Saturday, 27 August 2011

Grapplers Quest videos

Being stuck in Newark Airport for 5 hours before hearing my flight would be rescheduled for this Friday has it's good points! Plenty of time to upload the videos, as promised.

Semi finals of the NOGI advanced absolute: 

Grapplers Quest Gi final 160lbs:

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Grapplers Quest- South East Grapplers Championship


So yesterday myself and a whole heap of the Fightsports team traveled to Coral Springs to represent Fightsports and team The Avengers. In true me style, I was bricking it. God knows why I compete. I truly truly hate it. Well, the waiting around part. I question why I spend my money feeling SICK with nerves for a day. It's only once the fight hits the floor that I remember " Ooohhh yeah, I remember now. I enjoy doing this rolling around stuff. I remember why I'm here now!". But until then, I quite frankly would rather die than sit around waiting.

Half of the mats. 12 in total with a championship mated area in the middle for the mens advanced absolute

In stereotypical BJJ competition style, it was running a little late. Ladies were due to fight at 12, when it was about 3:30 before a lot of the girls got on the mats. 

Anyway, to the details. I registered for 2 nogi divisions (advanced 160lbs+ and absolute) and 1 gi division (160lbs+). Nogi was first, and the absolute division. I got a by in the first round, and fought a strong looking girl in the semi's. Now, this was my first nogi competition. I have a gameplan in the gi that I like to stick to, but for nogi I don't. I decided I didn't want this strong girl on top, so in a last minute decision I decided I would go for the takedown. She seemed super comfortable gripping up, and I had seen her go for trips other girls. Double leg it is then..

*Note to self * My takedowns require a LOT of work. I managed to score 2 points as I shot in for a terrible double leg, due to her pulling guard when I was still holding her leg. So I'm 2-0 up. Those were the only points I score the ENTIRE TOURNAMENT. Every other fight I had, went down to advantages. Grapplers Quest nogi rules state that if one person turtles as a result of the other person trying to pass guard, the person trying to pass scores 1 advantage. Fair enough I suppose, but I am turtle queen. I'm quite fond of hanging out there. Shit, I know, but it's something I'm working on and something I'm hoping I'll stop doing as my guard gets better. So I think I may have given away a couple of advantages at the competition, due to my love for turtling. 

Now, as shit as turtling up is as a strategy, and as shit as my guard is, I still give people a hard time passing. I'll find a leg, lock half guard on, and will NOT let go. I try to advance from half or deep half to a sweep and then work to pass again. Which is how they went. I spent a lot of time on my back, almost having my back taken, but preventing her from getting her second hook in, and holding onto that half guard until I had space to move. Jesus Christ she was strong. I ended up winning due to those first 2 points.

Working open guard

Looking to pass


So to the final I go..

The girl had just won her weight division, by annihilation. She was this tiny little girl, but a little ninja, apparently. Her guard was awesome, so I figured I'd pull guard so I didn't get armbarred or triangled in the first 20 seconds. Well, in theory it sounded good. But instead she managed to get me flattened out in half guard, and as she went to mount, I bridged... and she took my arm with her. 20 seconds, no. 52 seconds, yes. Haaaaa. Turns out, she was a purple belt who had previously won the worlds. I'm happy with my silver and both my arms thank-you very much.. 

"You only lose if you compete. Wanna win all the time? Stay home". The comforting quote from the referee who told me the girl was a prolific nogi competitor and was very experienced.

My fight in my weight division was to the same girl who I beat in the semis on the absolute. I had lost before I stepped on the mat. I knew I had. My mentality was that I did not want to fight her again. She was strong, and I was exhausted after fighting her last time. Wrong attitude to have. She won by taking my back and getting the 4 points in the last minute or so of the fight. Nobody to blame but myself. I was pissed because I had beaten her once and I knew could have done it again. 

Taking the back

Now.. the gi division I come across her AGAIN. The joys of being in a minority category. This was the closest match I've ever had. I decided I would pull guard. The 2 previous matches I had lost because I pulled guard. Why oh why did I pull guard..? I didn't want to stand with her, and decided I'd rather have her tire trying to pass, whilst giving me a chance to work my (still crappy) guard.

I knew I hadn't got points for passing, I knew she had no points either, so it was going to be down to advantages. She nearly took my back, I nearly took hers. It was a real back and forth kinda fight. I had no idea what was the score and to see I had lost 2-1 on advantages was devastating. I had Sofia and Felipe Amarante 

screaming and coaching for me throughout the fight. They gave me so much motivation, and I gave that fight my all. I felt so exhausted (a result of previous fights, mentality and my cardionogi, so every fight I had was against girls with quite a bit more experience than myself. Doesn't take away the gutting feeling of not winning, but Grapplers Quest was an awesome experience and I have a big list of things to work on before I compete next.
Silver in 160lbs+ in the gi

3 big thankyous before I finish up...

1- The Amarantes- for screaming at me to the point that I feared for the consequences if I didn't do what they were telling me..

The Amarantes- coolest BJJ family ever?

2. Fightsports and Avengers- we brought home loads of medals guys! My Jiu Jitsu family home from home. Love you guys! Oss!
Fightsports Familia! Osss!

3. Scramble- for their support for women in BJJ and for giving me the opportunity to represent the brand. I'll get gold next time! Promise..

"Win a silver medal? Melt it down, make a spoon, go eat cereal- only gold counts"

**VIDEOS TO FOLLOW**- Youtube hates me. I'm spending my day sat here uploading. And its real sunny outside. That's dedication that is..

Friday, 19 August 2011

Favela stylee

I know, I know I've been super slack. I've been training lots and haven't had time to escape to the computer to blog. So here's a really pointless one:

The neighbours don’t like us drying our clothes out on the balcony. Understandable really.. There are 4 of us in a 2 bedroom apartment, and between us we have approximately 6 bajillion gis we hang out to dry at the same time. We can’t bring them inside. We’d die of deathly fume inhalation, so I figured I’d bring my general clothing inside to dry. Not that there was any room to hang anything, until Angie found an old washing line. We hung it across her bed, proper favela stylee. Thought I’d share a pic.

Favela style washing line

Looks nice huh? My spats take 12 seconds to dry anyway. She doesn’t sleep with the washing line up. C’mon. We’re not ACTUALLY in a favela…

Scramble washing line
I'm competing as an honourary Avenger at Grapplers Quest in Coral Springs tomorrow so will post a blog about that on Sunday. Fingers crossed I get some bling.. Eurgh, I feel sick thinking about it.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Roli Delgado seminar

Roli Delgado (in the blue at the front) at Fightsports

Last Monday, Cyborg arranged to have a good friend of his, Roli Delgado, come to the gym to give us a footlock seminar. Cyborg has mentioned how neglected leg locks are within BJJ and that he wanted to give us the opportunity to have a seminar with one of the top leglock guys. Roli, an ex UFC veteran, is from Westside MMA and is the teacher of Hillary Williams. Hillary is my biggest, bestest, favouritest (?) lady in BJJ. I think she’s badass. And she taps guys...

Told you. I love this picture..

 To learn from the guy that taught her everything was very cool indeed.
The seminar wasn’t based on super fancy, never-before-seen ninja moves, but rather an experienced insight into the biggest misconceptions and mistakes people make when attempting footlocks. He showed us tiny little tweaks that really help increase the likelihood of getting the submission. They had most of us kicking ourselves, they were so simple, but often not practised.
We focused a lot on the straight footlock. Being legal from white belt onwards, it was the most relevant leglock and often, the most incorrectly applied. A perfect lock to practise our new knowledge on..

The guys drilling
He showed us drills to practise to ensure we catch the foot correctly and thus have the position correct. Having the positioning correct from the start, prevents the opponent “putting on the boot” aka straightening their leg, and 99% of the time means the submission is on before you even hit the floor and physically start to apply it.

Set up drill- faking a guard pass

Correctly catching and positioning the foot

The seminar consisted of:

·         Positional drilling
·         Same side straight footlock
·         Cross side straight footlock
·         Defence of same side
·         Defence of cross side
·         Counter to defence of same side
·         Counter to defence of cross side
·         50/50 guard to cross side footlock
     ·         50/50 guard to toe hold

Cross side straight footlock

Same side straight footlock

Roli is a great guy, super helpful and practically hurled his knowledge at us. He didn’t hold anything back, and allowed a lot of time for questions at the end.  The seminar has helped me recognise opportunities where a footlock could be attempted as opposed to say, a pass. So, yeah. Amazing seminar. Have some pictures of me and Angie drilling the techniques..

Kicking off leg counter... knee on belly.

Finishing a same side straight footlock
Fifch/Fifch gward..

*Note* My notepad in the background of a few of the pictures. I've been writing every technique down in an attempt to remember everything!

I'd like to thank Master Cyborg for arranging Roli to come down and give us a seminar. It was awesome. I am now a footlock ninja. Kind of..

Monday, 1 August 2011

Spider Guard Master Class..

 I have been continuing my quest to acquire a decent guard during my time here in Miami. Last Saturday myself, Angie and Milan got together at open mat to drill some guard techniques. We warmed ourselves up- (well, THEY both warmed up. I, on the other hand, took advantage of doing my own suuuuper chilled warm up which consisted of about 4 backwards rolls and re-tying my belt a couple of times. .) and then proceeded to crack on with some spider guard. Angie was our master class instructor. She has a horrific open guard. I should say, horrific for the person trying to pass. Despite being about 130lbs she has no difficulty tying me in knots with her spider guard. She’s very patient and well aware that trying to pass her spider guard causes people a LOT OF FUCKING FRUSTRATION. Waiting for her opponent to get so frustrated trying that they resort to something totally and utterly spastic, before she attacks with a sweep or a submission. So not only does she have a good guard to attack and sweep from, but she’s comfortable staying there until the right time. This is what I need.  A guard I can be comfortable in, just waiting to pounce..

She showed as a couple of sweeps when the opponent is on their knees, then we progressed to a standing opponent, using the same principles to complete the sweep.

Here you can see me practising some basic sweeps from kneeling. I was focusing on using my feet like hands. And using the WHOLE of my foot. I used to just use my toes or heels, which got knocked off easily. I'm trying to make me feet stick to the biceps more.

 Which was kinda her biggest focus. She tried to get across how important the control with the feet in the opponents biceps is. She kept repeating how your feet have to be like hands. They’re not just pushing and digging in. You pull your toes to help grip, and push with your heel when pushing away to off balance your opponent. Using your whole foot. We spent most of the time getting comfortable with our second pair of hands and watching our opponents closely. She showed us that you can often tell by watching their face whether they are going to try to stack you, or straighten your legs out to try and pass. We practised anticipating what pass they would attempt, whilst testing our reaction times.

Milan practising on Angie. Gripping with toes when pulling, and pushing with heel when pushing..
Using the whole foot. Not just the toes and heel.

It was a really good insight to an aspect of spider guard I’ve never really covered. I’ve always felt it was a case of “feet on the biceps and push and pull to off balance your opponent” but this week I learned much more than that. I’m very grateful to Angie for taking the time to go through it with us. I’ll passee your gward real fast soon, for suuuree, biatch.