Monday, September 24, 2018

Dave Camarillo 21 Sep 2018



The seminar was held at Higher Jiu Jitsu, in the City of Sydney PCYC, hosted by head instructor John Smallios.

The seminar was no gi. The techniques are equally applicable to gi, MMA, and possibly self defense or law enforcement arrest techniques.

Warm up Games and Drills


Start from a wrestling crouch. Attempt to touch your partner's knee with your hand and not get tapped yourself, while he attempts to do the same and stop you tapping his knee. If you get tapped, do a pushup.

Switch it up so everyone in the room is trying to tap everyone else's knee.

Same starting position, look to get a two handed grip on one of his wrists, then get your head in a good control position under the side of his jaw and drive him around for a few moments. Reset.

Same as above, but try to get an arm drag position, with the other hand controlling his wrist. Same head position as above.

A drill, no resistance from your partner - arm drag, to two on one,  shoulder pressure and turn to front headlock, drive him down so at least one of his hands is on the floor, turn and take his back. Swap.

Guard passing and/while pinning


All passes should end up in a pin. Dave's system does its best to allow us to pin our opponent all the way through the pass.

Three fundamental concepts to understand are:


  • The elbow line
  • The knee line
  • The battle zone


The battle zone is the area between the opponent's elbow, knee and hip on the side to which you are trying to pass. So your objective, for example when passing to his R or trying to maintain side control there, is to occupy the space between his R knee, hip, and elbow.

In these passes, we stay low, and try to keep the opponent pinned with pressure, and when possible, grips, as much as possible throughout the movements.

Passing Half Guard, with no Knee Shield


We apply "OCD of the knee." Both the bottom and top guys should be obsessed with occupying the battle zone with our knee.

He has our R leg in half guard. We should go straight for a far side underhook on his L arm with ouR R. Our head is posted on the mat next to his R ear, looking out to our L, driving our head into his, bending his neck to his L. Our L foot is out to the L. We are keeping our R hip low as possible so as to turn him on his R side with his R knee on the mat.

We control his bottom R knee with either our L hand, or if we have the flexibility, our L foot, holding it place so he cannot follow our R knee as we move it toward his head.

We free our R knee from his half guard, by tripoding up on our R toes, lifting the hips, holding his R knee in place as we extract our knee from his guard. As soon as we can, we drop our R knee over his R thigh, thus using it to occupy the battlezone. We do not take our head from the mat or loosen our far side underhook at any time, we stay as low as possible.

Once the knee occupies the battlezone, we can stop holding his knee in place with our L hand or foot. We drag his R elbow out from his body with our L hand and get an underhook on his R arm with our L. We join our hands in S, butterfly or gable grip under the base of his neck, flaring our elbows out to separate his arms from his torso.

Use our L foot on his top R knee to push it toward his feet and free our R foot.

We move to side control, short base, hiding our R foot. We move back/down slightly to lower our base even more and increase the pinning pressure. Our head stays next to the R side of his head.

As he moves to try and create space to escape, we must similar move to reclaim that space. If he moves his hips away to our R, rein him back in by clinching hard with the R elbow, and chasing down his hip with or R knee, driven from our toes.

If he manages to recover half guard at any stage, or later on, repeat the process. If our position gets compromised at any stage setting up the pass, back out and reset.

Passing Butterfly Guard, using the Tackle Pass


We start learning the pass in a position where he is on his back. We are on our feet. His shins are inside our thighs and we are in effect sitting on his shins. Stay upright so as not to give him gripping opportunities on our upper body.

We sit/push down on him using our bodyweight. hoping to get him to react by kicking us off using his shins. As he kicks, we straighten our legs and lift our hips, while "diving" forward over his knees, wrapping our arms around his thighs above his knees, like a rugby tackle. The grip Dave uses is one hand grabbing the other forearm, like an anaconda choke or guillotine.

Our head goes next to his R hip as we switch off to our R, twisting our torso to the R, driving our R shoulder into his abdomen or hips, pinching the grip by pulling our elbows in. We should be facing his knees.

Get our L knee under his knees, and his it to drive his legs out to our L, his R, flattening his torso out, but with his legs twisted to our L we can now hunt with our arms for the double underhook pin position we used in the first pass.

We could also drive his legs further still with our L knee until his R knee is on the mat, and drive our L knee between his thighs to achieve the classic leg drag pass position. From here we could pass, or fairly easily sit back to the Irimi Ashi Garami position (John Danaher's terminology, check Google) and start working your heel hook game.

Passing Z guard with the Tackle Pass


Z guard is half guard with a knee shield. Assume he has our R leg caught again. Our starting position for the pass is to be upright. We do not put any pressure on his knee shield. We should already eave our knee up and over his bottom R thigh, fairly close to the groin, because we also want to grab his R knee from underneath with our L hand. Grabbing the knee both prevents him getting a base from which to do a technical standup or slide backward to bail out of Z guard, and will allow us to get our arm underneath him and encircle his legs when we go for the pass.

We stand, lift our hips and "dive" over his knee shield as before, our arms encircling his legs. Once we have the grip, over his thighs, we sprawl hard, driving our R leg back,, flattening the knee shield and our hips to the mat, freeing our leg. We keep our weight on his legs.

If his legs stay flat, we may be able to just crawl up to a mount position, where we get the double underhooks and head control as for the first technique.

Otherwise, we can drive his legs across as before with out knees, this time to out R. We can look this time at sliding our bottom L knee under his legs, stepping over them with our R foot, then coming in top, triangling our legs around his knees, R ankle behind our L knee. We can move up to mount here. Or switch off to side control at any time we feel our mount is being compromised. There is ample opportunity to use wind shield wiper, grapevine and other leg work techniques here to change positions and move around his defences and counters.

This video, from the excellent Sonny Brown, shows how the "leg clamp" Dave shows as a prelude to getting the mount is used extensively in MMA by Khabib Nurmagomedov, among others.



Setups - Up/Down, Left/Right


Up/Down: if the guy is sitting up as you approach him, grab his ankles and flip him onto his back, pushing his legs over his head. As he reacts by rolling forward and sitting up, drive forward through his half guard, going for the first half guard passing technique above, with OCD of the knee, head position and the far side underhook. If he gets the knee shield, we go for the tackle pass.

Left/Right: push one or both of his knees to one side. His reaction, swinging them back in the other direction, will give you an opening to go for the tackle pass.

Up/down and left/right should be seen as principles rather than specific techniques. You always need to adapt to the actual movements of your opponent.

Troubleshooting and Maintaining Control


If his legs stay flat diring the tackle pass, we have the opportunity to go to mount. If he starts lifting his knees before we consolidate the mount, we should be prepared to switch to side control.

If he have the double underhook elbow control, and he is pushing our head away, we can just slide our linked grips down to his thighs to a tackle pass position, and work our way back, We are so far away from his arms in the tackle pass positions as to negate the value of any attempt to pass.

We do need to be careful of guillotine attempts, though these are of limited value when the head is on one side and the legs on the other. The choke is pretty much unworkable then, while at the same time we are given the opportunity for a Von Flue choke.

We should be able to keep constant pinning pressure with the body lock on him all the way from the elbow line to the knee line and back.

If he starts sitting up while we have the tackle position, we need to break him down immediately. Dave did this when the guy came up his elbow by grabbing the posting forearm with one hand around the front and one around the back, pulling the guy toward him while driving forward and breaking him back down. Try to stop such counters immediately, before he can post all the way up on his hand.

In Sun Tzu's The Art of War, military leaders are advised to take high ground and let the enemy try to attack from a lower position. Fighting from an elevated position is said to be easier for a number of tactical reasons. Holding the high ground offers an elevated vantage point with a wide field of view, enabling surveillance of the surrounding landscape, in contrast to valleys which offer a limited field of view.



So, don't let your opponent up.

Once we have our hands linked around him, we can in effect slide them up and down his body between the elbow line and knee line, switching sides and positions, constantly adjusting to nullify his attempted defense's and counters and keep ahead of him as he tries to catch up in the OODA loop.

Realistically, we may need to release and regrab our grips, especially if the mats are not slippery and thus not conducive to easily sliding our clasped hands up and down his body.

He gets an Underhook


We have the bodylock side control with double underhooks we reached after the first pass. Somehow he manages to get an underhook, say with his L arm under our R arm.

We switch to head and arm position (scarf hold / kesa gatame / headlock control). Dave will keep his hands clasped rather than change to more conventional hand controls here. Lift his head off the mat so he cannot bridge.

We turn our head to look towards his feet, bridge up slightly, turn our body toward his feet, walk our feet in the same direction, as we drop our L elbow to the mat near his R hip to occupy the battle zone, reach over and behind his legs and encircle his thighs with our arms as we turn into the tackle pass position, with our head on his L hip and our L shoulder controlling his hip.

While we are turning from kesa gatame, our weight distribution should be such that we are trying to keep him turned slightly to his R side. This both makes the tackle pass setup easier, and also makes it much harder for him to roll us to his left.

Dave is not a fan of kesa Gatame as a long term control - he feels the back is too exposed, especially if the guy has access to a blade with his untapped hand (the one he got the underhook with). I can't argue with this, though I'd like to hear Josh Barnett's opinion as well ;)

Go to SAP (standard armbar position)


We get the double underhooks elbow line side control from the first pass, on his R side.

We move our head from the R side of his head to pinching his L arm between our R arm and R ear. We take our L arm out from under and pass the L hand under his chin and get the L elbow on the ground, our arms encircling and isolating his L arm. We can now drag him up on his R side with our R underhook, and then start hunting for the Kimura position and then move to the standard armbar position (SAP) per Dave's first seminar in 2016.

Conclusion


These moves are as much about concepts and principles than specific technique. We need to constantly adapt to his movements and stay at least one step ahead. Dave reminded us of the Zen of position - not becoming too attached to a position and trying to hold onto it once it becomes compromised. Move on to a more suitable position.

Dave is all about systems. Systems are all about dilemmas for the opponent. Ryan Hall and John Danaher also talk about this on their instructionals.

Videos


Similar but different approach here:



Similar ideas from Lachlan Giles:



This is not quite the same thing, but this BJJ Scout video of the Miyao brothers no gi bodylock passing style has some interesting parallels. Interesting ideas about blocking his hip movement.:


Links to Previous Seminars with Dave Camarillo



Until 2019...



Monday, September 17, 2018

IBJJF Rules and Knee Reaping - Gordon Ryan, Texas Cloverleaf

Gordon Ryan is a successful Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor at elite levels. Much of his earlier success came in competitions with rulesets allowing use of a range of leglock techniques which are banned by the most popular sport Jiu Jitsu body, the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF).

Gordon Ryan trains under John Danaher, a celebrated Jiu Jitsu and MMA coach operating out of the Renzo Gracie academy in New York. Several of John Danaher's students have done very well using his leglock system in professional matches, most notably Gordon Ryan, Gary Tonon, and Eddie Cummings. These students are sometimes referred to as the Danaher Death Squad (DDS).

Some in the Jiu Jitsu community regard the IBJJF Jiu Jitsu competitions as the pinnacle, and imply that the DDS's supposed "avoidance" of IBJJF competitions, and preference for lower profile (though not necessarily less challenging) competitions meant they had yet to be tested at the top levels of the sport. Also, that as leglock specialists they were in effect "one trick ponies", who had not developed the fully rounded Jiu Jitsu skills required to be regarded as truly elite.

Gordon Ryan recently put such criticisms to bed by winning double gold at the 2018 Pan Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF No Gi Championship. This under IBJJF rules, which allow no "knee reaping" or heel hooks, which are the DDS' bread and butter in non-IBJJF competitions.

Interestingly, he enquired about and addressed the various issues surrounding the legality of various leglocks, especially from the cross ashi garami (411 / honey hole / inside sankaku) position, after a detailed discussion of the rules with the Pan's head referee.

This article contains a couple of videos where Gordon explains what he learned. Unfortunately the sound quality is not great, and, despite what the article claims, is no better if you view the videos on Instagram, where they were originally published.

The takeaways are:

The cross ashi position is only illegal if the foot of the opponent's leg trapped by your legs, the "inside" foot, is also trapped between your armpit and hip.

So an underhook or "scoop " grip on the inside leg in cross ashi is perfectly legal.

Overhooking the "outside" ankle, the one on the leg not trapped by your legs, is also legal in cross ashi. This is John Danaher's "double trouble" position, so called because you are controlling both legs.

BUT ... combining the outside leg overhook and inside leg underhook in the "Texas Cloverleaf" submission is illegal and will get you disqualified.


The Texas Cloverleaf

This seems to be contradictory and inconsistent. I queried this via Facebook Messenger with David "Silver Fox" Karcher, "The Grappling Referee" on social media. While he is not the IBJJF head referee, he did attend an IBJJF rules meeting in Boston recently where the subject was discussed in detail. I have corresponded with him on Facebook for a while and respect his opinions, though quite often he seems as perplexed as anyone about certain match situations shown on video.

According to Mr Karcher:
It's about isolating the reaped leg, either by attacking the foot, clamping the foot, or trapping the foot in the Cloverleaf. 
if you can move the foot or escape the foot, its legal. 
the thought process is if the foot is trapped, you can hurt the knee.
There are Youtube videos of people winning IBJJF athletes winning matches with the Texas Cloverleaf, but as far as I can tell these all happened before the current knee reaping rules were introduced in 2015. I read somewhere where a person on social media claimed a referee disqualified him for a Teexas Cloverleaf in 2018, and the referee told him afterwards that the submission was legal in 2017 but not 2018. I have no way of determining the veracity of these claims.

The rules remain inconsistent and arguably even contradictory in places, and leave grey areas in aa number of situations. This is likely to always be the case in a constantly changing sport with almost infinite possibilities. We referees just have to keep doing the best we possibly can for the competitors, I guess.