore also wanted to avoid creating an emotionless character like Spock from Star Trek, so he sought for Dr. Manhattan to retain "human habits" and to grow away from them and humanity in general.

courtesy: Wikipedia

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Training Day: Saturday

Managed to make it over to GB Eastside for some training on Saturday. Live Training only since I got a late start. But it was nice to get some more mat time in. It was the first time I trained for two days in a row since doing a similar Friday/Saturday combo at the end of April.

Tried to make it over to watch the kids tournament, but got my directions horribly wrong and spent about half an hour driving around various neighborhoods in the Bellevue/Kirkland area. Ugh.

159.8 on the scale post train. The scale was a little wonky - giving me everything from 160 to 156. 159 and change was the last read on the meter, so I'll go with that one.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Night Fights: Werdum v. Jacare


Training Day: Friday

Back on the mat after a week and a half of hosting the in-laws, great people and a true model of how wonderful life can be in its seventh or even eighth decade with a little luck and a few good habits. Masters Helio and Carlos would be proud.

Aside from a little pinch in the cardio department, I didn't feel too badly after being sidelined for what seemed at times like an eternity. A truer test will come tomorrow, I'm sure, during competition training. But I'm moving into the flow of things in any event.

Did a few drills at home before training today, watched Marcio Feitosa's half guard Ezekiel, and a few techniques from Marcelo Garcia (backstep pass v.s. half guard; bow and arrow choke hand-fighting, a faster version of the far side armbar). All nice short work on building the circuitry, work I'll have to sustain over the next several weeks in order for things to start to stick.

Training with Prof Carlos today the biggest takeaway was how important initial contact is. Marcelo Garcia talks about it a lot: getting the grips you want and avoiding the grips your opponent wants. It's the very first thing you have to deal and it is so easy to start thinking past that step until you realize that you are suddenly on the defensive dealing with all the other guy's favorite grips.

As I like to say, it's not about being fast, it's about being first.

162.0 on the scale post-train. Like the north star it is ...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Werdum On Werdum

I think Fabricio is being a little too hard on himself. In some ways, I thought we saw a version of what Demian Maia has been able to do in terms of coming up with innovative ways to take the fight to the ground. A part of me sees this fight and says, Werdum was interested in an MMA match, while Overeem insisted on K-1 rules.

It's always worth remembering that MMA is not vale tudo. There are more than a few rules (gloves, time limits, standups) that work against the jiu-jitsu fighter in MMA, and it will take a continuous process of evolution to make the art of jiu-jitsu once again the dominant martial art in the sport of mixed martial arts.

That said, a thousand props to Werdum for being a true mensch and being willing to be self-critical. It's a lesson for all of us when disappointment seems to be almost overwhelming.

Werdum: That Wasn't Me Fighting Overeem
I’m sad because I know I could have won that fight,” Werdum lamented. “I showed a lot of improvement in my striking game, but I wanted to do some jiu-jitsu with him also. Everyone calls for me to strike, and I go. When I call people to my guard, they never go. I still want to see the K-1 champ, the guy who knocks everyone out in the first round. He didn’t show much, didn’t hit me hard enough to knock me down. I landed more punches and my mistake was to try so many times to pull him to my guard. I believe I lost to him, and not that he defeated me.”

Patton: On Gameplanning

No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Samuel Braga interview

Black Belt Spotlight: Samuel Braga

These days, you can't throw a brick without hitting a jiu-jitsu blog. Here's a nice short interview from another BJJ blogging newcomer.

What do you like about Brazilian jiu jitsu?

Its an amazing martial art , it is actually a life style , one thing really amazes me is that allows the smaller player to overcome the strength and weight difference with technique to beat a bigger opponent .

Monday, June 20, 2011

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Overeem Decisions Werdum in Rematch

Very close fight tonight, and there is a reasonable argument that Werdum v. Overeem was a draw. That said, props to Overeem for fighting strategically and getting the win.

And that said, a little post-fight love for my first BJJ crush many moons ago ...

The Fabricio Werdum Jiu-Jitsu Walk Down Memory Lane

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thursday, June 16, 2011

HICT Thursday

High Intensity Continuous Training (HICT)

2 sets, 10 minutes each of box steps. 8 minutes "active rest" between sets.
Set 1: HR 26
Post Active Rest: HR 32
Set 2: HR 37 (31 after 60s)

Here's what Joel Jamieson has to say about HICT.
This method is different from other forms of aerobic training in that it is both high intensity and relatively high volume. This unique characteristic is also why it (is) so effective. Whereas most aerobic training methods are either high intensity/low volume intervals, or high volume/low intensity continuous training, the high intensity continuous training method is high intensity based on resistance rather than speed and thus it allows for a higher volume of stimulus.

More specifically, a little like the tempo training I'm doing on Tuesdays, HICT helps by "increasing the aerobic abilities of your fast twitch fibers."

For more from Joel Jamieson, visit his website here.

Yes, We Are Hybrid Wrestlers! No Pass Guard Submission


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tuesday is for Tempo Training

Tuesday AM Conditioning
Tempo Training
Sets of 4-count squats 50#:
800m active rest
3 of 9 tempo squats (60 sec rest between sets)
400m active rest
3 of 9 tempo squats
400m active rest
3 of 9 tempo Squats
800m active rest

About 50 minutes or so overall. Ending HR was about 35 or so for 140, which is about right (I can't find where I put my notes, so I could be off by a little bit). Here, the goal is to make my fast twitch muscles act a bit more like slow twitch muscles by increasing their ability to process oxygen.

This is another one from Joel Jamieson over at 8 Weeks Out

My Current Favorite Promotional Jiu-Jitsu Poster


Monday, June 13, 2011

"It's Just a Silly Phase I'm Going Through ..."

I'm not calling it the first day of my Eight Weeks Out because I'm officially retired from competition. But if competing isn't contagious, training to compete certainly is. So here's to the first day of the rest of my training-but-not-competing camp.

Monday AM Conditioning
Cardiac Output
Completed as an aerobic circuit consisting of:
400m at moderate pace
Berardi round
400m at moderate pace
matwork round
1/2 guard drill (3 rounds)
3 abswork rounds
3 guard pass lateral rounds

Took about 45 minutes or so total. Ending HR was 39 (approx. 156), settling down to 29 (approx. 116) after a minute's rest.

It's not an ideal cardiac output workout insofar as the intensities vary a bit. I should probably finish off with another 400m or the 360 drill to help moderate the intensity some. But at least this provides a benchmark to test against and a model to build from.

The goal with cardiac output training is to condition the heart, mostly by increasing the amount of blood the heart can pump on any given contraction through eccentric cardiac hypertrophy.

In other words, I'm looking to make my heart a little bigger, rather than just making the walls of my heart tougher and stronger (there's a metaphor for you ...).

One thing I really want to nail down is how to build an ideal conditioning program for jiu-jitsu. There is a lot that has just been "handed down", a lot that is borrowed from other combat sports like boxing, wrestling and MMA.

But there are some unique aspects of jiu-jitsu training (particularly training for competition), and I don't think anyone has ever really addressed the specific and unique needs of the jiu-jitsu competitor. I wouldn't mind contributing something to that as yet far from finished library.

As just one example, I'm less impressed by the emphasis on explosive power in jiu-jitsu - especially gi jiu-jitsu - than I am by power endurance (think of the difference between running a 100m and a 400m, or the difference between the amount of pullups you can do in 10 seconds and the amount of pullups you can do until failure.)

Right now, the goal is to rebuild my cardio base through cardiac output work, tempo training and HICT (high intensity continuous training) over the next four weeks. After that, I'll add in explosive-repeat and threshold training to focus on the power endurance end of the training program.

You can read about all of these conditioning techniques in the great book by Pacific Northwest area trainer, Joel Jamieson, Ultimate MMA Conditioning.

More Jiu-Jitsu History: The Alliance Split

Some fascinating jiu-jitsu history here.

Alliance Scism Creates New Team
In 2002, the landscape of competitive Jiu-Jitsu began to change. Since 1996 the IBJJF had dominated the sport Jiu-Jitsu world but a new federation rose to challenge it in 2002. Known as the CBJJO, this federation held Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Cups in which the winners were given cash prizes, something unheard of in the IBJJF.

This was very attractive to many, including some under the Alliance banner. Alliance was a team formed by a Rolls Gracie black belt, Romero "Jacare" Cavalcanti and one of his first students, Fabio Gurgel. As time wore on Cavlcanti backed away from leading the competition team and focused just on teaching, and Gurgel took the helm. This caused some tension with some of Cavlcanti’s other black belts.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Guard Passing and Circuit Building with Shaolin

More great stuff from Stephan Kesting and Vitor Ribeiro.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Training Day: Wednesday

So far so good for the week. Tonight was a nice refresher on pulling deep half from standing and attacking with either the deep half scissor sweep (w/sleeve control and collar drag) or the deep half pendulum sweep.

Working with Angela, I had a better time with the scissor than the pendulum (ironically, she was having an ideal time with the pendulum sweep). I think the issue is relative leg length: if your legs are longer than your opponent's, it may be difficult to get the leverage for the pendulum sweep compared to the scissor. Prof. Rodrigo seemed to be making that point when he had us alternate between the two based on your partner's reaction.

Every other Wednesday we are doing about half the first class in specific (half guard tonight) after the technique section. Training with GB Seattle's newest brown belt, Ruben, I made sure that I started out in southpaw half guard. My mid-year jiu-jitsu resolution is to really round out my half guard game. Rather than run away from it as I thought I needed to do this spring, the goal is to completely flesh it out, to explore every aspect of the half guard that I can conceive of.

And one of the first steps is to become more or less ambidextrous when it comes to attacking from the half. I don't necessarily have to be able to do every move from half guard on both sides. But I need to have as many options on the right as on the left - whatever they are. And the current options I have on the left need to become expanded.

Tough training in the Live Training, as well, rolling with Lance, Rodrigo and Elliot - who is back from an injury. Here the goal was largely in remaining active on top, which I met, but I need to be more focused in turning everything into a half guard game and then going right to my best passes.

A large part of getting better and better in jiu jitsu lies in avoiding areas of uncertainty and trying to draw your opponent into places where your edges are the greatest. That doesn't mean that you'll always win. But it does mean that almost always you will be giving yourself the best chance of winning. And at the end of the day, that's all you can ask. As Charles Barkley put it brilliantly, "sometimes we forget that the other guy is out there trying hard, too."

In terms of focus areas I need to keep working on the backstep pass v.s. the half guard, and keeping better posture when passing from standing. I need to sit/squat a bit more because I can feel my upper body getting a little out in front of my hips and making it hard to be really mobile.

To that end, I want to keep training the double underhook pass with the hop variation, as well as the Marcelo series (step/folding/leg over). I also made some half-hearted moves toward the basic toreano. I'd like to get that more into the mix as well. About six passes for the next six months.

161.5 on the scale post-train.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Training Day: Monday

I made it to the academy on Friday - and while it counts as training per my definition (i.e., I wore the gi and sweated) - the truth of the matter is that tonight was my first real session on the mat in about three weeks (May 16 was my last real training, the Monday before the Revolution).

A lot of good things tonight. Ruben got his brown belt (parabens!), Paulao and a bunch of other folks got stripes, and the Monday night judo class has been incorporated into the regular Monday BJJ class. This is great news. I've been wanting to take the judo class, but the starting time was just too early for me (and apparently for more than a few others). So the current solution is ideal.

We worked on breakfalls and rolls in the first part of the judo class, then trained the ouchi gari takedown.

The BJJ part of the class focused on the pendulum sweep from deep half (we started from standing and included the deep half guard pull as part of the training) and the toe grab/Old School/Gordo sweep from half guard. Here, Rodrigo showed one excellent detail in stepping over with the leg and then going belly down as you flatten out and piledrive forward into the sweep. Definitely something to work on with my Gordo sweep.

Live Training was great. I trained twice for about 8 minutes each, first with Ruben and then with a talented young guy Anton, who'd trained some sambo and Japanese jiu jitsu. It was fun to fight off leg attacks (a couple of ankle locks) and I'll confess to spending (more than) a few hours watching the Mundial this weekend didn't hurt at all in that regard.

162.1 on the scale post-train. Given the time I've been off the mat, that's a great number. I still have a featherweight fantasy that I indulge from time to time but, for now, I'll take what I can get.

Sherdog.com MMA Techniques: Technique of the Week: Arm-Triangle Shortcut

Sherdog.com MMA Techniques: Technique of the Week: Arm-Triangle Shortcut

Sunday, June 5, 2011

More from the Mundial

One more note/observation from Shawn Williams: the overwhelming presence of de la Riva and reverse de la Riva guards, in all likelihood courtesy of the Mendes brother influence.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Mundial Notes from Shawn Williams

Doing a little work Saturday night while watching the TUF Finale in the hopes that I'll have less work to do on Sunday and can slip down to Federal Way to train. So I don't have the time to talk about some of the great jiu-jitsu I was able to watch earlier today as part of Budo Videos' coverage of the 2011 Mundial (including Viera v. Calasans in the absolute).

But there were two interesting comments that I wanted to note before I forgot them. Both came from Renzo Gracie black belt, Shawn Williams, who was part of the commentating team along with Budo Jake and Caleb of Fightworks Podcast.

1. When trying to decide what weight to compete at, figure that you should be at your competition weight two weeks before the tournament (this is for same-day, IBJJF-style events).

2. One hour before your division is called up, train hard for up to 20 minutes. Then do what you need to do to stay warm and loose until it's time to compete.

This last one was especially interesting. Shawn said that the conventional wisdom is that people are afraid that they will tire out. But if you are shape and have been training hard, that 20 minutes of hard training an hour beforehand can be an excellent way to prepare yourself for the intensity of the first, actual competitive match.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Henry Akins: The Passion for MMA

Here's a short documentary on a guy who has been called the John Danaher of the West Coast: Rickson Gracie black belt, Henry Akins.

I've posted a few things about Henry over the years, including his interview over at The Fightworks Podcast and his Technique of the Week videos for Sherdog.com. Very interesting guy and worth getting to know more about.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Here's Your BJJ World Championship Preview

Worlds 2011 breakdown, by Jon Shotter
This is the 16th Worlds of the modern era (1996 – ) and despite the absence of a number of elite players due to injury (not least champions Roger Gracie, Tarsis Humphreys, Saulo and Xande Ribiero, and Braulio Estima) and to the vagaries of the US Immigration System (Lucio “Lagarto”) this edition looks to have surpassed even last year’s stellar competitor list.

Read the rest here.