Monday, February 23, 2015

John Will Seminar 22 Feb 2015 - Snatch Single, Vale Tudo Guard, Darce/Anaconda

Snatch Single Leg Takedown / Street Finish

He is standing with his L foot forward. Step in with your R leg as you push his R shoulder with your L hand and the L side of his chest/shoulder with your head (around the hairline). Ensure your head is not too low or back rounded - the posterior chain should be engaged and the head held fairly high to avoid the snapdown or sprawl. At the same time "snatch" up his L leg with your R hand and get a gable grip, R palm down and on top. Pinch his L leg between your legs, tight.

You must get the guy's weight moving backward so the weight comes off his front (L) leg to be able to pick it up.

(From experimentation - if he is a big heavy guy, don't try to hit him harder and faster to make him move - as, I found out, it hurts your head and neck. Instead, hit him at the same speed as you would a smaller guy but keep driving forward for longer with your legs. His weight will shift to the back leg).

Once you have his leg pinched between yours and a good Gable grip, step your R leg back and over his leg so his raised L leg is in front of you.Hoist his leg up and grab it under your L arm in the armpit. Use the overgrip rather than undergrip as it facilitates the next step. Your R hand cups his R knee, R elbow down. Press down on his knee and drop your weight so his R knee bends. Pivot clockwise with small choppy steps to take him down. The downward pressure on his bent R knee means he cannot hop to retain his balance.

As he hits the ground, drag his L leg past your L hip and go to kneeride. The steps above allow you to pass his guard on your feet, always a good strategy for takedowns.

An alternative setup is to hit him with L hand and forehead, and snatch up the leg, but then immediately back up and pass the leg from the R hand to the left then snatch it up under the L armpit.

Vale Tudo Closed Guard

The closed guard is not a good position in which to take punches - no space to ride the blows.

Grab the back of his head in a Thai clinch and pull his face down to your chest. Change the grip to a Gable grip, R hand facing away. Move your hands to the R so the back of his head is in the crook of your L elbow. Crank his head so the R side of his face is on your chest. He will want to turn his head face down again. As he tries this use his effort to push his head under your R elbow. Grab the inside of your R knee with your R hand (you may need to open your guard momentarily and bring your knee up to grab then close your guard again).

If he tries to punch or grab you with his R hand, block it with your L wrist/palm in a Wing Chun fook sao position.

He will find it very difficult to punch you or do anything else from here. John calls this position the Back Strap.

(available on Ebay, apparently.)

From here you have several attacking options.


If you are able to slide your L hand down to his R wrist, the Kimura is possible. However, if he can keep his R elbow near his torso he will have good leverage with which to counter the Kimura. So we want to separate his elbow from his body as much as possible. This requires us to take his wrist as far out to the left as we can, open our legs and reach out as far as we can to get our R arm near his elbow. Applying the Kimura with the  non-grabbing arm near the elbow gives maximum leverage - the end of the lever.


We can also attack his L arm from the back strap. We want to underhook it with our R arm while keeping the R elbow on the back of his head. However, this is difficult to do while our back is flat on the ground. Instead, open our legs and put our feet on the floor so we can turn on our left side and hit ourselves on the back near the kidney area with the back of our R wrist. This will give us the right angle from which to under hook his L arm with our R and still keep control of his head. We can now join our hands with a Gable grip (R fingers pointing up). Place our feet on the floor and bridge and roll him to our L, pulling on his arm for leverage. We end up in mount. Make sure you let go the grip early so as not to crank his neck.

After we underhook his arm he may tripod up on his feet and head to relieve the pressure on his neck. If this happens open your legs and go heavylegs on his knees with both your legs. Get both hooks in, one at a time. Use your hooks and the arm to sweep him to your L; the most effective way is to push with your L hook, straightening out the R side of his body, while lifting and flipping him with your R hook.

The turning on your side and hitting your back with you R wrist to underhook his arm is done for the same reasons you turn on your side and kick your butt with your heel to get a hook in under his leg.

 From the back strap, he may decide to post up with both hands to get posture. Let him do this and come up with him. As he comes up, post behind you on your L hand. Release the guard, let your L leg go limp and push with your R leg to hip bump / sitting rollover sweep him to your L. Your R hand should move from inside your R knee to grabbing the outside of your L thigh, thus trapping his R arm. The thigh grab should be higher percentage at trapping the R arm than trying to grab or overhook his R arm or elbow as you sweep.

If he grabs your head at the beginning and tries to get a head/arm choke, you may need to back out and instead go to shoulder control on his R arm, with various strategies from here.

Darce/Anaconda Chokes

Both chokes can be set up with similar entries, and when understood it is possible to switch between them. The triangle and kata gatame have similarities. Both follow the same basic formula:

Noose - Position - Kill the arm - Penetrate - Lock and finish

Both choke sequences start from head to head, you sprawled on him with your R arm between his neck and his L arm, and your L arm in his R armpit overhooking his R arm.

Form the Noose by joining your grabbing your R wrist with your L hand and pulling his elbow forward to pinch his R upper arm to his head. Get the noose and walk your feet out and to the R to pinch his head and arm rather than just pulling with the arms.

Now dive your head under his R armpit and roll underneath him, bring him over the top of you. From here the road forks depending whether you want the Darce or the Anaconda. Do not let go of the noose until you are ready to lock on the choke!

Darce / D'Arce

Get the Position by running around his head so he is on his L side and you have side control on his L. You should still have the noose with the L arm under his R arm and around his head. Kill the arm by sprawling on his R shoulder. Penetrate the L arm through by keeping the noose and pushing it further through so the L arm appears under his head at the back. Grab you R elbow with your L hand and put you R forearm on his back to Lock the Darce in. Sprawl hard on his R shoulder and squeeze with arms to Finish.


Form the Position with him on his L side and you on your R side like the top of a letter T above his head. Kill the arm by pushing down on his R arm with the inside of your L knee and thigh. Penetrate the R arm this time by pushing it upwards and through until the R hand appears out behind his R armpit. Grab your L elbow with your R hand and lay your L forearm on his torso to Lock the choke. Finish by squeezing with the arms and running your feet down towards his.

Once you have the noose and have rolled, it should with practice become fairly easy to switch between the Darce and Anaconda and back by reversing back to the common point on the path and then taking the other fork.

Yes there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on

Stairway to Heaven, Led Zeppelin

Gi version of Sitting Rollover sweep

Grab his L sleeve with your L hand. Pull him in and grab the back of his head with your R hand, pulling it down to your chest. When he pushes back up to get posture, sit up, post on your R hand and drive his L hand out to your R, Bump him with your hip and sweep him to your R.

He should feel reasonable comfortable because he feels able to post with his L hand to stop the sweep. As he goes over and begins to post, pull his L hand in toward your R hip so he is unable to post. You can now complete the sweep.

Passing the knee shield in half guard

George Adams and I had a friendly roll before class, after which John pointed out some issues with passing the Z guard, or knee shield in half guard.

If he has half guard on your R leg with the L knee shield:

Put your weight on your L hand and pinch his R leg between yours. Putting the weight on your L hand gives you the correct angle for the next move.

Take a BIG step with your R foot aiming it about a meter to the right of his head. This will neutralize the knee shield. Go flat on him now. You are still in his half guard but this half guard should be easier to pass.

On the flip side, if you are on the bottom with the Z guard, do not the leg that is between his get caught too deep. It should be reasonably shallow, so it can't get pinched between the top guy's legs, and so you can employ it as a hook if the opportunity arises.

Last time George and I rolled before the seminar John gave us a similar mini tutorial. Do this every time from now on!

It is tempting to think you know all about basic techniques, which then robs you of the opportunity to go deeper and understand them more. Don't do this! Even Carlos Machado says he is continually analyzing techniques to make them simpler to learn and more effective.