Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: americana

Four Step Progression From Side Control — BJJ Training 3.28.2016

I actually have been training a lot more than you’d think by following my blog, but there have been some interruptions due to to moving and a persistent shoulder injury. Only 10.5 hours of BJJ training in the last three weeks though. I heard the guys on the BJJ Brick podcast mention a good idea–a pain journal. I may try keeping up with the little annoying things that hurt here and tag them up so I can try to figure out what is causing something and know to avoid it. I have no idea where this shoulder thing came from, but it was pretty much immobile for a couple of days. I just woke up one morning and it was stuck.

Anyway, for this session we reviewed some very basic stuff in a series of submissions and answers to the defenses. Some people may get bored learning something they already know in class, but I really love going over the basics and picking up the details that I missed the first time around or having the chance to ask a question about something I’m having trouble finishing. The Americana is a great example–I got some key points that I missed out on the first time around when I was just focused on what an Americana is.

And even though I feel like I have pretty good side control for my skill level and size, picking up some finer points never hurts. Those details come in handy when trying to keep a big guy under control.

Side Control

  • Pull up near side arm by the triceps, elbow tight
  • Slide knee under that shoulder and arm under head
  • Elbow to knee. Gable grip with the underhook from opposite. Hand under the head goes on top.


  • Side control pressure to cause reaction of reach across the face
  • C-cup grip between bicep and shoulder, or post their arm to the ground with the head (my preference)
  • Under head arm comes out and push face back with elbow
  • C-cup grip at wrist. Two fingers on each side of the bend
  • Grip forearm
  • Reverse motorcycle the wrist grip first to create the angle and prevent defense
  • Reverse motorcycle forearm hand to elevate elbow
  • Paint the floor

Downbar From Failed Americana

  • Loosen grip on wrist if needed to allow some extension
  • Clamp back down when arm is out
  • Slide forearm grip arm back to elbow
  • Push wrist out, reverse motorcycle grip
  • Reverse motorcycle grip elbow arm to elevate

Kimura From Failed Downbar

  • Pull toward you to move them to their side, elbow tight
  • Pin near side arm with leg and windshield wiper to switch to the other leg
  • Step over head
  • Establish kimura grip, assuming the defense will be a grip on their belt or lapel
  • Pull hand away against the fingers–towards the front of their body
  • Pull arm up so they can’t establish another grip
  • Pull arm back and to opposite shoulder

Choke From Unbreakable Kimura Defense

  • Open the pants and reach in to trap the defending hand. There–you can have it there forever
  • Thumb in lapel grip
  • Step other foot over head and drop shoulders behind their shoulders. We want them on their side until we establish choke, but not pushing them to their bellies either
  • Pull lapel over and place knife of forearm on opposite carotid.
  • Elbow to the ground

See, I’m already forgetting some of the details of the last couple because I seldom progress that far successfully.

Rolled with Brad (quickly becoming one of my favorite people to roll with), Dr. Dan, Ed, and Dave. I love how easily Dave can take me down. He just stands up and whips out some judo on me that works even though I’m on my knees alread–crazy. Got closer than I’ve ever been with a bow and arrow on ol’ Tuesday.

Pain Journal: right shoulder still sticky. Left thumb weak from two year old rugby smash–can feel this when reaching into lapels for grips.

[image credit]

Big Guy Night — BJJ Training 11.29.2016

There was a new student at the gym–big guy who trained as a kid and has taken 12 years off. Since I was the smallest student tonight (besides Ana), Coach Frank threw us some stuff we can use effectively with an omaplata option at the end for the squirmy types to finish with.

After warmups we did some knee on belly drills which flowed directly into technique.

Side Control -> KoB -> Arm Attacks

  • Thumb in shallow collar grip (elbow tight)
  • Belt knot grip (elbow tight)
  • Push up to Knee On Belly
  • Opponent’s natural tendency is to push the knee
  • Shoot arm through the hole and c-cup the shoulder
  • Roll opponent toward you and step over head, shooting other foot deep underneath
  • Pop elbow up to move arm between shoulder and neck (crook of the elbow to elbow)
  • Slide up the arm and “I-Dream-Of-Genie” to finish the down bar


  • If defense reaches across your face, grab the wrist and modified Americana
  • If defense reaches low, swap grips and kimura
  • If defense is jump to the knees, swing legs to set up the omoplata

Twice with Jonathan, once with Frank, twice with Norm. I was plumb tuckered. Caught a few armbars against Jonathan but couldn’t get anything at all (typical) with Frank and Norm. They both tapped me out multiple times (again). By the end of my last roll with Norm, I was just showing up out of respect for him and doing what I could to defend, but I was completely out of energy. I had to put my bag down and change hands walking from the door to the car.

No Gi Grappling at Open Mat – 10.29.2016

Only three of us made it to open mat this week. Of course Ed was there, and of course we had another really long match. I had his back for a while but..

Still. Can’t. Finish. RNC.

Had a couple of triangle attempts, and one was in pretty deep. I think I was pretty close to the submission, but he’s just dang strong and stubborn. By the time I ended up with him in my half guard my arms were too tired from the RNC to defend the Americana. Got me again! LOL

Next we drilled arm bars from guard with Mitch, who didn’t want to roll because of his shoulder. I’m always down to drill, so this was great.

Afterwards, Frank took on me and Ed for two 3 minute rounds each, and he upped the tempo on us. A lot more movement, and it turned out to be really fun! I think it would do me a lot of good to develop that different gear for when I need it.

Next, Ed and I went for a three minute round, and I planned to focus on pace. I started working a guillotine from guard pretty early, but when I glanced back and checked the clock we were already a minute in, so I got to moving. Got the sweep, side control, and knee on belly. Was working for his back again when time ran out. No submission, but a shutout on points.

Judo Throws – No Gi Open Mat 10.15.2016

We had a wedding to go to in the afternoon, and we hadn’t planned on making it on Saturday. But I was able to convince Bear Toe and Primo who were visiting from out of town to come work out. Coach Frank let us in at 11:00, and we had a blast.
Lots of playing with positions and little mini-rolls, and I had one good long session with Ed. He was able to tap me with the Americana after about 15 minutes. Another guy, Mitch, showed up on his bike. He’s been training at the gym here and there, but our paths have not yet crossed. He was not what he appeared to be. Very strong, very technical. I have no idea what the criteria are for belts, but he’s a blue belt and it felt legit to me. I think I had a cardio advantage on him though. I was talking to him later and found out that he rides ~200 miles a week. He’s definitely more slow twitch than I was when I was all slow twitch, and I could feel it in the roll. Any burst of energy was giving me an opportunity to take advantage of his recovery.
Dave, who is a friend of Coach Frank’s from Ocala, was also there to train. He’s a jiu-jitsu purple belt, and a black belt in judo. He demonstrated three white-belt judo throws for us–definitely some stuff there for all of us to work on our stand up game. I hope he’s able to make ti back more often–super helpful! I rolled with him and could tell he was going pretty easy on me. He’d get a position and then hang there for a while to see how I reacted. I don’t know if I passed or failed, but I definitely did not threaten him. I felt like a ball of yarn getting batted around by a kitten.
Overall, the day was a success. Both Bear Toe and Primo had a blast and are looking for gyms!

No Gi Grappling – 10.9.2016

We missed a couple of days training, so Coach Frank had an impromptu open mat at the gym on Sunday night to give us a chance to work out and get going again.

Holy Toldedo.



Ended up in a 56 minute submission-only/I quite/Ironman match with Ed. To be fair, it started off almost as a flow roll, and about 20 minutes into it I was surprised at how relaxing it was, even though the pace had picked up considerably.  By the end, it was tooth and nail.

I wouldn’t begin to know how to score it–back and forth the whole time, with multiple submission attempts both ways. Off the top of my head I know I went for one guillotine, one Ezekiel, one kimura, one Americana, 3 triangles, and a barrage of rear naked chokes. Couldn’t finish any of them.

I ended up getting him with an “I-don’t-know-what-to-call-it” with his head locked between my legs figure 4’d and pressing towards an arm bar at the same time.

Then we both lie still in pools of our own sweat and had a good cry.

Alternate Triangle Choke Setup – BJJ Training Log September 6, 2016

Technique was a triangle with a different set up. Instead of push-pull with wrist control we:

  • Posture control and trap arm
  • Sleeve control on other arm and shrimp to foot on elbow
  • Knee to the ceiling and foot to the floor
  • Kick foot out to set the leg for triangle
  • Figure 4, then hand to shin
  • Wiggle for the angle and deepen the figure 4
  • Pop the posture to get the arm through
  • Wiggle for angle

And the defense:

  • Answer the phone and pressure
  • Other hand to opponent’s hip
  • Both hands to hips an posture up
  • Free arm to collar grip
  • Drive shoulder through leg to the collar
  • Enjoy side control


Andre–tough to get past his guard. He’s young, flexible, fast, and strong. Got to half guard once and was looking for side control but he regained guard

Ed–tried to pull guard and he got around. Worked from the bottom for top position and tried for Ezekiel. No dice. Went back to side control at 30 seconds and KOB, pulling up leg and head for discomfort. Still no tap.

Norm–focused on staying out of his full guard and trying to pass. Got around once (gift) and didn’t tighten up the side control so I lost it quickly and got choked. Went again and got one leg through. Stayed tight and got side control again (another gift), but tightened it up this time and was able to keep it longer. Was defending an arm bar when time ran out.

Ed–Was able to pull guard from the get go (finally). Held him and threatened the few submissions i have there. Was able to work my way to a triangle threat. Couldn’t finish, but was able to roll it to mount. Going for Americana when time ran out.

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