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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

23 November 2016

23/11/2016 - Teaching | Back | Crucifix Dog Leg Armbar

Teaching #598
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/11/2016

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

Secure the crucifix by driving your knee in from the side ride, flaring your knee out, then hooking their arm with your other heel. Drag their arm back and make sure it stays trapped between your legs.

Put the knee nearest their head slightly forward, still controlling their arm. Turn to face their legs, grabbing their ankle to anchor yourself in place, with your head in line with their bum. At this point you will need to switch your legs, so that you can get the leg further away from their head closer to their wrist. Twist your body and swing the leg furthest from their head backwards, still hooking the arm. Do this movement gradually, as that shoulder lock can come on quickly, depending on their flexibility.

Teaching Notes: Dave Jacobs describes this as a shoulder lock, but it invariably becomes an armbar when I do it. I'm not sure exactly what he's doing different, but I'll check that carefully for next time. It still works as an armbar, but meh, would be good to get the shoulder lock properly. Jacobs puts his non-lifting leg by their shoulder, which might explain it: for the armbar, you need to put it up higher. Also, I keep emphasising that if you can't get this, you've still got all the other stuff, from clock chokes to reverse omoplatas. :)

23/11/2016 - Teaching | Women's Class

Teaching #597
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/11/2016

Ran through some stuff with Kirsty, as it was just her today. Side control escapes, the Chiu material, along with the running escape. She got the Granby roll nice and smoothly, that bodes very well for her potential success with this (she's got strong legs too, so I think it could be a good option for her). We also played with some stuff from mount, as she missed a lot of that month due to a shoulder injury. Lots and lots of technique, but hopefully some of that adds to her game.

22 November 2016

22/11/2016 - Open Mat (Tuesday)

Class #785
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 22/11/2016

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

Like last time, I'm including the sparring after class on Monday, especially as that's what features in the video above. I managed to retain my guard little better, trying to move to knee shield and that modified spider guard I tried last week. However, I did unintentionally cheat, as I instinctively closed my half guard: that's counterproductive, as the whole idea was working open guard. I uncrossed when I realised, but I suspect I would have been passed rather quicker if I hadn't had that lock to help. ;)

I hit the tripod sweep, but I didn't get control of a sleeve. That renders the sweep way less effective, because they can base out with a hand to come straight back up. I need to work out the best way to get a sleeve for the sweep, especially against people that are good at breaking grips. Ideally I'd get the sleeve just before I pull/push with my legs, so that's something to work on.

By the time it got to Tuesday, I was really tired from not getting any sleep (insomnia strikes yet again). I therefore tried curling into a ball, keeping knees to chest like Graugart taught at the Globetrotter Camps this year. Looking at the video, I can see I dropped to my back and opened up that space, making for an easy pass. If I'm going to try that, I need to invert, which I don't want to get into. So, that approach to guard retention likely is not for me: I value my neck and back too much. :p

I got a good tip from Matt on Tuesday. I've been attempting to pull legs across when my knee cut gets blocked, into a semi leg drag. It often gets stuck halfway. Matt suggested at that point if I can cross-face, I can then kick into a big backstep to pass. I like cross-facing, so that's appealing, though I am guessing it's tough to get. I'll try it next time.

21 November 2016

21/11/2016 - Teaching | Back | Crucifix Entry (Seat Belt)

Teaching #596
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/11/2016

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

I went with another variation on the entry into the crucifix tonight, adding to the walk back and the roll. Once again Aesopian was my main source. This time, once you have the arm trapped, secure a seatbelt. Then all you need to do is walk your feet forward, until you can pull back with your seat belt grip and move into the face-up crucifix. Very simple.

Teaching Notes: Main thing to emphasise for next time is that you must not reach in for the seat belt before you have the arm. If you do that, they will just roll you over. I was doing that to people repeatedly in sparring, so I need to make that risk clearer. If I teach it during my turtle escapes class, that should help do. There was a load of good specific sparring again after class, but I'll save that for the Tuesday write-up. :)