Big Log

In addition to this blog, I’ve also kept personal technical notes about my Jiu-Jitsu training over the years, but I haven’t done it on the internet. I’ve always written them down in the old school form of pen to paper (which is also how some of the posts on Ginger Snaps still originate!). Unfortunately, I’ve never been very organized about it, so the writings are scattered in various notebooks around my house.

I also haven’t been very consistent, because I didn’t record everything I practiced, it’s been more like if I learned a new technique that I was particularly interested in, I would write it down after I got home from class. At first, when I would go back later and read what I had written, sometimes I wouldn’t even be able to figure out what I had been trying to say, but as my knowledge grew, so did my ability to explain things (to myself ;). I believe that one of the reasons the tripod and sickle sweeps quickly became (and have remained) some of my most successful sweeps is because I wrote them down when I first learned them a couple of years ago. The funny thing is that until recently I never actually went back and re-read my descriptions of the techniques, the simple act of writing them down was apparently enough to help me remember.

Knowing this, I’ve been trying to be more consistent in my personal BJJ record keeping, and when I try to read other people’s writing about techniques, sometimes I have a hard time visualizing it, so when I write it down for myself, I try to include every detail I can remember. For example, here’s what I wrote down about just one of the sweeps we’ve recently been practicing in the advanced classes at LBJJC:

Ginger’s log, Matdate 01/2016

Start in spider guard. Remove your left foot from their bicep (on bent leg side of spider) and kick straight out (behind their arm), to break their pant grip.

Swing your left leg in a pendulum motion, to de la riva hook (ending up perpendicular to partner, not straight on).

Grab their right foot with your left hand (a la de la riva), then place your right foot directly above their left knee and push their leg back (do not kick, that annoys your training partners ;), while at the same time sit up, then pass your right hand sleeve grip under their right leg, to your left hand.

Keeping your upper body tight to their leg, post behind you with your right hand, and scoot your butt away from your partner, to make room to place your left shin in front of their right shin (to be in the correct position for the sweep, make sure you’re diagonal to them, not straight on, and shift your weight to your right leg, to make it easier to get your shin in front of theirs).

With your right hand, grab their left side collar (breaking their posture), then roll to your right shoulder, while at the same time doing a slight hook sweep with your left leg (similar to the basic butterfly guard sweep), maintain your grips, and come out on top.

I don’t know what the name of that sweep is, and although I wrote down the entire sequence starting from spider guard and moving through de la riva, there are also numerous other ways you could enter the sweep, and this was written specific to my favorite side, but left and right could be switched. In my personal notes, I wrote most of the description in shorthand (but it did include all the same details), and here I just wrote it all out so that it might make sense to others. I still don’t plan on sharing this kind of thing regularly, or even keeping private notes on the internet, because I can still think and write in longhand faster than I can type! ;)

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