The Martial Arts Thread

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AsenRG

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I'm back in the figurative saddle, with two practice sessions today. Being sick sucked, though it also left me with more time to watch instructionals.
Of course, I was late for BJJ, and then, with no practice for a while, got smashed by all the guys I played with. Though I also managed to get one of them in side control and rode him for quite a bit:tongue:!

The funniest part, however, was when I tried for a kimura from the bottom, until I gave up and sweeped the opponent. Then he got a kimura from bottom on me almost as he was landing. A copycat move if I've ever experienced one:shade:!

Ah well, at least I managed to last all the rolls. And as a bonus, I've decided which sweeps to focus on, so now I can start actually mastering them:thumbsup:!
 
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Rob Necronomicon

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If I was a bit younger and I didn't have any back injuries I think BJJ would have been right up my alley. Grappling is a great tool to have in the arsenal.
 

AsenRG

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If I was a bit younger and I didn't have any back injuries I think BJJ would have been right up my alley. Grappling is a great tool to have in the arsenal.
I've got back injuries as well. BJJ was what I picked partially for being least traumatic, and partially because they had kids classes in my area:shade:!

Also, at least one of the purple belts in my gym has started after 40, is nearing his 50ies now, and went to a Sambo competition recently:thumbsup:.

In other words, never give up because of age, man:angel:!
 

Rob Necronomicon

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I've got back injuries as well. BJJ was what I picked partially for being least traumatic, and partially because they had kids classes in my area:shade:!

Also, at least one of the purple belts in my gym has started after 40, is nearing his 50ies now, and went to a Sambo competition recently:thumbsup:.

In other words, never give up because of age, man:angel:!
I'm in my 50s now, alas. But I train quite a lot (well, not much during the pandemic) I just can't stay away from teaching. I love it!

But my back and shoulders are in bad shape... So a lot of grappling on the ground is probably not feasible. I'm fine as long as I stay upright. ;)
 

AsenRG

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For today's tips:
When you've got a frame, the line of force is from your head to the opponent's head (and the frame prevents him from getting head-to-head with you).
That one's courtesy of Shawn Williams. I like that guy. Unlike people who proclaim being old-school, he's not saying "so he can't headbutt you", but he is saying you should keep in mind which techniques are sport-specific and for which sport, or something to that effect...:grin:

I'm in my 50s now, alas. But I train quite a lot (well, not much during the pandemic) I just can't stay away from teaching. I love it!
Probably the third best martial artist I've met in my life was 68 at the time, and he had fallen to the ground while inside a fighter jet. He might have had worse problems than either me or you, except nobody would have guessed:shade:.

Bottom line, it's my firm belief that if you're alive, there is a way:thumbsup:!

But my back and shoulders are in bad shape... So a lot of grappling on the ground is probably not feasible. I'm fine as long as I stay upright. ;)
Just go to a local BJJ place and talk to the head instructor. You'd probably be pleasantly surprised!
 
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AsenRG

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Today's video is not anything special, guys, but it made me think of Dumarest Dumarest (unsurprising, since it's a video of a competitor hitting the "John Wayne Sweep" on another:thumbsup:).
The music might have something to do with it, too...:grin:


So, I decided to share it:shade:.
 

AsenRG

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Ryan Hall provides some quotes today...:thumbsup:
Talking about why not to use a certain finish to the arm triangle: "It only works if you're big and strong and he's not".
So what's the problem, some would ask? You can be big and strong, right?
"I didn't start Jiu Jitsu to beat up people I can arguably beat up already".
...a pretty good argument, I'd say:grin:! (He also mentions later that in a big sporting fight, you can't rely on people tapping out to pain - and if fighting for your life, in a street setting, you have to put them to sleep, because the idea of tapping out simply doesn't exist. So, you have to get your chokes correctly in order not to cause just discomfort, but to be fight-ending.
Reminds me of trainers who say "you must have at least one KO blow" in order to fight!)

And it's made even funnier by the fact that this particular finish was used recently by a female MMA competitor in Bellator to finish a fight with a standing arm triangle (the commenter dutifully noted as "the smart move would be to take her down to finish that", but she didn't seem to need it).
Actually, here's the MMA finish.

Of course, that particular fight happened after the instructional had been shot. And MMA fighters are strong! (We regularly have MMA guys visiting our gym to roll with BJJ players, which is us. I've noted that among them, the guys the are 30 or more kilograms lighter than me basically equal my absolute strength! Luckily, they actually tend to be rather nice people, sticking to the rules and avoiding injuries...:shade:)

Either way, I'm of the school of thought represented by Henry Akins, Ryan Hall and most of the people I train with (and that you've never heard about): if you can't do it without significant strength advantage, or if you have to expend lots of energy, you're doing the move wrong. Sure, you can compensate for lack of technique with strength...to a degree, and sometimes. But then you'd better take note and learn how to do it right!
Because some day, you might meet someone who's actually stronger. And if you had not, that's when people start complaining "those moves fall apart against someone stronger". (No, man, it's not "those moves", it's "your moves". Yes, that's a significant difference there:devil:).


And to be honest, I could write interesting nuggets from Ryan Hall every 30 seconds or so. Now I'm just glad he confirms one of my suspicions...
He is talking about the Brabo choke, but I think it applies to all the chokes of this kind: it's a common wisdom that head-and-arm chokes are "better for guys with longer limbs".
I've always suspected it's a mixed blessing, and that's what Hall says: it's a mixed blessing, because there's more room to scramble. So lankier guys have an easier time catching those moves, but stockier guys have a much easier time finishing them. (As he puts it, once a guy with shorter hands locks the Brabo choke, you feel like your head is going to pop off).
So yeah, I suspect the same would apply to the other head-and-arm chokes. And that's not only because I have relatively long limbs, and a hard time finishing head and arm chokes:gunslinger:!

BTW, the reason I like head and arm chokes is actually extremely simple: that's one less hand that I have to pay attention to. Which can amount to "one less hand looking to rip off your balls, eye gouge you, rip your face, or pull a knife", in a street setting.
And, as most of my favourite practitioners would tell you, at the end of the day martial arts have to work for self-defense (or for that as well). Otherwise you're misleading people!
 
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Fenris-77

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I'm in my 50s now, alas. But I train quite a lot (well, not much during the pandemic) I just can't stay away from teaching. I love it!

But my back and shoulders are in bad shape... So a lot of grappling on the ground is probably not feasible. I'm fine as long as I stay upright. ;)
Ugh. My back and shoulders are so fucked after coaching Judo for so long its not even funny. Getting old isnt for the faint of heart.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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Ugh. My back and shoulders are so fucked after coaching Judo for so long its not even funny. Getting old isnt for the faint of heart.
I hear ya'... And besides all my Mar Arts injuries I've really bad RSI from constant computer work. But that's how I make a crust so I can't really take a break from it. C'est la vie! :sad:
 

BedrockBrendan

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Ugh. My back and shoulders are so fucked after coaching Judo for so long its not even funny. Getting old isnt for the faint of heart.

Age and wear and tear definitely have an impact. I am definitely thinking of sticking with something lighter or slower paced now. My hearing and the areas around my ears are completely messed up from it. I have memory issues. I have almost no equilibrium any more (I always had a good chin, but in the last few years, I started getting this 'being on the deck of a rocking ship' effect where it felt like the ring was moving like a ship deck after getting hit hard: and it was different from getting my bell rung, I wasn't about to get knocked out, just my equilibrium was off. I even get it randomly during the day or sometimes when I blow my nose. My neck has some issues too. I also have a long standing rib injury and the normal aches and pains in joints (both from age but also I am sure from old injuries). I have friends that are in my worse shape. One of my old trainers has serious hip issues and I think he is going to have to get surgery at some point. And his back is very bad. I can tell he is in constant pain when I see him.

I have noticed that keeping weight off is a good strategy for minimizing some of these problems (doesn't do anything for the ears but it does help with the joints).
 

BedrockBrendan

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I hear ya'... And besides all my Mar Arts injuries I've really bad RSI from constant computer work. But that's how I make a crust so I can't really take a break from it. C'est la vie! :sad:

The computer always gets me if I don't set the monitor and chair to the right height. I was having horrible pains in my shoulders after getting a new computer recently and I almost didn't make the connection until I realized the screen was much higher and it forced me to crane my head back to view it. Adjusting the made a big difference
 

Baulderstone

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The computer always gets me if I don't set the monitor and chair to the right height. I was having horrible pains in my shoulders after getting a new computer recently and I almost didn't make the connection until I realized the screen was much higher and it forced me to crane my head back to view it. Adjusting the made a big difference
A few years ago, I mounted my monitors on adjustable arms, and being able to easily adjust them my current position has been a great help when it comes neck and shoulder pain after a long day on the computer.
 

AsenRG

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Guys, I'd recommend you all to find good chiropractors for those joints. I had similar issues in my 30ies until I found a chakrakchiya, which is basically a folk version of a chiropractor...

Though unlike you, I knew exactly what had caused them:shade:.
I visited the chakrakchiya exactly once, too (he doesn't live in the same city, or I'd have visited more). And now I'm training with injuries that most people consider grounds for leaving.
Now, that's for joints. For the head-related stuff I can't recommend anything, but abstaining from further trauma would probably be a good idea!

As an aside, I'm really sorry I didn't get into chiropractice. Though maybe it's not late? I mean, I'm about to learn a lot about people's joints...:grin:

Which reminds me that today's practice was great. I played with a sambo guy who's branched into BJJ - he had more experience in grappling than me and better conditioning...but he was also trying to use moves he didn't know well, so I actually spent most of the time on top. It was refreshing!
After the practice, I spoke with a purple belt in the gym and asked him questions. He evaluated my technical skills and conditioning and told me that I'm approaching the bottom game wrong.
According to him, it's "too early" for me to play closed guard and shoulder pin/Williams guard, until I improve my stretching, especially in the hip joints.
I have to ask him about half guard, which I suspect requires less stretching. But his advice was to focus on butterfly guard!
Which suits me fine, actually. I was planning to do the butterfly guard, I just expected that it would be considered "more advanced", so I was putting that off. But it seems I've got that wrong...:angel:

Well, I have to still finish my Williams guard instructionals, though obviously I'd have to revisit them later. But after that, I'm going to focus on the butterfly guard!
I still have to watch Marcelo Garcia's Butterfly guard instructional, but I already have some idea what to do, thanks to Carlos Machado!

Curious aside: I considered the butterfly guard more advanced because it reminds me of silat and similar styles, which require great conditioning and lots of practice. There's definitely silat sweeps and kicks that are performed from positions that are basically Butterfly guard!
Well, I guess I'm going to find out.
 

Rob Necronomicon

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The computer always gets me if I don't set the monitor and chair to the right height. I was having horrible pains in my shoulders after getting a new computer recently and I almost didn't make the connection until I realized the screen was much higher and it forced me to crane my head back to view it. Adjusting the made a big difference
Yeah, getting a good posture is really important.

I had a lot of friends who had terrible RSI over the years and they were in bits with it. Some had to walk around with their arms in casts or even in slings. I kind of paid it no mind. That was until about 4 years ago when my mouse hand (the shoulder) started to ache more than usual. A few days later I couldn't lift my arm above the shoulder not only because of the pain but it just wouldn't move at all. And it took 6 months to recover (partially). I actually had to switch to using my left hand for the mouse (still do).

It's not something I would ever ignore again.
 

AsenRG

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I had some luck applying stuff I'd learned from instructionals in today's rolling. Or in one case, stuff I'd learned from combining two or three instructionals...:grin:
First note, I played today with some guys that are younger and fitter than me. Last time I played with them, they smashed and passed me, going for submissions.
Not quite how it worked today.
One of them tried smashing me from half guard, but I prevented the pass and finally managed to sweep him. I literally told him afterwards "now you can see how nice it feels":devil:.
Then I managed to pass him to side control and rode him until the end of the time. Well, I was trying to go for a kimura, but he was keeping his elbows glued in...

The other one was way more dynamic. This one managed to pass me, but then went for juji gatame (armbar). And here's what I don't like about juji-gatame: you lose position by trying it.
Bottom line, I followed him when he went to his back to lock me, smashed him from the top, freed my hand, and ended up on top. He actually managed to re-guard!
But then I pressured him again, and he tried to go for single leg. I resisted, he tried to rise up.
That's when I remembered how Neil Melanson recommends to deal with people who rise up (in an MMA context): rise and bump into them. When they bump back, go back down and pull them with you, into your grips.
Well, almost, except I decided to rise, bump into him and then pull him back into a butterfly sweep, which I'd learned from Carlos Machado's instructional (and Stephen Keasting's as well). It was only after that that I realized this is actually called sumi-gaeshi in Judo, and that Fenris-77 Fenris-77 would approve of this move:angel:!
Well, except that guy actually didn't land on his back for an ippon, he landed in turtle. No side control for me, as far as he was concerned!
And that was exactly when I remembered how Neil Melanson and Jake Shannon recommend breaking the turtle. Bottom line, I got his far elbow and far knee, chest pushed him, and he toppled under my side control:gunslinger:!
Admittedly, I didn't manage to get any submissions, but it was fun. And as I've said, I'm not grappling for submissions, I want to learn to control people's postures and movements! A quick submission (the only kind I actually know) can only impede that - but if I can control a guy, a submission is a matter of time:shade:!


Also, on Wednsday, I'm going to have a stretching lesson with a pro trainer. That's outright painful, and counts as the hardest conditioning I've ever seen:skeleton:!
 
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AsenRG

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Just to let you know, guys...the stretching was as painful as I expected. Also, it was great:grin:! I'm planning another private session next week, or maybe tomorrow...

Alas, today wasn't nearly as good for my training, due to "tummy issues" and some muscle cramps. So I took it off for recovery, instead. Might do some stretching, depending on how I feel when I get back from work...but odds are I'd just abuse the dummy for a while and go to sleep:shade:.
Still, if we count the conditioning as well, I've got four practice sessions this week already, so I should be able to catch up tomorrow:tongue:!

Fun fact: this is the week before Easter for me:thumbsup:.

Oh, and just something I found while browsing YouTube on work and wanted to share:

Please note the timestamps in the description! Also, it starts with clearly explaining the principles to be used, and actually defines the grips first!
Bottom line, that stuff is better than some of the things I've paid for...and my respect for Dean Lister only grows:gunslinger:!
 
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AsenRG

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I joined Demian Maia's Instagram* last night. First post I see was "I tried to apply for Polish citizenship because that's what my grandmother and grandfather were citizens of when they came to Brazil, so I digged their documents out, and it turns out this place is in Ukraine today":thumbsup:!

*After looking through the curriculum of some of his instructionals that I haven't purchased...yet. Yes, I'm very likely to buy those, based on what I saw:shade:!
 

AsenRG

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Given this post, and the several books I'm looking at (my debit cart protested:thumbsup:), I'd like to speak about the differences between learning from books, from instructional videos, from live coaching and from experience. (BTW, I'd love to see an RPG system that differentiates between those, too...even BRP doesn't cover videos separately, though it and Traveller/Cepheus have the most space devoted to the concept, like separating self-study from experience, from learning with a manual, and learning with a teacher:grin:!)

Obviously you learn the best from live coaching, or at least I do (and private lessons>seminars>group training because of the "tailored to your needs" part...well, or should be). Especially when you have mistakes, a good coach can look at you for 5 minutes and tell you where you're doing it wrong.

Learning from experience is clear. You try something, if it works, do it more and see if you can make it better, especially if it occurs often in "free sparring". If it fails, see why. Likewise for stuff that worked on you. You can analyze everything...and RQ giving bonuses for Intelligence wasn't far off the point.

Learning from books is, however, often superior to video, or at least from most video. Yes, I expect some of you to disagree.
But see, most books aren't "collections of techniques". They often, though not always, seem to explain the "why" of a technique and have chapters on principles. And principles matter, at least to me. (As an aside, some people don't like them - when a purple belt was explaining me what I was doing wrong, he explained it in a structured way. A guy started looking at him, obviously kinda surprised. Pepi looked at him and said "why are you surprised, he's the kind of intellectual guy that understands best when explained in this way"...and man, was he right! I always try to reduce techniques to principles, it's just that I usually need to do that myself:angel:! But I very much prefer the "tell me what I strive to achieve, what I strive to prevent, maybe give me some examples and let me try" approach...)

OTOH, many instructional videos...don't bother. "Do this, and this, and this, he's done (submitted, taken down, struck, whatever is "done" in the particular case). People like Ryan Hall, Rob Biernacki, Shawn Williams, Henry Akins, Rory Van Vliet and Stephan Kesting and some others are famous for explaining the why. There's the famous "32 principles of BJJ" video, too, and Danaher, and Emily Kwok and Marcelo Garcia, who explain the principles as well...
Neil Melanson is an interesting case, as he explains some principles on an as-needed basis. But what some people would call "off-topic" is often stuff that would work in more than this situation.
Stuff like "use your grapevines when in guard to off-balance and control the opponent". It works, yet almost nobody does it! Melanson himself said a catch wrestler explained it to him.

Tomorrow: Bottom up practical principles vs top down theoretical principles! A.k.a. "tell me what to achieve and what to prevent, give me some examples of how and let me try" vs "tell me what principles must guide my every move":devil:!
 
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AsenRG

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Tomorrow: Bottom up practical principles vs top down theoretical principles! A.k.a. "tell me what to achieve and what to prevent, give me some examples of how and let me try" vs "tell me what principles must guide my every move":devil:!
As promised...:thumbsup:

Last night I got to a post which exemplified what "bottom down principles" are and how important they are. Since you're also on this forum, you'll get the analogy, which I wouldn't make on a different forum, as it would feel flat. I suspect D DeadBob might be surprised:grin:!
As many times as I'd seen old grogs name-check Tony Bath's book, I got it thinking it would be incredibly revelatory text about an old Campaign/Braunstein style play.

And, kinda-sorta was. I guess?

One thing I've found, even when talking with folks like Old Geezer or Chrine ba Kal (or folks who run big. multi-player, multi-faction semi-RP minis games at conventions) is that they aren't really very good with being able to explain the soft, organizational stuff.

To understand, I've really had to ask a whole lot of questions and follow up questions drilling down to fundamentals, and then build back out from there.

It's also part of the reason those guys will commonly say stuff like "The Rules Don't matter!!"

Which, while true in the sense that lots of stuff could sub in or out for specific mechanics of say combat, the overall methods at the bigger organizational level actually are pretty important.

Getting back to the Tony Bath book, there's a ton of fairly intricate Ancients combat rules...which could essentially be thrown away entirely and replaced with whatever you happen to have on hand personally. Those rules don't matter.


But running the campaign? Yeah, that matters a lot and that part of the book is a bit fluffy and ambiguous. It's a bit like you're just supposed to already understand and have experienced a good bit of the stuff he's talking about, so you just need to understand his specific approach.

Which, honestly, can make it a bit mysterious to the outsider not part of the late 1960s minis scene.

(Incidentally, one of the things I found interesting was that, at some level, the entire dispersed player base, submitting in their turn orders by post or telephone, occasionally, and apparently in largely non-mechanically terms mostly simply ended up being the inspiration for Tony Bath and his local buddy's tabletop miniatures battles. In other words, the combat system for the campaign was "Tony and friend fight miniatures battle against each other using whatever rules they feel like, then write down results and send them to you. If they need, they will alter or create rules as necessary." Which is kind of clever but also a bit odd.)


Anyways...The TL;DR is that Bath seems influential in creating a kind of wargame campaign aspiration that I think heavily influenced later RPG designer thinking about campaigns, including Gygax's. Whether he ran it taht way or not, I don't know first hand.

I do think you see mechanical design aspects in text that hint at the aspirations of campaign play in the Bath style, but further enriched/complicated by being paired with RPG mechanics.
So bottom down principles are simpler, immediately applicable things like "use your grapevines in guard to disrupt the opponent's balance", "get an underhook* on the side of the trapped leg when in half guard", and so on. Those are, however, not easily applicable cross-disciplinary. You just have to recognize when the situation warrants them. They can make or break your game...but to a degree, you can get away with replacing them with different stuff.

*Neil Melanson, however, gets an overhook, then uses it to pressure your hand until he can touch his own bottom leg with the underhook hand, thus pressuring you down. Yes, this is important, because it exemplifies that you can get away with replacing one set of moves with another, as long as you stick to a more general principle. The principle here is "don't let him get his head next to yours and on the side of the trapped leg". Both the whizzer and the underhook achieve this, if the whizzer pressures in the opposite direction.
Likewise, some people don't even use a grapevine in guard to disrupt your balance, even though I mentioned it as a bottom up rule for the guard. They stick to a closed guard and disrupt your balance by controlling the upper body with hands, moving the hips and pressure with the thighs. And if it works for them, who am I to tell them they should?


OTOH, the "top down" principles can NEVER, EVER be violated without consequences and there's no "replacing" them, either. Seriously, you can choose to ignore (though it usually ends up being "not accounting for", instead...) a certain principle, or to minimize its use, but they're still there no matter what you do and there's no escaping it. Not even when you change to a different discipline!
Yes, you hear me right, those principles apply to striking, grappling on the feet, grappling on the ground, and weapons.
Here's a video example which says it clearly...but on the author's site (Rory Van Vliet) he says outright "that's actually the most important principle in all of fighting". And I agree. In fact, I've spoken about it here before I had watched the video:gunslinger:!
Other principles (after "protect your alignment, base and posture"): timing, getting an angle, footwork, disrupting the opponent's footwork when possible, controlling the center, controlling the inside space, using frames, keeping your balance, destroying the opponent's balance, misdirection, using your defense to set up your attack, using the opponent's defense to set up your next attack, using frames to defend, using levers to amplify your strength, advancing gradually on bigger goals, using internal rotation and shaking to disrupt your opponent's defense, and so on and so forth, from the most general ones to the least general ones...

So: specific techniques are like rules in an RPG. You can and should replace those: trying to play Mythras and expecting to get more and more HP with each advance isn't going to work.
Bottom up principles are like campaign set-up guidelines. To a degree, you can and should replace them between campaigns even in the same style: a "Westmarches"-style campaign requires a rule about what happens to PCs that weren't active last week, but that rule can be "nothing happened", or "you roll on this table". A campaign that expects regular weekly sessions with full attendance has no use for either, it only needs a rule for what happens to a PC when the player can't make it for RL reasons. And of course, people can organize their campaigns quite differently from how Tony Bath or Arneson would... (BTW, another example for bottom-up principles are GMing styles).
Top down principles are "find the right group", "talk about expectations before the campaign begins", and "look at what the players do, then tell them what happens in the in-game world, then ask them what they do, rinse and repeat".

OK, it's an imperfect analogy, but you get what I mean. And it is only appropriate for this board to compare RPGs to martial arts:tongue:!
Yes, we're nerds here. But then again, if a famous grappling competitor has a separate Twitter account for his collection of Star Wars figurines...it's only par for the course:shade:!
 

AsenRG

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Returning to practicing and rolling today, it was fun. Played with a new guy twice and tried to show him a mount escape while rolling. Of course, I still submitted him once on each roll... though the second time it happened without me even meaning to submit him yet.
No, I'm serious. I mean, I would have been looking for submission, but I didn't see a path to go for one, so I was trying to improve my control instead.
He tapped out when he didn't manage to pull out from under my side control, and I'd got a solid grip on his far upper hand. His explanation was "I have no idea what to do now".
OK, we've all been there:thumbsup:! Though I think he also got a lesson that he really should have persisted when the timer rang not 10 seconds later: if he hadn't tapped, it's doubtful I'd have managed to score a submission in the time allotted...


I also played with a blue belt, which probably means he's got 1-5 years of BJJ practice on me (I don't think anyone has received blue belt in our gym with less than 18 months of training). So in retrospect, it was a good thing I only got submitted twice:grin:!
My other successes were that I managed to score a sweep, and got to side control for 1,5 seconds before he returned me to his guard. No, I didn't manage to pass his guard - my guard passing still sucks! However, I let him try and triangle me from below, pulled out of that, and ended up in side control:shade:!

Amusingly, that seems to be my most reliable method for passing people's guards: letting them try and triangle me! Then I pull out from it, and I've now passed their guards. It's indeed a game plan worthy of a PC...maybe I should learn a guard pass after all:tongue:?

And as one last note: this reminds me of the old movie, Million Dollar Baby.
"Boxing is an unnatural act. Cos everything in it is backwards. You wanna move to the left, you don't step left, you push on the right toe. To move right, you use your left toe. Instead of running from the pain - like a sane person would do, you step into it."

And...well, it's exactly like that in all kind of martial arts, not just boxing. Except I wouldn't call it "unnatural".
A better word is "paradoxical". You do the opposite of what seems like the most direct way. To pull, you push first, and vice versa. To free the way for your blade, you engage the opponent's blade.

The question is, how to apply that to training? I mean, the first part is clear: if you want to focus on attack (and who doesn't...), you study defense, defense, defense. Than you can do the defense on reflex, you can count on it, so you can focus on the attack.

I suspect you could do it the other way around, and drill attacks from all kinds of positions in order to be able to focus on your defense, instead. Or maybe that's just the next step, during which you have to focus on the defense instead? Does that mean you'd return to focusing on attack again in a third step?
Or does it remain constant?
No idea. I should remember to check what I'm focusing on in a couple years...:angel:


Also: "All fighters are pig-headed some way or another: some part of them always thinks they know better than you about something. Truth is: even if they're wrong, even if that one thing is going to be the ruin of them, if you can beat that last bit out of them... they ain't fighters at all."
This made me chuckle, back then, because it's so true!
 

AsenRG

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I've only gone twice to BJJ last week. I'm getting lazy...other than feeling getting sick.
However, in the Saturday rolling, I finally managed to get two kimura submissions. Which would have been* great, other than the facts that I realized afterwards.

1) I was 40kgs heavier. Not that I don't want to change that, but even if I was at my target weight, I'd still have been about 25 kgs heavier. Now, the guy was about 25 years younger, not to mention being in great shape...but weight matters.
2) Not only that, but I was also the one with more experience in BJJ. In fact, I realized the next day that I should already be heading towards the part of the gym for "people who've been training over 6 months". That's how they split us usually during drilling (when you roll, roll with whoever wants to roll with you).
In my defence, he invited me to roll, because there was nobody available. (We happened to not be an even number, so I was hitting the calisthenics rack - whatever it's called in English - before I spotted him looking for a partner. I presume someone needed to stop early, possibly due to exhaustion. One thing this guy had going for him, he wasn't exhausted after spending the whole roll on the botttom - also called "youth", I believe...:shade:)
...so realizing I can just manhandle him, I stopped and offered him pointers on how to sweep me. Or I tried to.
It turned out he doesn't know what a butterfly sweep is and is, in general, not really interested in sweeps. "I can't take you over no matter what".
I politely contradicted him and lead him through a butterfly sweep, showing him how it sends my heavy ass flipping over.
Still, he remained unconvinced. "I prefer takedowns and submissions", as he put it.
I pointed to him politely that he should maybe consider sweeps to be "takedowns from the ground", quoting John Danaher. Not sure how much impression I made, but when he started arguing again, I stopped him.
"That's an advice, man. I'm a white belt, same as you. I tell you what it looks like to me, you decide by yourself, OK?"

...and only after returning to the calisthenics rack did I realize that I've ended that conversation with a "git off my lawn and break your head any way you want" statement:grin:!
But then, I'm on this forum, am I not:tongue:?

He was more than OK. I reminded him to ask the coach about sweeps afterwards, but he said "I prefer to ask him about some submissions, this I can watch at home on YouTube".
Fair enough. My last advice to him was to look for "butterfly sweep Carlos Machado":angel:! I'm a self-admitted fan of his, but that's because the man explains diligently and patiently.

*It was still a good feeling. As my professor* said, "doesn't matter on whom you got it, it still shows you've retained the grip position".
**Though he prefers that we refer to him by "coach" or his first name, though some people believe that a black belt entitles him to be called "professor" or "sensei":thumbsup:.
 

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I rolled with heavier guys today. I was leading on points on both...except one of them scored an armbar submission on me.
Well, he is more experienced. But I was still leading on points:evil:!

Also, I've been thinking of something and reaching surprising and possibly controversial conclusions...:grin:

Both "submission before position" and "position before submission" are misleading statements, or at least they were misleading for me. There's no submission and no position, I just present a threat. The threat can be submission or position (and a throw, a grip, a takedown or a manoeuvre can be a way to get position, just like how a strike - armed or unarmed - can do the job of a submission)!
The important part is to get the opponent to defend and to use the defense to get another technique in. Then, if it wasn't a "submission", another.

Which is also how fencing works IME. So here's the next surprising conclusion: all fighting is fencing:shade:!
 

AsenRG

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I've failed to rouse the spirits even with controversial conclusions. What happened to you, guys:shock:?

Also, I was thinking of starting a martial arts in RPG thread and then I noticed I've started three already. No need for more:shade:.

I've got nothing to share for today, but I'm considering taking those posts and putting them on my blog:grin:!
 

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I've failed to rouse the spirits even with controversial conclusions. What happened to you, guys:shock:?

Also, I was thinking of starting a martial arts in RPG thread and then I noticed I've started three already. No need for more:shade:.

I've got nothing to share for today, but I'm considering taking those posts and putting them on my blog:grin:!
Always interesting to read man. I love chatting about mar ats but I know very little about grappling or MMA tbh. Now with Self-Protection and military unarmed combat, I could talk for days about without sleep. :smile:
 

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Position and submission are two very fluid notions that equally inform each decision in a roll. I don't really see them as useful notions beyond that. It's not like you can rely on the other fellow doing what you want as you enact your nefarious 6 step master plan to lock in a Kimura.
 

AsenRG

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Position and submission are two very fluid notions that equally inform each decision in a roll. I don't really see them as useful notions beyond that. It's not like you can rely on the other fellow doing what you want as you enact your nefarious 6 step master plan to lock in a Kimura.
True, that. And yet we still manage to get submissions, which are basically never one-step affairs. People are often way more predictable than they think:shade:.
Besides, unlike with throws, you don't need to get all the components of a submission at once, or in order. I call that "compiling subs from spare parts"...:tongue:

Always interesting to read man. I love chatting about mar ats but I know very little about grappling or MMA tbh. Now with Self-Protection and military unarmed combat, I could talk for days about without sleep. :smile:
One shouldn't think of grappling as separate thing, is one of my few insights about that. The goal is still self-protection, just with different priorities about the approach.
And the dirty secret is that a grab can easily be a strike*, while after immobilizing a limb you're not obligated to continue with grappling (outside a competition). A strike is just as valid, and quicker, if you can strike from up close:thumbsup:.

That should be more familiar from self-protection/military combat, I suppose?

*The number of times I've heard "club him in the head" while watching wrestling and judo instructionals lately is actually quite funny:grin:!
 

Fenris-77

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True, that. And yet we still manage to get submissions, which are basically never one-step affairs. People are often way more predictable than they think:shade:.
Besides, unlike with throws, you don't need to get all the components of a submission at once, or in order. I call that "compiling subs from spare parts"...:tongue:


One shouldn't think of grappling as separate thing, is one of my few insights about that. The goal is still self-protection, just with different priorities about the approach.
And the dirty secret is that a grab can easily be a strike*, while after immobilizing a limb you're not obligated to continue with grappling (outside a competition). A strike is just as valid, and quicker, if you can strike from up close:thumbsup:.

That should be more familiar from self-protection/military combat, I suppose?

*The number of times I've heard "club him in the head" while watching wrestling and judo instructionals lately is actually quite funny:grin:!
Well, sure, of course we do. Position is what we do when there isn't an opportunity in the moment to submit (or strike, depending the flavor of the milkshake). The move to submit is always a gamble, and the general theory is to work position until the gamble makes sense set next to the potential downside of failure and whatnot. Generally we look for submission, and position is movements in that direction. They aren't separate or anything though, as you say, and the unexpected in terms of opponent response changes the teleos of the roll on a moment to moment basis.

The relationship between distance/footwork and strikes works similarly, IMO anyway. I'm sure some people might disagree.
 

AsenRG

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Well, sure, of course we do. Position is what we do when there isn't an opportunity in the moment to submit (or strike, depending the flavor of the milkshake). The move to submit is always a gamble, and the general theory is to work position until the gamble makes sense set next to the potential downside of failure and whatnot. Generally we look for submission, and position is movements in that direction. They aren't separate or anything though, as you say, and the unexpected in terms of opponent response changes the teleos of the roll on a moment to moment basis.
Agreed with all of the above, with one addendum: Position is what we do when there isn't an opportunity in the moment to submit/strike/throw or we want to preserve/improve the advantage we've got already:thumbsup:!

The relationship between distance/footwork and strikes works similarly, IMO anyway. I'm sure some people might disagree.
Some might, but not me:grin:! The above sentence would very well work with strikes as well, both in stance or on the ground.
Except in stance, I'd like to add "distance, footwork, facing and grips":tongue:!
 

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Surprising none of you, I've been thinking about principles and how they fit together...:thumbsup:

Why? Because I noticed last night how much attention Neil Melanson pays (in his book, at least) to the direction of your navel. And well, if you call it "The One Point", "Tanden", or "Dan tien", I swear nothing would change in that move...:grin:
But getting your navel to point in the right direction from the right space in time is called "angle" and ties with "alignment/posture". And then disrupting the orientation of the opponent's navel (and controlling the space where his head is) is a natural extension, but to do that properly, you tie it to the principles of "base" and "connection" (which, once again, isn't grappling-specific, I learned it in mostly-striking styles first:shade:).
But then to do so you need to get a grip or at least contact, so we get to "gripping", "footwork/movement", "power generation", "lines of control", and get a refreshment course on "base" and "connection"...oh, and "power generation" gets us to "breathing" and "alignment" again.
And somewhere along this study you'd have to notice that your physical ability ain't up to par, so you'd need to focus on that as well.

So if you focus properly on one thing, and explore its ramifications, you'd have to learn...well, pretty much everything.
Probably not a surprising conclusion, now that I think of it, but it was nice to consider:angel:.




Also: watching a BJJ black belt*(former wrestler)'s course on grip fighting today I noticed something that reminded me of a theory of mines: the moves he uses to parry the opponent's grips are what I've been taught as "classical parries". I've noticed it in wrestling before, but his moves were Judo-based, AFAICT, and he used some moves that I haven't seen from wrestlers (or I've forgotten, if I've seen them:tongue:).
And he says in other videos that grabbing in Judo can actually be like clubbing your opponent - so of course people would have to defend it like a strike, because it is!
Seems like a confirmation of my theory that most moves in the striking part of what we term "classical martial arts" were either derived from the wrestling and weapons curriculum, or were at least meant to be "double-use".


*Known as Chewy, of the Chewjitsu channel...and yes, he's been nicknamed after Chewbacca (after accidentally using too much strength, from what he says:gunslinger:). Well, he is kinda hairy, and sure looks strong!
But whatever, this nickname makes him even more suitable for discussing on this site.
 

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One shouldn't think of grappling as separate thing, is one of my few insights about that. The goal is still self-protection, just with different priorities about the approach.
And the dirty secret is that a grab can easily be a strike*, while after immobilizing a limb you're not obligated to continue with grappling (outside a competition). A strike is just as valid, and quicker, if you can strike from up close:thumbsup:.

That should be more familiar from self-protection/military combat, I suppose?

*The number of times I've heard "club him in the head" while watching wrestling and judo instructionals lately is actually quite funny:grin:!

I agree man. Cross-training is the way to go!
 

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I've watched some of Chewies videos before, he was enlightening and entertaining. As for BJJ, I did a few sessions, but one of my long-term teachers/training partners was also a Judo black belt and was very good at the Judo ground game, so I was too lazy to cross-train. My style is primarily standing-grappling, but we'd sometimes go to ground when we had the mats out. A lot of the principles seem very similar. But that's because ultimately grappling is grappling, I guess!
 

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I've watched some of Chewies videos before, he was enlightening and entertaining. As for BJJ, I did a few sessions, but one of my long-term teachers/training partners was also a Judo black belt and was very good at the Judo ground game, so I was too lazy to cross-train. My style is primarily standing-grappling, but we'd sometimes go to ground when we had the mats out. A lot of the principles seem very similar. But that's because ultimately grappling is grappling, I guess!

I'm definitely a bit lazy as well to cross-train properly. I really wish I'd done BJJ or Judo in the 90s. Now I think it would take too much of a toll on my aging body. I'm also still dealing with injuries I got in my late thirties. Incidentally, they were from ground fighting methods of self-protection. I knocked my back out trying to shift a 16-stone lad about. LOL So now my game is 'stand up' and EQC when in close.
 

JAMUMU

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I'm definitely a bit lazy as well to cross-train properly. I really wish I'd done BJJ or Judo in the 90s. Now I think it would take too much of a toll on my aging body. I'm also still dealing with injuries I got in my late thirties. Incidentally, they were from ground fighting methods of self-protection. I knocked my back out trying to shift a 16-stone lad about. LOL So now my game is 'stand up' and EQC when in close.

I hear ya! One of my best mates started BJJ in his 40s (he's a TKD Desperate Dan grade) and the punishment he takes is definitely on the "cautionary tale scale", as well as a source of much mirth.
 

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I hear ya! One of my best mates started BJJ in his 40s (he's a TKD Desperate Dan grade) and the punishment he takes is definitely on the "cautionary tale scale", as well as a source of much mirth.
I have a couple of mates who do Judo in their forties and they are paying the price now. :smile: I know a lot of trad Martial Artists who are also in a bad way from snapping their punches out with nothing to absorb the impact. It's really bad for the joints.
 

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This is the core of the striking training from our style, which completely revolutionised my approach and saves my joints much wear and tear, compared to my years doing harder styles. It's also done with special weights in the hands to build stopping power and endurance. Also also, it's called Running Thunder Hand, which is an awesome name.

I've never trained with Wim (same lineage tho), but would love to.

 

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I see he's wearing a Paladin Press T-Shirt. Much respect!!

I do love a lot of those 'half-beat' striking methods. Actually, that's the first time I've ever seen practical Tai Chi to be honest. I like it!
 

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I came to share with you my greatest martial arts success for the day: I found a guy who wants to drill his BJJ moves. So we're going to meet in a park next week, and drill, drill, drill, like a prospector in a Texas oilfield!
I found him by the long-standing tradition of offering him to roll (we were the only guys without a partner). I quickly realized he's even newer to BJJ than me, so I gave him a couple pointers while rolling, including showing him his first mount escape.
Him: "OK, I have no idea what to do from here".
Me: "Trap this hand like this, trap the leg on the same side, bridge to that side...welcome to my guard, but you're on top".
Then I rolled with him until we got back to him being under my mount (knee shield to kneeling open guard to single leg, which ended with me in his guard, and then I applied what seems to be becoming my go-to guard pass). Then I let him do it again.
I have to admit, it was fun to do that to someone 15 years younger who is the same weight as me (most people in the gym are lighter).

After training, he said he needs to drill lots of things. I agreed, and offered him to drill with me, and we exchanged phone numbers. After all, I also need to drill lots of things!
Come to think of it, I used lots of single legs today. It just made sense.
Also, the guard pass I'm coming to like is opening the guard (elbows in the thighs and knee in the butt) followed by attempted, telegraphed knee slice... but then I pass towards his back. I like it, because when I telegraph, the guy moves to block my knee slice with his other knee, and he can...but I can just walk my legs towards his back, and he has no limbs that can stop that:skeleton:.
Either way, we end in side control, with me on top, and I even manage to get the (modified?) giftwrap grip while I'm there. Which threatens a backtake.
It's all about playing chess with human bodies, I'm telling you!

I've watched some of Chewies videos before, he was enlightening and entertaining. As for BJJ, I did a few sessions, but one of my long-term teachers/training partners was also a Judo black belt and was very good at the Judo ground game, so I was too lazy to cross-train. My style is primarily standing-grappling, but we'd sometimes go to ground when we had the mats out. A lot of the principles seem very similar. But that's because ultimately grappling is grappling, I guess!
Well, BJJ is derived from Judo, historically. The ground game should be quite similar...though BJJ guys are surprised to hear that sankaku osae gatame is a pin in Judo. I know I was:grin:.
Of course, BJJ has added a lot more since the time of Maeda, including wrestling and catch wrestling moves - you're never going to persuade me that the single leg came from BJJ originally, and I used one in a BJJ roll today - but then cross-polination is only natural in our hobby...

I see he's wearing a Paladin Press T-Shirt. Much respect!!

I do love a lot of those 'half-beat' striking methods. Actually, that's the first time I've ever seen practical Tai Chi to be honest. I like it!
Tai Chi has much to recommend it, if you can find a practical-minded teacher...but that's a huge "if" IME:thumbsup:.
I haven't managed to find one yet.

This is the core of the striking training from our style, which completely revolutionised my approach and saves my joints much wear and tear, compared to my years doing harder styles. It's also done with special weights in the hands to build stopping power and endurance. Also also, it's called Running Thunder Hand, which is an awesome name.

I've never trained with Wim (same lineage tho), but would love to.

Is your style Judo or Tai Chi? Or are you doing both?

I need to watch that clip in more detail before commenting, but it seems like a very good description of what I call "traditional striking mechanics".
I'm definitely a bit lazy as well to cross-train properly. I really wish I'd done BJJ or Judo in the 90s. Now I think it would take too much of a toll on my aging body. I'm also still dealing with injuries I got in my late thirties. Incidentally, they were from ground fighting methods of self-protection. I knocked my back out trying to shift a 16-stone lad about. LOL So now my game is 'stand up' and EQC when in close.
It's your call, of course...but what does EQC stand for? I'm guessing it's "something quarters combat"...:shade:

I hear ya! One of my best mates started BJJ in his 40s (he's a TKD Desperate Dan grade) and the punishment he takes is definitely on the "cautionary tale scale", as well as a source of much mirth.
...punishment? In BJJ:shock:?
I mean, if he has transitioned to MMA, yes, I could see that, but really, people, ground fighting is IME the safest method of fighting. Not in the sense of "safest for the street", I mean exactly "safest during training"!
And that's not due to BJJ, I even have or had a Russian manual suggesting to start training people for bodyguard work by ne-waza/ground grappling. The logic wasn't that they're going to use that, but to get them used to manipulating other people's bodies, BTW. And the author stated as a proven fact that the groundwork is safest.
Why? There's several reasons:
No strikes in most schools.
No heavy throws - many people don't train them enough to throw you with an amplitude throw, people who cross-train wrestling or judo are exceptions. But even those those that can do them, have no incentives to apply them: IBJJF rules forbid you to injure an opponent with a throw, if you're into sport. And if you're not...well, for a groundfight expert taking you to the ground is a major step forward. A short-amplitude throw or a guard pull (if you feel confident in your bottom game) achieve the same thing and are much easier to apply.
The ground game is slow and methodical, especially in gi, but IME even no-gi is less dynamic than standing judo or sambo...not to mention wrestling. You can control the opponent better (much like you can when you press him to a wall), especially in gi. That means you actually don't rely on speed and explosiveness to apply the submission, you remove the opponent's ability to defend instead until you have a window of opportunity. And that window lasts longer, so it's basically a game of slowly squeezing the opponent like a lemon. But, importantly, it also means that for druncle situations (drunken uncle getting aggressive), BJJ is excellent, because there's almost no damage until at the very end. And that "damage" is often minimal if the opponent submits... And you don't even need to submit the druncle. Just take him to the ground, sweep, take your strongest position, and let him try to get out from under you until he gases out:angel:.
So bottom line, unless you train with people who want to smash you into the ground and/or apply submissions quickly and explosively (and if you are, GET THE HELL OUT), BJJ should be totally safe. We've got a couple guys in the gym who are around 50.

Now, guys, I'm sure that standing is almost as safe for you and for me...now. But it is due to us having gotten used to it and found ways to cope with most attacks.

However, despite that, I still plan to go crosstrain some judo/sambo/"Greco-Roman*" wrestling, I get enough grabbing other guys legs in BJJ:gunslinger:). And I might try some MMA afterwards.
Why? I like throws as well, that's why - and I haven't mastered them to the level of the wrestlers I meet in BJJ,
Bottom line, I just love martial arts more than any style.

*It's actually French in origin and that fact always amuses me:tongue:. We actually call it "classical wrestling" in Bulgaria because it was one of the first sport styles that got introduced here...and probably was closer to our folk style.
 

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EQC - Extreme Close Quarters. :smile:

Basically, just headbutts, knees, elbows, stamps, and a few other nastier things. ;)
 

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EQC - Extreme Close Quarters. :smile:

Basically, just headbutts, knees, elbows, stamps, and a few other nastier things. ;)
Shouldn't it be ECQ then?

Also, that's what I was defaulting to before turning to grappling. Now I want to add more stuff...not because I need it, but simply because I like learning new stuff. Probably a familiar feeling for all of you:grin:!
That's one of the few advantages of not being a professional: we amateurs can afford to branch out because we don't have a date when we must compete with another, risking heavy trauma. Even if we do compete, we're the ones setting the schedule:shade:.
 
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