Grahams Gi Adventures – Going Gi-less?


I’m not exactly sure what lesson I am up to now – I’m guessing around 7 or 8 (I have missed a few weeks here and there 😦 ) – as I am far less vigilant than the likes of slidey when it comes to logging my training. Sometimes I wish I was able to be that well-organised…. Well actually I am able to be that organised, I’m not an idiot, I am clearly just a very lazy man 🙂

Anyhow, this isn’t really going to be that exciting a post as the Adventures in the Gi have actually been pretty gi-free the last few sessions since I blogged about training. Mainly because there has been a heavy focus on getting guys ready for MMA fights and also the NoGi British Open on the 23rd. We did one Gi Session 2 weeks ago and I will give that a quick run down in a sec…..

Victor Estima is at the gym on Sunday doing a 3 hour no-gi seminar, but I only found out Monday night as I missed training last week. However as my wife runs a Play Party group for Children with disabilities and their parents on the second sunday of every month, wouldnt you just know it, I cant make it! Never mind, some things are more important than training and when you have a large family to look after (we have 6 kids, not sure if I’ve mentioned it on here before) sometimes everything else just has to take a back seat.

I am going to be attending the 10th Planet JiuJitsu seminar in Salisbury on the 23rd October. Sean Bollinger (Eddie Bravo blackbelt) is running it and it has been organised by a guy I used to train with. Krystian has since opted to move away from my approach to grappling training and explore the 10th Planet System. He is now travelling from Salisbury to Essex to train (!!!) and good luck to him. I think Eddie Bravo’s 10th Planet stuff is definitely interesting and am always open-minded to learning new things. I am not convinced it is the holy grail of no-gi grappling but maybe I will be converted come the 23rd and will be crackhead controlling, rubber guarding jailbreaking and some-other-funky-named-technique-ing with the rest of the 10th planet crew. It’s really handy as the leisure centre in which this is being held is a 30second walk from my front door. Happy days, blackbelt training on my doorstep! Even if it is only 3 hours I can’t pass up that opportunity. Obviously I will blog about it after the event.

So back to my regular training: As I said it has been mainly No-Gi over the past however-many sessions. This has been good in a way as it means I am not getting smashed in the Gi all the time, but it is for that exact reason that it is so bad. I am not saying I take the gi off and I suddenly turn into some sort of elite grappler, but if I was purely measuring grappling success purely by my ability to tapping people out and not be submitted myself (which I don’t by the way!), I would say my success rate NO-GI is about 7 or 8 times higher than in the Gi.

Techniques-wise I have learnt a few new moves though, which is always great. Some triangle breaks (late defence) I hadn’t seen before, high risk but when you are already caught it’s tap or go for broke and I think it’s important to always have early, transitional and late defences in your arsenal.

As I mentioned, we did do one Gi Session 2 weeks ago and in that session there was a really nice reversal from turtle that Adam showed. You do the leg-underhook guard pass, but aren’t tight enough with the stacking pressure and they roll away from you (ie go with the momentum provided by you pushing their underhooked leg across their body) and roll to turtle. You overhook round their back and secure a palm-to-palm grip under their sternum by driving your other hand between their nearside arm and leg and catching your overhooking hand. You then put your belly on their back and flip your legs over to land on the other side of their body, as you do this you use that momentum to roll them over you and they end up on their side with you in the belly-to-back position. Throw your top leg over their body to stop them turning away and wrap your overhooking arm undertheir armpit and secure a wrist grip. From here, you can opt to build your base with your bottom elbow, sit up and then use the arm control you have on them to go to kimura/armbar or, since you have their back already, you can just hunt the RNC. Not seen that turtle reversal before but I will commit it to memory as it worked really well for me. I found that if – instead of flipping over and landing on my knees facing their body again – I bridged over their body and used that momentum, my training partners found it a lot more effective. Not sure it would work on a much heavier opponent though.

That’s about it for now. I will try and be a bit better about blogging about my actual training rather than just UFC picks all the time from now on 🙂

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