Thursday, April 9, 2015

Learning Cottonwood martial arts the right way

When you think of places to learn Cottonwood martial arts your first thought might not be Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Osburn BJJ. When most people think martial arts, they think of punches, kicks, and katas. They don’t think of people wrestling for dominant position and look for submission holds. At least that’s how people used to think. However, since the advent of the UFC in 1993 people started to look at martial arts differently. For so long they had been clouded in mystery and myth. Often times martial arts fans would pose questions like, “Who would win in a fight, the kung fu master or the karate stylist?” The UFC quickly gave us the answer: the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner would beat them both!
This isn’t to say that there aren’t many good Cottonwood martial arts that you can learn. But in a real life fighting situation, if you do not know Brazilian Jiu Jitsu(BJJ), you will be at a huge disadvantage. However, if you do know BJJ then you can start to use many of the other martial arts that you may have learned before. In fact, in recent years we’ve started to see a resurgence of traditional martial arts in the UFC. One of the newest stars fighting for the featherweight title is Conor McGregor. He employs an arsenal of karate-style kicks, stances, and the in-and-out movement seen in point style fighting. He can do all thisbecause he knows BJJ.
Even if BJJ is not what you want to specialize in, you need to learn it if you really want to properly express other Cottonwood martial arts that you know. In other words, if you want to truly be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of your karate, you need to learn BJJ. That way if you end up on the ground in a fight you know how to survive, get up, and then get back into karate range. And having the confidence of knowing BJJ will make your other martial arts better. If you are not afraid of being taken down, then you can commit more to your strikes and root yourself into the ground for more power.
In this Cottonwood martial arts clip Coach Osburn shows was to escape from the sidemount position. In a fight, this is one of the worst positions for someone to be in. Any martial artist of any style needs to know how to stay safe from strikes and how to escape this position. If you are already good at a traditional martial art, think how much more confident you will be once you learn the efficient and  technical BJJ answer to getting out of this position while staying safe!

So if you'd like to learn from the only BJJ black belt in Cottonwood, who is also an assistant wrestling coach at Mingus High School, then contact Coach Osburn at (928) 254-7851. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will change your life. We guarantee it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Verde Valley Self Defense aka why women and children should learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

So it's been a long time since I've written on this blog. I felt the need to bring it back since the world needs to know about Verde Valley self defense aka  why women and children should learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu(BJJ). Now of course, the best place to train and learn BJJ is at my good friend Ted Osburn's school Osburn BJJ.

What makes BJJ such a great form of martial arts to help in your Verde Valley self defense quest is the fact that it can be very effective even when your opponent is younger, stronger, bigger, and more athletic. This is the scenario that most women and children find themselves in when dealing with a larger male attacker. And where BJJ shines even more specifically is it teaches you how to properly choke this potential attacker unconscious.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu's best weapon: the choke!

Helio Gracie, the Godfather of BJJ, said that even the toughest guy in the world will go to sleep with a properly applied choke. While there are boxers who are known for their "iron chin" and can't be knocked out or even guys in the BJJ world who are super flexible and unable to be submitted through joint locks, no one is choke proof.

When someone is an attacker you have to ask yourself, what is the most likely Verde Valley self defense strategy? Are you going to be able to knock him out with a punch? Can you spray him with mace in time? What about a swift kick to the groin, will that work? All of those scenarios might work but they also just might make your attacker angrier. Your attacker won't be able to tough out a choke. He will just go to sleep.

The choke is also a more humane way to stop your attacker. Now this might not matter to some people but in the world we live in, doing less damage is usually a better thing. A strike that really stops an attacker usually has to hurt him. Any other type of BJJ submission can break bones, tear ligaments, or dislocate joints. But a properly applied choke simply cuts off blood supply to the brain and gently puts the person to sleep. As long as the choke is let go of, the person will regain consciousness and be fine. So learning Verde Valley self defense may be safer for everyone.

This also includes children. When dealing with bullies, one issue that has risen to the forefront is the idea that kids aren't supposed to hit back if they are attacked. While I have mixed feelings about such policies, a properly applied choke will subdue any bully and not leave a mark on him. Learning tactics like these can help your self defense Verde Valley needs!

The next reality of a choke is it takes the least amount of size and strength to do correctly. There are limiting factors of physics that prevent a smaller woman or a child from being able to hurt an adult male with strikes. You may get lucky but counting on luck to save your life is not smart.

Even within BJJ joint lock defense can happen if the opponent. If an attacker is intoxicated on drugs or alcohol they may not be effected by the submission hold or feel anything until hours later. But like Helio Gracie said no one can withstand a properly applied choke.

I'm about 175 pounds and I've had 95 pound women and 75 pound children catch me in chokes. When the choke is sunk in, I am going to tap or going to sleep. The choke is powerful! If you want to learn Verde Valley self defense, give Ted a call. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu will change your or your child's life!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New website!

Sorry you've been replaced!

I'm moving to

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I’ve been injured a lot over the last year. It started with shoulder problems, continued with a broken foot, then torn labrum in one hip, then a sports hernia and torn labrum in the other hip.

As I plan out my return, I keep thinking about the concept of picking my battles wisely

While my ego and overall quest to master jiu jitsu would like to say that it’s important for me to learn how to deal with a 240 pound wrestler crushing me in side mount and be able to escape easily, the reality is I’m 36 and 180 pounds. It’s probably a smarter use of my time to learn better ways of preventing that crushing sidemount from ever happening.

And while I agree it’s important to explore all positions, I also think that positions were designed to have one person inflict maximum damage at minimum risk. Which would imply that the other person is getting most of the damage and most of the risk.

So I think one solution is drilling details of the in between “grey area” moments.

What I mean by this is rather than constantly working on my sidemount escapes I want to work on the moments when my opponent is past my legs but hasn’t passed the guard. There is a whole world of the “in between” that I all but ignore in lieu of working my “side mount defense”.

This “in between” is everywhere. I notice it a lot when dealing with D’arces, half nelsons and guillotines. While there are defense to all of these, I’d rather spend my time working on proper underhooking, head position and correct hand fighting so my opponent never has a chance to do these in the first place.

It also means looking at some of my offense from the guard. While I love the triangle, it’s time to really pick my moments on that attack. I see people attempt the triangle all the time while letting themselves get stacked. I’ve done it many times and while many times I would get the tap, it still started to wreak havoc on my neck and upper back.

So I think the golden rule now will be to get my opponent out of position while keeping a strong position myself and then getting the submission. A triangle when they’re falling forward out of base is a good thing. When it’s with your own knees in your face, it’s not.

I guess all of this comes down to wanting my jiu jitsu to age gracefully.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The zero point

To me, one of the most hindering things that can happen in my jiu jitsu progress is when a technique starts to work too well.

A lot of times it will work because my training partner reacts just the right way for it to be the right moment for that technique to work. And while it’s good to know how to recreate that magic, I think it’s more important to know when that magic isn’t there.

Almost every time I feel myself start to force a technique it’s because I’m focused on a time it did work. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve held on to a triangle when it was slipping off because I was remembering the times it didn’t slip.

It seems like it becomes more important to remember why things were successful and to be completely honest with myself when they’re not. I’m trying to temper my ego in situation where I know a quick movement or a little more “oomph” would make the technique “work”

I remember a long time ago when Rickson talked about the idea of getting to a neutral or “zero” point where he had no expectations of his opponent and he was “connected with the variations.”

It reminds me of when I took acting classes years ago. Our teacher always told us to do as much preparation for the character as possible and to know our lines backwards and forwards. But when it came time for the cameras to roll, he said we had to throw all the preparation out and see where the moment leads. We couldn’t go into the scene with any preconceived notions as to what we were going to do or the other people in the scene were going to do because that would come across on film as disingenuous. He’d always remind us that, “the camera never lies.”

Jiu jitsu never lies either. There is an answer to every situation. It takes a certain type of discipline to fully acknowledge that verses trying to make a situation something it’s not. This inevitably turns into fear and panic, especially if the situation becomes further complicated.

For me this is the next step in my jiu jitsu. I am most effective when I am relaxed, but right now this is limited to certain situations. I want to adapt this to all situations. It’s a lifetime project so I better get started now!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Position vs Submission vs Control

When I started jiu jitsu, “position position position” was drilled into my head. Back then they told us good position would allow you to control and dominate your opponent, whether it was jiu jitsu or fighting. And when you got a superior position, you did everything you could to hold it.

But as people were learning jiu jitsu, things were changing. It was no longer a done deal when someone got position on someone. Before that, when a jiu jitsu guy got the mount or the back the fight was over. But once people started learning how to defend and to escape, the idea of just holding position seemed to wane, even with punches.

As my training continued, I started seeing other types of games that were more submission oriented. The goal was to get the tap and if you spent all your time holding position, you were stalling. Now these were mainly in jiu jitsu situations so no punches were being thrown so one could argue position with punches leads to the submission.

Without the punches, and with the influence of leg locks things really started to change in jiu jitsu too. Your legs can do many things to defend the pass but when you’re worried about someone dropping back for an ankle lock or spinning to a knee bar it changes the game.

With no gi, the heelhook further complicates this situation.

So at some point, for me, it seemed like there were two possibilities: be a submission guy or be a control guy. And in my own training, I would go back and forth on that. Usually it depended on what I could do to the opponent: there were people I could tap and there were ones I could only get position on.

I would fall back on controlling people that were hard to tap. And the control always felt like a type of panic. I was exerting a lot of energy and muscle trying to keep them put. When I’d go in submission mode, I’d let them move more, which felt fine as long as they weren’t a threat.

But over the last few weeks I’m beginning to see something different. I’m thinking that the real object is control. And most times control is about not only having position, but putting the opponent out of position.

Position and control are deeply intertwined. But to control someone doesn’t mean just to keep him immobile. I think more than anything it’s about putting them out of position, giving them a series of bad options.

I was watching a wrestling instructional by Cael Sanderson where he talked about not worrying about what takedown he was going to do on his opponent. He simply wanted to put the guy out of position and from there the correct takedown would appear.

From a jiu jitsu point of view, I look at this as modifying the concept of any position.

Take the closed guard. For a long time I’ve worked on breaking posture. I figured as long as the head was down, I had opportunities to attack while the other guy had to work himself back into position.

Against someone with good base or someone big and strong, this quickly would turn into me trying to hold them down and hopefully catch an arm or a choke when they were on their way up. It often felt like a 50/50 moment where they would either posture out completely or I’d catch the submission.

And this always bothered me. I don’t like even odds in a situation like this and it’s certainly not something I’d want to teach to someone either. Jiu jitsu is about stacking the deck in your favor.

For a long time, I felt like maybe the answer was just going for more submissions or sweeps. Maybe going for the pendulum sweep or rolling for the knee bar would keep them on the defensive.

This would work, but only up to a certain point.

A higher-level player is waiting for these submissions and will use it as an opportunity to advance his position or to attack with a counter submission.

So was lost in what to do past a certain point. It felt like controlling was involving too much strength and that submissions had too low odds. Both ideas seemed limited by either physical or skill elements.

But both ideas are also not really jiu jitsu.

Throwing up submissions looks flashy but stops working on people when they get past a certain skill or size or combination of the two.

And simply trying to pin someone or keep them in your guard is not only boring it also does not motivate a calm person to do anything. So if you’re crushing someone who isn’t bothered by being crushed, it’s only a matter of time until you get tired.

I think it’s mainly that the mentality is wrong. The idea of holding someone implies that if they escape, you have failed. You want the person to try to escape. You just want to give him only bad escapes.

So rather than a crush, it becomes collar bone control, neck pressure, far hip control and more combinations of specific pressure. If your opponent has to realign their body first and then escape second, you can always be a step ahead of him.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The importance of wrestling for jiu jitsu

For a long time I looked at wrestling as a separate entity from jiu jitsu. I figured that yes, the takedowns were important and wrestlers did them best, but the rest of wrestling was essentially useless for jiu jitsu as there was a different goal in the end: the pin vs the tap. So while I would train it from time to time, it was always just from the standup.

But lately, I’ve been seeing how being a jiu jitsu guy who looks at wrestling as just a way to take someone down is as limiting as a wrestler learning just enough jiu jitsu to prevent themselves from being submitted.

While the end goal may be different, what lies in the middle is the same, which is control. Both systems should use leverage, handles and misalignment to force an opponent to react to an increasingly bad set of options. And both systems have follow up moves that are specific to the opponent’s reaction. Interestingly, I notice that most wrestling instruction incorporates this more than jiu jitsu tends to.

I look at takedown defense and defending the guard pass and see how similar those two things are. In both cases, for the most part, the object of the person taking someone down or passing the guard is to control the opponent’s hips.

And the goal of the person defending is to prevent their hips from being controlled. Common counters for both are things like
pushing the opponent’s head away from the hips, controlling their wrist and keeping your hips square to them.

Take downs are often set up by disturbing someone’s posture and when they compensate, that’s when the shot is taken. That’s very similar to most sweeps from the guard.

I learned yesterday about the concept of the spiral ride as a way to pin someone. It’s also as great way to take their back, work a twister or an armlock.

The front headlock set ups in wrestling can quickly take the match down in a D’arce,/anaconda/arm in guillotine position.
There are so many opportunities to use wrestling in the standup to enforce your jiu jitsu on the ground beyond just taking someone down.

And even if you may not be able to take someone down, using wrestling concepts from the stand up can allow you to flow into your jiu jitsu attacks much better than just jumping to guard.

I think this will be my main project in my own training this year.