Friday, July 6, 2012

Like this, not like that: Wake gatame arm bar

Looking at pictures for a draft of the book - obviously not everything will make it in the book. I saw this photo and it just made me cringe. I think this was an out-take

for two reasons. First, because just looking at that right arm straight like that makes me think of dislocated elbows, even if just by accident. If the player on the bottom hits Hana's right elbow with her knee trying to move out of the position, that elbow is going to go.

I also thought it was a mistake because shortly after it in the photos Riley sent me was this:
In the second photo, you can see that her right arm is bent and she is leaning her weight on her elbow. 
I *think* though I am not sure, because this is a part Jim wrote and I haven't talked to him about it yet, that putting your weight on your arm at all is something you do in the drill to prevent your opponent from being face-planted into the mat as you do a wake gatame. 

In competition, though, I would think you would not put your arm there to slow yourself down and it would be, 

"Face, say hello to mat."


Anonymous said...

I agree. When fighting you're doing just that. Not trying to spare your opponent from unnecessary roughness. When not putting your weight on that arm though, where do you want your weight to be?

Anonymous said...

What would you tell daughter and local BJJ instructor?

My daughter is 10, weighs 60 lbs, and is 4' tall- she enters 5th grade this Fall. She's been doing judo for about 10 months. I can only take her to judo practice 1x a week, judo is about 30 miles away and practices start at 5pm. When she turns 13 she'll be able to attend classes that start at 6:30 pm and I'll be able to take her more often. A few weeks ago I took her to a local BJJ dojo practice for the first time. My daughter is very aggressive and strong for her size. I figured BJJ once a week will help her newaza. At that dojo they let the kids start standing for randori. She was tossing boys left and right. Most were landing on their head. Now these boys are older, outweigh her by 20lbs+ and many began to get mad at being thrown and pinned. They'd try to hurt her, not like punch her but play dirty. Later I talked with the instructor- told him I was worried about the weight disparity. My daughter liked it but she wasn't sure. She said she preferred judo. I drilled down and realized that it was probably what had happened that got to her. I'm not ready to have her give up on BJJ once a week. I figure its a good compliment until I can start taking her to judo 2-3x a week. That's what I told her. That she'll never stop doing judo. She's not really fighing me on going once a week to BJJ, but I know going forward it will be a struggle/fight prior to practice. My daughter has tried many sports and he loves judo. I love soccer and wish she'd play that but I've got to go with what she likes.

I plan on attending every BJJ practice and nip any dirty fighting in the bud. Nearly all the players at her BJJ are boys. My daughter has always identified with boys, but the dynamic is a bit different from her judo dojo. Her judo dojo has at least 20% girls, the senseis are awesome and there is a lot of talk about respect and taking care of your partner in practice. Whereas the BJJ dynamic just seems different. The way my daughter put it - they are less formal and not a lot of emphasis on respect. Thanks.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

I would not allow older, heavier boys to bully my daughter. You would not allow it on the playground and no one should allow it at BJJ or judo.

I think you did the exact right thing speaking with the instructor. I also think your idea of going to every practice is right on target.

If it doesn't change, I would find a different dojo. If the boys are bullying her and being disrespectful of course she'd rather do soccer if she gets respect and people don't bully her.

Hopefully there are some good kids there and she can work out with them and not the others.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. De Mars,

I'm very concerned about the negative repercussion of chael sonnen declarations and the reflex it may cause on your daughter.

People consider Brazil a peaceful country but it is becoming a war for many here. This is totally insane cause we really are peaceful people.

What this athlete (if we can call that) is doing is irresponsible and has inflicted a rage in a portion of the population who is not very happy with americans.

People may consider brazil not evolved like sonnen does, but unfortunately or fortunately (depends on the context) we have a large number of people at social nets, not only people with more study and education but people from lower social classes. The problem here is that even people from higher classes are disagreeing and saying not so rational words about him...

I realize that even among the Americans themselves sonnen's words are not desired.

Unfortunately this kind of inducement pushes the limits of what can be considered promotion and only incites pure and simple violence. I read the statements of brazilians who watch the videos of ufc 148 and they say that they want to kill literally chael, I find it very dangerous. This guy can barely put his foot in Brazil without being threatened with death.

I know that it is all about money, but everything has its price. Even Quinton Rampage Jackson saw that he was explored by the money they where paying him. He saw new opportunities to use his image like on hollywood.

Unfortunately chael is being irresponsible and not follow any principle, aiming only the money and fame at any cost. It's all about selling the primetime, ok he's selling it but by a high cost: putting him and his family in danger...

I am worried for your daughter because she showed a great example for new generations of professional and serious athletes through her judo. I fear that this negative side of Chael Sonnen could affect her career.

I appeal for your mother's and athlete side, please help ronda. I know it's gonna be hard because I felt she has some strong genius, but it worth the effort.

I see that she trains a lot with members of gracie family. They are very respectful and kind people, maybe they can help her with this too.

God bless you and all your family.

Greetings from Brazil. Peace.

traderez said...

WE liked armbar diagrams
bette.They were hilarious
especially tha last "multiple" one.
Put it on book front cover
an it will be NYT bestseller.
l o l

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Hi from Brazil -
Thanks for your concern. I don't really know what Chael Sonnen has to do with my daughter. She has only met him a few times, as far as I know. They don't train at the same club and I don't think he even lives in the same city. (Los Angeles is pretty big, so maybe he does.)

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dr. De Mars,

Unfortunatly in Brazil the media that owns the rights of ufc sells her like the 'female Sonnen' on the headlines.

But don't be worried. Media here try sometimes to polemise anything to sell it the way they want.

This "filtering" made ​​by the media are really complicated sometimes...

One easy way to prevent it is to release videos with her speaking like ArRoN(@pegson) is doing.

Besides that your daughter is surrounded by good people like Leo Frincu, Darin Harvey, @pegson and much more (I know I'm being unfair cause there are much more people), and we know that she's a great professional and doesn't share the same disrespectful vision that chael have showed about brazil.

Hope yesterday fight had put an end on the insults that don't help anything for the sport and for the person, only the sponsors and owners of the show.

I know she will stay focused on her fight with sarah kaufman.

May god bless you, ronda and your family.
Have a wonderful week.

Anonymous said...

Greetings Dr. De mars

Sorry to post again about such an awful topic...

Well Sonnen has a degree in social science but I think he never have read any book about a true american citizen (Yanke) in all of it's essences. A human being that had so much to say to us, even nowadays:

Those books should be obligatory for every human being. They say so much about the mundial problems we live today. This author lived in a time less "contaminated" as we do, if we can say so, and was really an example and an unheard voice at his time. It takes an evoluted human society to understand and practice the meaning of his words.

The first chapter of the book named Walden, for example, should be fine to resume our "human problems" and the respect we have to preserve by our siblings.

But well.. let's left the bad story behind and get a nice lesson I've learned of it.

I was introduced to Henry David Thoreau when I was looking for a pearl jam song at youtube. The song is named Guaranteed ( and it is soundtrack of a movie I had seen the trailer before but was afraid to watch. I was afraid because it could change somewhat my life and was worried if I was prepared to absorve the impact.

The film name is "Into the Wild" ( and is based on the life of another great american citizen and human being named Christopher McCandless.

I watched it until the middle and stopped exactly on the part where it shows his books. I was trying to understand what motivates a man doing what he have done. As far as I watched he had psicological problems with his family, but there was some more, somewhere else... Two books of the pile on this scene was from Henry David Thoreau, and I was intrigued. Hey! This must be the answer, her sister at the movie says he used to talk a lot about his prefered authors. And for my surprise...

Well concluding...Henry David Thoreau was an noble men with great respect for other cultures and have to say a lot to every person in this world. He's message is really universal and I wished to have read his books when I was younger to not make the mistakes I had done. I've took my spare time to pay attention for his words. Both the film and Thoreau's words have significantly changed my life in a good manner and I'm not afraid anymore.

May god bless you and your family.

Sorry for my poor english.