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Old 03-18-2008, 05:40 PM   #141 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
I've been playing around with variations of the Brabo choke for a long time and I just thought I'd throw out some observations I've had about the way in which the submission is made most effective.

If anyone has any questions about how the technique works, just throw them out there. It's a little bit more of an advanced submission, so I understand people not knowing, and the details that I'm pointing out won't make sense unless you know what the move is.

First, I've found that putting your opponent on his back destroys the choke. While I initially thought it might improve leverage, it instead gives your opponent the opportunity to put his back on the floor and flatten out, causing you to lose the choke. Instead, it is better to roll your opponent the other way, trying to stretch the spine, as with a guillotine.

Second, I've found that it's possible, against particularly willful opponents (and even more so in competition) to pull guard and really finish the move with a full fledged powerchoke. (for those who don't know what that is, that's just fancy language for a choke that puts your opponent to sleep quickly and without cranking the neck to stretch the arteries)

If I'm going back into guard, I tend to pull it while my opponent is on their side, and let them try and get up (if they can't, it's still fine).

Just a few notes on executing the technique. A little sidebar on the guardpulling, not that I said "particularly willful," because the brabo choke is a pretty powerful move without increasing the leverage, and with your opponents arm trapped they might have trouble tapping. We wary of your opponent passing out, it's happened more than once to me already.
When I try the brabo choke on guys that have real thick shoulders, I have a hard time finishing it (eventually I transition to an arm-in guillotine) because even if I sink the choking arm in deep I still have a hard time reaching my own bicep on my other arm. Any suggestions?

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Recently, I was at a kid's tournament to coach the kids from my BJJ school, one of whom was my brother (he won his division, submitted one kid and beat the other like 13-0). I realized, watching the kids division, that there's a really common mistake between alot of newer grapplers, and it's one that I make alot too, and have been trying to fix in my training.

90% of winning a grappling match is waiting for you opponent to make a mistake so that you can capitalize. Hooking a leg or an arm doesn't just happen, you have to know what your looking for, and be patient enough to find it.

It seems that alot of grapplers just want to attack and finish as quickly as they can, but they end up, even if they win, throwing up a sloppy submission that could have been alot better if they had waited for a little more arm extension or neck offering from their opponent.

A student of Marcelo Garcia's that I was working with at a seminar told me that one of the things Marcelo teaches is: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." While it seems like nothing is ever smooth in grappling, if you watch the upper echelon of grapplers, you find that their success is all about waiting for the right moment to finish. It's how Nogueira beat Bob Sapp (though he sustained alot of damage during that fight) and it's how Fedor has picked up all of his submission wins.

It's not just about submissions either. Carlos Valente once told one of his students that I was competing against: "If he gets you in a bad spot, just wait. He'll make a mistake and you can get out. If he's stubborn, be patient. He'll do something stupid."

The more I thought about that, the more I've tried to practice it with my training partners. Letting them get me in side control and waiting for them to lift a hip up to go for the mount or the armbar is a practice in patience, so is waiting for them to lighten up from the mount.

Whatever position your in, don't be afraid to play the waiting game. It's great to be able to draw the mistakes, but make sure that you have control of the situation, be patient enough to make sure that where you are is where you want to be, and then finish. You can win from anywhere (I've finished with gogoplatas from the bottom of side control and heel hooks while mounted), but you have to make sure that your circumstances allow you to pull that victory out, and it's fine to take your time getting them to fit.
I just really like this post.
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Old 03-20-2008, 02:39 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufio.e0 View Post
When I try the brabo choke on guys that have real thick shoulders, I have a hard time finishing it (eventually I transition to an arm-in guillotine) because even if I sink the choking arm in deep I still have a hard time reaching my own bicep on my other arm. Any suggestions?
Yeah, the firs thing that comes to mind is to drop your upper body weight down in a sprawl position. Alot of people make the mistake of going straight to the side and trying to walk towards their opponent to finisht the choke before they have really secured the hold, and then this gets to be a problem, because you can't cinch up the choke as your tightening it with the legs, you can only work one at a time unless you're a lot stronger than your opponent.

If you sprawl your bodyweight out on your opponent and really secure the grip on your bicept first, making the creation of that lock around the head and the shoulder (what I call the "brabo position" that comes before the sweep and/or choke) before you go to roll your opponent, then I think that will really help you out.

Alot of people, especially when they're sparring, go really fast trying to catch this move, or even something simpler like a guillotine or a kimura, and they don't really establish the grip before they try to get to the finishing position. That is a huge mistake, and while it can be corrected some of the time, as you point out, if it's a big strong guy, that's not happening.


Quote:
I just really like this post.
If you like it, rep it. And, again, ruf, feel free to ask questions. They help me as much as they help you because they make me think about the techniques.
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Old 03-21-2008, 11:16 AM   #143 (permalink)
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Our class is getting ready for NAGA coming through in May, this will be my first tournament so I'm stoked. Anyway, in preparation we grappled shirtless for the first time last night and it was a very different game. The only submissions I was able to pull off were a triangle and a guillotine... but at multiple times I had: a brabo choke, an anaconda, an armbar, and even a simple keylock. All of which I lost either because the opponent was able to slip out or because I was too slick to secure the hold. What's your take on grappling shirtless or with underarmor (i'll be in the beginner's no-gi group)?

Also, at what point do you tap to a heel hook? I usually tap when I feel the pressure in my knee but I feel like a total wuss tapping before there's any pain... is there any alternative to that other than tapping when the ACL tears?

Oh, and another question: what kind of takedowns do you prefer in grappling tournaments (i'm really uncomfortable shooting in when the opponent is as low as they'll be in NAGA, because we usually start from standing)? Thanks so much man.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:15 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Alright, this is good stuff. Now I sort of wish I was going to NAGA this year. I'll be missing it because I'm focussing on bulking up and don't want to get distracted by competitions where I'd have to cut weight and do that other stuff. Still, it's a fun competition.

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Originally Posted by rufio.e0 View Post
Our class is getting ready for NAGA coming through in May, this will be my first tournament so I'm stoked. Anyway, in preparation we grappled shirtless for the first time last night and it was a very different game. The only submissions I was able to pull off were a triangle and a guillotine... but at multiple times I had: a brabo choke, an anaconda, an armbar, and even a simple keylock. All of which I lost either because the opponent was able to slip out or because I was too slick to secure the hold. What's your take on grappling shirtless or with underarmor (i'll be in the beginner's no-gi group)?
I always use a rashguard in training (like underarmor, which I've found, personally, to be the best) because I don't like having mat burn after trying to roll hard off of my back, and that happens alot because I do alot of sitting up and going back down and that causes irritation. If you have any problems with that, I usually just make a point of washing really well and it tends to go away in a couple of days.

As far as my thoughts on grappling no-gi, I really suggest attacking from the bottom from what I call and "up" position. Most people will try and go down and go to a closed guard, and they spend alot of time trying to pull their opponent down on top of them. In no-gi, this is alot harder than in gi grappling because you find that you don't have the nice cloth wrist grips and lapels to break down your opponent's posture.

In order to remedy this I push my opponent's hands off of me (which is usually pretty easy, given that they don't have a belt or lapel to hold on to) and sit up to attack the hip sweep, kimura and guillotine. It also gives me a great opportunity to attack scizzorsweeps and loop sweeps if they don't react well to the distance.

If they try and hammer it back down, then there's really no substitute for the rubber guard. Among alot of BJJ guys, the rubber guard is still getting overlooked, but in no-gi, there's really no substitute for the kind of control it gives you. I would suggest going on to youtube and checking out some of Eddie's seminars on the rubber guard. This makes it alot easier to set up a triangle and omoplata (or even gogoplatas) without risking alot of position from the pass. Still it requires alot of practice.

As for attacking from the top, I feel like the standup passes and the scoop passes are really the best against a closed guard game. The standup pass sets up alot of my ankle and foot locks and the scoop passes allow me to smash my opponent into a really uncomfortable position.

Attacking from sidecontrol is more or less the same for me. I rarely use the lapel chokes. I'll make a post later today, ruf, on mobility from side control, though I've talked about it a little already in my log. There are lots of good mobility practices that I do that really help and give me the opportunity to set up North/South chokes, kimuras, armericanas, armbars and everything else you can think of.

As far as the spider guard goes, I don't suggest it in no-gi, and the reason for that is that without MMA gloves on and some serious practice (like, years of doing the spider guard in no-gi) it's going to be really easy for your opponent to get a hand free and pass.

The butterfly guard is one of the most underrated positions in no-gi, and I use it to set up sweeps all the time, as well as the brabo choke and guillotine sweeps (I hold on to the guillotine and finish in the mount). The half guard is also, in my opinion, very underrated, especially at the beginniner level.

If you want individual pointers on any of the positions, I'll be happy to walk you through my sequences.


Quote:
Also, at what point do you tap to a heel hook? I usually tap when I feel the pressure in my knee but I feel like a total wuss tapping before there's any pain... is there any alternative to that other than tapping when the ACL tears?
In training, I tap early. I don't want my foot to break or my muscles to tear, because that would put me out of commission for a while, and a sparring match is not worth it.

In competition, I do tend to wait until it starts hurting a little (though I've never really been caught in one in a match, so this is speculative) to give myself time to work my way out of it. That said, I think that it's important to tap soon with that move, as soon as you start feeling the pain, to minimize that damage.


Quote:
Oh, and another question: what kind of takedowns do you prefer in grappling tournaments (i'm really uncomfortable shooting in when the opponent is as low as they'll be in NAGA, because we usually start from standing)? Thanks so much man.
Sure. I usually try and work my way into the clinch. I'm not as comfortable with the open-range shots, really in any scenario, because I really don't like getting sprawled on.

The one's that I've worked alot on are what I call "back door" takedowns. They're basically sweeps off of the guard pull that you'll get 2 points for, whether it's scored as a takedown or a sweep. My favorites of these are the over-the-shoulder butterfly sweep from guard pull and the scizzor sweep from guard pull.

A straight Greco takedown also works really well for me, as does Jeff Monson's half-guard pull to sweep.

As far as actually takedowns from standing, I'd check out seio nage, hip throw and fireman's carry. Those are the ones that have worked the best for me in no-gi competition. Again, though, all of these are out of the clinch.
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:55 AM   #145 (permalink)
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A Quick Anecdote From Pan Ams

So, I was watching the first day of Pan Ams today (I went to support a few of my teammates that went down, but most of our guys will be competing later this weekend, and I'll unfortunately have to miss that), and I realized two things.

The first is that winning the match (as my coach explained to me) is what's important, not smashing the other guy. If you get a submission, great, but if you tire yourself out and you've still got two more matches left, you've screwed yourself.

I learned that when one of the guys from my gym beat his opponent 21-0 and came off the mat and my coach yelled at him because he was sweating and breathing heavily when he didn't have to be.

The second is that all of the great guys out there are just people, and it's cool to go up and talk to them. I spent twenty minutes talking to Rey Diogo (and two of his blackbelts) about how he does the armdrag in order to take the back.
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Old 03-29-2008, 11:35 AM   #146 (permalink)
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So, a few thoughts while getting ready for NAGA. I was weighing 230 and now I'm down to 220. I thought if I could make it to 210 then I might be able to cut to 200. However, I'm concerned because I've never cut weight before (I was just gonna see how I handled it next weekend). I wanted to compete at cruiserweight because I know I'd be going against so much stronger competition at heavyweight, but we'll see how the trial run goes next weekend. What routine do you follow for cutting weight?

I've been working like crazy trying to get ready for NAGA, but I'm debating just competing at heavyweight (because I know I'd be fresh). However, I am the biggest guy in our gym, so it's difficult to practice with people the right size. I really do just want to have fun, I don't have any lofty aspirations of winning because I know I just barely fit into my experience category (6 months - 2 years, I've been going 8 months). So I don't have expectations of winning, I just don't want to be the worst. Any thoughts/comments?
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Old 03-29-2008, 12:30 PM   #147 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufio.e0 View Post
So, a few thoughts while getting ready for NAGA. I was weighing 230 and now I'm down to 220. I thought if I could make it to 210 then I might be able to cut to 200. However, I'm concerned because I've never cut weight before (I was just gonna see how I handled it next weekend). I wanted to compete at cruiserweight because I know I'd be going against so much stronger competition at heavyweight, but we'll see how the trial run goes next weekend. What routine do you follow for cutting weight?
My particular routine is not that intense, though I usually try and cut 8-10 pounds for competition. The one I really suggest is using distilled water, at least as step one, because it doesn't require dehydrating yourself and it allows you to lose alot of weight very, very quickly.

The other thing I do is, of course, the standard dehydration method, but I generally grab a couple of power drinks for right after I weigh in. (I recommend this new stuff I'm trying out, both with training and in comps, called FRS)

At your size, I get the feeling ten pounds isn't going to be as hard as you think. It's only 5 percent of your bodyweight, where it's about 7.5 percent for me. Still, you should definitely do a dry run to make sure.


Quote:
I've been working like crazy trying to get ready for NAGA, but I'm debating just competing at heavyweight (because I know I'd be fresh). However, I am the biggest guy in our gym, so it's difficult to practice with people the right size. I really do just want to have fun, I don't have any lofty aspirations of winning because I know I just barely fit into my experience category (6 months - 2 years, I've been going 8 months). So I don't have expectations of winning, I just don't want to be the worst. Any thoughts/comments?
The first thing that's important for you to remember is that almost all heavyweights (except those professionals who make a point of going somewhere where they have lots of training partners) experience this problem. I train with a guy named Julio who's a little bit bigger than you, but he has the same problem with confidence in competition, because there just isn't anyone around our school who gives him the right kind of matchup where he feels he's experienced dealing with a heavyweight before.

If you feel you're going to be better off at heavyweight, then I'd go for it.

I think that you shouldn't cop out of competing at cruiserweight if you can make the cut, because I think that you'd do very well there, and I think that you'll be a smaller heavyweight (which only aggravates your problem).

I'm confident that you can make the weight cut, and I do think that you would be more comfortable and feel more prepared as a cruiserweight. Talk to your instructor about the possibility of bulking up muscularly and doing heavyweight competitions in the future, if that's what you want to do, but, especially for your first competition, it's important to feel like you are going to be strong, not like you're not really sure what you're in for.

Best of luck. Hope that was helpful.
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Old 04-03-2008, 03:19 PM   #148 (permalink)
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So when rolling the other night something dawned on me. After a scramble my opponent ended up in an omo plata, but I had no control over his body and he was concerned with getting his arm back. Eventually I lost the arm and there was another scramble, but it seems pretty common for me to be in the position to for an omoplata but something is off. While I was jogging I was thinking about what else I could do from that position (where his arm was trapped but I didn't have control of his body or wrist control really).

I'm gonna try to get in that position tonight and transition to a bicep slicer. Since his obvious concern is going to be the arm I'm going to give him his wrist back (and letting him retain his posture) and block the bend of his arm to transition to a bicep slicer.
From this:
270999854_ae75531ca4.jpg
To this:
bicep slicer.gif

What are some of your favorite unexpected transitions? Any thoughts on this one?
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Old 04-04-2008, 08:03 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufio.e0 View Post
So when rolling the other night something dawned on me. After a scramble my opponent ended up in an omo plata, but I had no control over his body and he was concerned with getting his arm back. Eventually I lost the arm and there was another scramble, but it seems pretty common for me to be in the position to for an omoplata but something is off. While I was jogging I was thinking about what else I could do from that position (where his arm was trapped but I didn't have control of his body or wrist control really).

I'm gonna try to get in that position tonight and transition to a bicep slicer. Since his obvious concern is going to be the arm I'm going to give him his wrist back (and letting him retain his posture) and block the bend of his arm to transition to a bicep slicer.
From this:
Attachment 1333
To this:
Attachment 1334

What are some of your favorite unexpected transitions? Any thoughts on this one?
This transition is fine, but I perfer to work a little while for the omoplata. Usually I use the belt to pull myself up and take control of the body, but if I'm doing no-gi I work for the submission with a grip on the leg (like the one in your picture) and then look for a few transitions that work well from that position.

Personally, I find that hooking the leg as in the picture and doing a barrell roll puts you on top and if I rotate my hips really quickly I can pull an armbar (or the bicept slicer shown in that pick). If I move my legs quickly, I find I can get an arm isolation side control, which is a good spot for me.

There's also a toe hold from the omoplata position, if you've got substantial control of the arm with your legs.

Sometimes, I release the arm grip and transition to the kneebar by shortening my legs up (pulling my knees to my chest).

As for favorite transitions, I like the transition from gogoplata to armbar that no one ever seems to use. I like the transition from arm triangle to ezequial choke. There are a few I've listed other places on this thread.
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Old 04-06-2008, 12:00 PM   #150 (permalink)
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i love all these posts ironman. i just recently found your logs and ive been reading all of them. i am not a fighter just yet, but i have been trying to get into it. all of your posts help alot. thanks
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