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

26 November 2006

25/11/06 - BJJ

Class #7

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 25/11/2006

Felipe was there to teach the kids class, but Jude took over for the beginners – I assume Felipe was doing a private or something like that. Judging by this class, seems Jude likes to run a more fitness intensive session, with plenty of sprinting during the warm-up and lots of rolling later on.

Jude began by going through the double-leg takedown I’d seen on Thursday. I was paired up with Daniel this time, who I think is also fairly new, and helpfully was closer to my weight than the last guy I worked with. I continue to suck arse at throws, and I think I’m still using my back too much rather than my legs, which is a really bad habit to get into: trying to concentrate on avoiding that. Jude then demonstrated a slightly different method – Person A shoots in for Person B’s leg, moves under Person B’s right arm, dropping their own right knee to the floor. Grabbing behind both of Person B’s legs, Person A then pushes up with their legs (maintaining good posture) and lifts Person B’s right leg. Using that to unbalance Person B, Person A grabs Person B’s left leg, using their own leg for leverage (IIRC), tilting Person B to the floor.

As far as I can tell, this way of doing it requires less strength, not to mention less chance of buggering your back if you do it wrong (as I often do). At present, I prefer the single leg Cesar showed us last Saturday, which involved driving through rather than lifting up, but then its good to work on the stuff I’m crap at (though as a beginner, that’s a fairly long list…).

Somewhat sooner than I’d expected, it was time for specific sparring, with Person A trying to pass and Person B wanting to sweep. I took the role of Person A most of the time, which meant I could work more on the standing guard pass. Rolling with Daniel was a bit of a stalemate, as I alternately stood and sat in his guard, resisting his attempts at subs and sweeps. The very basic tip Yrkoon9 (Elric's cousin?) mentioned in the BJJ Grandmaster thread - never have one arm in and one arm out when it comes to closed guard - proved helpful; I managed to avoid getting triangled due to keeping two arms in, at least against my fellow beginners. I also wasn’t getting caught in collar chokes, which I’m hoping was due to better posture on my part. My passing was often scuppered by an inability to break their guard – something I’ll have to work on.

Del was up next, and again I started in his guard. We struggled for a while, as I continued to attempt the standing guard pass, but had no luck. However, gripping his gi jacket low with both hands meant I at least maintained my position, and also stopped his triangle attempt. He strained away for a while, then tapped to signal he wanted to stop – we were both fairly exhausted, neither having got a dominant position. This is when I found out that Jude likes to intersperse rolling with yet more drills, as he told all the pairs to go through the double-leg ten times each. I’d somehow managed to forget how to do it properly in the meantime, and ended up dragging Del’s leg and sloppily knocking him to the ground rather than throwing: Del was considerably smoother when it came to his turn.

My third rolling partner was from the kids class, a yellow belt with a few stripes called Jerome. I assume his presence in the adult class means he’s especially good for his age, or possibly just more mature. Either way, he was certainly better than me. Jerome reversed me (swept me?) twice, starting from his guard – first time I almost got into side mount, then ended up not quite able to get past his left leg. Second time I almost got back mount, but Jerome managed to slide me round into guard. I was able to throw Jerome fairly easily when Jude directed us to go through the double-leg again, but I that was due to the weight difference rather than my technique.

Finally, I was paired up with Matt, a third stripe white. As you’d expect, he had no problems submitting, reversing or passing me, so I took the opportunity to try out triangles and armbars when on the bottom. They didn’t work, but still good to practice them. I also learned how to try and get a concussion, which is a feat I don’t plan to repeat anytime soon. I think I was trying to escape a triangle, whereupon I decided that throwing myself forward was a great idea, ending up slamming the top of my head into the ground. Can’t have been too serious though, as I was able to continue rolling a short while later, if a little groggy.

Jude wrapped up class by summarising everything that had been shown in class that week. Apparently, this is all written on a board, which I hadn’t realised until now. I was still feeling slightly woozy, not to mention totally knackered from all the rolling and drilling, so found it a bit difficult to concentrate. I remember Jude went through the armbar escape, but not much else – he was going pretty fast, and I hadn’t been present at some of the classes he was referring to.

Next session will probably be Thursday again: I’ve got an important meeting on Wednesday (hope that goes ok, though I do have one more chance if I mess up), but that will probably finish too late to make it down to London for training.

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