Doing More With Less Since 1972

Tag: triangle choke

Closed Guard Progression Two-For BJJ Training 4.4.2017

I didn’t get to write up last Thursday’s training, but I guess that’s ok because we built off of that progression in class last night, so there was plenty of review. Again, I love going back and getting the details after I *think* I know how to do something.

Closed Guard

  • Make nice finger grips at the cuffs
  • Pull and raise hips to tighten up closed guard
  • If lapel is loose, use that to secure arm by wrapping around
  • Or grab deep behind the bicep to trap arm
  • Deep collar grip – 4 fingers in to control posture
  • Foot on hip to rotate for arm bar–knee tight to their ribs
  • Other foot pressing heels to floor to control posture
  • Squeeze knees tight
  • Push collar grip away and rotate knee over face–keep squeezing knees

If they go to their back and grip to defend

  • Head side under target arm. Knife of forearm on their forearm
  • Kimura grip
  • Roll to shoulder or cross feet into opposite arm to pop grip

If can’t break grip

  • Don’t give up that fight, but work lower foot into hole between arms
  • “Let” your leg that’s pinning their head down slip
  • When they sit up, secure the triangle

If triangle is being defended

  • Swim over trapped arm and under other arm
  • “Wave” that arm back to your head and trap wrist between head and shoulder
  • Slide arm down, sit up and pull down for downbar

Some good rolls too. Ian (visitor from Mexico) wiped up the mat with me a few times. I have 15 pounds or so on him probably, but he was getting anything he wanted from his closed guard, and mounting when that didn’t work. Also rolled with Jonathan and Django.

This is from open mat on Saturday, which was also some really good rolling!


Butterfly Sweep – No Gi and Muay Thai 2.27.2016

Small class, and I think Coach Frank was probably glad the partner match ups worked out. Big Shawn was there for me to partner with, and TJ and Django had each other to drill. We worked on the butterfly sweep, keeping elbows tight and trapping the over-hooked arm while dropping the knee to the ground for leverage to push off of on the sweep.

We also worked on a solution for getting stacked in the triangle, which I needed. We under-hooked the leg and rolled back to an arm bar. The flow we used to work on this was to start with an arm bar and transition to a triangle if we think they’re going to be able to move our top leg by getting our bottom leg up above their shoulder through the hole they are using to defend with the gable grip. From there we roll to the triangle, hit the down bar, and let them stand to under hook the leg and roll back to the arm bar.

For Muay Thai, we worked on basics, which is what I need. Jabs up and down the mat, foot work, then combinations: 1-2-3-roundhouse and 2-3-roundhouse. Rolled a couple of rounds with Shawn, and he dominated me in positions. His cardio is getting better, and once he’s on top I can’t get out from under him for very long. So ten minutes of fighting for space, under hooks, and trying to catch legs and get back to guard.

Lots of Black Belts

Lots of visitors from Ireland, Texas, and Tampa tonight. Two black belts, one brown belt, two purple belts, and two blue belts.

A normal warmup, and we were then treated to three techniques by the three black belts!

Frank’s Technique — review of the knuckle pushup KoB, shoot hand through (PALM UP), step over head (PULLING IN NECK AND PUSHING OUT STERNUM) to the Down Bar (I DREAM OF GENIE), americana, kimura, roll to the scissor choke.

Andy’s Technique – Kimura and Armbar from guard

  • Over/Under on opponent’s shoulders with controlled posture
  • Trap the arm on the “under” side straight
  • Push knees out (keeping guard closed) to straighten the arm
  • Grip the triceps with opposite hand to lock in kimura
  • Roll bicep towards ceiling to go for americana

Key concepts–keep trapped arm elbow tight. Keep guard closed and high. For americana, push knees out the door. Helps to bring elbow inside the head.

Christine Technique – Side control arm bars

  • Instead of cross-face, get into a smother.
  • Inch knee under the arm you have
  • Post hands on mat next to shoulder and hip
  • Hope to a KoB, shooting the arm up and grabbing it
  • Throw leg over the head, ok to keep other leg inside ribs

For Spinning Arm Bar

  • Smother hard and wait for them to give the arm
  • Depending on which side of your head they shoot it, trap with your gi
  • Pull them up and step over head, using other arm as a brake
  • or if other direction post hand to hip, click into north south,
  • Position lower foot, then step over, again using the other arm as a brake.

Sixteen people in the gym, so no chance to roll every round. Still, got four 4-minute rounds in.

My first was against one of the visiting black belts. 260+ lbs of Irish squash. He’d gone two consecutive rounds before me and seemed content to smash the crap out of me from several different positions. I considered it a “win” when I could breath. He started on his back, just giving me side control. I regret that I didn’t try to lay into him harder with the shoulder now, but at the time I was completely confused. “Is this some sort of trick?” Nah…he just wanted to lie down. He tapped me with his legs without even moving.

Next up for me was two rounds with Jonathan. Much more scrambly than usual. I did get a chance to trap the arm using the technique Christine showed us. I wasn’t able to finish all the way to the spinning arm bar, but I took what she said during the demonstration to heart–“even if you can’t get the technique all the way to finish, you still have the arm, so don’t let go of it.” Ended up getting an americana, then played the remainder of that roll and the next round from guard.

Last roll was with visiting Irish blue belt. He was young and maybe 15-20 pounds lighter than me. Really fun. I fought off a triangle pretty early, and later a sitting triangle and an arm bar. So yeah–no attacking, but I feel like I may be getting better at defending. I went for his back once and got one hook in, but he ended up tapping me with a kimura.

Rear Naked Choke Tune Up – BJJ Training 11.22.2016

Coach Frank was out of town, so Norm was leading the class. Pretty good turnout, and we got a lot of good stuff done.

Warmup was some drills (partnered with Jonathan), then we worked on taking the back from guard, details of the RNC, and an optional arm bar from guard.

Rolled for 5 minute rounds with Dan, Joe, Norm, Jonathan, Joe, Norm.

Dan got me with the triangle, and I was actually pretty happy for him. I’ve gotten out of it the last few times he’s attempted it, and he was straining hard to hang on to it. Joe ran right through me–he’s so much faster than I am, and I just can’t get around his guard. Then he sweeps me and chokes me. Norm sat on my chest for about 4 minutes and let me fight out of mount. That really sucked, but there’s no way I would have quit on it after he’d basically given up his roll to give me that opportunity. Fun roll with Jonathan with a couple of sweeps and ultimately an arm bar. He was pretty close to a guillotine on me, but I was able to fight out. Another roll with Joe, and he almost got the guillotine too, but I fought out–can’t remember what he ultimately got me with.

I stayed for one extra roll with Norm after everyone else headed home. As we slapped hands and fist bumped I realized (and said out loud), “Oh no…it just occurred to me that you could easily kill me right now if you wanted, and there’s nobody here to stop it.”

Luckily, he still respected my multiple taps.

Gi Choke Sunk! BJJ Training 11.17.2016

Big turnout for class last night with a couple of visitors. One is Coach Frank’s friend John from New York, and another was a Polish guy (“Peter”), a monster of a blue belt who was in town for a couple of days after attending a conference in Orlando. He trains with a Globetroters gym there–it is so cool to be a part of a gym where visitors are not only welcomed, but we’re all actually excited to have them. I’m learning more about the culture in different jiu jitsu gyms and in different parts of the world, and I’m hearing that it’s not always as welcoming of an environment as what we have at our gym.

We did a review of the smash pass from passing headquarters, the drop step and hip turn to pass to the other side when trapped in quarter guard, and a choke from quarter guard when the final step of the pass fails. It was steamy and sweaty in there!

Rolling for me was Dr. Dan, Norm, Visiting John, Louis, and Jonathan.

I was on top for most of the roll with Dr. Dan, but the take down and pass took a while. I tried to go for the pass-the-gi choke, but when I finally got the lapel handed off I realized it was HIS gi I’d passed. DOH!!! A very boring bout for any spectators, but we were working our arses off!

Norm was more of the same. I’m looking for any little victories I can get with him. The only real positive out of this one was that I was able to break his spider guard (after making stupid mistakes that let him get spider guard of course). Got triangled again, even though I was defending it hard for a long time before he actually got it sunk in. Defended a couple of sweeps, and got swept by twice that many. These rolls are making me a lot better, as was evident by the next roll.

Visiting John and I are pretty well matched, so this one was really fun. He’s a lot more experienced than me–4 stripe white belt with 1.5 years training–but he’s taken some time off, so he’s still rusty from that. It’s funny how my thinking is going–“He’s going for a kimura. When I defend it, he’s going to know to go for that sweep. I know that, but does he know that I know that he knows that?” When he attempted his triangle it was much easier to defend than it was against Norm. That’s what I mean about rolling with Norm so much. It’s unlikely I’ll face anyone at my skill level who can smash me like that after him becoming my Norm-al. Horrible pun.

Easy roll with Louis to be careful with his back and neck. I focused on sweeping and working his collar, staying away from his head, neck, and back. I got a scissor sweep to my offside, but when I tried one on my strong side later he defended it easily. That was weird. Really fun roll.

This was Jonathan’s third night training, and I can’t believe this guy. Strong, heavy, fit, and has a ton of heart. We rolled a couple of times on Tuesday and he was a wild man. I ended up just mounting and trying to control him. Submissions weren’t coming–it was like a real fight, just survive and control!!! That did give me a lot of confidence that if I ever am in that situation in real life again I’ll probably be fine. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t get hurt and wouldn’t have to hurt the other person either. I’d much rather walk away without having to throw punches (no broken hands) and the other guy knowing that I could have hurt him but didn’t.

Anyway, Jonathan was a lot more calm and technical than on Tuesday, which is also impressive. He was working technique and even recognized a couple of situations we’d been in during the previous rolls and reacted differently. He’ll pass me soon. I was able to work an arm bar patiently. Once I got it, I didn’t let go. I just focused on keeping my hips tight, keeping my head heavy on his chin, and patiently breaking the defending grip. We restarted and when I got to side control I went back to the gi pass choke I’d attempted on Dr. Dan earlier. Got it this time!!!!

No Gi Grappling 11.5.2016

A really fun day today–I felt like I had something of a breakthrough. I saw a whole bunch of stuff happening, attempted a whole bunch of stuff, and finished with a submission I’ve never attempted in a live roll.

Of course, it was with Ed. And of course, it was another ultra-long marathon of a roll. We went for about 45 minutes straight today. Again, theme of the week, I was focusing on executing sweeps, but did notice that was a little more difficult without the gi. I got a couple of scissor sweeps in and attempted a few more, but by then he’d caught on and was defending.

Spent a good deal of time in mount, moving from grapevining to high mount, and had a few of decent attempts from that position–arm bars, bicep crusher, seated triangle, multiple Ezekiel chokes. I had his back for a good spell and actually got the RNC sunk. SUNK!!! I was taking my time making sure I had it set up right when I felt his chin tuck. Need to tighten that up.

From guard I worked on two triangle and a kimura. I actually went into the kimura thinking, “If I don’t get this, I’ll at least get the kimura sweep.” When it came time for the sweep, I couldn’t remember the first step (reviewed it after the roll).

I also tried to focus on pressure. Not just pushing-my-weight pressure, but keeping the pressure on in situations when I was threatening and Ed was able to escape.  I tried to make sure I didn’t give him an opportunity to recover when he escaped–trying to control posture at all times and immediate try another sweep.

I’m not going to get any more of my favorite mount escapes on him, that’s for sure. But I did get to try out the oopa mount escape we’ve worked on. Nailed it!

Anyway, ended up getting a d’arce choke at the end. I actually had an opportunity to get one earlier, but I had the wrong arm in. The next time around I saw the situation coming and got set up for it.

Omoplata From Armbar – BJJ Training 11.2.2016

Really sweaty warmup for me. We did sit-through and rotate drills, which we haven’t done in a while in class, and I could really tell a difference in my fitness and agility with these, which I credit to a weight drop.

Technique was more working from the armbar out of closed guard. I really like that we’ve been working on the different variations from this same setup because we’re getting a lot of reps on the armbar itself. I can tell I’m getting a little better at the finer details that make all the difference–things like keeping my knees pinched!

For the omoplata from armbar:

  • Set up armbar
  • Control non-armbar wrist and punch to waist
  • Foot to enemy’s neck and push head away
  • Rotate and sit up to side-by-side with (KEY POINT)legs straight and grip enemy across belt to hold in place
  • Post foot out and scoot hips out, dragging enemy to flatten him out
  • Move legs to s-mount, pinching trapped arm between your rib cage and thighs
  • Underhook other arm and gable grip to hand above shoulder
  • S-mount drill forward/up while bending down to tell him how much you love him

It’s sort of like this, but with more detail. I just like this fella’s accent.

We went to 4 five minute rounds of rolling.

First up was good ol’ Ed. We started with him attempting a guillotine, which I used to work towards side control. Once I got it I focused on the collar and getting mount, where I focused on the collar more. Went for an americana once, which he quickly defended.

The next round was Ed again, but we me having his back. Skipped the RNC and went straight for the bow and arrow. I think I got close, but couldn’t finish it. Moved to my guard and attempted the worst triangle ever, which he got around. I ended up back in mount and got an armbar a few seconds before time ran out.

Next was Rudy, who came at me really hard tonight. I put up a decent fight for a while, defending the armbar and eating a couple of bicep crushers. Defended one seated triangle, but tapped to another. I know he got me with something else too, but I was so exhausted I don’t even remember what it was.

Norm got the scraps tonight. And ate them all. I think he tapped me 3 or 4 times. I know he gave me one sweep from half guard, but we spent a lot of time with him on top. After the last submit we had about 20 seconds left, so I pulled guard and tried to defend that as best I could, knowing he’d try hard for a quick submit. He passed right as time was running out.

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.

Arm Bar Flow From Guard – BJJ Training 10.20.2016

Normal warm up and we went into some partner drills–KoB rotation, chucking feet from standing to pass into side control, etc.
Technique was really useful for me tonight because we based everything off of the arm bar from guard–something I’ve had some trouble with since the beginning. Maybe it’s not that I had trouble, but we learned it so early on that I needed to review and also get as many reps as possible. I got a lot of reps tonight with Norm (quality reps).
  • Wrist control
  • Reach under one arm  for cross triceps control and clamp
  • Former wrist hand reaches up to control head and/or grab back of gi
  • Foot on hip and other leg holding down posture
  • Whip leg over to face and heels to ground
  • Tight hips, head side arm to kimura grip. Elbow-to-elbow
  • Bait with the foot between the legs and release head
  • Post with free hand to take the back or…
  • Go to back with leg over head, post out and roll to arm bar

Rolls with Dan the man
Escaped triangle, tried shoulder choke
Coach Frank
Defend bow and arrow, mount escape, then choked
Tapped me at least three times with a bunch of chokes
Tapped me with one choke, cardio paid off at the end, attempted the shoulder choke

Foot Lock Defense – BJJ Training Log 10.18.2016

Had a meeting run over at work, so I missed the warmup–a day after Coach Frank posted a meme about people who’s best move is escaping warmups. 🙂

I did make it in time for some RDLR single leg drills. Better, but still not very coordinated.

Technique–the objective is to keep the enemy from rocking backwards
  1. Grab same side lapel and pull towards you while…
  2. Kicking the locked foot through the grip
  3. Use hand on the side with the foot on hip to remove the foot from the hip
  4. Scoot out, then sit on that foot
  5. Sit up to mount/KoB, depending on which shoulder/elbow enemy was using to trap the foot


We went five 5-minute rounds. First up for me was Dan the Man. I really like rolling with Dan–his style is the most contradictory to mine, at least if you discount brown belts and up. He’s tall and lanky (~150 lbs), and really technical. I try to be as technical as possible when rolling with him instead of relying on weight and power. Hopefully this will help me to learn his game better. We started with me (again) just trying to pass guard. I made it to side control and immediately moved to KoB, but without all the weight. I have limited attacks anyway, and without weight I can’t even start to set those up, so I focused on trying to travel. The result was me turtled up with Dan attacking. At one point he removed my lapel from my belt, so I was really on the lookout for a choke coming, but he didn’t do anything with it. He rode me for a long time and ended up attempting a bow and arrow, which I was able to defend.

Next up was Ana-conda. Another lighter and more technical opponent. Let her work some, and I did the KoB rotation successfully. Here I definitely focused on changing positions as much as possible–again, it’s still hard for me to attack without throwing weight on other people. Her mount is getting really good. Without muscle, I have a tough time escaping it. She actually inspired me to try some stuff she was doing later with Ed. These rolls are good for me because they force me to rely on technique only.

From here out, it was going against guys who have a more similar style to mine.

Good Ol’ Ed was my third round.  I spent a lot of time with him in my full guard and attempted a cross-collar choke (now I know why it failed) and a triangle. This time, I was able to prevent him from passing to side control because I bailed on the triangle early and instead tried to get him in the RLDR position so I could go for the sweep. He recognized it and I wasn’t able to set up. But I realized that I was 75% there already, and even if I couldn’t get him to his back, I could still force a scramble for position. I’d have the advantage since I’d know when it was coming. It worked, and I was able to work towards a kimura before we ran out of time.

Roll 4 was Norm. From the get-go, I could see the triangle coming. It was like I was getting sucked into a black hole in slow motion. Tried and tried to avoid it, then defended early. He still got it. Norm. We restarted and he worked me through a few positions. Ended up trying a choke with me on bottom. I was able to bridge up and defend, but it was crazy uncomfortable. I think he cracked my neck about 5 different ways, which actually felt pretty good!

One more round with Ed. This time we went without Gi on the top. Changes the equation quite a bit, especially because I spent a lot of time in this roll with his back. Wished we’d had the gi so I could shoot for the bow and arrow since I’ve been having trouble with the rear naked choke. Oddly, the RNC was much more available all of a sudden. I almost finished it. Almost. This time I gave up on it before I got too tired and moved to mount and practiced grapevining him to flatten him out ala Ana-conda. This was a really good roll for me, but I felt bad for him. He’s got some nasty cauliflower ear going and I could tell he was favoring that the whole time–one reason the rear naked choke was so open for me.

Reverse De La Riva – BJJ Training Log 10.13.2016

Smallish class tonight, and me the only white belt.

So, yeah…beat down.

For warm ups we mixed it up a little with grip fights, knee on belly drills, and reverse de la riva switching drill. I missed Tuesday’s class, so I was already behind on the RDLR, but wouldn’t have mattered a lot–it will be a while until that coordination kicks in for me. Not a problem–I was in the same place with KoB a month ago.

Oddly, the technique part of class was all reverse de la riva based, and I had a much easier time of it. The sweep I got (not perfectly, but I got it) immediately. Then we did another more technical move.

Reverse De la riva sweep

  1. Pull ankle tight to the butt
  2. Cross grip deep into the lapel
  3. Same side grip on the cuff
  4. Punch down and sweep

Like this

The RDLR to take back–I can’t even begin to explain. Luckily I can post a Kurt Osiander video and he can show it. Like he says in the video, this is a good one for little people.

I’m not a little people.

Three five minute rolls in rotation. Went with Norm first–one tap to some sort of choke, but I felt like I defended some others pretty well.

Next up was Dan the Man. He had a pretty tight triangle on me, but I stacked him up and was able to rotate out. That alone got me pretty tired. I was kinda sorta trying to work a baseball choke at the end, but I was screwing it up in every possible way. He probably was completely confuse.

Last was coach Frank. Of course he got my back, and then he aimed for the bow and arrow choke. I defended. I’m sure he could have submitted me a hundred different ways, but he seemed determined to try and get it, so I kept defending and looking for a way out. He got a wrist lock on me as the bell went off, so I didn’t have to tap. LOL

Shoulder Choke From Side Control – BJJ Training Log 9.29.2016

Intensity is already starting to pick up getting ready for competition. Warmup had an increased volume of pushups, and pace was higher for partner drills–KoB rotation, guard retention, sit ups with partner pushing,  Helps having a pushy partner too.

First technique was the #2 Side Control to Mount we learned in the morning class about a month ago. I did not remember this at all until he went over it. I know I’ve never attempted it in a live roll, so it was really good to go over it again. I think it’s something that can be effective for me, especially when opponent is putting his leg up to guard against the mount–practically giving you the hardest part.

The next technique was a choke from side control that, even if you don’t get the choke, is one of the most uncomfortable positions I’ve experienced so far. It doesn’t require any fancy footwork or stretchy hips, so I think this may end up being a go-to for me.

  • Use far hard to pull up opponent’s far shoulder (assuming you have the cross-face)
  • Wiper the cross face hand to directly underneath opponent’s spine and settle them onto their back
  • Lower upper body and drive shoulder into the neck
  • Active toes and sprawl to head-side hip

While drilling it, Coach Frank came around and asked if Norm could possibly escape from there. I thought he could because of my balance. I adjusted and when he tried to bridge I could maintain. Coach Frank said, “Now…if he DOES try that, go ahead and mount. His feet are going to be flat on the ground and he won’t be able to defend.”

Played KOTM for guard passes and one guy stayed out the whole time. Impressive.

Live rolling was for three minute rounds. Could definitely feel the intensity pick up here. I had two goes with Norm, and he tapped me three times in each of them. Maybe he was getting close to going 100%?

Was on top with Ed for most of the time of both sessions. Couldn’t quite finish the rear naked choke or the triangle. But…

From side control I tried the shoulder choke described above. He bridged. I mounted. Nice!

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