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

21 February 2007

21/02/2007 - BJJ

Class #31

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK -21/02/2007

Today’s lesson was all about the mount. We started with Americana from mount. Person A takes hold of Person B’s wrist with one hand and their elbow with the other. Keeping both arms straight, Person A leans their weight onto the arm, driving it to the ground, slipping an arm underneath, then pushing Person B’s knuckles back like a paintbrush for the sub. The purple belt wandering round class (Steve, I think: same guy as in January) offered a handy tip, which was to avoid the ‘monkey grip’ using the thumb.

This was followed by the basic armbar from the mount, from a choke attempt set-up. Person A gets one hand in (grab whichever collar is diagonally across from the arm you’re using), then drops their elbow down to press a forearm into Person B’s throat. That should make them automatically reach for the arm with a hand, which enables Person A to trap their shoulder by moving up a knee to Person B’s head, while at the same time pushing their body weight down on the arm. Person A brings their opposite foot up to Person B’s armpit, reaching their arm underneath Person B’s near arm. Person A then finishes off by bring their leg round, releasing the gi and securing the arm (making sure the thumb points upwards), squeezing their knees together (video of armbar).

Next up was the collar choke from mount itself. Person A feeds their first hand in through the collar (all the way through, so their knuckles press against the floor), then puts the other hand underneath that one (again, all the way through). The hold begins with the fingers inside and thumb on the collar, which then twists to tighten the grip. Simultaneously, Person A leans forward, putting their head on the same side as whichever arm they have on top. Person A then squeezes for the choke (video of collar choke).

Finally, Jude demonstrated an escape from mount. When Person A gets one arm through Person B uses their same side hand to grab a wrist. With their other hand, Person B comes underneath Person A’s arm and grabs Person A’s elbow, pulling to secure that arm. With their foot, Person B then traps Person A’s same side leg as the isolated arm, bucks Person A’s weight forward, then drags them to the side, coming up in Person A’s guard.

Sparring was ‘winner stays on’ with everyone lined up, unfortunately unavoidable due to the large class. Because there were so many people, I wasn’t able to spar all that often (not being good enough to actually sub anybody and therefore stay on), which meant it was difficult to get into a rhythm and build on my mistakes. Only rolling twice, I went for the Americana from mount both times, but that meant my arms were committed so the other person had little trouble reversing me. I was pleased I at least managed to partially get the arm down to the ground I didn’t fair much better when we moved on to guard passing.

First I thought I’d attempt the tailbone pass again, but try to slip through by twisting to the side (as I’d seen on Lockflow). I did it wrong, as simply ended up getting armbarred. Usually, when somebody goes for the armbar I can happily adjust and get both arms in, then go for the escape. This time, however, the guy I was sparring locked it quickly and soon had my arm straightened out.

The same thing happened in my final spar, against somebody with a significant height and strength advantage. That extra muscle was soon noticeable as I tried to maintain posture in guard (having been reminded by Jude after he observed my previous efforts), but got immediately yanked straight down, totally unable to resist. Again, I was put into an armbar and straightened out, although this time I didn’t have much of my other arm in.

Jude (who keeps calling me ‘Can’ like ‘tin can’ rather than the ‘jun’ in junction – understandable as my name is spelt ‘Can’. Still haven’t picked my moment to correct him: can be hard to do it without sounding rude) had also recommended that I keep my elbow in tight to my body, also making sure it was on the side of my opponents leg so they couldn’t get that leg across for the armbar (I think: might have misunderstood him). I’ve not had a session before this where I got trapped in an armbar so easily, so either I’m doing something wrong I wasn’t before, or my sparring partners are getting better. Whichever, I’ll have to be more careful from now on, making sure I can get both arms in and keeping that elbow tight. Along with reviewing previous logs, sounds like its time to give this thread on escaping the armbar a thorough read!

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