Archive for October, 2011

Chris Haueter double under pass (videos)

October 30, 2011

Chris is a master of the double under pass.  It’s an awesome approach that takes away so many guard bottom options.  Planning on a private covering this very subject the next time he’s in town.  Here is a paticular part of this progression that to my knowledge he made up.

Rated R for langauge and adult content=):

Competition footage of Chris’s passing game:

One of Chris’s favorite movie clips you pansies:


Drilling for form

October 26, 2011

For near-perfecting individual peices and mechanics, a rule of thumb is you can’t go slow enough.

I would even go so far to say that unless you take meticulous notes and are totally on the ball attention-wise, you’re not going to get most of the details until AFTER several hours (at least) of isolating one position through dead reps with little or no resistance.

Off the top of my head I can think of 7 important details on ONE variation of the trap and roll escape, and there is probably more, possibly some yet undiscovered…

I used to think that if I pulled something off in class, I had some understanding of a position.  The reality I was executing things on some one with no knowledge base, where one slightly right detail consitutes successful execution.

As you can imagine, such a mindset is harmful in the context of high-level black belt positioning.  Escaping Roger Gracie’s mount versus some one who has never seen or heard of mount represents the difference.  For Roger, unless he’s sleeping, you must have all the 7+ details perfect and down to the point where you don’t have think about them.  Heck, just doing the analytical work to accomplish such a task requires a healthy chunk of time.

If you’re in a rush to be a BJJ God like I was for most of my life on the mat, most of these details will likely pass you by.  The key word here is rush. 

Marinate baby, marinate.

On a related note, mount escapes are like the nice girl you passed up for being too boring, for a hottie who never had to develop any depth beyond fashion magazine insight for attention.

It goes without saying the guy toilet papering your carotid from mount with a cross-choke married the boring girl your dumba$$ passed on in favor of the sexier ‘deep half.’

2011 Practice notes

October 23, 2011

I’m thinking of compiling practice notes for 2011, made available at the end of this and each successive year.

The central theme is getting the most out of your time on the mat.  In other words, how to practice more effectively.

Off the top of my head is:

-A basic note taking system broken down by position.

-How I break down the myriad of guards out there (hint: I consider ‘de la riva guard’ a defensive scenario that can occur when playing guard on your back.  I don’t consider it an offensive position you ‘play’ as it’s situation based).

-Drilling individual positions and combinations.  How much, how often based on experience level.

-Research strategies and suggestions.

Any questions you guys would like to see addressed?


October 20, 2011

Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.~ Hazlitt, William

My coach told me he recently recieved a nice compliment from a well-known UFC fighter on the vibe of his morning practices.

While such things are nice, the biggest thing to us in the context of an academy and training is whether or not we have and run effective practice.  Meaning good, productive work takes place towards objectives, day in and day out.

If this translates to a good vibe so be it, but I save the back-slapping, high-fives, and group hugs for Oregon football games where I have a massive on influence the outcome. =)


Audio promo for instructor’s upcoming workshop

October 18, 2011

Found some audio on the net today promoting Eric’s (Hemphill) upcoming workshop:

More workshop details here:

Re-inventing the wheel?

October 16, 2011

I recently received an email adverstising a soon to be released DVD set.

The theme behind this set is techniques for ‘defeating larger, stronger opponents.’  There are a few other products designed for older grapplers that fall into this category too.

I’m thinking to myself, this is like an offensive football instructional advertising plays to set up and score touchdowns… 

Is there Jiu-Jitsu out there not geared for the small, old, and weak?  While probably 99.8% unintentional (these products aren’t free), I think things like this come from BJJ not being very competitive as a whole compared to other domains like chess where fundamentals are well established, and people know how to practice.

Even the most innovative football or chess coaches rarely come up with something new.  Rather, only after thousands of hours of intensive fundamental and foundational training do they combine old elements in new and inventive ways.  Rickson for example, cites his BJJ as essentially Helio’s Jiu-Jitsu philosiphy and techniques adapted to himself. 

In terms of practice, re-discovering chess when there are well established grandmasters and probably thousands of tried and true resources available is the training equivalent of a civil war re-enactment.  It’s fine so long as you don’t mistake the re-enactment for actual productive action taking place in a live combat situation.

And if you stumble across something new and novel that’s completely cool, but like BJJ fundamentals, a position is only as good as its effectiveness in carrying out a prescribed intention. 

From this perspective, a move an instructor spoon feeds a student step by tedious step isn’t better than something ‘discovered.’  Rather it’s about how effectively it gets the job done.

Related Rickson Gracie interview:

Study, Drilling, and Sparring phases

October 14, 2011

This is somewhat of a re-edit of the ‘Class vs. Practice vs. Sparring’ post.

Let me know what you guys think about the langauge change.

The idea is the same, but I would say study, drilling, and sparring fall under the umbrella of ‘practice,’ with ‘success’ gauged by how much better you get each practice.

Something Eric and I talked about last week is under the above paradigm, it’s crucial to be just as attentive on the feeding end of drilling as the recieving.  To get the most out of practice you have to be there for everyone on the floor.  One person can diminish the quality of a session.

As in the strategy post below, I believe once you get the idea of effective practice idea humming, accurate identification of when to drill, research, or do timed rounds will fall into place. 

The sky is the limit if you show up to get  better in a planned, strategic fashion.


Military definition of strategy

October 11, 2011

Military definition of strategy as defined in the book Fiasco:  The American Military Adventure in Iraq:’

“1) Who are we?

2) What are we ultimately trying to do here?

3) How will we do it?

4) What resources and means will we employ in doing it?

The 4 answers give rise to one’s strategy.

One’s tactics will then follow from them…

That is: ‘this is who we are, this is the outcome we wish to achieve, this is how we aim to do it, and this is what we will use to do it.”

On a historical note author Thomas E. Ricks points that while initial commanding general Tommy Franks  was tactically sound, he lacked an overall strategic mindset.  ‘Speed kills,’ being a tactic, not a strategy.  i.e. quickly seizing Baghdad before fueling the flames of insurgency with lack of any sort of follow-up plan, and applicable cultural and counter-insurgency training.

If you’re strategically sound, but get the tactics wrong, you’ll eventually re-correct.  If you don’t have sound strategy though, you can get the tactics right and still shoot yourself in the proverbial foot.  I don’t know military history well, but Ricks said this is what happened in Vietnam.

Off topic: Favorite street dance vid

October 7, 2011

“You can’t just do it two hours a day, and okay, I’ll do it when I go to the jam.  We used to eat, piss, sh*&, drink, think b-boying.” ~Mr. Freeze of the Rock Steady Crew on practice.

From the documentary ‘The Freshest Kids,’ my favorite street dance clip.  History, foundation, fundamentals, and technique wrapped in style on concrete no less!:

Class vs. Practice vs. Sparring

October 4, 2011


Class, practice, and sparring can overlap in one session, though I think this is overkill because they require use of different parts of the brain.

Instead of writing more, I’m going to leave this open for one to ponder the differences, objectives, and skills required for effective learning in each of these domains.