I hate winter. I always have. My dislike for it has come to an all time high this week though, as it has cancelled training for the past few days. At this point, as I wait to move down to Brazil and get out of this horrid weather, I only have a few things to do to pass time. There is training, and grad school. Well, I’m ahead of schedule in my classes, so that leaves one thing to do, and it’s being taken from me by Mother Nature. Add in the fact that I just got a huge lot of new gear in the mail that I haven’t had the chance to try out yet, and it’s really driving me crazy.

So what does any grappling obsessed person do when he’s snowed in? Watch technique videos of course. I’ve spent the past few days learning technique from some of the greats via the internet. I feel like I don’t even deserve to try half of the stuff I’ve been watching, but I’ve been watching a lot of good basic material too that really analyzes the techniques and positions that I think will help my game.

As an aside to the fight talk, watching these instructional videos really is helping me with grad school as well. I’m studying instructional design and technology, and my emphasis is on distance learning. When I first started the program, one of my initial thoughts was how can I bring fight instruction to the masses via distance learning. Thinking about how these instructors go about explaining their techniques, what methods they use, and how it can be improved upon has helped me look at instructional design applied to a field I’m really interested in.

I am grateful that I’ve been able to train with those that I have, and moving to the Chicago area was the best thing I could have done, but there were years that I wanted to train that I couldn’t. Sure, videos aren’t nearly as good as having a world class instructor in front of you, teaching technique and more importantly critiquing your movements; however it’s better than nothing. I wish I had that years ago and would have started my journey earlier, even if it was just through simple videos.

So what fun is talking about all these techniques and videos without sharing, right? To end the blog I’ll share a video from someone who I’ve really been paying attention to as of late, Ryan Hall. He’s known for having an amazing triangle and has something like over 200 competition submission wins with it; however he’s really adapting his game in his quest to become the best in the world. I’ve read a ton of interviews with him recently talking about the mechanical advantage of the top game, and love his 50/50 guard stuff (although I haven’t ventured into that territory as of yet).

This video goes over a triangle that is transitioned from a hip bump sweep setup. There are two things I like about this video. The technique is actually a chain of techniques in succession which I’m really trying to work on, and it gives you the sweep and submit option. The thing I really like about this video though is when Ryan talks about “We don’t want to beat white belts, blue belts, purple belts, or brown belts, we want to beat black belts. Even if you don’t want to beat black belts eventually, or be an elite level competitor, train like you want to beat those guys and beating everyone else will be a lot easier.” Those are words I plan to live by from now on. Enjoy!

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