“Armbars Everywhere!” has been the theme in Ethridge Jiu-Jitsu class at the dojo this month. We’ve practiced starting from standing and throwing into armbars, we’ve worked on setting them up from most of the usual ground positions (mount, side control, guard, and back mount), and because my husband knows exactly how a lever and fulcrum works, when we’re rolling I have to expect that an armbar attack could come from anywhere at anytime, regardless of our position!
The good thing about training with someone who can instinctively find armbars (even within scrambles), is that it helps me improve on seeing them coming and defending, or if nothing else, escaping them. When Joe and I started our final match in Ethridge class yesterday, Coach Amy said “One of you better get an armbar!”, and after my own failed attempt (within the first minute of the roll), I basically spent much of the next ten minutes playing armbar defense and escape artist, until Joe caught me in one that could not be denied, but I felt pretty good about my performance after he said “That was way harder than it should’ve been!”.
I think the fact that my husband understands body mechanics, but doesn’t really train BJJ, actually helps him to see more possibilities than the average student (including myself). Recently when I was talking to Mike at Lincoln BJJ, he said he believes that a lot of people who train Jiu-Jitsu get too caught up in doing everything “by the book”, so they’re unable to see other valid alternatives, but once you start to get a clear understanding of how things works (leverage, balance, timing, etc.), you can improvise (including on defense). Tumbleweed told me it’s not a matter of thinking outside of the box, but realizing that the box doesn’t even exist, and when I’m rolling with Joe (or Mike, for that matter), there is no box, unless it’s like a box of chocolates, because I never know what I’m going to get. Except submitted! ;)
“Just survive somehow.” -Enid