How to go from Spider Guard Sweep to a Bicep Cutter

One of my favorite sweeps is the Spider Guard Sweep.  You set it up by grabbing a sleeve and putting one leg in the bend of the that arm.  Then you put the other leg across the abdomen of your opponent with the knee out.  As shown here: Spider-Guard-Sweep-SetupThen using the leg that has the arm around it you push out ward.  At the same time you reach down and get the leg turning your opponent onto the leg across the abdomen.  Like this: Spider-Guard-SweepNow all you have to do is rock back and then forward and you come up in mount.  The trouble is some times they get past that leg on the abdomen.  You end up still controlling the arm but you feel open.  This is where you apply the bicep cutter.  Take a look at these two pictures:  Bicep-Cut-From-Spider-Guard   Bicep-Cutter-Back You will notice all I have done is pulled the arm in a little more and created a triangle with my legs.  Once you have done this all you need do is cut!  This is done by pushing the knee out or by reaching behind the with both of your hands and pulling down on the trapped arm.  What I really like about this technique is the guy  thinks he is past your guard.  It surprises them when you put the bite on them.  Once again, thanks to my Submission Master Grappling Dummy for taking all of the abuse.  It truly is a handy tool for working on your technique and trying things out.

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.

No-gi vs. Gi – Part 2

In my post “Why Am I Writing About Gi vs. No-gi”  I talked about the differences between the two in my opinion and how I was going to but my thoughts to the test.  I did compete in a No-gi tournament.  I did lose and it was not for the reason I would have expected.  I couldn’t get the guy to let go of my wrists and I showed forth some really poor escape technique.  I was also very unprepared for the intensity with which I was meet.  I was too relaxed about it.  The match went like this: After some grappling back and forth he got both his hands around my neck and we just sunk into guard position.  I quickly passed his guard and got him in cross body.  This is when I couldn’t get him to let go of my wrists.  I transitioned in a upper cross body and worked his legs.  I made a nice smooth transition to mount and began looking for a arm bar.  I was in complete control at this time.  I was up 7 zip, then things went bad.  He managed to get a hold of my wrist on one side and with a nice upa rolled me over.  I escaped being mounted by pushing him right over me.  Before I could completely turn around he hit me broad side and fell into mount on me.  It was tied up at that point.  I could have still won but I made a sad attempt at escape from mount and then I make the critical mistake of turning on my side giving him a easy arm bar.  I was especially upset with myself after seeing the video when I realized I didn’t try a hitch-hiker escape.  I didn’t try any escape.  It was a sloppy arm bar too.  I was stunned by the speed of everything and the intensity.  Do I feel No-gi is a subset of Gi still?  Yes.  Do I feel you should train Gi first and then No-gi still? Yes.  Will I do another No-gi tournament?  Yes!  But not before I have a few classes to get the feel for the speed and bump up my intensity.  All BJJ rocks!  I learned a lot from that 3.5 minutes on the mat.  Just like when Helio Gracie came away from losing to Kimura.  What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Going For the Submission

In BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) submission is king!  To win the mental and physical game of chess is everyone’s goal.  Every newbie to the mat starts out with only one thought “MAK’EM TAP OUT”.  I include my self in that statement.  I didn’t think about cunning and technique to start out.  I only wanted my first Arm Bar or Triangle Choke.  I focused everything on it.  Now that I have my blue belt you could say I’ve seen the light and I know I’ve just started on the path to perfection.

If going for the submission is your first goal you will succeed in being submitted.  If your thought process follows:

  1. Transition
  2. Position
  3. Submission

You are on your way to true enlightenment.  Submissions come as a end result of well laid foundation.  Its true that the thing the untrained eye sees and remembers the most is the finishing blow or frantic tap.  Once that mind is trained you begin to see the lead up that makes the submission a natural sequence of actions.

I’m going to call it the Jiu-Jitsu pyramid.  Start out with your thoughts focused on transitioning from where you are into the position you want to be in.  Once that is accomplished think about bettering your position.  When and only when you have your satisfactory position think about submission.