How to Take Care of Mat Burn

I often hear people talk about mat burn and how long it takes to heal, often times because nasty things happen to the burn, for example, like it getting stuck to your sock, hitting it on things, etc. When I first began BJJ, I had this problem as well, but came up with a good method for dealing with it.

1. You should have Germ-X or Alcohol/Alcohol Wipes in your car. After training, if I have mat burn, then I apply alcohol to my mat burn. It hurts horribly, but it’s much better than getting MRSA or anything else.

2. You should have neosporin at home. After showering, I always apply some neosporin to my mat burn and let it sink into the skin. This will help it heal.

3. You’ll need some liquid bandage and a fan or blow dryer. I found that I needed a bandage on my burn, otherwise I would hit it on stuff and hurt it even more. But, bandaids wouldn’t stay on long enough and would stick like a sock. So, I used liquid bandage and it’s been amazing. I’ll take it, spray on a layer and dry it. Then I’ll put three or four more. It stays on your foot till the burn is healed, it protects your foot while it’s on, and it actually cleans your foot when applied. You can easily train with it on if you tape your foot, just for extra protection.

Follow these steps and your mat burn should heal rather quickly. For me, it usually only takes four to five days.


Class 3/1/2012

Class last night was rather good, as I seemed to be feeling it once I warmed up. We had a rather full class, meaning it was probably 13-14 students, not including Justin or Tim. We had a warm up roll and then went into working this half guard sweep:

Several students, including me, accidentally started bending the arm that hits the head, but Tim pointed out that it needs to stay straight the whole time. Afterwards, rolling was great. I was seeing a lot more submission opportunities and was able to work a triangle (didn’t finish) and several kimuras (finished them all).

I’ve noticed recently that I’m just generally not very good at full guard. I mean, I can retain it, but I can’t seem to hit many sweeps or submissions from there. However, on the flip side I’ve also noticed that I’m rather good at half guard and that I like half guard and usually end up sweeping from that position. I think it’s because I have long legs that I have trouble moving in full guard, but I tangle up my opponents in half guard. Also, I’d rather be on top controlling, so sweeping is more advantageous to me from the bottom, as the top is where I see and recognize most of my submission opportunities.

So, with that said, I recently bought Caio Terra’s 111 Half Guard Techniques and I got it yesterday. I only got to watch the introduction before class, but I’ll be studying one section each week and hopefully I’ll be able to drill some of the sweeps, etc.

Class – 2/20/2012 – Renzo Gracie Gi Choke

I finally was able to practice the Renzo Gracie Gi Choke that I had posted a video of several weeks ago, because we went over it tonight. If you don’t remember, here’s a video of the technique:

Justin showed us the normal version, where you don’t really try to hide the lapel “handle”. He then taught us, what he called, the “prison shank” version that Renzo shows above, where you keep the lapel “handle” hidden. Side note, I noticed that when Justin did the technique, the lapel feeding hand should shoot up to your opponents ear, sliding along their torso, which keeps it more stealth. Other details Justin included was getting the lapel out from a reverse kesa gatame position, because it keeps your opponent blind so that they can’t see what you’re doing. In case you don’t know what reverse kesa gatame is, here’s a picture:

Justin likes to be sneaky from this position. He said he’ll often pull out their lapel to make them think he’s doing something with it and fake as if he’s going for mount so that they’re worrying about all kinds of things. If done properly, it’s actually easy for your opponent to miss you wrapping your gi around their neck, until they’re getting choked. If you have the same colored gi as your opponent, it actually makes it even better for you, because they don’t know if your choking them with their gi or yours. One other side note is that Justin, once he has the lapel locked into the neck, likes to pre-choke by pulling the gi tight even before he moves his head to the other side.

After, since we drilled the choke for a while, we were only able to roll for one round. I rolled with Guillaume, who showed some improved guard retention, which was great! I was finally able to pass his guard and get to knee-on-belly and then transitioned to mount where he tried to turn away from me. As soon as he did I got into s-mount and was able to work for an arm and pull out the armbar.

Anyway, the gi choke is rather sneaky and I seem to get a lot of choking power from it, which means I’m going to add it to my arsenal. It won’t be the number one thing I like to get from side control, but it will be readily available.

Class & Working the Toreando/Bull Fighter Pass

My wife let me go to class Monday night, even though we just recently had a baby (and by recently, I mean last Wednesday). Everything with the baby has gone great and it really hasn’t been hard on us at all, which is why I think it was fine with her that I go. Anyway, we had a good number of people at class (13 or so) and we started warming up doing armbars from the guard. After drilling arm bars for a good amount of time, we then added in the basic arm bar defense for the person getting armbarred. It’s the stack, lawnmower pull, and then pass defense. Here’s a video:

We did have a slightly different detail on the pass. Once you get the arm being armbarred out, instead of taking your other arm out (the one that is gripping the pant leg) you keep it there. You pass by keeping pressure on the legs with your chest, sprawling out and then walking towards their head. By keeping the grip on the pant with your arm cupping their one leg, it makes it impossible for them to shrimp and hip back in. If you have good pressure it also makes it practically impossible for them to get their leg back over your head to triangle you. Everything else is the same as the video above. It’s very basic, but basics are great to drill. I also received some gi burn on my face from doing it so much, which is fun. Tim then had to leave, so Justin gave us a couple of other details that mostly included making the other person even more uncomfortable than they already were.

We then rolled six rounds, three minutes each with a minute rest in between. It was crazy, but everyone seemed to be dropping like flies. By the time we were on the sixth round, instead of having 13 people, we had 8 people left, and that included Justin (so 7 of the 13).

Anyway, I’ve recently been working on my passing game and I’ve decided to take down one pass at a time. After looking at many passes and trying many in class, I’ve noticed that it’s easier for me to pass standing up. I’d seen several people, especially Andre Galvao (one of my favorite BJJ competitors), do the Toreando/Bull Fighter pass in competition footage and it seemed as though it would be a good pass for my body type, so that’s what I’ve been working on. Here’s two videos on the pass from Andre Galvao and Demian Maia:

I’ve hit the pass several times, but I’ve been forgetting the important detail of having your pressure on your hands and your head, which should be under their chin. When I’ve tried to do it either a) their hips are to mobile, because I’m not putting enough pressure on my hands or b) they sit up and scoot back, because I haven’t flattened them out with my head under their chin.

When I’m trying to absorb a technique I usually watch it over and over, but I’ve been so busy that I only watched the Andre Galvao video above, two or three times. I’ve now got it on my iPod and will be watching it frequently. Hopefully I remember the pressure and am able to start working the pass better.


The Triangle by Ryan Hall

I often hear or read of people having trouble finishing triangles. I’ve heard of people not being strong enough, having legs that are too short, having legs that are too long, or just plain not being able to finish. The best response I have is to post the following video:

If you have the money, I would definitely buy Ryan Hall’s DVD. You can find it HERE. It contains not only how to correctly do a triangle, but it also shows many advanced set-ups. Hall goes so in-depth that I found myself having to watch it in small increments. I highly recommend it if you want to improve your triangle.

Slick Gi Choke from Side Control – Renzo Gracie

I was actually watching some competition footage on YouTube when I saw this video recommended in the side bar, and since I go to a Renzo Gracie Affiliate, with a Renzo Gracie black belt, I thought I should watch it. It’s quite an interesting, slick, and a seemingly simple choke with your own gi. I might give this a try tonight, just to mess around, but I’ll mostly be focusing on my basics still. If the chance arises though, I’ll definitely take it. Here’s the video: