Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tap's Tips:
Arm-baring outside the gym

In the gym, even the best BJJ armbar’ers experience problems. Outside the gym, these problems can translate into disaster. Knowing what to do and doing it quickly can avert outside-the-gym-armbar headache. Whether your outside-the-gym-armbar problem is hostile receivers, annoying police intervention, dangerously uneven ground, disease, or pesky field mice running up your legs, someone else has experienced it and there is probably a solution or two.

Hostile Receivers
There are no problem-proof armbars, so mix that in with a hostile receiver, and, well, you’ve got a recipe for disaster. When receivers are scared or pissed off, they cause problems. So the solution lies in reassuring them that the pain and humility will all be over soon. Firstly, always get consent before performing your outside-the-gym-armbar. Nothing can rattle an emotionally tipsy receiver like a surprise, and in their mind, unwarranted attack. So take the time to get their permission first in a non-threatening way.

Annoying police intervention
Police come 99% of the time because people call them. People call police for two reasons: they're scared or extremely pissed off. Armbar wisely by choosing willing and trustworthy takers and by notifying potential onlookers of your actions. These easily executed prevention measures can go a long way in keeping dial-happy observers from making that overreacting distress call

Dangerously uneven ground
More than one armbar lover has fallen off a hill, rooftop or airplane wing executing an armbar on a precarious surface. The obvious solution is to move to a safer location. But, when that is not an option, a strap or harness is the extreme armbarer’s best friend. High quality ones can be purchased online for cheap through many skydiving outlets. It’s best to test out a model firsthand before buying. If you have a shop in your area, take the time to discuss with them your outside-the-gym-armbar needs, and they can generally set you up with the equipment required to execute your armbar safely.

Diseases such as AIDS, gangrene or leprosy can often scare away the potential armbarer. Don’t let it. Knowledge is the cure in this case. Do a quick search online about the potential dangers of armbaring an individual with the above ailments. If that doesn’t quell your worries, consult a physician. Let it be known that several leprosy sufferers have been active in the BJJ community for years without a single case of spreading their disease through armbars.

Pesky field mice running up your legs
This is one problem in which an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Fitting your pant legs with Velcro straps will seal off openings that mice use. Elastic straps sewed permanently onto the pants is another more expensive but professional solution.

Don’t forget to tune in next week for more Tap’s tips for simple solutions to your common BJJ problems. Until then, have fun and be safe. YAAAAAAARRR!!!

PHOTO: The Punisher performs a safe and sane outside-the-gym-armbar on Kim Jong Ill, a willing and happy recipient.

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