Frames – Half guard notes week 8

Until now, the bottom player has been reacting defensively to the top player’s counters. Even though her goal is an offensive one (gain head position), she has been going about it with a defensive mindset. Her thoughts have been on countering the obstacles that the top player is putting in her path. The top . . . → Read More: Frames – Half guard notes week 8

Review week – Half guard notes week 7

This week was used to review what we’ve covered so far and to ensure we understand what the key points are.

Key points:

The main objective for the bottom player is to gain dominant head position. Control the centre of mass after obtaining head position. The main objective of the top player is to . . . → Read More: Review week – Half guard notes week 7

Fighting the power hand – Half guard notes week 6

In the fight for head position, the obvious thing for the top player to do is to use his hands and arms to push the bottom player and prevent her from closing the distance to gain head position (head to chest). Regardless of which hand is dominant, his outside (crossfacing) arm will be able . . . → Read More: Fighting the power hand – Half guard notes week 6

The skilled opponent – Half guard notes week 5

Until now, our focus has been on what the bottom player is attempting to do. The top player as been providing resistance, but that resistance has been unskilled. We shall now begin dealing with a skilled opponent.

The first objective of a skilled top player who finds himself in half guard is to gain . . . → Read More: The skilled opponent – Half guard notes week 5

Top player counters by pressuring the deltoid – Half guard notes week 4

We are now well aware that the main battle that is occurring with half guard is that the bottom player is attempting to gain dominant head position and the top player is trying to prevent this from occurring.

A common way the top player does this is by squashing the bottom player with his . . . → Read More: Top player counters by pressuring the deltoid – Half guard notes week 4

Details of the foot grab sweep – Half guard notes week 3

Last week focussed on gaining good positioning. With good positioning, sweeping becomes easy. The aim of this week is to introduce the most common (and hence easy to apply) half guard sweeps. The next two months will be spent on dismantling our opponent’s counters so we can perform these sweeps.

A note for those . . . → Read More: Details of the foot grab sweep – Half guard notes week 3

Controlling the centre of mass – Half guard notes week 2

Last week we understood that a major battle in half guard is the battle for head positioning. If the bottom player wins this battle, she is in a more advantageous position than her opponent. This advantage reduces the amount of effort she needs to use to successfully sweep her opponent.

Winning the battle for . . . → Read More: Controlling the centre of mass – Half guard notes week 2

Understanding the battle – Half guard notes week 1

Thursdays at 80/20 is the day in which we focus in detail on a single area for a period of about three month. We’ve just started a new cycle and our topic of study is half guard bottom. Each week, I’ll be posting my personal notes as we go. For this topic, I’ll consistently . . . → Read More: Understanding the battle – Half guard notes week 1

What does it take to get the next belt?

BJJ Belts

What does a BJJ belt signify? Is it ability? Seniority? A reflection of one’s character? There is no set definition and opinion is definitely divided.

A BJJ belt is awarded by a practitioner of higher rank. A purple can award a blue, a brown can award a purple, and a black . . . → Read More: What does it take to get the next belt?

The importance of gym attitude

Valerie Worthington

I recently read Valerie Worthington’s article on her initial experiences with BJJ. It’s a heart rending read of isolation and neglect.

When I was first starting out in Brazilian jiu jitsu, I experienced an internal struggle every day I went to train. On one hand, I was stupid crazy about training. . . . → Read More: The importance of gym attitude