Saturday, November 21, 2015

Richard Norton seminar 21 November 2015


Held at George Adams' gym in West Pennant Hills.

Emphasis on fundamentals.

Basic guard pass

Grip both collars with R hand, turn the fist up, elbow in, "packing" the R shoulder. L hand is on the hip, gripping the material of the pants, driving down. Some of your bodyweight should be on the L hand. Holding the hip down prevents armbars and triangles.

L knee moves out to the side, and your bodyweight with it. This will make it difficult for him to sweep you to your R when you bring your R knee to the centre. Look UP, not at him, for proper posture. Sit back to break his ankle grip. Underhook his R leg, get the calf on your shoulder, L hand coming across to keep his leg held tight. Stack him up on his neck, L hand driving deep into his collar, R hand coming out to grip his belt behind him near his R hip. You may be able to forearm choke him here or at least  threaten him with it. Hips low, sprawl in him. Slide the L elbow on the far side of his neck and push his head back toward you with it. R hand covers his hip. Consolidate side control.

Double under pass

Break open the closed guard as before. Scoop both arms under his legs and get a tight gable grip as low as possible around the tops of his thighs / hips. Jump to your feet and stack him. Your L foot should be in line with his shoulders out to the L, your R knee in his back keeping him stacked. L hand in the collar for a forearm choke, R hand grabs his belt from behind. Drive your L knee into the side of his R hip and use your R foot to scoot around clockwise, keeping his hips pinned between the knee and the belt grip until you are ready to flatten him out and get side control as above.

Instead of using the knee to flatten him out, you can use the belt grip to run around to his L and roll him over his R shoulder to his knees. Then grab his collar with your L and roll him to the R over his shins and into your seated back control.

Knee through pass

Break open the close guard as before. Push his R knee to the floor with your L hand. Slide your R shin over his thigh, step your L leg out wide. Keep the grip on his L collar and stiff arm it to the floor near his L armpit. Ensure you keep your weight over to your L so you do not get swept to the R. Slide over the leg on your R hip, almost facing away.

Cross face him as you turn face down to shortbase side control. Pass his lapel from your R hand to the L hand under his L arm keeping him flat. Also grab under his L elbow with your R so he can't roll away.

OR

Grab his R sleeve near the elbow with your L hand as you slide the knee and hip through, going to a switchbase side control. Your R knee must be under his R elbow and preferably his R shoulder, pulling up so his shoulder is off the ground. Keep your torso leaning forward, do not lean back. Weight on his ribs, use your feet to push in and chase him if necessary. Put your L knee near his R ear and keep pulling up on the arm as you switch to face down short base, killing the near side arm. Control the far elbow as before.

Standing pass

Collar grips with R as before Get a grip on his R sleeve with your L. Turn your l palm up, fist on his body under his forearm, and elbow jammed in his R hip. This stops him from circling his hand under your arm and breaking the grip. Stand up with your L leg, same side as his trapped hand. Look up and keep good posture. Once on both feet, get both knees behind his back and stand straight up, hips driving forward, looking up. Use your R hand to shake his leg grip off. Push his R knee to the floor and get a kneeslide position with your L shin across his L leg, using a step or windshield wiper move to get your R foot over his R leg. Drive your L fist, with the sleeve grip, to the floor near his L hip, between the two of you. Keep the grip until you have crossfaced, switched base and consolidated your shortbase side control, trapping his R arm between your bodies.

Going to mount from SC

From any of the moves above, you have side control on his R. After switching base, get your L knee between his R hip and foot, and hook his L thigh (fairly close to the hip) with your R heel as you move to mount, entrapping his legs. Prof. Norton says side control is his goto position rather than mount, but different strokes.

Back Sweep

From closed guard. Nothing remarkable here technically for me. Professor seemed happy when he watched me sweep. It is important to keep trying to disrupt his balance in multiple directions. You can back sweep with your feet on his hips.

A combatives version has you starting the sweep with feet in his hips, grasping the ankles. As he starts to fall, push him away hard with both feet. You should now have plenty of room to do a technical stand up to a good combat stance.

Front sweep

If you try the back sweep and he drops his weight forward, you can sweep him forward using your shins and insteps. Grab his sleeves and sweep him forward over your shoulder. Cross his arms with yours to stop him posting and steer him.  To be honest I had trouble with this and need to drill it.

With the feet on hips, sleeve grips, lift him up on your feet. Push with your R foot and tap his R thigh near his hip to spin him anti clockwise and put him down to your L. Keep the sleeve grips and hook his R knee with your L instep as he comes down, these will help you control him as you move to side control

Side control escape

He has a crossface and shortbase side control on your R pinning your hips between his R knee on your R hip  and R elbow on your L hip. Frame with your elbows in near your hips, keeping his weight down toward your hips rather than up on your chest, and mitigating the crossface pressure. Your R knee tracks his R hip.Take your L foot out to the L, like Pedro Sauer's kickstand, giving you extra leverage to bridge toward him. Bridge toward him and create space to get your R knee in and shin across his hips. The R foot hooks his R hip. If his R foot is out, hook it with your R heel. You are now in a pretty good position to set up hooking sweeps, etc.

If he is hiding his R foot under his butt, get the R instep hook in in front of his R thigh. Work to a hooks in guard, sweeps, etc. from here.

If he is really tight on your R hip with his R elbow, lift your hips and try to slide your hips under his elbow, then get the knee in.

If his R hand is blocking the R hip instead, the above escape will not work. If you turn away from him that may encourage him to move his R hand to the other side, which then allow you to do the above movements.

SC escape to omoplata

Get your R shin across his hips as before. This time bring your L knee over and pinch his R shoulder between your knees. Use your L hand and elbow to hold his R elbow and trap his R wrist near your L hip. Get your L foot over his shoulder and near his R ear, hooking his neck with your instep. Get your hips out and push his head away with your legs until you can triangle them with your R knee over your L instep. Change hands on his R arm so you can grab his legs or belt and stop him rolling out of the omoplata. Sit up, take your feet put to the right sitting on your R hip, grip his collar with your R (or various other grips) and finish the omoplata.

If he does roll out, let him go and just keep the grip on his R shoulder with your legs, sitting on it. From her move to side control.

Team Norton had several blue and purple belt promotions. The Prof is strong on etiquette, respect ,and titles (Coach, Professor, Master, etc.). Attitude and time on the mat are more important to him than performance.

A very nice man with great Jiu Jitsu. A privilege and an honour to meet such a famous and accomplished martial artist and actor.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. Hmmm...

I've had an interest in martial arts since seeing a movie trailer for a film called "The Chinese Boxer" in my mid-teens. Shortly thereafter, I went to the cinema to see "Five Fingers of Death."

Serendipity took a couple of years to bring David Crook into my life, or mine into his. I trained Kung Fu with him for eighteen fantastic months, pretty much all private lessons, him and me in a park across the road from the building in which we both worked.

Martial arts did become a passion, avid practice of various Kung Fu styles but definitely majoring in Wing Chun, with Rick Spain, earning a gold instructor's sash after about six years, and a red Master's level sash after about twenty. Alongside this I was training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and was awarded my black belt at the end of 2013 by Anthony Lange ... About a week before I retired from full time work as a computer programmer.

My passion was martial arts. I have taught it on and off for at least twenty years. I taught two or more regular evening classes a week for years. Sometimes I totally loved it, other times not quite so much.

Make your job your passion, and you'll never work a day in your life. I thought about making that jump, pulling the trigger starting an academy, getting paid for my passion.

I never did. And looking back, I don't regret it.

I was good at maths and a bit of a Science nerd at school. Not an avid student, did enough to make it through without busting a gut. I majored in computer science and pure mathematics at university. Worked as a programmer while slowly and reluctantly becoming a responsible adult. Took responsibility for computer operations at one job, and found I was actually starting to enjoy myself there. Good friends, met my future wife at work.

I've had seven jobs, though a couple were for consulting companies where I had multiple assignments and sites. I was retrenched/fired twice. Excellent times, horrible times. Always at least a couple of good friends at work. As at the martial arts academies.

Coming out the other end, I was free. I could train martial arts pretty much as often as my body could handle and my wife could tolerate. But ... I took an online course on Android development. It took most of a year. I got full marks for every module and assignment, and my final project won a prize ... One of the top thirty projects from a starting student base of several thousand. It was hard work and I only just got it completed on time.

I've done other programming courses since. I'm doing on now on Java and Data Structures. And this is exactly what I want to be doing with my time. Besides the 3-5 Jiu Jitsu sessions per week and walks and runs in Pennant Hills Park, plus time with my wife and cats.

I wouldn't consider programming my passion, ever. But as a career choice ... Things worked out very well. And most of what I wanted from martial arts I've managed to get, even as an avocation.

More than one way to follow that passion and live a good life.

BJJ Brick podcast submission

The BJJBrick podcast requested submissions answering the question "What has Jiu Jitsu done for you?" for their 100th episode. I submitted an MP3 the transcript of which appears below. Not sure it totally answers the question, but ... what the hell.

Check them out - they have great episodes with David Meyer and Carlos Machado, among many others.

In the space of a single week in December 2013, I quit my last job, turned 59, and was awarded my black belt in Jiu Jitsu.

Just about everything else changed, but Jiu Jitsu remained substantially the same. I retired from work, but not from Jiu Jitsu or living life to the full.

I train three to five times a week, mostly at Langes MMA in Sydney, Australia, with regular visits to a few other gyms.

After training at Langes on a warm day, I can take a short drive to the beach for a run along the sand and a swim in the ocean. If I want. The way the global climate seems to be heading, swimming on sunny mid-winter days in Sydney is doable. I am fortunate to live a life so enjoyable.

Jiu Jitsu is a social activity. I have refereed hundreds of matches. I competed at the IBJJF Sydney Invitational earlier this year. I go to a competition and see dozens of people who are happy to see me, as I am to see them.

But what still excites me the most is waking up and thinking, yes, today I'm going to the academy to train. I regard the three instructors who have helped me the most - Anthony, Peter, and Darko - as good friends, and I have many others who try to sweep, choke and armbar me regularly.

My last seminar was with Gui Mendes. It paid off - I managed a berimbolo against a blue belt the last time I rolled. Gui and Rafa are mind-blowing to watch. But there are three quote celebrity unquote instructors who have impressed the most.

My introduction to Jiu Jitsu was at a John Will seminar. Over the years I have yet to come across a better coach. John doesn't just teach, he inspires. Go to a seminar with him if you can. You will come away with many new ideas to consider. About life as well as Jiu Jitsu.

Carlos Machado is a really nice man. He has remembered me at each visit to our gym. He teaches a narrative of related techniques that is state of the art, but requires little in the way of speed, strength or athleticism. Stuff anyone can do. He makes it all appear so effortless. And if you do it properly, it can be. I wish.

I applaud Steve Maxwell for his unique lifestyle and willingness to follow his own path. While best known for his strength and conditioning expertise, which equals that of anyone on the planet, that tends to overshadow how good his Jiu Jitsu is and how well he teaches it. Spend time with him if you ever get the chance, he is an amazing exemplar and very generous with his deep knowledge and his time. Especially if you want to be doing Jiu Jitsu into your sixties and beyond. I've tried yoga, but Steve's breathing and mobility drills, and Jiu Jitsu, give me all it did and more.

This art is infinite. Not just the breadth of techniques, which expands daily, but the technical layers, depth and possibilities inherent in each individual technique. There is no end to Jiu Jitsu.

My black belt. It happened at the annual big end of year grading at my academy. Mat packed to capacity, great atmosphere. Two of my classmates, Andrew and Dave, were also awarded their black belts. Like me, they'd done the hard yards over many years.

The same night, a guy called Ronnie, a blue belt, came up afterwards and congratulated me. He then told me that some of my teaching efforts at the school where I started Jiu Jitsu, Rick Spain's Kung Fu academy, were what inspired him to begin his own Jiu Jitsu journey.

Knowing that my enthusiasm for this art inspired him to tread a similar path is deeply satisfying. Other people have told me of my role in their conversion to the obsession that is Jiu Jitsu. That, more than anything else, is the best reward for chasing this dream.

Peace. Love. Jiu Jitsu.