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Introducing Artechoke in a Can

Artechoke in a Can started as a class blog. When I taught a class at Steel City Martial Arts, my home gym in Pittsburgh, I filmed it, wrote a brief description of the class, and uploaded the content to a blog. My goal was to help my students retain what they learned in class by making it easy for them to review while also giving them a way to catch-up if they were unable to attend a particular class, which made it easier for me to teach classes in modules.

As the blog grew, more people (like members of our affiliate schools) began using it as a training supplement. That inspired me to make the entire blog public, which is why it now lives under the Artechoke roof. I hope that you enjoy my class and that it benefits your jiu-jitsu in some way. Full disclosure: I am a purple belt and do not profess to be an end-all expert on jiu-jitsu. I simply enjoy sharing jiu-jitsu.

North South Kimuras

This class picks up half-way through a module on the kimura. For the last three weeks, we’ve been exploring the kimura as a position. When we think of the kimura as a submission, we limit our thinking because we tend to view submissions as techniques that succeed or fail. When we think of positions, we think of possibilities, in terms of “I got here, now I can do this, this, or this.” Seeing the possibilities that the kimura creates ultimately makes our kimura more effective because we are able to threaten multiple attacks on-top of the ever-present threat of the kimura.

No matter what position you’re establishing the kimura from, you are never far from an armbar, a guillotine, or a back-take. Some kimura entries will favor certain possibilities more heavily than others, but in general, if you have a figure four looked on your opponent’s wrist, you can bet that those three options are nearby.

Last week, we looked at attacking the kimura from side control, which lead to finishing the kimura from a vertical north south position (sitting on top of your opponent, pinching their torso between your knees). From this vertical north south position, you can transition to an armbar or a back-take if you can’t finish the kimura. In today’s lesson, we looked at setting the kimura from the north-south position, which gives you another way to enter the vertical north south position.

Next, we looked at using the north south position to start attacking the north south guillotine. When you threaten the kimura, your opponent will sometimes focus so much on hiding his elbow that he exposes his neck, giving his an avenue to continue attacking, forcing him to defend defend defend.

To cap off the class, we touched on the rewind principle, which emphasises the two-way connection between many techniques. Too often we get stuck in a linear progression and forget that we can from A to B but also B to A, which keeps us on the offensive, threatening two attacks at once. In this final video, we also touch briefly on using the vertical north south position to attack with the armbar or to take the back.

Next week, we will continue exploring the kimura, but we will pause on learning material. Instead, we are going to work on drills to tighten our technique and to increase our reaction time so that we can quickly connect the dots between techniques, positions, and transitions with minimal thinking.

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