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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

30 July 2013

30/07/2013 - Teaching (Ezequiel Choke to Americana from Mount)

Teaching #116
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 30/07/2013

Today I wanted to look into attacking from mount. I feel relatively comfortable maintaining the position, particularly in low mount, but I struggle to get any kind of submissions from there. The main two I attempt are the ezequiel choke (which I've taught once before) and the americana, so that's what I wanted to focus on today. The main thing I like about the ezequiel choke (often spelled as Ezekiel: the reason I normally spell it Ezequiel is because that's the guy who it was named after, as explained here) is that you can do it from what I think is the strongest controlling mount, where you're low with your feet tucked under their bum and an arm under their head. The difficulty I tend to have is getting my choking hand through, as they can normally see what is happening and block it, or are simply staying too tight and defensive in the first place.

Dónal's solution was going for that ezequiel choke (sometimes also spelled ezekiel) as soon as you land in mount (a quick point on that: bring your head further out towards your basing arm to increase your top pressure). When your arm goes under their head, block their view with your own head, keeping three fingers extended on the reaching under hand. Those are going to shoot inside your other sleeve: because you're only using three fingers rather than four, you've increased your reach. Bring your sleeve arm through across their neck, then pull your three-finger hand elbow across as well (a tip from Caio Terra, apparently). From there, complete the choke as usual, doing a motion like you're attempting to decapitate them.

Saulo teaches it a little differently. He assumes they will have their arms in and elbow to their side. First, swims past one of their arms, digging underneath their forearm and pushing past to their shoulder. As soon as you gets your elbow to the mat, drag it back to clear their arm out of the way. Immediately fill up any space by dropping your shoulder: if they can get a hand inside, they can defend.

Get your other arm to the mat in the same way, again clearing their arm by dragging your elbow back. This time, also put your head next to theirs, both blocking their view and removing more space. Put your choking hand by your head in readiness. When the time is right, lift your head just enough to insert your hand, shoving it through straight away, then finishing off the choke.

If as often happens they block your hand coming across, you can flow into the americana. In order to block, they will tend to cover by their jaw with their opposite hand. To do that, they will invariably raise their elbow. That's you chance to shove your knee into that space. Usually I slide up, to stay tight. Dónal does it differently: rather than sliding, go slightly on your toes, then drive your knee and hip straight in. This is faster and more powerful. Keep driving your knee inwards to really squash their arm into their face.

Your other leg also shoots up, putting their other arm in a similar position. This is very uncomfortable and doesn't leave them with many options. A common last-ditch escape they might try is bringing their legs right up into your armpits. If they try that, drop your shoulder, which should help unless they're incredibly flexible.

Due to the way their arms are tangled up, you may be able to get a wristlock (especially if their hand is bent into the mat at an awkward angle: just apply gradual pressure to their elbow), or an americana. Dónal normally does the typical paintbrush from here, but because of the position, I bent it against my leg instead, more like a kimura: Dónal decided that actually worked better, so I'll be sticking with that.

Teaching Notes: The main points to remind people on the first part are just using three fingers to increase the range and pulling that arm across. On the second part, a lot of people weren't bringing their knees up high enough and/or squeezing them sufficiently together to create that vice on the arm. If their arm has any space to wriggle, it will, making it much harder to apply to submission because they can relieve the pressure.

If I ever find myself in a position where I'm teaching more often, I could add in some more submissions in that series. Shifting to an s-mount set-up for the armbar makes sense, as would a triangle. Although neither submission appeals to me personally, as I hate risking the loss of position, they're still worth teaching. However, with my current teaching schedule, I don't need to as I have enough lessons to work on already. :)

Still, I remain happy with the technical combination, so I'll be continuing to work it for the foreseeable future. I didn't get much of a chance to spar tonight, except a brief bit of king of the hill at the end. Escaping I initially tried for the usual heel drag, then ended up doing the hail mary pushing feet into armpits. Surprisingly that did work, but only because my partner was just as small as me so I could slowly squirm out the back. Not something to be relied upon though.

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