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Old 02-14-2008, 11:05 PM   #131 (permalink)
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That was very helpful. The sparring partner was kneeling but he consistently moved his hips forward changing the angle (in hindsight, the underhooks should have been the most obvious response... but he wasn't staying in that position very long and getting back the underhooks wasn't my first response). The hip thrust reversal is a great option (that I haven't practiced in a while so it wasn't exactly "fresh" on my mind) and I like that kimura (or neck crank reversal) transition from that position. The rubberguard did work for a while, but he knew to keep his elbows in and was able to posture up slightly and maintain space (which limited my range of motion, since I'm not that flexible in the rubberguard yet).

Again this was very helpful, thank you.

Can you elaborate on the "straight knee cracker sweep" and the "arm-catch to omoplata"?
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:16 AM   #132 (permalink)
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Can you elaborate on the "straight knee cracker sweep" and the "arm-catch to omoplata"?
Definitely.

The knee cracker sweep is my variation of a traditional spider guard sweep where you put your feet on the hips and grab the heels. That sweep was a really solid one for me for a while, but rarely did an opponent ever lean back so I could work that variation.

The knee cracker is something that I came up with to deal with an opponent that leans forward hard when they strike.

When they stand, you spin for the knee, as though you are going for a footlock, and trap the heel. The difference is that your shin should be either on your opponents knee or on their shin. This will allow you to do what is basically a low-single off of the back.

When you come up from this position, make sure that you keep your opponent's leg pinned to the ground so that you can pass guard.

The arm-catch to omoplata is really just a fast-paced version of a normal omoplata, where you use your opponents momentum to set up your position.

If they throw a big punch, you get out of the way (always do this first), then hook the arm as though you are going for an armbar.

Shoot your hips out so that you are all the way on your side, and this will give you the angle to pass a foot under and over to set up the omoplata.

It's really a normal omoplata where you use your opponents' momentum to trap the shoulder and then, once they've stopped moving, you roll them their forearm and hand into a position to finish the omo.
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:32 AM   #133 (permalink)
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Great posts IronMan, you're a very helpful Bjj source on these forums
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:52 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Great posts IronMan, you're a very helpful Bjj source on these forums
Thanks, man. Like I said, anyone who has specific questions about stuff I bring up or just training questions in general is free to post 'em here. I post when I have ideas, but if people bring stuff up it helps me to think about it.
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Old 02-15-2008, 05:58 PM   #135 (permalink)
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I have a question regarding side mount. Say I'm on top in side mount going for a keylock/straight arm bar/kimura. I notice a lot on flexible and smaller guys that they kinda shrimp up and then use their legs/knee to break the grip. How do you counter that efficiently?
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:09 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wukkadb View Post
I have a question regarding side mount. Say I'm on top in side mount going for a keylock/straight arm bar/kimura. I notice a lot on flexible and smaller guys that they kinda shrimp up and then use their legs/knee to break the grip. How do you counter that efficiently?
The really basic defense for this move isn't a counter. It's actually just not letting it happen in the first place, and that means dropping your hip down into the lounge position. I actually find that the leverage you get from side mount is overrated and that it's better to play from the lounge for a little while, or at least transition to it when you feel your opponent is getting their legs in. If you do this, there's really no chance of them using their legs to break that grip.

As far as counters from this side mount break goes, it depends on where you are in the technique, so I'll explain the two really consistent possibilities.

If you don't have the arm thoroughly controlled yet and you're feeling them start to bring their legs in. The best bet is to swim your top arm over and control the head. This will allow you to either set up the guillotine or to transition to north/south (which is what I usually do, as it allows me to attack the north/south choke and a few other neck cranks I have from this position).

If you do have the arm controlled, either with an americana or a kimura, just step over the head and drop your elbows down. This will keep them from using their legs to break the grip. Most people in BJJ just see this as a good lock for a kimura, but the leverage it provides is actually even sicker for the americana. This will almost certainly draw the tap, just make sure to drop your body down, and be careful when you're using it in sparring.

There are some leglocks from here, but their much more difficult and a little more elaborate. They also hit with much lower probability. So I just use them in training.
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:38 PM   #137 (permalink)
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A Note on Elbows from the Bottom

I was training with Greg, one of the guys in my MMA class, and we were working grappling with strikes (headgear and 8 ounce gloves) and I kept sweeping him.

Now Greg's not very good at BJJ, so it's understandable that I'm sweeping him, but he wanted to know it there's anything that I could show him to help him out with this problem, and it got me thinking about something that I've just sort of taken for granted for a long time.

Why is it so easy for me to get sweeps off of the bottom when I'm training full contact?

The answer didn't take me that long, and I realized that it's the same reason why my opponent's let me get back to my feet once they get out of my closed/rubber guard.

They don't like getting hit in the face, even if they're on top.

You see, being in the guard gives you a really excellent opportunity to hit an opponent who can't really mobilize to get out of the way. As the person on the bottom, you have lots of moves that can be used against an opponent, as you can escape through the bottom and can constantly attack with submissions, the same as being in the mount. While the leverage for attacking with strikes from the guard doesn't seem as good, often it's actually better, especially when it comes to set up attacks, which is what I finally decided makes my guard game work.

If you are throwing an up elbow, while doing what is essentially a situp, your opponent often wants to get out of the way, the problem is that there are only two ways that he can go with his hips blocked off by your guard: backwards and forwards; and both are positions that give me easy submissions.

Even if an opponent dodges the elbow my moving his head to the mat and trying to smash me with his chest (going foward), I'm in a great position to lock down my favorite closed guard submissions: the omoplata, the kimura and the guillotine choke. Understand that the first two come from when your opponent tries to pin you to the canvas. He needs to open one of his arms (the one opposite his head) so that you don't take the back. If he's a big enough idiot to do that, then take it, but most guys aren't.

Once he opens that arm, all you have to do is swim your opposite side arm over his head and set up the kimura grip or, if you have flexible hips like me, pull the foot up and swing the hips out to isolate the shoulder.

If he pulls the arm in to guard the kimura grip (which I sometimes use even with the omoplata, because letting your opponents hips through isn't really a problem, as it enables a sweep that finishes the kimura submission for you), then you can still take the guillotine and pull your legs up to increase your leverage.

It also acts as a great setup for mission control in the rubber guard game (which I use it for all the time as an intermediary between the breakdown and the kimura/omoplata/jiu-claw), if he's saavy enough that you don't think you'll get him with the guillotine.

Now, if he decides he's going to back out away from the elbow (really the amateur response, but the one that's been most common for me to deal with) the answer is a simple hip sweep. The hip sweep will put you in mount and allow you to either proceed to beat the crap out of your opponent or to start looking for submissions while he panics.

The elbow can also finish fights by making a cut, but I feel this uses are more effective for those of us (myself included) who don't have those Kenny Florian razors.
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Old 03-06-2008, 12:22 AM   #138 (permalink)
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The Brabo Choke

I've been playing around with variations of the Brabo choke for a long time and I just thought I'd throw out some observations I've had about the way in which the submission is made most effective.

If anyone has any questions about how the technique works, just throw them out there. It's a little bit more of an advanced submission, so I understand people not knowing, and the details that I'm pointing out won't make sense unless you know what the move is.

First, I've found that putting your opponent on his back destroys the choke. While I initially thought it might improve leverage, it instead gives your opponent the opportunity to put his back on the floor and flatten out, causing you to lose the choke. Instead, it is better to roll your opponent the other way, trying to stretch the spine, as with a guillotine.

Second, I've found that it's possible, against particularly willful opponents (and even more so in competition) to pull guard and really finish the move with a full fledged powerchoke. (for those who don't know what that is, that's just fancy language for a choke that puts your opponent to sleep quickly and without cranking the neck to stretch the arteries)

If I'm going back into guard, I tend to pull it while my opponent is on their side, and let them try and get up (if they can't, it's still fine).

Just a few notes on executing the technique. A little sidebar on the guardpulling, not that I said "particularly willful," because the brabo choke is a pretty powerful move without increasing the leverage, and with your opponents arm trapped they might have trouble tapping. We wary of your opponent passing out, it's happened more than once to me already.
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Old 03-09-2008, 03:08 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Circular Submission Cycles

Every reasonable grappler knows the sukata, in one form or another. The triangle-to-armbar-to-triangle-to-armbar circle is one that's well known, and the fighter that can keep his grip tight and switch between the two based on whether his opponent is trying to stack him or pull out is always in good shape.

Still, there are a few awesome sequences that don't get quite as much coverage as the sukata. I want to take a look at these ones, since they're at least as interesting and often more effective.

Kimura-Guillotine

This circle is popular among alot of the BJJ guys I train with, and I really like it, especially for MMA competition. The guillotine choke is really only seen as a move that can be sunk in as the result of a sloppy double leg to alot of MMA fighters, so when you sit up and swing that arm over your opponent's head the mind often just jumps to kimura and they go to tuck that arm.

For me, this will usually finish the match, but in the event that it doesn't the only way to really relieve the pressure from a good guillotine is to use the arm as a post (whether it's on your opponent or on the ground) and this opens up the kimura. This allows for a smooth transition between the two, because as soon as they tuck the arm to defend the kimura, you can go right back to the guillotine.

Toehold-Achilles Lock

The principle here is really the same as the one used to drive the sukata, because you turn for the achilles lock (or straight ankle lock) as soon as your opponent pulls away and straightens that leg out, and if they start to try and stack and come back in, you can work the toehold to create some space and cause some pain.

Of course, the toehold is generally finished with the leg extended, and if you get to that position, that's great, but if you don't, you can still use the toehold as a way to control the position of your opponents body, and use the achilles lock to cause some tendon pain.

Omoplata-Gogoplata

This is one of the most effective combination and is really, once again, based on the same principle as the sukata, which makes sense, because the two really only allow your opponent two directions to move, backwards or forwards.

You can apply the omo when your opponent turns away from the choke, and when they come in to try and get that arm in front of them then they make it easy to attack the gogo.

Hope that's helpful for people.
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Old 03-18-2008, 04:18 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Patience

Recently, I was at a kid's tournament to coach the kids from my BJJ school, one of whom was my brother (he won his division, submitted one kid and beat the other like 13-0). I realized, watching the kids division, that there's a really common mistake between alot of newer grapplers, and it's one that I make alot too, and have been trying to fix in my training.

90% of winning a grappling match is waiting for you opponent to make a mistake so that you can capitalize. Hooking a leg or an arm doesn't just happen, you have to know what your looking for, and be patient enough to find it.

It seems that alot of grapplers just want to attack and finish as quickly as they can, but they end up, even if they win, throwing up a sloppy submission that could have been alot better if they had waited for a little more arm extension or neck offering from their opponent.

A student of Marcelo Garcia's that I was working with at a seminar told me that one of the things Marcelo teaches is: "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast." While it seems like nothing is ever smooth in grappling, if you watch the upper echelon of grapplers, you find that their success is all about waiting for the right moment to finish. It's how Nogueira beat Bob Sapp (though he sustained alot of damage during that fight) and it's how Fedor has picked up all of his submission wins.

It's not just about submissions either. Carlos Valente once told one of his students that I was competing against: "If he gets you in a bad spot, just wait. He'll make a mistake and you can get out. If he's stubborn, be patient. He'll do something stupid."

The more I thought about that, the more I've tried to practice it with my training partners. Letting them get me in side control and waiting for them to lift a hip up to go for the mount or the armbar is a practice in patience, so is waiting for them to lighten up from the mount.

Whatever position your in, don't be afraid to play the waiting game. It's great to be able to draw the mistakes, but make sure that you have control of the situation, be patient enough to make sure that where you are is where you want to be, and then finish. You can win from anywhere (I've finished with gogoplatas from the bottom of side control and heel hooks while mounted), but you have to make sure that your circumstances allow you to pull that victory out, and it's fine to take your time getting them to fit.
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