Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The LTrain and Leglocks

Just when I’ve set my own personal record for not posting to my blog, I continue to outdo myself. A fair amount has occurred with my GJJ training since my last post almost a month ago. Before I get started, my short-term goal for the remainder of the summer is to train hard for the “Submissions only” tournament put on by the Ohio Grappling Challenge, September 5, 2009. When I spoke to Darren about this tournament, he mentioned that there are often fewer numbers of competitors who compete in such tournaments because the only way one can win a match is via a submission. I’m not sure about all of the rules yet, but from what I understand, there are no time limits, and I suppose after a while, if nobody gets submitted, the referee could possibly award the match to whomever has the most legitimate submission attempts? But I’m really not sure about the rules at this time. All I know is that such a tournament will really force me to think about “finishing” opponents, and I have a lot of things that I’m working on to refine my current submission skills and implement some new ones, for my goal is to submit people as fast as I can while getting off the mat with all of my limbs attached. It’s not a secret to those who know me that I really hate to “tap”, which has gotten me yelled at on more than one occasion by Darren.

A few weeks ago, I began to focus on hitting leglocks while “rolling”. I’ve drilled leglocks a fair amount over the past few years, primarily “no-Gi”, but got a “wild hair” a about a month ago to begin to open up with them. Primarily, I focus on the straight ankle lock followed by either the Knee-bar or heel-hook. I’ve been somewhat successful catching the straight ankle lock off the guard pass when my opponent tries to defend the knee drive pass, and have caught a few blue belts in the room with some pretty tight ankle locks. When I don’t finish this lock, it’s generally because I’m overanxious and wrap the leg too early with my guillotine part of my wrist too close to the guy’s calf. We’ve made a few adjustments with trapping the leg and not telegraphing this submission so much, for it’s a tight, fast leglock, to be sure.

Without the Gi, I’m catching the knee-bar from the butterfly guard on a number of occasions. I started drilling this a bit in early June. From butterfly guard, one breaks the guy’s posture and elevates him with his legs. He continues by kicking his leg through his opponents legs while keep the tension and the butterfly hook with his other leg. He’s then able to take the guy’s top leg and roll to a knee-bar. It’s definitely a leglock that I’ve begun to work quite a bit, and aim to make the transitions to finishing this submission much smoother.

I’ve always been nervous about drilling heel-hooks with my training partners as well as working them into a rolling session. I’m fearful of getting overanxious and really hurting a friend of mine, so while I’m playing around with the heel-hooks a bit, they don’t have the same priority for me as knee-bars and ankle locks.

Darren showed a rather clever, advanced toehold last night from the standing position where you secure the leg that you wish to toehold, summersault, and secure the person’s other leg either by figure-fouring your legs or by trapping the bottom leg with your leg and then by gripping the person’s toes with one hand while reaching under your wrist and grabbing your wrist with your other hand and turning the heel counterclockwise—the guy’s heel should be in the crook of your elbow of the hand that is grabbing the wrist. It’s really tight, and I bet it looks cooler than the actual skills necessary to execute such a move.

Lastly, I had an epiphany of sorts last night. Often when passing the guard, I have trouble opening the guard when I secure grips on the lapels by the armpits, hop up, and try to get my knee placed in the vicinity of my partner’s asscrack. I learned that especially with individuals who are somewhat tall, if I lengthen my body and really control the grips on the armpits when hopping up, it’s actually a bit easier to position the knee properly as well as ensure that my knee is over my foot for when I sit back to open the guard. This is something that I’ve heard before, but a light went on in my big cavern-like dome last night and it really made sense to me.


Larry, The LTrain

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