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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

31 October 2013

31/10/2013 - Teaching (Deep 'Relson' Grip Collar Choke in Closed Guard)

Teaching #130
Hit Fit, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 31/10/2013

A basic but very useful grip is to get a really deep grasp of the collar. I learned this from Roy Dean's demonstration on his Brown Belt Requirements DVD, where he calls it the 'Relson' choke. I'm going to go with a more descriptive name, deep grip choke: to establish that grip, you may find it helps to sit up to get it in really deep. As Dean discusses on his DVD, an especially deep grip can help your choke as well as give you authoritative control.

Often people will let you get a grip on their collar from guard, unlike the same situation from under mount, despite the threat being similar. If possible, it's a good idea to open up the collar with your same side hand to help get your other hand in as deep as possible. Like John Will says, this will also take the slack out of their gi.

Once you have it, this deep 'Relson' grip provides three main advantages. Firstly, you get great control, as you can pull them down towards you. Secondly, it could be the beginning of a choke. Lift their chin with your forearm to make some space, then insert your other grip. Due to the depth of your first grip, the second hand doesn't need to go as far. Turn your thumbs inwards for the choke, pulling in with your elbows (don't flare them out).

Even if you don't land the choke, just having the grip will make them start to worry about that choke rather than thinking about passing. Thirdly, it means you can establish a collar and elbow grip. There are various attacks you can do from there, the most common of which are probably armbars, scissor and push sweeps.

Should that grip slip, then you still have a more orthodox collar choke available, or the numerous options from a collar and elbow/sleeve grip, if you established that hold. Should you switch to the standard collar choke, you can try another Roy Dean trick. Shoot your arms out straight, aiming to get your hands to the back of their collar (ideally, gripping right by the tag), then grip as normal. Remember to turn your thumbs inwards rather than out (or to put it another way, turn them away from your face rather than towards it). Turning them outwards will work too, but inwards should be tighter.

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Teaching Notes & Sparring: I haven't taught too many 1 hour lessons yet (mainly I've had 1.5 hours to play with), but the structure of paring it down to one technique rather than two and keeping everything else the same seems to work. However, it doesn't leave a lot of time spare for sparring: I only managed to fit in two five minute rounds. I could possibly cut down the timings for technique and progressive resistance, or maybe the warm-up. I can experiment with both: I'd like at least 15 minutes of sparring, ideally 20 (but 15 is more realistic in an hour session).

I'll also be fiddling with the warm-up. At the previous place I taught, there was a specific warm-up that had to be included. Now, the warm-up is down to me, which is cool. I am keen to stick to jiu jitsu specific exercises, like sit-ups in guard after they've stood up. It will take a while, but I'll gradually put something together that is 100% jiu jitsu but also warms up all the joints and muscles. Tonight, I went with shrimps, shrimp to knees, crocodiles, what Ronda Rousey calls 'scrunchies' (haven't heard another name for them, so I'll go with that), breakfalls forward and back, closed guard sit ups when they stand up, standing up in guard, bridging and one-legged bridging.

I was able to get in a bit of sparring, as it was odd numbers. I'm not combining my sweeps well enough, as I continue to over-focus on one technique rather than flowing to another. That's also true of passing, though I was doing a slightly better job of switching sides when one was blocked. That switch needs to be more efficient though, as my transition to the other side was sloppy.

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