805BJJ Class 104: arm bar from mount, rolling

Greggo taught the Saturday morning class, with Mark watching and occasionally chiming in with details and refinements. We did a few laps and then a 10 minute flow roll to warm up. I got paired with a new kid named Christian. He had goofy eyes and told me me has seizures. He was floppy, and this was his 4th BJJ class ever. I talked him through some basics, and we got warmed up.

The technique of the day was arm bar from mount. We started for the case where the bottom person was keeping the elbows nicely tucked, but that enables you to get a collar grip across the neck with your thumb in the gi. It’s kind of an overhand grip, and you can use it to start a paper cutter type choke to turn their head. Once they reach up to prevent the choke, you can slide your knee up under the arm and tuck it behind the head. On the other side of them, you slide your foot forward and under their arm to make sort of an underhook with your leg. You squeeze your knee toward your foot to hold them in place, keeping a hand free in case they try to tip you over forward, and keeping your hips pressed forward so they can’t roll you over your own knee (that’s how Greggo’s knee got damaged).

If they’re protecting their neck, you don’t need the collar grip. You can just scoot your knees up under their elbows and it makes them a gift wrapped present with an elbow bow. Hold their wrists or their elbows to collect them as you scoot up. Sit on them and PUSH THEIR FACE/JAW AWAY as you shift your weight to switch your leg position. I guess you ideally want their shoulder on the mat, your legs jamming your groin into the upper arm to keep it there, and that gives you the best leverage to finish the arm bar.

Then we rolled a little, to try to flow through the positions. My training partner was newly minted blue belt Carlos, and he’s a little wisp of a guy, but he was able to take my weight with no complaints. We went back and forth with the roll but settled eventually on trying to finish it with minimum resistance.

After that, we got to the real rolling. Mark paired me up with new guy Natan, who’s a 17 year old high school wrestler. He wanted me to give him an easy roll, but he changed his mind and told us to wrestle hard but no submissions. It took the pressure off me, and I let myself try things, give up good positions, and then recover from bad positions.

Next I rolled with Jose, who gave up submission after submission. I got him with the arm bar of the day, an Americana, and a mounted guillotine after I used the guillotine from guard to get the hip bump sweep and finished in mount.

Next roll was with Cowboy. He tried the kimura sweep on me but I postured up to defend it, and he cursed that it didn’t work like they said it would. He basically then coached me through an Americana. He also repeatedly chastised me for not being heavy enough. He said it was stunting my game, and that I shouldn’t be scared to put weight on people. They’ll tell you if it’s too much, especially if you cue them at the beginning. Not only side control, but also north-south. I should be laying my belly on their face to smother them, and they should be very uncomfortable being down there.

My next roll was with Leo in the back corner. He’s such a little guy, I didn’t even realize. Anyway, he was trying to do some weird half guard stuff to me that he learned from videos, but it wasn’t working. I had to stop him from pulling my finger off at one point as well, as he was ready to use it to get me off him. I started feeling guilty for using my weight on him too.

Well after that I got paired up with Shabbar. Haha! Here’s my test for using my weight. I got a good takedown from the knees, he turtled and I put him back in side control a few times before somehow we got a scramble and I tried a takedown from turtle but he sprawled and underhooked me away and ended up mounting me. I was then able to employ defenses against the arm bar of the day, finally upa’ing him over. We ended with me passing his guard after a failed triangle attempt which led me to a double under pass.

My last roll was with noob Christian again. I talked him through general concepts, and let him do a collar choke on me from the guard. I emphasized for him that he needed to use his legs and his arms and his whole body to crunch up and choke me. I actually don’t think he was strong enough to choke me out even if I let him have my neck unimpeded, but he needs technique first and the strength will come with practice and use of the muscles.

It was a good practice. Mark told me I was firming up. Rick told me and the other guys around me that I was way tougher than when I first started training. Jose told everyone that he wants to be like me when he grows up. I told him “2-3 more weeks of training and you’ll be there.” It was funny.

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