Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Week of September 5th – 9th

Hello Elite Training Center Friends,

This week’s classes in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program saw us practicing techniques in combatives and self-defense focusing passing the guard, escaping from headlocks against a wall and escaping for the mounted position against a resisting opponent or one that throws punches. Last week, I was on the East Coast conducting Martial Arts seminars and I had a busy schedule that affected the writing process for the first week of September in our blog. Nonetheless, let us reflect on this week’s progress.

Passing the guard of your opponent is one of the most difficult objectives in a ground fight. The opponent has many tools and strategies that he or she can use to defend against your attacks. In a jiu-jitsu competition is a commonplace to see full matches spent inside the guard. Once again the basic objectives in passing are to establish posture, open the legs on your opponent in a technical way using leverage; control the hips of your opponent in some form, and move pass the legs of your opponent to the knee in the belly, side control or mounted position on top. This week we reviewed the basic leg on the shoulder passing and strategy of passing over one leg. The main concept taught was to learn how to change sides when the opponent resists your forward movement; or should I say forward-angled-pressure-movement. Yes, with the leg on the shoulder pass or passing over the leg pass, we learned the importance of “being” very heavy at the correct times.

One rule I have always followed is, “If the opponent wants space, be tight…and if the opponent wants no space, create space!” It is a game of influencing the distance, timing, movement and pressure. The latter technique we worked on this week was to pass under both legs. During the type of guard pass, the technique of gaining the superior grip on the kimono/uniform or controlling the far hip on the opponent was explored. When questions what I met by, “Control the gi/lapel first before you move to pass the guard,” I demonstrated how get gaining the superior grip before making the next transition could lead to running in circles wasting energy, using strength verse leverage, losing control of the position instead of controlling the next part of the positional battle. Please remember that is the series of little battles that wins positions in a ground fight. And when you win superior positions, you will start to finalize more victories in your training.

Further into the week we practiced escaping headlocks against the wall. In two different headlocks, the opponent was using the wall for assistance. The escape and counter to these specific types of headlocks were different compared to a headlock in the open space. In both situations, we learned to use the wall for your advantage. From there was took the lesson to the mounted position, yet we reviewed how to escape the position.

The basic concept that was type this week was to understand how to use the trap & roll (Opa) technique and the elbow & knee escape technique effectively. The approach here was to use one strategy first and if there is any resistance from the opponent, use the second strategy next at this correct time. It is important to commit to one strategy first whole-heartedly, and only use the second strategy when there is a real resistance. Many times in escaping the mount in a technical way, “IT” is a give and take battle or relationship. For the opponent to choke you, he or she needs to give up his or her arms. In this context to defend the choke, you can trap the arms (TAKE) and roll the heavier opponent.

Finally, we practiced learning one of the basic strategies and techniques of defending against a punching opponent that is in the top mounted position. Once again for the opponent to gain the most leverage and power to punch downward towards your face/head, he will need to create distance. When you close this space and get really tight to the opponent’s chest, you can effectively protect your face from damage. In this situation you are in a survival mode, yet you need to relax so you do not use a lot of personal strength. The technique we practiced from here was to trap the arm and roll. The major details are for those that came to class. Moving forward as you develop better ground fighting skills, the defenses to the mount will be making in very difficult of the opponent to mount you the first place. You strategies in escaping from the cross side position and putting up defensive “Road-Blocks” will prevent the mount position from being established.

Congratulations to all of the students that have been promoted this week in their progress towards blue belts: Faixa Azul!

Be ready for next week!


Prof. Tony Pacenski

Elite Training Center

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