Mindsets: The Last Session

Idea surfacing today:

If you knew today was going to be your last roll, how would you grapple?

Would it be competitive with battles for positions or more open and flowing?

I think I would try to get a sense for what my training partner is trying to do more and flow with that, moving in and out of every position I could.

I would be more relaxed and present, trying to mine every kernel of sensory experience. The touch, the contact, the energy.

On that note, queue boisterous happy friday music, and a prayer for being loose in all things and gracious when I’m not! =):


Principles: Domination Through Constriction

In reference to previous post an ‘insight’ I had while investigating weight distribution ideas from mount is structurally dominant positions should by design restrict the opponents breathing. Such design helps kill an opponent’s cardio, and affects cognitive functioning because when breathing is restricted that’s where our awareness goes.

This caused a re-evaluation of my Jiu-Jitsu to perhaps change positions to make them heavier at the point of breath intake or arterial collapse.

For application purposes, parking our weight on the soft part of the stomach below the sternum and in between floating part of the rib-cage stifles the majority of lung intake by preventing full expansion of diaphragm:

Belly constriction from Side-Control @ 3:13-3:53:

Belly/Chest constriction from same position to submission @ 1:04:59-1:05:20:

Belly constriction from Half-Guard Arm Trap Position @ 4:59-5:04:

More applications of Constriction principle to come…

Study: Giving A Project Space

Often we bring too much of our previous knowledge into projects which makes it challenging for fresh insights to seep into our consciousness. Pencil in trying too hard, too much, and too soon here too.

Remember, with the right insight, two years of work can be accomplished in two days, and that’s not even the truth as insights by definition exist outside of ‘life as we know it today’ formats.

I’ll give you an example of such an insight in the next several posts…

For now, open up the mind and notice what’s been staring you in the face the whole time, how effortlessly previously unlinked ideas begin to coalesce and gel, or something new and wonderful altogether that arises.

Until next time, hang loose baby!


Mount: More Notes On Weight Distribution

Both my training partner and I felt sitting on your opponent from high mount ala Roger Gracie is more effective than hips up because it creates more pressure on the bottom player, making it difficult to breathe:

To counter being rocked forward, we centered our head over hips, which likewise adds centrifugal weight. If our opponent does bridge, we surfed with our butts, raising hips just enough to nullify bottom players bridge. Once their hips went down, ours went down, putting pressure back on (probably a principle here you could call ‘shadowing’ or something?). Regardless, the position is very loose, as dead body weight is heaviest!

For those of you who have Saulo Ribeiro’s Jiu-Jitsu Revolution 1 DVD series, Saulo demonstrates hip lift described above there. Looked for a YouTube video, but couldn’t find one! To reiterate, I’m lifting my hips like Henry Akins below, but only as much as I need to, before sitting back down in Roger’s posture. Bottom player is carrying appoximately 70% of my weight on their chest through my bum. Not fun, but reminds training partners why Mount Bottom is not a happy place structurally. ;o)

Mount: Reconciling Weight Distribution Ideas

Here’s an example of two Mount ideas seemingly conflicting, but going to play with both today, specifically what feels most comfortable when digging first hand in for a cross-collar choke:

Roger Gracie rests the weight of torso on top of the bottom player, flaring his knees to accentuate this pressure seen here @ 0:00-1:06:

Henry Akins on the other hand squeezes his knees together and raises his hips off the bottom player which facilitates quick adjustments to elbow escape attempts and nullification of bridge @ 9:40-13:37:

I’ll feel out and play with both today and report back at some point. Good fun. =)

Training: The Conscious Rep

Something great magic legend Ricky Jay said in the biographical documentary ‘Deceptive Practices’ was his teacher Charlie Miller advocated short practice sessions of fifteen minutes where you try and make each rep consciously better than each previous rep.

Made me think if I’m not going slow and focusing on every little detail, what the heck am I doing!? =)

Rear Mount: The Art Of Digging

Coming from an older generation probably the current game I’m most curious about is Kron Gracie’s.

For the past five years I’ve played a Marcelo Garcia and Rener/Ryron Gracie inspired harness game from Rear Mount attempting to hand fight and kill an arm with leg before digging for a choke.

Naturally, was curious how Kron attacked the back and noticed he does the old school Rickson style of continuously bombarding the neck via digging arms with no wasted time on arm trap. This approach has long since been absent from my game and excited to play with it once again (6:09-6:30) :

Rickson doing a bit of this @ 7:17-7:30 (note hand fighting too):

Mindsets: Going Small & Being There

It’s wonderful to dream big if we keep in mind it’s about the person we become along the journey, and that dreams exist along a continuum (i.e. the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know).

So, the idea today is balancing big dream romance with the practicality of cutting bite sized chunks of food and taking the time to chew and enjoy the flavor because if we aren’t practical, realistic, and present we aren’t likely to go anywhere.

And, when in doubt, slow down, and slice off smaller pieces. We can always go bigger, but too big too soon and we’ll choke to death. There is a principle of motivation in here somewhere. Call it:

Going Small and Being There.


Training: Intelligent Time Away From BJJ

I have several interests of which I could easily spend time on just one.

As such, going to allow myself the freedom this year to take as little or as much time off depending on what’s calling, which runs slightly contrary to the western idea of goals with a specific plan and end in mind.

Still, realistically, if we’re going to be lifetime BJJ practitioners, which I guess you could say is ‘the goal’ for me, you can’t let everything slide especially as we approach middle age.

With these things mind here are general guidelines for extended layoffs:

1) The heart of BJJ is relaxing, so spend conscious time doing things to chill out that DON’T include drugs and alcohol. I’m talking walks in nature, meditation, reading, that sort of thing.

2) Eat healthy & get plenty of rest. Again, the more relaxed you are the easier this is.

3) Physically, I would prioritize cardio, however strength training is important too, especially as our bodies enter their natural stage of decline in our late thirties. Everyday kettlebell work meets both these needs effectively, but workouts need to be individual too, otherwise we’ll quit no matter how good things are on paper.

Personally, I enjoy trail running, mountain biking, and have been doing the bodyweight strength training progression from the book ‘Convict Conditioning’ for the past year. I dance as well, and think of it like Yoga, which seems awesome too based on my limited experience.

So yeah, that’s my take on general health. Probably the only difference to most of the common wisdom out there is the emphasis on relaxing and individuality and letting things flow from that, otherwise we’ll end up tight and out of touch!