Updated: December 13, 2012
I’m a thief.
I’ve never thought of it that way before, but after reading a certain book, I accept it. Hell, I’m even proud of it.
What does it mean to be a thief though? It’s simply the willingness to learn from the experience of others. Why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to?
So follow me. We’re going to go down the yellow brick road and take a look back at some of my robberies.
How the Half Guard Improved a Bit
I’ve already mentioned why I started playing half guard, but the actual development has been a continuous process that has never ended.
One of the events that influenced the path that my half guard took was a training session at Crazy 88 when I was a white belt. I had the opportunity to roll with Fred Ramie, who was visiting at the time. Of course, I tried half guard, and it just didn’t work.
So after class, I asked him about half guard and what could I have done better in that position. He showed me the basic knee tap sweep, but there was one detail in his method that I had never considered. I took that and made it mine.
We’ll call that a armed robbery, just for fun.
Oh, That Drill Looks Cool
I’ve been to several gyms in my area and seen the methods they use to warm up or drill technique. Also I’ve been exposed to a lot of different training methods by going to Soldierfit or Primal Skills occasionally.
From all those sources, I take things that I like and incorporate them into classes that I teach. A fun example of this is a drill I stole from Phillip’s Sunday Soldierfit class.
You split the class into groups, and you have them line up and assume a low squat position. Next, the fun starts, it’s a race. The person in the back will army crawl to the front, sprint down and back, and then stop in front of the line. The next person goes after that, and it keeps going until the distance shrinks to nothing. You can have them turn around and go back as well.
That’s the basic form that I stole. Now I change some variables here and there, but the inspiration was entirely from Phillip.
I’m Just Going to Move Around You a Bit, Don’t Worry….
Evolve used to have an instructor named Jordan.He used to teach more new and unique techniques in his classes. One of those days, he taught a transition from side control, to north south to twister side.
Right away…..it clicked for me. Then and there I decided to take it. So I took it and said “Give me that” while I was doing it too.
Well, not really.
Anyway, I’ve used that little transition countless times since then. I’ve even built up a whole offensive series based around it. So let this serve of yet another example of the fact that you can learn so much from others.
I Know This Feels Like Hell, But It’ll Be Over Soon….
A few years ago, I went down to Camp Springs to train, and that night Donald Achnick ran the class. He’s well-known for the great success that he has achieved running the kids program at Team Lloyd Irvin, but if you visit Lloyd’s enough, you’ll start hearing about his pressure game.
Anyway, during that class, he taught one of the tools in his arsenal. It was a variation on the breadcutter choke that was heavily pressure focused. I loved it. It immediately addressed some issues that I had been having with the choke.
So I stole it.
It has become my preferred method when I use or teach that choke.
A few months ago, a seminar was held at Evolve Academy on the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. At the time, we had some guests from Fort Meade, and they come with various backgrounds in BJJ. One of them was black belt named Clint.
I had the opportunity to roll with him, and it was quite instructive. I learned even more from him after class though. He showed a variation on the scissor sweep that I had never seen before.
It was incredible.
Yeah… you can already predict the rest. By the time he left, it was mine.