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Roy Harris >> New Grip Fighting DVD...


2/17/11 8:24 PM
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Roy Harris
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 Hello Everyone,

I have some great news: Our new instructional DVD, HJJ Volume 103, Grip Fighting just came in. All recent orders will go out tomorrow morning!

Some have asked why I made this instructional video before some of the other ones. Well, here are my main reasons:

#1 - I am a firm believer that a person's training should mimic their sparring. When their training mimics their sparring, they see results faster. Let me give you an example of what I mean. Let's say you spend the next two weeks focusing your training on securing a straight arm lock from the top of the north/south position - obviously, a very important area of Jiu Jitsu training. However, because of your current skill sets, you can't put anyone on their backs at your academy with any amount of consistency. Additionally, when you do get your training partners to go onto their backs, you don't pass their guard very often. Consequently, you rarely end up on top of your training partners in the north/south positions. So, the fact that you spent six hours over the past two weeks working on straight arm lock attacks from the north/south position will probably not get used for quite some time in your sparring matches. Now, this is not to say that you shouldn't learn how to attack someone from this position. I believe you should learn how to do this. However, your training should look like your sparring matches.

#2 - When you take an honest look at your sparring sessions over the past four to six months, where have you spent the majority of your time? Going for submissions? Going for sweeps? Escaping from the bottom of the side mount position? Defending your guard? or jockeying back and forth for control, positionally and with grip fighting? If I were a betting man, I'd bet that a major chunk of your time is spent fighting over grip control from each position - that is, if you spend a large portion of your time training with a gi.

#3 - Grip fighting, both the defensive and offensive aspect of it, are absolutely FUNDAMENTAL to developing an overall good Jiu Jitsu game! So, just like my instructional "Takedowns from Knees" was an important area for Jiu Jitsu students to train, I felt the same way about Grip Fighting - hence the new Grip Fighting DVD.

For those of you who have already ordered this DVD, you should receive your DVD sometime between Saturday and Tuesday.

For those of you who have not, here is the URL:

http://www.harrisacademy.tv/hjj_103.html


One last thing: For those of you on my opt-in mailing list, there will be a sale, just for you, on this DVD this weekend. Please keep your eye on your inbox this weekend.

Good training to all of you,

Roy Harris
Harris International
2/20/11 3:31 AM
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Roy Harris
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Yes, I have scripted out more than 200 DVDs for the next 18-21 years. Once I establish a good foundation with the new Harris Jiu Jitsu instructionals, I will begin branching out into the other areas.

For years, I've been known as strictly a "BJJ guy."  Well, these "other" instructionals are going to break that mold. I've decided to step out from the shadows and teach JKD / FMA on a more global level.

When will these instructionals be ready? Well, I plan to produce at least two of them this year. When exactly?A lot depends on my schedule.

Good training to you,

Roy Harris

2/21/11 10:27 PM
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groundfighter2000
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Roy Harris - Yes, I have scripted out more than 200 DVDs for the next 18-21 years. Once I establish a good foundation with the new Harris Jiu Jitsu instructionals, I will begin branching out into the other areas.

For years, I've been known as strictly a "BJJ guy."  Well, these "other" instructionals are going to break that mold. I've decided to step out from the shadows and teach JKD / FMA on a more global level.

When will these instructionals be ready? Well, I plan to produce at least two of them this year. When exactly?A lot depends on my schedule.

Good training to you,

Roy Harris
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Whoa! Looking forward to this.
2/24/11 4:24 PM
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None So Blind
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I was wondering why my debit card in my back pocket was starting to feel really warm....

My Grip DVD arrived today (wife called to tell me), but I'm at work and can't leave yet - gahhh!!!
2/28/11 12:07 PM
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None So Blind
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Quick update - got it, watched it once, very impressed and lots of things that I can apply immediately.

More detailed review to follow once I can re-watch it and write down some specifics of my impressions.

Quick note - Roy does something absolutely hilarious and unexpected when demo-ing a certain grip (I don't want to spoil it!), I happened to see it during the Oscar "death montage" last night and burst out laughing, only to be reprimanded by my family for such blatant disrespect of the dead. I couldn't help it, it was awesome :-P
2/28/11 12:51 PM
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Cee
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Thank you for all of your contributions, including the new Harris Jiu-jitsu 103 DVD.

I'm a devoted follower of your approach, and hopefully one day, you'll release an "Instructor's Series"
3/1/11 2:15 PM
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None So Blind
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Note to Mr. Harris - I figured I'd post this here first; if you feel this is too detailed or anything, of course please delete it. But if you think it's an OK review, I'd be glad to post it in the BJJ Forum.

Review: Harris Jiu Jitsu Volume 103 – Gripping

OK, everyone here knows who Roy is, and many of us have seen something of his previous instructional sets, so no need to belabor the obvious – Roy knows his stuff, and he is accustomed to making high-end instructionals. This set is no exception, as it covers something that every beginner *needs* exposure to, and would IMO benefit from actual structured teaching of the material, though it usually winds up being something that we just pick up as we go along.

Some basic stats – I counted the lengths of all the chapters (16 of them), and the DVD winds up being just a hair under 100 minutes. To be fair, about ~15 of that is the "Extras" section, some of which is sparring footage (though with some nice details), and some of it is actual bloopers during filming, so some might argue that that technically isn't part of the "instruction" part of the DVD.

The production value on this is as good as it gets. The filming is done professionally, not by a camcorder or some such. Lighting is excellent, at no point was I unable to make things out due to poor visibility. Also, Roy and his students typically wear different color gis and rash guards, so it's easy to tell whose arm/leg is whose. Similarly, the audio is excellent, I don't think there was ever a time when it was muffled or else Roy's speech was unclear. And perhaps my favorite aspect is something I've seen Roy do in many of his recent instructionals – on-screen text. No, don't worry, not a wall of writing, rather just a little block of text here and there along the lines of "Grip #1" and an arrow pointing to the grip in freeze frame. This happens often in the vid, and near the end Roy teaches you how to watch a match purely for the grip fighting – at every point where the grips change, he freezes the vid for a second and puts up a block of text to remind you of his terminology, which in turn helps you see what's really going on in the match (e.g., like what moves someone is considering or else feinting so they can then establish their real grip, etc.).

And of course, this DVD is based on gripping while grappling. If you want grips for doing throws (whether judo or wrestling), other sets address those areas.
3/1/11 2:15 PM
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None So Blind
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A quick breakdown on the material, by chapters/groups:

1. Introduction – pretty self-explanatory

2. Grip theory – here he talks about gi grips and how to grip in such a way as not to tire out your hand. I've seen other takes on this (i.e., using different fingers), but this material is clear and probably reflects what I've learned in most BJJ settings (though stand-up judo grips have been a little different). Also, he talks a bit about how to transition grips from gi to no-gi and back, and how "no-gi" grips is a misnomer, since essentially every no-gi grip can of course be used on someone wearing a gi. Finally, he covers a neat detail on deep lapel grips, one I haven't seen on any other instructional.

3. Gi grips – 7 basic grips, like the "leopard paw," sledgehammer/fist grip, C-clamp, etc. – all ways of holding your hand and fingers for different purposes. For all the grips, he gives at least one example of a technique that uses that grip.

4. Grip locations – 8 major locations for grips on opponents w/ a gi – everything from sleeve to lapel to belt. Not only are the simple aspects of where to grip covered, there are also important details (e.g., when gripping the sleeve at the wrist, keeping your forearm as parallel to theirs as possible makes breaking your grip much harder for your opponent). Many nice little details like this. Also, positions where grips are used – e.g., a given grip may be great for side control, but poor for guard.

5. Minor grip locations – 6 places that are less commonly used, but can be useful in the right circumstances/positions. Some of them are the wonderfully fun things you can do with the bottom of the gi top once someone's belt is loose or else gone ;-)

6. No-gi grabs – 6 ways of grabbing here. Most of these do not involve the hands – i.e., pinching someone's arm between your arm and your ribs.

7. Wrist hooks – no-gi grips that do not involve the fingers, rather it uses your bent wrist to hook your opponent. This appears somewhat counter-intuitive, and of course Roy demonstrates how this type of grip is actually superior to using the fingers in some common techniques.
3/1/11 2:16 PM
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None So Blind
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8. Forearm pincer – this is basically gripping when you grab your own hands together (one hand w/ fingers pointing forward, the other w/ fingers pointing up), and often you can squeeze your forearms together to do different things to the opponent.

(Quick question for Roy here – you cover gripping with and without the thumb here, but one variation I learned a ways back involved putting one thumb between the index and middle fingers – do you have any opinion on that grip? I don't think it was mentioned on the DVD…)

9. No-gi controls – 7 of these, things like underhooks, overhooks, etc. Roy makes some interesting (and self-effacingly funny!) points about using grips simply to tire people rather than as a set-up to a specific technique, a form of treachery that us older guys have to resort to when grappling younger, bigger, stronger guys ;-)

10. No-gi grip locations – here Roy takes the previous 4 chapters and ties them in to where each can be used. In the previous chapters, he showed each grab/control point and gave one example of where it can be used; here he either covers multiple sites for each one, or else gives more details about how best to hold a specific spot (e.g., hooking the bones of the elbow with specific fingers or your forearm during a two-on-one that makes it much harder to escape). Roy does an interesting take on the grip for kimura from side control, including a nasty little wristlock if your opponent tries the most obvious counter/escape. Another detail I particularly liked was how best to hold the back of the opponent's head when they're in your guard, this little detail makes it much harder for the opponent to free his head. Also, a great detail on how to finish guillotines and RNCs when the opponent tucks his chin.

11. Pressure vs. holding – here Roy covers a common mistake in grips – typically, when to hold your grip steady vs. when to pull or push.

12. Combinations – some simple examples of grips that are easy to transition between, plus the techniques they easily lend themselves to.BTW, Roy covers an interesting sweep here, I guess the best analogy would be to say it looks s/t like a variation on the flower sweep, but I don't recall seeing in too many other places (not that I've seen every sweep DVD out there).

13. Combinations in motion – the past chapter was how to change your grips based on your own plans; this one is more how to vary your grips based on what your opponent does or gives you. Nice easy flowing – if the opponent fights hard to break a certain grip, don't fight to the death to keep that grip, simply transition to something that's he giving you by doing so. These are just examples so you can get started, Roy notes that there are many, many possible types of combinations; this is just to get you started.

14. No-gi combinations in motion – same as last chapter.
3/1/11 2:19 PM
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None So Blind
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15. Breaking grips – pretty self-explanatory, methods of breaking the gi grips shown in Chapter 4

16. Strengthening you grip – exercises like using equipment like hand grippers, kettlebells, etc., as well as things like gi pull-ups and rows

17. Extras – some footage of Roy rolling w/ students, with all the grips detailed (as noted above). Some nice footage, and I appreciate that Roy chose examples that illustrate many different grips and flows rather than what I've seen in some instructionals where the footage is intended to make the person look like God's gift to grappling – heck, near the end, he allows an older white belt to tap him, presumably to reinforce the guy after he made a couple solid moves. Grips are illustrated with respect to pins, sweeps, and submissions - not to mention one of Roy's calling cards, gripping that transitions into a wristlock, I felt bad for that one blue belt who got wristlocked into oblivion ;-) Here's where it really all ties together IMO – you can see that Roy's students rarely ever get him into position to sweep or sub him – and it's blindingly clear that the grips he sets up prevent these things from the get-go. You start seeing the moves coming before Roy even gets into position for them, simply because you see given grips that inevitably lend themselves to certain moves. Also, there's a Q&A w/ Roy and his students – he teaches a technique, they ask questions, and he gives some pointers or clarifications on things like guard passing, escaping back control, etc. The last minute or two is bloopers, a funny addition.

Overall, a great addition to an area that receives far less attention than the flashy stuff like sweeps and subs. As I am a beginner, I would not presume to know if purple belts on up would benefit from this ;-) but it should be mandatory viewing for all white belts and beginners, and I'm sure there are plenty enough techniques in here that blue belts would easily find it worth their while. Of course, Roy notes that this is a "basics" gripping DVD, and he could probably fill a dozen instructionals with advanced grip material, so I hope one day we might see a follow-up.

Thanks for making this one - wish I'd had it when I started ;-)
3/8/11 12:53 PM
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Roy Harris
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None So Blind,

Thank you, and feel free to post this review elsewhere!

Now, you asked, "you cover gripping with and without the thumb here, but one variation I learned a ways back involved putting one thumb between the index and middle fingers – do you have any opinion on that grip? I don't think it was mentioned on the DVD…"

With respect to the grip I showed, there are four variations of that grip. Instead of spending a ton of time on that grip, I chose to move on. With respect to the grip you mentioned, that is also a good grip. It has its uses. The influences for these grips are Gene LeBell and Karl Gotch.

Thanks again for your review!

Roy Harris

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