Friday, May 7, 2010

John Campbell seminar

I've returned home from a seminar. It was the second no-gi seminar held at our school by John Campbell. He's recently come back from another trip to the States where he trained, so we were bound to get some new stuff.

He emphasised that his game and the stuff he teaches is a mix of old and new, and that three people have mainly influenced him recently. Unfortuantely, I can't recall the name of his wrestling coach, but the other two are Eddie Bravo and Marcelo Garcia. Using Bruce Lee'e maxim: use what works, discard what doesn't, he's picked the elements from different schools which suit his game.

Later on, he elaborated on this a little. Among other things he said that while a lot of people have success with the 10th Planet stuff, it suits flexible people more. But that the rubber guard is but one type of guard which can be used offensively, in conjunction with other guard types, giving you a bigger arsenal. No system or guard type is invincible. Therefore, the best grapplers know when and how to go from one to the other.

Personally, I was very glad to hear that. I'm getting tired of the eternal and emotional 10th Planet vs standard BJJ discussions on Sherdog, the Underground forum and some of the Australian lists. If found John's open minded attitude refeshing. Let's see if it works for us, let's see if it integrates with our game. If yes, then use it, otherwise, use something else. Quite simple, free of politics and almost boringly common sense....

Anyway, I digress :-) Back to tonight's seminar!

Firstly an open guard pass. John called it the Marcelo pass. I'm on my feet, good base, on the balls of my feet for mobility. Opponent is on the ground, sitting and facing us. First, I shove his shoulder, pick up his feet if needed, to push his back to the floor. As soon as his back hits the floor, I put my hands on his knees to control them. Then I step in with my right foot and move my right hand from his knee to his belly or hip and lean on it. The weight on it will help control his hip. We want enough weight to stop him fom hip escaping. Then I kick my right leg back and up (he called it a mule kick), to free it. If he uses hooks, I might need to kick more than once. As soon as I feel my right leg coming free, I bring it forward while using my left hand on his right kne to shove it away, so I can bring my right leg forward unimpeded. I go straight to knee ride with my right knee and cup the back of his neck with my left hand. The right hand can grab his left knee or be on his left hip or even clasp my left behind his head. So now we're in good solid knee ride position.

Alternative: (note to self - do this with care, kneeing your partner in the groin is not polite, though it might be useful in a self defence situation...). Say we tried the aforementioned pass and he managed to trap my right leg in half guard. My goal is to get my right knee to the floor on his right side. If I can do it, good. But if I can't, because he's too string, then keeping my right hand on his abdomen, I bring my left foot close to his right thigh, so I've got a foot each side of his right leg, tight. Then I turn my left knee across him and threaten a knee ride with my left knee. As he adjusts, I drive my right knee to the floor. I need to get my left arm around the back of his head and get an underhook with my right. I want to gable grip my hands together behind his neck, near his left shoulder. I stick my left shoulder into him, try to crossface him and in the meantime, I kick at his legs with my free left foot until I can free my right leg, which means I can consolidate to short base side control. All I need now is to post my right hand on the floor, cup the back of his neck and pop up into knee ride.

Next step: I pressure him with my knee. The hoped for response is that he turns into me while pushing my knee with his left arm. This of course could the cue for the vanilla armbar from kneeride. However, instead, I slip my left hand from around his head to under his left arm, so that I end up with an underhook on that side. My right hand pushes off. The idea is to bring my left knee to the left side of his head while my righ leg steps backwards in a big arc, bringing me to a sitting position behind his head and shoulders with good base. Next step is a good tight seat belt grip. As I already have a left underhook, it's relatively eassy to bring my right hand over his right shoulder to get that grip. Once I have it, I consolidated to short base side control, with him still on his right hand side, and me having good control via that grip.

Next step: I step my left foot over his midde and put my heel against his belly. If need be, I can sit up on my right knee for this. From there, I sit back and fall over to my left side, taking him with me by way of pinning him to me tightly with the seat belt grip. As he rolls over with me, I make sure that my right leg goes through under him and comes free behind his back. My left lower leg goes across his middle, and by the time he reaches the floor on my left, I've establised a body triangle. I found that I had a bit of trouble as my partner was heavier and bigger than myself, but I still got the foot locked, though it took some wriggling and adjusting. With someone my size, this would work a treat all in one move. The last part of this was to lock my righ hook under his right leg. This provides additional leverage to the body lock and is hard to shake off.

Next step: as he defends my arms by pulling down, I rotate my left wrist to grab hold of his left wrist and push it towards his hips. With one arm, he can't defend me sliding my right arm around his neck. As soon as the right arm is in position and my fingers hooked on his scapula, I pull out me left arm. From here, I have a couple of choking options. Either I gable grip over his left shoulder and put my left forearm parallel to his spine. Then I flex my bicep, drive down the left elbow and puff my chest out. Or I go for the rear naked choke. On that, John showed us an alternative setup, which will also work in mma (meaning you wear gloves). I sneak my left hand across the top of his shoulders. If need be, I arch my back to make space between him and I. Once I'm across and form a blade with my left hand, I work the fingers of my right hand into the crook of my left elbow. Once I've grabbed my left bicep, it's down to squeezing with my right bicep, if need be, push forward with my left hand. I found it took no strength at all to bring on a nasty choke.

Alternative: I have the position behind my opponent, with established grips and I've stepped over him with my left foot as before. But now I don't want to try to take the back. I swap my left arm with my right by sliding my left hand along my right forearm, until I have his left arm in the crook of my right elbow, with my right hand on my left hip. I grab under his left leg and cup over the top of his right thigh and sit down. From here, I swing my right leg over his head. If his left arm is free, the armbar is there. If he holds on with the other arm, I cross my ankles. With the hold of his legs, this position is very hard to escape. I think it's called the spiderweb.

Final armbar: I lean forward and slide my right arm towards his wrist. This creates space between me and his wrist. Now I let go of his legs wit my left and stick my left elbow into that space and make a gable grip over his wrist. Next, I turn to my right and twist my arms, which puts a lot of pressure on his wrist. As he lets go, I fall over backwards, keeping hold of his forearm with my right arm (I pin it against my chest), and grab hold of his legs again. The whole time, it puts pressure on his elbow and extends his arm in a way that pretty much sets it up so he can't turn it. Armbar done.

I generally don't do a lot of knee ride stuff, because I find it hard to get the position. And I've not had much luck in getting any subs from there. Drilling the transition to knee ride and learning a transition to back control has opened up new possibilities for me. I was actually surprised how easy it was to get to knee ride from the pass.

Anyway, much to think about. I'm looking forward to spending more time on this, which I'm sure we'll do tomorrow and in the next few sessions.

Great seminar, really enjoyed it :-)

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