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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

17 May 2017

17/05/2017 - Teaching | Side Control | Failed kimura into armbar, then into a pressing choke

Teaching #664
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 17/05/2017

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You've gone for the kimura, they block it. You switch to the armbar instead, but they block that too. Maintain control of their arm, wrapping it to your chest. The thumb of your other hand points down, as you move to grip the collar on the far side of their neck. This is your anchor point for a breadcutter style choke (I use 'pressing choke' instead, I think that's more logical and descriptive).

Drop your elbow by the near side of their neck, making sure your forearm is pressing into the near side of their neck. Avoid crushing the windpipe, a common mistake on this kind of choke (not to say it wouldn't submit somebody, but it's inefficient, plus your training partners prefer being able to talk the next day ;D). If you need more leverage, you can grab their near side collar with your other hand and pull it towards their legs to take out the slack. Finally, you can also push your choking elbow into their head, driving their head towards their opposite shoulder.
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Teaching Notes: This is something Matt H showed me, I presume off this video. Gerbil shows it from technical mount, but I think it is viable off an armbar from side control too. However, I'll need to test this more. Either way, it is not going to work from a kimura, as you're sat on their head and can't reach the neck properly: has to be the armbar, so you have access to the neck. I should try teaching this during mount month some time too, as part of technical mount attacks.

The usual first thing to keep in mind with these kind of chokes is making sure it is a blood choke rather than on the windpipe, which I always emphasise. I try to inject some humour when I can, e.g., "your partner will appreciate being able to talk tomorrow, make sure this is a blood choke," that kind of thing. Yeah I know, not exactly Victoria Wood level, but meh, it doesn't come naturally. :P Even if it is being done correctly, that can still sometimes be a little painful if somebody puts loads of force through into the neck. I think that's ok, as it isn't something that is doing lasting damage like pressure into the windpipe, but at the same time I don't like to encourage anything that's mean. Hard to know exactly where that line is sometimes, but I think "no lasting damage" is probably a fairly good place to draw it.

Also, we had a record turnout of 24 grapplers tonight. Brilliant! Lisa's women class was packed too, with ten people. I'm really pleased at how the club has grown this year! That also means that I had a good indication of how many people the mats can handle. In free sparring, everybody was rolling and there was still some space. I think that the mats can hold at least 30, even more once that bit of building work is done and we recover that top corner edge.

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16 May 2017

16/05/2017 - Open Mat (Tuesday)

Class #823
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 16/05/2017



Excellent open mat today, very technique focused. Tracey is one of my absolute favourite students for many reasons, one of which is whenever I ask the question "is there anything you'd like to work on?", she has a carefully prepared list. Yes! More students like Tracey, please. :D

Working our way through that list was useful for me, as I could highlight some issues with each technique that helps me teach better, plus it was clearly handy for another student who was there. Tracey is among the most experienced students at Artemis BJJ, so had lots of useful advice for him, and indeed for me. I rarely use the over-under pass, but some of the details Tracey mentioned look very handy. For example, a slight shift towards them before you hop over the leg. I found when drilling that and watching both of them drill it, that small adjustment made it significantly harder for the person being passed to get their leg under and through for guard recovery.

The main thing I'm not keen on with the over-under pass is that it requires a firm grip on the gi. That's tough on the fingers. However, perhaps there is a way I can apply that 'open grip' I've been working on since hearing about it yesterday. I had a brief play with that at the end of the class, but I haven't yet applied it fully in sparring. Something I'm building up to, especially as I shared the same video with my personal trainers. They have therefore been getting me to do a bunch of exercises to work on that grip (e.g., pull ups on FatGripz, open grip deadlifts, etc).

After a #RedditBJJ thread discussing a video about #grips that don't mess up your #fingers yesterday, I was keen to try it. The idea was that a #climbing style '#OpenGrip' was the way to save yourself #JointPain. I shared the #reddit thread with my #personaltrainer, @strengthlabuk / @kettlebellnation, who suggested some #FatGripz #pullup variations. Much tougher than normal #pullups! We also tried the open #grip for #kettlebell deadlift and #swings, which incidentally also highlighted I need to avoid #scooping with my knees on the swing. After that, it was time to find myself an #office for doing my @ArtemisBJJ #admin. I decided #TheWardrobeTheatre was the place, which worked out well. Also, they're doing a #StarTrek / #FlashGordon #comedy show. Amazing! :D #kettlebells #gym #fitness #strength #griptraining #sorefingers #jiujitsuhands #Meerkatsu @bjjstyle #JiuJitsuStyleMagazine

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15 May 2017

15/05/2017 - Teaching | Side Control | Failed North South Kimura to Armbar

Teaching #663
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/05/2017

You've gone for the kimura from north south, but they've latched a death grip on their gi and you can't break it. Rather than blowing all your energy fruitlessly straining against their arms, switch to an armbar instead. Keeping their trapped arm immobilised, adjust your feet so you're able to spin. Swivel to put your heel tight to their neck, while the knee you have by their armpit pops up and stays really tight to their arm. Tuck the foot of that armpit-leg underneath their ribs. Squeeze your knees and drop back for the armbar, keeping in mind that if the opportunity presents itself and you can do it without giving too much space, bring your armpit-leg over to secure a standard armbar leg position.

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Alternatively, if you want to just go directly for the armbar from side control, first control their far arm. You want to trap it against your body, wrapping an arm around their triceps. With that grip in place, walk your legs around to their head. Lean forwards into them, in order to help control their mobility. Hop up into a crouch, bringing your feet far enough forward that you can easily cut your knee around the outside of their trapped arm.

Swivel around their trapped arm, cutting your knee tightly next to the arm. Drop back, squeezing your knees, ready to secure the armbar. If you need to, you can adjust into a more orthodox armbar position, such as bringing both legs over for additional leverage.

To do that hop, crouch and swivel takes some confidence. You need to be careful you aren't giving them space, in that gap between the crouch and the swivel. You could try maintaining some control by pressing your head into their stomach, using your weight to slow down their ability to capitalise on any gap you might leave.
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Teaching Notes: This builds off the hopping far side armbar drill, although on reflection, I think next time I will simply teach that far side armbar. I think it works well off the kimura, but as there were a number of beginners in class who weren't familiar with the kimura, it would be less confusing to focus on just the far side armbar. Main thing as usual is not leaving too much space, so I'll emphasise getting your bum on their shoulder and squeezing the knees. Also, I don't think everybody realised you can get the 'Japanese armbar' (still not sure why it's called that) by tucking your foot under their ribs. It isn't as tight as a conventional armbar as they have more rotational opportunity to escape, but it makes up for that with speed.