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Danny Alvarez

BJJ Heroes - Wed, 2016-07-06 06:45
Daniel Alvarez Jr, commonly known as Danny Alvarez is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt, and a representative of both Alvarez BJJ and the Bruno Bastos Association. A devoted competitor in the sport's Masters competitive circuit, Danny Alvarez is also one of the most prolific instructors in Texas, having produced IBJJF Pan American, European and World champions, one being his daughter Danielle Alvarez, who has also established herself as one of the most talented grapplers of her generation.

Review: Footlock Mastery by Oli Geddes

Meerkatsu - Wed, 2016-07-06 06:36


Summary
Oli Geddes is a prolific competitor amassing over 600 tournament matches. Many of his submissions have come via straight ankle lock. Here in this one hour instructional, Oli presents a game plan based around the straight ankle lock. It is an easy to follow system where the straight ankle is not only a submission finish, but a starting point with which to transition to numerous other techniques and positions. This video set is based strictly on IBJJF legal techniques from white belt and above. For beginners, it's a very good, detailed look at an often neglected submission technique. More advanced players will enjoy the positions Oli shows - including the 50/50, outside hook ankle lock and the overhook x-guard.

Available from:
https://footlock-mastery.myshopify.com
Price £24.99



Introduction
Oli Geddes is a British BJJ black belt under Roger Gracie. He is also one of the most prolific competitors on the scene with over 600 matches to his name. Among his many achievements, he is 2 X Euros champion, Purple, Pan Nogi silver purple, pans bronze purple, 2 X abu Dhabi European trials winner, bronze black belt pans masters. Abu Dhabi European trials winner at purple brown black and brown black. Many of Oli's submission wins have come about by straight ankle lock, a finish he says he first started using as a blue belt because he did not have much of a top game. Fast forward to Oli as an experienced black belt competitor and you have here a straight ankle lock game plan that has been refined over hundreds of matches and years of experience.

The quick video below shows Oli in competition action using his overhead sweep into straight ankle lock to devastating effect. You can watch near enough all of Oli's matches over on his YouTube channel.



Chapter Listing and brief summary
The entire set consists of 38 chapters.
  • Introduction - Oli explains the origin of his straight ankle lock game and how he worked out ways to enter the straight ankle in order to not only finish, but to sweep or transition to other positions.
  • The ankle lock as a position (0.55) - rundown of how to hold the basic straight ankle lock position.
  • The importance of the shell (2:09) - Oli explains how to prevent the opponent from invading your space and destroying your straight ankle position.
  • Ankle lock finishing theory (3:11) - grip placement, leg position, angle of attack
  • Ankle lock, turning to the knees finish (6:23) - how to move into a belly down version of the lock
  • Turning to the knees to top position (9:48) - very useful tip to transition to a better position
  • Ankle lock to crossover leg drag (11:00) - transition from leg lock to leg drag in readiness to pass the guard, very useful if you lose the leg lock position
  • interlude with commentary on why straight ankle locks are so good to use (13:04)
  • Outside hook ankle lock - theory and finish (13:43) - nice variation based on you placing your legs in a different position which creates better outward force.
  • Outside hook ankle lock, turning to the knees (16:12) - nice belly down straight ankle finish, I found this more intuitive to do than the one at 6:23.
  • 50/50 theory and use (17:12) - Oli likes the 50/50 because he can set up straight ankles nicely from here.
  • Breaking the defensive 50/50 with the knee push (18:56) - straight forward way to open up opponent's legs if he locks them together.
  • 50/50, basic ankle lock finish (20:19) - ankle locking the near leg
  • 50/50 calf crush (22:29) - cheeky little submission if your straight ankle slips too high up the leg.
  • 50/50 Reverse grip finish (24:32) - a really tight way to finish the lock
  • 50/50 Outside leg finish (25:38) - a surprise attack on the outside foot
  • Standing ankle lock, control theory (27:35) - when the opponent stand up over you, that's the perfect entry point for the straight ankle. Here, Oli engages in a single leg x-guard.
  • Standing ankle lock, cross sweep (28:33) - a more effective way to topple the opponent from single leg Xguard
  • Standing ankle lock, double ankle sweep (30:10) - similar to previous but grabbing both ankles
  • Standing outside hook, tripod sweep (31:21) - very powerful sweep, though a bit more complex to set up.
  • Standing outside hook, overhead sweep (33:14) - 
  • Overhook x-guard, transition theory (34:35) - transition from single leg X to regular x-guard but you have your arm overhooking the standing leg, not the usual underhook.
  • Overhook x-guard, angle change to ankle lock topple (36:13) - 
  • Overhook x-guard, tripod sweep (37:22) - simple but effective sweep
  • Overhook x-guard waiter sweep (39:29) - cool sweep if your x-guard position can't extend very far
  • Overhook x-guard, getting the near sleeve (41:00) - nice tips regarrd balance and weight distribution in this position
  • Overhook x-guard, near sleeve single leg stand up (43:15) - follow on from the previous chapter
  • Overhook x-guard, near sleeve overhead sweep (45:50) - nice showy offy technique reliant on opponent pushing back into you
  • Overhook x-guard, far sleeve drag down sweep (47:09) - not as fancy a sweep as previous, but very solid and secure once you grab that far sleeve
  • Entering footlock from the knees (49:16) - this is the entry method Oli uses in the tournament footage above
  • Entering the footlock from shin to shin (51:14) - 
  • Entering footlock from half guard / 93 guard (53:23) - a simple route to straight ankle from this very open type of half guard.
  • Entering the footlock from spider guard (54:30) - Oli transitions from spider to overhook x-guard
  • Entering the footlock - Leandro Lo sweep from spider guard (56:27) - Learn more about Leandro Lo from BJJ Scout
  • Entering the footlock, basic entry from the top position (58:21) - When you encounter a stubborn guard player, being able to footlock from the top position is a handy weapon.
  • Ankle lock defence, moving to top position (61:14) - if you know attack, you must also know defence
  • Ankle lock defence, the scoot (62:47) - 
  • Standing ankle lock defence, back step to side control (65:25) - using the back step to end up in knee on belly, also useful to pass X-guard position.
  • Ends

Standard straight ankle lock
Production notes
The entire video zips along at a brisk pace. Oli talks while he is showing the move, sometimes he'll repeat the move one more time, usually though the video moves immediately along to the next chapter. There are no boring slow motion repeats nor are there any additional camera tricks like boxed insets or multi-directional views etc, it is shot pretty much straight all the way through.

For the majority of the time, the viewing angle is perfectly fine. Sometimes while Oli is talking, the body part in question is actually hidden from view and you have to wait a bit before the cameraman catches up as he pans around or cuts in to zoom - not a big deal.

Sound is perfect, lighting is fantastic and the overall production is very professional.


Rolling practice
I've only had this video for a few days prior to its official release but in that time I was able to try out a couple of techniques that I hadn't used before. Personally I love using the straight ankle lock a lot when sparring, but a common problem is when I lose the position. Oli's chapters on dealing with this were of immediate benefit to me. I also like his explanation of the 50/50 position and how he uses it to work in the straight ankle lock. The calf crush Oli shows looks devilshly wicked but I found it does require a fair bit of precision to execute correctly. I immediately benefited from his cool tip on how to sweep from the single leg X position.

One set of techniques I especially liked were the sequences based around the outside hook ankle (photo below). This is a new(ish) position for me but already I can see it being added to my game. It's just so useful to swap between outside hook and regular leg positions when holding the straight ankle, this giving me a lot more options.

Outside hook ankle lock variationI also enjoyed his selection of techniques based around the overhook x-guard. I had not known that this could be as effective a position as the regular (underhooking) x-guard. I often end up in the overhook position and instantly think, oh this is a crappy X-guard let me try to change it, but Oli shows that in fact, it's a great place to set up the straight ankle and other cool stuff.


Conclusions
This set brings together a game plan centred around the straight ankle lock position as a platform to submit, sweep or transition to other positions. In many respects, it is better to view this set not as a way to get a submission, but as a platform to do a whole variety of things. It could even be renamed, the straight footlock guard.

It is worth knowing that the techniques here are ones that have been honed and successfully used by Oli over hundreds of matches against high level opposition. As a primer for the straight ankle lock itself, it's vital viewing for beginners. Higher level practitioners will also find a lot to use here: especially noteworthy is the overhook x-guard - a position that is rarely covered in depth on other instructionals.

What this set is not, however, is a detailed theoretical analysis of positional work. The 50/50, single leg X and X-guard are positions with a rich array of moves and I recommend viewing instructionals by Ryan Hall and Gianni Grippo as a complement to Oli's set here. There also is an absence of other leg attack techniques, such as the toe hold, knee bar, estima lock, heel hook etc etc. If you require a set with a wider spectrum of submissions, Legal Leglocks by Roli Delgado is a superb introduction. That being said, using the straight ankle lock hold as a singular focal point with which to launch attack, defence, sweeps and transitions makes Oli’s set highly appealing, especially for guard players.

Running at around 67 minutes it is a tightly edited package that is loaded with techniques and absolutely zero filler. I consider it excellent value for money.


.

Interview with Harj Bains - BAIN

The Fighting Photographer - Wed, 2016-07-06 00:42
When did you get the idea to create BAIN?   
So, I've been working in animation and design for about 6 years, and doing bjj for about 5. In  that time I've done various commissions for gyms and coaches, things  likes patches, rash guards, tees. But, I've also had a lot of ideas for  my own bjj clothing, and for various reasons I never really pursued  it, but this year a lot of things came together and it felt like the  right time to make my own platform to share my work.    Are you a one man band or do you work with others?    
Technically right now it's just me, but I wouldn't get far without my girlfriend haha,  she's always there to help me and advise me. I've also been really  humbled by the amount of help my friends have given me, a lot of  people have given up their time to help out on photo shoots, or help  promotion or a million other things. I knew my friends would support  the idea, but the amount of effort people have put in has really blown  me away, and I think it's something I'll remember probably forever.


Have you encountered setbacks and letdowns and how did you deal with them? 
Haha loads! I'm an animator/designer first and foremost,  managing a career as a freelancer is one thing, but learning to manage  and grow a brand is something very different! Also figuring out how to  manage a business from Berlin whilst producing in the UK was a  challenge. I'm constantly learning about how garment production works  and how I can make exciting clothes in the future, that's all new to  me as a predominantly digital artist.   

What does BAIN offer as a store and as a brand?
    For me I want to make clothes that the everyday bjj grappler can wear either to the gym or  wherever else, but it's not about screaming out to everyone about bjj,  or even martial arts. My main goal is to make awesome designs and  clothing, but also have a bjj/athlete theme, if you look a little closer.    For example, my launch design is called ​ 'More than rage + muscle' ​ .  It's inspired from a song lyric, but to me it reminds of the struggle  of the grappler, so I built a design around that theme using the wolf.  Now, nowhere on that design does it say bjj or anything like that, but  I feel like bjj people can relate to the concept, and wear it knowing  that it represents their values. For me, that's what BAIN is. Awesome  clothes with an athlete twist.    
What are you plans for the future for BAIN?
So right now I'm working on the next designs, and looking to get rash guards made,   I've only just launched so I still feel like I'm riding that momentum, and  people are reaching out with what they would like to see me doing  which is really cool. I have a lot of fun designs I think the  community will love, right now my main focus is just letting everyone  know that BAIN has launched.    
Will you be adding to the products on sale anytime soon?  
Aww yeah, I'm super excited about the next couple of designs, the great part of this  company is that it's really let me explore the parts of bjj/fitness  that I love, and challenged me to make them into designs that I hope  will be real conversation starters. I'm also looking into patches, be  great to see people repping BAIN on the mats.    

How can people get their hands on the BAIN stickers?
They're free with every purchase haha, they're also dotted around a few gyms in Berlin.   
When did you move to Berlin and why?     So, I love London, and I could see many years ahead for myself there. But then I thought, try  somewhere else, and London will always be there if I choose to go  back. Berlin is a much cheaper and relaxed city, it lets me train  more, focus on the business, and be much more selective about the  animation work I do. I really love it here and the tempo of life is  something that really opened my eyes to what life can be like outside  of that London grind.  
Are you training in Berlin?
F**k yeah! The BJJ  scene here is great, It's smaller than London, the gyms share open mats on different  days and everyone from any gym is welcome. That was a real surprise,  and I have to say, it works well. It raises the game of Berlin and  brings a lot of great people together. I train out of Ringside Gym Berlin  which is a Checkmat affiliate, the team is smaller than where I was in  London but no less dedicated. There are less comps compared to the UK,  but with time I think that will change.    
You recently finished a photoshoot I believe?
Yep, I organized a shoot over here in Berlin, it went amazingly well, I prepped for it over  about 2 months, and everyone who was involved really did an amazing  job, the clothes look great and I think it really solidifies what the  brand is about. I really wanted to show off the clothes, but also how  beautiful Berlin is, using the Berlin Strength gym was amazing, you  just don't get to see those places often, and I wanted to share that  with people everywhere.  
How can people connect with BAIN? 
www.bainstore.com​, Facebook.com/Bainstore  Instagram: Bainstore   Twitter: @bainstore.     Do you still find time to compete? 
Never enough! Things have been  crazy with the launch and I think my focus really needs to be the  business, I'm on weight so maybe if something comes up I'll jump in, I  did do the Pans and the American cup which was a really great  experience this year.  
You've recently returned from an extended travelling trip? Was this  for work, Jiu Jitsu or both?     

Let's say both, I spent about 5  months around the USA and Canada and a stint in London on either side.  For me the goal was to train as much as possible and get the business  ready. It was a real bjj bucket list trip, I met people like Marcelo  Garcia, Renzo, Ralph Gracie, John Danaher and spent 2 months over at  Kurt Osiander’s in San Fran. That experience really changed my  perspective about what I want from bjj, my life, and what It looks  like to live the bjj lifestyle. I could go on for days about it haha.  It wasn't all big names, some of the smaller gyms were equally  awesome and wherever I went I always learnt something and made a  couple of friends. I hope to revisit all those places again soon, I'm  so grateful to have bjj in my life, I don't know how else I could have  met so many amazing people as a tourist.  
You also recently managed to catch up with everyone at London Fight  Factory. Any shout outs to the LFF posse?    
Na not really, haha just joking, much love to all the team, I always love to see them  competing, the training there was truly world class. Luiz is doing  amazing things, to me it's my home in London. They've also really  gotten behind what I'm trying to create here, so to all those early  supporters, from LFF and elsewhere, all I can say is that I'm truly grateful.    
Any shout outs in general?     
For sure, thanks again to all my friends,  family and training partners, Lauren​ as always, Nina and ​Berlin Strength​, Pounds­and­ounces.com​, Ringside Gym Berlin​ .    Also BAIN is a proud sponsor of the podcast ​ In Bed with Aaron and Helene​ ,  they just did a great episode with Jackson Sousa so check it out! And of course, thank you Carl for the interview! 

Big BJJ Weekend Up Ahead

Kid Peligro's Mat - Tue, 2016-07-05 13:09
am nat 16

A huge weekend of BJJ and MMA is up ahead with UFC 200 featuring Brock Lesnar v Mark Hunt and Daniel Cormier v Jon Jones 2 plus the IBJJF Pro League Grand Prix with top names (read more)



 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/passing-guard-kid-peligro/id555136953?mt=8
Kid Peligro Iphone App: Passing the Guard
Kid Peligro ebook: Secrets of The Closed Guard
Kid Peligro Iphone App Secrets of the Closed Guard

Fernando Reis

BJJ Heroes - Tue, 2016-07-05 11:35
Fernando Reis is a Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt under Fábio Gurgel, and a former student of Tiago Rocha, as well as one of Alliance Academy's top representatives in the super-heavyweight division. Fernando made a name for himself in the lower belt divisions of the sport with medals in all of IBJJF's top tournaments, including the World Championship, Pan American Championship and Brazilian Nationals.

Last night's class

The Fighting Photographer - Tue, 2016-07-05 00:48
A great session last night, with two members of the Armed Forces sharing the mats with the gang :)


 

Happy 4th of July!

The Fighting Photographer - Mon, 2016-07-04 01:11
To all my friends on the otherside of the pond - Happy 4th of July!!

 

Tournament Coverage: TUFF Invitational 4, Purfleet, UK

Meerkatsu - Sun, 2016-07-03 06:17

Following the success of the TUFF 3 Invitational submission only tournament earlier in the year, I was happy to cover photography for the next installment of this event. The fights did not disappoint, with the best of UK talent on display, fighters from teams all over the UK displayed plenty of skill, heart and spirit.



More photos ...



TUFF 4 Invitational 2-July-2016


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TUFF Invitational photos!

The Fighting Photographer - Sun, 2016-07-03 06:06
Awesome photos, courtesy of Meerkatsu and TUFF Invitational.



 


Pro League Grand Prix Bracket Released

Kid Peligro's Mat - Sat, 2016-07-02 15:07
pro league

The highly anticipated Pro League Grand Prix bracket has been released by the Federation.
Matches will begin at 11AM, July 9th, 2016. This event will take place alongside (read more)

 https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/passing-guard-kid-peligro/id555136953?mt=8
Kid Peligro Iphone App: Passing the Guard
Kid Peligro ebook: Secrets of The Closed Guard
Kid Peligro Iphone App Secrets of the Closed Guard

BJJ: Advice for Children (and Adults!)

Julia Johansen - Sat, 2016-07-02 06:44

American readers: Happy Independence Day! Non-American readers: Happy weekend!

Jiu Jiu’s Note: Big news in my household: we are NOT moving this fall. My husband’s orders were rescinded, as the band he was going to move to is shutting down. Most likely in response to this amendment which would ban military bands from playing any social gigs. We will stay another year in Virginia, then our next post is to be determined. I will be training with Diego Bispo both at Diego Bispo Academy and at MAMMA’s Boys

The first week of summer was hectic. We enrolled stepson in a BJJ kids camp at Diego Bispo Academy, and I helped out! It was Monday through Friday, 9am to 1pm. In addition to helping out the kids, there were lots of bits of advice I gave out that I think is helpful even for adults.

All the little troopers at our BJJ kids summer camp. Photo courtesy of Diego Bispo Academy.

All the little troopers at our BJJ kids summer camp. Photo courtesy of Diego Bispo Academy.

1. IT’S OKAY TO CRY, BUT DON’T DO IT ON THE MATS

I’ve been guilty of this myself. When I got my black eye, I sat in the middle of the mats and cried. After that, though, I made it a point to cry in the locker room, away from the mat.

What happens when you cry on the mats: things stop. People get worried. It feels weird and callus to just go on and ignore it. It’s normal to want to check on someone. It’s also normal to want to be alone when you cry.

What you should do: Just get off the mats. Excuse yourself quickly. Walk off the mats. Have a good cry. Tears have been shown to have positive benefits: getting rid of negative chemicals, reducing stress, etc. Come back when you’re ready and steady.

2. DON’T ROLL WHILE YOU’RE MAD

What happens when you roll while mad: people get hurt, either you or your partner. When you’re mad, it’s easy to interpret normal partner actions as intentional and aggressive. When you’re mad, it’s easy to respond with more force and aggression. I’ve never had a good outcome when I rolled while mad. Instead, I got more frustrated.

What you should do: Excuse yourself from training. Tap out, say “I need a break” or “I need a minute.” You don’t need to explain that you’re pissed off. Calm yourself down and roll when you feel more normal. That might mean that you’re done for the day.

3. HOW YOU TREAT YOUR PARTNERS AFFECTS HOW YOU ROLL

Jiu jitsu is a very physical sport. If there is someone who you don’t like, or who doesn’t like you, there is still a very good possibility that you’ll be partnered with them at some point because jiu jitsu is still a very small sport.

What happens when you treat your partner negatively: It makes rolling personal. It escalates the negativity, which directly translates into a worse experience on the mats. It also means that it’s unfortunately easy to go harder to get back at someone, or to feel like you’re physically being bullied if the person is going harder and stronger than you want.

What you should do: If you know you can’t get along and you just hate that sonuvabitch, treat them like a stranger. That is to say: Don’t be rude. Greet them, say your pleases and thank yous, don’t go extra hard, and smile when you see them. These are manners. If you are somewhat neutral, do the same, but engage in friendly small talk. In both cases, you might consider asking them to do you a favor. It’s been shown that if you ask someone who hates you to do you a favor, they end up viewing you more favorably.

4. BE THE KIND OF PARTNER YOU WANT TO HAVE

Oh man. Kids were HORRIBLE about this! Boys would get all weird when paired with girls, the little girls would be overly dramatic with their “ow ow ow”s, kids would take a million years to do their drills, kids would actively resist while their partners were trying to drill, and when rolling, they’d pwn the new kid.

What happens when you act weird to your partner: They have a sucky time. This means you are actively contributing to their negative experience in jiu jitsu. It means you may find it hard to find a partner if you act weird with some people.

What you should do: Have empathy for your partner. Don’t waste their time. Try to be helpful, try to let them use their time effectively, etc. If you’re partnered with the weird/different kid, treat them as you’d like to be treated at a new jiu jitsu gym. We don’t always get our ideal partners, so we should remember that we are someone’s less-than-ideal partner as well.

5. GIVE YOUR PARTNER THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

It happens again and again – online, in person – someone says “They did it on purpose!!!” It’s true for adults as well as kids.

What happens if you don’t give your partner the benefit of the doubt: You will build up animosity, convinced that they intentionally tried to slam you/hurt you. You will get frustrated and mad. You will make an enemy.

What you should do: Remind yourself that people often don’t realize how hard they’re going, and even though you might feel like you’re matching them, you may be contributing to them going even harder. Remind yourself that new folks (ie. white belts) aren’t as physically in control of their bodies as blue+ belts, who have generally been doing this longer. Remind yourself that accidents do happen and you’re probably going to accidentally hurt someone at some point. Finally, communicate with your partner. Use your words. “Can you go lighter?” “My shoulder hurts – please go slowly on shoulder locks.”

Jiu Jiu’s Question: What advice was helpful for you when you started? What advice do you tend to give (or get) a lot? Please share in the comments below!

 

Jackson Sousa at Berkut 3!

The Fighting Photographer - Sat, 2016-07-02 05:46
 Jackson Sousa will be the co main event at Berkut 3 in Russia on August 13th, full line up here - http://www.bjjee.com/articles/berkut-3-card-and-date-announced/
 

Kron Rickson Gracie MMA FIGHT Hideo Tokoro

The Part Time Grappler - Fri, 2016-07-01 10:26

Rizin FF have started booking matches for their next event (late September 2016)- Rizin Fighting World Grand-Prix 2016. The first advertised (and largest draw) fight is one involving Kron Gracie (2-0) and Hideo Tokoro (33-28)

The date first booking is a fight between Kron Gracie (2-0) and Hideo Tokoro (33-28), who meet each other in the featherweight. The match will be fought under MMA rules. Whether it's the Unified Rules or a modified version remains to be seen. 
Kron Gracie's highlight:



Gracie is as the name suggests a grappling specialist. He made his MMA debut in December 2014 and has so far finished all his fights via submission in the first round. Kron is the son of jiujitsu and Vale Tudo legend Rickson Gracie. 
Hideo Tokoro's highlight:



Tokoro is much more experienced, with a total of 63 MMA fights under his belt. In fact, 11 years ago, 2005 he drew against the first Ultimate Fighting Champion and Kron's uncle Royce Gracie. joined a tied match against Krons uncle, Royce Gracie (15-2).


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ZHOO ZHITSU IS FOR EVERYONE!

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The Birthday Door

BJJ Grrl - Mon, 2016-06-27 18:53

This is not a BJJ post, just a funny-ish story. (I’m training still. I’m much more consistent about going M/F/Sa. Even if I lie to myself that “I’ll just warmup” or “I’ll just watch” when I’m tired, I end up diving in anyway and feeling great by the time it’s over.)

So for my birthday this year, my mom announced she had no idea what to get me. (Not really true; she just didn’t like any of the options. If I liked shopping or dresses or buying furniture, she would have found something.) Apparently cash was not an option. She decided that my gift from them would be a new storm door for my house. She doesn’t like the old one; it has no screen but the sun hits that side of the house most of the day, so it gets hot between the doors (and this is the way she comes into my house). It was also, for reasons I never figured out, impossible to keep clean; it would get some kind of film on the inside that you could scrub off… and it would come right back in a short while. Did not matter what you used. So, new door! Sure, fine.

She has a friend who sells doors & windows; he got her a good deal on a door. His son, a friend of mine, is a general contractor and came to install it. First problem, they immediately found some wood issues around the door. (I kinda suspected that was there, but did not want to acknowledge the issue. Maybe it will just get better on its own. You know, just like ribs do…) So authorized him to address that. Second, the door install took four times longer than they expected. Everything was more complicated than it usually is. (In talks with folks later, he learned that it’s because my door is not set into the frame, but into a deal with windows on the sides. Not as cooperative as real frames.) Then they absolutely could not figure out how to get the handle installed; they worked on it for over 2 hours. He’s installed doors many, many times, and this one was somehow different than any other he’s ever done (even from the same manufacturer). They eventually had to leave the handle inside the house and went to order another handle, assuming the first was broken.

He came back today to install the handle before I went to work. First problem, the new handle was the wrong color (nickel instead of brass. Big difference.). Second problem, it’s exactly the same style as the first one. Wat. We had ordered a different style. So he decided to try the first handle again. This time he acted as if he’d never installed a door handle before and followed the instructions exactly. Installed in 5 minutes. The difference: every other door handle this company makes, you have to screw in the faceplates first and then attach the handles to each other. On this model, for “reasons,” you thread the handles through the faceplates but do not screw them in until the handles lock, because the faceplates need to spin a bit. 

So he left and I finished getting ready for work. As I left, I shut the front door. And heard, “Clunk.” Wat. I pulled the door opened, then slowly closed it, watching as the deadbolt keypad headed straight for the new door handle. Clunk. Oh, lovely. I had to push open the new storm door then shut the front door and deadbolt it, letting the storm door hit the deadbolt pad and prop itself open by about a half inch. I called my mom to explain the situation, as I had to go to work. She called both the father and son and explained the issue; they both agreed to meet her at my house to look at it.

They pulled out the old door handles to compare it to the new one. The old door, made by the same company as the new door, should also have handles that are equal on the inside and outside (so you can do a left-hand or right-hand door with the same hardware). Surprise, the old door handles were not equal; the inside one was shorter. The father was surprised, because he’s worked for them for years, and he knows they don’t sell a lower-profile handle like that — but it’s got their name on it. So apparently the original installation had this exact same issue. Rather than fix it properly then (readjust lock locations or something), the original installers decided to cut down the inside handle to make it a lower-profile handle, thus creating problems for anyone who ever wanted to replace the door. Alllllriiiiight. (I wonder if they did that to all the houses in the neighborhood, which were all built by the same company.)

The solution we chose was to reuse the old handles since they do fit in the new door. The hardware doesn’t quite match (new & shiny vs 10 years of wear), but at least the door latches now.

The kicker in all this was that, while my mom bought the door for my birthday, she didn’t pay for the installation or the extra work he did on the woodwork. So my birthday present cost me about $400. Thanks, Mom…

I think next year I’ll make the case for cash.


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