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Transition To Submission With Bernardo Faria
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Transition To Submission With Bernardo Faria

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It is extremely easy to get lost in the ocean of techniques when we start looking and exploring all of our options from a particular position.  What’s great about this is it enables us to develop our own unique style or game and because of the vast number of techniques from each position it is highly unlikely that we meet anyone that has a game exactly like ours.  This is why Jiu Jitsu is often referred to as a game of human chess, it’s all about who has the best strategy for solving the problems and who is able to solve the problems the most quickly.


We tend to spend a lot of time discussing how to attack the opponent from the “standard” Jiu Jitsu positions but it seems that we tend to overlook knee on belly as a rest stop almost, on our way to something else, but never as an actual position of control as it should be.  To clarify, when I say “standard” positions I’m referring to the positions that are typically lumped in to the first day, or maybe week of training; closed guard, side mount, back mount and mount. Knowing that knee on belly, done properly can be an extremely controlling position, we need to spend more time looking at it and digging into how to utilize it as a stage for launching our attacks.


First let’s take a look at Professor Bernardo Faria’s video “Baseball bat choke from knee on belly” and start by looking at fundamentally, what Professor Faria is doing.  As he mentions in several of his videos and interviews it’s very common that high level athletes do things subconsciously that don’t necessarily ever make it an instructional video, so it’s always important to study the details. 


Looking at how Professor Faria is getting into the knee on belly position he starts off in a typical side control with his right arm acting as a cross face and his left arm blocking the hips on the opposite side.  From here Professor Faria gets a grip on the lapel, behind his opponent’s neck with his right hand (this should be a thumb in, plam down grip) and with his left hand he gets a secure grip on the opponent’s belt. This could be done No Gi by simply posting on the hip with his left hand and posting on the mat and forcing the opponent’s face the opposite direction with your forearm with your right hand.  From here using these two base points we just created Professor Faria puts his weight on his hands, making his lower body light and simply jumps, or hops up brining his right leg back with his toes on the mat to act as a stabilizer for the position and simultaneously brings his left knee up along side his opponent’s hip and onto their belly.  

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From the knee on belly position we have already established one of the two grips required for us to get the choke.  To obtain the second grip we simply take our left hand and remove it from the belt grip that is controlling the hip now that we have our knee on belly position the knee can take over the job that this grip was doing in the way of controlling the opponent’s movement. The left hand now goes palm up grip into the opponent’s collar gripping the lapel near the opponent’s ear.  


Once we are able to obtain this position it’s time to finish the choke and get the submission.  To do this we must get to a north south like position as quickly as possible. Professor Faria says that the he describes this transition as essentially “jumping” to the north south position, as you can see in the baseball bat choke demo video illustration at the 1:18 time.  Professor Faria points out multiple times that it is very important to make this transition happen as quickly as possible.  From here we can now work to finish the submission. Once we are able to get to the north south position we can look to finish by first staying on our toes.  Staying on our toes will ensure that our weight is driving into the opponent limiting their capabilities of moving or escaping. From here we simply need to drive forward, leading with our head, looking to put our ear on their rib cage.  To do this we are not just driving forward, but also downward, ensuring there is no space between us and the opponent. In addition to this we want to also use our grip to leverage our forearms into the sides of our opponent’s neck, some of this will happen strictly as a result of the pressure created by us driving forward, into the opponent, but putting an additional focus on this area may provide an opportunity to make it a little tighter.  Doing these things should produce an extremely quick tap from your opponent in the Jiu Jitsu world. If this is a street fight or self defense situation, I highly doubt you will get a “tap” from the opponent, however be sure to pay close attention as it will not take long for them to pass out as a result of this choke.


Professor Faria’s passion for Jiu Jitsu and delivering the best video instructionals possible to as many grapplers as possible certainly shines through in his teachings.  You can just tell how much he loves the sport, and how badly he wants to share his knowledge, as well as knowledge from others in his ever growing network, with the Jiu Jitsu community.  If you like Professor Faria’s teaching style you can dive into any one of his video instructionals where you will be sure to find even more details, tips, tricks and secrets that helped Professor Faria dominate on the biggest stage in the world  for Jiu Jitsu multiple times.  


One of the most important things in Jiu Jitsu once we learn to control and keep our opponent in a position is then learning how to transition from that position to the next to advance our position, and the match.  Professor Faria’s video instructional titled “Transition Mastery” is an excellent resource to help guide you through how this is done at a world class level.   

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