Head and arm


Weapons do not change your nature, only your reach and power. –Rory Miller

I have spent the last few weeks wishing I was dead because my allergies are leaving me unable to function. Dragging myself to work- cuz I gotta- but otherwise, I can’t do anything. Feeling like crap due to allergies is compounded by feeling like crap due to not getting any mat time. Yesterday I had no fewer than five people FB’ing me personally, trying to get me to class, and I just couldn’t do it.

I don’t think I would have been able to bear going back to another work rotation (especially since I know there’s a truly hideous body fluid chamber count CAP survey lurking in my inbox) without at least a little BJJ, so I was determined to haul my suffering carcass to no-gi in Kirkland today.

Fortunately, it was a small class and it went low-key. Cindy still can’t roll because of her shoulder injury; there were three huge guys, Dave, and me. Cindy went over a couple of things from the awesome seminar that I missed yesterday (sigh). Then I did a short roll with Dave. I was weak and congested and sneezy and sniffly, and my soft palate itches so bad that I want to eat a wheelbarrow of sand- but the headaches held off long enough, and Dave was really nice to me (especially since he was the only one present who wasn’t too big, too injured, or too new to work with me). That could have gone either way. I could have walked into a no-gi takedowns day with Pedro. This, though, was just what I needed.

Guard pass detail: when you’re blocking behind the knee, if you place your elbow on the mat, it is structurally impossible for the opponent to pull your arm out of place because s/he would just be pulling it against hir own thigh.

Head and arm choke: this variation requires firstly that you make sure to snug the inside of your elbow right up to the opponent’s neck and not leave a hair of space. Crab-crawl your fingers across the mat and give an extra little jerk or two to the side to cinch it all up. Use that same hand to clasp hir shoulder. You want to be lower on the body than we normally tend to be for one of these… and lower under the jaw. Place your head in there to block. Shrug your shoulders up a bit. This was incredible for two reasons: 1)Dave was already tapping when I had barely exerted 1/10 of the squeeze and room that I had available, and 2)It didn’t involve having to jump your lower body to the side (which way to jump is one of those little details that my swiss-cheese-brain always struggles with).

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