Introducing Valentin

Valentin is one of the training partners I appreciate a lot. He is a blue belt and has been since I know him. Very athletic but despite that technically extremely clean — his moves look like coming out of a textbook. Valentin has also been tooling me for a very long time, exploiting every weakness in my guard to pass, get my back and choke me.

Over the last 20 or so trainings, we started playing jiu jitsu chess: I find a way to prevent the pass or get a sweep, ride the advantage for some lessons, then he finds a counter and starts choking me again… until I find a solution to his counter. So far, the game went like this:

  1. I take DLR
  2. He leg drags me
  3. I use a lapel guard to prevent the leg drag and sweep
  4. He postures up strongly, preventing me from effectively using his lapel
  5. I let go of the lapel to lumberjack-sweep him, easily because he stands so straight and close
  6. He puts a foot in front of my hips, preventing me to face him directly

That’s where we are at now. I’m somewhat countering it by threatening x-guard and doing some kind of scisor sweeps, but no doubt he’ll counter that soon enough. It’s chess with reset and I really enjoy progressing this way.

Back to the closed guard

Some time after receiving my blue belt, I sat down with Valentin at the end of a class and he said to me
“Feel free to ignore me, but if I may… I used to play with fancy guards too but now I realise the basic guards are very worthwile too and maybe a bit easier to master at this point in your journey”

This took me back almost a year ago, when I started with this whole open guard thing. Why? because I couldn’t get people in my close guard anymore. Open guard started as a solution to a problem until I forgot what I was trying to solve in the first place, and I’m gratefull he reminded me of that. As a result, I’m working on using my open guard to transition into my closed guard… and I really have success with it. I found people are very willing to throw themselves into a closed guard if they feel threatened by an open guard. What they ignore is that nothing but their doom awaits in my closed guard. Mwahaha.

Hot topic: worm guard

There’s a lot of hype around Keenan Cornelius new worm guard these days. It’s like a new berimbolo, some people love it, some live with it and a lot are bitching around. Since lapel guard has become a big part of my open guard, I was able to integrate the worg guard neatly into my game. It’s really just a combination of two things I was already doing. I manage to lock it in quite often but don’t always get a sweep.

IBJJF robbed me

The IBJJF worlds were a week ago or so. As a customer:

  1. I live in France and I’m usually busy on week ends. I couldn’t watch the live stream.
  2. I don’t have enough time to watch all categories. Watching black belts male & female is enough for me.
  3. I want the comentaries. Dan Lukehart is awesome.

Honeslty, those expectations seem fair… yet the IBJJF delivered shit. They did sell the commentary replay, but:

  1. It was 14$. Sponsors, live stream fees, particpation fees, no cashprizes. Everyone pays, one organisation cashes in. It would be outrageous if the League of Legends worlds finals stream wasn’t free.
  2. For that price, you only get the sunday finals. I don’t mind but I’m sure some do.
  3. But as a single, 12 hour long video? Seriously?
  4. Available for one week only, no way to download the video or stream it to a tv.

I’ll never pay for this again. Fuck me, not even an index of the point in the video where specific fighrt starts. Looking for the black belt heavy finals? Enjoy searching through the 12 hour video until you find it. IBJJF is bullshit.