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Featured Technique: MMA by Gene Simco

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The Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Technique of the month is Written and Demonstrated by Gene Simco from NYMAG (New York Martial Arts Gym). Gene is available for private lessons by contacting

Modeling: Bob Burlingame & Gene Simco Photos: Chris Lavine

Please note that these techniques should only be practiced with a trained or certified instructor. Failure to do these moves correctly could result in serious bodily injury or in some cases, death!.


Finishing from the Mount by Gene Simco
The mount position is an excellent place to be, but many have a hard time finishing their opponent from this position. In this article, we will take a look at one or two possibilities when there are less rules than sport jiu-jitsu, but our opponent is not wearing the gi.

Most of us who have studied grappling in one form or another can remember learning the Arm-Bar as one of the first submissions taught to us from the mount. Against an opponent wearing a gi, this technique is a good idea since it (the gi) will give us the ability to control him as we make the space required to perform the technique; it is very hard to perform the Arm-Bar from the mount without making any space at all and without the gi, this submission becomes even riskier to perform since it will leave us in a less desirable position than the mount if our opponent slips out. We've seen it used in Mixed Martial Arts with some success, so I'm not discounting it as a viable and effective option; however, once I've acquired the mount position, I prefer not to part with it until the job is done.

Without the gi to use as a controlling or choking tool, finishing our opponent is not always as easy as it looks; we've come a long way since the days of the early UFC where Marco Ruas could end the fight simply by being there. Our opponents these days understand where not to put their arms and the basic principles of escape. Just reigning down strikes is not always the answer either; it is easy to get sloppy and off-balanced this way, giving our opponent the motivation and opening for escape. I've seen many great fighters break their hands by striking carelessly from this position. So what do we do? Well, the first thing is that we've arrived yea, yea, position before submission, so that's done. Now the next thing that most people miss is as important as getting the position itself: Don't Get Excited! Calm down and don't start flailing away. Breathe and secure the position, making sure everything is tight and that you've secured the position, remembering that there are a lot of good counters to this position if done improperly. Once everything is secure, there are a lot of things we can do without compromising our position; let's take a look at one of these options now.

In the first frame, you'll notice that I'm slapping. This serves more than just the purpose of embarrassment. I am controlling the elbows for a few reasons; first, to prevent escape and second to maintain a feel for where they are so that I don't strike them should I decide to close my fist - you can easily break your hand this way. If you have the benefit of wearing gloves, this will REDUCE the chance of finger breakage, but not prevent it entirely.
As I slap him to the face, I push the arms that he is blocking with across his face. This may take both hands and should be done by controlling at the tricep, where you have the most leverage.
Once I have his arm across, I will then reach behind his head and grab his wrist, wrapping his arm around his neck or lower face. Once this is achieved, a few things could happen: your opponent may 'give' his back and in that case, you will have a nice opportunity to sink your hooks in (take his back) and slap a rear choke on him (another story) - or your opponent will stick it out and either try to block additional punches or try to escape. To prevent escape, it is important that you keep his arm toward his neck, not letting it slip over his head. Here, those who prefer to strike can hammer away until he either taps, the ref breaks it up or his friends start kicking you in the back, in which case, it would be better to move to knee on belly (yet another story).
The last couple of frames are dedicated to one of my favorite finishes from this position. I like it because it does not leave very much room for escape, making it 'safer' in my opinion from both the previous standpoint and also taking away the chance of breaking my hand by striking. The finish is simple: place your free hand under his arm and through until it is across his neck. While pulling up on the wrist you are grabbing, push the forearm that is across (the side of) his neck down as far as it will go and then up, like you are trying to lift his chin.
For the stubborn opponent, add a little body weight for additional pressure and hold on - one of the most important things about chokes is that you don't let go too early; I can't count the number of times I've let go only to hear, "you almost had that".

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