The Chain Gang

I went to BJJ on Thursday night, but I’ve been so busy recently that I was unable to post about it. I’ve been working on a new website/storefront for the company I work for and it went live Thursday, so any problems or bugs that we ran into had to be taken care of on Friday.

Anyway, it was a good class and I was really feeling it. I had thoughts on why I was feeling it and accomplishing things, but I’ll save that for later. Here’s the technique we went over:

Armbar from Mount (if the bottom person has their arms wrapped around you, holding you down)

To set up the visual image, let’s do it like this. Say you’re in top and in mount, from left to right you have, your arm, opponents arm, opponents head, your head, your arm and opponents arm. So, basically a reversed arm triangle position, instead of the head on the outside it’s on the inside.

To effectively armbar from this position, you need to get into s-mount, but you have to their inside arm shoulder out of the way. You do this by using your right arm (the one that is inside) elbow to push down on their outside arm shoulder, which will angle their body. This will open up a path for your knee to slide behind their shoulder/head. Transition from there into s-mount and finish the armbar as usual.

Progressing in Chaining

On my drive back home from class, I often sit in the quiet and reflect on my rolls and anything positive/negative that I did. Since I had some really good rolls Thursday night, I tried to discover what made my rolls so good and I think I realized it. I was chaining things together really well. So, I’m going to try and really start to do that more.

Anyway, as I was thinking about that, I started thinking about how I previously viewed chains when I started out. So, here’s a breakdown:

Starting Out >>>

1. One track mind. I just went after the only things I knew from the position I was in. I had one sweep from guard, that’s what I would go after. (if you’re in this position, don’t worry about chaining yet, you need to learn the basics still)

2. Still one track mind. Now I had two techniques to go after from a position, but I would pick one and go after it like crazy, with no thought of trying the other technique..

3. Chaining submissions. I started grasping the couple of submission chains that I had been taught. I saw them as I rolled a little at first, but it got better as time went on.

4. Making my own submission chains. (Blue Belt) This began a little before I got my blue belt. Instead of using taught chains, I started taking my own favorite submissions and chaining them together in a way that worked for me.

5. Realized you can chain more than submissions. (Where I am at Now) Now, I’m realizing I can chain all sorts of different things and they work effectively, and it’s not so one track anymore.

You don’t have to just chain an escape with an escape, or a submission with a submission. You can chain an escape with a sweep, a sweep with a submission, etc. You can even chain submissions with transitions and then transition back into a submission.

My point is, I need to keep trying to think more three dimensional than one dimensional, because it’s much easier then trying to force one thing. If you’re not to that point yet, hopefully this will help you. If you’re past the point I’m at now, maybe you can leave some advice in the comments below. Train hard!



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