First night back as Blue: Threats and Neck Cranks

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Bear with me everyone as I process this experience (Blue belt promo) for my memories later on. Tuesday was my first night back since the belt change. Admittedly, I felt a little different. I don’t know how though. Of course there were congratulations when I walked in and throughout class but there was also something else.

I overheard a White belt, who will rename nameless, say to one of our Purple belts, “I am going to test that Blue belt out.” I was shrimping at the time and believe it was in jest. But, I figure this is similar to the feeling of having a target on your back. I also had a new guy purple belt, who I just met that night, say something about not taking it easy on me.

I really enjoyed the drill as we worked on a self-defense throw, first from our knees, then standing. Then we worked on the scissors sweep, a 5 step mount escape and a flow drill combining the scissor sweep and mount escape. Last, we drilled the baseball choke. I have seen people pull it off on videos and I have watched a couple of demo videos but that was my first time drilling it. It’s a sweet move, but our instructor let us know that if it doesn’t work you can end up trapped under your opponent.

I rolled with a new Blue belt to our club (whose name I forgot). He pulled out the spider guard on me. I was able to defend but we spent most of the time with me in his guard and him trying to pull me into him with my sleeves. Then I rolled with the White Belt who ‘threatened me.’ I was able to keep dominant position and eventually gained the mount for the tapout.

Next, I rolled with the new Purple Belt. He has a game slightly similar to our instructor but he is about half the size. Since he had a similar game I knew a few of his plans ahead of time and was able to jump to step 3 in the process of me getting tapped out. He tapped me out with the same neck crank that Smiley uses. My mission is to never get tapped with that submission again and to tap early if I even think it is that submission. The guy is much smaller than I am so it just reminds me of the effectiveness of BJJ. Finally, I rolled with Juan (who practices just about every discipline in the academy). I was able to gain positional dominance but he is crafty in escaping positions.

All in all, I have come a long way but have even farther to go.

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10 thoughts on “First night back as Blue: Threats and Neck Cranks

    Radamez85 said:
    March 5, 2009 at 11:10 am

    You dont like the added challenge ?
    i personally hope thats what they say and do at our school!
    i remember people saying when i was a white that
    i wouldnt take it easy because i was white, which couldnt be further from the truth.

    jiujitsu365 said:
    March 5, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    It never really fires me up. I always figure we’ll see what happens when we roll.

    I think like where you train most people are looking to (safely) give their rolling partner a hard time regardless of rank. I am not trying to be tapped out by anyone while still trying to allow room for growth. So I really don’t feel the pressure yet. I know that regardless of what happens in my present classes, if I keep coming the tap ratios will keep going up.

    Radamez85 said:
    March 5, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    My sentiments exactly, idont get fired up per say…i do however like to take the level up if i roll with someone whos better then me, and likewise for people of the same level. If i get tapped a 5 times with the same move, ill figure out how to defeat it, do that and hey i just improved my level so to speak.
    So i hope everyone gives me the hardest time so i can always find a nitch or a better way!

    Tree Frog said:
    March 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    Why would you tap out if you “even think it is that submission”?

    Didn’t you hear about the smoke jumper who ran and ran from the advancing, inevitable wall of flame until he was juuuuust about to die? On the cusp of death, he whipped out a box of matches and set his own counter-fire, laid down in the area cleared and survived a fire that killed all the rest of his teammates.

    It’s in a Gladwell book. Fight until the end. No shame in tapping. Only shame in quitting for no good reason.

    neijia said:
    March 5, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    I would tap early to a neck crank as well because my neck is already messed up – the natural curve is gone and that part of my spine is straight. It needs to curve backward. Suffering cranks on top of that cannot be good for getting it back to a correct position.

    artofjits said:
    March 6, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Now time for the blue belt “blues”. Congrats btw.

    steve said:
    March 6, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I’ll readily admit that it took a few weeks at least before I felt comfortable in my blue belt. You’ll grow into it fast!

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    March 6, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Tree Frog,

    I am serious about avoiding that neck crank and wise enough to know that fighting a neck crank “until the end” is ill-advised. To use Joe Rogan’s terminology it would be ‘retarded.’ What qualifications does anyone have to judge how much ‘time’ they have when placed in a neck crank until permanent injury results? The same goes for a heel hook?

    It’s no shame in tapping but it is a shame in trying to fight a neck crank in class for no other reason than trying to satisfy some sort of ego trip. I prefer not to play with my neck.

    I don’t know how to defend that submission properly and would rather tap out and ask how can I defend the set up for the choke altogether. Usually when they start to squeeze it’s too late for fighting to the end, unless that’s what your looking for.

    Jiujitsu365 said:
    March 6, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks ArtofJits….

    I don’t know what you mean by the Blue belt blues, but I guess I’ll find out.

    Tree Frog said:
    March 14, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    Pardon me, I thought you were tapping as soon as you were about to be put in the neck crank – rather than once they have it and are about to squeeze.

    Heel hooks are hard to get in right, and can be escaped or used as a springboard into better positions. It’s worth testing your limits sometimes on them (while of course, keeping your feet intact as the highest priority).

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