Homework: Ranking Your Techniques

The latest homework assignment: Rank your techniques by belt level.

Note that this is a little hard for me to do objectively right now because I’m battling so many injuries (knee foremost among them), so I haven’t landed a lot of anything recently.


  • Triangle — White Belt (also, currently busted because of knee)
  • Armbar — White Belt
  • Guillotine — White Belt
  • Bow-and-Arrow — White Belt
  • North/south Kimura — White Belt

Guard Passes:

  • This pass — Blue Belt*
  • knee up to knee slide — White Belt
  • general half-guard passing — White Belt

*I think it’s just still too novel for the guys to catch on to yet.


  • Hook Sweep (against standing) — Blue Belt
  • Hook Sweep (against low) — White Belt
  • Scissor Sweep — White Belt


  • This Mount Escape — Purple Belt
  • Back escapes — Blue Belt
  • Guard recovery — Blue Belt
  • Side Control escapes — Blue Belt
  • Armbar escapes — Purple Belt*

*This, I need to start telling guys how I’m getting out (it’s more about getting them to make a mistake than any real skill on my part) so they can keep me honest. At which point this will likely revert to White Belt.

As expected, most things are low-level except for Defense, where I feel pretty confident (and get a lot of reps), with a couple go-tos in other areas getting higher marks. Looks like I need to work on getting more sweeps and guard passes, and then getting reps.

Homework: What makes a good coach?

From Julia this time, about “What makes a blue belt?”. (Georgette also posted her results.) The exercise asks you to first list what you want in a coach, and then to promote someone when they begin to line up with that list.

I took Skills to be those things that would be taught in class itself or some other formal classroom setting, while Traits are personality or social interaction skills. Hard vs. Soft, I suppose. Or something like that. Both Traits and Skills can be learned.

So, what do I want in a BJJ coach?… (Also, already went through and marked with an “S” or “T.”) In no particular order:

  • T – concerned about individuals and their progress
  • T – organized & communicative (about schedules, fees, events, etc.)
  • T – patient, encouraging
  • S – motivates students individually
  • S – knowledgeable, detail-oriented; can explain concepts & reasons
  • T – willing (eager, even) to pass on knowledge
  • T – in control of the class; has & sticks to “the rules”; fosters safe environment for all

Interesting idea here. I’m curious to see more lists, too, and to see if any trends shake out. I see that while I of course want a coach who can teach me stuff, I actually want all the touchy-feely stuff a little more.

Homework Assignment: Worst Position for Escapes, & a new Escape

New homework assignment from Kintanon.

Position from which I have the worst escapes: Probably also going with north/south bottom. (Turtled up is also high up there, but I’m getting slightly better about at least flopping towards half-guard. But I’ll save that for round 2 of this assignment.)

New Escape: …I’m terribly unoriginal right now, aren’t I? The spider guard thing Josh described is one of those that I would love to be able to do, but which would “never” work for me. North/south escapes in general “never” work for me because guys clamp their elbows to my ribs better than I can create space. My usual attempts to escape are just me being as wiggly as possible until they decide to transition to something else.

Now if it were nogi, that isn’t as useful. I guess I’ve got the flip over the back, which I never even go for since it’s difficult on body mechanics alone (that is, I have short legs, so I can’t always get all the way to the back) and I’ve never come even remotely close to getting it ever in live rolling. But, the assignment is for something would “never” work.

Homework Assignment: The Perfect Tournament Round

My homework assignment from Kintanon was to create a “perfect” tournament round. Good assignment — small, concrete, and still useful.

  1. Clinch: Sleeve & collar control
  2. Takedown:
    1. backwards trip (does this have a name?); land in side control
    2. single leg-wrap takedown (does this have a name? where you wrap your own leg around theirs and then drop straight down for the takedown); land in top half guard; pass to side control
  3. Position: knee-on-belly
  4. Finish:
    1. baseball bat choke
    2. to mount and armbar

Goals 2011, #1

Working on (at least once per roll):

  1. Prevent the pass. (Half guard does not count!)
  2. Armbars.
  3. Transition: scissor sweep to bump sweep.

Thinking about:

  • Feeling the moment.
  • Hips down.
  • Keep moving!

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. — James 1:2-4

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