Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Half-nelson to a sneaky arm bar

I'm amused by those people who say that Ronda will be easy to beat because "all she does is an armbar". In basketball, all anyone on the team wants to do is throw the ball through the other team's hoop and yet somehow, between the two teams, they manage to get hundreds of points each game, time after time. How is that even possible?

The obvious answer in both cases, of course, is that there are an almost infinite number of ways to come at it.

Let's begin from where we were yesterday, with the sneaky arm bar drill, but with an opponent who is not quite as defensive.


Step 1: My opponent starts out on her base, with her legs spread apart, on her knees and her arms pulled in tight, but not as much in a ball as in the first step in the previous technique. When I pull her toward me and try to roll her, she puts the arm nearest me - her right arm - out to stop me from turning here.

Step 2: Here I am doing a half-nelson wrong. I have my right arm under her right arm. I have my left arm over her back, shoving her elbow forward trying to keep her from posting with that arm to stop the half-nelson. I have my left leg bent, with my knee up against her body and my right leg straight, driving my weight on her. I am going to try to walk around her head and pin her.

Step 3: To stop herself from being turned over, she is going to have to do something with that left arm. In this case she happened to push back so hard with her elbow that when I quit pushing her arm and let go her left arm ended up almost straight, palm up. The specific position doesn’t matter so much. My whole intent in the half-nelson was never to turn her over but to provoke a reaction from her. As soon as she moves the left arm out, notice how my left hand was there, ready to slip under her arm and grab it. At the same time, I have stepped forward with my right leg, to the other side of her head.

Step 4: As I stand up, I pull her arm against my chest. My right hand, which was on her head, comes up to grab her arm, too. My right leg is across her body and I am practically sitting on her shoulder.

Step 5: I throw myself backward, and as I fall my left leg comes forward over her body.  You need to move that leg as you are falling backwards to avoid having it trapped under the opponent’s body.

 Step 6:
Here is how it ends again, with his arm locked against me, knees tight and me arching my hips to execute the arm bar.

After a while, when I am teaching, someone is bound to ask -

"All of this is set up to get the person to resist by putting an arm out, but what if they DON'T? What if they have caught on to you? That must happen eventually, right?"

That is right, and it absolutely does happen. In that case, if the person does not put an arm out, he or she ends up pinned. The reason that the way I did the half-nelson above is wrong is that anyone can stop it easily by posting out with that left arm. If the opponent doesn't do that, then I end up getting the pin. The same is true for the turnover I discussed previously.

The more of a reputation I got for arm bars, the more people I pinned. Because my opponents were so intent on holding their arms in tight to keep from being arm barred, they weren't able to defend against pins effectively.

That IS sneaky, isn't it?


Jeremy said...

Two days ago I was watching Josh Waitzkin's google talk and he was talking about creating and breaking expectations/patterns in chess and push hands.

Along with your earlier post it really helped me understand the concepts behind set ups, and I was thinking how I could use it.

Both in a match and on a larger level (rolling with the same people every day who start catching on). So I loved how coincidentally relevant this post was.

I also love how most of my ah-ha moments of understanding have come from ideas from other disciplines instead of my coaches.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

What discipline are you in? Now you have me curious

Chad Morrison said...

I love these drills that you post - especially when they have pictures... I'm totally going to rip you off in my next class (but I'll give you attribution, of course!) =:>

Jeremy said...

I do boxing and what little grappling I can afford.

Though it's much easier for me to see how concepts apply in striking than grappling (I'm new so I daydream about defense instead of attacking tactics).

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Thanks, Chad.

The book will have all the pictures with the moves done by Ronda and other young people far better looking than me. These are kind of "place-holders" so the photographer knows what positions to shoot.

dsimon3387 said...

These strategies have a beauty and elegance in their simplicity and effectiveness. They also do not require the user to take a risk in applying the strategy.

A similar concept in striking is the backfist. When your elbow is above the opponent's lead arm you can always get a reaction by throwing the backfist because if the opponent does not raise his arm, he gets hit, or has to move back quickly giving you a free strike. The minute he raises his lead arm he is open to an attack to his rib cage. So if set up well, either way you have the advantaqe.

You can be waiting with a side kick or any leg attack to his ribs.....I like using the legs to attack in this scenerio because if the person attacking tries to throw a hand strike they could let the opponent back in the exchange and expose oneself to the risk of a counter....especially if the opponent has more reach.

PiP said...

I tweeted you a confusing/poorly-worded question about the difference between rolling against other judoka vs rolling with jiu jitsu-istas. Part of the confusion was from asking in 140 characters, but part was also from my misreading the blog originally.

What prompted the question for me was the rules of pins. I'm unfamiliar with judo rules, so I was curious to know how rules like this change people's ground games. I mistakenly thought you said that opponents, attempting to avoid being pinned, left themselves open for armbars. In my opinion, this would be bad in terms of the "art" of martial arts (I think of art as having some truth, or purity, or inherent integrity). To make yourself vulnerable to a submission in order to avoid some arbitrary position named "pin" would be not good. BUT, what you actually said was the opposite. Your opponents would avoid the armbars, and in doing so leave themselves open to being pinned. This is much more agreeable to my mind. So, my question was about the difference between rolling(randori?) against judo players compared to jiu jitsu players, but having reread the post and reading it correctly this time, I'm guessing the difference is not as important as I worried it might be.

Yatnalkar said...

What discipline are you in? Now you have me curious

Aaroncink said...

Thanks, Chad. The book will have all the pictures with the moves done by Ronda and other young people far better looking than me. These are kind of "place-holders" so the photographer knows what positions to shoot.