Excellent article series on a rarely-discussed problem – most bad guys give up when you point a gun at them! Now what?

Point Driven Training

Why would we ever make the decision to hold onto, or pin, a potentially violent criminal? As a civilian, we have no responsibility to arrest or detain a criminal. To the contrary, as exposure increases, risk and danger increases.

To catch up, please read the first three parts of this series:

In Extremis Communication, Part 1

In Extremis Communication, Part 2

In Extremis Communication, Part 3

Exposure increases risk for the criminal and it increase risk for the armed citizen.

For the criminal, the less exposure, the less transfer of evidence, the less chance witnesses can observe the crime, and the faster they could get away.  More exposure equals more chance of getting caught. A criminal wants to get in and out as fast as they can. They want to get “paid” and get out. The more exposure (time) the greater chance something could go wrong.

The same is true…

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Jits Notes 1/14/2016 – No Joy in Mudville


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I was informed that there will be no more takedown class.  I am a sad, sad panda.

Takedown Class – Coach drilled us at a quicker pace than usual.  Started with burpees, then sprawls on his count from a low stance while moving in stance.

Partnered up with the Chiropractor – a nickname I gave to a classmate who’s built like a barrel.  Whenever I work with him, I get at least 1 good pop out of my back when he takes me down and winds up atop me.  I got about 6  the last time when we worked single leg counters (IIRC it was a kimura to roll, follow up by rolling into mount.  Could have been a front headlock to a mounted guillotine, though).

We worked armdrags for a minute, then duckunders for a minute.  I kept fumbling the armdrags but the stars must have aligned because I kept hitting duckunders pretty smoothly.  Toward the end I wasn’t blocking the incoming arm and got wrapped up by my partner.

Takedown-a-palooza – 3 minutes to hit whatever takedown you wanted, then switch to be the thrown.  I worked:

Snapdown to double leg with trip (Double leg is called Morote Gari in judo)

Armdrag to Russian tie to Fireman’s Carry (here’s Jimmy Pedro on the Fireman’s aka kata guruma, cuz he’s awesome)

Single leg.  Tried to footsweep and couldn’t get it, so I just grabbed the far ankle and pushed.

Osoto Gari – Gotta admit, this is a favorite.  Seems to work well for me.

Uchi mata – still needs a lot of work, so I hit it a few times.

Body lock takedown into mount

Tani otoshi

My partner, the Chiropractor, hit me with the double leg trip and a fireman’s, as well as some I didn’t work:

Russian tie to inside trip

Hiza Garuma – he really nailed this one.  Very clean throw.

Hip throw aka O Goshi – he botched this a couple of times.  When he finally got it right it was quite a ride!

I’ll drop these here, too:  Jimmy Pedro Secret of Throws, University of Judo – Analysis of Competition Judo

Ground class – warmups.  Still gassing way too quick on these, particularly the reverse shrimp.  Unfamiliar movement, fat ass, and weak core are probably the cause.

Warmup/drilling – 10 leg drag passes, 10 passes to knee on belly, 10 kimuras, 10 triangles, 10 armbars

Technique – Bottom man starts in Carlson 3 position – foot on top man’s upper thigh, knee on his collarbone/neck, same side hand has cross lapel grip.  Other foot on hip, that side’s hand has sleeve grip.

Top man attempts to pass by threading his arm between legs and going for a grip on the bottom thigh in order to smash the leg on his chest and pass.

Bottom man counters by releasing lapel and grabbing sleeve of reaching arm, then squaring back up to top, keeping outward pressure on the arm that had been reaching – its now lassoed.  Kick that lassoing leg up and insert the far leg so its across the waist and hooked on the Top’s opposite hip, swivel to grab under to the far leg if possible.  If not, grab the near leg.  Kick sweep.  If opponent doesn’t fall, mess with his balance by pushing and pulling with the legs, and pushing up and over with the arm grasping the leg.

If the top posts by bringing the sweeping side knee off the ground, bottom slips the same side leg through and hooks the thigh.  Drive up and through to sweep the opponent.

The last item worked was the omoplata from closed guard.

3 rolls, rested 1 round in between each, and done.


Great thoughts from my coach and friend. Since I can usually only get to jits 2x wk without it impacting my work and home life, I need to start drilling. That’s going to be a little tough without partners but there are a lot of drills I can and should be doing, including basic shrimping and bridging.

Point Driven Training


Photo Credit: Pasion (sic) Project

I want to talk about a subject most people don’t understand. It is the key to success, in any endeavor. It takes no talent, minimal IQ or EQ, all it takes is relentlessness.

I have been teaching martial arts since 1982. My typical student, about 90% of students, would show up for class twice a week and do nothing in between. This necessitated going over material for review and slow progress.

The students who progressed the fastest were not the natural athletes or even the brilliant thinkers. They were the ones who worked on the material on “their time”.  They worked the basics more than the average student.

The real high achievers obsessed with grinding out a movement. They performed rep after rep until it was grooved into their nervous system. THIS is the secret to elite performance. Find ways to get reps in. Most…

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Jits Notes 1/12/2016 – I’m back!


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Sorry for my long absence, dear readers!  Holidays, work schedule, the inevitable soft tissue injuries made for large gaps in the jits class attendance, which my coach and friend pointed out to me in his usual subtle manner!

Takedown class – new guy in class, so was pretty mellow.  Backfalls and sprawls started things out.  We then moved to snatch doubles, snatch singles, and a snapdown series.  We worked arm drags and duckunders to take the back.  For the technique drill, we stuck to the snatch double with the rear leg coming around for a trip.

Ground class – usual warmups, drilled snatch guard pass, pass to knee on belly, stuff one arm to diamond guard, then closed guard to arm bar.  As usual, drills went too fast to pick up fine points, but I did get some good stuff on the arm bar:  thread hand between arms to grab the sleeve of the arm you want to bar, other hand on opposite lapel.  Release guard and place foot on the same side of the soon-to-be-barred arm, push off and drag the seized arm across the chest, then swing that leg up and around the head.  Now release the lapel, and complete the arm bar.

Technique – Being in closed guard.  Move to Carlson 3 (crossgrip lapel, other hand on same-side sleeve pulling with elbow high, leg on same side that grips lapel has foot on same side thigh and knee in chest/throat, leg on the side that grips the sleeve is on the hip and pushing.  The push-pull generated drives the knee into the throat.  Opponent attempts to thread free arm under top leg and grips the bottom leg to smash the top leg down and pass.  Bottom blocks attempt by removing lapel grip and grabbing sleeve of threading arm.  Square up to top man, then release the other sleeve, swivel closer and grab a pant leg – reach under if possible, or grab the outside leg.  Swing former top knee toward the mat and lift with the pant-grabbing hand at the same time, forcing a sweep.  You can break posture/balance if necessary by kicking one leg then sweeping the opposite way.  Roll forward onto opponent and take side control, being careful of the incidental bicep slicer that occurs due to the threading arm being stuck under the top leg.  Here’s a good video featuring Kron Gracie showing some of the dynamics of this kind of cross grip guard – I see my coaches doing it to people, including me, fairly often.

Rolls – Rolled with a purple belt who snatched my lapels again.  The purple belt guys seem to love that worm guard!  I applied a cross face a couple of times but never really got past his guard.  Go figure, since he was larger, stronger, and a lot more skilled than I was!

Rested for 1 round, then rolled with a blue – got arm dragged to a rear naked choke right off the bat – I saw it coming but didn’t move fast enough to counter it.  Also got caught under the kesa getame/side control deal again and eventually tapped to a kimura.  I was able to recover guard several times, though, so that’s an improvement!

Here’s a list of resources that looked relevant to today’s Jits Notes:

Stephan Kesting – cross grip counters

Kron Gracie’s 3 pronged cross grip approach
Demian Maia – Defending the Guard Pass – since people are rolling right through mine…

Leandro Lo Guard breakdown by Espen Mathiesen

Another Leandro Guard breakdown, by BJJ scout.  This is typical of what I see one coach in particular doing at my gym.

Jimmy Pedro – Basic Grip Break – since I keep having issues with grips…
Jimmy Pedro – Takedowns against “tight” opponents – Just something for me to play with later.  It also fascinates me as I see this all over in the ba gua forms I learned and had no real idea of how to use it at the time.

Collar drag from sitting guard – I might be able to use this one!

Defenses against the Evil that is Worm Guard:

Stephan Kesting – Worm Guard Passing

BJJ immersion – 3 Worm Guard Counters

Stephan Kesting’s Open Guard vs. Standing Opponents Roadmap

Tracking, not ants saved this man’s life…

I’ve taken a survival class with BigPigOutdoors before and highly recommend them.

BigPig Blog


Reg Foggerdy was close to death when this picture was taken. While camel hunting in Western Australia, he got lost without any gear and spent the next six days suffering. In typical media fashion, he has been dubbed the “Antman” because he ate a few ants during his ordeal, and news titles like this littered my news feed:

‘I’d given up:’ Man who survived in outback by eating ants recounts ordeal

Australian ‘ant man’ survived outback ordeal by copying Bear Grylls

The stories, fed by a culture of survival un-reality shows, focus on the folllowing aspect:

“But the Ant Man wasn’t gone. After four days wandering at night and lying under trees during the hot days, he remembered watching survival shows. He found a nest of black ants and forced himself to eat them; 12 at first, then 18 the next day.”

What the news doesn’t…

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Jits Class Notes – 10/29 Omoplata madness!!!!


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Late for class – had to drop the better half of the Obsession Engine off to deliver a presentation.

Takedown class – Russian ties continues – this time beginning from a double grip with one hand on the wrist and the other clamping the upper arm near the shoulder instead of the hands figure 4-ing the arm like last time. Largely a review of Tuesday’s material – drop to knee, windshield wiper opponent’s near leg and press in to drop him, pin arm to mat and maneuver for side control and darce choke; fireman’s carry, drop to knee and opponent pushes trapped leg back, leaving opening for an ankle pick. I asked about the validity of a waki gatame takedown from the standing position but instructor didn’t think it was viable – if the opponent posts it leaves the back vulnerable. I see his point. Looks like it might be viable from kneeling positions, but there might be too much opportunity to weasel out from standing.

Ground class – After usual warmups, including me doing the technical standup the correct way and still not being able to do a reverse shrimp to save my life, we moved into Takedown-a-palooza – about 5 or maybe 10 minutes of “hit any takedown you want” as a partner drill. The fireman’s carry off a Russian tie, bodylock and dump, and osoto gari worked like a charm. I forgot to try uchi mata, brainfarted the lateral drop so didn’t attempt it, and couldn’t make the lapel drag throw work well. I think that throw is always going to be tricky unless if the opponent posts his far hand – if he collapses to his elbow he’ll be a beat behind.

Techniques – Omoplata from guard. Foot opposite the side your going to move to goes to the hip to help turn the body. Grab a pantleg and flatten out opponent to avoid counters and escapes. Roll up into a “cheerleader sit” position and grab opposite side, seatbelt the shoulder, or grab the head for leverage and rock forward to crank the shoulder. This video is pretty cool as it shows how important making space is to getting the lock on.

Omoplata from mount. Opponent reaches up – in this case we hugged the top man around the midsection. Pick an arm and overhook it, pulling it up and posting the same side leg. The opposite hand presses his face away while pulling. We worked a number of techniques from this series as well.

3 rolls…might go for 2, then skip one to rest, then 1 more next time just to start bumping my cardiac training up. It seems like 4 (5?) 5 minute rolls with a minute in between is the norm. I might as well stay and watch the rolls, too, instead of cutting out early. I might just learn something!

1st roll – a purple belt. Pretty cool guy that I partnered with through the technique portion. A comment was made that when I keep my elbows in when my opponent was going for spider guard that he couldn’t get some of the techniques he wanted off. I think the folks I know in law enforcement might call that a “clue”! Got guillotined when I attempted a single against a knee on belly…I think I used the wrong technique again. Let’s have a look at what I was trying to do again.

2nd roll with a white belt had a large portion devoted to me defending from a kimura attempt. The guy wasn’t strong, skillful, or large enough so I was able to brute force my way and stalemate most of his attempts. Not exactly a showcase of skill on my part, but it did make for a pretty good workout.

3rd roll – another purple belt. This guy pulled the “rope him up with his gi” stuff and probably hit an Americana on me about 73 times in 5 minutes. That seems to happen a lot more when I’m trying to pass an open guard player – I start to open up trying to pass the guard and get sucked right into a trap.

I’m still not having a lot of luck, so let’s review again:

Grip fighting – this one’s from White Belt BJJ and the instructor, Chewie, is putting out good info here.

Kesting, as usual – 4 tips to pass any guard

Some good gripfighting stuff from Kesting

Saulo Ribeiro – Guard Passing

Ryan Hall looks to have a LOT of good material.

Ryan Hall on Guard Passing.

Another basic guard passing vid with several techniques.

Mount escapes – this is similar to the escape I learned but looks like it can be applied when the mount is higher up – I’m having trouble hooking the leg at times. I think part of the problem is me not keeping one elbow down and the mounted opponent creeping too high up on my torso. This is almost the same escape I learned in class. We were told to keep one elbow on the mat to block the knee but at least one hand up to block collar access, though. I see that she mentions that the foot is “light” probably because of a hip buck. I often try this when someone’s sitting in good posture and it doesn’t work so well.

Here are some more mount escape basics. They haven’t worked well for me in the past but that’s at least partially because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.

Jits Notes – 10/27/2015


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Warmed up by having a classmate show me how to reverse shrimp. I had it there for a couple seconds. Lost it again when we did the ground class warmups…there’s a brown belt there who hadn’t seen it before coming to this school either and was just as lost, so I don’t feel all that bad!

Takedown class:

Warmups – stay in wrestling stance, move around. Alternated sprawls and shoots on command. If you didn’t come back to wrestling stance it was pushups time! Thighs burned out pretty quick from the shoots – I think some higher volume squats and lunges might be in order, as the running I’ve done all spring and summer didn’t carry over.

Techniques – snapdown series to double leg with trip, then come to side control, just like last Tuesday.

Russian tie – entry similar to arm drag – cross grip sleeve, step to t position. Bring free arm under his grabbed limb and monkey grip wrist. Bend and place upper arm and shoulder against the back of his upper arm and bend him.

Next, Russian tie to ouchi gari. You can hit it from the side of the trapped arm and drive through. Bring the weight to the leg nearest the trapped arm by stepping forward. Place the foot nearest the leg between the feet and drop to one knee. Swivel the leg in to trap the foot, then lean and drive to into opponent. Keep the arm trapped, put weight on the bottom’s torso and swivel to side control while keeping weight on toes as you spin into place. An option presented was to shoot the arm closest to the hips through and cup the neck, palm up, then thread the arm that was still gripping the sleeve in for a darce choke. Squeeze the elbows to finish. This is the exact same technique sequence.

We did a throw from the Russian tie as well. Get the tie, move the hand nearest his shoulder to your opposite shoulder to lock his upper arm in place, move opponent forward, then reverse your motion, spinning to face the opposite way he is, throw his arm behind you as you drop into a sidefall. Roll to side control. This is almost the same technique, but I’m seeing some slight variation on them bending the arm and them placing it on the chest as opposed to pushing it through and behind.

For our last technique, we covered the Russian tie to the fireman’s carry. It went down just like this. If you move the opponent forward and/or put downward pressure on his arm he’ll often take a compensating step forward. If it’s done with the leg opposite the side you’re on that’s an open door to the fireman’s carry.

Ground class: Standard warmups, was taken aside and shown the correct technical standup – apparently people were omitting the kick/push/jam part of the pendulum action, and I followed along with the crowd. Reverse shrimping was a fail as well – I had the motion down for a minute or so before the takedown class, but couldn’t get my groove on during warmups.

Techniques – Crossmount into kimura submission. Start in side control. Press opponent’s far side wrist into his pelvis by grabbing his wrist and placing weight on it. Base with other hand. Shoot to the I position and begin to wriggle basing hand under the far arm. Lift chest quickly and shoot hand in to monkey grip your own wrist. Secure the hand position – both hands cupping solidly. Wriggle back to cross position. “Vibrate” opponent’s far arm off his body and onto the mat. Take up slack of his far arm until it is toward his shoulder. Crank the arm into kimura by leaning slightly back – rolling weight toward his hips can allow him to sit up and escape. This probably won’t work as flexibility will allow him to endure this limited range of motion, so switch legs and step over head, then reapply kimura. I’m thus far unable to find video of this exact sequence, but here, at least is a clip that incorporates some of it. He steps directly over the head without a leg switch – this is possible, but flexibility might be an issue.

The next technique was a setup for the previous technique. Take side control. Slip hand that’s around head into collar, behind neck, thumb in. Jump to pseudo knee on belly. Plant kneecap on center of sternum and pull up collar. Grab pants with other hand if that’s not enough. Extreme discomfort will make bottom man push knee of sternum. Point toes of the leg straight out behind and allow push to shove knee off belly and arm to move across belly. Collapse down into sidemount and seize the wrist. Continue as above.

We also worked some of last week’s material – Americana, the choke from sidemount moving to north south, and then the head and arm triangle.

Rolls – Can’t pass guard. Get stuck in mount and can’t make the mount escape work, hit kesagetame and got rolled, caught under side control. This quote of Ferdinand Foch seems relevant: ” My centre is giving way, my right is retreating. Situation excellent, I am attacking.”

Got collar choked a few times, can’t break grips, and seem to be keeping my elbows too open, particularly against open guard players – when I’m in closed guard people often comment on my defense. That seems to fall apart against the open guard guys – probably due to trying to mount an offense and not really knowing how.

Hit half guard a few times on the 3rd roll and wasn’t able to take the back or sweep – just continually threaten. At least there’s that!