Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Private Burien Top Team

In my seven years of training jiu-jitsu, I've never taken a single private lesson.

It's not been because I had anything against private lessons, much less the incredible black belts who have been available to me since I began training.  It just always seemed like I was having a difficult enough time practicing and drilling the techniques I was learning in class anywhere from two to four times a week.  Wouldn't a private lesson fall prey to the same challenges as my main lessons, all fundamentally dependent not only on the talent of the teacher, but also very much on the determination of the student to faithfully practice what was preached?

Unsure that I would have such determination - or at least, determination above and beyond the determination of mastering my every-other-daily lessons - I always thought that I would end up wasting the money of a private session, a sum I estimated as near a whole month's worth of training.

That said, I think there is one scenario in which I might find myself stepping up to the private lesson plate and, to be frank, it came to me shortly after training with Professor Rodrigo for almost 20 minutes tonight.

If you have the opportunity to learn first hand a technique - or even better, a concept about a technique - that no one else seems to be aware of, then that's the ideal time to take a private lesson from that person.  To the extent that jiu-jitsu versus jiu-jitsu training (not necessarily the original intent of jiu-jitsu, of course) is increasingly a war of novelty versus novelty (from 50/50 guard to berimbolo sweeps to ...), learning a unique approach to a technique is invaluable.

In other words, if you have the chance to have a private in which Roger teaches you the cross choke from mount, Marcelo teaches you taking the back, and Prof. Marcio Feitosa teaches you passing the open guard, those are the privates you take.

I won't spill the beans on Professor Rodrigo's secret weapon, an attack I've seen very, very few others execute successfully.  And just because I haven't mentioned Prof Carlos and Prof Alex doesn't mean that I haven't been doing some real intelligence work there, as well.  And come 2013, I will looking to take this spycraft out of the cold.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Want to Boost Your Submission Rate? The 5 Most Important Submissions in Jiu-Jitsu

Pick one (or two) from this list.  Courtesy of Lloyd Irvin's BJJ Kumite.

The upshot?  Top submissions in the gi were armbars (8), toehold (6), triangle choke (6), bow and arrow choke (5).  Top submissions in no-gi were RNC (16) and kimura (6).

By percentage, 17% of the submissions in the gi came from armbars, 13% from toeholds or triangles.  No gi percentages were even more stark: 34% from RNC, 13% from the kimura.

The combined tally is also interesting: RNC (17), armbar (10), triangle (8), toehold and kimura (7).  You could call these the five most important submissions in jiu-jitsu/grappling.

This research, if I remember correctly, pretty much confirms the work Lloyd Irvin did years ago in analyzing submission rates in the Pan, the World Championships and (I think) the Brazilian nationals over the years.  It played a pivotal role in his decision to emphasize techniques like the triangle and the kimura, and more recently the bow and arrow choke, for his competition team.

What is interesting is that no Lloyd Irvin fighters are especially known for their armbars.  I would be curious to know if Lloyd has made a discretionary call when it comes to armbars in competition that goes against the grain of the data.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Talking Bout My Generation

Of all the promotions earned this Saturday, the two that meant the most to me were the black belts awarded by Professor Rodrigo to long-time teammates and training partners, Griff Sombke and Bryan Jorgensen.

We all began training within a few months of each other - and none of us appeared to be destined for Brazilian jiu-jitsu greatness when we started.  And Brazilian jiu-jitsu greatness may not be where we find ourselves when we finally do put the gi on the hook for the final time.

But it is a testament to will, desire, and above all an enduring love of the art that has helped all three of us get to where we are, to this faixa-preta.  And it will be an even stronger combination of those three things that enables us to reach the next stage in our jiu-jitsu lives, whatever that may be.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Top 5 American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Shamans

Top 5 American Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Shamans

1. Lloyd Irvin

2. John Danaher

3. Mark Laimon

4. Eddie Bravo

5. Matt Hume

Honorable Mention: Henry Akins, Shawn Williams

American BJJ Shamanhood is earned primarily through a combination of a surplus of technical mastery, typically evidenced by teaching reputation and/or student competitive success, and a relative absence of personal competitive experience, thus adding to the mystique and controversy of the aforementioned technical mastery.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Training Toward 2013

With the first full week of new employ under my belt, I can start to sketch out my initial training schedule.  Ideally, I'd like to add one more weekday training session.  But for now, this is the plan.

Monday: 6 pm - 7 pm - Fundamentals with Professor Carlos
Tuesday: 6:30 pm -7:30 pm - Black Belt Program with Professor Rodrigo
*Wednesday: 12:45 pm - 1:15 pm - Live Training
Friday: 6: 30 am - 7: 30 am - All Levels with Professor Carlos and Professor Dave

I'll also train whatever Saturdays I can, hoping to average every other weekend over the course of the year.  The goal is to have a four-week moving average of 4.0 or better, and to maintain it like a high school kid shooting for a Harvard scholarship.  The Saturday "extra credit" should help on that score

This is the foundation going forward.  It'll take some getting used to training in the evenings.  But I think I'll be able to maximize the time by sticking around after class and making a full evening out of it rather than the "roll and run" that often ends up happening when I've trained during lunch time (this last six month stretch as an active member of Marx's reserve army of the unemployed notwithstanding).

*That said, there might be room for a nooner on Wednesday, half an hour or so, with a goal of just getting 20 minutes of training in.  That would keep me from having more than one two-day gap in training (at least half the time, I'm going to end up not training on Saturday or Sunday).  It would also make sure that I'm sparring at least three times a week since sparring on Friday morning is very time- and student-sensitive.

This one is also, speaking of sensitivities, labor-sensitive.  But if I can, on average, get a Wednesday when I don't get a Saturday, and at least half the time nab both, I'll be just fine.