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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 August 2015

02/08/2015 - Open Mat | Breadcutter Armbar & Crucifix Shoulder Lock

Class #656
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 02/08/2015

Today I was keen to build in more training time for me, being more selfish. I had the five minute interval timer running, so I could grab people to work on stuff. I wanted to get in some reps on the breadcutter armbar and the crucifix shoulder lock, given both of those had slipped my mind in sparring when the opportunity was staring me in the face.

First, near side armbar off breadcutter (Xande has a great video for this on BJJ Library, as I was missing that when sparring Gareth at RGA Bucks. You've gone for the breadcutter, but can't get your second grip. Push down their far arm and pinch your elbow in tight on their trapped arm. Drive your knee nearest their legs into them, folding your leg behind their back like you would in technical mount. Bring your folded knee up and tight against their arm, swinging your other leg over their head. You can then lean back to finish, and/or lean towards their head to get your folded leg extended over them. That makes it tougher for them to escape, as opposed to the 'Japanese armbar' that gives them a chance to potentially turn.

Going for the position, I need to get that near side arm trapped. They don't always reach enough for me to lock it in initially, so I ended up trying to wriggle my hip through. I also need to be careful of putting my head/chest too far forward, especially if you haven't got a strong base with your other arm. That was highlighted when I got rolled over when sparring later.

Second, I drilled the shoulder lock from crucifix that Dave Jacobs showed me, as I didn't think of it on Friday when sparring Jim. Put the knee nearest their head slightly forward, making sure it is still controlling their arm. Turn to face their legs, grabbing their ankle to anchor yourself. Twist and swing the leg furthest from their head behind you, in a 'dog leg' motion, still hooking the arm. Do this movement gradually, as that shoulder lock can come on quickly, depending on their flexibility.

I didn't really get to spar this with much resistance, but felt good to drill it a bunch of times. I need to try that more often. If they block by grabbing leg, like Rafal did, I should hopefully be able to then move into a crucifix roll. At least, it worked with Rafal, but might not with somebody a lot bigger.

More open guard drilling with Chris, where we did some specific sparring on blocking the pass. I tried Jeff Rockwell's sit up escape as he passed, but need to be careful of giving too much space. There was too great a degree of turning away when I did it, meaning I presented my side. So, I should staying a bit tighter, can then wriggle back to guard. I also think I need to be facing him more: I'll double check Jeff's instructional.

There was an interesting change in passing approach from Chris. I had said that I wanted to work on a particular point where I get stuck with him, but he wasn't getting there because he isn't passing the same way. Previously, he was gripping the gi trousers and crushing in. Now, after we last drilled this and talked about his passing, it's become more fluid. He starts by grabbing the back of my gi like I suggested, but also the leg on the floor when in sitting guard. That is great for a leg drag, but then he does have to reach down to grab leg. I'm wondering if I could use that to pull him off balance, grab their sleeve first? Something to play with more.

I tried the stiff arm escape under side control in another spar, but struggled to get up, always the big difficulty with that technique. Again, Rockwell's book should be handy for that. I made a brief attempt to switch sides, like in the book, but I'm missing too many details. I'll aim to drill it some more at open mat over the course of next week. There was possibly a chance for what Rockwell calls the 'meerkat' position, which I held for a few seconds, but it soon turned into the dogfight position (an Eddie Bravo term this time), and he came on top.

There was the usual pattern of him passing, me trying to move away, chasing. I did eventually get him down with an ankle pick: still not being assertive enough from sitting guard, I have to move, go for sweeps. I'm too dependant on the ankle pick from there. Although I do have a bunch of other connected techniques from sitting guard (tripod/sickle, unstoppable sweep, collar drag etc), I'm not combining them well enough. Distance management feels like it is part of the problem, I'm not applying technique at the right range and the right time. I got tangled up thinking of the tripod/sickle, my legs weren't in place.

My last bit of sparring was some more open guard specifics, but unfortunately I moved my head forward just as he quickly leapt with his knee for a pass. I don't think it was anything serious, but I felt a little dizzy, so stopped immediately. As readers will know, if there is even a hint of injury I'll stop sparring. Cuts down my sparring time in the short time, but I would hope greatly increases it in the long term.

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