15 Jan 2009

Peruvian What?????

Last night's BJJ class was the best I've rolled in ages. Nick wanted to specifically train for the European Championships, that meant the whole class got to spend more time rolling and slightly less time drilling. This was great with me as I love rolling. Last night was particularly productive as I managed to get several subs in a row. But I got cocky. I was sparring white belt Jansen and started fooling around in turtle feeling fairly safe until he proceeded to choke me out. 'OMIGOD what the hell was that technique????' I asked just after tapping frantically and placing my eyeballs back in their sockets. I thought my turtle was pretty good until Jansen showed me the truth. Jansen sheepishly replied that it was the 'Peruvian Neck-tie'. The Peruvian what? I thought he was making it up. But no, he said he learned it off Youtube. Damn that meddling youtube. Well, here it is for your viewing pleasure as demonstrated by the excellent submissions 101 team:

It's a brilliant submission. Unlike other turtle attacks you don't need a good grip of the uniform and once applied, it is both a neck crank and a carotid strangle (and maybe a bit of windpipe). the legs over the lower back and back of neck prevent any sneeky rolling out so you're kinda of just left to hang and dry. From my point of view, it was the closest I will probably feel to being hung from the gallows, it was horrid. No more turtles for me until I learn the defence to this baby.

Speaking of Peruvian Neck ties and turtles, it occured to me what brilliantly ridiculous terminology BJJ techniques have. I mean in trad martial arts, you have one name per technique, usually in the language of origin, with little deviation.
eg ushiro goshi pretty much translates to rear throw in english .
In BJJ however, someone will 'invent' a technique, maybe christens it, maybe doesn't, but over time, if the new technique is popular, it acquires a lore and in the end, no one really knows where the name came from but it just kind of sticks. It is all so random and free-thinking, true memetics at work. For non-BJJ readers, check out this mini list of strange sounding techniques:

Named after wildlife: anaconda choke, spider guard,turtle guard, mata leo (Lion killer), butterfly guard, flower sweep
Named after people: delariva guard, kimura lock, brabo choke,
Named after objects: clock choke, crucifix choke, keylock, baseball bat choke, scissor sweep
etc etc etc.
Despite their colourful names, most techniques pretty much describe what they do and you can see the obvious connection.
Interestingly, for all their history in creating BJJ as we know it, there aren't any techniques I know of that are named after any member of the Gracie family. There are in fact only a small handful of BJJ experts who are honoured with a techniques named after them. How cool that must be? Watch this space...the Meerkatsu choke is coming to an academy soon.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Pierre BJJ said...

you forgot something... this technique called "peruvian neck tie" because his creator was Tony de Souza, a famous peruvian mma fighter, BJJ black belt,UFC competitor... this technique is like you tie a tie (duh!!) and because tony is from Peru...

I now this because i'm peruvian too, and Tony is my friend... by the way i like very much your blog. Good luck


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