No-gi intimidation factors… the head as a weapon


Our bodies are the kingdoms of lost continents and unknown lands. Columbus, Livingstone, Stanley, Marco Polo, and Neil Armstrong are just Boy Scouts compared to the explorers of the inner space. -Daniele Bolelli, On The Warrior’s Path

Sat: 128
Sun: 128

Lunchtime BJJ in Seattle.

Started with a no-gi roll with Peter- we were the only ones on time- then Kelly and Cindy and a white belt guy trickled in, so we moved on to KOTH (in gi). Pass vs sweep; butterfly guard, half guard, closed guard.

I was mindful to defend that seatbelt pass of Kelly’s today- she still got it on me once, but I headed it off several other times. Her excellent passing game has an element that I need to continue to work on myself- she switches abruptly from trying to pass on one side to trying to pass on the other. This often catches me, as I get too fixated and too committed to defending one motion.

Ended with Cindy (no-gi). Just the other day, I was talking about sticking that right arm in there on the left side of her neck and getting armbarred- today she did it to me in standup. Will I ever learn?

We worked on gripping the back of the head, two-handed, squeezing forearms together. It sucks for many reasons, not the least of which is that the forearms in your sightline prevent you from seeing what the feet are doing if you are in standup (this can also happen on the knees). Do not try to duck out of this to the side. Do not crowd up side-by-side with her (this is my default move; I guess I’m looking for a hip throw, but that is not going to happen on Cindy. She wants me to square up and shuck off the grip by wedging my shoulder in there.) For a single “meathook” behind the neck, slough it off with a forceful shoulder and turn the body to the side.

I find the squaring up very intimidating, as I am expecting a rough wrestling-style yankdown, and I suck at defending those and suck even worse at trying to do them myself. There’s a big mental/emotional componant to tackle here.

Forehead/temple in the neck. Pressing, shoving. It is amazing how much she uses her head as an extra limb.

I completely forgot to focus on the “He can still hit you” mentality… yet as sometimes happens, it seems I may have still had it running through my subconscious. Cindy said that I was “moving well” today. I didn’t see it myself, but she is particularly annoyed with my “possum jitsu”, so if she made a point of remarking that I was moving better, that’s gold.

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