BJJ DVD review Von Flu Choke by The Fight Hub

I was very pleased with the Leg Drag DVD that my friend Mr Tim Sledd sent me to review and soon after I published that review, I came in contact with the man behind that production company The Fight HubMario Roberto Black Belt Mr James Clingerman. We got talking and I really liked his work ethics and he liked the thorough job I did on Tim's DVD so he sent me three volumes to review for the Part Time Grappler readers. I reviewed the first (The Peruvian Dozen 2.0) back in October but since then, university happened and I've had to do the work, if you can call it that, piecemeal by piecemeal. Here is my review of the second one:

Mastering the Von Flu Choke

This is a good production and well worth the humble price ($39). More importantly, James is one of the good guys with a lot of great jiujitsu to teach so support him and his community. Why do I know this? Because he's been gracious enough a LOT of material on YouTube. 
Here's a taster of what you expect to learn (not actual DVD footage):
You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here.

The Review: The Von Flue Choke

Jason Von Flue, 2006 choked his opponent out on TV. Since then this fundamental Gracie Jiujitsu self defence technique took on a life of its own.

Set up: James and his partner wear contrasting colours (white rash guard and shorts vs black) while rolling on a red canvass. This means the picture quality is very clear. The sound quality is more than adequate. James' explanation is very detailed.

You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here

Finish from the knee on belly: for those who have read Eddie Bravo's books or seen his instructional DVDs, you will recognize the effectiveness of using a shallow knee on stomach position as a platform to add extra pressure on the opponent's upper body.

Finish with the back step: This is yet another method to increase the pressure of the choke by taking all your weight and dumping it on your opponent's carotid artery.

You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here.

Defence against the guillotine: James explains that this variation starts AFTER the opponent has sunk his guillotine and closed his guard around your waist. I found the leverage details that he shares on how to stay safe within the guillotine second to none!

Defend and pass: In this segment, James takes the previous move a step further by either cartwheeling over the opponent's guard or back stepping out of it. These are moves which I'm sure can be mastered with some practice, but off the bat they look very acrobatic.

Entry into the armtriangle: this is the most obvious follow-up once the stuffed arm is freed. I've had the arm triangle taught to me by some legends of the sport and I can tell you James' detailed instruction was just as good.

Kimura 1 &  Americana: With a simple arm switch, James shows us how to keep the pressure while we transition from the Von Flue choke, first, to a Kimura, then an Americana, from side control. 

Nearside armbar: this has, of late, become one of my favourite side control attacks. Mainly because it is so low risk: If you don't get it, you still have the same heavy side control. Sharp, quick and high percentage.

You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here

Entry from the Von Flue into the wrap: The "Wrap" here is the name James uses to describe what some schools (such as ours) refer to as the Barb Wire choke. Good details on the action-reaction that helps tighten this choke.

Kimura 2 &  armlock: This is a great, well detailed instruction on how to properly spin for the far side armbar. There is a gold nugget in here on how to create crippling and pinning pressure that secures your opponent while you spin on top of him for the armbar or the sideways Kimura.

Nearside armbar: After controlling the nearside elbow and rotating it, James goes for a high and tight knee on ribs then throws his second leg over the opponent's face for a very tight armpit armbar. With a simple grip change, you can switch the attack to a nearside Americana or a paper cutter choke.

Brabo and Monson choke: Another great entry from North / South which, depending on whether you get the nearside arm involved or not, gives you a Brabo or a Monson choke. James gives some very important details on how to distribute the weight on top that, if generalised, will make everything you do from the top position better.

Omoplata: This is a nice options as it deals with the very likely eventuality of the opponent grabbing the outside of your thigh. The first thing James shows is how to use your hamstring to clamp on that arm to prevent them from changing their mind.

The guard: This is was very surprising. If you have a guy at your BJJ academy / gym who loves attacking with the guillotine against your sitting / butterfly guard, I know I do, then you are going to love how James uses the Von Flue to finish the opponent FROM THE BOTTOM! Straight up voodoo! 

You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here.

Failing to finish the opponent, James gives some high percentage sweeps towards the trapped arm side that will take you into a great top position where you can apply the finishes taught earlier in the DVD.

Finally, James shows us a few options we can employ by sweeping the other side so the opponent posts his free arm giving us opportunities for arm-triangles, back takes, calf slicers, …etc.

Next is a unique segment where James discusses possible ways to capitalise on the opponent's escapes from the control in guard: The hip bump sweep, the armdrag, the armpit armbar.

The Half Guard: (top)
James starts by explaining that most the attacks will be similar to the ones from the side control. To link the two, he starts with explaining how the grips and pressures of the Von Flue choke can in fact be used to pass the half guard.

The standing attacks:
Traditionally, the arm over the shoulder is standard as a defence to the standing guillotine. James shows how joining the arms means you can link back to all the attacks and sweeps detailed above. He enters from here into a butterfly guard pull and sweep and a traditional knee buckle defence to the guillotine.

Reverse Engineering:

In this last chapter, James opens the floor to the viewer to do what Roy Dean refers to as "building s whole game around a move". He shows his tricks to invite the opponent to wrap the neck from side contra…etc. He's very clear that the key is to make th e opponent as uncomfortable as possible. I must admit some of the combinations looked quite confusing, but I can imagine them to be just as confusing for the opponent!

You can buy Mastering the Von Flu DVD here.

You want this DVD, especially if you like the NoGi game or curious about it. This is a Nogi DVD. Obviously you can perform most of the techniques* in the gi too, but the friction and meatiness of the gi can sometimes get in the way.

I thank James and his team for sending me this product to review.

*Some choke / cranks are not allowed in gi competitions.


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