On Saturday, April 20th, martial arts’ students at Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, New York were lucky enough to have veteran Professional MMA fighter and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Javier Vasquez in the house for a 2 hour no-gi seminar. Having fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and amassing a number of victories, all by submission, Vazquez was one of the best martial arts that Precision has had teach for us to date. For this seminar, Vazquez focused on attacks from back mount and rear naked chokes in particular. His attention to detail was magnificent, and his tips for maintain the back and getting the choke finish, unique and innovative. In this article I will explain some of the details outlined by Vazquez in his seminar, and why we hope he will someday come back to give another class.
One of the main details that Vazquez focused on was not riding too high on the opponent’s back while in back mount. This is a position that Jiu-Jitsukas and Mixed Martial Artists often lose control of at critical moments in a match or fight. This should not happen, seeing as back mount is perhaps the most dominant position in all of Jiu-Jitsu and mixed martial arts. Students in Poughkeepsie were first shown how to keep an opponent who arches up on all fours from shucking them off by gaining a kimura grip on one of the arms. This grip is then used to torque the opponent’s arm, disrupting his balance and causing him to lose his posture so that the attacking martial artist can begin working on a choke.
Following this, martial arts’ students in Poughkeepsie were taught specific methods for maintaining the hooks on an opponent who tries to hip out and also how to get under the chin of an opponent who tries to block a choke with his jaw.
Another technique which wowed the Poughkeepsie Martial Artists in attendance was a grip fighting pattern which allowed the attacker to always be one step ahead of the defender in achieving the rear naked choke. Some commented that the hand pattern looked almost like a Wing-Chun technique, another martial art which has become popular in the Poughkeepsie area, but which generally tends to have less effectiveness than Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is offered on the Precision syllabus.
Vazquez also taught proper usage of a single leg ride known as “the mulligan” which can be almost as dominant as any double hook back mount, and showed a number of methods for trapping the opponent’s arms, such as the “mission control trap”. This is technique where the martial artist in back mount uses one of his legs to trap one of the opponent’s arm, taking it out of the equation and making the choke much more difficult to defend. The attending students in Poughkeepsie were particularly impressed with this one.
The Mixed Martial Artists at Precision in Poughkeepsie, as well as some visiting students from AMA fight club in New Jersey, were very lucky to have Vazquez stay afterwards to watch them work and share some tips from his long fighting career. For many BJJ students like myself, this was the first time we had ever had an actual former UFC fighter critique our movements.
Vazquez focused in particular on the importance of not being hit, especially while on bottom, even if it leads to a lull in the action. He stated that he felt MMA is a sport where too often fighters take risks resulting in their own injury when simple self defense could lead to a better outcome, with them still winning the fight and taking less damage in the process. In particular, when he watched me work to escape bottom mount by trying to simply elbow escape as quickly as possible, taking a number of blows in the process, he stated that I was trying to escape too quickly without focusing on taking fewer punches. He showed me how to escape more slowly, taking fewer shots in the process, and for this I was very grateful.
He also showed a move for defending strikes while an opponent stands up in one’s guard which he himself had created, which he referred to as “master control”. The move was similar to what we Poughkeepsie martial artists and Jiu-Jitsukas refer to as the “de la Riva” guard, where the outside leg is laced on the inside of the standing opponent’s knee. The other foot is then placed in the hip of the same leg of the standing opponents, and his near wrist is controlled with both hands of the opponent on the bottom. I had never seen this move before and was amazed to see how hard he was able to make it for the opponent on top to hit him, and how he was easily able to strike back, submit and take the back, as well as sweep and get back to the feet whenever he wanted.
Though these were only a few of the moves showed by Javier at his seminar at Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie, had he shown no more than these few movements it would have been enough to make the price of the class worth it for the martial artists in attendance. His attention to detail and focus on maintaining back mount, fighting the hands for the choke, and avoidance of taking strikes while on the bottom were revolutionary. His teaching style was very patient, his demeanor affable, and his style seemed as though it would work equally well for no-gi, gi and mixed martial arts competitions. All the martial artists at Precision MMA in Poughkeepsie hope that Vazquez will come back soon to share more amazing techniques in the near future.
Precision MMA is currently offering a 30-Day FREE trial for new members. If you’re interested in learning self-defense, getting into shape, and training with the best in the area, then stop in at 1097 Route 55, Lagrangeville, NY or call us at 845-392-8495. Don’t forget to ask about our free trial and intro lesson!
Jamey Bazes is a lifelong martial artist holding a brown belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Kenpo Karate. He also holds a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. He is a student of Precision Mixed Martial Arts in LaGrange, NY (near Poughkeepsie) and a decorated competitor including a Delaware Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu State Championship and a NAGA World Title. To train with Jamey in Poughkeepsie NY check out Precision MMA http://www.poughkeepsiemixedmartialarts.com