Americana

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it is the first submission most of us learn.

The Americana has many names. Catch-as-catch-can wrestlers call it a keylock or a double wrist lock. In Judo, it is known as one version of the ude garami -- literally "arm entanglement." I've heard it called the "V-lock" and the "paintbrush." But most of us know it as the Americana.

For years I heard the story that in the 1970s an American wrestler, Bob Anderson, was training with Rolls Gracie and introduced Rolls to the move. In the book, "The MMA Encyclopedia", Bob Anderson is quoted as saying:

"I didn't come down there and go, 'Okay, I'm going to show you the Americana arm bar and I'm the guy that invented it.' It just grew out of what I knew and what he [Rolls] liked ... he later -- I didn't even know -- he called it the Americana because I was the American wrestler that came down and showed him the move and that's how the Americana armbar got started."

Now Bob may have brought the move back into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu popularity but, as an old Judo move, it was always a BJJ technique. Just look at this video filmed in the 1950s. Right after performing tomoe nagi through, Carlos Gracie applies the arm entanglement now known as the Americana.

I am not questioning Bob Anderson. I do think he showed Rolls. I do think that Rolls named it the Americana. I'm guessing it was a move that was largely forgotten about and Anderson brought it out of retirement.

These things happen all the time. Consider the "Darce Choke." The "Darce" has been part of jiu-jitsu for decades (I originally learned it as "the brabo choke." But one guy up in the Renzo Gracie Academy in New York City got good with it: Joe D'Arce. He got so good at it that people started calling it "D'Arce's choke."

I'm guessing someone read it somewhere and didn't know how to say his name, and the darce choke was born.

The UFC fighter, Jason Von Flue puts someone to sleep by putting his shoulder into his opponent's neck and the "Von Flue Choke" is born.

Hell, in my own head there is "The Dave Sweep." If you are an old schooler at Madama Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy and ever rolled with Dave Terhune, you were swept with his go to sweep: he would gift wrap you from guard and then hit you with a pendulum sweep. I call that, and will always call that, "The Dave Sweep."

Marcelo vs. Kron, ADCC 2011

In jiu-jitsu, some people don't need last names. If I say "Marcelo", you know I mean Marcelo Garcia. If I say "Kron", you know I mean Kron Gracie. Marcelo is the best grappler of his generation. Kron is the son of the best jiu-jitsu practitioner ever, Rickson Gracie, and at the time was just moving himself up the ranks as a competent, well-rounded grappler. 

In 2011, Marcelo and Kron met up at the ADCC tournament -- the most prestigious event in all of grappling.

While I watched this match, I found myself studying Kron's closed guard and the different ways he used it to keep Marcelo's posture broken. Marcelo wants to stand to initiate his passing sequence and strategies. Kron made it hard for Marcelo to stand. Each time Marcelo came to his feet, Marcelo would walk his guard up and play high guard.

Early in Part 2 (below), Kron is playing closed guard again and catches Marcelo in a nasty guillotine. In a recent interview, Rickson (again, no last name needed) said that Marcelo admits to going out for a moment while in the guillotine.

Rickson also stated in that interview that when Kron gets you in a guillotine "the regular escape doesn't work anymore." If you notice, Marcelo goes for the "regular escape" but Kron maintained pressure and, if you believe Rickson, went out.

Spoiler Alert: Marcelo wins on points.

If you're interested in the Rickson interview that I mentioned, check out Joe Rogan's podcast: Joe Rogan Experience #524.

Armbar Series

There is a classic guard combination in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: armbar to triangle to omoplata to triangle to armbar. As a four-stripe white belt I told myself, "You don't deserve a blue belt until you can do that combination."

So I drilled it out and drilled it out and drilled it out. Even now, I like to go through it from time-to-time and enjoy teaching it to the Beginner's Class.

Today during the morning mixed class, Professor Madama showed a variant of this combination that has to do with follow-ups from a failed armbar from the guard. This is his class recap. I'll let him do the talking:

The Road of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

From the desk of Professor Madama:

 

This is the road of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

You will be tested physically.
You will be tested mentally.
You will experience powerlessness.
You will learn.
You will teach.
You will hit the wall.
You will slump.
You will have bad days.
You will want to give up.
And if you will endure ...

You will become the absolute best version of yourself that you could have ever imagined.

 

Liver Shot

We all know that a strike to the liver can shut a man down, but this one is new to me.

At last Saturday's UFC, Jon Tuck kicked Jake Lindsey in the liver from back mount. Lindsey had to tap:


You might remember the last time you saw someone tap from strikes was when our own Mike Elshamy won his last MMA. His opponent, Zed Mitchell, submitted to strikes at Ring of Combat 48.