Lesson Plan for 2014-01-20: What is an Americana?

AttacksI’m excited about this one.  I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about Americanas lately.  After a roll last week I had a short discussion with a student about Americanas, then the following day my black belt taught the basic side control Americana, then two days later a brand newly promoted black belt at another school showed a half guard Americana variant (Mir lock/v lock/probably other names).  I literally can’t get away from Americanas.

This week is dedicated to the Americana.  I’m not sure if two classes are going to give us enough time.  Thinking back to the times I’ve used it, I have trouble remembering all the places I’ve used the Americana.  Half of them were made up on the spot.

The Americana is a particularly good submission for fundamentals students.  It is very tolerant of less than perfect technique.  This means you can get away with murder and still finish the submission.  Done correctly, a side control Americana takes very little effort or motion.  Done incorrectly, you’ll see people testing the limits of their opponents shoulder flexibility as if they are trying to snap a wing off a Thanksgiving turkey.

Where things get interesting is when we stop thinking about the Americana as just a fundamentals submission from side control.  I’m going to introduce a different way of thinking about the Americana that will help you see more opportunities to lock your opponents shoulder and submit them.  I have even used it as an escape, similar to how a kimura is used as a sweep.  I’ve also applied it with my legs, body, and even my head.

Tonight, I will teach you how I think about controlling someones arm in an Americana position, and to demonstrate these concepts, you will learn how to apply an Americana from scarf hold using your legs, as well as an Americana from guard.

The more I think about it, the more classes I could dedicate to this.

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