Two stupid questions

Here are two basic questions that I just realized that I may not know the answers to, to my surprise (because I should know them, really):

A RNC question

The way that I learned to finish the rear naked choke (from Michael Jen's online video clips) was as follows: Pull your elbows together and then pull them towards your chest. However, I've noticed that some instructors teach this move just a little bit differently. They will tell you to pull your elbows together and then move your chest forwards and your SHOULDERS BACK.

I'm wondering, if you pull your shoulders back, don't you move your elbows APART from each other again?

An upa question

I don't know if I've asked this question before, but when you do the upa from under the mount, are you supposed to bridge directly over one of your shoulders, keeping your head glued to the mat, or are you supposed to bridge first STRAIGHT over your head and THEN roll your opponent to the side?



1) I hunch my shoulders forward.

2) Some people teach that you should go forward first, but I believe it is better to go directly over your shoulder (to the side).

Not stupid questions at all.

On (2), I'd recommend an empirical approach. Find fat / large guy, and try both.

The wisdom in our school is very definite: bridge straight up as high as you can get and then over to the side. If you tip to the side first, a big guys base isn't as easy to tip over and you'll get flattened.

But a wrestler friend of mine doesn't believe the above, so who knows.


For the bridge, I like to bridge straight up in the direction of my head, and then turn only at the last second.

If you're trying to do this, and your timing is bad, you'll just go diagonally over one shoulder.

If you're trying to go diagonally over one shoulder, then if you do it wrong you're more likely to bridge directly towards the side, which is bad.

My instructors always make a definite point of saying straight up and then over, they stress this.

On the RNC. Don't pull the shoulders back. You are correct about it spreading the elbows. Instead, think of touching the tips of the elbows together while inhaling and expanding your chest at the same time. It closes off all the extra space.

On the bridge. My instructors teach up then over. I guess I do it wrong mostly.

I teach to bridge first up and then to the side using the elbow in the ribs. This IMO

1) requires a less strong bridge
2) makes it harder for your opponent to react instinctively - if you bridge to one direction f.e. diagonally he will have only one direction to give resistance. If you bridge first over your head he will instictively try to resist downwards and then you can bridge him to the side.

3) I find it is much easier for me to armbar or move to s-mount if they try to upa me is much harder if they do the two-directional upa fast and hard.

it of course depends on the strength and explosiveness of the bridge - wrestlers can get away with diagonal also but...
This is my point of view :)

Try both ways and see which works best for you. For me it works better to go directly over the shoulder, but I think I used to do it the other way and dont remember having too much trouble with it.