Tag Archives: butterfly guard

Working on Your Weaknesses

Recently I have been trying to play butterfly guard. I am pretty terrible at it, and to be honest I’m not terribly surprised when it is shut down.

However, I keep trying, because it’s good to work on your weaknesses once in a while. It’s pretty certain that those techniques will never be your “A” game- but I would rather attempt to improve even slightly on my weaknesses than be limited through solely working on my strengths.

It’s human nature to want to only do the things we a re good at- we know we do them well, and the successful completion makes us feel accomplished. It’s the willingness to step out of the comfort zone that will make us better either in that technique, or even sometimes in something completely different, because there is a similar principle that can be applied.

Jiu jitsu is a sport that at its core is all about evolution: both the evolution of the sport as a whole and, in ways more importantly, the evolution of the player. Keeping an open mind to both the things you are good at, and not so good at, will promote that evolution.

You can’t get to the next chapter of a book if you just keep reading the same paragraphs over and over again. ūüôā

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My Least Favorite Guard of Them All

Butterfly guard. It’s not a place I feel comfortable or well versed in, and so for the most part I avoid it like the plague. This is, of course, what we are working on all this week and next as fate would have it.

We have been working on sweeps from butterfly in both gi and no-gi, attacking with an armbar from the butterfly set-up, and sweeping when the person attempts to defend against the armbar. It’s all really good stuff, and I can even fully agree with that. I…just…don’t like butterfly guard.

It’s one of those things I should just suck up and try to practice, but I just can’t bring myself to do it just yet.

Maybe that will be a New Year’s Resolution: “get better at Butterfly Guard”


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Team Training

I would like to state for the record I find 5 hr energy drinks gross as all hell.

But I totally drank one last night in the hopes I could make it through the evening.

Max wanted to drill a couple of things before team training, so we got to the gym a little earlier and worked on some cross-side and mount escapes. We did team training after that, which we did some warm-ups, armbar and omoplata drills, some positional training again and then did some matches. We aren’t doing much in the learning positions realm of things due to the tournament this Saturday. Learning is good, but realistically no one will learn something Wednesday and use it Saturday: now is the time to use what you know and work on your game plan with what you have been practicing up to this point.

Frankly I was so spent from the night before that I didn’t think about anything: I tried a couple of things with open guard, when a person is standing in front of you, sitting up and holding onto one of the legs to either get a single leg take-down, or pulling on the one leg to get the person to narrow their stance, so you can grab the other leg and force them to fall over. The tricky bit is getting far enough to your side to make sure they cannot face you, push their knee forward and force you onto your back, giving them the advantage to pass the guard.

Other than that, most of the night was kind of a blur of sweat and moving to get into the best position possible in each match.

Oh! and Max got a stripe! Yay!

Next up, purple belts for us! ::gulp::


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Seminar and Your Opinion

This past Saturday we had our seminar with Xande Ribeiro, and it was pretty excellent.

The part I liked the most was the theory behind the moves he was doing. There were general concepts that can be used in a number of different situations and different ways of looking at the same kinds of problems. Through the seminar Xande offered new and interesting perspectives to things guards such as the Butterfly and the Open Half (guard…yeah…ok, anyway). There were a few moves we specifically drilled, but the corrections he made to everyone’s technique, even when it seemed like nothing more than a little tweaking and fine tuning, had rhyme and reason. Words aren’t coming too smoothly for me at the moment, but the majority of these ¬†movements were obviously routed in fundamentals and weren’t (for lack of a better term) “throw-away” gestures, something that weren’t necessary for the successful completion of the technique. I think these are all great techniques for men AND women, and can fit into most games that competitors play.

The end was also opened to a Q & A session, and we sat around and talked about a couple of positions. Sadly, there were no references to castles and flags this time. Or moats.

Oh! And update, I fixed the Maxercise blog link, and I apologize for the confusion before; other than that, posts will be even less about mat time this week because I can only go on Wednesday. Boooo.

I would like to ask the peanut gallery though: would you like more in-depth descriptions of what we do in class? I guess I am SO against the Youtube jiu jitsu and pro-class time that I have almost completely avoided most references to what we do in class, but would that be easier, or at least slightly more interesting to read?

What do YOU think?


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It’s sweaty. It’s gross. It’s a little obscene.

It’s no-gi time! Everybody, get your spandex on!

For people that have issues with other people’s sweat, this may not be the sport for you. It is certainly fun, it’s just…well…


Last night was a good class: we got to some technique, which was a no-gi centered butterfly guard, at first a sweep, and then a set-up into the X guard, which was pretty sweet to practice.  The more I think about it however the more I feel the need to comment (just bear with me for a moment) on the position and the lack of it among jiu jitsu women.

I just don’t see that many women employ the X guard-and there could be a number of reasons for it: we are convinced our legs are too short to effectively use it, we don’t like being flat on their back which is an essential part to the standing up in base bit but whatever the reason may be, I just don’t see that many women jump into the X guard, myself included. I remember one of my instructors indeed commenting that the x guard itself is a very powerful and effective position to be in, almost easy for the person on the bottom to put themselves into a better, more dominant position. It’s getting into the set-up that’s difficult, and I wholeheartedly agree.

Maybe that will be the next thing I work on: spider guard doesn’t work so well in the no-gi arena, so maybe x-guard will be the thing to get into. We shall see.

For now, I’m going to hose off (and maybe bleach) my spandex in preparation for the next no-gi session.

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Blessed Sleep…

I meant to go to class today. Really, I did.¬†We worked on some butterfly guard stuff, and some¬†cross-grips¬†in the closed guard, and then we did some training.¬†I thought I was going to be in class, because¬†as much as I don’t like Butterfly guard, I wanted to continue to learn how to improve that part of my game…because it sucks. My game, not the guard itself. Actually my training last night really suffered, mainly because I was super tired and could not stop yawning throughout the class. I think it was about 40% lack of enough calories, but 60% lack of sleep. So, my concentration was kind of fuzzy throughout the class: but, I knuckled down and tried to get through it as best as¬†I could. I think I¬†should at least get a¬†bronze star for effort. I definitely thought however without a doubt my butt was going to be sliding all around that mat the very next day.¬†

But instead¬†I slept.¬† I slept that coma, almost death-like sleep that goes on for a few hours and makes you feel like you have a brand new body. Ok, maybe not a brand new body, but when I woke up, most of the pains and sore muscles I had from the week are gone. It’s amazing.

The problem is, however, that¬†I want to go BACK to sleep. Max is always amazed at how I can¬†nod off at the drop of a hat. Actually, the truth is usually I can’t unless I’ve been really¬†training. There’s something about the pent up energy throughout the day that will leave my head spinning in the evening, making sleep more of a fantasy than a reality.¬†I remember as a child staying awake at night, afraid I was the ONLY person in the world that was awake (I was very young at this point). This fear was greatly alleviated one evening during¬†a fit of insomnia I¬†saw¬†an ice cream truck park outside of our house at an absurd hour of the night.¬†I have no idea what that¬†ice cream truck was doing at the hour of the night in the the¬†small city¬†I lived in, but there was some comfort in the idea that someone else was awake at that hour. ¬†¬†

Anyway, I am happy to find that one thing in my life that can calm me. I come from a long line of women with a myriad of anxiety issues, and I am happy to say I feel I have found something that can keep those issues in check. I can feel when I haven’t trained, as crazy as it sounds, because I can feel when little things start to bother me that usually wouldn’t. My biggest problem that I have been facing is to find that delicate balance between enough sleep and being tired enough to get to sleep at night. I will find it, it’s just going to take some time.

In other news, I decided this summer I’m going to take up jewelry making. As much as I love baking and knitting, I need to have a hobby to keep my hands busy that I can do when I’m on or off my diet for tournaments, but also something that I can see the end result more quickly. I like knitting, I do, but it takes MONTHS sometimes to see the end result, and that’s only if you really keep at it and not get sidetracked…like I do all the time. And anyway, with knitting, the fun stuff is the really complicated ones with all sorts of stitch patterns you have to remember, and I really wouldn’t want to have to start all over in case I forgot after running off to class. That wouldn’t be relaxing. That would lead to much dissapointment. Then anger.

Diet update: my weight keeps on shifting to and fro, but relatively still in that 15lb mark before I hit my goal. I¬†don’t want to start the crazy dieting too early, but I think the beginning of February is just about right. Lord help me.

Let’s Rock!

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