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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

09 October 2017

09/10/2017 - Teaching | Mount | Moving from Low to High Mount

Teaching #708
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/10/2017

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In order to progress from low to high mount, the main barrier is going to be their elbows. There are several ways you can remove that barrier. There is the brute force method, yanking their elbows out of the way and driving your knees up into their armpits. I wouldn't recommend that method, though it can work. A more reliable option, with greater finesse, is to put your hands on their shoulders. Keeping you arms straight, lean forwards to put all your weight through your arms. That should lift their elbows, enabling you to slide right up into high mount.

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The ezequiel choke is another way to get them to lift their elbows: as soon as they give you that space in their attempt to defend, shove your knee into the gap. To really fire the leg forward, you can push off your toes. Another option is to simply keep walking your feet up their sides, as if you were climbing up a wall. Every time you see a gap, fill it, until eventually you're up really high and their bridge is nullified.

Grabbing the top of their head and driving your hips forwards is another possibility, using that leverage to raise their elbows. To further help that motion, you could try hooking an elbow and 'spider-walking' your fingers up the mat, aiming to bring their elbows away from their body. Once you have gotten up into high mount, make sure they can't wriggle back out by blocking their shoulders. You could do that with your elbows on the mat, grabbing their head or indeed the cross-face.

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Teaching Notes: I don't normally split this into a separate lesson, but it felt like it made sense. There was enough in here to split it into three videos when I did editing later, and it felt like it flowed together well. The stage after that (material on maintaining high mount) is not quite so solidly formatted, so I need to think more about that.

Make sure they have the hands fully on the shoulders, not part way off. I could also talk more about the grab the head and drive the hips option, especially against somebody who is staying very tight. That normally leads into a back take, so perhaps that could be a high mount lesson, fit that in somewhere? Walking the hands up to pry the elbow away would be a good one to talk about too.

08 October 2017

08/10/2017 - Open Mat (Sunday)

Class #906
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 08/10/2017

I was practicing the leg clamp from Aaron Milam's lesson a bunch, but I'm still having trouble stopping them from rolling through when I go for the omoplata. As that still generally ends up with me on top in side control it's not terrible, nevertheless I need to work out that transition to stop them rolling through. In a standard omoplata that comes from either the 'superman' punch to flatten them out, or wrapping an arm over their far hip. In a related problem, I also need to improve my reaction when they square up from there, moving into a triangle. As ever, it's a matter of more drilling and rewatching the video a bunch.

07/10/2017 - Teaching | Side Control | Movement Drills

Teaching #707
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 08/10/2017

Not much to say about this class, as I again went with the movement drill sequence that I taught before going on holiday (difference this time being that it was a nogi class, but the same apart from that). On crossing the feet for that side to side knee ride, it is worth mentioning that you don't quite cross them, it should be a smooth switch to the other side. Tamzin got it first time, which was cool to see. :)

For the movement drill in general, I checked with Josh again later to clarify exactly how it went, as it felt like it devolved into sparring a few times. From what he said, the rule is no grips at all, you're only allow to push on the levers, so like pushing an arm across. You can't solidify any grips, as that slows everything right down. I will keep trying it, I like the idea of improving everybody's mobility (my own could do with some work too ;D).

06 October 2017

06/10/2017 - Teaching | Mount | Maintaining Low Mount

Teaching #706
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 06/10/2017

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There are two basic types of mount to choose from, which I call low and high. Once you've achieved mount, I find that low mount provides the most control. First off, you want to immobilise their hips, as their main method of making space is to bridge up forcefully.

Bring your feet right back, threading them around their legs to establish two hooks: this is known as a grapevine. Alternatively, you can also cross your feet underneath (or just near, depending on your flexibility and leg length) their bum, which has the advantage of making it much harder for them to push your hooks off. Your knees are ideally off the ground, to generate maximum pressure. How far off the ground they are depends on your dimensions: the key is getting loads of hip pressure. Another option, which I learned from Rob Stevens at Gracie Barra Birmingham, is to put the soles of your feet together and then bring your knees right off the floor.

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Whichever option you're going for, thrust those hips into them. It's important to get into a position where you can thrust your hips down, rather than getting bunched up so your bum starts going into the air. Use your hands for base, where again you have a couple of options. Either have both arms out, or put one under the head (remember, you can always remove it for base if you're really getting thrown hard to that side) while the other goes out wide for base.

Try to grip the gi material by their opposite shoulder, or even better, by the opposite armpit. Keep your head on the basing arm side, loading up your weight there. If they're bridging hard, you can switch from side to side, lifting their head slightly and bringing your other arm under, meaning your remaining arm bases out to the other side.

To do the trap and roll/upa escape, they will need to get control of your arm. So, don't let them grab it and crush your arm to their side. Instead, swim your arm through, like Ryron and Rener demonstrate in the third slice of the third lesson in Gracie Combatives. Be sure to do it one at a time, or you may get both arms squashed to your sides.

Teaching Notes: Make certain the shoulder is driving in for the cross-face, some people weren't quite on the jawline. I could probably talk more about the cross-face and that the reason you're doing it is to stop them being able to turn. Also, making sure your arm is out 45 degrees and you're keeping your head low. Perhaps more about the grapevine, though I'm not sure if there is much more I can say about that? I decided against including the arm swim today, as I think that would fit better in a different lesson. I did also continue to include the no-arms mount drill, because I think that helps drive home the importance of thrusting your hips down to pin them in place. I'll keep reviewing if I want to keep that, based on feedback. :)