Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Fabio is the bestest!

Today, Fabio made fun of me in the afternoon class. He said, "You know how I can always tell when Allison has been training?" Sensing that a joke was about to be made at my expense, I rolled my eyes. He said, "There!" and he pointed to a big blond hair ball on the mat.

I love me some Fabio. And apparently I'm not alone. Check out this article about Fabio and his school that was in our local paper.

This afternoon when I was sitting on the wall between grapples, I got to hear the story about how he started BJJ. Fabio got his black belt in Muy Thai back in Brazil, but his cousin was taking BJJ. His cousin--who was only a blue belt at that time--told him he could beat him in a fight, so they fought. Right before they fought, his cousin told him, "I'm going to get your arm." Fabio said, "F*** you. Try it." Within a few minutes, his cousin arm-barred him. Then he told Fabio he was going to choke him out. Again, he did it in under a minute.

So Fabio went to the school where his cousin had been training. A teenage kid tapped Fabio out half a dozen times within the first grapple. Fabio sat on the wall, pissed off, for the rest of the class. But after that, he quit Muy Thai and started training Jiu-jitsu. He told us Muy Thai was the best martial art for a stand-up game. But for a ground game, nothing can top Jiu-jitsu.

Apart from all the story telling, we had a great afternoon class. We didn't work submissions. Instead, we focused only on circling on top of a partner. I discovered that I have dismal balance and need to practice this a lot! ;)


Dev said...


Ben at Collar Choke just posted a good thought on half guard defense and passing, in case you haven't seen it. Having had this discussion, I thought you might want to check it out:

A.D. McClish said...

Dev, thanks for the link. I didn't even know that that first position was called shin half guard or semi-Z guard. I'm going to try those passes, though it's hard for me to visualize it reading the details. When I'm the one doing the shin half guard, I usually end up with them passing behind me somehow.

Dev said...

I don't generally like the "z guard" because it sets up that arm weave pass really well - conceptually, any time I can pin your legs together, I can pass them.

Instead, from the bottom I go with 2 thoughts on half guard.

First, what I call "scared" half guard, or "worst case." If you're pushed flat, and your opponent is crowding you. In that case, I like the Eddie Bravo lockdown on the trapped leg, and looking to trap the same-side arm for a bridge roll:

(Look at the bottom, for the Vince Quitugua clip)

Second, I like what I call an "open" half guard, which is more like Robson Moura's 93 Guard setup. It's similar to the "z guard" but your top leg is UP, with your shin in their armpit. It specifically prevents the arm weave pass, and there's some sexy setups and sweeps from there:

Anyway, I think the "z guard" (what I would call scissors guard) from FULL guard is great (although it still leaves you open for the arm weave), but from half guard I am not a fan... but that's MY game. Obviously it works for some people.

A.D. McClish said...

Honestly it doesn't work for me. lol They either pass behind me or I end up having to scramble to some other position.

I'm usually ok with moving in an open half guard. But when someone is locking me up, I have problems. In a grappling situation, I've never pulled off the bridge-roll with some who is bigger than me. Which suggests that the ones it does work on is because I'm using muscle and not good technique. I'm going to ask my instructor tonight to look and see what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks for the advice. Really helpful!!

Dev said...

Seriously, check out the Vince Quitugua stuff. Most of his sweeps start with the premise that you're flat, and your opponent has a crossface and underhook - hence "worst case."

Imagine you're in flat half guard, and you've trapped your opponent's right leg, so they have an underhook on your left side.

- Lockdown on their leg.
- Because they have an underhook, YOU have an OVERhook on their right arm. Lock it in by closing your elbow to your body.
- Don't sweat the crossface - instead, I like to bring my right hand down to their hip for some extra oomph.
- Now, here's the KEY: the further underneath their body you can get your hips, the better the sweep works. Scoot yourself to your right, and you can even start turning to your left side a little (never mind that you're giving away your plan).
- When you're ready, unlock your legs, making sure your outside (left) leg is hooked toward the inside.
- Oopa like your life depends on it, push with your right hand, and roll left.

If you were able to get your hips underneath just a little, I personally GUARANTEE this will work.

And if that explanation sucked (which I'm sure it did), check out the first video I mentioned before - it's got the "London" and "Brooklyn" bridge sweeps. Going the other direction (I think it's Brooklyn) is not as high percentage for me, but it's a good option.

leslie said...

From bottom z-guard, I always try to control as I would for a scissor sweep. Also, keep pressure on with that shin, and keep that knee angled UP. (Not too much, but you want to keep your knees from touching, else as Dev points out, they weave through and pass.) I'm still not good from there, but I try. :)

London and Brooklyn bridges, lol. But, I like 'em, and I agree with Dev's key: get your hips under them, even if it gives away what you're doing. I'm sure that's where I've been missing it on these and similar escapes.

A.D. McClish said...

Dev, hipping under the person made all the difference!! I was so much easier this afternoon. Thanks!! :)

A.D. McClish said...

Leslie, I tried to work a little more z-guard today, but I couldn't hold that position long and ended up having to go to inverted or something else. I'll try those tips in class tomorrow night. Thanks!