Inside the University 588 - Avoid Staying on Your Back

Inside the University 588 - Avoid Staying on Your Back

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A major detail when looking to choke from the closed guard is to avoid staying on your back. Whether your opponent lays on top of you or tries to keep his posture, it is key to escape your hips out to the side when going for the submission. Also, bring your elbow to you when choking rather than opening them out wide.


Inside the University 587 - Cross Collar Choke from Closed Guard

Inside the University 587 - Cross Collar Choke from Closed Guard

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As soon as Saulo establishes his closed guard, he opens his opponent's collar and reaches for a deep cross collar grip. Next he grips the sleeve and keeps it on his chest, not allowing his opponent to put his hand on the ground. Now he wiggles his hips to create space and places his foot on the hips while his other knee frames against the body. From here he kicks his frame leg straight, folds it across the back to break his opponent's posture while he escapes out to the side, and now he can easily place his second grip on the gi and finish the choke by pulling to him.

Inside the University 547 - Creating Opportunites

Inside the University 547 - Creating Opportunites

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Saulo explains that the cross collar choke is not easy to finish on an opponent equal to your level, but it is very effective to set up many other positions and create opportunities. When you go for the choke, your opponent must react, and depending on how he reacts, many possibilities will open up for you. The key is to keep attacking.

Inside the University 546 - Timing Your Grips

Inside the University 546 - Timing Your Grips

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Saulo points out the importance of properly timing when you make your second grip, and taking it with speed and force. As his opponent comes back the other way, Saulo turns, throwing his shoulder off the mat like a punch to grab the collar. If he goes without speed or force, it will easily be defended.

Inside the University 545 - Creating the Reaction to Set Up the Cross Collar Choke

Inside the University 545 - Creating the Reaction to Set Up the Cross Collar Choke

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Saulo's typical setup for the cross collar choke begins with his cross collar grip, followed by a 45 degree hip escape as he pushes the collar away. Now his opponent reacts by coming back to him, just as Saulo wanted, so he immediately sets his second grip underneath his first. From here he pulls his opponent in, switches his hips to face the other side and flexes his wrists to finish the choke.

Inside the University 544 - Staying on Your Side

Inside the University 544 - Staying on Your Side

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One of the main points of focus while in the closed guard is to not be flattened out. This is why Saulo is always looking to get on his side and stay there. His collar grip arm will help him by keeping his opponent at a distance, but it's his shoulder that is doing the work. Also, it's important that his top leg is pinching down and keeping pressure on his opponent.

Inside the University 543 - Getting to Side Closed Guard

Inside the University 543 - Getting to Side Closed Guard

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After watching students practice, Saulo points out the difference between escaping your hips and moving to the side. When punching the collar grip, he swivels his hips so he gets to his opponent's side, staying connected. He is not escaping his hips and creating space.

Inside the University 542 - Collar Choke from Closed Guard

Inside the University 542 - Collar Choke from Closed Guard

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From the closed guard, Saulo makes a cross collar grip and stretches his arm as he turns to the side on his hips. From here he grabs the gi on the cross shoulder and escapes his hips a little more to create his angle. Now he pulls his grips in with his elbows to his body to finish the choke.

Inside the University 457 - Finishing the Choke

Inside the University 457 - Finishing the Choke

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Correcting some mistakes and breaking down details, Saulo shows how he can fool his opponent into giving him what he wants. After breaking his posture, he is pulling him down and making him think he wants to stall. His opponent reacts by trying hard to pull his head up. As soon as he does, Saulo can place his second choking hand across the neck and finish.

Inside the University 456 - Guard Pull to Cross Collar Choke

Inside the University 456 - Guard Pull to Cross Collar Choke

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Saulo is unable to take his opponent down, so he decides to pull guard. With a cross collar grip, he places his same foot on the hip and pull closed guard, immediately breaking his opponent's posture. His free hand reaches over the head and grabs the other collar thumb in, or he can grab the cloth at the shoulder. Now he stretches his leg and punches the cross collar grip as he pivots his body to sink in the choke. Now he comes back to his guard to finish.

Inside the University 445 - Communication is Key

Inside the University 445 - Communication is Key

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While watching some young students perform the previous technique, a nice lesson is learned by the young men. Same as in life, communication is key in the pursuit of learning Jiu-Jitsu. Training partners must communicate ideas and correct each other whenever possible to develop the most efficiently. Also, one must never be afraid to make mistakes, but rather be encouraged to learn from his mistakes. Too often the mental aspect of learning Jiu-Jitsu is put to the side in order to focus on the physical. However, a practitioner must always remember to use both.

Inside the University 444 - Collar Drag Set Up from Closed Guard

Inside the University 444 - Collar Drag Set Up from Closed Guard

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From the closed guard, Saulo first makes a deep cross collar grip, and his other hand grips the same side sleeve. He plants his feet on the mat and turns to his side, just with his knee shield across the belly, same as before. From here, he can place his feet on the hips and scoot his way to classic collar and sleeve guard. Now he has the option of pushing off the hips to raise his own hips, and drag the collar to the side as he escapes to the opposite side, putting himself in position to attack his opponent's back.