It has been a while since we had Takedown Tuesday. We went over Osoto-Gari and I think the other was called Oshi-Gari. It involved grabbing around the waist and stepping in for the throw over the hip. I couldn’t find it on YouTube so I’m not sure I have named it correctly.
After some instruction they showed me the Tomoe-Nage to Arm Bar that I have in the videos. After throwing a guy a few time with the same throw he should get wise to it. This looks like you are going for the throw but instead you get the arm bar. Very sick!
Johnny “One Eye” Carlquist is a local black belt. He is named “One Eye” not because he only has one eye but as the story goes, his first time doing BJJ he was injured and his eye became swollen shut. He loved BJJ so much he was back the next chance with his swollen eye. That is true devotion.
I’ve meet Johnny once or twice. He is just as Pedro Sauer says:
“One eye skills are impressive, very smooth, efficient, technical. [. . .] on top of all this talent is the nicest person you ever going to know. I’m very proud of you my friend.”
It was very gratifying to watch this match of his. He does four things in this match that are very clear and easy to see (at least in my opinion).
I haven’t been doing as good a job of recording Magic Monday classes. I know that those who attend enjoy being able to go over the techniques again by viewing my videos. Work as been demanding and I’ve missed the last few.
Here I am in my black Vulkan Pro Light with Chris. I find that when I get North South I often don’t know anything to do other then look for a better position. This arm bar that Chris shows on me is a excellent choice for a submission from North South.
It looks a lot easier then it is at first. The sitting back into the arm bar doesn’t feel natural in my opinion with your leg bent. As noted, rather loudly, in the video you have to get the "squeeze" with the legs to help tighten it. My problem was I kept letting the arm out from under my arm. I tried to lay back and do a more traditional looking arm bar. But as usual with repetition it came more naturally and started working for me. I’ve been getting North South more often. I hope to use this the next time I do.
For the "Magic Moment" this week Chris shared with us a sweet Arm Bar that works well in confined, compact, or smaller spaces. I especially like how it gives you control of your opponent even before you put the arm bar on. I tried to use it on Blake when we rolled after. He of course knew what I was attempting and blocked me. Even though I was unable to finish the submission I could easily keep the collar and arm to try something else. Yes, that is me in the black Vulkan (which I will be doing a review on this week). Chris also demonstrates how after a failed Arm Bar you can then go for a Omoplata. I’ve been learning that it is always good to have a back up plan. For those of you more experienced BJJ practitioners this is old news and for the newer like myself its the frontier. I’m learning to string together multiple submissions in order to guarantee success.
Here is a takedown-to-leg-lock we also went over:
Takedown To Leg Lock Part 1
Takedown To Leg Lock Part 2
I didn’t have as much success on this but I did learn something. You need to choose your takedown in accordance with the size of your opponent. I’m 6’2", and this isn’t very practical on someone a foot shorter then me.
One of the first times I really got hurt in BJJ was when I under estimated the Can Opener Submission, a neck crank. I didn’t think I was in trouble. I figured I could bend inward enough that it couldn’t be effective. When my neck started popping it was to late. I then had to put up with weeks of trying to heal. There is nothing worse then a neck strain headache too. The basic defense I learned to combat the Can Opener was to push with both hands on the guys chin to one side. When you push his head away and to a side they can’t get the leverage to apply the neck crank. That worked for me but you are still providing a lot of resistance with your neck. My neck has become very tender as of late, as has my back. So I was very pleased to get this instruction from Pat. I don’t want to just stop them from neck cranking me. I want them to PAY for neck cranking me. I don’t know why I didn’t see this. It makes perfect sense to trap the arms and Arm Bar someone who is trying the Can Opener on you. They won’t do it again after they tap out.
BJJ practice went well tonight. We broke up into whites and blues. The whites went over the blue belt test and the blues went over the purple belt test. We are a Pedro Sauer’s affiliated school. I was surprised that I knew the six techniques we went over as well as I did. We went over:
Double Ankle Grab Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 74)
Both Hands on Ankle Sweep to Armlock (BJJ T&T pg. 78)
After that we did some training from the guard. The object was for the guy on the bottom to get a sweep and the guy on top to get the pass. I tried out a number of sweeps and managed to kept from getting passed. It felt great to get may favorite Spider Guard Sweep.
We then did our usual rolling session to close out the class. I made some mistakes. First of all I let a guillotine get away from me only to have it reversed onto me. Inside my head my mind was screaming for me to throw my arm over his should for the escape but my body just wouldn’t respond. I think I was to preoccupied with the coke. The next roll was with one of your blues who should be going purple soon. I held my own for a good while and escaped one arm bar before succumbing to a second. I had him in a leg bind at one point and was thinking of a Machado leg bar I had been reading about but wasn’t able to pull it off. All in all it was a good night. I won some and I lost some.
In my blog The Undiscovered Frontier of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu I talked about new BJJ situations I have been getting in and how that shows growth in my opinion. I gave a specific example of not knowing what to do with a arm bar that the guy is holding on to. I said that I wouldn’t let that happen again or that I would learn from the situation. I went home and drilled with my Submission Master Grappling Dummy on what I would do next time it occurred. Last night in class it paid off. I was rolling with another blue belt. I had him in mount and transitioned to a side mount that I had seen Saulo Ribeiro use. I faked a cross choke and took the arm. He managed to get a hold of his arm and then my study and muscle memory training kicked in. Without thought I threaded my leg through and put him in a triangle choke. He tapped out shortly after I synched it down tight. Oh baby! That felt good! It can be so frustrating to be so close and yet blow it. It was very satisfying to have identified, analyzed, trained, and succeeded at improving my Jiu Jitsu. The next step I think is to know a hand full of techniques I can use against a locked arms like that, not just the transition to the triangle choke.
Every person that learns BJJ I think is like a explorer in a undiscovered land. Rather poetic isn’t it. Why I say this is as of late I’ve been seeing progress in my Jiu Jitsu. I am finding myself in situations where I have been trained what to do but I’ve never been in them often enough or at all in a match. For example the other day I got a white belt in a arm bar from mount. I just don’t get arm bars that often. I guess I haven’t been looking for them or I fight opponents higher then me that don’t leave themselves open. What ever the case this white belt grabbed a hold of his arm forming a rectangle. I tried to break his grip but he was far too strong. I decided it was silly to try using muscle anyway. BJJ is about technique. So I tried a prying / cutting technique I had been taught long ago. I didn’t get the technique correct and it had no effect. The white belt now tried to sit up with his arms still locked. I was now in real undiscovered country. I didn’t know what to do to keep him down. I instinctively pushed with my legs and knocked him back over. I didn’t realize that the leg on the head was my control and thought he had fallen over because he was off balance. When he tried again he managed to get up and stack me. I was upset with myself for letting him out of a sure submission. This isn’t the only situation where I’ve found my self in a dominate position or so near a submission and blown it. I’ve decided its a good thing. I went home and started practicing what I would do in that situation again on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy. If I didn’t find my self on the verge of or in undiscovered frontier most of the time then I wouldn’t feel I’m learning.
Its assembled and I’ve started drilling with it. The first thing I noticed was how hard the floor is. I don’t have a mat. I have been thinking about if I should even get one. I like some real world or practical application of BJJ. If I got in a street fight I will use my Jiu Jitsu training but I doubt there will be a mat. The next thing I noticed is that when I tried a Kimura it doesn’t feel right. The structure of the Submission Master’s arm is a arch with no true joints. At first I didn’t like this but then I realized it felt more like a arm that is trying to do a escape. It gave me a different perspective on my Kimura technique and how to apply it. The next thing I tried was the Triangle Choke. This hurt at first because the dummy is so hard. I didn’t realize how soft real humans are. I worked my Triangle and figured out something new I hadn’t noticed before. I posted Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Submission Techniques – The Triangle and gave tips and tricks on improving your Triangle. I now can add to that getting the knee of the leg around the neck above the neck. I have also found that just moving it around, it is 70 lbs, breaks me into a sweat. It doesn’t do infinity drills so you have to reset some drills to do it over. But for the most part you can do Arm Bars, Triangles, Kimuras, and other submissions over and over on each side. For Cross Body and Mount work you sit or lay very high. You don’t have a soft gut to lay into. I also can’t hook the legs (grapevines) in mount. What it comes down to is its no full substitute for a person but it does very well for what it is intended. So far I really like it and feel it is money well spent. It is true the $560 price tag is high but it sure beats the home made version I’ve seen on YouTube.com. I think the only true competitor in its class is the Bubba. I didn’t choose the Bubba because it didn’t sit up in guard, it looks light weight, and flimsy. I’m going to start trying some escapes and sweeps on it tomorrow and see how they go.
So you are getting better at your sweeps and escapes and you are finding yourself gaining the mount position more and more often. But you can’t seem to stay on. Your opponent bumps you right off. Here are some secrets to keeping that position long enough to make the submission.
Get up under the arm pits. Don’t sit up back on the guys hips. You are sitting on his most powerful lever. Move up by lifting his elbows and sliding your legs under.
Lower your point of gravity. Don’t sit straight up like you are a cowboy in the saddle. You want your weight to help hold the person in place. Use your free arms for base.
Lock your legs. Some people call this “grapevines”. It involves getting hooks around your opponents legs. Usually this also has you with your arms out forming the base. If you can’t hook the legs, another option is crossing your legs under the buttock. This gives you more stability.
Let the storm pass. When you first get someone in mount they are going to upa and try to escape. No one wants to be in mount. It makes them panic. They will throw everything they have at you to get out. But in time they will tire and the storm will pass. If you ride it out before attempting a submission you will have had some time to rest. Now that they are wore down it is time to look for a submission.
Keep your dominance while looking for the submission. You opponent my be tired now, frustrated, or even ready to give up but don’t sacrifice your base for the submission. You can still keep yourself forward under the arm pits and your legs locked. You could even switch to a forward side mount that gives you more room to look for that coke or arm bar. Just don’t fool yourself thinking that you can easily cherry pick a submission now. Maintain your base while looking for the submission.