My First Class!

Okay, okay, it really wasn’t that big of a deal, but I got to teach my first class today.  My instructor had to leave town and asked me to step in and help out with our smallish morning class.

First of all, thank you to all the guys who came in today:  Bob, Robert, Charlie, David, Marcelo, Berto, Roberto and the others, I know it had to be a letdown that it was me there, and I really appreciate everyone coming in.

I’m a bit of a geek so I actually stayed up last night reviewing videos and typing out an agenda…which I promptly forgot and left at home.  That being said, I outlined the class as follows:


I got everyone in a circle and we went around calling out different exercises for ten reps, for a total of ten minutes.  I have to say I was impressed that the guys pushed themselves harder than I think we would have been pushed in a regular class…after ten minutes of “getting a sweat” everyone was breathing hard!


I wanted to use drilling for the majority of our warmup as I think everyone can benefit from more reps, and I wanted to get everyone focused on drilling “perfectly” rather then merely knocking out reps.  It ended up being a combination of teaching and drilling since most of us could use to brush up.  Anyway, we ended up spending 10 minutes apiece working on Kimura / Hip Bump Sweeps and Scissor Sweeps.


I went with the Cross Choke, for a simple reason….it shows up consistently at the highest levels, but I see very few white /blue belts using it with success.  So, we focused on the details, from the guard and really hammered them home:

Breaking  Posture – Using legs and grips to bring opponent close and set the collar grip correctly.

Grip – Getting the hand deep inside the collar with the blade against the throat (including tips for getting a good grip).

Second Grip – I showed both the traditional “double cross” and reaching over the back of the opponent’s shoulder and how to transition between them.

“Closing” the Choke – We spent a lot of time here, working on rotating the hands, bringing the elbows in and bringing your head close to your opponent’s.  I actually had really good success with having everyone stand and practice rotating their hands / bringing their elbows in so they got used to the movement.

Bringing it Together:

Once we got the choke down (everyone demonstrated one version or the other), we focused on transitioning between the four techniques of the day (Cross Choke, Cross Choke #2, Kimura Sweep, Scissor Sweep).  The trigger I recommended were as follows (assuming the collar grip was correct):

Opponent Blocks Second Cross Grip = Reach over the back to Choke

Opponent Arches to Escape = Kimura Sweep

Opponent Defends Choke and doesn’t Posture = Scissor Sweep

We spent about 20 minutes working the choke and various transitions and then went “live”.


I wanted everyone to get more reps in so we did one minute rounds focusing on the various moves and transitions.  The guys got in about 5 or 6 rounds where they could open up and not worry about messing up and being stuck for 3 or 4 minutes.  I had the more advanced guys “coaching” their opponents on transitions, and walked the mats calling out the transitions as well.  When the rounds were done, I once again asked everyone to demonstrate their favorite move for the class and since nobody had any questions I opened up the mats for free rolling for 30 minutes.  A few guys came over to work on the transitions directly with me and I was excited to see most everyone continue working on the day’s techniques (oh yeah, I also gave away some t-shirts and samples to thank everyone for their efforts)>

I don’t know if it was a class as much as a focused open mat, but I think everybody added something to their game and I loved the experience.  I can’t wait to do it again on Thursday (time to start typing my notes, lol).

Fight Harder! Fight Longer!

Tactical Nutrition


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April 2009
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