First we worked on an arm drag drill, then did a "head block" or "head catch" or something off a one-handed collar tie. Basically, uke puts one hand behind your head, and that forearm on your clavicle, for control. You turn your body, catch his arm as you escape it, and ram the top of your head into the side of his (for gravy you can step behind him for a trip / gedan ate kind of thing). In both the arm drag and head thing, the guy's reaction of pulling away from you (or trying to stop you) just helps you do the technique on him. Aikido, anyone?
Next we worked on one guy doing an arm drag into a rear naked choke. Then into a bear hug from the rear (under the arms). For the bear hug variation, the other guy would counter by:
- Dropping his weight
- Throwing alternating back elbows to the attacker's head, until enough space is created to....
- Turn around and push his head into place for an enthusiastic knee strike, hammerfist, etc
Then we moved on to a standard pummeling drill, working on footwork, and imposing our will vs flowing with our partner's energy. There were karate-like ideas here, of being relaxed until it was time to exert. Relax while pummeling, then BAM into the guy as we come into position.
Lastly we worked on three different ways to deal with a muay thai clinch, and drilled them back and forth a good bit:
- The "CPR" technique; Put one hand over an arm and one hand under, both on his chest like you're doing CPR on him, and push away. When space is made, get him into a clinch of your own, and he does it to you.
- Reach around the back of the guy's head and secure an ear (or eye, or whatever). Then with the other hand, grab under his cross-side elbow, and twist both like a big steering wheel. Difficult to resist! Then secure a clinch of your own and it's his turn.
- If you can't do either of those, use a hand to spear between your head and his, and push his face away by his eye region (kind of like gyakugamae ate). Replace with your own clinch, and trade turns.
We ended the class by putting it all together. Flow drills, to help get lots of reps and build reaction time.
As I drove to the class today, I could not get the smile off my face, in anticipation of training. As I came back, I was wishing I had spent the last several months doing krav instead of BJJ.