Tuesday, August 22, 2017

August 2017 - Week #6 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques:  RNC Defense with O-soto gari, Back Mount: Escape, RNC

RNC Defense with O-soto gari
Video: Top 4 Jiu-Jitsu Techniques to Escape Rear Choke
Defending the head lock with osoto gari - START BJJ Academy
Self Defense RNC to Osoto Gari and Armbar

This is used when you get bent backward during a standing headlock or RNC.  Putting your hand on their wrist and keeping them from connecting their hands is paramount.  After circling their leg, take small steps to line your hips up. As you turn keep pressure down on their shoulder to keep their weight on that leg before you sweep it.

Back Mount: Escape
Video: Highest Percentage Rear Mount Escape for Gi and No-Gi

Such an important technique that I use often. Here are some tips:
  • Start with getting your head to the side you want to escape to.  Make your opponent uncomfortable.
  • Use your feet to push your hips above their hips and get your shoulders on the mat. 
  • Continue to defend from chokes and be prepared to take half guard.

Bonus: BJJ back escape to deep half (skateboard escape)

Video: Clark Gracie with Rear Naked Choke Details

One of the quintessential techniques of BJJ and by far the most finished submission in MMA, also called Mata Leao (Lion Killer).  Besides back mount I've been hitting this from crucifix lately as well.

I suggest watching the video below, because the squeeze is super important. Trust me, it's a flat Earth free video.

Some tips on this technique:

  • In the back mount position, protect your choking hand with the underhook hand. 
  • Your harness grip is more important than your hooks. Keep it tight using your elbow and chin.
  • Trapping an arm is preferable.
  • The main goal is to squeeze your forearm and bicep together hit the sides of the neck.
  • Use your back muscles to thrust your chest forward.  

Bonus: Eddie Bravo - How to develop a strong rear naked choke squeeze

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

August 2017 - Week #5 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Double Leg, Mount: Cross Collar Choke, Upa

Double Leg
Video: Double Leg Takedown - BJJ Blue Belt Requirements Technique #1

I'm slowly feeling better about pulling off this technique and I have hit it in rolling more often lately.  Especially after working more stand-up in preparation for Worlds. Also, Nick is very good at double legging and we do it often in the MMA class.

A thing that I need to focus on is not trying to setup this takedown from too far away.  So many times I've attempted to shoot from 5 feet away and got stuffed repeatedly.  I still need to improve on it but I'm starting to get it. 

Cross Collar Choke
Video: Roger Gracie, Cross Collar Choke: Jiu-Jitsu Magazine, Issue #27.

Jerad inspired me to get better at this technique.  He started hitting it on me and has a pretty good game using this choke setup now.  I'd almost rather be in his back mount than his mount sometimes. With all of that said I find it to still be a difficult submission to setup,  but it often will help setup other attacks.

Important things that I've learned:
  • Don't attempt to choke until your head is on the floor.  This is how Greg does it.
  • If you think your grip is deep enough, you're probably wrong.
  • Choking someone can be a psychological battle as well as a physical one.  Don't start your choke at 100% and then figure out your grip is not right and relax and try again.  Your opponent will think they've weathered the storm.  I use percentages, I'll start at maybe 40% and begin to move up 10%.  So it always feels like it's getting worse.
Bonus: Cross Choke Mastery Seminar (Rener Gracie)

Upa Escape
Video: This Week In BJJ Episode 61 with Rickson Gracie Part 4 of 4

I only really learned how to do this technique well after Greg did it to me during positional sparring. He does this technique very explosively and times his bridge, his step over and trapping the arm at almost the same time.

I also like the point Rickson brings up in the video about moving your head like a back roll.

Beware of your arms though, it's easy to get caught with an armbar if you let them stray from your chest.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

August 2017 - Week #4 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Standing Headlock Escape to Tani Otoshi, Kneeling Guard Break, Single Under Pass

Standing Headlock Escape to Tani Otoshi
Video: 3 Standing Headlock Escapes - BJJ Self Defense and BJJ Self Defense Lesson 5: Headlock Defense

Couldn't find a video that exactly fit but these 2 are pretty close.  I think the biggest difference is that we look to stop their far leg from stepping with our foot and get lower to the .

Kneeling Guard Break
Video: Beginner BJJ Fundamentals - Opening Closed Guard from Knees Concepts - Jason Scully

Single Under Pass
Video: opening the closed guard / single under hook stack pass

Surprisingly a difficult video to find. The one I linked to is probably the closest to how we do it that I could find.  Unfortunately the guy is teaching during a basketball game in the background. 

Some points to making this pass work.
  • Hips low: Try to plank instead of lifting your butt way in the air.
  • Push forward using your toes.  Don't turn until you have them fully stacked.  Then you can grab their pants for belt to lift their hips up a little more.  
  • After turning push forward again and avoid lifting your head.  Drive their legs to the floor.
  • Make them want to let you pass. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

July 2017 - Week #3 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: O-Goshi, Cross Collar Choke from Closed Guard, Armbar from Closed Gaurd

Video: Judo basics: O goshi, judo takedowns

I don't think I've figured out how to setup this throw yet.  To get the underhook often feels so far away, and if I do get it they pull their hips way back.  I really need to improve my kazushi to get them up on the balls of their feet to get under their base.  It's a work in progress.

Cross Collar Choke from Closed Guard
Video: Roger Gracie, Cross Collar Choke

This is one of those techniques that I don't finish very often but occassionally it presents itself.  I would even say it took me a while to get good enough to complete it while drilling.  Like Roger mentions in his video above  the wrists play a big part in it.  Try not to contort your wrist around your opponent's neck.  They need to be sharp to complete the choke.

Kurt Osiander move of the week - Choke from Guard

Armbar from Closed Gaurd
Video:  Closed Guard Submission Basic Armbar

Posture control is the key to being successful with this technique.  A common mistake with this and triangle is that you want to remain flat on your back as you turn.  Don't try to shrimp into the armbar, your legs need to keep them from withdrawing their arm.

Another important factor is learning to use a bite with the leg over their head.  If you ar a beginner avoid crossing your feet during the armbar as it could create some unnecissary space.  Also I'm and advocate of kicking up into the armpit to get their weight going forward making it easier to get round their head.

The easiest way to teach the armbar from Guard

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

July 2017 - Week #2 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Standing RNC Defense: Seio Nage, Farside Armbar From Side Control, Scissor Sweep

Standing RNC Seio Nage
Video:  How to Get Out of a Standing Rear Choke | Jiu Jitsu

A couple of important aspects to this technique. You need to keep your posture and avoid getting leaned back.  Don't let them connect their hands.  When you do the monkey grip on their choking arm hold it to your own body instead of putting a lot of effort trying to pull it down and fighting strength on strength. Finally drop your hips to load them up for the throw.

This week in BJJ episode 61 with Rickson Gracie
How to Escape a Standing Rear Choke w/ Bas Rutten

Farside Armbar From Side Control
Video: Rafael Mendes Far side Armbar from side control

The trigger for this technique is when you get your opponent's far arm on your shoulder isolating it.  Grabbing your own collar to lock it and pull them up on their side.  You can be a little mean here and dig your elbow into their ribs.

Something I had trouble with a while ago was pushing their head down to be able to step over.  I thought it was a dick move. But since I've been doing it, it makes a huge difference.  From here as you spin keep your hips low.  Place your foot under their ribs ending with your knees up.  Put an emphasis on tightening your knees together.  If they get their hands together bring your leg over their chest before you begin to break the grip.

Armbar from Side Control by Damian Maia

Scissor Sweep
Video: Kurt Osiander Move of the week - Scissor Sweep

This sweep is mostly a sweep of opportunity for me.  Usually if my opponent is defending something else and leaned to one side I can get some momentum and sweep them to the other side.

I like how both of the instructionals that I linked talk about the sweep like a Judo throw.  Loading them up on to your leg and creating some momentum is important.

Scissor Sweep for BJJ White Belts

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 - Week #1 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: O-Soto Gari, Basic Side Control Knee Escape, Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control

O-Soto Gari
Video: Yamashita O Soto Gari Part 1

This is probably one of the most straight forward throws.  The problem that most people have with it is they focus more on the leg kicking part and not enough on the upper body.

Make sure you step very close to their base foot, just enough space for your leg to go through. Drive the bus pulling down on their arm and up on their collar to get them leaning on the leg you are about to kick out lean forward as your leg reaps through for the throw.

Basic Side Control Knee Escape
Video: Side Control Escape Recompose Guard.mov

Side control escapes are some of the most sought after techniques. A lot of posts on BJJ subreddit have the subject of "How do I get out of the bottom of side control?", "Stuck in side control, any tips?", "In the bottom of Side control, I guess this is my life now."  There's a reason that side control, mount, and back mount are dominant positions.  They're supposed to be difficult to escape from.  To add to that, I think Side Control is an easier position to learn and maintain than mount and back mount. 

A couple of things that I help people with on this technique: bridging, breath control, and more hips less arms. 
  • Bridging: Bridge into your opponent in a way that would make them fall over if they didn't adjust their base.  This is what is going to create the space to fit your knee in between you
  • Breath control: Avoid taking that huge inhale before you bridge.  It gives away your intention to the person on top.  I try to bridge during an exhale.
  • Hips: I keep my arms on my chest when I bridge.  If you try to push them away it actually doesn't help create the space you want.  If you use your arms too much you're more likely to get put into knee on belly.
Bonus videos
Side Control Escape #1 - SIT-UP with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #2 - ELBOW PUSH with Marcelo Garcia
Side Control Escape #3 - HIP ROLL with Marcelo Garcia

Paint Brush (Americana) from Side Control
Video: Americana Submission from Side Control - Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The only major difference between the way we do it and the video is that we keep the first arm under the triceps as we push their wrist to the ground so it's ready to grab the wrist as soon as it hits the ground.  I like to use my head to help keep the hand on the floor as I'm locking up the wrists. Use a throttle motion to get their pinky knuckle to the floor. Slide their elbow toward their ribs and you should only have to lift very slightly.

Monday, July 10, 2017

July 2017 - Week #23 Technique Companion

Theme & Techniques: Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense
Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll, Straight Footlock and Defense

Head Lock Escape Over Head Roll
Video: How to Escape Kesa Gatame and the Headlock This week's escape is near the end around 4:30.

This is a good one but it must be done right to avoid back strain and make it easier in general.  You have to bridge and maintain your bridge throughout.  I know you want to come back down but don't!  Next focus on putting their own weight on their shoulders as you turn to get on top.

Straight Footlock and Defense
Video: JiuJitsu.com || How To Finish a Straight Ankle Lock || Roli Delgado

I've been taught this technique a lot of different ways.  I'm by far most confident with the way that we teach it now which is very similar to the video above.  One thing that he mentions on the video that helps me a lot is collapsing the elbow.  I've helped a few people recently with tucking that elbow under before you're ready to finish the submission and it's made a huge difference.

I wasn't able to locate a defense video.  It has worked for me quite a few times during rolling. The biggest tip that I can give is to put your foot on the floor first before trying to hook their knee.  Otherwise it seems hard to catch it. 

Bonus Videos
Straight Ankle Lock by Dean Lister