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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

06 January 2016

06/01/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Shoulder Clamp & Pressing Armbar

Teaching #445
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 06/01/2016



For the pressing armbar, break their posture by pulling your knees to your chest, then wrap up their head with an arm. Reach your other arm under their same side armpit, clasping your hands together palm to palm and locking on their shoulder. Get your hips out to the side and extend their arm. Firmly lock their wrist between your head and shoulder, as if you were talking on your phone with your hands full. With your armpit arm, slide that up their arm, staying tight so they have no room to move.

Bring your leg up their back, aiming to squash them into the floor. If they are able to stay upright, they can drive back into you to square up, weakening your control. Push their head away with what was your head wrapping arm if you need to. Your goal is to smush their head into the mat, down and away from you. Relock your gable grip, pulling your arm over their elbow to roll it up if it's in the wrong position. That makes it hard for them to escape, as they need to get their elbow down to pull the arm free. To finish, pull (or push, depending on your grip and configuration) down on their elbow.

Keep in mind that there needs to be some space to pull down into. If you haven't gotten enough onto your side and you're holding too low with your head and shoulder clamp, you might end up just shoving their arm into your own chest. Pull your bottom shoulder back to make sure there is that space. It's also important to secure both their wrist and their shoulder for this to succeed. Nathan Leverton had a name for this at his LSG seminar: 'stick theory'. In other words, to snap a stick across your knee, you hold it at both ends, not just one.
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Teaching & Sparring Notes: Making enough space to get onto your side caused problem for a few people. I think the main way to resolve that was pulling the bottom shoulder back. At the same time, you need to keep their arm tucked by your head, so you might have to curl in towards them too. A few of the the taller, longer-limbed people had a bit of trouble with that, especially as if you get too far up their arm, you might lose your control over their shoulder.

Finding the elbow can be tricky too, which is why this is easier to do nogi. As long as you stay tight that shouldn't be a major problem though, because that should give you time to find the right spot. There's always the option of taking their back instead, or potentially moving into an omoplata, like I'm planning to show on friday. I could probably have talked more about rolling their elbow up, that's a handy tip. Also stops them pulling their arm up by getting their elbow down.

Sparring was useful if brief. With Matt I couldn't block him standing and opening too well, he did a good job of controlling my sleeve. However, I did manage to move into the shoulder clamp(ish) butterfly sweep, as I maintained some control over his head after he stood up, getting him back down into butterfly guard. I was mainly pushing down on head with my elbow, rather than the full clamp. I didn't get the sweep initially, relying too much on my back. Once I got the other arm hooked in though, it became much easier: I need to remember to make sure both arms are in place before I try to move somebody's weight.

I'm also continuing to play with the Sao Paulo pass variation off Margarida's DVD, but only managing it on the less experienced beginners at this stage. Still, good to practice, particularly as it's something new to me so that makes it sufficiently challenging that it's a good one to try when there's an experience/size gap. :)

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