Wednesday, June 01, 2005

BJJ Move #5: Americana from the Mount

In the last BJJ Move post I described the mount position.

Now, a straightforward shoulderlock from there.

When practicing, don't forget to tap when someone's applying the move on you-- and if you're applying the move, stop when your partner taps!

WARNING! These techniques could result in serious injury or death if practiced incorrectly or even if performed correctly. They should only be practiced with the supervision of an experienced instructor.

Americana (a/k/a Figure-Four, Paintbrush) from the Mount:

From the mount, you can attempt this technique when your opponent takes a boxing guard with his arms to avoid punches, or just raises an elbow.

First, use both arms and use your weight on his right wrist as leverage to push his right arm down flat at a 90-degree angle to his body, with his elbow bent at about 90 degrees. Do not use your right thumb around his wrist until his arm is flat.

Now bring your right knee up under his left shoulder and bring your right elbow against his neck (by his right ear) so that the two control his head.

Next, bring your left arm under his right arm and grab the top of your own right wrist ("t-stack").

Pull his elbow down (toward his feet), and make sure his wrist is flat on the ground; you also want to drag the back of his hand down on the mat, like you’re “painting” with it.

Using your left forearm as a lever, lift his elbow to break his shoulder. Although you want his elbow low before you start, you don’t want to bring it so low that his forearm and upper arm are close to parallel; they should still be near perpendicular, or you won’t be able to lock, and his arm will just bend up towards his head.
Two ways to make the lock tighter are (1) turning his right wrist away from you with your right hand, like you’re revving a motorcycle; and (2) pulling his elbow toward his body, instead of parallel to his body toward his feet.


Get head control: swim your arms inside his and get one (here, the left) around his head.
Lean your weight onto his neck, turning his head to his left.
Your weight should be off to the right, so he can’t turn you to the left, and your right hand bases out to the right to keep from being turned that way.

With your right hand, pin his left wrist to the mat (his palm faces the ceiling, looks like he’s waving hello).

Now pin his hand with your forehead as well.

Drag the hand close to his ear, and hold his wrist down with your left hand, palm down.

Release your right hand and bring it underneath his upper arm to grab on top of your left wrist (“t-stack”).

Pin his arm close to the mat, and drag his hand down toward his feet like you’re “painting” the floor with the back of his hand.

Moving his elbow down makes the lock much tighter. Pop your left arm out from behind his head and put your left elbow against his left ear.

Now lever his arm up with your right forearm while immobilizing his hand with your left.

The next move is an escape from the mount position back to being inside your opponent's guard.

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