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Archive for August, 2013

For the longest time, I have been practicing the shoulder grab self defense incorrectly.  What exactly is the shoulder grab defense?  It is a shoulder dislocating technique against an unsuspecting attacker.

As a practice partner, as the attacker, my first mistake was not grabbing the defending person correctly. Improper grab position. The shoulder grab is closer to the neck than to the bony part of the shoulder.  Second, the grab is an  aggressive attempt to unbalance the defender.   Once the defender maintains base, or regains base, meaning the atttacker can’t drag the defender around, that’s when the move is executed.

Once the defender has gained base, that’s when the defender wraps around the attacker’s grabbing arm and punches down towards the floor.   From the punch, the attacker’s arm is cradled by the punching down arm with an underhand grip by the wrist.  From the wrist grab,   the defender lifts up  with all their body weight to the ceiling.  At a certain point, the attacker’s shoulder should be dislocated.  A mistake I made was cradling the arm on the stomach.  To max leverage don’t cradle the attacker’s arm on the stomach, leave a little space. Second, really punch down with force.  Lastly, cradle the attacker’s arm under the elbow.

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If you don’t have medical insurance, should you be doing jiu jitsu?  I would say probably not a good idea.

As I was paying the bills, I noticed that I had accidentally skipped a month on my health insurance premium because the premium was double than normal.  I checked my records. I had skipped a payment.   Oddly enough, I didn’t receive any notice in the mail warning that I would be kicked out.   If a big claim happened, a bad injury, the insurance company could deny the claim because the premium wasn’t on time.  I quickly mailed in the payment.   I wondered how did that happen?  It was a mistake on their side and I got side tracked on my side.

Going to the hospital in the United States is expensive.  An emergency room is an expensive place. Over night stay is expensive.  An ambulance ride could be in the thousands of dollars.   My next high priority will be to get the health insurance premium on automatic payment.

I think I am ready to return to training.  After two weeks, I don’t have any throat pain.   For sure, I will be a lot more protective of my neck. I will be a lot more conscious of tighten my neck when anyone practices a choke and to protect the neck, chin down.  One good thing about my injury, I did learn some anatomy of the neck.

The Helio Gracie Tournament is coming in October in honor of Helio’s birthday.  There is no sparring.  Basically, its technique demostration so I will be loading up on the fundamental classes in preparation.

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Be careful with the clock choke, a.k.a., the baseball choke.  It was the last series of chokes from the back we reviewed in the advanced grappling class on Tuesday morning.   The slack of my gi laid incorrectly diagonally across my Adam’s apple.  I was on all fours, table top, while the choke partner was hanging on my side, shoulder in, facing the opposite direction.  As I stated earlier, the choke wasn’t working because of the position of gi slack diagonally across my Adam’s apple.  I had 165 pounds of pressure on my Adam’s apple for 10 seconds and no choke.  Class ended.

As I drove away in my car,  the pain started.  I knew something was wrong.  I was having trouble swallowing and my voice had changed.  Perhaps the Adam’s apple was jammed into my vocal cords.   If my condition didn’t improve by the next day, I would go to the emergency room.   My condition did improved and has slowly improved everyday.  From the internet, the injury could take up two weeks to heal.

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Fine tuning the Mata Leon. If you want to get a good mata leon choke, make sure your choke arm is deep and the elbow of your arm lines up with your opponents chin and underneath. The choke arm makes a v shape. Once you have that, grab your bicep. With the free hand, monkey grip the back of the opponent’s head. Before, I did the Mata Leon by placing the back of my hand on the opponent’s head. That was bad technique. When the opponent is being choked, they will reach, grab, for the hands in desperation. If the hand, on the neck is cupped, then they have nothing to grab. Squeeze. Beware the opponent, may get off a punch but will soon be knocked out.

Changing topic a bit, I also learned a new throw, Kouchi gari, another tool for the arsenal. I also learned how to escape the classical judo pin. The classical judo pin was a side mount, one wrapped arm under the elbow and wrapped head with the legs scissor kicked in front. Ironically, with a 30 second pin, I had won third place in the Midwest Regional Judo Tournament in Chicago in the late 70s. I was amazed how easy it was to escape the classic judo pin.

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