Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday, Sunday, SUNDAY

Lots of women were still in town from the open mat the previous day downtown. Open mat was hopping.

Alaina, Elaine, Rosie, Chrissy, and maybe 6 other women were there to train, along with the dudes- Vince, Dax, MikeByrd and Brian Linzy. I want to say I rolled for 3 1/2 hours or so.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Thursday - I was a little under the weather, so I just taught and then rolled a bit. Showed arm drag to tane otoshi, then everyone sparred on the feet, and then a footlock on the ground.

Friday - Muay Thai - elbows and knees. Good warmup and endurance round. BJJ- recap of the grip strip to tane otoshi, but with sumi gaeshi added, and then opening the guard with the lapels, logsplitter-style. Alaina Hardie came with Chrissy and Brian.

Saturday - women's open mat was going on at Richmond BJJ, so my class was light - Dax, Bjorn, Chris Lombard. Grip strip to tane otoshi, o goshi counter to tane otoshi, and then o goshi combo to tane otoshi. Lots of rolling to warm up and after drilling.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Back training in RVA

Tuesday- Richmond BJJ - no-gi. I was glad to get back to training. Burdo showed a basic arm drag to the Russian and a couple back attacks. I rolled for about half an hour after class, maybe 45 minutes. It was really good to be back out there training.

Wednesday - Revolution BJJ. Rolled a few times with Gordon (owner, Charlottesville BJJ) and Tommy, who seems motivated once again. All told, there were about 8 students for the afternoon session, so it was pretty light and an excellent workout once again. Muay Thai was pretty uneventful- relatively intense workout. No-gi at 7 PM - no Vince (his daughter graduated from high school). I showed a low single and the logsplitter guard break. Rolled until about 10 PM.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Good pics of Parker going for the armlock taken by my friend Kenny from

Sunday at the Mundial was a long day. Rudy and I got there at 10 AM as the first quarterfinal black belt matches were starting. Felipe Costa won his first match, but lost his second. Check out the semi-live play by play I did on U.S. Grappling's Twitter page.

The black belt finals were almost all disappointing, with notable exceptions:

  • Roger Gracie, who finished his opponent with a choke from the mount, just as he had done for his other 8 opponents
  • Braulio Estima, who finished his opponent with a triangle
  • Lana Stefanac, who became the first Mundial double gold medalist at black belt
  • Valerie Worthington, who's a good friend of mine and who faced a very tough Penny Thomas in the finals, ultimately losing to Penny via choke in a very competitive match

Other than that, it was way too much strategy and not enough jiu jitsu. Boo.
Still, these guys are phenomenal at what they do, and I learned a lot just by watching.

Sunday night, Johnny Ramirez invited me to New Breed to train. I accepted, and we got to roll. Johnny remains incredible at jiu jitsu, and our training was a blast, as always. I also had the opportunity to train with Kurt, a tall, big purple belt from Oregon Johnny kept calling "Skeletor." Kurt was a lot of fun to roll with because he was able to shut down most of what I tried to do, being really tall and good at jiu jitsu and what not.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Big Ol' Mundial Write-up


I got on my plane in Richmond (standby; very exciting) at 6:30 AM and stepped off at LAX at 11:15 AM west coast time. Kenny Savercool and I split a cab to the venue - $80. Ouch, but whatever.

Snake was first up. His division (Galo) had nine guys in it, which meant 3 to win for Snake for gold. Snake's first match went pretty well - Son was able to slow down enough to pass the guard and establish side control. As his opponent tried to turn away, Snake got his back and finished with a bow and arrow choke. Nice!

Next match was a lot tougher. Snake was down 9-4 with just 30 seconds to go when he got the kid's back. This meant he was still down 9-8. Snake got the bow and arrow choke once again, and the clock ticked down... 5.... 4.... 3... 2.... 1..... tap!! The kid tapped immediately before the whistle signified that time was up. Holy crap.

Finals match - Snake was taken down and mounted by a kid from Rey Diogo's gym, another Carlson Gracie team gym. It's cool that two Carlson guys closed it out, but would have been a little cooler if Snake had won. Still, silver at the Mundial is not bad at all.

Devin was up next - pena, or featherweight. Devin lost on points to the guy who took 2nd, Takahashi (I think). The kid had a great guard and was able to sweep Devin and eventually pass his gaurd. Tough draw for his first match. Devin fought hard, though.

Parker and Tommy were both in lightweight (leve). Parker won 3 matches, subbing 2 guys (triangle and armlock from the triangle) before losing a close match 2-0. Tommy won and then lost 2-0 to the eventual champion, Chris from Alliance.

Good day for our guys overall. We had Korean BBQ to finish the day, and I gained five pounds.

Friday was a bit more relaxed for me. Ryan Hall ended up taking 3rd in his weight division, which Zak Maxwell went on to win in dramatic fashion (omoplata to the back to lapel choke). Somehow I managed to spend pretty much all day at the venue anyway.

Saturday saw Valerie Worthington winning her 2 matches in her weight division, setting up Sunday's absolute finals. There were a lot more great matches I'll write about later, maybe.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mundial - pics of Snake and Tommy

Wednesday before the Worlds

Day class - small turnout since many of the hardcore Wednesday day crew are already in or on their way to L.A. for the worlds, including Tommy, Devin, Snake, Ryan, and Seph, among other semi-regulars. I got to roll with Gordon several times, and to give him a little advice here and there. Gordon is very talented, but I can still help him with a lot of conceptual stuff. Acie is another monster purple belt who is always fun to roll with, and Acie and I had a good round or two. I think there were seven students total for this class, probably the lightest turnout all year so far.

Muay Thai - eating/stuffing the hook to throwing a knee. I love this stuff. Not great at not flaring my elbow out, but I'm getting better.

No-gi - low single takedown and opening with the logsplitter. I had my ear drained earlier (thanks, Antoni!) so I didn't roll at night.

Tuesday no-gi

Burdo showed some cool stuff from both arms under pass defense (one ending with a triangle and one with a crucifix/turtle control). I rolled with Dave and Scott, helping them get ready for their fights, and several other students. Not a very eventful BJJ day for me, as my car was getting fixed earlier.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

New month, new theme

Monday - private lesson, then basics class- headlock/kesa gatame escapes on the ground. I love this series - it's so practical for self-defense, but also for grappling against wrestlers who are new to BJJ and "tough guys" who walk into the gym with a point to prove (and an ego in need of deflation).

7 PM class - takedown drills and closed guard opening. This is stuff everyone needs to work on but nobody wants to do on their own, myself included. This will be the theme for the month, but the takedowns will be from a very simple, small pool of techniques, limited completely to double and single legs and the arm drag/belt grab position.

Open mat Sunday

Open mat at Revolution BJJ provided me with a good opportunity to work on the stuff from the seminar, especially the rocking chair position and a couple lapel chokes. I actually got Vince with a brabo choke (set up from the knee cut pass). Vince is pretty tough to choke!

Tommy and Parker are on point right now. They compete Thursday at the Mundial, so I'm looking forward to seeing them tear up the division. If Sunday is any indiction, they'll do great- it may be the largest division ever in a jiu jitsu tournament - here's the full list.

Rodrigo Medeiros

BJJ Revolution Team co-founder Rodrigo Medeiros, 4X black belt Pan Ams champion and Carlson Gracie black belt since 1996, came to Richmond BJJ to conduct a seminar. This was maybe my 20th time training with Rodrigo, and his fourth or fifth seminar in Richmond.

Rodrigo's seminar broke down into three simple parts: opening and passing the closed guard, side control lapel chokes, and half guard on the bottom ("rocking chair" position). Rodrigo's seminar was perfect for me - nothing was brand new except a few details of the positions, so I retained all the information well and I'll be able to bring at least a good portion to my students.

Arthur Ruff, one of Rodrigo's older black belts, was there to assist. Arthur lives in Ohio now, but he started a gym in Arizona called the "Ruff House" (get it?) a few years ago that's still running.