The First Estonian BJJ Black Belt: Martin Aedma

Congratulations!

Martin is the best BJJ player I’ve personally rolled with. Look for him to make waves in the worldwide competition scene in the next few years.

Here’s him flowrolling with Gunnar Nelson during the promotion:

Details to follow soon.

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New Deadlift PR: 425 p / ~193 kg

I’ve become a big believer in doing a lot of S&C to supplement BJJ. I’ve always done a fair share of S work, but only started C 4-5 months ago and the results have been very good. I’ll post more info about the S&C training program I’ve been following for the last 8 weeks next week. Here’s me deadlifting 405 p / ~184 kg for a “warmup” max rep and 425 p / ~193 kg for a new PR at a bodyweight of 180 p / ~81,5 kg:

As you can see, my form is terrible on each rep, but I’ve found that this inevitably tends to happen at my max attempts. The other max’s I hit in the training weeks were 335 p / ~152 for 5×5 and 365 p / ~166kg for 5×3 and my form was ok then.

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Half-Guard: Fighting off the Crossface,Underhook, and Figure Four

aatu asked on the Underground forum what to do if your opponent has a crossface, underhook, and has triangled his legs. Here’s what I would do (in all the situations you’re in your half-guard on your right side):

Situation 1:  He’s not keeping very tight so you can get a frame under his throat with your left hand.  Get the frame with your left hand, bring in your right hand on top of your left, place your left leg on the ground, shrimp and turn to  your side, replace Z-Guard.

Situation 2: He keeps his head really tight so you can’t get a frame under his throat with your left hand. Use “Jaws of Life”, that is, put both hands on his forehead and twist it to your right, creating a lot of space. Get the frame and do what you did in the first situation.

Situation 3: He keeps his head so tight that you can’t even use “Jaws of Life” on him. Hug his head with your left hand and grab the foot/heel of his right leg with your right hand. Release your half-guard, post your left leg on the ground and bridge off of it over your right shoulder. You’ll be either able to roll them for an easy sweep or get them to post out with a hand or their knee which enables you to replace Z-guard. Here’s a video on how to do it:

All of the same things can be done if he has a crossface and an underhook, but hasn’t triangled his legs. For the sweep, instead of grabbing his heel, tap his knee. You won’t be able to roll him as often, but you’ll still be able to create space and replace Z-guard or get open guard.

Enjoy!

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Sweep Standups & Sweeps

The other of the two fundamental standup movements in BJJ is the sweep standup. I call it that because it is essential for getting on top after a sweep, especially in no-gi where you don’t have the luxury of controlling your opponent’s sleeves to prevent him from posting and doing a technical standup. However, it’s also very useful for doing takedown type sweeps from seated guard. Here are two videos on how to do it:

Here’s another video explaining how to use it while sweeping:

As I mention in the video, the essential thing is to start your sweep standup as soon as you feel them fall and to pick up your opponent’s leg to prevent them from doing a technical standup.

Enjoy!

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Technical Standups & Defence

One of the two fundamental standup movements in BJJ is the technical standup. It is essential for getting back on your knees after a takedown or a backwards type sweep. Here’s a video on how to do it:

Here’s another video explaining how to use it for defending backwards type sweeps:

Enjoy!

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A BJJ Highlight of My Blue Belt Matches in 2004-2005 :)

Today is my birthday (I’m getting 26). To celebrate, I decided to put up a highlight of my blue belt matches  in 2004-2005. It features footage from the following tournaments:

  • Sport Jiu-Jitsu Estonian Championships 2004 (Tallinn)
  • HOPA Submission Wrestling Challenge 2004 (Helsinki)
  • HOPA BJJ Challenge 2004 (Helsinki)
  • BJJ Summerfight 2005 (Hanko)
  • BJJ Scandinavian Open 2005 (Malmö)
  • BJJ Finnish Open 2005 (Tampere)

As you can see I did quite a lot of flying jiu-jitsu and played a lot of guard back then:

After the last tournament in 2005 I didn’t compete again until the Grapplers Quest West Coast Championships in November 2009 where I did my first, rather terrible match as a purple belt. I hope to compete more this year, but for this I’d better find a way to train consistently with people that are on my level which is easier said than done.

Enjoy!

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The Spin

Another fundamental movement in BJJ is the spin. The full spin is essential for guard retention and half- and quarter-spins are good for turtle escapes and for escaping side control. Here is a series of clips by Chuck Anzalone that teach you step by step how to spin:

Once you’ve mastered all the individual movements, try to free spin and flow between the different positions he shows. After you’ve done that, start figuring out how to put the spin to good use while rolling.

Enjoy!

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