Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Just...blown away is all I can use to describe rolling with him.  But that came at the end.

Today at my school we hosted Andre Galvao for a seminar.  He was super nice right off the bat, and started us off with some light stretches.  We drilled a head and arm choke starting from half-guard a bit, and then he went into a bunch of half-guard stuff.  I really wish I had brought a notebook, but I'll have to do my best with the following (and this is likely out of order and missing tons of details):
-from top half guard, get the head and arm.  Put your forehead on the mat high, near their head, relax and extend your leg to pull it out of half guard and into mount.  Switch your feet to get both on the side that your body is on, drop your body to the floor and apply the choke.
-if the person curls up and grabs their own leg to stop the choke, take the Ezekiel--the arm that is under their arm grabs your sleeve of your other arm, bring that hand up over the head.  Make sure the arm grabbing the sleeve is deep, because that's the choking arm.  Bring your one knee into their shoulder and the other close to their back, then sit back and extend your arms in a scissor motion to apply.
-take the Ezekiel from back mount--go under one arm, use that hand to grab the sleeve of your other arm, and from there it's pretty much the same.  You can also do this if the other person turtles. 
-also from top deep half--grab their far side knee with one hand, close side lapel with other hand (four fingers inside), swim/shoot your forearm around their head, then sit back and apply the choke.
-top deep half--if they have their arm around your leg that is closer to their head--switch your feet so your weight is on the foot closer to their head, and your other knee is either on the ground or their thigh.  Grab their hand that is wrapped around your leg and push it into your hip and bite your body down on the hand.  You can use the other hand to post out at first.  Roll over their body, so your shoulder that is closer to their head comes down first, and aim your head towards their outer hip.  From here, both your legs are kind of under your partner's body.  The free hand should grab their belt, the other you can use to bring yourself up, and from here go one of two ways: 1) pull out the bottom leg and take their back, or 2) pull out the top leg and go for an omoplata.  If you can't submit right away and they roll forward with you, be sure to grab their legs as they roll, and then block their upper body from coming up so you can finish.
-From top deep half, if their arm is wrapped around your leg that is farther from their head, and their other arm is hidden: use your arm that is closer to their head to reach between your body and their head (don't trap the head!) and grab their belt.  Lean over their body and put your forehead on the mat.  Work your way down their body so your head is on their chest, and keep your belt-grabbing arm's elbow close to your body.  Use your other leg to scoop their far side leg so they can't upa into you.  Use your foot against their feet to break their half guard, pull out your leg and go to cross side.

I know there's more; I just can't remember it all!  Hopefully I'll get to drill some of this stuff this week, so I'll be able to make it muscle memory (at least a little) and have something to go to from top half.

After that, he wanted to spend 15-20 minutes rolling with people.  He had us all line up against the wall and then people just stepped forward as he tapped them.  One of the more annoying guys I train with decided to push me forward to "volunteer" me, although I'm actually a little glad because I didn't want to be the over-eager white belt who got to roll with Andre Galvao before all the blues and purples.

And that was were magic happened.  My jiu jitsu sucked; I know it.  We started from standing and I went for the sloppiest double leg ever, and somehow we got to the ground.  He let me work stuff, and we even got to half guard and I "did" one of the moves we learned (I'm sure more of it was him moving for me).  And yet his rolling was so smooth it made my crap-tastic jits feel like butter.  He let me finish him with (another sloppy) armbar, and then I went off to watch him play with his other toys.

This man doesn't have a single wasted movement.  Escaping from a position wasn't just that--it was establishing another dominant position, or setting up another submission.  Nothing, it seemed, was done with a purpose and a plan.  I've watched videos of Mundials and ADCC matches and all sorts of high-level jiu jitsu, but something was just different.  Maybe it's because such high-level athletes slow each other down and negate a lot of what the other does, or maybe he was just playing with us.  Honestly, I couldn't care less--it just left me with a very deep appreciation for what jiu jitsu can be, and how very desperately far away from it I am. 

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