3 Takeaways from the Tap Cancer Out Tournament 2021

On September 11, we took 21 students to the Tap Cancer Out tournament. The event was full of exciting matches and team camaraderie. From the tournament, there are 3 clear takeaways that I want to discuss.

1. Fundamentals are Key!

The first takeaway is that I noticed that our students had a different particular style compared to the other competitors. Because we are under Lucas Lepri and Alliance, our students tended to play a more controlled game with a good, steady pace. For example, there were a lot of fundamentals, such as knee cut passing to side control to basic finishes. Our students played both open and closed guard. They also demonstrated knowledge of basic takedowns from our curriculum which focuses on basic judo and wrestling influenced techniques that are part of our style.

Out of the 21 students who competed from our school, 17 medaled. Out of those 17, 8 got gold. And out of the total competitors, only 1 was a full time competitor who happened to snag a gold. This means that the 16 students who competed and medaled are all hobbyists who train only a few times a week. They have families, full-time school or jobs, or businesses of their own. Their success further proved the system we practice is effective. This was a local tournament but it was still interesting to see this dynamic played out through statistical data.

I learned that our students who practice consistently even just a few times a week can still build the fundamental framework needed to do well in a jiu jitsu tournament. Afterall, fundamentals are key.

2. We Are Family

The second takeaway I noticed at the tournament was that our team relied on each other as family. Since many students were competing at one time, it was hard to coach every single one of them.

Students stepped up, and were able to help each other: from coaching to helping with warm ups to taking videos and pictures of the matches. Our school culture is very important to us as it displays lots of brotherhood and sisterhood that is supportive and encouraging, regardless of results.

Our head of our association, Lucas Lepri, always preaches “we never walk alone,” and this past Saturday was a great example of this. Win or lose, we fight together. And the incredible support from the family and friends radiated and showed us that we are not only a team; we are family.

3. Winning Isn’t Everything

Finally, the 3rd takeaway from the tournament is that this was a great learning experience for everyone. A lot of our students learned from their mistakes. Being humbled is undoubtedly one of the best things that can happen to a person. Everyone wants to win, but winning isn’t everything. As cliche as it sounds, you learn so much from losing. Our team was able to pick the pieces up and rebuild from any losses they experienced. Those who were defeated at the tournament were back on the mats the Monday following.

Where they go from here is really up to them. I am proud of them for all they did not only at the tournament but also the preparation that was involved. As I mentioned before, the majority of these students have full-time lives outside of jiu jitsu. Yet, they made time to prepare mentally and physically. Now, they all know what it feels like to compete. And they know what to change or continue as they move forward.

I’m also really grateful for even the students who didn’t compete because they were there helping out. If they weren’t, they were there in spirit with support. They also helped to prepare these competitors with training at the gym beforehand. In jiu-jitsu, the beautiful thing is you can’t get better by yourself. You lose as a team; you win as a team; you fight as a team.

 

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Technique Of The Week #7

De La Riva Pass to Far Side Armbar

This week in our seventh installment for the technique of the week, coach Tony Casarez is one of the ways pass the De La Riva guard and move securely into a far-side armbar. This technique starts by removing the pressure from the outside leg by removing the de la riva hook and stepping back. At this point Tony steps over the outside leg and secures the grip on the collar with his right hand while forcing the outside knee behind the opponent’s hamstring, hence trapping his opponent’s hips. This allows him to collapse down and secure the underhook. With shoulder pressure, his body moves forward until he is free from the opponent’s leg and then utilizes his knee to pivot to the opposite side. While still having somewhat of a underhook on right arm he moves from a tight side control immediately transitioning into a far side armbar by pulling the opponent’s arm up and moving around the head. The final point is that prior to finishing the armbar, the opponent’s leg is secured preventing an escape.

Pass to Submission Breakdown:

  1. Push de la riva hook leg down and step back with the far leg
  2. Step over the far leg and secure the collar grip with the right hand
  3. Drive knee behind hamstring, trapping opponent’s hips
  4. Lower your body and collapse the opponents open half guard
  5. Secure underhook
  6. Move your body up and free of the legs
  7. Utilize the right knee to pivot around to the opposite side of the body
  8. Using the underhook on the right arm pull the opponent up and transition around the head
  9. Secure the leg and arm pinch the knees and submit

At Team Casarez BJJ here in Cary, NC — a Lucas Lepri affiliate — Coach Tony Casarez and his team strive to teach the most practical moves that will help in both competition and self-defense. We have both Adult BJJ and Kid BJJ programs which drill moves just like this on a regular basis. We invite all to come train with us creating a welcoming team friendly environment. We have students from Raleigh, Durham, Cary and more, so do not hesitate and come try a free week today. Contact us today for more information on our BJJ classes available.

Technique Of The Week #6

GI Single Leg Takedown – Pass – Side Control – Armbar

This sixth installment for the technique of the week by coach Tony Casarez while he demonstrates how to complete a single leg takedown using the gi, and from there he passes the guard into side control by trapping the leg with his legs. This starts with controlling the grips on both the collar and sleeve. From there while keeping the collar grip, dropping levels, and securing the leg, he then knee cuts across the stomach to pass. After this, he proceeds to move to the opposite side of the body with a fully secure side control position. Through the transition to the final side, he is able to secure the opposite arm for a finishing armbar.

Breakdown:

  1. Control the collar and sleeve grips
  2. Let go of the sleeve and drop levels to secure the leg for the takedown
  3. Control the opponent to the ground
  4. Utilize a de la riva pass to get to one side
  5. Let go of the pant grip and get the underhooks
  6. Transition to the opposite side and secure side control
  7. Use the far underhook to transition into the finishing armbar


Though this move may seem like a lot of steps, it is the essence of the BJJ flow: All control and not brute force. This is exactly what Coach Tony Casarez and his team are always teaching here in Cary, NC. This is a beautiful combination of moves that both the Adult BJJ and Kids BJJ classes go through in the fundamental classes, to then perfect in the advanced classes. We are a proud Lucas Lepri affiliate and strive to help our students on and off the mat. BJJ has changed the lives of many and we invite potential students interested in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary to come try out a free week. Check out our class schedules and let us know when you are stopping by to learn from the best in the Triangle area. Contact us today for more information on our BJJ programs.

Technique Of The Week #4

This fourth installment for the technique of the week breaks down what to do when an opponent is attempting place a rear choke from the standing position. For this to properly work it comes down to reaction time from the first moment the choke is attempted. You notice that the right when Tony recognizes he is being attacked the threatening arm is controlled, and at the same time the momentum is used to throw the opponent. From there with the arm still being controlled the other hand is used to control the leg of the downed person at which time the armbar is transitioned into.

The breakdown of The Move:

    • React to the rear choke attempt by controlling the attacking arm
    • Use the momentum to throw the opponent
    • Keep control of the attacking arm during the throw
    • Secure the leg with a grip to prevent an escape
    • Transition into an armbar

This is a scenario that happens a lot and when one is not expecting it, so knowing how to react is key to it working properly. At Casarez BJJ here in Cary NC a Lucas Lepri affiliate Coach Tony Casarez and his team want to ensure that all the students here at Casarez BJJ are prepared for any situation.
Our Adult BJJ and Kids BJJ programs drill moves just like this to make sure all students know the fundamentals that keep you safe and ready. BJJ has changed the lives of many and we invite potential students interested in Raleigh, Durham, and Cary to come try out a free week. Contact us today for more information on our BJJ programs.

Technique Of The Week #2

This technique of the week is showing how to stop an aggressive strike, with then moving to a hip toss controlling the opponent down to the ground. From there you see coach Casarez subdue the opponent with a strike allowing him to transition into an armbar. A key concept here is that prior to fully applying the armbar he secures the hip or pants of the downed opponent to prevent any reversal after the armbar is applied.

A move like this could be used in competition or the street and something everyone should know for self defense. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fundamentals like this and much more can be learned right here in Cary, NC at Team Casarez Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a Lucas Lepri Affiliate. We offer both Adult BJJ, and Kids BJJ classes that are build around these exact fundamentals displayed in this video. Contact us today and come check out a free week of training.