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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

28 February 2007

28/02/2007 - BJJ

Class #33

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 28/02/2007

I was going to go to a Ted Hughes seminar today, but as I had to miss ZSK yet again this week, decided against it so I could get some extra training in. Now that my shoulder seems healed up, I’ve been able to do padwork with my gf again, which I’m very pleased about. Also finally bought myself some flip-flops for wearing at BJJ – could have gone with my gf’s ones, but the pink floral design is too camp even for me! So, good ol Primark had some for a quid.

Today Jude moved back to guard work, having spent most of the recent lessons focusing on mount. For the first time at RGA, I got to see the scissor sweep demonstrated as well as the sit-up sweep, both of which I’ve been checking out on the internet for some time now. Unfortunately, I was in a three, which meant I didn’t get to drill as much as I’d like. On the other hand, Jude came over and talked us through the techniques, which was brilliant – always very handy to have the instructor watch while you drill.

Jude began with another sweep I’m keen to drill, the sit-up sweep. Person B bumps Person A forward to get them to put their hands on the floor, then rises up and brings an arm behind the opposite arm of Person A, coming high on the shoulder. Person B tucks that arm close in to their stomach, pushing on Person A’s elbow. Person B then twists up and to the side, using their other arm for balance (Jude emphasised that to get the necessary space, you had to come up on your hand as opposed to your elbow). Finally, Person B brings the opposite leg to the arm they’re gripping all the way across, ending up in mount. Here’s the vid of Rowan Cunningham demonstrating, which I’ve been trying to work in class for the past few months.

This was followed by the kimura from guard, which was especially useful as it functions as a Plan B if the sit-up sweep fails. Getting to the same sit-up sweep position as before, Person B finds that Person A has too good a base. So instead of struggling to knock Person A over, Person B grabs the wrist of the arm they’re isolating, gripping their own wrist with their other arm (which is already in position due to the attempted sweep). Person B drops back (having raised up for the sweep) then moves the arm away from their body (so Person A can’t cling on to a gi or a leg), clamping their leg across Person A’s back. Making sure they first bring the arm over their knee, Person B then pushes on Person A’s wrist, using Person A’s elbow as a pivot, resulting in the submission.

Jude then demonstrated the scissor sweep. Having looked at this sweep in detail on the net, I’ve seen a couple of different approaches, but one thing has been consistent – in their tutorials, Aesopian, Rowan Cunningham and Don Daly all wait for Person A to go up on one knee. It would appear that this isn’t absolutely necessary, as Jude went straight for the sweep. Person B grabs the opposite collar and sleeve of Person A, then rises up on their elbow to shrimp out to the other side. This provides the space to pull Person A towards them and get a shin into Person A’s stomach, hooking the foot round; Person B’s other leg drops down. Finally, Person B simultaneously pushes on the collar and pulls on the sleeve, while also pushing against Person A’s stomach and chopping with their other leg. This ‘scissors’ Person A’s base and spins them to the ground, where Person B moves into mount.

Again, Jude showed us what to do if that failed, which interestingly turned out to be what Aesopian refers to as the ‘stupid simple sweep’ (see his tutorial in the second part of this). Not sure what the most common name is, but I've seen it called a push sweep fairly often, so I'll use that. If Person A has too good a base, then Person B moves the chopping leg back, instead pushing on Person A’s knee, otherwise following through with the technique as before. Hopefully at some point we’ll also be shown the armbar Rowan Cunningham suggests as a Plan B in this video.

Although there weren’t many people in class, we once again did ‘king of the hill’ sparring, which was a shame. I’d have preferred to spar in a pair rather than from a line-up, so I could continuously work on technique, but I suppose that king of the hill does mean I’m forced to spar with people I wouldn’t normally pair up with. I didn’t have much success from the bottom, where I think I’m still leaving too much space. Hamid also mentioned that he thought I was attacking too soon – I can see what he’s saying, as I need to get better position first (e.g., control the arm, pull them closer to me etc). I went for a somewhat strange sweep I saw recently on Dominique when she stood up, but merely ending up getting passed – something that might be fun to try when we go back to the normal sparring set-up.

Passing was more successful. Mainly, I seem to be getting passes either when I’m escaping an armbar or when I manage to work my arms back sufficiently to go for double underhooks. This is exactly what I did with Paul (IIRC his name correctly), though I ended up using the shin to trap his leg instead. At first I stopped because I’d inadvertently stuck my elbow into his groin (not much use to me if I’m only passing due to pain rather than technique), but got the same pass when we restarted from our previous position. I could still do with switching my base quicker and keeping in tighter.

Against a big guy called Marvin (although not sure I caught that name right), I did the same pass, but I think he was fairly new. Jude was telling me to clamp down the leg, as Marvin kept going to open guard (either intentionally or through inexperience) – making sure my partner isn’t able to close their guard after opening it is something I need to work on. Through strength Marvin was able to effectively throw me over as I was passing, but I managed to scramble and ended up facing him with both of us on our knees. So, passed, but a little sloppy.

As my gf is in Bath this weekend, I’ll be able to train three times this week. That means I can make up for that class I had to miss due to the snow, which is cool.

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