Armbar Alley

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You will not be the one to drown me. –Maggie Stiefvater

Friday evening in Bellevue. Started with sneaking up behind Luiz and taking his back while he was chatting with someone else. He passively let me sink an RNC and take him down, but an instant later, I found myself tapping out to a kimura.

JP tried to bait me into passing his guard and falling right into one of those traps where you basically sub yourself like an idiot. I stopped dead, and we just froze there for a long moment. Then I said, “Dude, I roll with Ron and Doug. I know EXACTLY what you are trying to do here, and you are NOT going to get me with that!!!” He laughed.

Standup: judo grips, pretend to go for an outside reap. Let opponent reap you back, and nail hir with an armbar. Discovered that this was one of the cases in which the Stupid Side turned out to be the best side, because it involved one of the key pieces in the middle of the process being deployed with my dominant arm. Said key piece: keep a really leech-like grip on the underside of the sleeve at the elbow the whole time. That is the lynchpin to adjusting everything where you want it to finish the armbar.

Armbars from mount.

I coached Chrisanne extensively on armbar technique early on in her learning, and as a result- if I may say so myself- she has one fucking tight armbar. From every angle, she is tight and perfect and deadly. My own armbar still needs a bit of refinement in remembering to pinch the knees together- that is the one detail that I tend to forget and get sloppy on. We pushed each other a bit in the later reps by having the uke try to escape by pulling the elbow down, or by pressing her back to the floor under the mount. In the later case, pinching the knees together to trap the victim with hir shoulder pointing to the ceiling becomes critical. And there’s that leech-grip on the arm again- only this time it really needs to be on the tricep- and grab the muscle, not just the gi sleeve. I found that I had more success if I quit messing around and go faster. I always do well at grabbing that arm and yanking them up hard enough to make their teeth snap, but then I am too slow finishing- and I need to just finish that puppy off before they recover from that yank and start wiggling to escape.

I like drilling these armbars…. I don’t really use them much live yet, but I want to. I can curl into such a compact ball that I know they will be really good for me. But I hate drilling them as the uke. I spend too much time getting clubbed painfully in the face, especially the nose. With the armbars from mount, I can place my free palm on top of my head, stick my elbow out, and shield my face from getting whacked by the foe’s heel. The armbars that are coming from the bottom, you’re hosed because you can’t protect your face. I just know that a broken nose from this technique is in my future; I can’t believe it hasn’t happened yet. I have a big nose, which appearance will not be improved by a couple of badly healed breaks. Also, the technique makes me very nervous due to how little it takes to finish it, and the high opportunity for slamming/cranking which will result in a very rapid elbow/shoulder injury. I always tap to these early, and with much haste.

I wanted to roll with Casey, but I had a little headache, so I decided to leave.

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Thursday

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Problems set in if the performer has a brittle dependence on the safety of absolute perfection. -Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

I had a great class at lunchtime in Bellevue. All spars. I was easily dominating the people I outrank, and being competitive with my peers. I felt like a purple belt.

Carlos let me touch his katana.

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It’s all about the visualization. -Savage Kitsune

Thursday lunchtime BJJ in Bellevue. Same setup as that wacky sweep that Chrisanne and I worked on all last week, only this time instead of sweeping hir backward, you sweep hir forward. This means that after you swing your leg to the outside and place it on the Bad Guy’s hip, you place the other one on hir knee and stretch hir out. Pull hir arm across hir own centerline ( remember well from various other techniques that this makes it HUGELY difficult to defend the sweep). Note that you still have to remember to underhook the ankle, which once again was the step I left out as soon as I tried to speed up.

One short spar with John. I was happily surprised to find myself on top the whole time. John has become a fearsome opponent, and it’s very challenging to not be completely dominated every time.

Thursday evening I hiked…. as I wanted to see the Cirque Du Soleil, and avoiding the $15 parking fee meant a pre- and post- performance hike. Which was fine, although I had to circumambulate half of Marymoor Park on the way in. I kept running into dead end streets, and businesses backed up to the park with fences all around them.

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue. Prof. Carlos won a katana in a comp last weekend, and was playing with it before class. He let me play with it too, to my humble gratitude. It led to an interesting conversation about handling other people’s weapons, and whether or not it was disrespectful to grab the sword by the blade or drop it on the floor. He knows I had a lot of TCMA etiquette pounded into me before coming to BJJ. He actually apologized to *me* for dropping his own sword on the floor, when I winced.

Standup: front choke defense.

Pull guard to loop choke

Top half guard to gi tail choke. A second permutation in case foe defends by pressing your forearm down.

King Of The Hill, side control, mount vs escape. I was on the bottom the entire time and did very well- although granted I was almost always escaping to my Home Away From Home, bottom half guard.

One roll with Frasier, who tapped me with a keylock.

Squeak!

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A brewing situation is one that takes time to build, is longer-lasting, and involves many chances for observation before the tactical considerations take over and you must act.

A flash situation is an immediate action taking place with little or no warning and requiring immediate counteraction. Campfire Tales From Hell

Friday evening BJJ in Bellevue.

You have spider guard, standing foe, your feet on hir hips. Place left sole on floor and right sole on foe’s bicep. Pull hir forward just enough to get hir to take a step. (You want hir standing by your hips, with your own sole pointed at the ceiling- don’t try to yank hir over your head). Now let go of the sleeve with your left hand and overwrap hir ankle, Grab your own lapel to secure. Now: number 3 drill from yesterday. I was happy to see this, as I had already asked Chrisanne to review this technique with me tonight. We have done it a lot now. I really like it, but it has an awful lot of steps- which tends to leave me flustered trying to execute it live. When I try to go too fast, I usually end up forgetting to overwrap the ankle. Another recurrent problem: you must remember to let go of the remaining sleeve before you take the person down, lest s/he use it to pull hirself back up on top before you are able to do so. We finished this with either the ankle lock from yesterday, or a technical lift to get on top in side control. In this latter case: GRAB THE PANTLEG BEFORE YOU DO THE TECHNICAL LIFT, and DO NOT LET GO OF THE PANTLEG! You can shove the leg away from you as you get into position…. but Carlos likes to “stuff it in his pocket” and trap the foot on his hip. If you can pull this off, it makes it much more difficult for the enemy to escape.

You are in closed guard. Baseball bat grip on foe’s lapels at hir belly. Place right sole on the floor (remember to use toes) and turn torso in so that your knee frame breaks the guard. overwrap the ankle and put it in your left armpit. Pinch opponent’s leg between your knees and fall to your hip (not on your back). Ankle lock, tucking your matward shoulder back (“hide the shoulder”) for better effect. Don’t forget to use the blade of the arm bone on that ankle lock.

Carlos demo-‘ing the ankle lock on Doug was HILARIOUS. Doug squeaked like a mouse (totally involuntary) and we all fell about laughing, and a little later he did it again.

Two spars with Chrisanne. I made her start in standup, even though we were both tired. She got a tap (bow and arrow)- she was very happy about, as it is a technique that she has struggled to master. I defended it so that she had to make several small adjustments to finish it, and praised her for being able to come up with and execute those plans B, C, D and E effectively. Then I got a tap with a really wierd mutated kimura that was upside down or backward or something… I’m not sure. I was unsure of whether it was working, so I continued to adjust it as an experiment, and she finally tapped.

I sent Lindsay a PM: “I miss choking you and knocking you down.” I wonder what her non-MA FB friends thought of that, especially after she “like”d it.

Your heep need to move

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People get very uncomfortable around people who are very comfortable with force. -Rory Miller

Thursday no-gi, Bellevue. I had to skip last week because my tattoo was still too scabby. I did considerable exercise-like yard work, though.

Mount escapes.

1)Basic upa, begin by yanking down on foe’s shoulder if s/he has it wrapped around your neck. After you land in hir guard, Push one of hir knees to the mat and slider over hir thigh, your inside knee first. Underhook far arm. Side control. Mount, without ever lifting pressure from hir chest/shoulder/neck.

2)Mounted foe is scooting high on you, Grab your own wrist with opposite hand and form a frame to push hir hips back. Place feet as close to butt as possible and pop hips in air as hard as you can, keeping your frame in place. (Professor Carlos: “Your heep need to move!!!”) Pull your knees in and put opponent in butterfly guard. Now straighten legs to shove hir back. Sit up and scoot in (land on your hip NOW to avoid an extra step later), hug under hir arm, grab opposite bicep, butterfly sweep.

3)This was a new and tricky one. Same entry as above, only you get just one knee between Bad Guy’s legs instead of two. Stretch out to shove hir away. S/he should land with one knee up- the one opposite the side you have YOUR knee in. Swing your free leg around the OUTSIDE of hir other hip and place your foot on the hip. (Be careful to not cross- or get shoved across- hir centerline). Now pinch hir thigh between your knees and roll hir to hir outside hip, Ankle lock. (Make sure to use blade of forearm on ankle, not flat).

I had to take some allergy meds before class, so my brain was feeling a little foggy- primo conditions for injuring someone or myself- thus I elected to bow out of sparring.

Saturday

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A man wants to walk across the land, but the earth is covered with thorns. He has two options- one is to pave his road, to tame all of nature into compliance. The other is to make sandals. Making sandals is the internal solution. Like the Soft Zone, it does not base success on a submissive world. – Josh Waitzkin, “The Art Of Learning”

Saturday BJJ in Seattle. All spars. One female white belt whom I was able to handle, a pair of male and female blue belts who both were able to handle me. The female blue belt and I went for a long time. We always started from standup, and she had some skillz. I asked her if she trained judo, and she told me that she had just started to do so. I informed her that it was already obvious. 🙂