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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

14 February 2007

14/02/2007 - BJJ

Class #29

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK -14/02/2007

Bloody snow meant I couldn’t make Thursday last week, which thoroughly pissed me off. Also didn’t make ZSK yesterday, though that wasn’t so irritating – my gf and I decided to have the Valentine meal early and do it on Tuesday night rather than Wednesday.

We started with throws as usual, doing osoto-gari (basically a trip: pull the person towards you, then step throw, reap their leg and follow them down for an armbar), later combined with a headlock throw. If your opponent steps back to avoid the trip, you move to a headlock throw instead (turn your back into them, keeping your feet within theirs, grab them round the neck, then shove your hip out and pull them over it).

Tonight’s session I learned a new side control escape, though as ever I’m not sure I fully understood it. Person B moves their legs to the side, pushes up against Person A’s neck and stomach (or was it hips?) and shrimps, getting into a position where they’re on one knee. IIRC, with the right leg up, Person B puts down their left hand, straightens the left leg and then swivels round by moving that leg forward, ending up behind Person A, where they can then go to take their back. Think I may well have the legs mixed up, though - hopefully Felipe will repeat the technique tomorrow.

Sparring was ‘winner stays on’ guard passing. I’m not too fond of this exercise, as it means I’m generally stuck in the top position, but that shows that it’s something I need to work. I didn’t have much success, though I did have half-chances against both Dan and Olly, who have a reasonable weight advantage against me. With Dan, he was going for an armbar, but I wasn’t quick enough to move round – while I didn’t have much trouble defending the submission, he was able to knock me down to the ground and get on top. Against Olly I got double underhooks on his legs, but left too much space when I was trying to pass, meaning he was able to get to his knees and reverse me. At another point, I thought about going for the armbar with his near arm (as it was pressed up against me), but wasn’t sure how to finish it, by which point the arm had stopped being vulnerable.

I had thought that’s where the lesson would end, but we had enough time to do ‘winner stays on’ side control sparring as well. That meant I had another opportunity to work the Americana, which I had wanted to do last week. First I went the wrong way again, meaning I lost control of the arm: I need to come up with some way of remembering the correct direction. Olly proved helpful when I then sparred him: this time I did go the right way, but forgot an essential part of the technique. I was spending too much time concentrating on getting the arm twisted rather than getting the elbow to the floor, which meant Olly was able to resist (though I imagine his strength had something to do with it, and he also mentioned that he was able to raise his hips to get space. That means I need to put my weight down on my opponent more securely). Olly also managed to trap me in half-guard, from which I was unable to extricate my leg – another position I need to look into.

Once time was up, Jude asked if anyone had questions. That meant I finally got to see the scissor sweep being demonstrated in class (I don’t think Jude went for the shrimping method shown by Rowan Cunningham or the hip raise I saw Don Daly use, but then that might be because he was bringing out a particular phase of the sweep). Jude finished by mentioning a useful hint – when standing up in the course of a side control escape, keep hold of the gi.

Class ended, rather pleasantly for me, with a second stripe on my belt. Its come about when I expect, as I got my last stripe after fourteen hours: today’s session marked my twenty-ninth hour (not counting the half hour intro and one and a half hours down in Brighton). Even if its just time-based, always nice to get any kind of promotion, so I left the session feeling good about myself.

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