Tag Archives: circleofdeath

Knee Cuts

Nooner today worked a knee cut pass vs a sitting guard. We step in, squat and grab the ankles, pop them up on their back. Then we stuff their leg into RDLR guard (which they probably want to do anyways), break grips if necssary, then grab a lapel to crunch them up. We grab their inner arm, drive our knee through, and end up in either kesa katami or in side control.

For rounds I had a quickie with Feron and Meli.

Attack the Back

Nooner. We did the Circle of Death to warm up, I’m sure I’ll be feeling that tomorrow.

Lesson of the day was attacking the choke from the back, when the guy defends properly. When he defends and slides his head, the normal transition would be to mount for me, but if we have good grips, then we don’t want to give that up. We elevate with out top hook behind his knee to free our other leg, then drive into him, flatten him out and choke. We did a couple of variations.

Rounds were 5/5 starting on the back, starting with the other guy on your back. I had Dr. Tim. He escaped all but one time when I was on his back, and I escaped all but one time with him on mine. Tough to choke a guy who has good defense!


Well, escaping the back. And I’m back. See what I did there? It sucks being sick. Not so sick that I need to lay in bed. But sick enough that going to class would be a bad idea.

We warmed up with the Circle of Death, then Tim dove right into the lesson of the day. Escaping the back to deep half, into a sweep and pass. I drilled with Danny. We’ve done this escape/sweep combo before, but the pass had an interesting detail. When you come up from the sweep, one arm is usually underhooked, leaving you vulnerable to a kimura. If we plant our heads on their opposite shoulder, they wont be able to reach over for the kimura grip, and we can pass in peace.

I had time for two quick rounds, one with Phillip and one with Tim. Did okay with Phillip, even almost getting off the escape/sweep of the day…until I got kimura’d during the pass. Tim was trying new things, so I got my dose of Vitamin Chim for the week.


I’m feeling even better than I was on Monday, but still not 100% yet.

George led us in the warm up, then we did the Circle of Death. Apparently the gi classes this week have been working on mount techniques. We did a 10 minute review of some basics, drilled them, and then off to rounds.

Rounds were all mount driven. Top guy needs to submit or take the back. Bottom guy needs to escape. 5 minutes on top, 5 on bottom. I had Johnny, Dave, and Luke. For all 6 rounds, most of the time the bottom guy would escape. Defense IS easier than offense after all.

The Grind

Still hot. Still humid. Small class.

We warmed up with the Circle of Death with the Phase 1 class. Then drilled a standing collar drag into a single leg, immediately followed up with a folding smash pass. Wade and drilled away together.

Rounds were groups of 4, 3×3 minute rounds in, then 2×3 minutes out. We went through 3 times total. I had Mongoose, Long and Tim.

I had some rounds where I did good in. I got stuffed a take down vs Mike, spun to the back, grabbed an arm, and rolled him over for an arm lock. In another round I had a great scramble with Long and got on his back.

I had some rounds where it was all I could do to keep moving. But I moved.

Mike popped my elbow with an armlock. Tender this morning, but it’ll be okay.

Guillotine Escape

We had a small group, only 9, last night. That didn’t stop us from doing the Circle of Death with the fundamentals class (another 20 people). Lots of sweat in the humidity.

Lesson of the day was escaping the guillotine choke. We started standing. Grab the choking hand, drape your other arm on their shoulder, hang to prevent them from hipping in to finish it. Slide to the side, knee tap to take down, and then either escape or Von Flu choke from there. We also did the escape when they have guard. Grip and drape, then tripod up on the crown of your head. Use your gripping arm to open their guard, and then headstand/hop over to side control.

For rounds we split into groups of three. 6 minutes in, 3 out. I had Tim and Brady for 5 rounds each. I felt like I did decently. Went a whole round with Tim without being submitted, which is an accomplishment!

Ladder Climbing

We had a big group on Saturday, which made the Circle of Death particularly Deathy.

For our rounds, we broke up into groups of 4 and climbed the ladder. Start in closed guard. If you get swept or submitted, you’re out. If you pass, next guy comes in in your side control. Mount, next guy comes into your mount. Take the back, next guy comes in. Then you have to finish him. If you do the whole ladder, the other 3 guys do burpees. I had Wade, Judo Alex, and Ryan.

We all had our moments of success. I climbed all the way to Wade’s back, but didn’t finish him. I had the hardest time passing guard, especially with Wade.

We then “cooled down” with another round of the Circle of Extra Death.

Saturday Class

No one could accuse us of being lazy after Saturday.

We warmed up with the Circle of Death. 5 pushups (25x). 5 squats (25x). 5 situps (25x). 5 bridges (12x), and 5 jumping jacks (13x). So, yeah. My legs are still sore.

We split in groups. 4 minute rounds. Escape the back (or submit), then reset. Switch positions for the next round. Third round was regular sparring. Switch partners, and repeat.

I had Daryl, Johnny (and Mason, after I started bleeding), and Nick. Good practice.

New Kimura

In stark contrast to Saturday, I had a MUCH better Monday.

I got to lead the warm up, so it was the Circle of Death, all abs edition.

Tim led the class, teaching a new kimura technique he learned while doing a seminar this past weekend. It’s a kimura variation from side control. Rather than have your torquing forearm on their tricep, you move it down so it’s on their elbow. It requires less lift to finish.

For rounds, I had Officer Jason, Tim, and Long, twice each. My first round with Jason was great, about as well as I do. I started to tire with Tim. I held Long at bay mostly. Second set of rounds wasn’t as good as the first. I blame my my low gas tank on my sporadic attendance recently.


6 classes in a row now. My 2016 focus on consistency is holding up.

Tim led no gi last night. I was the highest ranking student, so I got to lead the warm up. We did the Circle of Death, all abs. Lesson of the day was entry into single leg X guard, and then the ankle lock from that position. I paired up with Corey. Fun drilling with him.

For rounds we did three 10 minute rounds. I drew Josh, Daryl, and Tim.

I did better with Josh than last time. He’s still quick and very active, but my defense held up and I did get on top a couple of times, and got the rolling kimura to the back too. With Daryl, it was a much more relaxed pace.

Tim was, as Tim usually is. Always a step ahead. I can chain a submission or two together, but he’s a never ending string of danger. I did have two notable moments. I’m not sure how the first occurred, but he turtled and I got to his back and rolled him over before he escaped. Later, I rolled out of a omoplata into an omoplata of my own that I switched to a triangle. And I really thought I was going to get him this time. He was defending by standing up and not allowing me to move his arm into the correct position. I adjusted my angle and was trying to get his arm across his body. I had his leg underhooked so he couldn’t lift me more. And…I gave up on it. My legs were tired. I lost focus. I slipped. Pick one, pick all 3, doesn’t matter.

And I was pissed at myself. We reset and I took a second to adjust my belt, close my eyes and take a couple of centering breaths, and move on. Rest of the round doesn’t matter, I kept going.