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Jen >> GJJ vs sambo


5/31/09 8:43 AM
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Grappler2010
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Member Since: 12/10/03
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Bolo,

Can you suggest a basic strategy for GJJ versus Sambo. Assume real fight 1 on 1 fight no interference. Similar to MMA but no rounds.

What would you do to avoid getting caught in their dreaded lower body submissions? I'm referring to fighting recreational opponents.

G2010
5/31/09 6:39 PM
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Bolo
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Edited: 05/31/09 8:00 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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Hmmm.....I'm not sure about "recreational opponents".

Here's my experience with sambo practitioners. Back in the early 90's any American I came across who said they did sambo was basically a judo black belt who dabbled with leglocks. Their leglocks wasn't anything I feared as I was more concerned with their throws/takedowns and pins. I've only come across 2 people who actually really did sambo - Nick Baturin and Igor Yakimov (I'm not saying there weren't any other real sambo practitioners, I was just talking about my limited exposure).

I believe Nick was kind of like a state or possibly national level competitor and Igor was like an international level competitor. Both trained and competed during the Communist era, so they have a hardcore toughness that the average person does not have.

When I met and trained with Nick, I was a blue belt, Nick had not trained in many years once he came to the US, but at that time, he handled me with ease. In my opinion, you weren't going to beat someone at Nick's level if you were at white or beginning blue belt level. Nick was also training with Chris Hauter (who is now a Machado black belt) and Chris was a purple belt at the time. Nick told me that he and Chris has a pretty even match up on the ground at that time (Nick would dominate the stand up game). Years later, I saw Nick compete once in BJJ and he entered the purple belt division. I never saw him compete in BJJ at a level higher than that.

I never rolled with Igor, however, I did see him do throws on people and he is freakin' awesome. Unless you are a international level judo player, you are not going to throw or take him down. His ground game is not the same as BJJ, but one thing that stood out when he would demonstrate technique on me was that I felt he was strong as hell. So even if you have a bit better technique than him on the ground, you better have some attributes to back it up. Igor was different than Nick in that Igor competed a lot in judo, he was familar with chokes.

So here's the problem- all the sambo players I knew were either judo black belts or the equivalent when it came to takedowns and throws, so you are not going to take them down. So unless you plan on getting thrown, your only option is to pull guard. However, pulling guard against someone who is good at leglocks is extremely dangerous. The only safe guard is closed guard and clinching their upper body. I believe the Gracie Combatives teaches that thing in which you put your knees into your opponent's chest and push them away. Never do that with someone good at footlocks.

The safest position when it comes to avoiding leglocks is the top of side control. I wouldn't even recommend the mount as that allows greater access to the legs than side control.

Let me mention one other thing....Pure sambo does not have chokes. When Nick first came to the US, he had no knowledge of chokes. When Nick rolled with Royce that was the only thing that Royce would get on him. Actually, when Royce got an armbar on Nick, he had to set it up by attacking the neck first. Now that I think about it, I did see a Brazilian blue belt roll with Nick no gi and this Brazilian kid was really good with staying on the back and choking. He did get on Nick's back once and was able to get the choke. Of course, Nick got the footlock a lot on the kid.
5/31/09 10:32 PM
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Grappler2010
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Bolo,

Good points; I'd like you to elaborate some more on them.

#1 The safest position when it comes to avoiding leglocks is the top of side control. I wouldn't even recommend the mount as that allows greater access to the legs than side control.

-- The question is how do we get here? If I can't throw, takedown, or pull guard how do I get the fight to the ground? Secondly how do I end up in Side control? It sounds to me like my best bet would be a tackle of some sort to side control; is this what you're suggesting?

#2 From side control.

-- Once in side control, the issues of importance are:
A) Getting reversed -- this could very well spell the end of the fight against someone good at judo and pinning.

B) Would you recommend a particular sequence of moves to attack from here? I'm not sure of what Choke/Armbar sequence, in particular, that you're referring too, especially from this position.

C) If they turn their back to you from side control and you get their back that could spell disaster since being on their back is giving them lower body submissions as a present.

Thanks Bolo
G2010
6/1/09 2:46 AM
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Bolo
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Edited: 06/01/09 2:14 PM
Member Since: 1/1/01
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Keep in mind that your question is extremely general and there are too many factors to accurately state what course of action would bring about success in your favor. For example, one factor is your skill level. What if I said, "You are a white belt. What strategy would you use if you were going to fight a BJJ purple belt?" In my opinion, there is very little you can do as a white belt to obtain success over that purple belt unless you had vastly superior physical attributes.

Also, what I would do as a black belt may not be what you are able to do as a white belt. For example, I may say that I have had very good success with using the hook sweep to put other skilled grapplers on their back when I have them in my guard. That doesn't mean you will be able to do the same.

As far as pulling guard, I didn't say you couldn't do it. I said that you must keep your ankle crossed and it would be best to get good at posture breaking and clinching.

As far as ending up in side control, like I said, our skill levels are different, so what I may be able to do may not be something you are able to do.

Getting reverseed from side control....Work on your pinning. That has got to be one of the easiest areas to improve on.

I don't recommend any particular sequence as you can't determine what you are going to do until you are there and you read your opponent.

Back is different than mount. When mounted, an opponent has some ability to cover up and block his face from punches. He can also hug you make it difficult to punch. When you are on the back, a person cannot block punches or elbows to the back of the neck very well. Elbows to the back of the head and neck will stop a lot.

In my opinion, if you want to beat a skill grappler, even if it is a fight and not a sportive grappling match, you need to become a skilled grappler yourself. There is no short cut.

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