On Saturdays there isn’t a Gi class at Phuket Top Team but there is No-Gi class. Now, my training mates from back home know that, not only do I “not do” no-gi, but I actually avoid it! Why you ask? Why all the hating on no-gi?
Well…have you ever noticed that at your local (or national) BJJ tournament that you can go the ENTIRE gi portion of the tournament without a single injury but suddenly no-gi comes up and guys are limping and screaming and stuff is “Poppin'” all over the place! This is why I started telling people (about three years ago) that there are two kinds of Jiu-Jitsu: one with the gi, and one where you get hurt!
Anyway…There I was, in Phuket, Thailand for one full day and had a great gi class last night but then I was looking at two days with no mat time. I wasn’t feeling that. I have said before that the toughest thing about travelling is the inconsistencies in training time, so I suited up in my trusty YoloBJJ rashguard and fight shorts and headed over to Phuket Top Team for some mat time.
Class started at 10:30 and I arrived already suited up. Professor Joao Paulo started us of with the normal warm-ups, including some push-ups and planking 🙂 then we got started on some omoplata drills…you know how it goes, ten to one side, ten to the other. The good news is…this turned out to be an Omoplata class!
For those who don’t know, I have a huge rush on the omoplata game…I mean, I love it!. I have taken privates and seminars on the omoplata from people like Jorge Gurgel, Andris Brunovski, AJ Agazarm, and Kurt Osiander (to name a few). I think it is a really great game to play, with lots of transitional possibilities! Yet, somehow…I have never really been able to integrate it into my game. Nobody who has rolled with me alot will say…”Oh yeah, that YoloBJJ guy plays that omoplata game.” I just seem to have problems getting started on the initial omoplata. I have tons of transitions and sweeps and alternate submissions after I get to the initial omoplata but I just don’t seem to pull off that first “turn” and “Hook with the leg” to set up the whole game.
Today, Professor Joao Paulo showed a nice transition from full guard to omoplata that I might just be able to wiggle into my game to help open up all those series I have waiting.
There is no real good way to explain the set-up so I will just post this pic 🙂
It looks kind of “10th Planet’ish” but without all the rubber guard parts. I like it!
I was paired with a new white belt (two months training) from Austria: Kris. A super nice guy with a great learning attitude. With the kind of open-mindedness he has, he will learn fast!
After all the drilling and technique variations we had about twenty minutes to do some sparring. As soon as I stood up from drills there was a guy standing in front of me saying..”Wanna Play”…I was gonna get some water, but I didn’t want to seem rude so I just said…”Sure”.
We started off on knees and he quickly pulled guard. No-gi, not having any grips, makes it hard for me to make the pass. As I was working it, he went for an armbar, but missed it – mainly due to the sweat factor. I acknowledged the sweat defense, we laughed
about it and then continued the roll. After awhile of work I managed to get to half guard. He put on the lock-down right away and we fought from there for a bit. I was able to clear my foot and quickly switch my foot to get away from his lock down. It was at that moment that it occurred to me to try a berimbolo variation on a back take that Professor Samuel Braga had shown me when I was training in Knoxville, TN.
I quickly brought my foot all the way under my butt, essentially capturing his bottom half guard leg. Did a backstep, turned my back to him and rolled over my far shoulder. It is complicated to try and describe so maybe I will post a video one of these days, but suffice it to say I managed to successfully take the back and sink the RNC. I had tried this move a couple times in gi but without success. Probably because people just grab the back of my gi to stop me from rolling. I’m gonna keep practicing it (like everything else, I guess :-)) and see if I can’t make it work all the time 🙂
Oh…at the end of class, Professor Joao Paulo invited everyone to go to the beach with him on Sunday (tomorrow) so I will be taking tomorrow off but will get back on the blogging on Monday.
Until then, Oss and good training!