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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

13 December 2006

13/12/06 - BJJ

Class #12

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 13/12/2006

By the way, would be good if some other people who train at Roger Gracie’s could add their thoughts to the Bullshido Dojo Review I put up a few weeks ago. I’ve only been at RGA a month, so not exactly got a great deal of experience to go on.

I hadn’t expected to train today, as last night my gf and I went to the KPMG Christmas Ball, meaning that the day after was going to be spent at Madame Tussauds, museums etc. However, my gf has the misfortune to suffer from crippling hangovers, another of which smacked her in the stomach this morning. We finally got out of bed at around 2pm, her health quite clearly not up to wandering to much further than onto the train home. That left me with rather more time than I’d planned, so I decided to pop down to training.

Jude ran his usual fitness intensive session, and I don’t think presented anything I hadn’t seen before, but he taught it in a slightly different way to Felipe. As before, drills were alternated with specific sparring, so I started off with Dominique. If she can be used as a marker of my progress, seeing how she was the first person I ever sparred at RGA, then I seem to be improving. She managed to pass me a couple of times, but I also managed to sweep her – IIRC, it was the basic sit-up sweep, but I’m not quite sure. I still can’t get the tailbone pass, as my opponent can normally move up onto my knee or simply resist my wimpy attempts to push against their legs. Nevertheless, good to have the opportunity to at least try it every now and then.

10 hip throws later, I switched partners to Misja (or however its spelled: pronounced Mezhdi, so I think I’ll spell it like that from now on so I can at least pronounce it properly when I next see him). I struggled without a great deal of success, but did at least prevent him from sweeping and passing me too often, though he did eventually get both a couple of times. With both Mezhdi and Dominique, I was able to move into position for a flower sweep, but they tended to get one or both arms free, enabling them to then sit back again. I think I need to reach the point where I can run through the sweep more quickly, or I’m not going to succeed with it. Mezhdi also complimented me that I was far better than the last time we rolled (about a month ago on 18th November), which was encouraging. However, I’m having trouble standing up to pass, perhaps because I’m being too cautious and sitting back down again to resist grips on my legs. I need to be faster and more confident on the pass.

This proved to be my last roll of the session, as after 10 neck throws, Jude moved on to technique. First, he covered off the basic standing guard pass Oli G had shown me in my intro (which reminded me I haven’t actually tried it in sparring since my first few lessons). Person A grips both Person B’s collars with their right hand, twisting it over to the left, grabbing the fabric by Person B’s right hip with their left hand. Person A then steps up onto their bent right leg, then brings up the left leg, maintaining a good base and standing up. As they stand up, Person A lets go of Person B’s right collar, pulling up on Person B’s left collar. Person A then pushes Person B’s right knee off their hip with their left hand, reaching under and pushing forward with their left shoulder. At the same time, Person A reaches for a deep hold on Person B’s left collar by their neck, moving round with their left knee as they do so. Person A pushes Person B slightly by their belt, raises their hips and slips round into side control.

The next step is for Person A to switch their base (so kick their left leg under their right) then swing the right leg over into mount, pushing Person B’s knee out of the way as they do so. Rowan Cunningham shows it like this (no-gi, however).

Jude followed his demonstration of the guard pass with the upa escape from mount. Person B isolates Person A’s right arm, also trapping Person A’s right leg with their left foot. Person B then thrusts Person A forward by jerking upwards with their hips, then using their right elbow, Person B turns to the left and rolls over into Person A’s guard.

Also finally got to meet Roger Gracie, though I didn’t realise who he was at first. It would appear he came down for a quick photo shoot, going round first to shake the hand of all the beginners waiting for the session to start. While we were rolling, I noticed he was sat on the step up to the matted area getting pictures taken – not sure if that’s for a magazine, or just promotional material for the Academy.

Should be training again tomorrow, then off to Birmingham for mini-christmas with my gf. Might also take the opportunity to train at the Vie Gym class in Farringdon next week or the week after, if times work out.

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