slideyfoot.com | bjj resources

 Home
 Contact
 Reviews
 BJJ FAQ  Academy

This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a brown belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2021 Can Sönmez

17 February 2021

17/02/2021 - Covid training update

Class #1237
Artemis BJJ (my living room), Bristol, UK - 14/08/2020


I definitely wasn't expecting to still be teaching over Zoom from my living room a year after the pandemic started, but such is life. There was that brief period of being able to train in person, over September and October 2020, but other than that it's been all Zoom since March 2020. Still, I can't complain as I'm in a much better position than many other people who run BJJ clubs as their livelihood. My awesome students have continued to stay engaged, with enough of them paying fees that I can keep the club going and my own head above water.

The format of classes is something I continue to tweak. At the moment, I do 5 solo drills, two and half minutes each. There are two solo drills I include every time (sliding shrimps and the grilled chicken self-directed sequence, meaning students can combine the grilled chicken elements and variations they know however they want), with three other solo drills I pick from my big spreadsheet (which is up to 100+ drills now).

After that, I move on to 3 grappling dummy drills, again picked from the spreadsheet, three and a half minutes to drill each time. To finish up, I'll go into another technique in more depth, then stretch to end the class. That works out at an hour, sometimes slightly under, sometimes slightly more if I get plenty of questions.

The addition of a daytime class on Tuesdays, which I started doing last month, has helped a lot too (especially as the main people who attend are a couple drilling together, which keeps it grounded because I get to see how the drill I just taught on a dummy works on a human). Just as with the daytime classes I teach in the mysterious otherworld of pre-covid, I use daytime classes to prepare for the evening class the following day. It always ends up being educational for me, enabling drills to be refined or dropped. It has also meant that I can keep trying out videos I've seen that interest me, whether that's a random cool variation or an entire instructional.

My main project continues to be Priit's grilled chicken open guard. I also picked up his running escape and baby bridge instructional, which I'm going to dig into properly over the next side control month (which is March). I think I could develop a self-directed running escape drills sequence, like I have with grilled chicken.

I'm still finding good stuff on the internet for the basic techniques too. I'm particularly pleased that thanks to inspiration from Ritchie Yip's list on GrappleArts, I've got a few passing drills to play with now too. Yesterday I went through a knee cut drill self directed sequence, which I built out of Yip's drills plus my own modification. That went pretty well, I'm going to keep trying to bring in passes this month. As my grappling dummy doesn't have any legs, I didn't think it would be possible to teach passes, but it turns out it is (you can even use an arm to substitute as a leg, like with the knee cut/slide pass).

Short Version:
  • Control the shoulders and head by using a crossface
  • Block their hip with your knee, their far hip with your elbow
  • Keep your hips as low as possibly, staying on your toes
  • Get the centre of your chest pressing into the centre of their chest
  • Don't lean too far forward: if they try to roll you, post on your forehead



Full Version: As ever, I kicked off with the 'control point theory' conceptual framework John Palmer described to me in Texas: the primary control points are the hips and the triangle of shoulders and head, secondary control is inside the knees and elbows, then finally tertiary control relates to the wrists and ankles. John goes into more detail over on this awesome old Bullshido thread. I think it's helpful to have that framework at the start, as then the students can hopefully see how that principle filters through everything we'll be training today.

A post shared by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on





A particularly effective method of control is applying a cross face. If you're not familiar with the term, that means bringing your near side arm under their head: I like to reach right to their far armpit and anchor my arm there, either by cupping, or by getting a hold of the gi material. From that position, you can then drive your shoulder and/or arm into the side of their head or neck, aiming to get their head to turn away from you and/or generate some choking pressure to distract them.

If they can't turn their head back towards you due to the shoulder pressure, it will make it much harder for them to create space and escape. "The body follows the head" or "where the head goes, the body follows" is an old adage and a true one. This is what SBG call the 'shoulder of justice.' If you shift your shoulder from their face to their neck, that choking pressure can also open up opportunities to switch to mount or consider initiating a submission attempt. However, it does mean they can probably turn their head again, which improves their escape opportunities.

A post shared by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on



Next, it is a good idea to deal with their far arm. Reach under that far elbow with your arm, coming under the armpit. You have a couple of options here. Option one is linking your hands together with a gable grip and sucking them in towards you, providing a very tight side control. This is how Tran showed it to me several years ago. Option two is gripping around their shoulder, to bring their shoulder off the mat: this is something Dónal likes to do, which isn't surprising as I think I first saw that on a Braulio video. You can also use the elbow of your far arm to squeeze into their far hip. This latter option makes more sense if you're already grabbing by their armpit with your near arm. You want to keep control over their far arm for two reasons: first, they can use it to defend, by getting it into your neck. Second, there are a number of attacks you can do from here.



I also wanted to emphasise chest position. Picture an imaginary line between the middle of their chest and also between yours. You want to bisect those lines: don't be too far over them, or they can easily roll you (if they DO try and roll you and it's working, put your far arm or your forehead out for base). Too far back, and it's easier for them to slip out and escape. Stay low, dropping your hips: don't leave them any space.



Moving on to the legs, there are a bunch of different things you can do. I used to prefer to bring both knees in tight, but I later started sprawling the leg nearer the head backwards, which enables me to bring my hips much lower. This is key: you must keep your hips low in side control. If your knees are in tight, widen them if your hips are still high.

The lower the hips, the more weight on top of them, which therefore gives you better control. However, if you have both legs sprawled back, there is a chance they might be able to bring their knee inside: you need to block it somehow, which would commonly be with the hip nearest their legs, your hand or your knee. Play around and see which position you like, and also be ready to switch depending on your partner's movement. Finally, if you're sprawling your legs back, keep your knees off the ground and stay on your toes. This helps with mobility and driving forward.


_____________________

Teaching Notes: The main thing here is dipping the shoulder and hip on the cross-face side, which is something I should emphasise more. That helps to focus the weight into the cross-face, so my usual maximum weight, minimum area principle. :)

21 October 2020

21/10/2020 - Teaching | Side Control | Basic maintenance

Teaching #955
Artemis BJJ (Easton Road), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 21/10/2020
Short Version:
  • Control the shoulders and head by using a crossface
  • Block their hip with your knee, their far hip with your elbow
  • Keep your hips as low as possibly, staying on your toes
  • Get the centre of your chest pressing into the centre of their chest
  • Don't lean too far forward: if they try to roll you, post on your forehead



Full Version: As ever, I kicked off with the 'control point theory' conceptual framework John Palmer described to me in Texas: the primary control points are the hips and the triangle of shoulders and head, secondary control is inside the knees and elbows, then finally tertiary control relates to the wrists and ankles. John goes into more detail over on this awesome old Bullshido thread. I think it's helpful to have that framework at the start, as then the students can hopefully see how that principle filters through everything we'll be training today.

A post shared by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on





A particularly effective method of control is applying a cross face. If you're not familiar with the term, that means bringing your near side arm under their head: I like to reach right to their far armpit and anchor my arm there, either by cupping, or by getting a hold of the gi material. From that position, you can then drive your shoulder and/or arm into the side of their head or neck, aiming to get their head to turn away from you and/or generate some choking pressure to distract them.

If they can't turn their head back towards you due to the shoulder pressure, it will make it much harder for them to create space and escape. "The body follows the head" or "where the head goes, the body follows" is an old adage and a true one. This is what SBG call the 'shoulder of justice.' If you shift your shoulder from their face to their neck, that choking pressure can also open up opportunities to switch to mount or consider initiating a submission attempt. However, it does mean they can probably turn their head again, which improves their escape opportunities.

A post shared by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on



Next, it is a good idea to deal with their far arm. Reach under that far elbow with your arm, coming under the armpit. You have a couple of options here. Option one is linking your hands together with a gable grip and sucking them in towards you, providing a very tight side control. This is how Tran showed it to me several years ago. Option two is gripping around their shoulder, to bring their shoulder off the mat: this is something Dónal likes to do, which isn't surprising as I think I first saw that on a Braulio video. You can also use the elbow of your far arm to squeeze into their far hip. This latter option makes more sense if you're already grabbing by their armpit with your near arm. You want to keep control over their far arm for two reasons: first, they can use it to defend, by getting it into your neck. Second, there are a number of attacks you can do from here.



I also wanted to emphasise chest position. Picture an imaginary line between the middle of their chest and also between yours. You want to bisect those lines: don't be too far over them, or they can easily roll you (if they DO try and roll you and it's working, put your far arm or your forehead out for base). Too far back, and it's easier for them to slip out and escape. Stay low, dropping your hips: don't leave them any space.



Moving on to the legs, there are a bunch of different things you can do. I used to prefer to bring both knees in tight, but I later started sprawling the leg nearer the head backwards, which enables me to bring my hips much lower. This is key: you must keep your hips low in side control. If your knees are in tight, widen them if your hips are still high.

The lower the hips, the more weight on top of them, which therefore gives you better control. However, if you have both legs sprawled back, there is a chance they might be able to bring their knee inside: you need to block it somehow, which would commonly be with the hip nearest their legs, your hand or your knee. Play around and see which position you like, and also be ready to switch depending on your partner's movement. Finally, if you're sprawling your legs back, keep your knees off the ground and stay on your toes. This helps with mobility and driving forward.


_____________________

Teaching Notes: More of those transition drill sequences. The class went really well, I felt. This new format, as necessitated by covid, is coming together nicely. I didn't go in as much technical depth as I normally do, as the main purpose of class was to get people more familiar with the drills. Long term project, so will pay off in a couple of weeks if I keep doing the same drills. Assuming there isn't another lockdown, of course.

For the full video of the entire class, that's up on the Artemis BJJ Facebook page.