Friday, July 31, 2015

"Secret Session" at Langes MMA with Gui Mendes

Friday, 31st July 2015


The seminar followed a sequence:
  • Pull de la Riva guard
  • He pushes the front leg down and steps over in an attempt to pass
  • You counter with reverse de la Riva and recover de la Riva
  • Sweep him onto his hip and berimbolo to the back
  • Correct use of the seat belt grip from the back to secure the cross collar grips
  • Change up from the cross collar choke to triangle from the back and finish

Pull de la Riva guard


Gui prefers to pull guard and control the ankle because it restricts your opponent's ability to move from side to side. Restricting side to side movement makes passing the guard much harder.

Grab his R sleeve with your L and his collar with your R. R foot goes to the hip as you sit, wrap your L leg around his R in a de la Riva hook, and grab his R ankle with your L hand. Grab the ankle not the pants, so that you do not have to lock the grip on constantly and burn it out.

Your R hand should grab his R collar (cross grip).

Edit: It may make sense to start the guard pull with the R grip on his L collar (parallel grip to stop him getting your back while standing) and then switch to the R/cross collar during or immediately after the guard pull.

R foot goes to his hip, knee, or bicep.

He will attempt to pass by pushing your R leg down and stepping over it, perhaps then moving to a cross knee pass.

Counter the leg push and step over


Your grips on his ankle and collar do not change.

Your R hook now goes behind his L thigh for the reverse de la Riva hook. Ball up and roll backwards onto your shoulders, using the R hook to in effect throw him over your R shoulder.

Edit: Use everything you can to knock him over - ball up and use your back, the momentum of the roll, quads, everything you can in your anterior chain. (Next morning) I have a slightly pulled muscle in my thigh or hip flexor which I feel resulted from trying to do this with too much hip flexor and thigh and not enough of the rest.

He should at least post on the floor with both hands. Spin back and re-establish the regular de la Riva guard. Your R foot can go to his L bicep, or ...

Sweep his onto his R hip


Re-establish your de la Riva guard as above, but now roll back to your left, escape your hips to the R, put your R foot on his R hip and knock him over onto his butt and R hip.

Edit: The transitions should be explosive. The rest, not so much.

Berimbolo to the back


Invert from here ....

This video goes into the details of the berimbolo as the Mendes brothers perform it far better than I could in words. The only major difference to what we did at the seminar is that he grabs the belt rather than the collar (and the video features Rafa, not Gui). But the differences otherwise are pretty minimal. And you can see how close the collar is to the belt at the beginning of the technique.



Main points I got from today is to pull down hard on the collar to keep him close, do not release the grips except when you need to near the end, try and keep your chest close to him when you finish the roll, and after you have changed your grip from his R to his L ankle, to keep that grip and jam your L hook into the back of his L leg so he can neither turn back toward you or get away. Then you can establish your seat belt grip and back control.

Seat belt grip from the back


Gui likes to grab the open hand of the arm around the neck with the hand that goes under the arm on top. So, if you have the seat belt grip with your L arm over his L shoulder and your R arm under his R armpit, you should grip the blade of your L hand with your R. He will try to pry off the top hand, your R, with his hands, and when he does the L hand is free to choke, either rear naked or grabbing the collar.

Gui will use that grip to get his L thumb inside the guy's R lapel, so that when he peels off the R hand your L hand can zip straight up his R lapel to his neck, ready to choke.

Cross collar choke, switch to the triangle to the back


You have the grips for the cross collar choke from the back. Assume The L hand is over the shoulder with the thumb in the R collar, the R arm under his R armpit gripping his L collar. Stay tight. You could choke from here.

Put your L foot on his hip. Then use it to overhook his L arm. Post your L hand on the floor. Put your R foot on the floor and escape your hips to your R, grab your L ankle with your R hand and slide the crook of your R knee up to his neck and pull the L foot up near his R armpit. Triangle off the L foot with the back of your R knee and hide your R foot next to his R hip.

Finish by grabbing his R elbow and lying back, pulling the elbow as if performing an armbar to crank his shoulder. You can also do a wristlock on his R hand, or reach for his R leg and pull back for a legbar.

This video is not exactly the same technique but is quite similar and shows the elbow pull finish:




Drills and exercises


Gui encouraged us to do plenty of drilling in guard retention, e.g. trying to retain and recover a particular guard for a minute at a time while your partner tries to pass. Just retain the guard, no sweeps or submissions. Gradually increase the time.

Confidence with your guard will make you strong and confident at Jiu jitsu.

We also did a drill where you have your partner's back with the seat belt grip. No hooks. He rolls, hip escapes, etc, and tries to get out for a minute while you try to keep him there. You can use hooks behind his thighs but not in front. After a minute, swap places with your partner. Do several rounds.

Gui also encouraged us to practice moving around, side to side, etc. in as low a stance as possible, butt next to our heels, so as to leave no space for passing and to practice balance.



Saturday, July 18, 2015

Resources for Lifetime Jiu Jitsu Training, Flow Rolling etc.

I put this together for my Wing Chun instructor and BJJ Brown Belt, Rick Spain, as an adjunct to efforts he made to make the stand up sparring in his academy more productive in terms of skill development, and less likely to result in injuries, current and prospective students being scared off, and so forth.

Methods of Rolling

  • Blindfolded or with eyes closed
  • Roll with a sip of water retained in your mouth - great for developing effective nasal and diaphragmmatic breathing patterns
  • Roll with one hand in your belt - arm goes inside the belt and hand grabs the two ends
  • Roll with both hands inside the belt
  • Roll with senior coaching junior - stopping the action when junior makes a mistake or misses an opportunity
  • Roll with senior practising on junior - stopping reversing repeating the action when senior wants to work on a technique or correct a mistake
  • Situational rolling, starting in a specific position with a specific objective, e.g. start in De La Riva guard, the passer trying to pass the guard, the guard guy trying to get the back

In all of this, remember it is a drill. Not a deathmatch. There are no prizes and no one is keeping score.

Try to use it as a cooperative drill more often than not. If you are bigger or better than your sparmate, let them get out occasionally, or work towards a sweep or submission. Work primarily on defense.

A few rounds in full competition mode every now and then are necessary for cardio and to keep your defense tight. But probably no more than 10% of your sparring and certainly less than half ... ramp it it up a bit if you are preparing for a comp, but ... too hard all the time leads only to injury and overtraining.

It is about learning, not winning and losing. If anything, err on the side of not going hard enough rather than going too hard.

Article by Steve Maxwell  - Jiu Jitsu and the Mature Athlete

Mainly about Jiu Jitsu, but applicable to other martial arts. Basically train smart so you CAN do it after age 60, 70,80, ... rather than being too banged up to do anything physical effectively when you reach 40.

Keep it playful - by Rener and Ryron Gracie




The Art of Sparring - same two guys


5 Rules to Roll Till 95 - same guys




How to learn slow rolling in BJJ - a progression to get you into a form of slow rolling which means you can literally wrestle and learn for hours without getting exhausted or injured. If you watch nothing else, watch this.


Rolling with the Opposite Sex - By Ryron and Eve Gracie. This is LONG and gets a bit nicey-nice to the threshold of embarrassment in parts, but does have some good insights into the male/female dynamic on the mat, including quite a few issues I hadn't considered before. Mainly for instructors, but all can benefit.


The Spirit of Jiu Jitsu. This is just an awesomely cool Jiu Jitsu documentary. It appears it was made pretty soon after Nic Gregoriades went to Peru and drank Ayahuasca (which is legal! No freak outs please) so it is a bit out there ... in a good way. There is good info on flow rolling and good footage of it being demonstrated. Inspirational.



This is off topic, but ... this is an excellent doco on the history and development of Jiu Jitsu in Southern California. Really great.


This is not a video. This is advice from Kurt Osiander.