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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 ©2004-2014 Can Sönmez

29 September 2014

29/09/2014 - Teaching | The Back | Turtle Wing Escape (Leg)

Teaching #202
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 29/09/2014

Last time, we looked at escaping when they're attacking your turtle from the front. If they are moving to the side from behind you, then a different turtle escape comes into play. The idea is similar, but this time rather than blocking their hip with your arm, you're going to use your leg. Place your instep/shin by their opposite hip: it will be the near side hip for whichever side they're moving towards (i.e., if they're moving to your right, use your right leg to hook their opposite hip). Though you don't have to wait for them to move to your side, as you can move into this position if they're directly behind you too.

Once you have that foot in place, you have two options. The simple version is to swivel underneath, towards the side they're trying to reach, putting you right into a strong open guard. Your knee will already be in place to block them and provide some distance control, then you can back that up by framing your arms and bringing your other leg to bear. The more complex option is a bit higher risk, but you get higher potential reward.

This time, grab their trouser leg on the inside, reaching through your own legs (this is key: if you don't get that grip, they can avoid this technique fairly easily). You can then swing your non-hooking leg over the top, so swivelling in the other direction compared to the previous guard recovery. That ends up potentially putting them right into your triangle, but on the downside if you mess it up, they're now in a good spot to pass.

Teaching Notes: This one was a little trickier than the arm wing from last week, though the principle is much the same. I'm not sure which leg is best to grab on the second method: we experimented with both, but I'll keep playing with that. Although personally I still don't tend to use it as much when sparring, as I prefer the lazier strategy of waiting for an opening, then spinning into it.

Next time we go through turtle, I might teach a really basic class, showing how to stay tight, look for space and then exploit it (e.g., rolling over your shoulder, swivelling into half guard, etc). This will be the last class on the back for a while, as October starts on Wednesday, when the position of the month will be the mount. Should work well, as we started at our new second location in Kingswood on Thursday, where I'd be expecting most of the people there will be beginners. So, perfect time to review the basics of mount. :)

27 September 2014

27/09/2014 - Artemis BJJ Available Soon In Kingswood, Bristol | Open Mat

Class #596
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 27/09/2014

I was re-reading Rachael's blog this morning (the same Rachael who came along to class on Wednesday): her post on nutrition reminded me I should get back into taking fish oil supplements. My fingers have been quite painful recently, as my training has become more regular than usual. So it was a good thing that I did some nogi rolling today, with Gina: she had good pressure and has taken the guard passing tips to heart. Very coachable student, so I look forward to seeing how she does at the upcoming Grapplers Heart tournament. :)

That increased training frequency is going to continue, as I'll be taking on more teaching starting for next week. We're also going to be adding a new location, which is cool. Bristol Sports Centre is continuing as normal (Mondays & Wednesday 19:30-20:30, along with the free women's class on Wednesdays from 18:30-19:30), but there will be some changes over at our East Bristol spot.

For the last couple of months, the second venue has been in Staple Hill. Starting on Thursday 2nd October onwards, it's going to be in Kingswood instead, at PHNX Fitness. That's the new gym run by two of my students, Dean and Freya. Times will be the same as usual, so Tuesdays from 20:00-21:15, Thursdays from 20:15-21:15, then open mat on Saturdays from 10:00-12:00. Here's the address:

PHNX Fitness
Unit 7, Two Mile Hill Commercial Centre,
Two Mile Hill Road,
Bristol, BS15 1AZ

There's a map with the address up on the Artemis BJJ locations page: if you can get to Kingswood (or our existing venue in central Bristol), it would be cool to meet you. First week of training is free, while the women's class on Wednesdays is free until the end of the year! I'm excited at the prospect of possibly starting up a second free women's class over at PHNX, but we'll see how the timetable goes. :D

25 September 2014

25/09/2014 - Artemis BJJ | The Back | Turtle Escapes To Half Guard & Gi Tail Choke Details

Class #595
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 25/09/2014

Fairly straightforward class tonight, with an escape from turtle that essentially involved turning to half guard. I'm not sure I quite got all the details, especially as I'm writing this up a few days later, but the situation is that they have one hook in. First, be careful to block their other hook creeping in, keeping your elbow tight.Turn towards the side they've hooked, spinning towards the floor rather than towards the ceiling. Immediately secure an underhook, putting you into half guard.

In sparring, I was with a strong white belt, playing around with the back take option Dónal showed earlier. I was a bit uncertain about it on Tuesday, but it was working great today. However, I need to grip higher. I was just grabbing whatever bits of gi I could and then rolling over their shoulder. I should have been grabbing right under their armpits and pulling the gi in tight there before rolling, so I'll work on that next time.

Underneath, I went for the wing escape a few times, but generally stayed lazy and just clamped in tight. Once he gave me some space, I grabbed the leg and went to half guard. A few times, I ended up wrapping the bottom of both his legs with mine and then wriggling back into guard, which was a bit random.

With Rafal, I got into the gi tail grip nice and deep, but wasn't able to do much with it. I looked for the choke, then I thought about sweeping, failing to get the post/posture/leverage thing yet again. Finally I thought maybe a triangle, perhaps by digging my leg in and then kicking out. I got confused as to grips: fortunately for me, all was about to become clear.

Dónal had been watching, so I got a quick refresher on the private he taught me a while back about gi tail attacks, with some extra details. The main addition was using their arm to choke them when you can't get into the standard gi tail choke. Reach across with your free hand to grab their elbow, pulling that across your body. I had tried to do that in sparring, but I was just pulling the elbow backwards, thinking about triangles without being in position.

Instead, you do pull it back, but you're just opening it. You've reached right across to grab it. Turn, moving that elbow to your other hip, where you can clamp in with your body to keep it in place. Push off their arm-side hip to scoot your hips out, which will enable you to trap their arm even more. At that point, pulling on the gi tail should result in a choke, combined with pressing into their trapped arm.

The triangle is an option too, but rather than pulling the arm out to get my knee in, you can instead kick the leg down, then swing it around. They aren't normally defending against the leg in that direction, so it's a higher percentage approach.