The Martial Arts Thread

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AsenRG

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And it seems that during the week-end, there's going to be a two-day seminar with some foreign black belt. I plan to attend, since him not being one of the best-known names also means the price is affordable...and this doesn't mean anything about his abilities, only that he hasn't got the name recognition to ask for more money. Alas, it's name recognition that determines that, not actual ability:devil:!
(I only wonder how good of a teacher he's going to be, but I expect I'd learn something regardless. The only question is how much, but really, I've never left a seminar without learning something...)

Plus, I can definitely use the practice after being on sick leave. My half-guard could stand a lot of improvement, too, as a general principle:shade:!
Bottom line, going sure seems like a good idea:thumbsup:!

...OTOH, I wonder whether this also means the morning practice on the week-end is going to be under-attended. I like rolling when there's less people:grin:!
Decisions, decisions.
 
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AsenRG

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Also, I started watching half-guard videos in order not to be the complete rookie who needs everything explained. My self-sentencing half an hour later: "Screw it, now I'm no longer wondering why people kept passing my half guard...I've been doing it all wrong!" (OK, I wasn't doing it all wrong. I had one element right. That's why I'd been managing to hold off some of the other white belts, it seems...and even swept one of them once:tongue:).

But ah, the feeling when you realize that you have been purposefully looking to get into the position which knowledgeable people are telling you to avoid...:shade:
OTOH, I guess my half-guard really has nowhere to go but up after that seminar, right:grin:?
 

AsenRG

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The first day was spider guard and deep half guard. Which means that my videos on half guard weren't really giving me any advance info, but ah well, you get what you get, especially when you mistake the terms...:tongue:
Also, it seems I don't have any videos on deep half guard. Well, I might get some in the future, but for now, I plan to rely on the info from the seminar and whatever I can glean from YouTube:thumbsup:.
OTOH, deep half has really good mechanics, though I liked the spider guard better. I mean, if you pull the opponent just right, you can make him really, really light, and then the sweep is basically effortless, even with a partner 80+ kgs...:shade:

Today should be some kind of surprise with "interesting new submissions" (possibly recently devised ones). To be honest, I'm less enthused about that curriculum - if you were to ask me, I'd have done another day of spider guard and deep half guard, focusing on sweeps.
But well, nobody is asking me, and submissions are cool as well. And don't get me wrong: I actually love submissions, I just don't consider them nearly as important or useful for either real combat*, or for rolling/randori.
Which might be coming as a surprise for some of you, but it's true nonetheless:grin:!

*Excluding situations where you're required to control someone with no major trauma, of course, but as a civilian, I'm unlikely to ever be in one of those:gunslinger:.
 

AsenRG

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Well, I'm happy to report that there wasn't anything of the sort. I mean, we mostly did passes and control grips from guard, with the most unusual submission being the omoplata. I liked the control grips the most.
Omoplata is hard when you're 40+ and fat, but if a fat guy like me manages to get it, it's virtually unstoppable. I mean, you just don't have space to pull away:devil:!

Amusingly, today was the first time in my life when I got formal instruction in performing a gi choke. Which I promptly turned into a forearm and gi choke, but that's me:grin:!
 

AsenRG

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And here's the part nobody tells you about seminars: I'm barely able to move now:grin:!
So it's yogalates today, and I'm hoping to feel better after the stretching:thumbsup:.
 

AsenRG

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And here's the part nobody tells you about seminars: I'm barely able to move now:grin:!
So it's yogalates today, and I'm hoping to feel better after the stretching:thumbsup:.
I did feel better after the stretching. And after upping my daily magnesium intake from 300 mg to 450-600mgs, and adding aspirin (6-8/day) and L-Carnitine...:grin:
None of the above are steroids, as you can see. I'm not delving in the Dark Side:shade:!
And yet, today is exactly one week since I restarted training (after being sick), and I've had an average of 1 practice session per day. Today was the day that evened it out, with 2 sessions.
Overall, once per day basically at least doubles my previous training schedule, so I like that:tongue:.
So we'll see how long I'd be able to keep up with this. Technically, I shouldn't be able to visit the gym on the week-end, but another gym I've visited would probably have training sessions. Or I might get to some conditioning exercises - yoga, pilates, whatever. Basically, the idea is to train until I'm sure this would lead to overtraining...

Also, today I managed to apply the lessons from the half-guard instructional that I haven't even watched in full, yet. Granted, I didn't manage to sweep the other guy, but at least I made it much harder for him to pass (I was now handfighting to get an underhook, not an overhook:gunslinger:). And when he finally did pass, due to a mistake on my side, I escaped mount, but gave him my back, escaped the back but gave him side control, escaped that as well, finally getting butterfly guard...and then I leglocked him with a move I'd learned about 18 years ago, on a Gokor Chivachiyan seminar:devil:.
The only downside was that I couldn't even continue afterwards (in our gym, we release the submission and then restart from a neutral position). I told the guy I was rolling with to count that as a choke submission in his favour, because I was totally unable to breathe, and the time was over before I could catch my breath:skeleton:!

Bottom line, I need to work on my stamina. Earth-shattering revelation, I know:angel:!
 

AsenRG

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Next entry: principles-based learning.

So I was just watching a video of Island Top Team (a.k.a. Rob Biernacki) on YouTube. And I was, putting it mildly, quite impressed!
Why? Because in the third video of this playlist he manages to articulate something that I've been looking for when watching instructionals and receiving live instruction, but wasn't able to explain until now: "decision points".
I mean, he gives an example with the arm drag-to-back take sequence. And he outlines more than one transition point, with options for "what happens if you didn't get exactly what you wanted here". For example, if the arm drag didn't break the structure initially, you redrag, don't try to perform the technique! (If you do, in my experience, you're liable to end up in side control bottom instead of back top).
At a later stage, if you don't get a good underhook, you go for the legs instead.

So most people learn techniques as an A-B-C-D sequence. For example, you learn "arm drag - press hips to his hips - grab underhook - get the back".
But a far superior method is to learn them as A - B or A again - C (if B was achieved) or X - D or Y. (That's more or less the sequence he outlines in the video).
And both X and Y are actually the starts of different sequences, or - even better - middle or end points in different sequences. And which one you're doing actually follows precise criteria (as in the example above).

The same logic works in sword fighting and in empty-hand fighting, when you have grappling and striking combined.
It's basically an amazingly important concept that a lot of practitioners don't understand and a lot of trainers aren't teaching:shade:.
 
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AsenRG

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I usually call the above "transition points" "combat matrixes" instead. The first time I encountered the concept, except not really as a concept, was in Keith Kernspecht's book "On single combat".

Fun note: the first such "matrix" I can point to is described in John Silver's "Paradoxes of the Defense" (and arguably there might be two of those, since he points that the Spanish swordsmen have such a matrix, which he calls "a perfect fight", as long as they can keep the preferred distance). Miamoto Musashi's Go Rin No Sho also has a similar one, but it's slightly later.

Now, can anyone point me to an earlier source describing a similar concept:devil:?
 

AsenRG

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End result for the week: I trained 6 times, half of those being conditioning, so a total of 9 sessions since the previous Thursday (all three the previous week were BJJ, though). My magnesium intake is 50% above the recommended levels, though, but at least I'm feeling nice and planning to go to another practice session tomorrow evening.
I'm calling the "train more" experiment a success and planning to replicate it.

The only bad part is that the spring camp was called off for lack of interest. But I can live with less expenses, too:shade:!
 

AsenRG

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Last night, I felt like the guy from the joke. I mean, in a single round of rolling, I got several sweeps, including the infamous Idiot Sweep and Deep Idiot Sweep, got the back twice, and had a shoulder crank set up (that I only tightened up very carefully for the tap:angel:).
The only problem is, I was partnered with my own daughter, because there weren't any guys around her size, and the trainer decided I'd be the most careful not to injure her. I agreed with his line of reasoning, and even thanked him for the lessons afterwards, because obviously I've been getting quite good...
But I wonder what's going to happen when I get to roll with an adult next time:shade:.
 

AsenRG

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I watched Craig Jones' free instructional The Pendejo Guard. Verdict: not my thing, but there were of course interesting ideas (that's Craig Jones for you) like him using a reverse figure-four grip to finish a heel hook.
Also, CJ communicates very well the first issue with playing from the bottom in no-gi: the top opponent removes your grips and passes. Much less of an issue in (yes-)gi!
His solution is, it seems, to hide his grips under his legs (while staying on the side). But it seems to require more athletic ability than I could muster, so I'm planning to stick to my plan so far: learning to play half-guard, Williams/Shoulder Pin Guard and Butterfly/SLX when the guard opens.
The list could be reduced further, too...but those seem to me like they would work best in both no-gi and yes-gi, with strikes and without. And, as Stephen Whittier mentioned (I wholeheartedly agree) it's best to focus on things that would work the same way in any situation:shade:!

Oh, and I'm halfway through Neil Melanson's Snap Guard. Of all his instructionals, this is the one I like the least, because it has less conceptual stuff, more of a collection of techniques...but at least he says it clearly in the beginning. I guess he didn't want to step on the toes of his own instructional The Ground Marshall Guard:tongue:?
However, he starts going more conceptual as the topic progresses, so I'm still finding it useful:thumbsup:!
 
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AsenRG

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Oh, and I'm halfway through Neil Melanson's Snap Guard. Of all his instructionals, this is the one I like the least, because it has less conceptual stuff, more of a collection of techniques...but at least he says it clearly in the beginning. I guess he didn't want to step on the toes of his own instructional The Ground Marshall Guard:tongue:?
However, he starts going more conceptual as the topic progresses, so I'm still finding it useful:thumbsup:!
See that part? Yeah, that one was a mistake. It's one of the best instructionals I've seen in, like, ever:shock:!
It just starts with more techniques, proceeding to explaining the principles piecemeal. I'm not sure that this is a worse order, though, much as my own instinct is to explain the principles upfront.
While watching the techniques, common principles actually start becoming apparent. And the man gets major points from me for explaining the basics of the shin whizzer and the V-grip.
I'm liking the V-grip more and more. Melanson explained a use that Carlos Machado didn't, but then the latter explained a re-grip that the former didn't. Now I'm wondering what I could get combining the two, though I'd have to wait for Saturday to actually get there...:devil:

In more personal news, I've got muscle cramps today, so I skipped practice. Then again, I'm still on 3 gym visits in 4 days, so there's hope to maintain the better pace I'm aiming for:shade:.
We'll see how well it would work.
 

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I've got nothing to add, but I just wanted to have 13 posts in a row on the 13th page of this thread:devil:!

And, just in order not to be accused of spamming and off-topic, here's today's quote from Neil Melanson: "In the world of sweaty grappling", he says, "great tactics beat technique".
My conclusion from this: I should really give players more bonuses for coming up with good tactics:shade:!
 
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AsenRG

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And for a change, no technique today! Instead, here's a resume to the history of a dispute on social media between three of the people considered to be the best grapplers around:


The part that surprised me in a nice way was that Ryan Hall actually apologized (despite his team having won that fight).
I think MMA needs more of that kind of behaviour...though I get it, Colby Covington sure attracts attention:shade:!


Additionally, here's a very funny article on "nerds in BJJ"...I think the title speaks for itself:grin:!
 

Raleel

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Been doing taiji for the last couple of monsters again. I like it. Getting to learn Xingye Tuesday and am pretty excited. Hooking up my heavy bag to a block and tackle so I can raise and lower it for room. Weight bench will be coming inside.
 

AsenRG

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Been doing taiji for the last couple of monsters again. I like it. Getting to learn Xingye Tuesday and am pretty excited. Hooking up my heavy bag to a block and tackle so I can raise and lower it for room. Weight bench will be coming inside.
Autocorrect:grin:?
Also, those two are fun, let us know how it's going when you get more practice:thumbsup:!

FWIW, Raleel Raleel try to get the Xing Yi teacher to show you the spear/staff techniques (spear preferred, since that's what the style is based on) ASAP. Those might turn out to be very good for your progress.

Also, watch this:
 
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AsenRG

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Nothing to add today, so I'm just going to leave you a link to something I found useful. And I suspect even strikers like our own BedrockBrendan BedrockBrendan might find it useful...:grin:


Why? Well, the half guard is a very likely position to find yourself in if you're a striker and facing a grappler. (Side control and kesa gatame are also likely, but for those you need escapes...which tend to end up with putting you in guard or half guard:shade:). So knowing how to recover your legs from there and how to control the ground and pound can be vital.
It's no accident why some people say that bjj and muay thai is one of the two main basic combos for MMA.
So, if you want to try a more "open" ruleset, it pays to make half guard one of your strong points:thumbsup:!
 

BedrockBrendan

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Nothing to add today, so I'm just going to leave you a link to something I found useful. And I suspect even strikers like our own BedrockBrendan BedrockBrendan might find it useful...:grin:


Why? Well, the half guard is a very likely position to find yourself in if you're a striker and facing a grappler. (Side control and kesa gatame are also likely, but for those you need escapes...which tend to end up with putting you in guard or half guard:shade:). So knowing how to recover your legs from there and how to control the ground and pound can be vital.
It's no accident why some people say that bjj and muay thai is one of the two main basic combos for MMA.
So, if you want to try a more "open" ruleset, it pays to make half guard one of your strong points:thumbsup:!

I just can't get into it. I did BJJ for a number of years but it was like doing algebra (just isn't a type of sport that I can develop the interest needed to develop the skillset)
 

AsenRG

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I just can't get into it. I did BJJ for a number of years but it was like doing algebra (just isn't a type of sport that I can develop the interest needed to develop the skillset)
Well, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I didn't remember that you've done BJJ, sorry!

Personally, I find it fun, but that's me, obviously:thumbsup:.
 

BedrockBrendan

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Well, if it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I didn't remember that you've done BJJ, sorry!

Personally, I find it fun, but that's me, obviously:thumbsup:.

One of the muay thai places I went to was primarily a BJJ school and I used to take those classes (I also went to a gym before that that was an MMA mix that included BBJ). It was just hard for me to get into and absorb. So I might as well not have taken it, since there is very little I picked up. I did do Judo for a bit and that I enjoyed more and retained more (but I noticed most of what I remembered and continued to use was standing techniques).
 

AsenRG

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One of the muay thai places I went to was primarily a BJJ school and I used to take those classes (I also went to a gym before that that was an MMA mix that included BBJ). It was just hard for me to get into and absorb. So I might as well not have taken it, since there is very little I picked up. I did do Judo for a bit and that I enjoyed more and retained more (but I noticed most of what I remembered and continued to use was standing techniques).
If you click the link above, the one about "BJJ nerds", you might get an inkling as to why. I don't agree completely with that logic (high level competitors sure seem to have it), but it's true that you can play BJJ without much explosive strength much more easily than boxing or even Judo:thumbsup:.

IMO, if you want to understand BJJ (just as a mental exercise), one must imagine he's facing someone who outclasses you completely in conditioning. The only option is to not allow the guy a chance to strike, ever, or at least not with the full kinetic chain from the ground:shade:!
Then what gives you best odds? Well, take him to the ground and you resolve one of those issues.
This also explains guard pulling - the best way to take it to the ground in this case is to pull guard, since against someone that much stronger you're likely to start on the bottom anyway:grin:!

I watched recently a roll with a brown belt in Judo and blue belt guys from our school. He threw them 6 ways to Sunday, unless they were able to pull guard faster than that. But no matter how they got to the ground, if the managed to keep a hold of him, it tended to end with him choked out - and usually him being on the bottom.
The ground is just their area of specialty.
 

BedrockBrendan

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If you click the link above, the one about "BJJ nerds", you might get an inkling as to why. I don't agree completely with that logic (high level competitors sure seem to have it), but it's true that you can play BJJ without much explosive strength much more easily than boxing or even Judo:thumbsup:.

IMO, if you want to understand BJJ (just as a mental exercise), one must imagine he's facing someone who outclasses you completely in conditioning. The only option is to not allow the guy a chance to strike, ever, or at least not with the full kinetic chain from the ground:shade:!
Then what gives you best odds? Well, take him to the ground and you resolve one of those issues.
This also explains guard pulling - the best way to take it to the ground in this case is to pull guard, since against someone that much stronger you're likely to start on the bottom anyway:grin:!

I watched recently a roll with a brown belt in Judo and blue belt guys from our school. He threw them 6 ways to Sunday, unless they were able to pull guard faster than that. But no matter how they got to the ground, if the managed to keep a hold of him, it tended to end with him choked out - and usually him being on the bottom.
The ground is just their area of specialty.

It is unquestionably an effective style, and definitely some kind of ground game and defense is a must if you are in MMA. I can definitely appreciate all that. I just have never been able to get into it (and similar martial arts) as a practitioner. For me, I do this for my own enjoyment. So I can go to a boxing gym, TKD, or Muay Thai and have a blast and have the interest to learn more. But when I've done stuff like BJJ I just get too impatient and bored to really absorb (even when I've done it for quite a while). But that isn't a knock against it. I am more content to participate in rules systems limited to striking or limits to striking and more explosive grappling like throws and body slams. But I have no illusion that this means there is a massive gap in my skill set that would translate into a big weakness in the real world
 

AsenRG

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It is unquestionably an effective style, and definitely some kind of ground game and defense is a must if you are in MMA. I can definitely appreciate all that. I just have never been able to get into it (and similar martial arts) as a practitioner. For me, I do this for my own enjoyment. So I can go to a boxing gym, TKD, or Muay Thai and have a blast and have the interest to learn more. But when I've done stuff like BJJ I just get too impatient and bored to really absorb (even when I've done it for quite a while). But that isn't a knock against it. I am more content to participate in rules systems limited to striking or limits to striking and more explosive grappling like throws and body slams. But I have no illusion that this means there is a massive gap in my skill set that would translate into a big weakness in the real world
Yeah, I got that:thumbsup:. In retrospect it was more of an attempt to explain why I find it useful, and how I found my way to BJJ. It all started with me wanting to be able to at least get up, circa 2003...:grin:
Granted, I didn't explain my intention well at all, for which I apologize! It's on me, not on you:shade:.

But yeah, I know you're fine with doing it for sport. And we all know that even in many street fights, you might not need any ground game, so it's a potential weakness, but not necessarily a crucial one.
Not being good on the ground is only a liability if you can't get up, as the "sprawl and brawl" UFC fighters show all the time. And they win even against people who are way better at takedowns and keeping them down than any street punk is likely to be! (In fact, you've done BJJ longer than me, so you should be really hard to keep on the ground - and you basically don't need anything else).
Granted, "sprawl-and-brawlers" sometimes lose as well, but no style can prevent a better opponent from imposing his own (in this case, grappling) game, just like you probably won't be able to prevent a better kickboxer from imposing his game... it's the "better" part that's key, not "grappler" or "striker", IMO.
So I'm fully aware that I'm doing BJJ because I find it fun as well, not because I expect it to turn me into Da' Best Street Fighta' (as a matter of fact, I actually want to avoid that title and the corresponding prison sentences...:devil:)
In the same vein, I'm talking about grappling here, because that's what I do at the moment, but with my previous background being mostly in the "striking with some standing grappling" and "weapons striking with some standing grappling" areas, I'm basically a guy with a thoroughly mixed style (I don't care what you call it). I think that BJJ should help that, because I've come to realize that one of the biggest obstacles for me when using my "old" style was the inability to impose my grappling game.
That's also why I focus on "chest to chest" situations when doing BJJ. Those would translate way better to a clinch, which is what I need to improve, than learning 50 variants of knee bars, heel hooks, ankle locks and so on. Even though learning those would probably get me way more submissions in rolls! The few times I've gone for a leg submissions were almost always a net positive, I just avoid doing that in order to learn more about upper body grappling.
So, I think some of the grips I'm learning on the ground would translate really well to standing grappling as well. And I'm focusing on half guard because it's one of the most likely positions to end in if you lose the standing grappling phase.
Also, I have enough patience for it, and I'm not as explosive as I'd like to be. So, I guess it's a more natural choice for me, both for rounding out my game and as a possible mainstay (in a few years)?


Whatever, Even if my training is unlikely to make me a great* fighter (I'm an amateur), at the least it helps me with running games - which is the site we're on is all about:tongue:!

*Once me and the guy who was running Exalted for us at the time asked me how I estimate my own skills in the terms of the Exalted's system.
My answer was "I've got low attributes, especially now (I was in recovery after an accident) and I'm trying to get my first dot of Martial arts". (That was in Exalted 2e where unarmed combat is called Martial Arts, so a horse or wolf has Martial Arts as well).
"But you've been training way longer than the average person!"
"The average person gets a -3 penalty. Those who are known as good fighters usually just have higher attributes and/or have a custom merit that reduces the penalty." (In Exalted terms, that means NO skill, and is a hefty penalty - though no such merits exist, because a PC gets the first dot in a skill for an underwhelming 3 XP, way less than the cost of most merits).
 
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AsenRG

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Everything is relative...

Good thing: I hit my first arm triangle (katagatame for Fenris-77 Fenris-77 :tongue:) yesterday! It used to be my favourite technique when I was training Traditional JJ (I loved hitting it from standing after deflecting a punch). But this is the first time I'm hitting it since joining Open Mat (and it took me two attempts, because I didn't want to use my previous method of finishing the choke).
Now, that would have been a major success, especially on a partner half my age, except for a few key things:
1) My partner was also nearly 40 kgs lighter. I'm trying to become lighter, it just ain't working as fast as I'd like it to...and I can't get down to his category anyway.
2) The guy also had to stop shortly after the beginning of the roll, due to a knee injury "acting up" (he had expected it to be healed, obviously, but that wasn't the case).

In the next roll, I got submitted...on average once every 40-45 seconds. The guy basically outperformed me in my strongest suit, which is the handfighting (which gives major trouble to other people in the gym). Which would have been bad, except for a few key things:
1) That partner was wearing a rashguard, so I didn't know his experience level (belts are a Colour Coded For Your Convenience trope:devil:). What I do know is that he went on to grapple with a purple belt after that, and handled him quite well - I think he even scored a submission win, though I didn't quite see that. That basically means the roll "wasn't level-appropriate" for me:grin:!
2) I now know what weaknesses I've developed since I stopped practicing fencing (you can almost say I've lost my edge:gunslinger:). No surprise, I had a hard time with that even before, but I thought I've kept my shape better.


...except stuff that ain't.
Examples of such stuff: finding out that leg triangles (sankaku) really suck and having no idea how to tighten them. Getting sick with the same flu that got your kids.
Yes, I did both yesterday, shortly after coming back from practice:shade:.
 

AsenRG

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Watching Neil Melanson while being sick and he said something that strikes me (heh:shade:) as very important - something about the difference between grappling against someone who's trying to strike you, and the grappling against a grappler.
OK, he was talking about groundwork, but my experience has been that this is even more true when using standing grappling (the kind that BedrockBrendan BedrockBrendan would approve:grin:)! And it's conceptual, so obviously it can be applied in either situation. In fact, that's why I like Neil Melanson: his instructionals always get me to think, and always have concepts that go beyond their announced scope.

So, what he is saying is that (once you've established contact and a frame, so basically, clinch, or - importantly - after blocking a strike in the clinch:devil:) it's harder to apply a sweep* to someone who is trying to just grapple you, than against someone who is trying to strike you from a distance!
Why? Commitment. You can (usually) use your frame to create "distance in the clinch". This requires him to move his center of gravity more in order to reach you or to go around your frames.
And when someone is moving his center of gravity in a bigger motion which is at least somewhat predictable, this guy is really liable to go flying.
Compare this to a grappler who just handfights you but doesn't need to commit: he can apply power only once he has a grip...
(I half-expect Fenris-77 Fenris-77 to come and tell me "this is well-known in Judo", but well, I'm not a judoka).

Amusingly, this gets me back to what the old Chinese masters said (courtesy of Dr. Yang of YMAA fame): "Use shuai (throws) against da and tui** (strike and kick), use na (quinna, grabbing and controlling for submission) against shuai, when the opponent tries to use na, use da and tui**".
It's always been the first part that was giving me pause. I mean, Aikido-style "grab the wrist of the punching arm" is...kinda hard to apply, and doesn't get easier when people have better striking:skeleton:.
OTOH, the other two are relatively straightforward: striking against a submission hold is pictured in any "self-defense" book, and two examples of "what a submission hold to counter takedown attempt looks like" are known as "shin whizzer" and "kimura trap", popular in freestyle wrestling and mma. (The shin whizzer isn't usually used for a submission, because wrestling doesn't actually allow those...but Neil Melanson actually has a whole video on using it to set-up submission holds).


*Remember, sweeps are takedowns/throws performed on the ground...according to both me and John Danaher:tongue:.
**Or it might be "ti" and not "tui" in his transcription, I'm not sure.
 
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AsenRG

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Finally got around to watching the V-Block instructional. Let's just say it's not the same as V-Grip, which is what I was hoping for when buying it...:grin:

OTOH, it's a rather good intro to blocking shots and countering, not to mention continuing with cradles. So I'm quite happy with it, just didn't expect to be happy for that reason:tongue:!

Once I finish it, I'm going back to working on my bottom game.
 

AsenRG

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I've been thinking of the ways that Neil Melanson and others combine wrestling and bjj (or in his case, judo, catch wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling and BJJ...and possibly other styles as well, including sambo).

Have I told you, guys? I actually agree that the future of grappling is in the intersection of two or more styles. Hey, today I spotted that there's a competitor in no-gi BJJ, Bia Mesquita, who doesn't proclaim having studied anything else...but she has obviously integrated catch moves in her guard game. And Mateus Diniz, a student of Marcelo Garcia, bases his no-gi half guard game around the single leg (I believe those moves are actually known as tilts in wrestling, but I might be wrong).

And please notice, I didn't say the future is about mixing two or more grappling styles, necessarily.
What I mean is closer to learning to apply clinch strikes from a head-and-arm clinch by threatening the throws (which are numerous from there).
Sooner or later some MMAer is going to come to the idea that it's a lot easier to strike people in MMA after taking a back clinch, too.
We've already seen the combo of handfighting and striking dominate MMA via Jon Jones and others.
Some day, I suspect, we might actually re-discover the practical side of "pushing hands" this way...it is meant to be "grappling control of someone striking at you", after all.

Combos of grappling with weapons aren't anything new, either (said the HEMA guy:shade:).

Bottom line? I'm just thinking that we're living in an interesting time for martial artists, that's all! What, did you expect some deep, profound insights from the sick guy watching instructionals instead of working:grin:?
 

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Neil Melanson just* expressed succinctly my personal Rule Number One of combat:
"You always attack the structure of the man, and then attack the man".
As he explains, "when it comes to no gi, things like athleticism, slipperiness, that stuff goes a long way and can screw up techniques". So your easiest way to counter this is to attack the man's structure first.
In Judo, that's called "kuzushi" (OK, that's usually assumed to be destroying the man's balance, but honestly, balance and structure usually go together).

And the most efficient techniques I know for striking are also like that. Except that after you destroy the structure, you strike. The classic barbrawling "pull the hand and strike over the top with the other" is an example of that.


*As in, I just watched it...he's probably been saying it for much longer:shade:.


Also, is it just me, or do other people also have the impression that this thread is slowly turning into my personal martial arts blog:grin:?
 

AsenRG

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Also, is it just me, or do other people also have the impression that this thread is slowly turning into my personal martial arts blog:grin:?
Seems more and more like it...:grin:

Today's topic: isolating and controlling limbs. And I don't mean "in grappling".

Now, this was provoked by a Neil Melanson's remark that "trap positions like the shoulder pin/Williams guard and the rubber guard aim to take your hips high and climbing does open submissions". Which is no doubt true!
But I think that's only half the picture.
Such positions, the Rat Guard included (and I agree with Shawn Williams here that even the simple overhook and underhook are among them), are also useful for another reason: they isolate, control and sometimes stretch at least one arm, while giving you an angle.

And, as we all know, that makes that arm really vulnerable, even if you don't intend to grapple after that! It also sets up sweeps (if I'm controlling that arm, you can't post on it on that side, so if I kill your leg post on the same side as well, it's time to take top position), and you definitely don't need to grapple after that - not even in MMA, much less on the street...:shade:
I mean, unless it's a grappling-only event, who's to tell me I must grapple after getting to top position? Ground and pound works for MMA, and if you've got an arm controlled, that side isn't well-protected.
If there aren't rules prohibiting it, it's much easier to get up from top position - and you could kick (or run, since we're talking self-defense here:thumbsup:). It even happened in early MMA matches before "soccer kicking" a downed opponent was forbidden...

But let's go one step further: can you do the same in standing?
Sure you can, all clinch is exactly that. But I'm going to offer you three ideas that are basically not utilized in any sports context (and often are forbidden by the rules, too - which, according to Chael Sonnen, means they work).
1) Kuzushi, then atemi.
Destroy the opponent's balance. What do you have, then, if only for a split second?
A human punching bag - or rather, somebody who can't move well enough to dodge, and could fall if he tries to parry or block. Can you say "right hook"?
That's basically part of the idea of Ashihara-ryu karate, and possibly Enshin Karate and Wado-ryu. Never trained either, though. More in general, it is an old strategy, even mentioned in Frederic Lovrett's book on Japanese strategy (which is written in something like the 70ies or 80ies).
2) Chinna, then strike.
If you can lock a joint for even a split second...see above. With the added bonus that the lock a) makes other joints a vulnerable target to your strike and b) turns the enemy in a fully predictable direction (so you can deliver a strike that meets him from the direction where he's going). And obviously, he can't dodge, and at least one arm is literally locked...
No, you're not likely to hold the lock until submission. But what would any boxer give for an opponent that's moving in a predictable direction (or not moving at all) and can't defend:devil:? Also, even if you don't manage to reach even close to locking him, see the next point...
3) Try to lock, then strike on his defense.
Exactly what it says. The opponent is going to try and prevent the lock - and in standing, actually has a pretty good chance to do so! That's why the "wisdom" is that "standing submissions don't work".
Sure, they don't work for submissions...no argument here!
However, in order to prevent the lock from taking effect (and in such situations where those moves are legal, the effect is "breaking the joint"), the opponent is going to need to do some pretty predictable motions, often opening one side of his body. Neil Melanson would probably call those movements something nice like "waggling your arms like a cheerleader":gunslinger:!
But whatever you call it...what can you do with an opponent who's not attacking you, and moving predictably?
Also works if your attempt at a throw doesn't quite work, BTW. Oh, and it works even if you're trying to lock something as small as a finger.

Now, this can be countered, of course! In fact, the counter to this strategy is exactly that: to counter. Not to defend, to counter. Someone attempting to unbalance you can be thrown off-balance or locked. Same thing applies for someone trying to apply a lock - there's often counter-locks that are present!
And of course, you can counter with a strike (more applicable against a lock, IMO), but that might lead to an exchange - while the above leads him to lose initiative and be subject to his own strategy, which is often disconcerting...:shade:


And that's how you combine striking and grappling. Well, that, plus clinch fighting/dirty boxing and striking to get a favourable grappling outcome.
For example, you can take him out of balance with a strike, or at least get him to move in a particular direction (which can help you to take him further off-balance, or open up a locking opportunity).
I wonder what Neil Melanson would say if he was to read that analysis, sparked by a detail he mentioned basically "in passing". (There's good odds that he'd think I'm nuts...or he might like it, I don't know).
 

AsenRG

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I wonder what Neil Melanson would say if he was to read that analysis, sparked by a detail he mentioned basically "in passing". (There's good odds that he'd think I'm nuts...or he might like it, I don't know).
Question answered. He'd probably say something...nice...along the lines of "of course you do that in MMA, or on the street". Except maybe with more innuendo:shade:.

OTOH, I just watched him on YouTube setting-up his choke (you can google Belly Down Float) with strikes. Strike to get the opponent to remove your holding leg*, making him expose himself to a choke. Nice:devil:!

*That's the ground for you:grin:!
 

AsenRG

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And today, I have a great video for you. Sure, the guy is talking about ground, because he is a BJJ specialist...but skip to about 14:00 and listen the next half a minute or so, and you'd hear him mention my new favourite concept: "touch arts".
Without spoiling the surprise, he means "arts where you're in constant contact with your opponent". His examples were "Aikido, Judo, Wing Chun", BTW, which are mostly standing arts.


Also, I can confirm that the same concept of connection is being used in Fencing, Tai Chi and the little Wrestling I've been taught.
 

JAMUMU

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FWIW, I've heard from multiple sources that one of the names for tai chi before it became tai chi was "touch boxing", which I think sounds much cooler and more representative of moving pushing hands/scattering hands.
 

AsenRG

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FWIW, I've heard from multiple sources that one of the names for tai chi before it became tai chi was "touch boxing", which I think sounds much cooler and more representative of moving pushing hands/scattering hands.
I only knew about it being called "long boxing", because the form is long and flowing like a river, and "13 techniques", but I agree "touch boxing" is an apt description.
Amusingly, BJJ basically requires you to use the same approaches, starting with tin jin and pen jin...not that I'm any good in Tai Chi, so this doesn't really help me, but I can confirm there's some common ground:shade:!

Got any link for that story, BTW? Because the only source I found with a search was from a manga:grin:!
 

JAMUMU

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My tai chi books are in storage at the moment, but I first heard the story as a hand-me-down from our system's grandmaster, Cheng Tin-Hung, along with the term "cotton body style", which is an apt name for the tai chi nei gung I practice. I think I saw the reference in one of Marnix Well's books; Marnix is a real tai chi gentleman-scholar and his work is definitely worth reading, especially the relationship between tai chi and shaolin andt the obscure hybrid village style that developed. Buggered if I can remember what that's called.
 

AsenRG

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My tai chi books are in storage at the moment, but I first heard the story as a hand-me-down from our system's grandmaster, Cheng Tin-Hung, along with the term "cotton body style", which is an apt name for the tai chi nei gung I practice.
Well, then it doesn't really matter whether it was used. Or it might have been used only by the inner circle:thumbsup:.

I think I saw the reference in one of Marnix Well's books; Marnix is a real tai chi gentleman-scholar and his work is definitely worth reading, especially the relationship between tai chi and shaolin andt the obscure hybrid village style that developed. Buggered if I can remember what that's called.
...you mean Chen style Tai Chi, which I think was called "Cannon fist" as well:shade:?
 

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I want to get back into coaching again. So for fitness and impact development, I've been following along with Rick Young. The guy hits like a freight train!!

 

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Rick Young is the real deal. I had a chance to train with him years ago and passed it up as the journey was too far for regular classes. He's one of the few JKD guys I have total respect for.
 

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He's definitely I guy I'd love to get some boxing lessons from just to up my game.

I had a chance to train with John 'awesome' Anderson about 10 years ago. And that was a complete 'light-bulb' moment for me. Nice guy too!
 

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Geoff Thompson - Three Second Fighter. I watched this again for anyone interested in self-protection. It's probably 35 years old and it's still totally relevant for today's environment. The man is a legend!

 

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Yeah, I'd like to train with Rick Young as well, but it doesn't seem bloody likely...:shade:

Geoff Thompson - Three Second Fighter. I watched this again for anyone interested in self-protection. It's probably 35 years old and it's still totally relevant for today's environment. The man is a legend!

I recommend watching this in conjunction with "the Fence". And even more, go and read "The Art of Fighting Without Fighting". I think it used to be a free PDF, though a friend just gave it to me printed out already, almost 20 years ago...:grin:
Then again, the "fence" tactic is centuries* old. If it still worked in the 80ies, it's not about to stop any time soon. I think I used it last in 2017 or so, and it was still up to date! (My fastest win, too).
But that's probably unsurprising. After all, it's based on "touch fighting", and touch is faster than sight:devil:!

*At least centuries, I suspect much older than that. It seems to have been used by Savate in the 19th century, and honestly, people, that's further back in time than the current forms of most Asian styles...
And that's just the one I have seen written sources on.
 
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