Posted on October 10, 2014

October 2014 Technique of the Month Video: Armlocks from the Kesa Gatame

We are excited to share two fundamental armlocks from the (kazure) Kesa Gatame side control position!

The inside straight armlock and the outside reverse armlock act as a fantastic combination that will be sure to put your training partners and opponents in trouble!

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Good training to you,
Eric Burdo
2nd Degree Black Belt
Richmond BJJ Academy, Richmond, Virginia

Julio “Foca” Fernandez BJJ Camp October 2013

Julio “Foca” Fernandez, Eric’s instructor & 6th Degree Black Belt under Carlson Gracie, will be traveling to Richmond to offer a weekend camp at Richmond BJJ Academy October 11-13.  The camp will be Friday night, all day Saturday, and half of the day on Sunday.  Mark your calendars now and be ready to reserve your spot.  This camp WILL sell out fast with only 30 spots available.  Sign-ups start Monday, August 12th! 

Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense?

Why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for Self-Defense? (Part 1)
by Liz Sussan
After years of training  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I often reflect on my self-defense skills and how I can explain to people how BJJ has helped me learn self-defense.  This article will be in multiple parts, and will cover both concepts and skills learned.  For this post, I’m going to start with the most simple, less-obvious, ways that BJJ has developed my self-defense skills.  I say they are sometimes less-obvious because we drill these skills every day, and in physically difficult training everyday in close quarters and in a contact sport, it can become it easy to take these learned skills and concepts for granted.


As a small female, I used to feel as though I was an “easy target”.  Being untrained, I feared being jumped or sexually assaulted, and I feared large male attackers overpowering me.  Six years of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training has certainly changed that for me as I am now not fearful.  I am a more confident woman and a powerful example of the success of BJJ training.  Not being fearful doesn’t mean that I think “nothing is going to happen to me”, it just means that I don’t fear being attacked and being unable to defend myself.  I don’t walk around scared.


So here are some of the basic rules I’ve learned which have become ingrained in me from daily Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training:


1) Fight back and don’t give up.  I think all of us hope that we’d fight for our lives in an assault situation and not give up.  Through BJJ, I’ve learned that my well is deep, and I access that well and dig deep on a daily basis.  My BJJ training has conditioned me to fight hard, and not give up. I reach into to the deepest part of my well, find more to fight with, and find a way to get to a better position to dominate the fight.

2) Face your opponent.  Getting hit in the face hurts, so fight novices will often turn away to protect their faces in a fight.  BJJ training teaches you that not only is this dangerous, but it can also be fatal.  I’ve learned safe ways to defend myself while turning to face my opponent, and then to make space to recover to an advantageous position.  This rule of turning to face your opponent is drilled into you from white belt to black belt, so it becomes second-nature in all of your basic movements.


3) Assume the basic defensive posture, from every position. The rule is: hands up, chin down, elbows in from every defensive point. Just like turning to face your opponent, this is drilled into you from white to black belt.


4) When you get knocked down, get your guard up. Get your legs between you and your opponent.  This can be crucial in a fight when you’re stuck on the ground or on the ground underneath a person.  It makes sense to me now– I would never fight without my guard– but that’s after 6 years of BJJ training.  But before BJJ I had no concept of being knocked to the ground and using my legs not just for kicking, but for pushing, pulling, holding, and tying up my attacker.   As a woman, learning the guard both defensively and offensively has opened my eyes to my power to defend myself.


I take all of the same precautions that I used to take on a daily basis: I use the buddy system to get to my car at night, I routinely walk friends to their cars, I am wary of who I share the streets with, I carry my keys ready to unlock my door and my hands free to protect myself, etc.  None of that has changed.  But, as a result of my BJJ training,  I feel that my reactions are trained to do more of the right things to protect myself in an altercation, fight, or assault.


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