Saturday, September 16, 2017

Dave Camarillo 16 Sep 2017

The seminar was held at Higher Jiu Jitsu in the Woolloomooloo PCYC, organised by John Smallios.

Dave's first major statement was "Athleticism begins on the feet." You want to be on your toes, moving, and always in a position to move. Not flat footed.

All the running, sideways stepping, two in two out, etc. that you do in the warm up assists athleticism.

We played a few games to warm up:

You and a partner face off, and try to tag each other's knees with your hand without getting tagged yourself.

Next, everyone against everyone, try to tag anyone's knee without getting tagged yourself. Situational awareness.

Next, with a partner, each tries to get the other with a two handed grip on one wrist, or even an actual 2 on 1 Russian tie, while avoiding it yourself. When you do get the grip, put your head in the pocket next to the shoulder, push them around and do not let them get their arm back for a couple of seconds.

Games like this get you active and warm without the "workout"  or "drill" drudgery vibe and can develop good attributes.

The Offline Grip

This grip was used to set up all the following takedowns.

Rather than a "strong side" and a "weak side", Dave and the US military prefer the terms "strong side" and "stronger side". You should normally engage your opponent with your stronger side forward.

The technique is a counter to a lapel grip, or attempted lapel grip. He should tend to try to grab your collar with a parallel grip (e.g. he tries to grab your L collar with his R hand). A cross grip should expose his back. With your stronger side forward (say, the R), the collar on that side should be most accessible to him, especially if his R side is the stronger and he too is following Dave's advice.

He goes to grab your L collar with his R hand. Break the grip  with your R hand gripping underneath his wrist (cloth grip is great if you can get it, but the best grip you can get if not), R hand goes over the tip of his wrist. Step/move your chest straight back as you push his wrist forward with both hands this creating a push/pull effect - "two step pressure", this breaking the grip. If you get your grips on and control his wrist before he has a chance to grab, that's a bonus.

Quickly step forward and drive your head in next to his  R shoulder and just under his jaw. Go STRAIGHT in, don't circle. The straight line is the shortest and quickest. While keeping the grip on his wrist with your R hand, extend your L arm fully as you reach around behind him to get a grip with your L hand on the far waist/hip. Gripping both belt and gi skirt would be ideal, but get the best grip you can. Thinking of fully extending the arm as you reach stops you tensing up and short cutting the move. Cinch the grips in and experiment with driving into him, on your toes. Also drive shoulder pressure into him with your L shoulder to stop him squaring up.

This is the offline grip.

The Offline Grip

Reverse Single Leg Takedown

From the offline grip, drive into him, pushing his weight onto his back L leg. Quickly drop your level and scoop up his R leg with your R arm. Don't just grab with the hand, you want to get your elbow under it. You can grab your lower lapel with your R hand to keep the grip. often you will end up keeping his R arm trapped as well. Your slightly bent left leg can also serve as an additional platform to hold his leg up. From here you can either:

  • Trip him using your L foot on his L leg to take him down (kouchigari?)
  • Backstep with your L leg, drive him backwards using your head, circling him anticlockwise to the ground.

Keep the grip on his belt, as this will prevent him rolling to his back. Keep driving your head into his jaw as you set up a control position on the ground. Dave talked about staying below the "elbow line", thus keeping his hips controlled while preventing him effectively using frames with his arms to create space or reverse you.

Complete the pass and consolidate your control position.

Foot Sweep

Important points about foot sweeps:
  • Think of sweeping with your little toe inwards, not the big toe. This naturally turns the little toe side of the foot down, making the sole rather than the edge of the foot the point of contact, making the sweep both more effective and less prone to injury.
  • Keep the sweeping leg straight. This allows most efficient use of momentum.
  • The idea is not to kick his foot out from underneath him, but to hook and hold it off the floor while you push him over.
  • You want his weight on the foot you are NOT trying to sweep, so the leg you are sweeping is light.
From the offline grip on his R arm, drive him back so his weight goes onto his L leg and his R leg becomes light. Step R with your R foot so your foot and both of his form a roughly equilateral triangle, then sweep his R leg to your R with your L foot. Hold his R leg up with your L and drive him down with your upper body controls and your head. Keep the waist grip and drive with the head as you take him to the ground as before.

In side control, turn your feet out and engage the toes for better base and pressure.


Similar setup to before, get his weight on his back L leg. Step R with your R to the triangle position, this time turn your back to him a bit more and lift his leg by lifting it with your heel and the back of your R leg, while driving his upper body down towards the floor with yours. Keep his R leg elevated with your L as you hop toward his R foot with your until he falls over. Keep the belt grip, use your head and move to pass as before.

(Fanboy moment - Dave told me I had a good uchimata. Which I have seldom practised. Jeez, I wonder what I should do with that information? 😎 )

Combination / Kuzushi

Set up the foot sweep and go. He manages to free his foot, or you find it difficult to throw him and let his foot go. Immediately his R foot touches the ground, hit him with the uchimata.

Stumble Throw / Modified Taiotoshi

Set up the offline grip as before. This time he is trying to square up to you again, as most trained people will do, and gets there or most of the way.

This time, step your L (not R foot) onto the triangle point with his feet. Take a small backstep with your R foot so it is outside his R foot, then take a bigger backstep with your L foot inside his R, the back of your L thigh hits the front of his R thigh just above his knee, this knocking his R leg out from underneath him so he needs to put his hands out so as not to face plant.

While you could follow him down, this time stay on your feet, and let go momentarily, ready to grab whatever opportunity for attack is now presented. You want to be on your toes and balanced, ready to move no matter what he does.

Do NOT overextend the step back with the L that bumps his thigh. You do not want to compromise your balanced stance. The move is subtle, not brutal. You should not need your feet any wider than double shoulder width to take him off his feet. He can attack YOUR legs if you take them too wide. Always trying to keep a stance  from which you can move quickly.

Attacking the turtle and rolling him to the King's Chair

Dave prefers getting double underhooks and lapel grips, rather than the seat belt grip, when attacking the turtle. The seat belt will not stop a good wrestler from turning towards you and attacking your legs. Seat belt is OK once you have him face up.

Get double underhooks with lapel grips on your turtled opponent, on his R. Pass his L lapel from your L hand to your R underneath his chest. Run around behind him to your L to gain momentum, put your L shin on the ground next ot his L shin to block it, post out in front of you with your L arm and use the momentum and your R hand in his collar ("the straitjacket") to roll him into a sitting position between your legs.

You are sitting behind him supporting yourself on your posted L arm. You want him sitting up at this stage, not flat. Use the R reverse hook under his R leg to stop him spinning out that way. Your L foot should be flat on the ground, it and your L knee stopping him from escaping that way. You still have your R hand grip on his collar.

This is the King's Chair. You have dethroned the King.

Setting Up the Kimura Grip and Moving to the SAP

Once you decide to move, let go of your post with your L and go for the seat belt grip, R arm under his R armpit, L arm over his L shoulder around his neck, R hand grabbing his L fist.. Push on his L hip with your L foot to help you move your R foot to his L hip and if possible hook his hip with your R heel and/or toes, as you fall onto your R side. This is the Belt Line Hook.

Your head should be below his, your L ear to his R ear, preventing him getting his head and shoulder to the mat to escape.

Grip his R wrist with your R hand. Your L hand snakes around behind his neck, the forearm sliding down the R side of his neck, the R hand grabbing his R wrist under his forearm in the Kimura grip. Your R fist goes wrist to wrist with your R. Drive the R fist down ("Thor's Hammer") as you drive your hips into him as if bridging and use the bicep slicer pressure with your arms to open his elbow and drive his R upper arm and elbow away from his ribs as far as possible. Do a small hip escape if necessary to get the space to omve off to his R and get your L leg over his face. Cross your ankles. flare your knees and go to the Standard Armbar Position (SAP).

SAP variation demonstrated by Draculino

Do not allow your elbow to go below the line if his chin when applying the kimura, as this allows him to grab your upper arm and counter. Your elbow should be driving into the side of his neck. This position means you no longer need to use your head to prevent the escape as the forearm is now performing that function admirably.

The SAP is a control position. Get really good at setting up and keeping this position with maximum pressure on the opponent. The sub will come from the pressure.

Uchikomi Drill

Get back control on your fellow trainee, with both arms underhooked. Fall to your R and set the blet line hook with your R foot while getting the kimura grip on his R arm with both of yours, then taking your L leg over his face and sitting up for the SAP. Spin back to hooks in back control, do the same thing on the other side. Repeat. Your partner needs to move cooperatively with you to allow the drill to flow.


So - work the Stumble Throw to get them on all fours, get double underhooks and roll them into the King's Chair, fall to your side, get the belt line hook and kimura grip, move to the SAP. Repeat.

Better to start slow and move smoothly, then make that smooth and quicker. Dave prefers to use "quick" to "fast". As John Smallios relates, "slow is smooth and smooth is fast".

Dave demonstrated a nice clock choke to rolling back take to SAP combo.

He also answered questions about people who try to push the leg off the head from the SAP. Dave stated that as soon as you see that hand moving to start pushing the leg, grab the wrist and attack it immediately. Be prepared to move to attack the other arm or go to the back. Do not hang onto a position that you have more than a thirty percent change of losing, Move on.

Dave uses chokes or their threat to set up armbars. Every time you pull his arm away from your neck your arm becomes vulnerable.

The SAP can work from guard the flared knees push his head sideways, making the stack very difficult.

"Pressurise the position", e.g. using crushing chest pressure when getting the underhook and moving into the top kimura position. The pressure on his elbow in the SAP should be such that he wants to give you the arm.

Dave also talked about will being as important as correct technique. I mention this as food for much further thought rather than just another statement.

Many people felt they got a lot out of Dave's last seminar, even to the extent of "that seminar changed my game". And they had huge success with the SAP.

I found Dave extremely impressive, friendly, encouraging, approachable. Watching him perform jiu jitsu is a pleasure, he moves so smoothly and quickly and always has multiple options from anywhere. Only when you read some of his online biographies do you realise what a badass he is as well. I feel bad that I didn't work harder to encourage more of my jiu jitsu friends to attend the seminar.

Another writeup here from John Smallios. Really good, and picked up on aspects I overlooked:

The Return of Dave Camarillo - Reflections

Video showing just how slick and smooth Dave's Jiu Jitsu is

Dave's speciality, Machine Gun Submissions

Dave Camarillo and myself

Marlon Lambert (L), John Smallios (R) and yours truly

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Gathering 2017, and a Rigan Machado seminar 10 Sep 2017

The Gathering 2017

I travelled to Melbourne to attend the Will/Machado Gathering, a competition organised every year by John Will. This year celebrating thirty years of BJJ in Australia.

"Fawlty Towers", where I stayed with the Langes, the Lazichs, Pete King and Elvis Sinosic. Unlike the TV namesake, staff are professional and the stay was quite enjoyable

Saturday the ninth was a competition held at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. I was refereeing and otherwise officiating. I saw some excellent matches, including many at brown and black belt level, refereeing some myself with Anthony and Pete.

The next day was an early start at Dominance Mixed Martial Arts.

Nice gym. There's another matted area of equivalent size with many punch bags and a boxing ring

Group photos, promotions:

Anthony Lange - Black Belt 4th degree

Simon Farnsworth - Black Belt 3rd degree

Peter King - Black Belt 2nd degree

among quite a few other degree promotions.

Then we began seminars with Rigan. The first was brief, ostensibly for school owners, though no one stopped everyone else there from joining in.

Apologies for video and sound quality - I was breathing heavily from exertion, plus suffering from the death throes of a sinus and throat thing, plus had to sprint and weave through masses of humanity each time to grab a reasonable camera position. Everything goes sideways in one video. Sorry, but, um ... what you get is what you get.

Rigan showed some drills he teaches at his school to facilitate hip and leg movement, and overall mobility, from guard.

Drill 1

You are on your back. Your partner has your feet in his elbow joints and holds your ankles like spider guard. You bend and extend your legs, this spinnig on your back to lightly touch each of your partner's lower legs with your hand. AS you get used to the drill you partner can start to step arond, so you need to move with him. You can also look at extending this to go underneath him, garb or underhook his ankles, inverting, etc.

Drill 2

You are on your back with your feet up near your partner's hips, your partner does a light leg drag on your L leg and steps around to the outside of the leg. Raise and turn your hips and bring your R leg across to his hips, then square up and reestablish your open guard. Repeat both sides, keep swapping.

Drill 3

You are on your back facing your partner. He steps around, bringing his L foot up near your R shoulder. You grab his L ankle with your R hand, crunch and ball up so you can spin to face him again. Repeat on the other side, keep swapping.

Drill 4

You are on your back. This time your partner is standing up behind your head. Make sure you have enough room between you and him for the next move. Grab both ankles with your hands, then reverse crunch up, lifting your hips, ankles crossed until you can place your feet on his hips. Using his hips as a pivot point, spin on your back so as to uncross your legs and face him again. He walks around behind your head again. Repeat on the other side. Get used to spinning back toward him in the way that uncrosses your legs. Repeat on both sides and keep swapping.

Do each drill for time rather than number of reps, and also mix all the drills together during a single time period.

The next seminar was for coloured belts, including black belts. It dealt with what Rigan calls "distance passing", where we try to gain control over the opponent and initiate the pass from a distance where the opponent does not have an easy opportunity to establish a proper guard.

Ankle and Leg Control Drill

Stay well out of range and look to grab an ankle in a parallel grip (e.g. R hand grabs his L ankle) from above. Fingers around the achilles tendon. You can drag his leg to one side and step around, change the grip to the other hand, push one or both ankles down, lift both ankles up and change the grip to underneath, grab the other ankle if he uses his free foot to block etc. Experiment with a partner at low levels of resistance, which you can probably ramp up as you become more proficient.

Pass 1

Push both his ankles down, step in and more or less sit on his shins. Push his knees forward and to your L as you grab his R collar with your L hand. Your L shin goes over both his R ankle and thigh, your L knee toward the floor so as to pin his R leg, while your L hand goes to the floor under his L armpit. Lean forward and put your chest oh the outside of his L knee to push his L knee towards you L / his R. You should be able to backstep over his R shin with your L leg and complete the pass.

Pass 2 - Leg Drag

His L foot is on your R hip. Grab his L ankle with your R hand, fingers around the achilles tendon, thumb over his shin. Grab under his L knee with your L hand. Step back with your L foot and trun slightly to dislodge his L foot from your hip, and drag it over past your L hip and you step your L foot in close to his butt. drive your L knee over his R thigh, pinning it, dropping down. Trap his R thigh from the other side with your L elbow, grabbing his R collar with the L hand. You can move around behind him (to your R) to complete the pass, ideally catching his L arm between your L arm and your chest, making it hard for him to roll away from you.

Pass 3 - Leg Drag to Knee Ride

Grab his L ankle with your R hand and his L calf with your L hand. Leg drag as before, but this time push his L knee down and away with your R hand as you step around to his L and go to knee ride.

Pass 4 - Leg drag, he Blocks with the Free Leg - Shoulder Control and Knee Slide

You start the leg drag on his L leg as before. This time, before you can consolidate the knee pin, he brings his R log over the top to block your R side, stopping you from dropping down. Underhook his R thigh with your R arm and push his R leg forward and down using shoulder pressure with your R shoulder. Push his L leg down with your L hand and knee-slide your R shin over it, dropping onto your R side and turning towards him to complete the pass. After some practice the shoulder control and knee slide can be done quite quickly.

Pass 5 - Leg Drag, he Blocks with the Free Leg, Wax On Wax Off and Leg Drag on the Other Side

You drag his L leg, he brings his R leg over and blocks your R shoulder with his R foot. Your L hand circles inside and  to take the leg off your shoulder and then bring it down and across to your R hip, near the end of this movement grab his R calf with your R hand and drag his leg past your R hip. He may black with the L foot on your L shoulder, do the same thing on the other side. Can repeat as a drill or eventually beat his block with one of the previous passes.

The arm movements are very similar to the defence against an attempted lapel grab where you parry the arm to the outside and then take it down and across into an arm drag.

Pass 6 - Shin and Shoulder Control to Knee Slide Pass

Get a grip on both ankles, then lift them up and change the grips to under and behind the ankles. Drive both his legs back and to your L. Get your L shin over his R thigh, and trap his L calf with your shoulder as for a basic under leg pass. You could now pass either way. If you elect to do the knee slide pass, or he gives you his R sleeve - grab his R sleeve with your L hand and pass it to your R hand, your R arm under his L leg. Drive forward and crossface him with your L arm, using an L collar grip to move in progressively, as you backstep with your R leg and drop onto your L hip, keeping his R leg trapped with your L knee. Once your backstep is complete, you can take you L ship off his R leg and drive your R knee into his hip to complete the pass. Gripping and pulling in with your R hand on his sleeve will torque his spine and greatly affect his abilities to block the pass.

Pass 7 - Shin and Shoulder Control to Under the Leg Pass

You get the position as for the previous pass where you control his R thigh with your L shin and his R calf with your shoulder and R arm. This time he pushes on your chest or shoulder with his L hand. Grab his L sleeve with your L hand, using your R hand to pass it to your L if necessary. Move around to your R under his L leg, getting your R thumb in his R collar at the earliest opportunity. Drop your weight onto your R elbow, adding a nice amount of forearm choke pressure, and pull your L elbow to your hip as you complete the pass.

Pass 6 and 7 and probably well know to most blue belts, but adding the sleeve controls and various pressures turbocharges them.

"Pass" 8 - Pass Pressure to Back Take

Grab his ankles, lift them up and swap the grip to behind as before. Push his feet up over his head. Use your R shin/knee to temporarily control his L leg. Change the grip on his L ankle from your R hand to your L hand. Grab his belt with your R hand and use it and pushing his L foot back over his head to lift his hips off the mat, drop down onto your R knee, placing it close to his butt and ideally slightly to your L of it. Now drop onto you R hip and slide your R knee under his hips. Get your L hook in over his L leg and roll him to your L into back control, getting your R hook in and upper body controls as you go.

Super Review

Final Thoughts

TL;DR: I had a fun, interesting and worthwhile weekend based around Jiu Jitsu, spent some great times on and off the mat with Rigan Machado and some of the best Jiu Jitsu people in Australia. Heard plenty of stories about the early days of MMA and BJJ in Australia, Learned a nice and effective passing strategy that does not appear to require superhuman athleticism. A weekend very well spent.