Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 02/12/2006
Intense session today – Jude really worked the fitness today, with sit-ups well into three figures and sparring from early on in class. I’ve no idea how some of the three-stripes like Matt managed to do another session straight after!
We worked the guard pass/sweep specific sparring as before, which I started off with a light-haired Australian (I think) guy called Michael. IIRC correctly, he had a few stripes on his belt, but I managed to hold him off for a short while a least. I tried to attempt standing passes too, but tended to get forced back onto my knees, and he also put me in an armbar at one point (is it a reverse armbar when he’s facing downwards? I assume not, but don’t know the terminology).
As with last week, Jude interspersed rolling with drills, such as hip throws, double-legs and arm-bar from mount. He also totally knackered me out by doing sit-up with legs in the air, with half the class counting out ten each. Painful.
Next up was Dominique, who has just come back from an illness. She got a collar choke on me yet again, but the second time round, I managed to resist by tucking my chin and getting my head under her arm as much as possible. Unfortunately, that was all I was able to do, stuck in that position for the duration of the spar. From my guard I didn’t have anymore luck, though it was either with her or Michael that I kept trying armbars, to no avail. Still, good to at least give them a go – each time ended up with my opponent passing, sometimes with more difficulty than others. My attempts at the tailbone pass didn’t have too much succes either: I was still having trouble getting the right position to leverage their guard open.
Finally I rolled with a fairly stocky guy called Gary. I’m not quite sure how, but he seemed to have almost no problem at all sweeping and passing me, except for a couple of times when I managed to resist. As he was already opening my guard and frequently leaving an arm in, I kept trying to triangle, but couldn’t get it. I’m not sure exactly what I’m doing wrong, though it must be something integral, as the same thing has been happening every time I’ve attempted it. Maybe not getting the right position first? Or not getting my leg over enough? Will have to keep working it. At one point, I had the arm, I had the head, I had my legs in position, but couldn’t close it. I wasn’t sure how he was resisting (think he might have had his arm bent and elbow driving into my leg sufficiently to prevent me straightening it out across his neck), so asked him afterwards, but he was unable to give me any tips. Apparently, he did BJJ for two months six years ago, and has only recently got back into it at RGA. Clearly those two months served him well, although I’m pretty poor opposition.
To finish off the class, Jude went through what he called the see-saw sweep (which I've seen called the 'flower sweep' elsewhere), using a slightly different method to Felipe. Person B grips Person A’s right collar and raises their guard, pulling them forward in an effort to break their balance. Person B then wraps their left arm across Person A’s head, dragging them in close. Person B opens his guard and puts their right leg up on Person A’s left hip, using that to lever their own hips round to the left, grabbing the back of Person A’s left leg as well. Then Person B traps Person A’s right arm to prevent them stopping the sweep, Person B also dropping their left leg down. Having swivelled into position, Person B shoves their right leg up against Person A’s side and pushes, simultaneously pulling on Person A’s left knee, in order to drive them to the ground, aiming to end up in full mount.
For a simpler description, see photos on Lockflow, where its called the 'flower sweep', and also this vid on YouTube, though its slightly different as Person B grabs both arms rather than gripping behind Person A's head.
Jude also mentioned an important tip on the variation Felipe showed us, which is to make sure Person A’s head does not go the opposite side of the arm you’ve got, or you can’t sweep them. Jude also demonstrated how this position had a number of possibilities, such as if Person A raised their head, you could move your left leg in front of their neck to go for an armbar. If they did manage to get their head down to the opposite side of the arm you secured, you can then go for their back.
Jude wasn’t finished with the exercise yet. He then got the whole class to run on the spot doing sprawls, throwing in a load of tuck jumps as well. Jude then mentioned we were having a ‘grading day’ on the 16th, which confused me. Felipe also announced this on Thursday, so I had assumed that meant this was for a bunch of people ready to be upgraded to get their stripes/belts. However, now I’m not certain if its instead some kind of testing, which I didn’t think happened at RGA (would be a shame if it did, as I very much like the ‘as soon as you can hang with the grade above, you’re that grade’ methodology’). Would be nice to make the class, as I like the sound of mass group photos, and I really like the sound of the meal afterwards, but doubtful. Gf getting increasingly annoyed at the BJJ training (mainly because it keeps taking up my saturdays), so I'll have to be careful.
Next training will probably be ZSK, then back to Wednesday at BJJ (due to the Throwdown on the Saturday).