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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

13 September 2017

13/09/2017 - Teaching | Back | RNC Recounters

Teaching #703
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 13/09/2017

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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.

An alternative to the John Will method comes from Alan Shebaro, who taught me this at the Leuven 2017 camp. He calls it 'butterfly hands' and it's beautifully simple. Put the back of your non choking hand against the other, making a 'butterfly' type shape, then use that non-choking hand to pull across. You're then in position to immediately slide the non choking arm through behind their head, locking in the choke.

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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).

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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 forgot to try the one where you reach your hand inside and then bring your elbow back, so must try that in class some time. I might throw it in to the class I'm teaching on Friday, just to test it out. For next time, I think it's too many to have four techniques. I should split this into two separate classes. I could have one class on the thumb up thing to lift the neck (maybe? Or leave that in the main RNC lesson?), along with the John Will swoop on the arm and butterfly hands. Then I could have another lesson on trapping the arm, so basic push down and then the 'serve up the foot' method from Donal.

On butterfly hands, emphasise that you're pulling across. It's also important which hand is where, so you can smoothly slide it behind the head to lock in the choke. It would also be worth talking briefly about the basic seat belt itself, a number of people were asking about which hand to put where. For the simple push the hand down, make sure people aren't pushing it out too far, or you won't be able to put your leg over the top easily. Gripping palm up or palm down seems to make a slight different, worth playing with some more.

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