Gi, DOMS, and Coming to Terms with the Switch


If you’re not familiar with the acronym DOMS, it’s “delayed onset muscle soreness”. It’s that terrible soreness you feel a day or two after you workout, and the only solution is to work out more. Eventually your body gets used to the work. This message brought to you by my entire body feeling like I got hit by a truck.

The format of class was what I’ve come to expect – about 30 minutes of drilling, about 30 minutes of techniques, about 30 minutes of rolling. I was having a rough time with my asthma last night so I didn’t roll as much as I would have liked to. It happens. The techniques were back to the basics – getting to reverse scarf hold when you opponent tries to do an arm-drag while you’re in their butterfly guard and North-South choke from reverse scarf hold. Rolling was a good learning/remembering experience. I went with a blue who has some solid hips and was continuously moving through guards and inverting to keep me from passing. I also went with a white belt who had solid head control as a former wrestler. Again, my back got taken, my half-guard stuffed. I also got a none-too-friendly reminder that BJJ allows pig-nosing, cross-facing, and the use of the neck crank to attack for a choke. These to be covered below.

Junior was there and asked why I wasn’t in judo last night. He seemed very accepting of the fact that this is what I need to do right now, and that I’m keeping up my judo on Saturdays with Matt. I’m hoping everyone is as accepting.

Pig-Nosing (or Hog-Nosing): Suppose you have someone’s back, and they are burying their chin so you can’t get the choke. Take your forearm (or hand) and place it across their mouth. Now lift and turn your forearm so that you’re pressing up into and crushing their nose. This is pig-nosing. It’s grossly painful. Typically this fits into the “don’t be a dick” category of techniques along with fish-hooking, eye gouging, biting, hair pulling, and single digit manipulation. Having said that, it’s not explicitly banned by IBJJF rules so it’s a referee discretion thing.

Cross-Facing: Suppose you have someone’s back, and they are burying their chin so you can’t get the choke. Take your forearm and place if flat against their cheek. Drive your hand forward and rotate your hand like you’re punching. The resulting force will be forearm directly into their teeth. It’s fine if they’re wearing a mouth guard, a bit painful on the neck since you’re actively holding their body one way and turning the head another, but it remains an effective way to turn the head to get the choke. It’s also openly accepted in BJJ and you can see it a fair amount in competition. This one’s just a matter of courtesy – if you’re in class and your partner isn’t wearing a mouth guard, don’t do it.

Neck Crank: This one is one that I knew was legal in BJJ, but took a reminder. In judo you’re not allowed to manipulate the head to get your choke. Pulling on the forehead, the chin, or use of the cross-face can all be considered neck cranks which is an immediate disqualification in judo. Remember, this is the sport that doesn’t let you pull down on the head to finish a triangle choke. This is one of those things that when you’re used to fighting judo where people have to dig to get the choke it kind of comes out of nowhere. I have no declared problem with the fact that it’s done, but it is one of the fundamental differences between judo and BJJ – what’s considered a cervical lock.

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