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Roy Harris >> Question for Roy


2/13/08 10:12 AM
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jb57
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Edited: 13-Feb-08
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 134
 
Hello Roy, I remeber reading that you let every student in your class tap you out with an armlock for a few months. I know you did this to work on your arm lock defense, however, (1) if you let them get the armlock have you worked the defense? (2) Did you limit it to a particular arm lock or were bent arm locks included? (3) Did you tell the student prior to training that you were going to let them armlock you? (4) since that time have you been caught by an armlock? (5) Did you think it was worth it and would you do it again perhaps with chokes? Thanks
2/13/08 9:42 PM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: 13-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2028
jb57,

To answer your questions:

(1) if you let them get the armlock have you worked the defense?

My whole purpose in giving the student the arm lock was two fold:

i. Allow my students several opportunities to see and take an arm lock, and,
ii. To train the timing and precision of my arm lock defenses and escapes.

(2) Did you limit it to a particular arm lock or were bent arm locks included?

I trained defenses and escapes for straight and bent arm locks; from inside the guard, from the bottom of the side mount, from the bottom of the mount, from the bottom of north and south, and from the bottom of  knee on the belly.

(3) Did you tell the student prior to training that you were going to let them armlock you?

No.

(4) since that time have you been caught by an arm lock?

Nope. None of my my students or anyone else (including Jean Jacque Machado when he tried to arm lock me in our match in 1998), has caught me in am arm lock....except Professor Joe Moreira. His entries and set ups for the arm locks are tricky  : )

(5) Did you think it was worth it and would you do it again perhaps with chokes?

The training was VERY MUCH worth the effort!

I have done this same training method with other submissions and sweeps as well (e.g. foot locks, knee bars, heel hooks, triangle chokes with the legs, triangle chokes with the arms, scissors sweep, elevator sweep, etc...). I have not done very much with collar chokes though.

Roy Harris
2/14/08 8:04 AM
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jb57
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Edited: 14-Feb-08
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 135
This is very interesting, lots of layers can be peeled away and you can keep digging deeper into the topic. Thanks Roy
2/17/08 2:39 AM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: 17-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2033
JB57, You are SO RIGHT. There are numerous layers to this stuff! You have discovered a HUGE secret that so many practitioners do not learn, acknowledge or train. Over the past decade, I have reviewed and refined a lot of what I know and teach. What does that mean? It simply means that what I teach today is not what I used to teach five or ten years ago. While this seems like an easy concept to grasp, even some of my own students and instructors have a hard time with this concept. For example, over the past six years, I have written about my seven year journey with side mount escapes. However, only ONE of my instructors has asked me to spend a considerable amount of time training them on this topic. Plus, I haven't said anything to anyone just yet, but over the past two years, I've been re-visiting the topic of side mount escapes and have discovered a couple more layers! Here's another example: I have written about how I spent seven hours teaching someone the spinning arm lock from the guard! While this info went over many people's head (because they made certain assumptions about what actually went on during the lesson), a few of my instructors did take notice (yet none of them asked me to spend seven hours with them on this topic). I know many made the assumption that this seven hours of private training was a fairly boring training sessions. However, had they been there, they would have observed me teaching layer after layer and layer of info. Plus, they would have observed my use of numerous training methods to drill home specific and important points! In addition to the "layers", there is also awareness training. Here are a few questions to let you know how "aware" you are of some of the most basic things in martial arts: When a person gets into a stance (before they perform any footwork), they place the weight of their body on their foot in one of five locations. For those of you reading this post, I'd like to ask you, can you name all five locations? If you can name all five locations, can you also tell me what each placement means in terms of stability or mobility? Can you also tell me about the presence (or absence) of "the load" in his or her legs? Finally, when the "Step and Slide" footwork is added to this basic stance, can you tell me about the transfer of weight before, during and after the footwork? In other words, tell me, specifically, where the weight transfers at the end of the neutral stance, at the beginning of the footwork, during the footwork, at the end of the footwork and at the start of the neutral stance again. (Notice I specifically wrote "neutral" stance. This refers to the use of a "neutral" stance, not an offensive stance, not a defensive stance, not an off-balanced or unstructured stance, but a neutral stance.) If you don't know the answer to these SIMPLE questions, then you haven't paid much attention to your stance or the most basic form of footwork called "Step and Slide." The answers to these questions are directly related to awareness training you received, didn't receive, or didn't bother to train. Awareness training helps the student take his focus OFF of technique, speed and power, and place it on the more important topics associated with efficiency, finesse and longevity! I hope you all have been enlightened by this post. Good training to all of you, Roy Harris
2/19/08 11:54 AM
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groundfighter2000
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
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Roy, just wanted to let you know you've "reached" another person with your message of the importance of awareness, and the huge amount of details in "simple, basic" techniques. I think I have most of your online posts saved on my computer and printed out. When I read your post about teaching one guy the spinning armlock from guard for seven hours, or teaching two blue belts who wanted to become purple belts the details of the upa and elbow/knee escape, it gets me excited for training. To others it probably sounds boring and I know you always say "developing a repeatable skill is not fun, its hard work." But the amount a person can improve from the "boring" is obvious. When you are in my area of the country I will be tracking you down for a private lesson on the details of the upa and elbow/knee escape. As you once said they make up 90% of what a person will experience/encounter in their grappling.
2/19/08 1:54 PM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 2043
groundfighter2000,

Glad to hear I've reached another person on the importance of awareness!

To some people, thoughts of spending a considerable amount of time on the tiniest of details sounds boring. However, what these people don't realize is that there is "A whole 'nother world" to just about any physical endeavor than just knowing and understanding the basics. Let me give you an example from my golf world:

Recently, I've taken a long and hard look at my golf game. I've seen where the strokes have been adding up, and it's my putting. Because my putting has always been pretty bad, it has added two to seven strokes per round. While that may not seem like much, you must understand that there is a marked difference between shooting 72 and 66, between 71 and 64, between 69 and 65, between 68 and 63.

So, since putting has always been one of my weaknesses, I have decided to make it one of the stronger parts of the game. Here's how I plan to accomplish this goal over the next year:

1. I will practice putting for 30 to 60 minutes each and every day.
2. Some days, I will perform my putting techniques and drills at the driving range.
3. Some days, I will perform my putting techniques on the carpet at home or at the academy.
4. Some days, I will commit 120 minutes to putting.
5. I will practice every day for 90 days. Then, I will evaluate my progress and make adjustments.
6. I will continue this process for a period of not less than one year.

Now, what will I focus on during these training sessions? Mmmmmm, that's where the training gets DEEP!

Here are a few (not all) areas I will focus on:

1. The position of my feet.
2. The position of my knees.
3. The position of my hips and shoulders.
4. The position of my hands.
5. The pressure of my grip.
6. The position of the ball in relation to my feet (the "x" axis).
7. The position of the ball in relation to my body (the "y" axis).
8. My putting stroke on short putts.
9. My putting stroke on long putts.
10. The spin I impart upon the ball.
11. The steadiness of my head during the putting stroke.
12. Reading greens.
13. Feeling distance.
14. Attention to the kind / grain of the grass.
15. Attention to the time of day.
16. Attention to bumps and spike marks.
17. Picking an intermediate target (and focusing on it).
18. Rolling the ball.
19. Consistent good contact with the putter face.
20. Awareness to surrounding effects (wind, sunshine, moisture, lakes/oceans, mountains, etc..)
21. Strategy.

I will take one topic at a time and work on it, independent (and to the exclusion) of all the others!

Here is a truncated version of my putting practice for the past two weeks:

SHORT PUTTS - At home (30 to 60 minutes):

1. I place a quarter on the carpet, one to two feet away from my ball.
2. I practice rolling my ball directly over the center of the quarter. Touching the quarter was OK at first, but now that my putting stroke is better, I need to focus on rolling the ball over the absolute center of the quarter. This will translate into confidence on short putts in the not-too-distant future!
3. Focus on striking the ball in the center of the putter's face.
4. Imagine (visualize) each putt as a straight putt.
5. Focus on controlling and feeling the face of my putter.
6. I have now decreased the distance I pull the putter face away from the ball on short putts. I have also increased the acceleration of the putter head through the ball - which is translating to more confidence over these short putts.
7. Putting a golf ball to a quarter makes the 4.25 inch holes on the green seem large. Instead of focusing on the the entire hole, I can now focus on rolling the ball over a specific set of grass blades near the edge of the cup. Putting to a quarter has helped me TREMENDOUSLY!!!

Here's how I have been working on my putting on practice greens:

SHORT PUTTS - on greens (30 to 120 minutes):

1. I look at the break to determine where I should start the putt.
2. I look at the distance of each putt.
3. I perform a few practice strokes until I get the feel of the distance.
4. I pick an intermediate target to putt towards on each green. This way, I trick my mind into believing that each and every putt I perform will be a "straight" putt.
4. I align my putter face, my feet, my knees, my hips and my shoulders at this intermediate target.
5. I glance at the intermediate target to check and re-check my alignment.
6. I take a deep breath and tell myself, "Trust your alignment."
7. I pull the trigger by pulling the putter face away from the ball.
8. I accelerate through the ball and stroke the ball towards the intermediate target.
9. Five to six times out of ten, I now make these 3-6 foot putts. Two times out of five, I make the putt in the center of the cup - because THAT is my focus!
10. When I miss an initial putt, I stop and evaluate whether the miss was the result of pulling or pushing the putter face, or if I simply misread the line of the putt.

Today, I am going to go to the range and spend two hours there. I am going to continue my focus on three to six feet long putts. I will focus the second hour of training on gaining a feel for long distance putts (30 to 40 feet long). In other words, my focus will be on finding the right FEEL to get the ball within three feet of the cup.

Continued....
2/19/08 1:55 PM
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Roy Harris
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
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While this training will be long, arduous and boring, it will pay HUGE dividends in four to twelve months! So, my focus will not be on an immediate gratification (or frustration) by playing golf. Rather, it will be on having more confidence and skill when standing over a three to twenty foot long putt! While it is more fun to simply play golf (just like it is more fun to spar than to practice one technique for an extended period of time [hours, days and months]), I will purposely choose to focus on gaining a repeatable skill - one that will pay HUGE dividends in 2009!

Tiger Woods is the golfer he is because of three things:

1. His mindset.
2. His recovery shots.
3. His putting.

There are thousands of good players out there, thousands of good ball strikers out there. There are even thousands of good putters out there. However, Tiger's work ethic in each of the above mentioned areas is what sets him apart from the pack.

I plan to model my game after these three things (first with putting, mindset, and finally recovery shots) so that hopefully, sometime in my not-too-distant future, I can begin to make some money playing golf professionally  ; )  Will I reach Tiger's level? I highly doubt it. Will I get close? Probably not, but we will see! I plan to delve deep into the details of golf and hang out in the "subatomic level" of golf practice for quite some time - just like I've done with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Jeet Kune Do, Savate and Kalis Ilustrisimo!

The keys are in the details,

Roy Harris
2/19/08 8:21 PM
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jb57
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Edited: 19-Feb-08 10:42 PM
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 136
2/19/08 11:18 PM
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YVES JOCKSTRAP
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Edited: 19-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 18574
My God that is an elaborate post, amazing. Thanks for answering these questions in such detail Mr. Harris.
2/20/08 3:28 AM
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1wolfman
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Edited: 20-Feb-08
Member Since: 01/01/2001
Posts: 137
Mr. Harris, your posts are really inspiring. I have stopped doing BJJ (not enough time...) but there are other activities I want to be really good at, and I'll try to copy your attention to details.
2/20/08 1:51 PM
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fishluv
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Edited: 20-Feb-08
Member Since: 04/25/2007
Posts: 2049

this is like having a long distance coach.

2/21/08 11:08 AM
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chew22
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Edited: 21-Feb-08
Member Since: 02/28/2005
Posts: 12
Roy, Training at this level of detail is just something I am waking up to. I thank you for your time in writing up the detail with the precision you do. When the time is right, I will need to seek you out for a private, or attend one of your seminars or get out to your academy. I will make sure to have done the preparation before that point to know in exact detail what to seek out of the encounter. On the topic of golf, I also play. I had the privelege to follow Tiger Woods around in Phoenix one year a while ago (Phoenix Open / FBR)(the year Mark C went -23 or something to win). By far the most impressive part of his game live was his putting, long, intermediate, and short. It's different than watching on TV. Best, Dave
2/21/08 10:47 PM
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jb57
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Edited: 21-Feb-08
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 137
One week into my 3 month journey of arm bar defense. Some observations: 1) My Ego would not let me do the training without telling my partner's that I was working defense today. 2) Sometimes even when you give someone the armbar they will not take it. 3) Alot of people have poor mechanics and make it easy to escape. 4) My face/nose got beat up from people smashing their calf against it. 5) A lot of techniques that I thought would work did not. 6) I made up a technique while training that worked and I have never seen it before and it worked over and over again. 7) For me one of the best defense is to push their bottom leg into my half guard. 8) It was hard for me to let someone actually finish me with the arm bar I always found a way to escape. I was only submitted once, even though I started the training with me on the bottom of the mount with both my arms sticking straight up in the air. 9) I feel a little more confident that I could escape an arm bar should I get caught with one from the bottom of the mount.
2/23/08 7:57 PM
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jb57
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Edited: 23-Feb-08
Member Since: 03/14/2002
Posts: 138
Today's training, 1) I did not tell my training partners I was going to work defense. 2) The arm lock from in the guard seems to be harder to defend because you have to keep your balance at the same time. that is all for now.

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