Lesson 38 of the Crossroads Martial Arts Curriculum starts from the feet with escaping a bear hug. What do you do when somebody has their arms wrapped around your chest and your arms are pinned to your side. This position does not give the attacker a great deal of control over your body and is relatively easy escape once you learn the technique. The biggest threat from this position is being lifted off of your feet. So as with all of the self defense techniques our first step is to drop our weight and make sure we have a strong base. A strong base is what prevents you from being picked up off of the ground and thrown. It is essential that we are in control of our body weight and how are body is moved. By dropping our weight and keeping a strong base you can then move your feet to a position where you can get the takedown instead of the attacker being able to manipulate your weight as he chooses.
Once on the ground lesson 38 of the Crossroads Marital Arts Curriculum covers one of the most powerful and common submissions in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ( BJJ ) and in MMA the Armbar. In this lesson we cover how to get the armbar when you are on your back in the guard position. One of the reasons Brazilian jiu-jitsu is such an effective martial art is because it allows us fight from anywhere, it does not assume we will always be on our feet able to punch and kick, or that we will always be able to secure the top position where we can hold an attacker down. There are many situations where we may have missed an opportunity to get on top, and we are forced to fight off of our backs. If you are put on your back and have no idea what to do from that position you are in trouble. However if you know what to do and have practiced and drilled the position, it is actually the person on top who is in trouble.
The third technique is lesson 38 is how to not get arm barred. If we want to learn how to submit people we first have to learn how to defend submissions. There are several ways to defend the arm bar and in this class we do it using pressure and our body weight. There are several steps to each submission, if we can stop one of those steps from happening we can keep ourselves our of harms ways. By keeping our weight low and preventing the bottom player from lifting his hips we can keep our arm save and even turn the defense into a guard pass which improves our position.
The last technique of this lesson is a bow and arrow choke from side control. This is very powerful gi choke which uses our legs apply pressure. If the person on bottom turns away from us while we are passing their guard we can secure a grip and position our legs to finish the choke. This class puts together a sequence of three moves that demonstrate how the top player can take advantage of submission attempt by the bottom player to pass the guard and work their own submission. Of course there is always an escape for any submission attempt, so this game could go on forever, or at least until somebody gets tired and makes a mistake large enough for the other person to capitalize on.