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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

06 December 2006

06/12/06 - BJJ

Class #10

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 06/12/2006

As you’d expect, Roger Gracie’s fight was up pretty swiftly after the event, defeating Waterman by armbar in the first round. Not bad for a debut, though I can’t say I currently count him as my instructor, given that I’ve yet to meet him. Still cool that he won, of course.

The Academy had a big banner up between the Brazil and England flags that are always there saying ‘Congratulations Roger!’, detailing the defeat of Waterman by submission in the first round below. Which was nice: apparently, he should be coming back to the UK in the not too distant future, possibly in time for the grading day on the 16th (not sure though). Also confirmed that as I’d hoped, ‘grading day’ simply means a bunch of people get their grades that day, rather than some weird formalised thing.

Jude ran the session today (maybe he normally runs it? I’ve only been to one Wednesday before this), though thankfully didn’t do the mega-fitness thing he seems to do on Saturday: already had a fairly decent workout yesterday at ZSK. Following the warm-up and drills on the hip throw and double-leg (I’m still sucking badly at that, though I think my hip throw is improving), Jude demonstrated how to counter a single/double leg takedown. Person A sprawls then manoeuvres around, thrusting their left knee into Person B’s left side. Person A also reaches round Person B’s head to grip their left collar with their right hand. Person A then switches their grip and opens up Person B’s left collar with their left hand, which enables Person A to sink their right hand deep into Person B’s collar. Person A then reaches under and secures Person B’s right collar with their left hand, pulling downwards to prepare what’s apparently called a clock choke. Keeping their weight pressed down on the middle of Person B’s back, Person A switches base by moving their right leg round to the left, walking round and tightening the choke for the submission. There is a variation on that in which instead of switching their base, Person A leans forward and over, aiming to get their head to the floor – this seemed to be a lot more difficult, as both I and my training partner Oli (not the blue belt, who I’ll refer to from now on as Oli G) had more trouble with it.

Jude then showed us a different option to choke from the back. Once Person B is on all fours, Person A moves round as before with the sprawl, but this time secures a grip on the back of Person B’s collar and lower down near their belt. Person A pushes down on Person B’s neck, then shoves their left knee into Person B’s left side, aiming to create space to sink a hook (which I think is the right term for wrapping the foot in round the opponent’s leg). Continuing to push down on the neck, Person A lifts their hips and swings their right leg over, securing the second hook on the other side. Person A shifts their grip to Person B’s right wrist (at least I think it was right), steadying themselves with their right hand. Using leverage from the hips and hooks, Person A pushes back with their legs in order to stretch out Person B.

Finally, Jude demonstrated what to do if Person B turned while Person A was trying to get a choke as in the previous movement. This turned out to be fairly simple, as Person A just did a rear naked choke from their back as Person B was lying with their back on top of them, or alternately the clock choke. Jude referred to the rear naked choke as a ‘mata leo’, which he later told us was Brazilian for ‘killing the lion’. Bizarre name, but at least I know what it means now. I’m familiar with the RNC from MMA classes a few years back – Person A wraps their right forearm around Person B’s neck, pressing in with the bony part. At the same time, Person A wraps their left arm behind Person B’s head, gripping the right bicep with the left hand and the left bicep with the right hand (depending on how much you can grip), then squeezes.

Class finished with the usual specific sparring focusing on guard passes and sweeps. As has been happening in the last few lessons, I mostly ended up in a stalemate with Oli, simply resisting or pass. He was able to pass me twice, but IIRC he didn’t sweep me – either way, I was unable to initiate anything from either position. Oli mentioned that I needed to work out the grips, which is something I haven’t been shown yet: that should certainly be useful once I get familiar with them, as at present I’m mainly just flailing and grabbing at random.

I also managed to accidentally kick Oli in the head while sloppily attempting an armbar from guard, but he seemed ok, so fortunately no damage done. I’m thinking a rash guard might be a wise purchase too, as I’m getting rashes on my bicep, and also Oli was tending to pinch my skin when looking for the clock choke during drilling. Will have to see if there is something suitably cheap for beginners available in the UK – IIRC, Underarmour was about £20. Really don’t care about brand, as long as its not going to fall apart on me within a few months.

Next session will be tomorrow, then it’s on to the Throwdown in Brighton at the weekend.

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