Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Steve Maxwell - Gracie Jiu Jitsu Core Concepts 11 Feb 2017



It was hot ... it was good

The seminar was held at Higher Jiu Jitsu, Woolloomooloo PCYC.

I arrived early, but not as early as Steve Maxwell, who was already on the mat doing his mobility workout.

It was an extremely hot day. I went up to Steve, shook his hand and asked the obvious Jiu Jitsu question on such a day - "Gi or no gi?".

"It's Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu is done in a gi", was Steve's response. Delivered with a smile.

This was pretty much an introductory lesson for absolute beginners. I don't try to include everything Steve went through below, only the points I felt salient to students with around six months or more experience.

Standing Up in Base


We first looked at standing up in base, also known as the technical standup. Key points are to bring the non-supporting foot right through behind you and ensure the stance you finish up in has both feet pointing in the same direction, ready for immediate follow up (retreat or engage). The free hand should be up protecting the face.


Sweet little girl demonstrates a solid technical standup. I would not straighten out the non-supporting leg before swinging it back, as demonstrated) but keep it in close. The extended leg gives an opponent the opportunity to grab or stomp on the extended ankle. I think Steve would concur. Excellent form otherwise.

Once the student has this wired, a partner should try and hold them down using pressure on the shoulder. This should not stop them from performing the technical standup.

Non Resistance


Resisting the opponent's movements by tensing up allows them to manipulate you too easily. Instead try to stay relaxed and try to use their efforts against them when the timing is right. At aa more advanced level this becomes what Kit Dale describes as formlessness. 

Some drills:

Stand relaxed facing your partner, feet parallel. Bring your hands shoulder height and bring your opposite hands together like a double high five. Your partner and you should try and push each other over while not moving your feet. Tense up, you'll lose for sure.

Both of you have your right foot forward so the outside edges of each of your right feet are close together. Each of you gets a grip on your partner's right wrist. Now try and pull each other off balance, without moving your feet. Keep the grip, don't let go.

Defense from the Ground against a Standing Opponent - Leg Kick, Stand up in Base, Step Back


You are sitting down, an attacker is closing in on you. Assume the preparatory position for the technical standup with one arm posted behind you, the sole of the opposite foot on the ground. As the attacker comes into range, lift your hips, stomp kick the closest shin, take the weight on both hands and bring both feet back away from the attacker as you standup, so you get as much distance as possible from him.


Stephan Kesting demonstrates. Steve Maxwell would have you put both hands on the ground as you do the standup to allow you to back up further as you stand. On the other hand, the method demonstrated still allows you one hand to protect the head. Try both. 


Inside control


Inside control as a principle is extremely important in grappling. The person who obtains inside control has the ability to control the other person's Centreline and centre of gravity. Place your hands on your partner's shoulders. He does the same but outside of your arms. Move your foot to the triangle foot position; his feet are parallel, one of yours is forward and on the line that goes between his. 

You should find it easy to push him back, but he should find it very hard to push you. You are the only one with access to leverage. You foot position also allows you to employ your front leg to throw him. He cannot lift a foot without losing balance.

Move your hands down onto his biceps, no thumbs. This will allow you to turn him and bend him sideways as well as push him backward, and pull him forward to some degree. 

From this position, practice taking him down by using your arms to rotate or bend his body. Lower your centre of gravity, and then pull or turn him toward the ground.

Defending against strikes from inside control


If you have proper inside control on his biceps, he should find it difficult to hit or headbutt you. A few drills:

If you feel him withdrawing his arm to break contact and straight punch. just follow his elbow with your hand.

If you feel him try to throw an uppercut or body hook with his R hand, guide his elbow across your body and point his arm away from you. You should be able to walk him around like this unless you break contact. It is an easy transition to a 2 on 1 from here.

He tries a hook to your head with his R hand. guide it overhead with your L hand and duck under. 

Either go to a body clinch, or: 

Get a seat belt grip by joining your hands over his L shoulder in a gable grip. Move around behind him until you are at a good angle to stomp kick behind his far (L) knee with your L foot, and take him down, possibly getting the back in a crouch position from where you can apply a RNC.

Side Headlock Escape


He tries to put you in a side headlock from your L. Move your hips in close to his and posture up hard, looking at the ceiling, so he cannot bend you down at the waist or neck.

Reach over his R arm with your L hand. Put it on his face (optional eye gouge) or R side of the jaw and push and twist his head back and away until his grip breaks. Push on his R hip with your other hand and spin him to your L, into a guillotine choke using your L arm around his neck.

Throat Grab Escapes


He grabs your throat or shoulders with both hands. Hands up, protecting your head. Step back with your R leg and weave your head to the R under his L arm and out, breaking the grip. Check his L elbow on the outside with your L hand so he cannot hit you with it. Strike him with your open hand (not fist. hand damage!) behind his left ear. get him in a 2 on 1. From where you could go to a guillotine.

The other option against one or two throat grips, is to hold his wrist(s) in place with with your hand(s) and step back out of the grip. 2 on 1, shoot, or plenty of other options from here, There are other options if your back is against a wall.

Mount Escape


Steve demonstrated his version of the bridge and roll escape. He gets a cross grip on the wrist, and blocks the foot on the same side with his shin. His concern from here is that the guy can slide the knee on that side up as he bridges to stop the roll. Grab the sleeve on the trapped arm above the elbow and pull down hard so as to torque his spine and put weight on that knee so it is difficult for him to slide it. Move your head out to the side away from the roll as you bridge and roll, which sets the angle of the roll so as to defeat his attempts to post with his free hand. Per Rickson's Invisible Jiu Jitsu.



When Rickson demonstrates, you watch


This was before the seminar. After, we would have been in a huge pool of sweat

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