Training Log #4

15 09 2009

Another week, another couple of days worth of training. Can’t write too much because I’m at work, but I wanted to fill you guys in on what went on during my classes instead of writing another editorial.

Last Tuesday I went in for BJJ class and we worked on escaping/reversing submissions, something that I found to be extremely productive and helpful because it allowed me to use technique to escape instead of just brute force.

The whole gist of the class was that we would think up of an escape from a submission and then show it to the class. It was great because I figured out several escapes from armbars and triangle chokes, but there’s one submission that I’m sure I will research an escape for: the omoplata. My favorite move, but I wanna figure out how to escape it if I ever have it applied on me.


Next Thursday, I went for “Striking for MMA” and I realized that it was just me and the coach, which is great because it allowed me to work some things that I was lacking, which happen to be proper defense and footwork. I can hold my own during sparring, but when someone comes at me with a flurry of punches, I end up covering up and just going backwards, which would lead me to having my back up against the wall and ready to be punished.

So what we worked on was me taking a step back and circling away from his power while popping the jab out to keep him away. What this does it forces the guy to reset but I’ve noticed that it creates an angle, an opening, for a counter-attack or a takedown.

After working on this for a bit, we worked on proper footwork. Moving forward, back, left and right, all while keeping my feet from crossing or getting to close together. Also, we worked on making sure that I could mirror my opponent’s movements, try to get him to move where I want. This went over great and I feel that I could finally get the footwork down. After finishing up with two 2 minute rounds of a jab-right straight combo, and 2 two minutes round of thai kicks, we ended the class.


Training Log #3

25 08 2009

Hey Everyone!

Just got back from jujitsu training today. Got a nice workout and had the chance to practice some stuff that I already knew.  Here’s how it went!

After a nice warm up, we first started the class working on sweeps that we knew from our back (sit-up sweeps, scissor sweeps, butterfly sweeps, etc). I’ve noticed that my sit-up sweeps were quick and clean, but I have to work on some of the other ones. After that, we worked on any guard passes that we knew, which I felt needed a bit more work. Luckily, I got a “Ultimate MMA” magazine a couple of weeks ago that has some potent guard passes that are worth studying for next time.

Next, we worked on very light rolling (the jujitsu term for sparring). Little to no resistance, just working on submissions, submission escapes, transitions, sweeps, just working on proper technique. I impressed my partner (who was a blue belt) with nice armbar escape that I learned from “FIGHT” magazine a couple of months ago. Here’s a youtube video of BJ Penn doing it (it’s the second one, and also I don’t own the video or created it in any way. Yeah lame, I know, but would you want to piss BJ off? I wouldn’t!):

Anyway, we then worked on an escape from the half guard to taking someone’s back. Given my size, I had some trouble with this, but after a few more tries, I got used to it. It’s helpful because I don’t know a lot of moves from half guard so I’m gonna go over it in my head tonight until I’m sure that I could do it without any problems. Soon after, we did a drill that involved the guy on top to pass guard and the guy on bottom to either sweep or submit. Unfortunately, I didn’t fare so well, but then again, my failures allow me to learn and improve myself further.

Well, with that, the class was over. Yeah, I know it’s not much, so I’m gonna add a little something different for you guys!

Training Log #2

15 08 2009

Wow, what crazy week of training! I remember during my first year of doing this that I was going to two classes a week, but now that I have to bring up my cardio I’m going to a strength and conditioning class once a week. Suffice to say, my legs have been killing me for the last couple of days since doing striking and conditioning on the same day. They are feeling better today, still sore in same places, but I can still walk. Damn, the things I put myself through to get stronger.

Anyway, last Tuesday was pretty easy for me, just worked on a new takedown which I’m sure is a judo throw called “Tani Otoshi” or Valley Drop, followed by getting from side mount to full mount, followed by forcing the opponent to give up their back before finishing with a rear naked choke. Nothing too crazy, and I came out of that class without any injuries.

Thursday, on the other hand, was a test of my gameness, my heart. The initial warm up was more of a work out, with using a skipping rope, jogging, and what would be my least favorite exercise; wind sprints. Because I ended up getting tired and forced to slow down, the coach made me go through two more laps. So in addition to five laps, I did twelve more laps of wind sprints. So yeah, I was sucking wind after that. Then, we carried a heavy bag and walked around the mat for three, one minute intervals before slamming it on the ground.

Soon after, we worked on striking on the heavy bag while standing over it, pretending to keep ourselves from being nailed with an upkick, and when there’s ten seconds left, we threw a flying elbow followed by several straight punches from mount. After three rounds of this, we worked on being on the bottom, practicing upkicks while our partner was holding a thai pad.

The next drill I was put through involving standing over our partner while he was holding a thai pad and he was trying to control our knees and hips and keeping us from throwing decent punches on the pad. I was doing decently while standing over my partner until I realized I could hold the guys legs and control him so I could throw those punches without any problems. Too bad my partner didn’t clue in to this while he was standing over me, because I kept him from throwing any half-decent punches because I controlled him with ease.

Anyway, after that, we did more wind sprints, and guess who did two more? Yup, me! At the end of the class, I was sore as hell, sucking wind and trying to get all the oxygen I could.

Now, you’d think that this is where the entry ends. I was pushed, and I came through. I would’ve just went home, happy to get an intense workout as I watched TV and ate junk food. But I didn’t. I stayed over at the mall for a bit, and then went back for conditioning class.

For those who don’t understand how intense these classes are, let me put it this way: MMA conditioning classes would make your high school gym classes feel like a friendly game of “Duck, Duck, Goose”.  No surprise there, you’re training to be a fighter after all, so you gotta train your body to handle the intensity of an MMA bout.

The class involves circuits; one minute intervals at a station that involves an exercise, whether it’s ground and pound, bag work, shadowboxing with 5lb weights, etc.. Well, one of stations that was during this circuit involved an old friend from this afternoon. Yup, you guessed it, wind sprints. Not only that, it also involved wall jumps (getting on your hands and feet and putting your feet up on the wall twice) before doing the sprints. So, after the class, I was limping home, sore as hell, but happy to show myself how far I could push myself.

Test: Passed.

– PH

Training Log #1

8 08 2009

After spending five days at work, I finally got Wednesday and Thursday off, so I went to jujitsu class on Wednesday, and striking class on Thursday.

When I got to the gym on Wednesday, I got changed into my gi top and board shorts. I used to wear gi pants before, but I like wearing the board shorts more because it allows for more range of movement with my legs, plus I’ve noticed that the gi pants don’t really stay on me that well. Don’t know why.

Anyway, after getting changed, we got ourselves warmed up by….playing dodgeball. I’m not kidding. Well, it got me warmed up for the class, which involved three basic moves from guard: kimura, sit up sweep, and guillotine choke. These three attacks can work in a combo, like if I tried to put someone in a kimura and he postures up, I could combo that into a sit up sweep and get into mount position. Likewise, if he isn’t letting me get that sit up sweep, I could combo that into a guillotine choke, and then combo into the kimura I can’t get the choke, and then so on.

This is known as having a “machine gun” submission game. This involves on going from one submission to another submission or a sweep, to yet another submission or another sweep. The type of game keeps your opponent busy and focused on avoiding the sweep/submission than trying to break your guard.

Still don’t get it? Well, imagine if you’re standing with an experienced opponent, and you’re throwing single strikes all day. Not gonna work, right? Your strikes are not gonna go through, and most of them will be countered. If you throw combos at your opponent, your chances of landing an attack or knocking him out increase. Same thing with fighting on the ground. Get it now? Ok, good.

Anyway, after working with these three moves, we did a drill that involved the person on his back to sweep or submit the person in his guard with those some moves while the guy on top is trying to pass his guard. I started on my back and tried my best to get my opponent from breaking my guard, but no luck. Second time, while I was on top, I fared a little bit better. I was able to get into half guard, but as I trying to get out, the instructor said “Ok, now all moves are legal!”


Next thing I know, I either got kimura’d or swept from half guard (I can’t remember for the life of me because it’s been three days and I have the memory of a dried up goldfish), and the next time on top, I got armbar’d. Lucky for me, the guy I was with was dead tired, so I decided to take his place on my back.

My next partner was Anthony, a small guy. Nothing special, right? But remember, this is jujitsu we’re talking about, it’s history has been built from small guys making big guys like me tap out. So, just as soon as we start, he starts going for an Ezekiel Choke, in guard. Now, I’ve only been doing this for roughly about a year, but I do know this: you NEVER want to go for any kind of choke while in someone’s guard. Having your arms out there is basically an open invitation to getting put into a submission and playing the “three-tap” symphony.

So, as he was going for the choke, I used my long legs (and decent flexibility) to put my legs over his arms and push him away before sliding my left leg under his right arm and rolling over for an omoplata. In addition to sounding pretty funny, it’s actually one of the moves I could do without thinking. It’s kinda like a kimura, but with your legs. Check it out on youtube if you wanna know how to pull it off.

After getting the tap out, I ended up facing another smaller kid, an d after a brief struggle, I got yet another omoplata. And that concluded the class.


Next day,  I went into “Striking for MMA”, which is basically working on striking, whether it’s boxing, muay thai, or kickboxing. Most of the time it’s a small class (I’ve been in classes that just had me and the coach, which allowed me to have my own private class for free), which is great because that means I get more attention and be able to work on technique a lot more. Of course, this also means I can’t really be slacking on those same techniques.

After a quick warmup with the skipping rope, we started the first drill, which involved bobbing and weaving underneath a rope as close as you can without touching it. The whole point of the drill is to learn how to obviously bob and weave underneath punches before replying with some of your own attacks. After going through this drill five times, we did it backwards fives times before going with the next drill, bag work.

This drill was based off of our coach yelling numbers 1-5, which stood for combos (1 being a jab, 2 being a jab-cross, 3 being a jab-cross-lead hook, etc.) we had to throw before finishing with a rear Thai kick. And on the even numbers, we had to switch feet before throwing that kick. After a round of that, one of three people in the class worked with Thai pads while the other two worked on the bag with those combos.

After all three of us worked on the pads, we through two rounds of more bag work, followed by two rounds of throwing Thai knees while putting the wall in a imaginary Thai clinch. Now, during these drills, I was getting really tired, and being pushed to my limits, and after that last round of knees, I collapsed. Just like that. I’m not sure what made me to do that, whether it was the heat, or that energy drink I had that made me crash in the worst way, or what. But whether it was, I got right back up and breathed as much as I can to regain some of my stamina back before doing a wall sit for about a minute before ending the class.

Well, that’s my days of training for ya, hope to see you next time!