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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

17 January 2007

17/01/2007 - BJJ

Class #21

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 17/01/2007

My meeting only took slightly over an hour, so had no problems making the train from Leamington. Very pleased to have been given the go ahead to do some work on Robert Lowell: I’ve been waiting about three years now! Means I can get diving into biographies, collected letters, critical studies and of course re-read the poems. Also great to move on from Peter Reading – he’s a very interesting subject to study, but I’ve been rewriting my draft on him for about a year, so definitely time for a change.

Jude took the class again today, so still no Felipe (though he was taking the juniors as usual – it hadn’t clicked with me until today that there was a difference between the kids and the juniors). Having run through the usual hip throws with a guy called Richard (sounded French, but not sure), Jude showed us the standing pass and a few counters. The first counter was the basic grab the ankles, put knees into stomach and push them over (like this). Despite it being very basic, I still have trouble getting the leverage, so probably need to focus on getting my knees tighter.

The second one was new to me. Person B looks for Person A to lean in close to them while standing up from guard. Person B then grips Person A’s elbows and pulls them forward, also pushing with the hips. The next step is for Person B to get their feet into Person A’s hips, which they use to elevate Person A and roll them directly behind them, coming up in mount. I had some problems getting my feet through, rolling my partner over with my legs still behind. While this worked in drilling, it was the wrong technique and would probably fail with more resistance, so need to be careful I don’t get into bad habits.

Jude also managed to fit in a third counter from a similar position. This looked very simple, but proved a lot more difficult to get – I had problems in drilling. Person B looks for Person A to over balance after standing up from Person B’s guard. Person B then pushes them forward and down, grabbing their right wrist with their left hand then left wrist with right, crossing them over. Next, Person B drops their legs and wraps them behind Person A’s legs, trying to push Person A’s legs together. Finally, Person B pulls Person A to one side and mounts.

I didn’t have any success in sparring, ending up in stalemates against Dominique and Bryant from the top. My passing is still really bad, which I think is because I’m still too worried about getting swept. I need to be braver and just stand up, so I can improve my posture and get familiarity with the position. The one plus point from the top I had today was armbar escapes, which I did twice against Bryant. However, I wasn’t able to capitalise and move into side control, as Bryant was able to quickly re-establish guard both times.

I was also swept by both Bryant and Dominique, although only once or twice each, if I’m remembering correctly. I attempted to work my sensitivity with Bryant, seeing if I could feel what he was trying to do. I avoided getting collar choked, but clearly not sensitive enough yet, as he then got a sit-up sweep on me.

I had a good opportunity against Dominique when she was in my half-guard, but my technique was missing something. I isolated her arm in the way Marcio showed me on the flower sweep (underhook the arm and push it next to her head), but it wasn’t enough to enable me to roll her over. Thinking about it now, I should have worked harder to get a leg around her leg, which would help in removing her base. I strained away at that for a while, but she was eventually able to move through into side control (might have even been scarf hold).

So things to work on are taking more risks on top and following through on armbar escapes. I also need to go back to trying a string of sweeps, rather than just going for one and then ending up struggling. Hopefully get a chance to improve in tomorrow’s session, and I should also been training on Saturday. Also got my Pancrase DVD (first event from back in 1993) through today – its all in Japanese (presumably the guy recorded it off Japanese TV), but while that’s unfortunate, it’s the fights that are important. Not to mention it was only £4, so not exactly pricey.

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