Magic Monday North South Arm Bar BJJ Technique

North South Arm Bar

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.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Roger Gracie vs Bruno Bastos at Mundials

I just watched the Roger Gracie vs Bruno Bastos match on Georgette’s Blog.  Here are some of the things that caught my attention and that I was impressed with.  First of all, 2/3 of the match with just jockeying for the takedown.  I know that having takedown skills are important in your game. I was more impressed with the importance of them as I watched Roger and Bruno battle it out.  In my mind it looked like Roger realized it was going to stalemate if they kept going on like this so he jumped guard to move it to the ground game.  The next thing that caught my attention was the taking-the-back, as Georgette points out by Roger.  I had just read Meerkatsu’s post "K-Taro Nakamura Back Control & Choke Review" and was thinking about the "Armdrag from closed guard with back take" example.  Roger did it with style of course and made it look easy.  I find that getting up and moving my hips out is the hard part.  Roger gave me a few pointers as he did it.  I noticed he grabbed the opposite knee and pushed off the hip with the leg he was trying to get around.  Once the hips came out Bruno couldn’t or didn’t stop the rest of him.  Roger then, it looks like, put a body lock on him and rolled him over.  I couldn’t tell what submission he used to finish it.  Does anyone know?

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Gi Cross Choke from Closed Guard

Gi Cross Choke from Closed Guard

I edited this video and it didn’t come out very good.  It had some talking that wasn’t part of the technique.  It still gives enough detail you can figure out what to do.  This was taught by Chris in the advance class on Monday.  I found with some repetition you can really whip this one on quickly.  Everyone knows you are going to try something when you pull the gi out.  I don’t know if I would try and pull the gi out.  During a roll it will come out it self.  When you pull the guy down as Chris shows there is a moment where he feels safe against you and doesn’t realize you are going to loop the gi over his head.  I am going to try focusing their attention on you grapping the collar.  You grab the lose gi at the same time.  Then you pull them down to loop the gi over for the submission.  All this with your guard still closed.  I like this better then the traditional cross choke.  It isn’t as easy to get both hands into a defended collar.  They also see it coming as you try and work both hands in.  This is a bit sneaker way of getting the same choke.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ Technique – Can Opener Defense

Can Opener Arm Bar Defense

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.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

BJJ Technique “The Giant Johnson”

The Giant Johnson

I didn’t know the name of this technique and I’m sure I embarrassed Mark some by putting his name to it.  We all know that he didn’t invent it any more then Renzo did the Triangle but I had to put some label on it.  You can’t go around calling it the cross-body-shoulder-choke.  He showed it to me so I naturally used his name in it.  I posted this one for Jesse who is learning BJJ and was kind enough to read my blog and post a comment.  Thank you Jeff and Mark for the demonstration.

I think this is a high percentage technique because I usually get it.  I think its simplicity plus the fact it doesn’t feel like something is seriously happening is what makes it so successful.

Last night in class we practiced rolling with our eyes closed.  It was a excellent training tool.  I found in some cases it made absolutely no difference to me that I couldn’t see.  I knew I relied on touch to give me feed back about what was going on in a match but I didn’t realize how much of it I was using compared to my vision.  I think I will have to try it more often.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu

Developing Technique Combinations in Jiu-Jitsu

Omoplata Combinations

John B. Will blogged "Mission Control", a post about building technique combinations.  He made mention of Eddie Bravo’s system and how it has a starting point to move into different techniques and submissions.  In Eddie’s book Mastering The Rubber Guard he has a excellent flow chart that shows how it all works together.  SlideyFoot talks about Roy Dean – Purple Belt Requirements and how he teaches a combination mindset.  Rigan Machado has turned me on to some combo’s in his "RCJ Machado Jiu-Jitsu Camp 2008" DVD’s.  I must have reached a new level in my game.  All of the sudden these not only made sense but I can flow from one to the other.  Lets just say I’ve really turned on to combos.  I picked a set out and drilled it on my Submission Master Grappling Dummy.  Once I felt confident enough to teach it, I found someone at the academy to train it with.  Blake and I put in some reps together.  This helped build my confidence in using it against someone other then my grappling dummy.  I got to try it out the next class.  It went splendid.  I even got one of the submissions in the combo against Blake who knew it was coming.  I can see how memorizing single submissions, then combinations of submission can build you a network of movement.  Over time it will build in my mind like Eddie’s flow chart.

Jiu-Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu-Jitsu.

Blue to Purple One BJJ Step at a Time

Tonight was another night of working on purple belt test techniques.  This time we went over the next six techniques for the Pedro Sauer’s Purple Belt test:

  1. Sweep from Seated Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 186)
  2. Overhead Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 188 or 238)
  3. Leg Pinching Sweep (BJJ T&T pg. 190)
  4. Scissor Sweep Standing from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 226)
  5. Hook Sweep from Guard (BJJ T&T pg. 228)
  6. Kick over Sweep (Balloon) (BJJ T&T pg. 188)

Yesterday we went over the first six and I posted them.  Like I said before they are documented in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: Theory and Technique (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu series) by Renzo and Royler Gracie.

I had a great time sweeping people over my head.  I have to say that sweeps are my favorite.  Submissions are cool too don’t get me wrong but a well executed sweeps saps moral or the spirit of the other guy.  He just went from equal or in control to flip side.

Rolling was good too.  We lined up and would rotate the line every 2 minutes.  This gives you a great opportunity to try yourself against everyone.  It also keeps the action going.  I was admirable tonight.  I didn’t tap anyone that was higher then me but then again I didn’t get tapped.  I’ll settle for a stalemate against a purple belt right now.

Finding a Way to do Jiu Jitsu On the Road

I haven’t been able to post at all this week.  I’ve been on the road for work.  I had hoped that at least one night this week I’d be able to get in a practice at a school near where I was.  I even scoped out the two school I hoped to visit, Underdog Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Royce Gracie Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.  But as luck would have it things didn’t work out.  I was bummed and feeling Jiu Jitsu withdrawals until a co-work of mine turned me on to Gi Subs 1, a iPhone application that shows gi submissions by iFightVideo.com.  It wasn’t as good as doing it but while I sat on the plane I could go over a whole bunch of new gi submission all for $2.99.  Once again saved by the iPhone and a enterprising Jiu Jitsu teacher.  I got researching and found two No-gi applications for the iPhone by the every popular Grapple Arts.  One is on sweeps and the other on submissions.  They were a dollar more expensive then Gi Subs 1 but its cheap entertainment compared to the $14 the airline wanted to watch one of their movies in flight.  Plus it goes with me know when ever I have my iPhone with me.  After I had my fill of watching submissions on my iPhone I turned to my old stand by GRACIEMAG.  I had the July 2009 issue detailing the 2009 World Championships.  I never get tired of watching or reading about Roger Gracie, not to mention Marcelo Gracia.  All of this combined I survived the business trip hungry but not starving for BJJ.  I might also not may Mundial #5 Atama was waiting for me when I got home.  I’ll have a review on it this next week after I use it in practice.

Jiu Jitsu is Life and Life is Jiu Jitsu

How To Use the Submission Master Grappling Dummy To Increase Muscle Memory

I’ve had my Submission Master Grappling Dummy now for about 1 month.  I’ve been using him in a daily drill routine that I formulated.  I have to say I really like my Submission Master and last night it paid off.  I’d been work on the Triangle Choke, Arm Bar from Guard, Triangle Choke to Arm Bar, and Arm Bar from Mount.  I got 3 of the 4 last night in class.  What I really liked about my drilling with the Submission Master was that it gave me the physical feedback that helped reinforce my muscle memory.  The more repetitions I did the easier it seemed to notice my chances for a submission and connect on them.  For example I was having a hard time getting the transition from a failed Triangle Choke to a Arm Bar.  I kept putting the wrong leg under the guys chin.  After doing reps on the Submission Master for a week I instinctively transitioned from the Triangle to the Arm Bar.  I’ve also noticed that working with the Submission Master has helped me realize how I need to lift my hips up toward the head as I work for submissions like the ones I’ve talked about.  I know I keep blogging about it but with good reason.  I’m seeing success and want to share what I’ve found out.

We all know that the more reps you put in the better you muscle memory.  We also all can’t spend every waking moment at the gym or dojo.  Using the Submission Master has become a good way for me to satisfy my BJJ addiction.

Take a few minute and enter my contest to name my dummy and a chance to win a free Sprawl rash guard.  See my post: Name My Submission Master Grappling Dummy Contest.

Top 5 Secrets to Holding the Mount Position

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.