Thursday, November 10, 2011

Burnt Lung

I made it out to crossfit yesterday for the first time on a Wed. It seems the current weekly routine is strength and conditioning on Mon with the emphasis on strength, strength and conditioning on Wed with the emphasis on conditioning and strength on Fridays with little emphasis on conditioning.

Yesterday’s workout was called the “Burnt Lung” and as soon as a saw the name of the workout I knew I was in trouble.

Usual warm-up

20 wallballs
5 Burpees
400 meter run

10 ROUNDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*Wall balls – Explode out of a deep squat position with a 20 lb medicine ball and throw the ball up in the air to a line on a wall that is about 15 – 20 feet high.

Every WOD has one exercise that I think of as the “make or break” exercise of the WOD. That exercise has the biggest impact on the overall time to complete the WOD. In this WOD there was no doubt about what the make or break exercise was going to be, obviously managing the run was going to be the key. The person with the fastest time would be the person how could get through each round without walking. Run to fast and you’ll burn out forcing yourself to walk so you can catch your breath, run too slow and you might as well be walking. My strategy for this WOD was managing the run at a slow pace that allowed my legs to actively recover during the run.

So we start the WOD and right out of the gate everyone else takes off into the wallballs, rips through the burpees and sprints out the door into the run. I was the last to finish the wallballs, last to finish the burpees , walked from my burpee station to the door for the run and began my long slow jog solidly bringing up the rear in 10th. I kept up my pace and by round 3 I was in 3rd. During the run of round 4 I noticed the guy ahead of me slowing down a little so I lengthened my stride ever so slightly to close the distance. About mid way through the run on round 5 I pasted the guy ahead of me and took command of 2nd place. Now the only guy ahead of me was a little guy who was clearly a very strong running. He had a tougher time with the wall balls then me but he tore around the track. At the end of round 7 he was about 50 paces ahead of me on the run. When we finished the run on round 8 he stopped for a quick sip of water. I closed the distance by NOT walking from the door of the gym to my wallball station but instead I ran that short distance while he was taking his drink. This short extra bit of energy was enough to bring us neck and neck. I could tell he was not looking forward to the wall balls on round 9 so I gave him a little shout of encouragement that kicked him back into gear. Not the best strategy for winning the crossfit Olympics but who gives a shit. We got through the wallballs at about the same time but he ripped through the burpees then took off for the run at a sprinting pace. I could not keep up, going into the run on round 10 he was about half a lap ahead of me but I was still really really happy to come in 2nd out of 10 in our class. I finished the workout in 39 min which put me fairly high on the leader board for the day but nowhere near the top. Someone in the morning class finished the WOD in 29:45. I can’t even imagine getting through that WOD at that pace.

After I class I was desperately in need to massive amounts of calories so I skipped the tuna lunch I had planned and decided to eat fried chicken allow with a box of fries. Lately I have been doing research on the benefits of eating fast food after a super intense workout. It turns out the benefit is the feel of wanting to throw up for the rest of the afternoon…..perhaps not my best meal choice.

Fast forward to Thr morning. My entire body is sore, I am hobbling around like a 98 year old man that got run over by a truck. How will I get through BJJ and Judo tonight? I suspect I will be playing a lot of fetal position guard.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

11/8 - 202

I made it through class last night but I was in a complete fog the entire time. By the time Judo randori rolled around I was completed drained both mentally and physically. Mondays are really the only days where I will have crossfit, BJJ and Judo all on the same day. while it would be easy to skip one of these activites I dont get to any of them often enough to warrant skipping a class so I need to figure out how to suck it up and make through all 3 classes.

I had some really good training in both BJJ and Judo. In BJJ I had some very technical sets with Lex who is moving up EXTREMLY quickly. In Judo I had a chance to work some of the throws I will need to demonstrate during my Shodan exam and I got to practice my drop Koshi Guruma. I do this technique a little bit differently then how I have seen it shown in the past. I have been experimenting with a few different grips and styles and I think I have finally settled on one I can use in no gi. The next time I get up to JWs I will put it to the test.

Weight – I am slowly making my way down to 200 from around 210. I want to drop a few more pounds before the holidays because I figure I will gain at least 5 pounds during the holidays and there are some tournaments near the beginning of the year I want to compete in. I figure 205 will be a lot easier to turn into 198 then 215 so this is a bit of a preemptive strike.

Monday, November 7, 2011


Todays Crossfit workout

Usual warmup

for todays workout the recommended mens weight was 95 pounds for the over head squats and 53 lbs for the kettbell swings. I scaled the overhead squats down to 75 pounds

21 OHS
21 pullups
21 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

15 OHS
15 pullups
15 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

9 pullups
9 Kettle bell swings
30 Double unders

I completed it in a respectable 15:45. The gym is starting to get pretty crowded and there are lots of new faces but only a few old faces. I wonder how many can stick with these workouts over the long haul, or perhaps I should say how many other will be able to stick with these workouts over the long haul.

I have no idea how I am going to get through BJJ and Judo tonight. My legs are dead.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My new friend from Bulgaria

Despite an overwhelming workload, a sick baby and life in general doing its best to keep me out of the gym I have gotten some really good training in lately. Let's recap:

Thr 10-20-11

Thursday’s Judo practice was a killer. My intention going in was to skip randori and focus on practicing the throws I will need to demonstrate for my Shodan test (I will be testing for my Judo Black Belt soon). When it came time to randori Ray wanted to do a kind of round robin sparring where everyone faces everyone one after another. I rounded out the group nicely so I took the hint and joined the randori group. The plan was 6 3 minute rounds. Well do to a SNFU with the timer and a time keeper that wasn’t paying close attention each round turned into an unknown time (felt like around 5 – 6 min per round). So 18 min of randori turned into around 30 to 40 min of randori. At first I was a little annoyed by the SNFU but in the end the training was just what I needed. Part of the Shodan test is nonstop rounds of randori against fresh partners every few min, so this was good preparation for that part of the test.


My first attempt at a how made Bulgarian bag. There are plenty of do it yourself videos on youtube if you are interested in making one. There were 2 pieces of advice I stuck to while making my first bag.

1) Don’t fill the bag with sand, it will be too heavy use wood pellets instead
2) Give yourself generous handles

When I got done making filing and taping I picked up the bag and thought “this feels really light”. So I took it inside and put it on the scale….15 lbs CRAP too light. Ok, no problem I will use this one to get used to the exercises then make a heavier one later. I identified 4 swings I liked and attempted to do 100 reps per swing. Let me just say, holly crap that thing will WEAR YOU OUT. I am up to 50 reps per swing and climbing. Ultimately this bag was too light and I made another one last Sat but I can certainly get a hell of a conditioning workout with this thing. Bag number two is 30 pounds and probably still an intermediate stop. My goal is to work myself up to a 50 lbs bag. According to I should be using a 37 lbs bag so the second bag is in the ball park.


No gi team training at JWs. The guys at JWs are all getting ready for no gi worlds so the training there was really intense. I rarely get a chance to work my no gi game so when I do I really try to make the best of it. I was really happy with how I did, both from the feet and on the ground. Off the feet I hit a few cross ankle picks, a few o’uchi garis, one snap down to front headlock takedown and one “almost” koshi guruma. I may give no gi a try in competition next year. The last time I competed in no gi was when I was a White belt so I am definitely overdue.


Won’t go into the details but I have been going and getting better and better.


Weekend workout – I decided on a new routine of 8 min rounds. So far I like it.

1 min jump rope
1 min Bulgarian bag swings in large circles
1 min continuous curls from a Sumo Squat position
1 min Bulgarian bag swings in an arching motion from one foot to the other
1 min Push press jumping jacks
1 min ultra wide grip bent over rows
1 min of sandbag squat, clean and presses
1 min sledge hammer swings (swinging like a baseball bat)


Friday, October 21, 2011

Work and Killer Workouts

Work has been absolutely killing me lately. Pretty much every day for the past two weeks has been 12 - 14 hour days. On Mon I knew i had a ton of work to do and I knew I probably would get to the Osagame like I planned so I forced myself to get away from my desk and go to crossfit at lunch. As usual I was not disappointed.

Warm up
400 meter run
50 double unders
20 cow grazers
30 scorpions
10 box jumps
10 Over Head Squats (OHS)
10 Pullups

The workout was actually a double crossfit workout. This was a first for me...

Workout #1
3 Rounds of in under 9 min
10 Pullups
15 Box Jumps (30 inch box)

I got it done just under the wire in 8:57.

3 min rest

Workout #2
21 Thrusters (squat clean press)
21 Pullups
15 Thrusters
15 Pullups
9 Thrusters
9 Pullups

my time 4:12

Optional - passout on the sidewalk in front of the building.

This was Monday's workout, today is Friday and I am still feeling the box jumps in my quads.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

In House at NJMA

We took a few guys to an In House tournament at NJMA this weekend. First off, thanks to Marco at NJMA for extending the invitation to his In House tournament. I train at NJMA every once in a while, they have top notch instruction and a very friendly atmosphere. If you live in Jersey anywhere near Cherry Hill you should check them out.

On to the tournament! I was really happy with how everyone did. It was the first competition for a lot of our guys and they came through. They showed good technique, good strategy and used a lot of the stuff we have been working so diligently on. The work we do from the feet clearly showed and was a strong advantage for our club. We only gave up 1 takedown all day and those were the only points scored against us. We had 1 Ko Uchi Gari a couple of Kosto Gari's and a few forced guard pulls that put our opponents into bad situations from the start. We sent 4 guys and went 6 and 1 on the day.

Of course there are a few things to work on but I was really proud of how everyone fought. It really makes me feel good to see my guys using the stuff I show them. Teaching has really shown me a whole new aspect of the game.

To see some of the matches check out Lex's video here Some of the commentary is a little painful but it is worth watching just to see what a fool I look like on video.

Side note - I had myself convinced that I added 5 - 8 pounds of muscle doing crossfit lately. Lex's video now has me convinced I have 10 pounds of FAT to lose. Thanks Lex.


Friday's crossfit workout was anther kill

warm up

400 meter run
50 double unders
20 cow grazers
30 scrpions
10 burpees
10 kettle bell swings
15 pullups
10 ring dips
20 hang cleans
2 muscle ups (which I cant do yet)
build power cleans

Work out
So the workout included muscle ups. To do a muscle up you jump up to a pair of rings and host yourself up over the rings with your elbows locked out. I cant do them yet but I did a little youtube research this weekend on the technique and I think I might be able to get some next week. Anyway, in place of muscle up we were allow to do ring dips with a scale of 3 ring dips to every muscle up we were supposed to do. The workout is below and my chest is still a little sore.

5 power cleans (cleans from the floor)
15 ring dips

4 power cleans
12 ring dips

3 power cleans
9 ring dips

2 power cleans
6 ring dips

1 power clean
3 ring dips

75 double unders

I was proud of my time, second on the leader board at 10:04 but really want those muscle ups.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why Why Why

Why did I waste so much time learning BJJ and Judo. All those hours doing reps, the tournaments, the heart aches and the injuries. It all seems like such a waste when I could have spent that time learning THE FINGER LOCK KO! Now that I know this underground secret I will be unstoppable. I can't wait to use this at Worlds, those fools won't know what hit em. Check it out for yourself.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Climbing the Leader Board

I had another really good time on my crossift workout today.

I dont remember the warmup but it was pretty standard. I am starting to really get the hang of the double unders and I put up a pretty decent time.


Round Double Unders GTO Wall Ball Throws
1 30 15 15
2 30 12 12
3 30 9 9
4 30 6 6
5 30 3 3

Double unders - Twice around with the jump rope on each jump.

GTO - Weighted bar starting from the ground on each rep and pick it up to a locked out position overhead. The pickup can be anyway you like.

Wall Ball Throws - From a deep squat explode upward and throw the medicine ball over a line marked on the wall. I think our line is about 20 feet up but I am not a good judge of height.

I really like these workouts but I have noticed they leave me pretty worn out for the fundementals/bjj/judo marathon I normal do on Mon nights.

Working out like a Man

Up until Fri when I did my Crossfit workouts I was "scaling the workout". In each workout the trainer gives a recommended weight for men and a recommended weight for women. Being the "macho man" that I am I couldn't uses the girls recommended weight but I wasn't able to uses the recommended men's weight either. At least not without gassing out before the workout was over. So my solution was to use something in between. Well Friday's workout was one that I felt pretty comfortable with so I took a stab at the men's weight and I was quite happy with the results. In case I didnt mention it before, for those of you unfamiliar with crossfit. All of these workouts are for time, you go all out with no rest until you are done with the entire workout. No rest between rounds, sets or exercises.

Friday's workout

Warm up
400 meter run
50 Double Unders
20 Cow Grazers
20 Scorpions
20 Leg Swings
20 Shoulder rotations
15 pushups
20 Kettle Bell Swings

3 sets
15 Push presses build more weight for each set
5 Kettlebell swings
200 meter sprint 70%

5 Rounds
10 Push Press 115 pounds
200 meter sprint
10 Kettle Bell Swings 53 pounds

I was quite pleased with my time 9:50

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

9/27/11 Competition

We have a few guys planning to compete at an In House tournament in a few weeks. So last night I deviated from the normal routine. We spent a lot of time on sprawling and catching then passing someone when they jump closed guard. Once the sprawling drills we done we moved on to jumping guard. Jumping guard from a player safety perspective in my opinion deserves a little more attention than most people give it. We covered how to catch a larger person by using your hips. I also really emphasized the importance of not allowing yourself to be knocked over backwards or to one of your back corners as it can result in a bad knee injury. Once I was satisfied everyone could safely catch their opponent we moved on to passing right off the jump. Basic stuff but stuff they were likely to see at the In House. I also covered a few things from the mount. How to get there, how to hold it and 1 submission. Overall I think the guys that are going can do well but most importantly they can all compete safely.

Judo - for some reason everyone was really "off" during kata practice last night. Not sure what it was, the only why I can really describe it is to say it felt like there was a lot of bad energy in the room. Anyway I bring it up because rather than sticking with the usual routine AQ recognized what was going on and switched things up a little.

I am going to try to keep an eye out for this in my classes going forward. It isn't enough to just pay attention to how people are rolling I need to also pay attention to who is mentally "with it" and who isn't.

On a blogging side note there has been some internet politics floating around on various blogs lately. Glad to see stupid politics are still alive and kicking. Imagine the anarchy if we were all rowing in the same direction at the same time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Are you Game?

Today’s crossfit workout was certain not tailor made for the heavy weight division….and that is why I like it. I am really trying to up my conditioning as I truly believe it can be a major advantage in the heavy weight masters division. Of course I want perfect technique but if everyone is fighting at the right level then the technique of my opponent should be at about the same as mine. Technique being equal conditioning will often be the difference in the outcome of the match. My goal is to having the conditioning of a 185 pounder. When today’s workout really tested me. With limited shoulder flexibility and limited ankle flexibility over head squats are a killer. When we do them we really go very deep into the squat. Pretty much heals to butt.

Warm Up
400 meter run
50 Double Unders
20 cow grazers
20 scorpians
20 air squats
10 Toes to Bar (pullup position, swing your legs up until your toes touch the bar)
15 Hang Squats
20 Over Head Squats

Work Out
5 Rounds
400 meter run
15 Over Head Squats - 95 pounds for men 65 pounds for women

For extra fun at the end : Over Head weighted lungs across the room, 5 times.

Like I said, not exactly a workout for heavy weights but it sure will test your gameness.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

9/21/11 - 208

Another good turnout for last night's BJJ class. I really like the routine I have gotten the class into.

Warm up - 15 min
Takedowns - 15 min
Instruction - 30 min
Live Training 25 - 30 min
Sneak in a few min at the end for a quick stretch if possible.

Last night I added sprawling drills to the warm up in place of the armbar omaplata drill. I will probably stick with the sprawling for a few more weeks.

I also added a third piece to the takedown portion of class that went much better than I expected. We are now practicing 3 takedowns. The first is the takedown shown the previous month. I do a quick review and then have them practice 5 throws per person. Second is the takedown we are working on this month, again a short review then 5 more reps per person. Third is a takedown of their choice. So far so good. Last month's takedown was a cross ankle pick off the high collar grip, this months takedown is the drop O Uchi Gari, otherwise known as O Uchi Gake.

We continued working on guard passing fundamentals. Last night I covered the details of the knee across pass and how to do it with and without controling the sleeve. Once they got the pass I showed a setup for the Americana off the pass. We finished up by combining the takedown (O Uchi Gake) with the knee across pass directly into our Americana setup and finish.

I continue to be impressed by the progress everyone is making. Next week I will move on to passing the butterfly guard.

Side Note: There is an In House Tournament at NJMA in New Jersy on Oct 15th. NJMA is a safe friendly envirnoment and a perfect opportunity for anyone looking to knock off the ring rust or even try out a tournament for the first time.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Count Down

Lately I have been doing crossfit workouts at lunch. They have two lunchtime classes that fit my schedule one on Mon and one on Fri. These workouts are not for the faint of heart. Today's workout is below

Warm Up
400 meter run
50 Double Unders (Jumping rope - Send the rope under twice on each jump)
20 Free squats
20 Scorpions
20 Cow Grazers (a type of stretch)
15 Pushups
10 Push presses with the bar only
15 Pullups (5 Strick, 5 Wide Grip, 5 Kipping) - Kipping means using a leg swing

WOD - Workout Of the Day( no rest between sets)
10 reps Snatch Balance
10 Kipping Pullups

9 reps Snatch Balance
9 Kipping Pullups

8 reps Snatch Balance
8 Kipping Pullups

7 reps Snatch Balance
7 Kipping Pullups

6 reps Snatch Balance
6 Kipping Pullups

5 reps Snatch Balance
5 Kipping Pullups

4 reps Snatch Balance
4 Kipping Pullups

3 reps Snatch Balance
3 Kipping Pullups

2 reps Snatch Balance
2 Kipping Pullups

1 reps Snatch Balance
1 Kipping Pullup

Post workout workout
As many handstand pushups as you can do in 3 min. I did 17, time was not really a factor for me on the handstand pushups. I simply didnt have anything left in my shoulders.

Snatch balance - Start in traditional squat position with the weight on your shoulders and a wide grip on the bar. In one motion drop underneath the weight lowering your hips to the point where your butt almost touches your heals. While you are dropping you are pushing the weight upwards so your finishing position is a deep deep squat with an overhead press. From there drive back up to a standing position and lower the weight back down to your shoulders.

The workout was pretty intense. While we were working out we had an observer come in to check out class. I doubt she will be coming back. I really like the crossfit workouts but I honestly dont know how they stay in business. So far all of the workouts have been extremely challenging. I really dont see a beginner walking in off the street and making it through a typical workout. For me the workouts are perfect. They tend to average about twice the time of a typical BJJ or Judo match and I am usually going at about 95% the entire time.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9/10/11 - Visit

I was having a really ruff week last week so I decided to take a trip up to our friends at BJJU for some really hard training. Of course they didn't disappoint, I left feeling completely exhausted and much happier! During the drive home I was thinking about why I was so tired and it took me a while to put my finger on it. One of the differences I noticed between the way I have been training lately and the way they train at BJJU is the rest period between sets. At BJJU IF you get a rest period between sets you barely have enough time to get a swallow of water before you are back on the mat getting ready for the next set. At Osagame we tend to dilly dally a little more. Over the next few weeks I am going to pay particular attention to this bad habit we have gotten into and do my best to stomp it out.

9/13/11 Tue BJJ

I had another really good turnout. Last week and for the next few weeks we are working on guard passing. I am a big believer in the fundamentals so that is what I am focusing on with my Tue class. I think once you have the fundamental principles you can deal with whatever new fancy move or style becomes the latest fad. Last week we went over the windshield wiper step using the knee cut pass. This week we did two passes, the first pass used the scorpion step off the knee cut pass the second pass was a classic other knee across pass. Once they had the passes down I had them start from their feet, execute this month's takedown (drop O Uchi Gari), transition directly into the pass and finish with a collar choke from knee on belly. For a class of mostly white belts I was very happy with what I saw. This group is a lot further ahead of where I was when I only had a few months of training!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Where have you been?

It has been quite a long time since I posted anything on this blog. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, I just have not had ANY spare time the last couple of months. Work has been invading every corner of spare time I have and some of the corners I don't have. So here goes the update:

Tue BJJ:
Tue classes have been growing steadily and I am really happy with the progress I am seeing in the students. We are starting to have 6 - 8 in BJJ on a fairly regular basis with body types ranging from teeny tiny to 230ish. I am still introducing 1 new takedown per month and having the class practice the new takedown and the previous months takedown at the start of each class. I like this method and I am going to stick with it. I have always thought the standup fight was an underappreciated part of a BJJ match and I want my students to have an advantage in that area. There are about 10 throws in all that I will show on a rotating basis that I think are particularly useful for BJJ.

Standup I have shown so far:
Outside Uchi Mata
Outside Uchi Mata to Ko Uchi Gari
Ken Ai yotsu Sumi Gaeshi (righty vs lefty)
Cross Ankle Pick off the sleeve grip
Cross Ankle Pick off the high collar grip

Next up for Standup
Drop O Uchi Gari

Groundwork in August focused mostly on spider guard and various sweeps from that position.
Next up some guard passing fundamentals.

My own development
Unfortunately work has kept me from going to as many class as I would like too. I don’t think I have made it out to BJJU in about 2 months, which is really disappointing. I also haven't made it to the last two Judo tournaments I had on the calendar. I am trying to really focus on my Judo for the last part of this year.

My Judo goals are as follows:
Judo Tournament in Oct
Focus on the last two sets of Nage No Kata for my BB test
Start practicing all of the throws I need to demonstrate for my BB test

My BJJ Goals
There are not any BJJ tournaments I am focusing on right now, but I am starting to put together a schedule of tournaments that begins in Feb which means increased training begins in Jan. At this point my biggest BJJ goal is the continued development of my students.

I have gained a little (ok, more like a lot) of weight over the summer. Right now I am hovering around 210 (up from 195 at the start of the summer) and I like to be just under 200 so I have some work to do. I have been taking some cross fit classes which has been going well and some running, but I need to step up the running and weight loss if I am going to enter a Judo tournament next month.

I am not sure how often I will update this site, but when I do update it I think I am going to shift more to how things are going in my classes as opposed to how things are going in my training.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Small World

It was one hell of a hard training day and I am really glad I went. A few notes from my matches. The Brown Belt match was a really good one. The Brown Belt probably outweighed me by at least 70 pounds and was probably twice as strong as me so I had to rely 100% on technique and positioning. I find it very helpful to NOT be able to fall back on using power as it can become a crutch. It is also a dangerous habit for a guy my size because I am not a “big guy” by BJJ “big guy” standards. I will always be paired in the “big guy” group, but I will never be the biggest of the big guys. In fact I am usually the smallest of the “big guys” so that set was particularly useful for me.

The last match was against I Purple Belt with the body type and game that typically gives me a lot of trouble. This was a really fun match. We did a double set because I didnt realize the timer went off until about have way through the second set. You can bet I was keeping my eye on the clock for the next buzzer. I think I lost 5 pounds of water weight in that set alone!

So why is it such a small world? One of the Black Belts I was training with was a guy I trained with wayyyyyy back in the day in a galaxy far far away. We trained together for a short time when I was at Ricardo's in NJ (back in the days when Richardo's was out of Flex Gym). At time he was a Blue Belt and I was a White Belt. It was fun training with him and it is always fun seeing a face that brings back memories.

I also ended up training with someone that knows my step daughter. I didnt know it at the time but apparently he recognized me from the parent student days (man am I old).

All in all a really fun day. We rarly close our gym for the holidays but when we do I might make NJMA my default holiday spot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cookie Dough

So apparently sitting on your butt NOT working out and NOT going to class while drinking beer and eating cookie dough = about 7 pounds.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lot's and Lot's of BS

It seems like all of my posts are catch-up posts so why bother putting it in the title.

Sat The Good Fight

Mike and I went out to Ocean city for The Good Fight. The tournament was much much small then the one in NY. Mike only had one other guy in his division, I had 4 people in my division. When they put out the brackets it was just me and one other guy, but I guess two other Purple belts came out of the wood work so they put us all in one division. There was 1 skinny guy, 1 middle weight, me (a generous medium heavy at 198) and 1 heavy weight claiming to be 215/220 but I suspect he was more in the 225 range. Mike and I both fought at the same time during all of our fights which was disappointing because he didnt have anyone to coach him.

My first fight was against the middle weight and not to sound cocky, but I knew I was going to beat him the second I grabbed onto him. I scored one takedown with an O Uchi Gari but he got back to his feet. I moved him around a little and scored another takedown with the same technique. From there it was guard pass and mount putting me up 11 - 0. I tried to get fancy going for a mounted triangle and then an armlock off the position. He ended up coming up but it made no difference. I finished him with a Kimura from half guard. Not sure when it happened but at some point I hurt my neck and it got stiffer and stiffer as time went by.

My second match was against the heavy weight. I watched his first fight. He fought the skinny guy and scored a takedown with a nice Uchi Mata. Off the takedown he held the skinny guy down in Kesa Gatma for over half the match. Having seen his style I was leery of giving up a takedown and letting him get to a strong position. In retrospect I probably had too much respect for his takedowns. I was moving him around but when he pulled me in for a Russian tie I quickly pulled half guard. All was going well, I got my underhook he worked back to his feet and I hit a Tani O'Tosh, just like I showed that exact sequence in class a few weeks before (actually the class was going through my head as we were going througt the sequence, it was kind of cool). Anyway, I threw the Tani O'toshi pretty hard and he kind of bounced away from me when he hit the mat. He was able to scramble up to his feet and get back on top. I grabbed a half guard but I did not have a good bite and he was able to pass. From there he held me down inside control until he got warned for stalling. I managed to turn to a turtle toward the end but time ran out, he won 3 -0. This was my first tournament loss since I began instructing. It actually feels good to get it out of the way but I really was not happy with my performance. I also was not thrilled with my conditioning. I didnt get tired but it was not in as good of condition as I thought. If it was a Judo match I would have run out of gas.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

some catching up

Tue - I made Tue a light training class. I showed a closed guard pass that I have shown once before but find most still have trouble with it. Then I gave them time to drill whatever technique they wanted. This is something we do quite a lot in Judo but it is hardly ever done in BJJ. Some schools have an open mat session, others allow students to stay after class to drill but most do not set aside time during class for students to choose what they want to work on. I really do think giving this time every once in a while is a good idea, but so far I have tried it twice and each time I was disappointed with the outcome. I will have to put a little more thought into what I need to do the next time I want to try this. After the tokui waza time we did 6 min training sets.

Wed - Light cardio workout combined with high rep light weight pulling exercises. Not a very intense workout, just trying to break a sweat and keep the muscles loose for Sat.

Thr - Same theme as yesterday, light cardio and a few high reps low weight exercises, nothing major.

Upcoming Sat - The tournament this Sat is not a big one so my level of motivation is not as high as it was for the NY Open, but I feel good. My conditioning is good and my timing is good, I will try to start getting mentally motivated on Fri. Initially I had a bunch of people expressing interest in this tournament, but I am afraid the interest may be waning.

After Sat - This will probably be the last BJJ tournament I do for a while. After Sat I am going to start putting Judo tournaments back on the calendar.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I am back

Ok, I tried blogging on WordPress for a while and I pretty much hate everything about WordPress so I made the decision to come back to BlogSpot. The WordPress site served its purpose and I will probably continue to post a few things on it but if you want to see my updates this is the site for it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My New Blog Site

If you are still following me at this site be sure to check out my new location at

For better or worse I started posting again.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jumping to a new Fish Bowl

I decided to move my blog to See you there!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Post Tournament Assessment

Jan 15th was the Maryland open. We had 3 people from our club (including me) and one person friend hitching a ride with us. As a team we did really well, I believe Lex went 5-2 on the day. He won the 178 division and took 3rd at 198, both in the advanced division. Sara took first in her division going 2-0 on the day. I was less than pleased with my performance. I fought at 198 and 220. I won my first match at 198 with a clock choke. I lost my second match at 220 by getting pinned, which was really very disappointing since Newaza is my strength. The pin was a total lack of focus on my part combined with a lack of respect for my opponents Newaza. The result was getting pinned in north/south. My third match was at 220 against a Black belt. I spent the first part of the match attacking, attacking attacking. He started to wear down but he was up one Shido to none. I am not really sure why they Shido'd me, perhaps they thought my attacks were false attacks? Anyway, he was sitting on that Shido and not engaging me on the ground after I attacked. About half way through the match he went for a left sided Maki Komi. Now, I have lost 2 separate matches because of that throw and both times I did not think it should have been an ippon because both times I landed on my side. So I was determined not to get ipponed with that throw again. I responded by over twisting my body in the air to ensure I landed fully on my stomach. Good news, I succeeded in landing on my stomach and I dont think he got a score out of it. Bad news, I came down VERY awkwardly on my ankle and twisted it very very badly. I knew I was hurt so I just laid there and let him pin me. I suppose I could have tapped, but I don’t like tapping to a pin. I suppose it would have been ok since I was hurt, but sine he didn’t "earn" the pin I was not tapping to it.

Fast forward to today. The top of my foot is black and blue from the base of my toes to my ankle. Both sides of my foot are DARK black and blue and my ankle is still swollen. I am on crutches and soaking my foot in a bucket of ice water every night. 20 min on 20 min off. The ice water is helping and each day my foot is getting better. Last night I was able to start putting weight on it. I hope to be back in the gym next week and back to training hard the week after.

How do I know it's not broken? Simple, if it were broken I wouldn't be able to compete for the next few months, so it must be just a sprain.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pre Tournament

Lately I have not had any spare time to keep up with my blog, but I have been doing a good job of keeping up with training. The last few weeks have been spent getting both my team and I ready for various upcoming tournaments. I am a big believer in focusing on fitness for tournament preparation. My philosophy is forget about learning something new and using it next week in the tournament, practice what you already know and work on your conditioning. Along those lines the Tue practice consisted of a fairly tough warm-up then I reviewed some smash pass defense options. What I thought would be a review was really something new for some of the people which goes against my general philosophy, but I kept it very basic so they should be able to use some of it if the situation presents itself. I mostly focused on shoulder walking away from the opponent to create space and getting back in the game. Some of the people in class are doing a Judo tournament this weekend and some are doing a BJJ tournament, so the smash pass defense seemed like something everyone could benefit from.

My personal progress - I am competing in the Maryland Open this weekend, which is a Judo tournament. It is not a huge tournament and I dont expect a big turnout, but I really need to put in my best effort at every Judo tournament I go to this year. Right now I still dont do very well against Judo Black belts (which should be expected since I am still a Brown belt) and the tournaments I will be attending (with the possible exception of one) will almost always lump the Brown and Black belts together.

After thinking it through I came to the following conclusions. Judo Black belts are like everything else, some are really good, some are good and some are not so good. It sounds simple and rudimentary but it works for me. Right now I can beat the Black belts that fall into the "not so good category" but those are few and far between. The "mid level Black belts typically beat me and the "high level" Black belts destroy me. There is not much I can do against the "high level" Black belts right now so I am not going to worry about them. My focus this year is going to be on beating the "mid level" Black belts. Right now I can give them a good fight, but I tend to come up short. My goal for the next few tournaments will be to level the playing field against the mid level Black belts with conditioning. If I can run them down I have a good chance and anytime I can get the fight to the ground I have a very good chance.

On the conditioning front I have 4 separate routines. My goal is to be able to complete each routine. If I can get through each routine I will be "ready".

The first 2 routines are my lunch time workouts:
Day 1
10 - 15 min on the recumbent bike as a warm up

10 reps dumb bell bench press
2 min ALL OUT sprint on the recumbent bike
10 pull ups
My goal for this routine is to do 5 rounds with 10 pull-ups on each round.
I did 3 rounds on Monday with 2 rounds of 10 pull-ups and 1 round of 8 pull-ups. not bad, after the Judo tournament this weekend I will up the number of rounds to 5 and slowly work on increasing the pull-ups to 10 in each round.

Day 2
10 min run as a warm-up

10 seated lat pulls
2 min ALL OUT sprint on the treadmill
10 dips

Again, the goal is to get 5 rounds. On Tues I got 3 full rounds in so I will up it to 5 next week. I probably need to up the lat pulls and dips to 15 on each round.

Non-training nights - I have a kettle bell routine I like to do with about 15 different exercises and I do standing free squats between each exercise. My goal is to get 25 reps on each exercise with 10 squats between each exercise. The workout has gotten a little boring lately so I may need to fine some different exercises, or perhaps up the squats to 15 or 20.

3 min Jump rope
10 reps Clean and Press
3 min Jump rope
10 reps Clean and Press

Yes, the goal is to get 5 rounds. This workout is extremely difficult. Right now I am doing the Clean and Press on the first half of the first round and only doing the Cleans for the rest of the workout. I also cannot do the second half of each round without the rest in between. So right now the workout is basically Jump Rope for 3 min followed by 10 Cleans followed by a short rest. I may have bitten off a little more than I can chew with this workout, but I like pushing myself with it. Did I mention I do this work out in my detached garage with no heat?

I am ready for the Judo tournament this weekend, I am going in with a positive attitude, a high fitness level and in a good frame of mind. I WILL be ready for the New York open.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Fighting Tired

I covered teh BJJ class for Ray on Thr. Not a big turnout, but the people I had were the core group and I was happy with the effort they put in. My focus for Thr class was conditioning conditioning conditioning.

I started the class off with a fairly intense warm up. Running, sprints, sit-ups, leg extensions, more running plus jump squats (which I think are a nice addition). We also did arm bar / omaplata drills. I followed the warm ups with some rooting exercises. I like the rooting exercises, they are low intensity but good for balance and good for all the stabilizer muscles in the feet knees and hips.

We followed those exercises with some sprawling/double leg drills. My emphases is on defending the double leg not using it as a takedown. I dont have anything against the double leg, but unless you drill it over and over and over (just like anything else) you are not going to be very successful at it. For our club, we are better off using our Judo for BJJ standup.

After all the drills were over I let everyone practice whatever technique they were working on lately. No new techniques tonight, just perfecting what we already know.

Last but not least, fighting tired. I have never done this drill before so I was interested to see how well it would work. We paired up with the higher rank on all fours and the lower rank standing behind the higher rank. Higher rank does 30 seconds of high intensity mountain climbers, at the end of 30 seconds the lower rank attacks with everything they have and goes for the kill. The idea is, you are tired, you are hurting, you're out of breath and you're coming to the end of the match. You're up on points but in a bad position. You need to figure out how to survive, catch your breath and get back in the game. For the attacker, you are down on points, but you have your opponent on the run. He/she is more tired then you (which I always tell myself, no matter how tired I am) and you need to go for the kill.

The drill worked really well, I was really happy with the energy level in class. The other thing these types of drills do is build the fighting spirit, which I think is particularly strong in our club.

My biggest challenge right now is striking the right balance between pushing the conditioning line and over doing it. Not only do I need to pay attention to my level of exertion, but I need to monitor everyone else too. This is harder than it sounds. The challenge is my fitness level is different from everyone else’s in class. Our club has everyone from the big powerhouse to the skinny cardio machine so different drills will affect everyone's energy level in a different ways.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I have decided NOT to compete in Pan Ams this year. There are two main issues at play, time and money. Money is an issue but really TIME is the major factor. For me to justify flying across the country to compete with some of the best in the country I really need to feel like I am FULLY prepared. I can live with losing to someone who is better (however you define better). What I have an issue with is losing because I am not prepared. In order to feel prepared I would need to train at least 4 days per week with some 5 or 6 day weeks and workout at least 5 days per week. The reality is I can barely train 2 to 3 times a week right now and I am lucky if I lift 3 times a week. Sorry, but training twice a week and lifting twice a week just wont get it done for Pan Ams.

The really frustrating part is I wont have MORE time next year, or the year after that or the year after that....the harsh reality is with each passing year I have less and less time. My wife thinks I should just train as much as I can and go, but I would not be happy going and losing when I am not prepared. To me that is worse then just not going.

I still have the New York open on my calendar. I can get my lunch time workouts in, train as much as I can, lift as much as I can and justify a 2 or 3 hour car ride much more easily then a $1,000 trip across the country for a single elimination tournament.

Since I am punting Pan Ams I am going to put the extra focus on getting my Judo work in. I am not big on new years resolutions, but one of my goals for this year is to get my Black Belt in Judo so I need to make Judo tournaments as they become available.

On the immediate horizon will be the Maryland Open on January 15th. There are other bigger Judo tournaments in Jan that would be better to go to, but this is the one I can make.

For Feb I have my eye on Tech Judo on Feb 6th and The Good Fight on Feb 19th (BJJ), but those are not "on the calendar yet".