Training: Image vs. Progression

Used to write ‘The Bat Blog,’ drawing inspiration from the Batman mythos, and while it served a purpose within a limited framework, I’m heading more and more in the direction of having simple, quantifiable plans and working the plan.

No image, no fanfare, either I get things done or don’t. If I don’t, some fine tuning is probably required, and will likely always be needed to some degree.

This premise is so basic it’s almost embarrassing, but it represents my climb out of martial arts drama into effective action garnering results over time.

What does your progression look like? =)


Guard: The Boosh Principle

When my training partner stands and staggers his or her stance I tend to play a reverse De La Riva game where I lock my legs. What I noticed Sunday is while it’s a decent position to catch your breath and assess the situation, it does nothing to create any discomfort, allowing your training partner to work out a guard pass in luxury.

To remedy this shortcoming, the Boosh Principle is the idea of bullying your partner by creating tension through simultaneous pushing and pulling actions which constantly threaten sweeps and submissions. The top player should feel like they are being wrung out like a wash cloth. Yes, they have the mechanical advantage, but it’s a vacation spot where one misstep leads to getting mugged, food poisoned, roofied, or dysentary.

In summation, if top player can comfortably hold their ground on the school seal you know your guard is ass and needs work:

Mindsets: Anti-Burnout & Staying Fresh

“It’s not who’s good, it’s who’s left.” ~Chris Haueter

Been drilled at work the past week or so, and took a few days off of training. I could have probably forced myself to do some things, but my idea when it comes motivation isn’t being motivated so much as avoiding burnout.

I consider times when I have to force myself to do things the mental equivalent of training with a strained muscle.  You’re asking for injury.  Yeah, you can get away with it 9 out of 10 times but eventually it will catch up with you.

Back to motivation, how long can we honestly train if it isn’t enjoyable, and even if we can summon the will to push through, how good will the quality be?  I know things are a bit different for the competitive athlete, but what I’m discussing is training for mastery.

Taking a day off to stay fresh is gaining a day compared to two days of going through the motions, so listen to you’re saying to yourself and be inside your body.

Training: Drilling Time Table & Internal Excellence

I generally drill things until a position is dialed in enough as to where it’s a challenge to find things. Of course there is always more things to find, but the point is using internal barometers. This is the football coach Chip Kelly’s idea of using your own idea of excellence rather than external markers as a guide.

Per my current progression, still finding things from cross-sides top although positions and transitions are becoming much more solid and fluid. Next, I’ll likely tackle defense to these positions.

Study: Breakdowns vs. Essence

Watched a breakdown of a Metamoris 4 competitor yesterday, and while beautifully detailed and edited it personally didn’t appeal to me as a learning resource.


My goal is to understand the essence of BJJ and its corresponding fundamentals. I don’t think you can get this by studying any one grappler or group of grapplers. It’s more about building a mechanical intelligence that facilitates problem solving and creativity within a domain.

Back to the idea of breakdowns, I like the idea of positional breakdowns a little better as it’s more structure centric, but even then such a format lends itself to mimicry as opposed to structural understanding that’s more or less universally applicable.

Lastly, I think there comes a point in everyone’s BJJ where they want to find their own way. Yes, of course you’re going to adapt good ideas when you see them, but you’re not necessarily seeking them out anymore.

Training: J-O-B Drilling Analogy

With sparring featuring the real-time drama of victory and defeat, drilling is boring as hell by comparison.  This is big reason why I feel a practitioner should be decently proficient in drilling before making the leap to combat, as they’ll likely never want to drill when faced with a choice to either isolate or bump bellies.

A side benefit to the above is good drilling requires cooperation and attentiveness and goes a long way to help screen for potential a$$holes.

Finally, to the J-O-B analogy, told a friend yesterday to think of drilling as a day job you love.  It’s a job and not always going to be fun, but at least your doing something you love, and it pays you for time invested.

Domination: Cross-Side Considerations Part Two

Eek, the boys at BJJNEWS.COM posted my last entry.  Here are some cross-sides top thoughts/updates from this morning:

A) You can calibrate where your torso is in relationship to theirs with your head and neck and adjust accordingly for maximum weight distribution.

B) Decided I like my hand blocking the hip on the mat better than cupping around the bottom of their torso and letting the body weight do 95% of the work.  Seems more energy efficient.

C) Because this position takes more energy to maintain than knee-ride, mount, and back mount respectively I see it as a means to secure a relatively quick submission or to advance to position where the opponent is carrying more weight with less energy on our part.

D) I always try to explain things in terms of mechanics, so I’d probably illustrate that while in cross-sides I’m adjusting my weight to make the opponent carry more of it ala Henry Akins below, but there is still energy leakage moving down towards the mat from hips and legs.  Taking the analogy of our legs as rudders, cross-sides has two rudders, knee-ride has one, and mount zero as my full body weight is supported.

E) For domination drilling in general you have to balance getting the most effective weight distribution per unit of energy through use of effective tension while building in transitions for maximum ass kickage.


Domination: Cross-Side Considerations

In the spirit of the Albert Einstein idea of making things as simple as possible but not simpler, here are some adjustments that have made a difference while practicing transitions from weak to strong side cross-sides while keeping the weight on:

1) Feet– Toes rest on the mat, driving slightly

2) Legs – Wider leg base makes for easier, cleaner transistions

3) Hands – Gently cupping inside of armpit and around torso bottom, but ready to move at a moments notice.

4) Arms – Slight elow pressure into side of head, slight pulling pressure around bottom of torso. When opponent moves, increase pull slightly and back off accordingly.

5) Head – Down as low as possible which increases weight and protects from knees to the face.

6) Back – Straight back minimizes surface area of chest, creating a smaller and likewise heavier point of contact.

7) Chest – Slightly south of mid-point of sternum, so technically it’s chest to one pectoral. Not exactly sure why this geography feels stronger than direct sternum to sternum, but think it’s because the weight distribution of the top arm and head covers the other pectoral.