Article:    Math and Juji Gatame

A math question first.

An idiot (with a bad back) trains in a dojo at a rate of 25 Jujigatame (Standing to lying armbar) per hour for three hours.

Q: how much pain is the idiot in at the end?

Q: What is the speed of the other train?

Q: how many oranges are left?

This week we concentrated on studying Juji-gatame / straight arm bar from standing to lying with all the details so that it makes it very difficult for your opponent to counter at any point. Of course in real combat it’s not as easy as that but if you train right then your chances are much higher. As most of you know Juji is used as a finishing move in many submission tournaments but it’s also quite useful done from a standing position. This is the old jiu-jitsu and Judo method that used to be taught. That’s what we covered this week. The move is also common in Kali too. It’s important to grab the groin as you go down as it prevents them from hitchhiking their way out to escape. They escape in the direction of the thumb and you break the arm the opposite way. If you’re going to escape then you have to go early and get the leg from on top of your head but it’s not impossible to do.

The best example I ever saw of this wasn’t a flying arm bar as I’ve often seen done but one of my young Blackbelt candidates doing it in his exam. Anthony Shackell was fourteen at the time. We’ve never graded at this age but in this one black belt we did. Anthony had been at the club for a long time and always trained with the adults. Even attending a legendary hard camp in the Isle of Wight. No-one get any special treatment in the black belt tests it’s the same for everyone. Everyone gets bashed and tested to break point. His opponent in his Black belt sparring was Ken Fergus a giant of a man. Ken had a twenty three inch upper arm and a big scar down his face from a childhood accident. He looked and was fearsome as a fighter. Twice the size of Anthony there was no chance for the youngster who evaded and moved so as not to get hit. Then in a surprise move  Anthony simply ankle swept Ken stepped over his head as he fell and arm barred him on the ground. David against Goliath. The Black belt panel that day (Terry Barnett, Ralph Jones and I ) turned around and looked at each other and all thought. ‘Well there’s a black belt! ‘

On another occasion my friend Willy Mohan a long time policeman (who we didn’t pass at black belt even though he was a legendary fighter ) used the same lock after a sweep to arrest a guy in Camden passage islington then calmly radioed in his position and call for assistance whilst keeping the guy in the lock. So it pays to study the detail well but in the end it’s down to you to find the timing and the opportunity to use it. You know it works. Good luck.