Monday, October 3, 2011

Training Day: Monday

Back to ATM Evening Edition ... Sensei Kyle had us working on the ouchi gari. We were talking before class about different competition challenges in jiu-jitsu and what judo throws and takedown would help best. I suggested that for many of us, failing to commit fully to the takedown was one main obstacle, in part because we spend relatively little time in live takedown sparring to get used to it and in part because of the ever-present guard pulling threat (or at minimum, the standard low defensive clinch posture many jiu-jitsu matches start out with).

Here's how Gene Lebell describes the ouchi gari in his book Gene Lebell's Handbook of Judo:

"The ideal time to execute this throw is when your opponent's legs are spread wide apart in a pulling, defensive posture."

And that's as good a description of the defensive jiu-jitsu clinch posture as I could imagine.

The key detail for me was the pulling the guy toward you, initiating a step on his part and opening up of his stance, by moving diagonally backward and dragging the guy to you with your collar/sleeve grip. It was surprising how destabilizing that initial diagonal drag step was - and, as Kyle pointed out before class, could also be a good setup to the ankle pick variation takedown that I like to use.

A few other points: make sure to pull down on the collar and to focus getting your attacking leg deep through the center. That alone may be enough to off-balance and get the takedown even without the in-to-out leg wrap as you drop to the knee of the attacking leg.


The BJJ part of the class had us working on taking the back from turtle using a technique similar to one I remember seeing Giva Santana show us in a seminar over at Foster BJJ a year or two ago. Either way, it was good to see the technique.

The memorables: scruff of the neck collar grip and low lapel grip around the waist . Tight elbows for maximum control. Drop near knee right on side, near ribcage and squeeze with grips (sort of like I do too frequently when in knee on belly), and use that leveraged to step in on the same side with your far foot, putting the initial hook in place.

To take the back, drop diagonally north, pulling on the neck and low lapel grip to drag the guy into your lap. Remember to stay on your side and not roll all the way on to your back where escape is easier. Go quickly for the two collar choke.


Live training was a nice combination of different types of training partner. This meant I got to focus on a very technical, chess-like game in my first roll, a flow-oriented second roll and a third and final roll that forced me to focus on spacetime and guard replacement. It's not every day when you get this kind of diversity of training experience, and it will definitely be something to keep in mind the next time Live training rolls around.

155.8 on the scale, post-train, everything but the coat. On a Monday no less!