Saturday, May 22, 2010

Long Overdue!

Weight = 201 lbs—a tad bit heavy, but nothing too alarming!

I’ve been crazy busy with work and with training and this morning after training I realized that I’m falling back into my non-blogging ways!

A great deal has happened since my last post on April 8. For starters, I spent three weeks in Memphis Tennessee where I trained at Memphis BJJ, a Marcello Garcia affiliate. All the guys there were pretty tough, and while I didn’t really learn a great deal of new technique there, those guys really worked me out and made me feel at home. One of the most craziest things there were that a few guys brought there dogs there who just hung out while we trained!!!

I learned a very neat catch of an arm-bar from the standing position when your opponent hits the osotogari (pardon the misspelling). I felt good drilling it, but if the Judo guys who I know hit that throw on me, I’m not sure that I could hit that arm-bar in a straight match—it’s a traditional arm-bar once the throw is complete—you just elevate your hips and take the arm-bar while the guy is standing and moving to side control. Again, very cool—but I know how it feels to get drilled into the mat by good Judo players.

I want to thank Alex Shundi, a Marcello Brown Belt for giving me some awesome mat time and for my man, Pride Venceil for hooking me up with some rides to and from the gym! As I told you all before I left, you are all welcome to visit my BJJ home in Cleveland!!!

While I was gone I missed the OGC Tourney on April 24, and the superfight between J. T. Torres and Dustin Hazelet. Congrats to J. T. for finishing a solid BjJ Black Belt and UFC Vet.

A few of my BjJ friends brought to my attention a fair amount of propaganda being circulated about the circumstances surrounding J. T. Torres’ departure from Team RGDA so that he might join Team Lloyd Irvin. Well, oddly enough, Torres discusses his move to Team Lloyd Irvin Here on a Fightworks Podcast episode that aired in December, so this should put any questions about why he joined Team Lloyd Irvin to rest. From what I hear, this trend appears to be contagious, and it sounded like Irvin’s boys really cleaned house at that Tournament—not too surprising, for when world champions train together and impart their fighting spirit to their other teammates, that’s what happens.

As for me, I’m really trying to focus lately on grip fighting and working from the feet. I feel that I’m becoming more of a top guy when the chips are down, but I’m also forcing myself to play guard against guys who are better than me to round off my overall game. This past week we worked arm-bar and triangle defenses from the guard which was really good for me, for as I mentioned, if I can get the takedown and even land in some sort of guard, I need to play aggressive and pass, but do it safely.

We also worked a very cool takedown when the guy has double underhooks and the body lock. We create space with our hips and with the opposite arm from the side where one’s head is located, we lock up the arm, sit to the same side hip, and hook the guys opposite leg with the far foot sweeping him to one side and landing in side control. Again, it sounds harder than it is, and since this blog also serves as notes for me, I don’t expect it to make sense to you. I was trapping the wrong arm and botching the throw for the first two days of drilling this, but really got the throw down the rest of the week.

A last bit of news—it’s somewhat official and will be taking more full shape when Professor Ze returns from Brazil but Ricardo Pires Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is partnering with Evolve Sports Mixed Martial Arts in Medina whereby Ricardo and staff will be handling their MMA program with an emphasis on submission fighting. Go figure—Evolve now has access to a Jiu Jitsu player who has actually won professional MMA Fights (including bare knuckle Vale tudo contests in Brazil) and who has led fighters to UFC Gold! I think it’s a great fit for Evolve, and am excited that some of their guys are interested in putting on the Gi and visiting our school. I’m also looking forward to possibly picking up some wrestling classes from the Evolve staff. The one thing that I’ll say about the Evolve guys is that they’re definitely in shape—with the proper guidance and tutelage, some of these guys could possibly make a serious impact on both the regional and larger MMA circuits. I think you’ll see Ricardo bringing a few more black belts up from Brazil to make sure that everything is being handled in typical Ricardo fashion.

As for me, I’m around for one more week, and then off to Las Vegas for almost two weeks. I plan to train with one of Ricardo’s employees, black belt Gabriel Kitober, who I’ve trained with before—he’s awesome. I may also visit a couple of other places, but will set up home base with my man, Gabriel at the Warrior’s Training Center where Ricardo and crew run the grappling program in Vegas. I’ll definitely keep you posted, but will touch base before leaving for Vegas. Until then, train hard and train safe!

Respectfully Submitted By:
Larry, the LTrain

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