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I rolled for the first time in several years last night. As expected, I got flattened. Repeatedly.

What’s more disappointing, though, is that I have no gas tank. I’ve been running all summer and it still doesn’t seem to help much. There’s definitely something different about grappling, as I can do good work with unattached striking (Good for me, anyway!). I know some tricks but can’t apply them if I’m that badly winded. If I find any conditioning workouts specifically designed to address this I’ll share them.

Takedown Class: Backfalls, Sprawls ( I’m not dropping my hips to the mat and end up doing more of a front breakfall unconsciously. Gotta work on that!) , single leg + counter ( get shoulder and head pressure in play and mule kick leg out), level change & short range double leg (Surprise! Judo has these, too! Check out the Morote Gari), side fall & technical standup vs. an encroaching opponent fending with the extended hand, snapdown series with gi clad and non gi clad opponent (I just double grabbed the neck), grip breaking, fireman’s carry (called kata garuma in Judo) off an overhand sleeve grip standing and seated with an elbow entry (Shown here.) into side control, 2 minute rounds of gripfighting with 3 different partners.

Gripfighting was tough against a larger, stronger, more skilled opponent. There’s a blue belt there who probably outweighs me by 40 lbs and it was hard to peel his grips. I messed around and tried some of the judo grips I’ve been looking into and mixed in some clinch basics from the Greco work I’ve done, along with some head pressure, all while trying not to be too dickish with the forehead grinding.

Ground class: Worked closed guard to open guard, both sleeves gripped and feet on hips, maintaining appropriate pressure to keep opponent off-balanced and limiting mobility.

Start in closed guard. Grip both sleeves, then drop one foot to the floor, maintaining pressure against the side. The opposite foot maintains pressure against the back and side so opponent can’t move away or start a pass. The foot that was on the floor resets to the same side hip of the top, then “windshield wipers” the same side arm open. Stretch the top man with grip and foot pressure on the hip. Bring the leg that’s around the back to the same side hip and windshield wiper the arm. Keep pressure via pushing away with hips, out with knees and pulling with arms.

Now for the sweep. We opened one arm with a shin, then slid the opposite foot across to the hip of the arm that was opened, then grabbed the opposite pant leg. Kick to force a sweep or, more likely, an attempt to maintain position by posting an arm. Then drag the person back on top of both legs so he’s off the ground. Kick legs up and out while maintaining grips and roll to knee on belly. The more advanced folks continued the series and eventually rolled their partner into back mount while us noobs just worked the above.

2nd variation – same beginning, but, after getting both feet on the hips, we kicked the leg that had been on the floor out behind the top person, then brought it back and wrapped it around the arm and disrupted balance by doing the kick sweep, then dragged the top person onto our knees so we could roll him over again. When rolling, keep the sleeve gripped and arm trapped between the legs. If you don’t release the arm you get the bicep slicer, then hit side control. Seek a choke by inserting the hand into the collar, thumb down, wrist straight, then use a paper cutting motion with the forearm, keeping the elbow tight to the ribs If the elbow is away from the ribs it often doesn’t result in a choke – just a forearm across the jaw. Here’s a good video of this movement chain, called the Spider Guard – Butterfly Sweep. Kurt Osiander demos the paper cutter choke here. He demos a “spin choke” earlier in the vid that I recognize…I’m pretty sure I got caught in that very same choke at least twice while rolling later on in class!

3rd variation of same beginning – after sweep attempt, wind the leg around the arm and use that leg to pull the person toward you, then kick the leg through, making space to roll into an omo plata. Take care to grab the belt or some gi with the near hand and prevent rolling out while setting the legs, then begin

Omo plata revelation! I finally made them work reliably when I start scooting my butt around the opponent’s head, taking care to stay in close. I was moving further away while butt-scooting, wrecking my leverage.

Open rolling- 3 5 minute rounds. I gassed out and never got my wind. As such, I was ragdolled and couldn’t make anything happen. Even tapped to simple pressure on the diaphragm from side control. Harrumph.

Things to work on, besides “everything”: got side controlled, mounted, knee on belly, rear mount, guard passed like it wasn’t even there, breaking grips, couldn’t pass the opponent’s guard. I’m going to stick with Saulo Ribeiro’s template for now and just work on “survival” for my current level of (in)competence, though I’ll try to work on at least one counter/escape at a time. Speaking of survival, here’s a vid I believe I linked to before from Charlie from the Plaza. Seems relevant! This one is, too.

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