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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

07 April 2017

07/04/2017 - Teaching | Back | RNC set ups: Trapping an arm

Teaching #650
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 07/04/2017

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Ideally, you want to stack the odds in your favour when attacking. One of the best ways of doing that is to take one of their arms out of commission, meaning they only have one arm left to defend against both of yours. A simple option is to try tricking them into giving you access to the hold you want, a handy tip I saw on a John Will DVD. When you try to get an arm around their neck, a common reaction on their part is to grab your arm and pull it down. If you respond by pulling up, they will normally pull down even harder. This means that if you time it right, you can suddenly switch direction and swing the arm they are pulling down across your body. This should sweep their arms out of the way for a moment (try to catch both of their arms when you do this). Make sure your other hand is ready and waiting near their shoulder, as you can then immediately bring that other arm across their suddenly undefended neck.

Even better, you can take their arm right out of commission. With one of your hands, grab their wrist. Shove it down to their hip, then step over that arm with your same side leg. When you then re-establish your hook (or pin your heel to their ribs, or put your leg behind their back), they are left with only one arm to defend against both of yours. If they've grabbed your wrist, twist your palm outwards, shove it down and out, then again step over their arm with your leg. Make sure you maintain pressure, so they can't simply swim their arm free.

There is also the method I learned from Dónal. Reach your hand up through their arm, on the non-choking side. It should be relatively simple to push your hand up past the crook of their elbow, as your hand is already by their armpit. Once you've wriggle that hand through, put it palm up, like a waiter holding up a plate. Roll them towards your choking side arm. That will make it easier to bring your leg over to your palm, grabbing your own ankle (on the outside, so you aren't twisting your arm awkwardly).

You can now use a combined pull with your arm and dig with your foot, in order to thread your leg through the crook of their elbow. Keep threading, with the aim of getting your shin pressed against their back. Bring your knee up too. You want to get as much into the crook of their elbow as possible, to make it tougher for them to unwind their arm. If you end up just catching their wrist, it will be far easier for them to escape.


Teaching Notes: I thought I had previously taught this as a separate lesson, but looking back through my blog, it appears I've always included it as part of the rear naked choke lesson. There's probably too much detail for that. It felt like more than enough on its own, which I think went fairly well. The main problem is if people don't already know the RNC (or some other choke submission), but that appeared to work ok tonight (there were only a few beginners who were entirely unaware of the choke, they still picked it up ok).

On what should be the simplest one, a few people were getting confused on how to wrap the arm, attempting to make it look like the third option. Next time, I'll describe the second as pushing their wrist to their hip, then bringing your leg over the top. I'll also keep emphasising how on the third one, you need to get up nice and high on their arm, away from their wrist. Shin into the back and knee up feels like a useful way to describe it, I'll do it that way next time.

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