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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

22 July 2015

22/07/2015 - Teaching | Open Guard | Collar Drag

Teaching #360
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/07/2015

Tonight we went with a straightforward technique commonly known as a collar drag. Again, you can do this from several open guard positions (butterfly, for example), but this month we're looking at sitting guard. Start in your sitting guard, where you are basing behind with your arm. Generally, you want to make sure that arm is behind you, as if you've got it to the side, they can grab it and drive forward to pass.

However, there are exceptions to that rule, such as when you want to collar drag. In sitting guard, a good time to do this is when they try to pass around the outside of your raised knee. Use your basing arm to help you shift off to the side, away from your collar gripping arm and towards the open side into which they're moving. Posting on your free arm, shift your hips away. You are then going to pull your partner into the space you've just vacated, using their collar. Bring the elbow of your pulling arm to the mat.

Be careful of dragging them too hard and too far, or they can simply scamper round, putting you back to square one. After a successful collar drag, you will normally already have a leg close enough to hook inside their leg and start taking their back. That means it is easier to reach around to grasp their lat, then swing your leg over to begin establishing back control. Make sure you get a seat belt grip (one arm over the shoulder, the other under the armpit), or they may be able to simply shrug you off. It may turn into a sweep instead, depending how they land from the collar drag: keep control of their leg and drive, staying tight.

Teaching & Sparring Notes: I mentioned doing this when they move to the side, but I think that's confusing people. Next time, I'll show how to do it when they don't move to the side, then I can mention that if they do move to the side, they are putting themselves in the position to be dragged already so you can move less. A few people weren't sure about putting that hook in: it would be good to put a back drill in the warm-up to make it clear.

The warm-up has changed a little, as I've continued combining the drills into a progression. So, started with knee cut, then side control to mount, then mount to tech mount. When I teach this again, need to make sure the tech mount to back drill is in there, so especially newer people can feel what back mount is like.

In sparring, I was looking for the ankle pick and tripod, along with the unstoppable sweep. Koala guard if it popped up, but I'm not having too much luck entering into that. Jammed my finger during one of the spars, so took it easy at the end with a beginner, giving them a chance to work. If the finger is still messed up by Friday, that will mean I have a chance to practice different grips, working the underhook with my right hand. It will be interesting to see how applicable that is to open guard.

I ended up in a weird position with Matt, wrapped around his leg upside down. Eventually I rolled him over, but there was no technique involved, just random scrambling. At least I got in close. Hopefully that will lend itself to something more productive, like improving my entries into koala guard. Inverted koala guard, not so useful. :P

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