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Last night had another no gi class with Gerald. We worked on some basic escapes from the straight arm bar – starting with rolling the wrist out and twisting out over your opposite shoulder (I forget what it’s called…the basic arm bar escape illustrated in this YouTube video).
For the last couple of classes, I have been pre-empting techniques in my mind. Meaning, I have found that as we review a technique, I am just barely beginning to see the fundamentals the techniques are based on, ask questions and see outcomes using those fundamentals.
Today I realized that to execute a straight arm bar, your opponent has to have your head trapped with his leg.
Of course I already knew this and have drilled these types of escapes. But but it never really sunk in that this particular fact represented an opportunity. What if I prevent him from getting that leg over? What if I sit up before he can catch my head? What if I block his leg with my arm? What if I push his leg back off once he has it there? I’ve seen and even practiced some counters that involved this, but for some reason tonight this principle really grabbed hold in my brain.
As it turns out, this was the direction the lesson went. The next escape was to still twist your caught wrist to avoid the lock, but also to bridge and throw your arms up, which puts the leg on the floor above your head. You then trap it by scooting onto it with your neck and shoulders, and sit up into guard.
Attendance was small and for some reason felt super-informal. Partially that was because I was running on my last 10 percent. Having stayed up till odd hours of the morning working on gi ideas for Seymour’s dang gi-design challenge, I was wasted.
I ended up practicing techniques with two other white belts: Clint, who I met for the first time tonight, and Matt, who came over from U.C.T.C. and is basically at the same level as me in the learning process.
The insanity began, though, when a high school wrestler, Adam, got paired up with me for sparring. I just knew he was going to try and break me in half.
And he did try. I was determined to remain calm and not get into the muscle game. I really, really didn’t feel like getting into full-fledged fight just to show him that I knew a little jiu-jitsu.
He started to sink in a guillotine almost right away by pulling my head down with breakneck speed. That’s wrestling training for you. Fast and strong. Luckily, I’ve defended a million guillotines and while he out-paced me, I was able to work into a safe position (recover guard) and work out of the hold. Since he was obviously not going to roll casually, I did not really try to submit him or defend myself. Maybe that’s being a schmuck, but I didn’t care. I didn’t feel like rolling that way. He proceeded to climb onto my back and try and rip my head off with a rear naked choke, which I tapped to.
After I tapped I (hopefully kindly) reminded him we were just training, not actually competing, and told him I wasn’t really up for sparring full out. I asked him if there was anything he wanted to work on instead of spar. He didn’t know much guard passing, so I showed him the basic guard passes I use – I don’t know if it helped him but hopefully it was useful.
From there I rolled with Matt, and it was a great experience. We talked a little about how we are starting to really understand the value of rolling slowly and flowing in order to learn the balance and leverage principles. I was able to pass guard using an opposite side toe hold and hold him fairly well in side control, but when I tried the barbed wire arm bar setup we learned the other day, he escaped every time and reversed me. I think this was because I did not maintain sufficient control of his far arm and did not keep my weight on him properly.
Matt got a nice toe lock on me when I tried a double-leg sweep after he stood up in my guard. Second time I’ve been caught with that hold in a week. He graciously pointed out that this is because I am not following my opponent up, but instead staying on my back after executing the sweep. Talk about a facepalm…we’ve gone over that many times but for some reason I had forgotten that crucial step.
I tried to focus on maintaining balance and flowing. He turtled up nicely several times and I need to learn how to break this down. Got a nice crucifix hold when he went for a single leg, which I always seem to end up transitioning to an upside-down triangle and arm bar from the bottom.
- Arm bar escape 1 – When you feel the arm bar coming on (as soon as opponent starts to sit back) twist your wrist so they can’t line it up and lock the joint and point your hand to the mat above your head. Then bridge and using your feet, walk over the opposite shoulder to end up on your knees. Keep in tight
Finish reading Arm Bar Escapes.
© SkinnyD for Arcanum BJJ, 2010. |
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