Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/09/2016
Tonight I went through Kenny Polmans take on the gi tail baseball bat choke, something I first encountered on Roy Dean’s excellent Purple Belt Requirements. Start in standard side control, one hand under their head, heavy cross-face. With your other hand, pull out their far lapel, feeding that under their head to your cross facing hand. Secure the grip with your cross-facing hand, palm down. Straighten that arm firmly, so that your forearm is pressing into their neck.
The tricky part is bringing in your second hand. You need to get your hand on top of the other, holding the gi tail like a baseball bat (hence the name of the choke). To do so, your second arm has to thread inside your opponent's arm, as you have to get your second arm pressed against the other side of their neck for the choke. Angle the elbow of your second arm inwards, towards your first arm.
Put your knee on their belly to stop them escaping, then apply the choke by twisting inwards. This should make your arms press firmly into both sides of their neck: your first arm stays fairly static, it's the weight dropping through the second elbow that applies most of the choke. Be careful you are pressing into the sides of the neck, not the windpipe. If you need more leverage, try rotating around to a north south type position, putting your head on their chest.
Should they defend, that can lead into an armbar, which I'll be covering later. :)
Teaching & Sparring Notes: This went pretty well. Things to emphasise would be getting the first arm straight into the neck and the cutting angle of the second. I don't remember too many issues with this one, the main part I want to practice is good follow-ups from here. I know a bunch from the breadcutter, but I use the baseball bat choke much less often (as it's hard to get that second hand in once people know what you're going for). Still, I should try it more often.
In sparring, I've been trying out Chiu's two-on-one escape a lot. I need to be careful I don't get too flat, or the escape is scuppered. Also, watch out for armbars: I didn't get stuck in one, but it's a risk. Best thing is that it opens things up, with different options. On top, I had a fun roll with a new guy, swivelling around to north south/knee on chest to stop them getting their guard back. I was pleased to get a pressing armbar while up there, so I think he tapped early, I didn't feel I had it locked in. But that demonstrates he's a good, sensible training partner, which bodes very well. :)