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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

02 October 2014

02/10/2014 - Teaching | The Back | Clock Choke & Crucifix Entry

Teaching #205
Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 02/10/2014

We've now opened at our second venue! It's called PHNX Fitness and is over in Kingswood, down Two Mile Hill Road. I've got a map up on the Artemis BJJ website, so will be filling in the full directions once I get a chance to take some more pictures of the outside (so, probably Saturday before open mat). Classes are 20:00-21:15 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, along with a lovely two hour open mat on Saturdays from 10:00 to 12:00. Hope to see you there!

Tonight I was going to show some basic side control escapes, but as there were only a couple of people there and one of them was heavily pregnant, I deviated. Instead, I asked what they wanted to learn (and in particular, what my pregnant student would be comfortable with): turtle was the solution. I went with the simplest attack I know from turtle, the clock choke. Personally I have never had much luck with the standard version, so I use an 'elbow wedge' variation I learned from my instructor Kev Capel (and he in turn learned it from Felipe Souza, who we both used to train with at RGA HQ).

From the side ride, move from grabbing their arm to reaching through for a grip on their far collar. To enhance that grip, there is the option of reaching under their arm with your far arm and opening up the collar, then feeding it to your other hand. Be aware that there is a danger of them reaching back to trap your elbow if you do that. Either way, once you have a deep grip, bring the arm that was by their far leg to the near side of their head. Use your elbow as a wedge against their skull, giving you a sort of 'backstop' to pull their collar through.

Pressing that arm into their skull produces a fair bit of leverage in conjunction with your collar grip. Increase it by leaning back slightly, while walking your legs around towards their head (but maintain your weight on their shoulders, or you'll relieve the pressure). This should result in a choke.

I also went through the standard entry to the crucifix. Starting from the side ride, dig your near knee next to their hip. You're aiming to shove that as deep as you can behind their arm. Once it is in deep, flare the knee out towards you, which should make their arm available for your other heel to hook. Drag it back over your other leg and use your legs to lock that arm in place. At this point, you've already got a bunch of attacks available to you, but we want to get them face-up.

You'll probably be grabbing their wrist, their bicep, their sleeve or something else with your arm on the near side. With your other arm, reach under their far armpit and grab their shoulder. They could trap your elbow and try to roll you at this point, but that puts you where you want to be anyway. In the likely event they aren't foolish enough to do that, you have a few entries to the face-up crucifix available to you.

The one I prefer is from the Dave Jacobs seminar. Walk your feet back towards their bum, staying low and tight. Keep walking until you roll over their leg, putting them face-up. As you move into that position, make sure that your far arm is hooking back behind your head: otherwise, they can wriggle their arm free without too much trouble, enabling them to turn and escape.

You don't want their weight too far on top of you, as again that can help them escape: if that happens, shrimp your hips slightly to bring them down again. However, you don't want them to slip too far down to the mat, as there's another escape they can do in that situation. So, if they're too far down, scoop under them to prevent that escape.

Teaching Notes: The main thing that would be useful to add is an approach to the turtle when they are being too tight for both the clock choke and the crucifix entry. I think Aesopian covers some options in Mastering the Crucifix, so I'll have another look at those before I teach it next time. I was a little less prepared than usual as I wasn't expected to teach turtle tonight, but as I've spent a month on it now I was fairly clear on the steps. I'm especially excited that we now have a two hour long open mat: that should be awesome for refining technique, as long as I make sure we get a good turnout. :)

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