Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/10/2014
Another session on the stiff arm tonight. I know two main variations, of which I find Marcelo Garcia's elbow push (technically it's the triceps, but he calls it 'elbow push' on MGinAction) the higher percentage. He works from under a standard side control then brings their arm across. To do so, make some space by pressing into their neck and bridging if necessary, then sneaking your other hand under their armpit and onto your head.
Use your elbow to bump their arm over, bumping it up high on your head. As soon as their arm clears your head, immediately grab just above their elbow, pinching your hand around their triceps: you can support this with your other arm if necessary. Extend your arm so it is straight: this is absolutely key, keep it straight. Still holding their arm, swing your legs up, then as they come down, use that momentum to sit up. Bring your free arm backwards in order to base out on your elbow (if possible, extend that arm when you can, in order to post on your hand and create a stronger base). Continuing to push on their triceps, shrimp backwards into the space you've created, until you can recover guard.
Sometimes you'll be able to combine this with the other option, which is to keep pushing into their elbow or armpit until you can roll them over. Normally it's easier to shrimp out to guard, but sometimes their weight distribution means that pushing them over makes more sense.
Teaching & Sparring Notes: Tonight I added in the two arms option, as well as bumping them arm high over your head. I noticed this during progressive resistance and sparring: if I put my elbow high, it seemed to be a good bit easier to bring their arm over my skull. In terms of blocking the escape, my highest rate of success was turning my near hip towards their head. However, I think that also makes you more vulnerable to the pushover variation, judging by when I was on the bottom and my training partner attempted the same counter. If you stay low with the head, that helps.
I found a few times that when I was having trouble escaping as they had that near hip in (so, the hip-to-hip side control I taught yesterday, sort of), I could manage to knock them over by pushing into an arm and also shoving their gi collar into their neck. Sitting up was then enough to bump them over, though I'm not sure that's a high percentage escape. I was also attempting to bridge more powerfully when escaping, going off two legs rather than my usual one, as well as knocking them up over my head.
In sparring, I kept in mind the advice about always holding on to the figure four grip if you get it. I initially locked it in from side control, moving to north south to look for the kimura. He turtled, I kept my grip and moved into a crucifix. As he rolled over of that and back to turtle, I was able to knock him over (still with the grip) and walk my legs back round to side control. From there, I drove the other knee in past the hips as he attempted to turn, put my leg around the head then slowly dropped back for the armbar (I had a vague triangle around the head from side control at some point too, which further helped with control).
Normally I'm not keen on armbars, but when it feels like I have a strong control all the way through, much better. This could possibly fit in when I teach the americana tomorrow, though it may be a little too advanced if there are lots of beginners. I'm still having a think about the best set-up to teach.
I added in the same takedown drills at the start of tonight. From now on, I plan to just do them on the Tuesday and Thursday at Kingswood, because the lesson is a bit longer. Takes too much time in the hour I've got at Bristol Sports Centre, I think.