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Old 07-19-2010, 12:14 AM   #291 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recon6991 View Post
Great explanation, I had the same question at the person you quoted. I realize this is a very broad question, but what do you think about neck cranks? I've been asking a lot of guys with more experience than me lately because I really struggle with them. Thanks.
That's an incredibly broad question.

What do I think about neck cranks in competition?

I totally understand why most grappling competitions have either heavily restricted or outright banned them. You look at guys like Jeff Monson and similarly built fighters and the reality is a guy like that can physically tear the head off of a slimmer fighter, and in open weight, that sort of issue gets even more serious.

As the guy who's usually on the receiving end of neck cranks, there's a competitive advantage for me. I can stack my guard up without worrying about can openers (though my guard games isn't as much of a high, closed guard as it used to be; so that's not such a big deal for me anymore) and I don't have the threat of a serious injury, which is always nice.

What do I think of them in terms of their effectiveness?

I'm not particularly fond of neck cranks. You have moves like the can opener which do a great job at what they do, but in both cases, there are better techniques that you could be using, in my opinion.

The guys I see using neck cranks are usually guys who aren't competent enough on the ground to do the effective stuff, and are grabbing on to the head and pulling really hard. There are some that do require a level of technical skill (the crucifix is a good example of this) and there are others that require no skill whatsoever.

If you're good at jiu-jitsu, you shouldn't get neckcranked by a newcomer, just on the basis that you're protecting your neck. Even if your new to jiu-jitsu and grappling, the neckcranks should be decidedly less effective than chokes 90% of the time purely on the basis that the control of the head in the neck crank is going to be more difficult to maintain than control of the choke.

I don't have anything against the guys that use neckcranks, but they really only make up such a small segment of the jiu-jitsu game right now that you can't pursue them in the same way that you can pursue armbars or triangles or guillotine chokes.

I dunno, I don't think that they work as well as other people seem to. I think if you're built like Jeff Monson, you should learn them, but there are moves that are going to work better for you that are easier that you can learn in tandem anyway (i.e. arm triangles, guillotine chokes, americana, etc.) and there are more ways to set up those attacks then there are ways to set up neck cranks anyway.

There are better places in jiu-jitsu to spend time training. That's my opinion. They work, for sure, but they work in the same way the gogoplata works. If you're working that kind of technique, it should be for a relatively short period of time compared to the more simple, more common, more effective stuff that you're probably going to catch off of that same position.
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Old 07-22-2010, 01:29 AM   #292 (permalink)
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Attacking the Armbar off of the Back

When I started training, I absolutely loved taking high-point positions. But as I've gotten more experienced, I've actually become disinclined to taking the mount and hanging onto the back. There are lots of positions I take the back from, but it's really not my favorite place to be.

More than anywhere else, I like to be in side control. I'm aggressive from side control and have an easy time maintaining the position.

Now, I don't mind being on the back, so when were working techniques and ultimately drilling from that position tonight, I was down, and it worked pretty well. I really don't like attacking from the mount, since most of my training partners are bigger and buck hard, so unless I get under the elbows into a really high position, I have to post my arms out and work slower than I'd like, and spend a lot of energy just holding the position.

That said, there's one part of controlling the back that I really like, and that's the feeling of popping the elbows out, establishing control with the underhooks, working the hips out and locking up the armbar. I'm a joint-lock guy (though I have a few chokes I love; the guillotine, the anaconda and the gogoplata) so attacking the armbar is just the natural attack.

I kept finding myself in the same position, over and over again, while I was attacking from the top, and that's a position that I've been seeing in judo a lot against turtled opponents, too.

When you've locked up the hammer lock (or whatever grip you like) on the armbar and are ready to swing your leg over the head finish the armbar, and your opponent bellies down, tries to hide their wrist, and leaves you with a position where you have to choose between (a) throwing the leg over the head and attempting to muscle out the armbar, (b) using the foot that will eventually go over the head to hook behind the head and force them to roll over and (c) bailing on the armbar and trying something else.

I did all three, though since the purpose of the drill was to submit from the back, there was a question about whether it was ok to actually switch once I had been rolled over. I don't much care about that, though it obviously matters for the purpose of the drill.

Option A (a.k.a. trying to be a big, strong guy)

I'm a small guy, and so I'm physically smaller than most of my training partners, and when I try and straighten the arm out, if I don't have the grip with my hips high on the tricept, with my knees close together, I tend to lose it. Now, that's made me pretty efficient at getting a very tight technique, but its worth mentioning that, unless you're really tough, this is not really a good approach.

Still, if you're going to do it, and you feel your opponent shrugging you off, adjust your grip on the arm so that you have a good position above the elbow, try to scramble your hips up to close to the shoulder, keep the feet curled in and pinch your knees. The one thing that I've drilled in armbars (though not at sparring speed, for the most part) is trying to maintain the high position on the arm without using my hands.

it's good to drill if you're just training with a friend. Lock in your armbar, make sure your position is good, then let go of the grip on the arm and try to maintain control of the position by curling your heels and pinching your knees. It engages the abs really well, and trains the legs for armbars and triangles.

If you can maintain the position, you can finish the armbar. That has to be priority #1 if you're just going to attempt to rip the arm loose and finish the match.

Plan B (a.k.a. the good idea)

Personally, I like trying to roll my opponent. It's really easy to just slip the arm over and take a traditional position that you'd get during an armbar attempt from the top, and though people often loose a little control of the arm, often you have a second to adjust during the roll so that the loss isn't substantial.

The one thing that almost all of my competitive opponents, in judo and BJJ, have tried to do from this position, is roll up on top before I slip the leg over. My realization has been that just turning it into a race can win a lot of the time. It's never going to be 100%.

My personal choice from this defense is to maintain a tight position on the arm and, as they roll up, go for what would be a belly-down armbar from the guard. Basically, I'm doing a gramby roll, maintaining the armbar position without the leg over the face (though, again, I have the option to swing the leg over for an armbar, as I do with the belly-down version; or I can hook the head and roll them again until I feel that I have a sufficient lead on them to lock up the armbar and finish). Usually rolling them once more is sufficient to ensure that they can't posture and follow you to their knees again. Often, just going to the belly down armbar is fast enough to ensure that they can't do anything.

Plan C a.k.a. not a real plan

There are a number of really good attacks from this position. Triangles work really well, though I don't particularly like them. I like trying to look for an inverted triangle when its there, and caught it once tonight. I also like moving to the triangle position and, often, since they're trying to bend the arm, you can force it into an omoplata, though against better guys that's a fight.

Or you can release the grip on the arm, turn the grip with the lower hand into an underhook and sprawl the legs back, though this one can get precarious if your fighting a wrestling. I love to bait the guillotine, so I particularly like this move, as I find I often get ridiculously high guard position after this move (they tend to reach for the legs and panic pretty hard.

Anyway, that's all for tonight.
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Old 07-28-2010, 12:46 AM   #293 (permalink)
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One of Those Nights

I was amped going into class tonight, because Vernie, who teaches Tuesdays and Thursdays, told me ahead of time that we were going to work takedowns. Even though it was just double and single leg stuff (which is kinda boring) often that leads to standup sparring, which gives me a chance to throw people, which I love.

That didn't happen, but I did have my best night of rolling since I came back from the summer. I continue to learn new things about my body type, and the way that my build is changing as I continue to get older (turning 20 in September) and thicker. I'm not getting any taller, but I'm putting on some muscle in my legs and back, especially, which makes me really happy.

As I mentioned, I killed drilling today, which was an awesome feeling. Drilling from he closed guard is always rough for me. I have long legs for my size, but I have a lot of... well... fatter training partners that I can't really close my legs around. And I don't really like the closed guard much anyway, anymore, so I tend to go immediately to half, bail to my knees (since I'm good at working from the bottom of turtle) or go to a butterfly or X-guard style position.

Tonight, though, I didn't have any issues attacking from the closed guard. Jeremy Adkins, one of the brownbelts, who was teaching last night (since Eduardo is in Europe doing seminars) was taking requests and I managed to get him working on attacks from the closed guard off of the underhook, which is a good start for me.

But I was on point, which I haven't been for a while with my closed guard. My hips were coming up into the armpits just the way that they need to against bigger guys who try to stack me, and getting above the elbow near the shoulder for the armbar, and I'm finally getting the feel of the triangle back, as far as stuffing the arm for the setup. Once I get the position, I'm pretty good at finishing with either the triangle or the straight armbar (which I prefer to do by just straightening the arm over my thigh) or finding the omoplata against resilient opponents.

On top, I'm very patient, and try hard to keep the elbows in, chin tucked, back straight and all of the other fundamentals of a slow closed guard. The one thing I have trouble with is smashing bigger opponents without committing too much weight to their upper body. Still, the guards were opening for me, tonight, and one I get control of a leg, I usually secure the pass to side control easily. I get swept by one of my 200+ partners who sat up on me, but that was the only instance that night.

Moving to traditional sparring from the knees, where I'm more comfortable, I was pretty dominant. Very few of my training partners, even the bigger ones, stay on the knees with me very long. Most immediately look to pull a guard, which is fine with me.

There were a few guys who decided they wanted to test my clinch a little bit, since I'd been joking about it with some of the other, more experienced guys. In the opening of the round, I just let them lock heads and go to the over-under before throwing them with a lateral throw, a go-to for me. It's hard to get too judo-esque off of the knees, but I really will attempt the lateral from any position.

My first night hanging out with the club wrestling guys at Fresno, one of the army ROTC guys and I were rolling, and I threw him four times in a row with the lateral throw, and the coach (an Olympian in freestyle) called me over to show the technique. It's one of my proudest moments in my training.

Still, the night was a great one. I hit armbars on the big guys with ease, which is a new feeling, since I usually have to fight really hard to maintain control of the position. I can feel that I'm keeping my legs tighter and my hips are deeper, and my control of the arm is getting a lot better.

The other submission that I was finding a home for tonight is one that I had pretty much backed off of since I started judo, and that's the guillotine. I love it from the top of side control, since I can hit it as I transition to mount, flatten my opponent out and squeeze them like a tube of toothpaste. I like going to the butterfly position from the mount with the legs and trying to do a headstand while I apply pressure to the choke, it's a powerful move.

I caught it four times tonight, and only got turned over once, and managed to finish it from half-guard, transitioning to a butterfly hook with the inside leg to go back to butterfly.

What I realized was that my forearms are getting really big. Proportionally, they're big, and they're getting to the point where I can grab the neck and squeeze and if I get my grips deep enough, my opponent has to react really quickly or they're done. I think one of my projects for the fall is going back to basics on the chokes with my judo instructor and really mastering the use of the forearms on all of the chokes with the gi (and some without the gi).
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Old 11-12-2010, 12:48 AM   #294 (permalink)
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Guillotines and Neckties in Judo

I realize it's been way to long since I posted on this log. It's not that I've given up training, it's just that my training has hit the backburner for a little while because of the research I've been doing the last few months.

But now that I've been getting back to work with Sensei Imamura and the rest of the Judo team, I've been revisiting the applied newaza a lot and thinking about ways to put people under in competition. Sensei has told me that competition in judo is something I should think about more seriously and whenever sensei Imamura tells me to do something, I do.

The last night at newaza, I tore it up. It's been a while since I gone into newaza with the intention of working a competition style game for judo, as opposed to being experimental and working on the stuff that I feel needs work to round out my game (like the inverted guard and faster butterfly and half guard sweeps; which have been an experimental focus for me lately).

There were two moves I found myself sinking on a few bigger training partners: Jeff (a blackbelt who outweighs me by about 30-40 pounds) and Kevin (an experienced whitebelt with some jiu-jitsu and wrestling experience who has about 50-60 pounds on me).

The first is the Peruvian necktie.

I've waffled a lot on how I feel about this move for a long time. I'm not really sure that it's a great submission in terms of reliability and I always worry about burning out my forearms on trying to maintain the grip only to lose control and end up in a horrible half guard position.

But the more I play with it in judo, I've realized that if I recognize that the most important factor is sinking the submission quickly, then the necktie is really a great move, because it is so fast and easy to lock up. Most opponents feel fairly comfortable in the front headlock position, so they don't fight that hard to break the grip as much as they try to grab the legs and put me on my back, and that's exactly the reaction that I like in fishing for the necktie.

Also, I've been finding that I have a lot of power in those forearms and I haven't really been in danger of burning out on the choke yet, which has given me a lot of confidence. I don't really lift weights anymore, so I'm always unsure of the upper body strength that I have, but since the necktie seems to revolve more on the pressure applied with the legs, its been just fine. Anyway, it's finally starting to work reliably for me.

The one I kept tapping Jeff with last night was a guillotine. Any time I put someone on their back, I instantly think about how Marcelinho controls the north south, controlling the neck, and the amount of times I sink a tight north-south choke or an awesome guillotine as they try to squirm out has really been surprising me.

The guillotine gets a lot of flack among the guys I train with as "not a very technical" move. Maybe it's not. But, in my experience, finding ways to set it up and learning how to finish it effectively has been one of the most rewarding areas of focus. Among judo guys and jiu-jitsu guys, I feel like the move is sold short, not because its ineffective, but because its something that you can slip on a bad wrestler even if you have no skill.

But landing the guillotine in newaza has been pretty devastating, and finishing from the top or from the bottom has given me a lot of options in terms of using my weight and always makes it a relevant thing to think about whenever I get my arm in position for it.

I remember watching Marcus Hicks use it in his run towards a WEC title and its stuck with me as a move that works so perfectly from so many positions (north south, side-control, the top of turtle, the guard, etc.). I'll probably keep talking about it as I keep messing around with it.

I've been trying to work on my reverse-triangles, but I'm still struggling with getting the angles just right in various positions. It doesn't seem to translate well from one position to another, or at least I haven't been able to figure it out yet, but it's always an ongoing project.
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Old 11-12-2010, 02:01 AM   #295 (permalink)
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I've seen that Peruvian Neck-tie in a WEC fight and it was completely sick man.

I'd say if you can pull it off effectively focus on learning how to sink it as efficiently as you can.
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Old 11-12-2010, 08:14 AM   #296 (permalink)
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Iron Man, if I'm not mistaken guillotine is banned in judo competition.
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Old 12-08-2010, 06:54 PM   #297 (permalink)
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Sorry for the slow response. I have to update this more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by luger0 View Post
I've seen that Peruvian Neck-tie in a WEC fight and it was completely sick man.

I'd say if you can pull it off effectively focus on learning how to sink it as efficiently as you can.
It's actually not a move that gets pulled off very often because it is a little risky in the setup and does require some manuevering that is not preferable.

Personally, I don't dedicate a ton of time to it. But it's alright. It works effectively under some circumstances, so building the grip strength to finish it more easily has been a part of my training, but most of the time people will move to the guillotine and d'arce style moves instead.


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Iron Man, if I'm not mistaken guillotine is banned in judo competition.
If it is, I haven't been called on it either in practice (where I use it all the time) and competition (where I've used it once).

I wouldn't be surprised, but it's not a rule I have heard of yet.
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Old 12-08-2010, 07:21 PM   #298 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post

If it is, I haven't been called on it either in practice (where I use it all the time) and competition (where I've used it once).

I wouldn't be surprised, but it's not a rule I have heard of yet.
It was the first move I learned(watching youtube and fights) and I was good at it, relatively. So I've asked my trainer whether it was legal, and he said no. The front headlock is allowed as a position but you can't crank the neck. I've stopped doing it since then.
The judge probably didn't clearly see what you were doing(I assume you were using head and arm guillotine?), since front headlock is allowed and you can even choke somebody out in a semi guillotine while in tate shiho gatame. I haven't learned the move yet and I can't explain it properly.
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:39 PM   #299 (permalink)
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I haven't posted in this thread in a while, because I haven't been training. I was in judo as of basically the last entry (mid-to-late November) but then had to deal with finals and spent the new year in London.

I made the decision that, as much as I love training judo and working with Sensei Imamura, my mat work really needed more work.

One of my friends suggested a BJJ place that isn't too far away that I checked out. I went in to roll today after basically an entire month without working out and six months of not training in BJJ. I expected it to be painful, and it was. My cardio is awful and my technique is not as sharp as it used to be, but I'm still feeling pretty good about getting back into training.

We drilled (passing and maintaining control) individual positions (guard, then mount, then back control, then half guard) for short intervals, rotating partners, and by the time we got through half guard, I was burned out. I managed to get in a few open rolls, and those went fine.

My top control is still good, but my hip flexibility needs work and so does my aggressiveness while playing guard and working to pass. Hopefully that'll come back after a week or so.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:12 PM   #300 (permalink)
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300th Post

This is my 300th post in the training log, which is really more a testament to how long I've been on the forum. It doesn't say much about the quality of my jiu-jitsu, which I'll explain in a second.

Overall, I'm getting back in shape. I've been running and doing some weights, resentfully, but I feel really good. My abs are slowly coming back and my back and tricepts feel strong, and since those are the muscle groups that I use the most rolling (besides, obviously, my legs) I find that feeling good about the strength there is really important.

I went in to train today (and got set up with a payment plan which will leave me almost broke, but that's another story) and was working on half-guard with the instructor running the morning class, who's a purple belt and a terrific guy, as well as very knowledgeable.

We were working through basic techniques for taking the back and some basic passes, and I was happy to find that my ability to pass the half guard is actually still very good. I've always been hard on my guard passing, because I felt like as a smaller guy it was always going to take a back seat to playing off of my back, but the last months of training judo, especially, really taught me that the little guys can have aggressive, powerful topgames and effectively use closed body passes from the half-guard and crossface positions that I really thought were just not going to work for me.

We did a few variations on the standard passes establishing the underhook and the cross-face and then working the legs through to pass. I found those coming back to me really quickly, which was great given how terrible I felt at the last class while rolling. My ability to take the back from half-guard is not where I like it to be, but I was finding the substantial half-guard positions, with the hip out and the ability to locate sweeps, pretty easily.

During rolling, I felt pretty good also. I was working with some of the heavier whitebelts, which is always good for me when I'm getting back in, as it forces me to really use my techniques to deal with the power difference.

At one point, though, one of the instructors came over and corrected what I was doing while taking the back, pointing out that I hadn't established control of the hips well enough. This is the kind of stuff that drives me nuts, because I know that I know better, I know that it's not a mistake I should be making, and I know that it's something I've thought about a good deal both on and off the mat. I even posted about it in here not that long ago.

I was very frustrated with my own game, and realized that I wasn't doing a very good job protecting my neck from when I was one the bottom in half-guard. It's a habit that I thought I had gotten rid of, but apparently it's back. I made some adjustments and seem to have tamed it again, at least for now, but we'll see if it stays that way.

Overall, though, my rolling felt really good, especially after I got comfortable with my body again. I'm definitely not as flexible as I was when I left, which is really frustrating given that I had a few opportunities to catch omoplatas and even one chance to catch a mounted gogoplata where my leg was just not turning over the way I needed it to. Hopefully, though, the flexibility will come with time, since I know that at least those techniques are still something that my body is aware of.

My use of the triangle today was very good, and particularly surprising since it's a move that, while I'm reasonably good at it, I've never been able to really catch and hold on to as reliably as someone with my build is really supposed to. That said, I caught one of the back that was very, very slick, a reverse triangle that let me isolate the arm, and then I caught a textbook triangle from the guard. Against bigger opponents, especially who have wrestling experience, I'm always really happy when I can finish a triangle, even if it burns my legs out.

The best part of my game, though, was my guard passing. I was able to open the guard fairly easily and pass the open and half-guard better than I have been in a while. I don't know if that's the judo (though I think it probably it) but it feels very good and it's something that hopefully I will be able to keep doing.

This is my 300th post in the thread. I realized that it's also been about 4.5 years since I started the training log, which makes me really happy. I am so fortunate to have a place like MMAForum to talk about MMA and to log my thoughts. With that thought, I'm off to go get lunch. I've been trying to eat less, and it seems to be making me less hungry. I've also decided, since I've gotten back from London (where I had more beer than I'd like to admit) that I'll only be drinking water for a while.
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