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fatherdog
Feb 16, 2005

by Lowtax


Chael Sonnen posted:


Chael Sonnen is a passionate wrestling fan who follows the action at all levels. Below is his take on the 2016 NJCAA Wrestling Championships which will be LIVE on FloWrestling this Friday and Saturday Frebruary 26-27.

I'm like every other Division I coach in the country. I scout athletes for the future by keeping my eye on 3 tournaments: (1) FARGO, (2) FLO NATIONALS, and (3) the NATIONAL JUNIOR COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIP. The Junior College Nationals kick off this weekend, and I see several hungry wrestlers hoping to catch a scoutís attention and gain the opportunity to extend their careers to the next stage. Is there another T.J. Williams, Brock Lesnar, or Tyrell Fortune in this yearís field? Perhaps.

I think it's a four-team race: Iowa Central and Ellsworth from the central region, NE Oklahoma from the Midwest region, and Clackamas from the West. Iowa Western is a fringe team that could place very high. So could Nassau from New York.

I would say 141 is the toughest weight class this year. It includes the defending champ, except now heís ranked #8 due to several losses earlier in the season. The current #1-ranked wrestler is from North Idaho, but unfortunately, he canít compete in the tournament due to a suspension, so that opens things up a bit in terms of expectations. That weight class should be a great one to watch.

Scott Norton is the head coach at Highline and a former teammate of yours truly. He is very big on a relatively unknown kid at 133 named Andrew Ramirez, who was not ranked prior to the National Qualifiers, but should be in the rankings before Nationals commence. He is very good, and I would not be surprised to see him reach the semifinals, possibly even the finals.

In my opinion, the best guy in the NJCAA this year is Jacob Smith of NE Oklahoma. He won the tournament last year and is looking solid again this year. He's got speed and "go to" attacks when he needs to score. Iíve only seen him forced to come from behind once this season, and he always shows up on game day.

But the storyline to watch out for is the team race. I see several in the hunt and expect a competitive event with the top score changing hands multiple times throughout the first day and perhaps early in the morning session on Day 2. Can Ellsworth break through as a legitimate championship team? Can Iowa Central repeat? Can CCC turn its third straight national duals title into a team title rather than finishing 2nd or 3rd?

In full disclosure, I am not a writer who is confined to journalistic integrity. I'm a fan who calls it as I see it. Youíd be wise to follow me blindly. With that said, GO COUGARS!

I don't follow wrestling enough to even slightly have an opinion on the NJCAA nationals, but here's Chael's. Thoguh, your thoughts?

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Sweaty IT Nerd
Jul 13, 2007



Buglord

King Mo is on his latest podcast (which is tape delayed because Celebrity Apprentice) and they spend some time nerding out about both amateur and pro wrestling.

IT BEGINS
Jan 15, 2009

I don't know how to make analogies


origami posted:

... it mostly sounds like you're just unhappy at your gym.

From a while back but relevant again. I definitely should have taken this a bit more seriously. In the last 3-6 months all the guys I loved training with have left and now it's just the morning class with the great brown belt instructor keeping me going. I'm especially frustrated because I'm doing great in tournaments and I absolutely love rolling with upper belts now that I actually have a gameplan and ideas of what to drill. Every other school I've been to has the head instructor constantly walking around and checking up on technique and giving pointers and actively asking for questions. Not so here.

Maybe I'm being a bit ungrateful here, but it's really lovely when you've spent more than a year at the school and feel like your main coach doesn't give a poo poo about you. I dropped in for a week at East Van BJJ up in Vancouver and felt like family there - incredibly welcoming, coaches stayed after class to work some extra technique, cornered me at a tournament even though they only knew me for like an hour. Wish my main school was like that

Tezcatlipoca
Sep 18, 2009


You aren't married to your gym.

IT BEGINS
Jan 15, 2009

I don't know how to make analogies


Tezcatlipoca posted:

You aren't married to your gym.

True. However, it's the closest gym to me and it's got a ton more upper belts than any other place around here so it's why I've stayed so long. Either way I'm moving to another state in June so I'm probably going to tough it out for the rest of my contract. Shame, it could be such an awesome school.

Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002


6 (six)


College Slice

fatherdog posted:

I don't follow wrestling enough to even slightly have an opinion on the NJCAA nationals, but here's Chael's. Thoguh, your thoughts?

I don't follow recruiting or the lower levels all that much so I don't have any huge opinions about the team race. Iowa Central CC is always really good though. ISU, Iowa, and other schools will stash recruits there and more importantly, their coach has a policy that if you win an NJCAA title as a freshman, you can redshirt as a sophomore but stay on scholarship. That's huge because it allows guys to have three years of eligibility remaining when they graduate and move on to a four year school.

Speaking of wrestling though, it's conference tournament season right now. Pac-12's were last weekend and Oregon State claimed their fifth consecutive title. The other seven conference championships are all this coming weekend. Here's an article explaining what's at stake in each championship and links for how to watch or otherwise follow along.

The ACC is looking surprisingly strong this year and has a really good shot at having more Champions/All Americans per team than the Big Ten.

Odddzy
Oct 10, 2007
Once shot a man in Reno.

I purchased and tore through the Reilly Seminar during the weekend, it was great and I recommend it. He goes over stuff seen in top rock and his other DVD's but in a more in depth way.

Kekekela
Oct 28, 2004

by FactsAreUseless


Thoguh posted:

The ACC is looking surprisingly strong this year and has a really good shot at having more Champions/All Americans per team than the Big Ten.

Any Hokie-specific thoughts?

Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002


6 (six)


College Slice

Kekekela posted:

Any Hokie-specific thoughts?

They're pretty cool and Dresser might be the best coach in the sport right now. Top five for sure. If they stay healthy through conferences and NCAAs they should have at least 1 national champ (Gwaizdowski) and possibly 2 (Epperly and Dance both have a decent shot at it) plus a couple other All Americans. I don't think they've got a great shot at winning it all, but I think they've got a really good shot at being in the top three.

Kekekela
Oct 28, 2004

by FactsAreUseless


Thoguh posted:

They're pretty cool and Dresser might be the best coach in the sport right now. Top five for sure. If they stay healthy through conferences and NCAAs they should have at least 1 national champ (Gwaizdowski) and possibly 2 (Epperly and Dance both have a decent shot at it) plus a couple other All Americans. I don't think they've got a great shot at winning it all, but I think they've got a really good shot at being in the top three.

Awesome man, thanks!

ch3cooh
Jun 26, 2006



Tezcatlipoca posted:

You aren't married to your gym.



just kidding, the politics of BJJ are absolute bullshit find an academy where you like the instructors and the vibe even if that means trying a few different ones

Mr. Pool
Jul 10, 2001


ch3cooh posted:



just kidding, the politics of BJJ are absolute bullshit find an academy where you like the instructors and the vibe even if that means trying a few different ones

I left my old BJJ gym largely to save on commute time. I am an insufferable creontch.

Odddzy
Oct 10, 2007
Once shot a man in Reno.

Yeah, I don't regret changing gyms, my old instructor was salty about it and didn't want to keep in touch but I'm much more happy at my new place.

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

I finally fully signed up to a good gym after sorting out my hamstring issues. I asked some beginner questions earlier but I'd like to ask a few more. What's the cup consensus, last time their was a split iirc. I was planning on doing no cup 4 lyfe until my second lesson where my partner kneed my balls twice during a toss drill. As for my other questions, what's a good amount of times to train each week to make significant progress. I want to get competetent but I don't want to burn out so I'm planning on three times a week because I play soccer/basketball, weightlift, etc. Hard to fit in a 4th time doing all that but I've seen posts of new students wanting to get in 6 times a week. Lastly I'm completely green having never done any grappling before so I'm obviously feeling a bit slow compared to other white belts who have wrestled etc. Are there any fundamental fundamental movements to get down that I can practice in my own time so I don't have to figure out the extreme basics during drills. Lastly how long is it usually before gyms let beginners spar? I did a drop in at one place where I sparred without incident my first session. At my actual gym the instructor had me sit out but later told me the gym is generally pretty lenient compared to most gyms when it comes to letting white belts spar. Obviously they have to size up that you don't panic, spaz, or try stupid stuff and that's not in my character but I understand that's hard to get across until they've seen me on the mats for a bit. How long did it take most of you to start sparring a week, 6 months?

manyak
Jan 26, 2006


Seltzer posted:

I finally fully signed up to a good gym after sorting out my hamstring issues. I asked some beginner questions earlier but I'd like to ask a few more. What's the cup consensus, last time their was a split iirc. I was planning on doing no cup 4 lyfe until my second lesson where my partner kneed my balls twice during a toss drill. As for my other questions, what's a good amount of times to train each week to make significant progress. I want to get competetent but I don't want to burn out so I'm planning on three times a week because I play soccer/basketball, weightlift, etc. Hard to fit in a 4th time doing all that but I've seen posts of new students wanting to get in 6 times a week. Lastly I'm completely green having never done any grappling before so I'm obviously feeling a bit slow compared to other white belts who have wrestled etc. Are there any fundamental fundamental movements to get down that I can practice in my own time so I don't have to figure out the extreme basics during drills. Lastly how long is it usually before gyms let beginners spar? I did a drop in at one place where I sparred without incident my first session. At my actual gym the instructor had me sit out but later told me the gym is generally pretty lenient compared to most gyms when it comes to letting white belts spar. Obviously they have to size up that you don't panic, spaz, or try stupid stuff and that's not in my character but I understand that's hard to get across until they've seen me on the mats for a bit. How long did it take most of you to start sparring a week, 6 months?

Theres no good reason not to wear a cup, just wear a cup so your balls dont get crushed, unless you hate the feeling of wearing a cup more than the feeling of your sack getting injured

Youll get plenty better training 3 times a week especially at first. Just train as much as you want, and a good thing with BJJ is once you get to a certain point of competence in moving your body around you can actually get a lot of mileage out of visualization and thinking about techniques off the mat too

Sparring in BJJ is usually called rolling in order to differentiate it from striking arts where sparring means hitting each other. You should be allowed to roll pretty much right away as long as you arent a spaz and there are good training partners who match up size-wise with you. Usually worst case scenario they notice youre being a spaz and get a brown/black belt to effortlessly beat you up to show you what its supposed to look like, its not like boxing where doing that would involve severe brain damage so its pretty easy to rein guys in. You should be rolling very soon

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

manyak posted:

Theres no good reason not to wear a cup, just wear a cup so your balls dont get crushed, unless you hate the feeling of wearing a cup more than the feeling of your sack getting injured

Youll get plenty better training 3 times a week especially at first. Just train as much as you want, and a good thing with BJJ is once you get to a certain point of competence in moving your body around you can actually get a lot of mileage out of visualization and thinking about techniques off the mat too

Sparring in BJJ is usually called rolling in order to differentiate it from striking arts where sparring means hitting each other. You should be allowed to roll pretty much right away as long as you arent a spaz and there are good training partners who match up size-wise with you. Usually worst case scenario they notice youre being a spaz and get a brown/black belt to effortlessly beat you up to show you what its supposed to look like, its not like boxing where doing that would involve severe brain damage so its pretty easy to rein guys in. You should be rolling very soon

Cool. Yea I just remember people being diehard no cup dudes and the one guy I asked the first day basically said he saw no point to it. Maybe I got unlucky re: the toss exercise ending in nut shots? Are there like compression shorts with a soft cup, I'd think about that over something really uncomfortable.

As for rolling yea I've heard different things from different instructors, the first guy was pretty cautious (it was my 1st day) the second guy had no qualms with me rolling at the end but I had cut my foot open from mat burn to the point it was bleeding a lot so I called it quits early. Again he said they're lenient which is cool, he said another good gym in the area requires someone to have two stripes before sparring which seems excessive. My major concern about rolling isn't spazzing out or not respecting people (i did fine the few times I did it) I just feel bad being so useless against higher ranked dudes and basically becoming and instantly submittable grappling dummy and wasting their time (though I assume every new whitebelt feels like this)

Seltzer fucked around with this message at Mar 1, 2016 around 22:53

ICHIBAHN
Feb 21, 2007


Don't feel bad about that, you're giving blues the chance to work on their attacks.

Pocket Billiards
Aug 29, 2007
.

I've never used cups. They were not used in in wrestling. I think compression shorts are a good idea if you're worried about your purse.

Alfalfa
Apr 24, 2003

Superman Don't Need No Seat Belt

Granted I've only been doing bjj since November, but there is no way I could wear a cup when training.

Plus I would probably get mad feeling a cup shoved up against a bone when someone has all their weight on me...

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

See I think I just got unlucky, but again I was wondering if there was a soft cup, a Crumple Cup if you will.

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014




Pillbug

Visualization practice is amazing when it produces immediate results. It's the thing closest to magic I've ever experienced.

manyak
Jan 26, 2006


Yeah theres soft cups you can wear with compression shorts

Dave Grool
Oct 21, 2008



Grimey Drawer

Seltzer posted:

See I think I just got unlucky, but again I was wondering if there was a soft cup, a Crumple Cup if you will.

Yeah there's a couple kinds out there. I've heard good things about Spider Guard cups, never used one though.

BlindSite
Feb 8, 2009



Yeah i used to have a silicone one with a lot of flex in it. It wont protect you from say a knee to the balls but your occasional bad technique and rolling incident should be fine.

Cant remember the drat name of it though.

JHomer722
Jul 30, 2006

And you, you ridiculous people, you expect me to help you.



In 10 years of wrestling I never wore a cup or mouthguard. I realize they're different sports, so I defer to those who actually practice BJJ, but are there that many more opportunities to get hit in the face and/or balls?

02-6611-0142-1
Sep 30, 2004



if you are a shower wear a cup, if you are a grower don't bother

always wear a mouthguard though

manyak
Jan 26, 2006


JHomer722 posted:

In 10 years of wrestling I never wore a cup or mouthguard. I realize they're different sports, so I defer to those who actually practice BJJ, but are there that many more opportunities to get hit in the face and/or balls?

Yeah. You spend a lot of the time on the ground with your legs spread and guys trying to drive their knees and elbows into the area near your balls, lots of positions involve having your feet and legs tangled near a guys balls, and other times you put someone in a triangle or an armbar and have to use the area near your dick and balls for leverage to injure them

You dont have to wear a cup or mouthguard if you dont want to but if youre rolling hard or training for competition i dont get why you wouldnt at least wear a mouthguard

The Darlok
May 25, 2006

I am watching you.

I always wear a mouthguard even for drilling usually but I hate wearing cups and haven't worn one in ages, despite training to fight. Haven't had any serious (or any at all) injury to my groin so far. That's my two cents. Always wear compression shorts though.

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


Not wearing a cup when you grapple makes sense if you enjoy getting your balls crushed, but the price of gym dues would go a long way towards just paying an apathetic Russian lady to do it instead

JaySB
Nov 16, 2006





Seltzer posted:

As for rolling yea I've heard different things from different instructors, the first guy was pretty cautious (it was my 1st day) the second guy had no qualms with me rolling at the end but I had cut my foot open from mat burn to the point it was bleeding a lot so I called it quits early. Again he said they're lenient which is cool, he said another good gym in the area requires someone to have two stripes before sparring which seems excessive. My major concern about rolling isn't spazzing out or not respecting people (i did fine the few times I did it) I just feel bad being so useless against higher ranked dudes and basically becoming and instantly submittable grappling dummy and wasting their time (though I assume every new whitebelt feels like this)

Everyone has been where you are, so everyone who's not a prick should help you learn. Work on your defense, just try to survive. Have a plan, if you know they're going to pass your guard figure out what you want to do next and how you want your body to be positioned so that you can get back to guard, for example. Ask questions, I always ask what I could have done better or for someone to show me a counter to whatever they caught me with. Get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Watch a ton of videos if you can.

Thoguh
Nov 8, 2002


6 (six)


College Slice

JHomer722 posted:

In 10 years of wrestling I never wore a cup or mouthguard. I realize they're different sports, so I defer to those who actually practice BJJ, but are there that many more opportunities to get hit in the face and/or balls?

I never wore either in wrestling or in Judo but in BJJ I've started wearing a mouthguard and its well worth it. There's way more situations were there is pressure on your jaw that a mouthguard relieves. Don't wear a cup though, I think they're uncomfortable and compression shorts keep stuff nice and tight enough to protect against most contact, though there is still the occasional blow that makes me with I was wearing a cup.

Modern mouthguards are also about a thousand times more comfortable and easy to breathe with than the ones I remember using during football in high school. If I'd known that I probably would have started using one sooner.

Mr. Pool
Jul 10, 2001


I just got my new gladiator custom mouthguard and its awesome. Barely notice it breathing-wise. Seems to work pretty well too, I was rolling and caught a spinning elbow to the jaw during a scramble, but was fine.

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

A few more questions. I already think I know the answer to both but whatever. First off, I've been really soft with my partners to not be that new guy who does something stupid but I was told at least once by my partner and instructor to go harder. I'm assuming people know well enough when to tap even if they're other white belts? I was doing my tosses with some of the force taken out and when we were drilling RNCs I was kinda not full forcing it. We also did some transition that required putting a lot of force on a grounded forearm to use as a lever and I didn't know how much to really drive in. I have no problem when other people toss me into the air or choke me hard but as I said I don't want to be that new guy loving up. Second question, I lift three times a week, it's a pretty basic set of routines I rotate every other few months on the advice of a friend who's a personal trainer but I was wondering if there were any lifts to add in take out that would help with bjj (the answer is probably as long as I'm doing normal lifts it should be enough I assume).

Seltzer fucked around with this message at Mar 3, 2016 around 20:21

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014




Pillbug

Seltzer posted:

A few more questions. I already think I know the answer to both but whatever. First off, I've been really soft with my partners to not be that new guy who does something stupid but I was told at least once by my partner and instructor to go harder. I'm assuming people know well enough when to tap even if they're other white belts? I was doing my tosses with some of the force taken out and when we were drilling RNCs I was kinda not full forcing it. We also did some transition that required putting a lot of force on a grounded forearm to use as a lever and I didn't know how much to really drive in. I have no problem when other people toss me into the air or choke me hard but as I said I don't want to be that guy. Second question, I lift three times a week, it's a pretty basic set of routines I rotate every other few months on the advice of a friend who's a personal trainer but I was wondering if there were any lifts to add in take out that would help with bjj (the answer is probably as long as I'm doing normal lifts it should be enough I assume).

Do you mean that you're doing things like letting go of an arm bar in a drill before your opponent taps?

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


Seltzer posted:

A few more questions. I already think I know the answer to both but whatever. First off, I've been really soft with my partners to not be that new guy who does something stupid but I was told at least once by my partner and instructor to go harder. I'm assuming people know well enough when to tap even if they're other white belts? I was doing my tosses with some of the force taken out and when we were drilling RNCs I was kinda not full forcing it. We also did some transition that required putting a lot of force on a grounded forearm to use as a lever and I didn't know how much to really drive in. I have no problem when other people toss me into the air or choke me hard but as I said I don't want to be that guy. Second question, I lift three times a week, it's a pretty basic set of routines I rotate every other few months on the advice of a friend who's a personal trainer but I was wondering if there were any lifts to add in take out that would help with bjj (the answer is probably as long as I'm doing normal lifts it should be enough I assume).

Going harder doesn't necessarily mean going faster. You can apply more force without blasting through to full extension and hurting your training partner, if that's what you're worried about.

If you're practicing something like finishing a RNC, then finish the RNC. Don't, like, crush his windpipe with a sloppy one before he can react but do the sub, properly, at strength. That's the whole point of drilling a finish.

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

CommonShore posted:

Do you mean that you're doing things like letting go of an arm bar in a drill before your opponent taps?

Nah just not really cranking hard, kinda slowly pulling harder until I get a tap when I could be doing it quicker/with more force (I'm doing it slower than my partner for sure). And with the forearm lever thing I was kinda placing my foot on the forearm instead of really driving through.

Mechafunkzilla
Sep 11, 2006

If you want a vision of the future...


Seltzer posted:

Nah just not really cranking hard, kinda slowly pulling harder until I get a tap when I could be doing it quicker/with more force. And with the forearm lever thing I was kinda placing my foot on the forearm instead of really driving through.

Do the drill. If the drill is supposed to hurt, make it hurt. It's the only way you'll learn how to do it correctly. Stay under control, but have some faith in your partners and coaches to keep things safe.

Seltzer
Oct 11, 2012

lego ass bitch

Mechafunkzilla posted:

Do the drill. If the drill is supposed to hurt, make it hurt. It's the only way you'll learn how to do it correctly. Stay under control, but have some faith in your partners and coaches to keep things safe.

I figured as much, I think I just needed to be told it. It's obviously all completely new to me so slamming my foot into my 16 yr old 130 lb whitebelt partners arm feels unnatural at this juncture despite him being a lot more skilled than me.

CommonShore
Jun 6, 2014




Pillbug

Yeah and you could be way worse in terms of being too light, too. I have to tell lots of new people "keep working for the hold until I tap, because that's how you know you've done it correctly."

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Neeber
Nov 29, 2007


I think going slow on the pull or crank once you have something locked in is the right way to go as a beginner, especially if we're talking about drilling here. You don't need to be pulling your punches but don't force the entry. Slow is smooth. and smooth is fast.

Also, without knowing how big you are, please don't go slamming your 130 lb children, just slowly smash them. Think about focusing the pressure rather than exploding.

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