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Wednesday Class 3/5/2008

Posted Mar 06 2008 12:46pm

In Wednesday's class, we drilled a standing Guillotine, as well as the counter. Warm-ups involved the following:
* a light jog,
* 25 partner assisted leg-ups,
* 25 partner assisted hip-ups,
* 50 frog kicks,
* 50 crunches (closed guard position)
* 50 oblique crunches per side
* 50 "Yes" neck exercises
* 50 "No" neck Exercises
* 50 "Maybe" neck exercises
* 10 circles each direction
* Stretching

The leg ups are where you lay on your back with your partners feet on either side of your head, then bring your feet straight up into his hands. He pushes your feet off at any angle, so it works the abs pretty well. The hip ups are from the same position, but the partner holds his hands out at about chest/shoulder height. The idea is to bring your feet straight in and then up into his hands, twisting at the top. In order to do this, you really need to elevate your hips and work your core.

Technique: Standing Guillotine

This choking technique is more of an air choke, putting pressure on the trachea to block the airflow rather than constricting the arteries on either side of the neck to stop bloodflow. The standing guillotine we drilled yesterday goes a little something like this:

1: Control opponent's head in clinch
2: Pull him in
3: At same time, jump in and
4: Bring other arm around neck.
5: Grip should be "like a football", thumbs up into opponent's throat.
6: Elbows in tight, bring shoulders back and drive hips under opponent.

The control position in step 1 is a typical wrestling position, where my hand is cupping the back of my opponent's head, not the neck. The higher on the head, the easier it will be to control it. My elbow is pointing down to the mat. This is a strong position and keeps him from driving in to take a single leg. From here, I have a lot of control.

When I'm ready, I'm going to pull him in strong (step 2). Typically, his reaction is going to be to pull back. Anticipating this, I don't want to jump to where he's at now, but lead him a little. That's why it's so important to jump, trying to get my chest over onto his upper back.

The grip (step 5) is critical. If I get my arms too far around, it's going to be very difficult to finish the choke. Thumbs up is what I'm going for, so that I can put a lot of pressure on my opponent's throat.

The finish is important, as well. I want to bring my hips under him. For self defence, I would probably want to avoid taking it to the ground, but in a BJJ match, I might pull guard.

Technique: Standing Guillotine Counter

The counter is all about creating space to breathe and think, and then using my opponent's desire to finish the technique against him. At any point during the counter, he could simply release the hold, which works for me. This technique is for when he doesn't, and persists in trying to finish the choke.

1: Reach over opponent's shoulder and pull down (shoulder opposite where my head is)
2: Use other arm to block my opponent's hip.
3: Scoot hips away from opponent.
4: Breathe.
5: Move around toward low shoulder and take opponent to ground.
6: If he continues to hold head, move all the way around and take the armbar.

This counter works for gi or no-gi. I don't, at any point, need to grab fabric. For step 1, I'm reaching up and over my opponent's shoulder. If he's got my head on his right side, I'm reaching up and over his left shoulder as deep as I can, and then bringing my elbow down. This changes his angle and gives me some room to breathe. To keep my opponent from bringing his hips in, I'm blocking with my other hand. I don't have to push him back. I'm just blocking him from coming further in to finish the choke. It's much easier to move myself, so to create the space, I'm going to scoot my own hips back.

So, now, I should be at step 4, breathing and thinking. My opponent should be a little off balance, with his left shoulder lower than his right, and unable to close the space because I'm blocking his hip. For this counter, I'm going to begin circling toward the side I'm controlling the shoulder, in this case, the left (my right). Continuing to pull down on that side, I'll block his left leg with my left arm so I don't get caught in half guard, and take him to the mat in side control. I need to block the leg, or I'm still in danger. If he has a guillotine grip, but I'm in side control, there is very little chance that he'll be able to finish the choke.

Step 6 involves moving all the way around my opponent's head, trapping/controlling the arm and falling back into an armbar (knees together, heels back, opponent's thumb up, etc).

On another note, my right ear is swollen up and looks pretty bad right now. When I began training, I assured my wife that I would wear headgear during class if necessary, and I'm sad to say that the day has come. I'll be purchasing one of these badboys this weekend and will wear it during class when sparring and whenever I have to.
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