Thursday, 29 August 2013

Choke - Nova Forca BJJ

Tonight’s technique was a simple but very effective choke which gets tighter as you allow the other person to pass your guard. Using my left hand I take a cross lapel grip with my palm facing up. You then pull the back of your partners head down with your right hand so that it’s tucked under your arm. Most people will look to pass to side control from here as a normal reaction to escaping what looks like a guillotine attempt. However this just further tightens the choke. If they attempt to move further around in to the north-south position (Kami-shiho-gatame) the choke becomes tighter still. From what we were taught there are a couple of escapes. One is to roll over on to your back, however you can stop them from doing this by simply grabbing hold of their gi pants with your right arm whilst applying the choke. The other escape was to move in the other direction, so instead of passing to your right, they move to your left. Ricardo showed us a simple counter to this which involved putting pressure on the back of your opponent’s neck with your right arm, in a scissor movement.

I liked this choke as it’s quite easy to get the initial cross lapel grip without your opponent feeling duly threatened. When I practised this I substituted the pull down of the head by grabbing the jacket just behind the neck. This way the technique becomes Judo legal.

The below video shows this technique being used in competition. Here the attacker not only passes the guard but actually takes the back of the guy applying the choke, probably in the hope that the further around he moves the less effective the choke becomes, when in fact the opposite is true and he gets choked out.

As a Judoka, one thing that screams out at me whilst watching the above is the un-Judo like posture and total lack of any throwing attempted by both fighters. To me, this more closely resembles wrestling than Judo, which is odd when you consider that BJJ is derived from Judo.

Sparring followed and my first roll was with a young guy (only 16) who was having only his 4th lesson. Not much I could do other than let him try out what he knows. I’m certainly not good enough to start teaching him nor would I want to in someone else’s club. I did however just point out to him that it’s not a good idea to push me with straight arms when I have him mounted.

Next up was a stocky guy who was training nogi. He spent most of this roll moving from my guard to half guard. He was looking for a guillotine choke when in half guard but I was able to defend this. I wrapped up his right arm with my left but there was no collar to grab hold of, in fact the lack of any grips made this quite a difficult roll for both of us. I’ve never trained nogi myself as it’s not really applicable to Judo but I might give it a go one day.

Next up I rolled with Jadon. We fought for grips quite a lot with me trying to pass his guard. I eventually got to half guard but then I got reversed in a scramble and the bell went with Jadon in full mount putting on a cross collar choke that I was fighting not to tap to. Definitely a case of saved by the bell.

My Last roll was against Tubes who’s a purple belt. Following on from my roll with Jadon I fought for grips and tried in vain to control his legs which would have allowed me to pass his guard. He pulled me in to his guard but I was very weary of him sweeping me so I was constantly adjusting my leg position so he couldn’t get a grip on them. What I failed to notice, whilst I was concentrating on this, was that he had raised his hips and had slapped on an arm bar. At this point I tried to stack him but that allowed him the opportunity to grab my gi bottoms and roll me over to complete the arm bar and get the tap. We resumed and this time instead of getting me with an arm bar he caught me with a triangle and got a second tap. I found myself smiling through this roll, mainly as I was really impressed with the technique being used against me. I do this often when I train Judo and get thrown with a really nicely executed throw. It’s my way of saying good technique; I aspire to be like you one day.

The class finished with one of the white belts getting his birthday whipping and although he was entitled to run the gauntlet he opted to walk instead. Hardcore!

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