Friday, August 12, 2011

Move It or Lose It

The Women's Class was really fun last night. We did something we used to do at Summerlin a lot, and that Fabio has taught us several times in Lakeland, that I have missed: boxer vs. grappler. Ok, we didn't actually do any punching. But we started working on techniques to deal with a boxer vs grappler situation.

Last night's technique was dealing with what you can do when someone postures up or stands up in your guard to punch you. If you are in a fight and someone is in your guard, you want to break them down and keep them in close to you, working to set something up. But if they are able to posture up or stand up in your guard, then you need to react to keep from being punched in the face.

First, what we worked on was getting wrist control and creating a barrier with the knees. To create the barrier, you brace your knees against their sternum--knees pointing in, using your feet to brace on the outside of the ribs.

You want to fully rise up on your hips, keeping control of the wrists. That takes away their reach--they won't be able to reach your face because their arms will not be long enough to span your thighs and torso.

Next, if the person breaks wrist control and postures back to punch you, be prepared to open your knees as they come down, using your leg on the same side as their punching arm to bring them into you and push them off center. As they come down, you use your arm that is opposite of their punching arm to grab around their neck, trapping their head and arm between your head and arm. You hip out a little bit to the side (not creating space, but moving around their body) and finish the head and arm choke.

We also worked on transitioning to the back in the event that you are unable to finish the head and arm choke for whatever reason. The key idea I focused on when moving to the back is not dropping your feet to the floor when moving around someones body. Use the body and your leg muscles to move from the side to the back, making sure that you go hips and butt first, with your head and shoulder to the mat.

When you come up to the back, you should still have the head and arm choke.

We also worked the head and arm choke from mount.
A video of the head and arm triangle from mount.

When we finally got to grappling, we had a few rounds of normal rolling and then we did something a little different. We introduced them to flow-rolling, but with a little twist. Each girl would pair up with someone and have a two minute grapple. During that two minutes, the object was to never stop moving. Each girl started out with 10 points. If at any point during the match they stopped moving, they would lose a point. The person with the most points at the end of the grapple won the round.

The idea was to get them used to moving when they find themselves in a bad position, instead of freezing or giving up. Granted, when you get into a position and you're not sure what to do, you sometimes stop and think. Spazzing blindly is not the best option. But I wanted them to get used to using the tools they have. For example, the second they got under mount I was yelling "Hip, hip!" or "Sweep! Sweep!". Right now they only know two mount escapes and two sweeps. But they were able to go to those techniques by memory in the heat of the moment.

They did awesome! We have come to the end of our first month of the Women's Class and I am so pleased with how all the girls are doing! Hopefully in the next month will be even better. :)


Combat Sports Review said...

Nice instructional Allie, thanks!

Tree Frog said...

Far be it from me to criticize a black belt's teachings, but my BJJ training in that situation has several differences from what you or Fabio are teaching.

I do the "knee barrier" only when the opponent is on their knees too. Once the opponent stands, I drop my butt back to the ground and put my feet on their hips. Then I extend my legs and keep them away, as those with longer arms will be able to get over the knee barrier if they are standing.

This foot/butt positioning also gives space for upkicks, leads into sweeps better and allows for more mobile hips.

Your mileage may vary, but I think it's something worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

Really good post! Appreciate the pictures and videos you added. I definitely would like to drill the arm triangle from guard & mount... simple but effective :)

Jiujitsunista said...

@TreeFrog - I am significantly taller than Allie, well, maybe not significantly, but I am 5-6 inches taller and I have a long reach for my height... and I was 4-5 inches from her face when she was blocking me that way. I think it would have to be a REALLY tall person to make that kind of blocking ineffective. However, if she wasn't all the way up on her shoulders I do think I could reach her face.

I've never tried the way you mentioned, but I would be interested to try it, because like you said it leaves the door more open to sweeps, and that is what I tend to lean toward when I am on the bottom and someone stands up. =)

Though, I'll be the first to admit I have no idea what I am talking about anyway!

Tree Frog said...

It's way more work than it needs to be to get up on your neck to give a knee barrier to a standing opponent. It requires a certain level of cooperation from the opponent that I don't think exists in most situations.

Think about a person punching from a standing position and encounters that knee barrier from you. What's to stop them from throwing you over your neck and going to town on the back of your head/neck?

Liam H Wandi said...

Beautiful work Allie.

As for the knee barrier, it's a snap shot. It's a tool you use amongst many in the tool box. I like using it in conjunction with open guard (feet on the hips) and of course closed guard when they really commit their weight forward.

It's always a warm fuzzy feeling when someone who has learnt jiu jitsu starts sharing with others :)

A.D. McClish said...

Thanks guys! I am having a lot of fun learning along with the other gals who come.

@Treefrog: Like Liam said, the knee barrier is not the only way you can put space between your face and someone's fist, but I can tell you that it is effective. One thing I wanted to point out is that it is not a position that you just want to hang out in. Like most positions in bjj, it is a mobile position in which you react to what the other person does, using their momentum against them. When the guy/gal stands, you follow. When they swing down, you bring them into you. It's meant to be a fluid string of movements. But, like Liam said, it is only one of many different ways that you can try to counter someone who stands to strike at you. I am sure that the way you described works as well.

Also, I will say that I double checked with Fabio, a black belt from Carlson Gracie Academy in Brazil and a three time PanAm medalist and he has found it effective as well. I am confident in his experience and what he teaches, even if I am not always confident in my full understanding of it. I am still learning in all of this too. :)

Georgette said...

Great ideas... I just started attending our new women's class and I think this is a great integration of real life self defense with jiu jitsu skills... I'll suggest it! :)