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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

20 June 2016

20/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | The Dummy Catcher (Brad Wolfson)

Class #726
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Brad Wolfson, Leuven, Belgium, 20/06/2016

Wolfson was keeping his cards close to his chest with the name of this one, originally the last class of the camp, later moved to become the last one for Monday. The position looked like it might fit with the Ryan Hall/Jeff Rockwell style open guard I’ve been playing with, using frames and coming up on the elbow. The Dummy Catcher comes into play as or just after they pass your guard. Bring your inside arm over their head and arm, tight to the neck. Anchor that arm by grabbing behind your nearest knee, preventing them from moving away or freeing their arm.

The first of four techniques was attacking their enclosed arm. To get it into place, bridge and knock them in the direction your hips are pointing, forcing them to post with their hand (if they don’t, there are follow ups). Grab that wrist and push it to their head. You need to make sure their elbow stays on the ground, by your hip. Scoot your hip in closer, then bring your arm-anchoring leg over their wrist. You can now twist your hips to apply an americana: be careful, this can come on quickly.

A photo posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

It’s very likely that they will prevent you isolating their arm like that, either by straightening it or folding it back. Should that happen, you will probably be able to continue your roll and knock them right over. Bridge and bring them over the top. I was concerned for my lower back doing this, but on reflection, I can just switch to the third technique if I feel any resistance or strain. That is very simple, as you just swing or walk your legs out the way to knock them over. This is most effective when they are trying to bring their weight back to avoid being rolled over: it’s the same kind of leg motion as Jeff Rockwell’s counter to the knee cut, which I also want to work.

Finally, if you can’t get the arm, you can’t roll them over and you can’t adjust to knock them in another direction, there is a fourth possibility. The scenario Wolfson demonstrated for this was if they come up on their toes and drive their weight through your shoulder, preventing you from coming up on your elbow or hand. You will then search for their leg with your lower foot, then hook your higher foot behind their knee (depending on your flexibility, you may not need to search for the leg first). Once you have that secured, you can lift and turn, in a ‘wing sweep’ motion.

Wolfson also went through some tips from kesa gatame, starting with bringing your leg right under their shoulder. In terms of preventing being rolled over, you can go onto the ball of your foot rather than pressing your entire sole onto the mat, also angling your knee towards their head. That makes your base much stronger. He added some submission at the end, but as soon as the words ‘neck crank’ left his mouth (particularly when coupled with ‘catch wrestling’), I switched off. I have a strong aversion to all the nasty, painful stuff that catch wrestling seems to thrive on, though that’s just my personal hang-up, nothing to do with the efficacy of the techniques. ;)

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