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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

08 August 2016

08/08/2016 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Overhook Triangle (from two-on-one grip break)

Teaching #542
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 08/08/2016

If someone is in your closed guard, they will probably be grabbing your gi somewhere between your chest and stomach. This means you can grab their sleeve with one hand, then reach your other hand underneath to hold your own wrist, making a figure-four. Wrench up with your figure-four to break their grip (you could also try raising your hips then dropping them as you wrench to increase the leverage, depending where they're holding you). Bring your knees to your chest and pull their sleeve behind your head.

At the same time, swim inside and then around their arm with your other hand, so that you end up overhooking their arm. With the overhooking hand, reach through and grasp their opposite collar (if you can't reach it, grab what you can, but for setting up submissions, much better to have the far collar). Keep the elbow of your overhooking arm locked to your body, so they can't free their arm.

The overhook choke is a good option to try first, which anybody experienced will attempt to block. That's normally either by grabbing your second hand and pulling it close to their body to block, or they will stop the arm reaching by pressing your your arm to the mat.

In both scenarios, that presents you with an opportunity for a triangle. You just need to get your leg either inside or outside their arm. If they are blocking close to their body, you may have room to kick around their arm and into their neck. If they block by pushing your arm to the mat, bring your leg underneath it. To do that, it is easier if you can circle your blocked arm to grab their wrist or arm, then use that to wriggle your knee through. Again, you then want to kick your leg to their neck.

As soon as you have that leg by the neck, you need to control their head. This is the number one mistake beginners make: they forget to control the head, enabling their opponent to posture up and escape. Keep that head control all the way through, never giving them a chance to regain their posture.

Keep your other leg tight to their arm, getting your knee behind their shoulder and squeezing in. Don't give them space to pull their arm out. With your overhooking arm, switch to grabbing the shin you have over their neck instead, keeping it tight: any space and they will immediately pull out their arm.

Push off their hip with your leg that was on the overhooking side. Use that to swivel, pulling your shin further towards you (making sure you are gripping your shin, never your foot, as that can hurt your ankle). Lock your other leg in, bringing it over your shin. You can now squeeze for the finish, or swivel further until you are looking at their ear. That means you can kick with your neck leg and clamp down with your locking leg, a stronger finish than the abductor squeeze if you're square on.

Teaching Notes: I think this went fairly well, with the usual things to emphasise. As always, some people were forgetting to keep control of the head, while some others weren't quite tight enough. Those are things I'll continue to emphasise.

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

Drilling this with Heidi (yep, she does indeed have awesome yoga skills: check out her Instagram, it's amazing) on Wednesday at Broadmead was handy too: once again, the truth of what Ryan Hall says about not worrying where their arm is was clear. You don't need to pull it across their body, though that isn't a bad thing to do. The reason I don't emphasise it is that beginners frequently over-focus on pulling the arm across, grabbing the arm when they should be grabbing the head.

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