Riz's Martial Arts Training

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Americana from Closed Guard

Also known as ude garami in Judo; Sometimes called a Key lock, Figure-Four Armlock or Chicken Wing (which incidentally was the nickname of a good friend of mine when we were in school…nothing to do with martial arts, everything to do with the way he used to run).

The Americana is a basic submission where the arm is bent at around 90 degrees and twisted towards the head cranking the shoulder as well as applying a large amount of pressure to the elbow. 

Americana from Side ControlThis high percentage submission is most commonly performed from Side Control (usually, 'Four Point' Side Control) or from Mount; some practitioners are also very successful at applying the technique from the Top Half Guard position. It is also commonly used by many traditional Stand-Up systems as a basic lock/takedown against an incoming punch or downward 'stab' (a la Psycho).

The link below (they wouldn’t allow me to embed the video – sorry!) takes you to Gene Simco (whose name appears to be synonymous with controversy in the BJJ universe) explaining how to apply the Americana from the Closed Guard (with and without a Gogoplata variation – but if you already have a Gogoplata locked into place, why wrestle for an Americana as well? That's just greedy Mr Simco!):

Gene Simco Gogoplata/Americana from Guard Double Attack

The Americana was the first submission I worked on in a BJJ class. I had never been a fan of its Stand Up application as was taught to me in Karate and to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of the submission's application on the ground either! I just feel that that to really effectively use the submission, you need to be able to pin down your opponent's arm – given that many of my training partners are able to more or less bench press me with a single arm (no joke!), the technique for me just feels unstable/risky, more so from the Mounted position.

Even when on the receiving end, I find that the Americana is relatively easy to defend or counter against. I tend to notice that when it does work, it is more a case of brute force than technical expertise (I mean in general, not just with me) – it's bizarro twin, the Kimura, is a lot more threatening.

So why have I posted this article? Well, just because I can't work the technique as well as I'd like doesn’t mean it’s a 'bad' technique – it's one of the simplest and most commonly used submissions from Beginner to Black Belt level (or so I've been led to understand!). Furthermore, its application from Guard (which has a lower success rate) works well if you use it as a Sweep (its works wonderfully if you combine it with a Butterfly Hook).


Post a Comment 2 comments:

Ikigai said...

Thanks for reading my article on BBM Riz! I'll be stopping by here more often.

Matt "Ikigai"

March 3, 2009 at 9:36 PM

Ikigai said...

Sure I think I could wrangle something up to contribute to your site. Is there anything you had in mind, topic or category wise?


March 3, 2009 at 11:28 PM

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