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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

24 January 2007

24/01/2007 - BJJ

Class #24

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 24/01/2007

I’m getting to be in the pleasant position of knowing a reasonable number of people, mainly because I keep making an effort to chat to new guys. So, before the class today, I had a talk with Hamid, Basil and a guy I hadn’t seen before, Nathan. He’s got a stripe, but if I understood him correctly, hasn’t been able to make class regularly for a while.

Jude continued the mean version of class, although not quite to Saturday-mean levels. In other words, he was interspersing guard passing during class, but not chucking a load of knackering hip-throw drills in the middle. However, we still went straight to guard passage after the hip-throw drill, meaning I was with Nathan. He managed to pass me a couple of times, though I was pleased to get the scissor on him (after a few failed attempts) – I waited for him to put a leg up, then went for it. I think we were fairly even overall.

Techniques today were from the mount, which interestingly Jude said was the hardest position to get submissions from. He also said that at the same time, it was the easiest position to transition from – e.g, into side control. He also gave us a useful tip about maintaining mount, which was to concentrate on getting your feet in tight to the bottom person’s body, rather than focusing on the knees. Foot position was more important.

First, Jude ran through the same armbar from mount technique Felipe showed us on the 18th, though I still had a bit of trouble remembering it. The second technique was Americana from mount. Having transitioned to side control, securing one of Person B’s arm underneath them as they did so (though this was easy enough in drilling, I wasn’t sure if I could push the arm underneath me if my partner put up more resistance), Person A moves their knees up, aiming to push Person B’s elbows and therefore their arms up past their head. Taking hold of the arm they’d previously trapped at the wrist and elbow, Person A leans forward, using their weight rather than arm strength to drive Person B’s arm to the ground. Pushing their elbow into Person B’s head, Person A grabs the wrist with that same arm. Their other arm slips under Person B’s, Person A reaching through to grab their own wrist. Pulling back and twisting up, Person A goes for the submission.

Finally, it was time for a last spar. This time, I was a lot more dominant. I managed to pass a few times, at one point getting my shin across a knee and pushing through (though I also failed on it as well, Nathan regaining guard – I need to switch my base quicker to get into side control), and at another point getting double-underhooks, twisting Nathan’s legs to the side and passing that way, after he’d gone for an armbar.

Sweeping was also more successful, but mainly from a counter-attacking point of view. That meant that rather than being offensive and winning through with technique, I was capitalising on Nathan’s mistakes. It also meant that I was waiting for him to make a move before I reacted. While that’s still a positive, I don’t want to be purely relying on my partner giving me the space: I need to learn how to force that space. Nonetheless, if I’m remembering correctly, I was mainly getting a reversal as Nathan was about to pass, moving with him and ending up on top. I tried the sit-up sweep a few times, and almost got it once, but that still isn’t working too well for me. I must improve my timing, although it seems it is at least improving. Like last session, I tried putting my leg between his when he’d broken my guard and moved back, which seemed to give me a basis to get the sweep. However, I really need to learn the proper technique for that whole elevator thing, as I’m going to get squashed against anyone who does know the proper technique and more importantly, the counter. I’ve been fortunate so far that the two occasions I’ve tried it seem to have ended with me sweeping – if nothing else, it has at least meant I was remaining active with some kind of purpose rather than merely straining aimlessly as they tried to pass my guard.

Should be training again tomorrow – felt pretty good about today, as I managed to get both passes and sweeps, even if I’m not entirely happy about the method (particularly as I can’t clearly remember what I did to sweep and pass, which further implies I was both being reactive and fairly lucky on several occasions).

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