Sunday, November 12, 2017

John Will Seminar 11 Nov 2017 - Pirate Grip, Russian Tie

Seminar group, I was the photographer

The seminar was held at Universal Combat Arts, Castle Hill. Thanks to Kirk Sicard and Simon Farnsworth for their hospitality.

Russian Tie (2 on 1)

Stand facing your partner, feet parallel, so your four feet form a square.

Your partner gets a neck tie on you with his R hand.

Grab his R wrist with your R hand.

Step around to your R with your L foot and then your R, at the same time lifting your R shoulder and then driving it down and across to your R to dislodge the collar tie. You should now be at his R side. Grab his R upper arm from underneath with your L hand. Get your shoulder on top of his and put all your weight in his shoulder. Try to hover. Also drive your forehead into his R ear to stop him turning back toward you. Drive down hard, stick his R foot to the floor. Your L leg should be behind his R.

Thumbless grips are generally best - though there are exceptions, detailed later.

As you drill the technique more and more, you should develop the habit of grabbing the Russian Tie a quarter second before he gets the neck tie.

This pirate did not tap to heel hooks. Don't let this happen to you!

Russian Tie to Single Leg

If he stays there, drive down so your face is close to his knee. "So you can spit on his knee"- John Will. Drive into him, bumping him so his R leg becomes like and you can scoop it up for a high single leg takedown.

Russian tie to "Muchi Mata", to Ankle Pick

If he tries to square up and gets his R foot behind your L, do a  mini Uchi Mata ("Muchi Mata"), hooking his R leg upward with a backward hooking lift of your L leg. Mainly to disrupt his balance and clear his R leg. Hook your L foot behind and outside his L foot, toes up. Retaining the grip with your L hand, drop down and pick his L ankle with your R hand, lift it and take him down.

Russian tie to Double Leg

He squares up to you and tries to pull his R arm out. Lift his R arm up with your R to around head high, thus crossing it under his L arm and removing that defense. You are in perfect position to change levels and shoot a double leg.

Changing your R hand grip from thumbless to using the thumb will give you better control with which to lift his R arm, for this particular technique.

Russian Tie to Back Take

To get the back from the Russian tie, do NOT turn to your L and try to run forward to his back. You are unlikely to make it. Instead, run backwards to take the back.

John also demonstrated how you can get an arm drag to the Russian tie, then arm drag again from there to get the back.

Russian Tie to Gooseneck Come Along

The gooseneck hold is a control or "come along" technique used often by security or law enforcement.

Get the Russian tie. You need him to bend his elbow, which he will often want to do if you let him. The video below shows another way Slide your hand down to his palm and bend his wrist forward as you bring his hand toward his shoulder. Trap his elbow against your body. Grab over his knuckles with your L hand, then put your R hand on top. The R hand on top is best, if the L hand were on top hie could attack your fingers with his other hand. Apply pressure and lift him up on his toes.


Pirate Grip

Standing Pirate Grip

You have the Russian Tie on his R arm. Now move your L hand to get a fingers-in grip on his L gi collar. Cinch it in. This should feel very strong. This is the Pirate Grip.

John says it used to be called the Double crossed grip or similar, but John took to calling it the Pirate Grip, due to the skull and crossbones, or something.

Pirate Grip to Drop Throw

You get the Russian tie, then the Pirate Grip. He is squaring up and pushing your face away, trying to free his arm. Turn to your L so your L foot is about a foot outside his. Step your R leg between his R leg and your L and drop to your butt and then to your back, effectively pulling him on top of you into a kneeride position, but keep rolling to your L. He will not be able to keep the top position and will be pulled over the top of you. Keep your grips and use the momentum to end up on top on side control on his R side.

Seminar group - I was not the photographer

Pirate Grip from Closed Guard - Two Entries

Pirate Grip from Closed Guard

He is inside your closed guard. Get a cross grip on his R sleeve with your R hand, pull your R elbow to your side. You do not need to pull his sleeve all the way across. Slide your L hand under his R arm and get a deep grip fingers inside his L collar. Flare your L elbow out so the crook of your elbow prevents him pulling his R elbow back and freeing his R hand. This is the Pirate Grip from guard.


Get a deep grip, fingers inside his L collar with your L hand. Pull him down hard with your L hand. Your L arm may even have temporarily trapped his R. Bring your R hand to the centreline and wait. When he brings his R hand over the top to try and get some posture back, grip his R sleeve with your R hand. Flare your L elbow out as above to trap his R elbow. You have the Pirate Grip. This entry is more complicated but higher percentage.

Realise that if he does try really hard to free his R hand, the Cross Collar Choke is always an option.

Hooking Sweep

Get the Pirate Grip. Open your legs, turn on your R side and get your L foot on his hip, Push back and get the L foot on his other hip in an open guard. Move your feet one at a time to a butterfly guard and sit up. You are perfectly positioned for a very strong hooking sweep to your L. Retain the grips and use the momentum to come up on top in side control.

To sweep effectively from butterfly, you need a strong connection to your opponent. Grabbing the belt is the strongest connection, but this is pretty much impossible from closed guard. The Pirate Grip allows a very strong connection without the need to grab the belt. It is fairly easy to get this grip from closed, open or half guard, and then move to butterfly. Very versatile in that way.

A video from a later seminar showing several Pirate Grip options

Locked Russian Tie

A no gi analog of the Pirate Grip is called the Locked Russian. Get the Russian Tie from standing. Bend his R elbow and push his R hand towards his stomach. Release your L grip and grab your own R wrist. Your L arm should loop behind his elbow and upper arm. A bit like a figure 4. You can use this grip in closed guard as well. It may work better if your R grip is overhand rather than underhand, especially in the guard.

Kick Out to Side Back Control

Get the Pirate Grip and move to butterfly guard as above.  Elevate him with your hooks, then lift with your R leg and extend your L leg so he falls to your R, face down. As he falls, come up on your R elbow and then to your knees  on his R, Grips are still in place, your chest is on his back is a side back control position. Transfer your grips to a seatbelt control with your L arm under his L armpit.

Spin the Pig

Get the Pirate Grip and move to butterfly guard as before. Elevate him as before. This time extend your R leg and lift with your L, so he spins to his L in the air, moving him slightly toward your feet. You should be able to spin him far enough to take his back with a good seatbelt control, then get your hooks in. Is easier than it looks or sounds.

"Spin the pig" refers to the spinning action, not unlike rotating a pig on a rotisserie to cook it.

"Side Kick" and Roll Underneath

You get the Pirate grip and start moving to open guard. Your opponent tries to back away. Get on your R side and put your L foot on his R hip, but with the this of the foot pointing to your R, so it is like a Sidekick. Keep your grips, bring your head down towards his knees, rolling beneath him and pulling him over the top of you. End up in the usual position in side control on his R.

Kick Out to Russian Tie, to Head to Head, to Arm in Guillotine

Get the Pirate grip, move out to butterfly guard. Elevate him and kick out and go to your knee and side back control as earlier. Get a Russian tie on his R arm and drive into him, forcing him to post with his L hand. This will give you the opportunity to move around to head to head, catching his R arm between yours as if setting up an Anaconda choke. Grip the blade of your L arm and wrist with your R hand. This way round will be the most secure. Pull his arm to his head - best done by moving your legs to your R rather than dragging his arm with yours.

Come up on your toes and drive his butt to his heels. Come to your feet, running around in a semicircle to your L, trapping his R arm and head next to your R hip with good posture. Change your grip to the opposite side so your L hand is grabbing the blade of your R hand and wrist. Sit down and pull him into your closed guard and finish the choke. 

The first hand position is better for securing the arm, the second better for choking.

Kick Out to Russian Tie, Crucifix

Get Pirate grip, butterfly guard, kick out to side back with Russian tie, head to head with his R arm inside both of yours as before. This time you are less concerned with getting his arm and head together, by accident or design. Come to your knees, drive forward and stand up as before. This time his R arm is between your legs. He will be tempted to grab your R leg with his R arm. Pinch your legs together to trap his arm and move around to his R side. Get a seat belt control on his back with your L arm under his L armpit. Fall down to your L rear, pulling him into the crucifix.

Pirates from Lange's MMA - Anthony Lange's 50th birthday

Other subjects

Books John has been reading:

God is not Great, Christopher Hitchens

Antifragile, Nassim Nicholas Taleb

John's autobiography. Three volumes. Ripping yarns and great advice.

John Will's seminar schedule. Get on board with one of the best Jiu Jitsu coaches on the planet.

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