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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 March 2007

14/03/2007 - BJJ

Class #38

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 14/03/2007

Trains were delayed yet again today, but I made it on time by taking the 23 bus (although I cunningly managed to miss the relevant stop, as I hadn’t realised the middle doors opened rather than the front…). Definitely worth doing if you have a travel card.

Jude focused on the double-leg takedown, working through the technique step-by-step until eventually we got to drilling the side-control escape using the same principle. Jude emphasised that the double-leg worked best at close range, so we should get used to shooting when in arm’s reach of our opponent. Person A drops down, driving forward with their right knee on the floor in between Person B’s leg’s, grabbing behind the knees. At the same time, Person A posts their left leg while pushing their head up by Person B’s right hip. Person A then stands (putting their right leg on the outside of Person’s B’s foot as they do so), shifting their right arm up to Person B’s belt while raising Person B’s right leg with their left arm. Person A then tips Person B over their right knee, twisting their own head and torso fully to the left, moving into side control as Person B hits the floor.

I realised that my breakfalling still needs work, as I was bashing up my elbow rather than dispersing the force with my hand. My throws and takedowns in general are crappy, so I need to put in some more effort on those if I want to compete later in the year.

I was being extra careful on throws and takedowns, as Dominique messed up her left arm last week. She’d been in two minds about taking part in class, but seemed to manage ok despite the injury, which we worked round. That meant drilling was fairly light, but I didn’t have a problem with that as I could then focus in on technical points (though its always essential to get in progressive resistance, barring injury).

After Jude moved on to show the side control escape he’s done previously, it was time for guard passing. Or at least it was for the rest of class: I decided that it would be pretty boring for Dominique to have to sit out and watch, so took the opportunity to do some drilling with her, as she couldn't spar due to the arm. This proved to be a good decision on my part, as Jude sat near us offering pointers.

I started by drilling the scissor sweep, getting handy tips from Jude like putting my hand deep into the collar (I realise that I’ve been gripping too loosely in previous attempts), and also how there are numerous transitions from a failed scissor. In particular, a push sweep (or as Aesopian calls it, stupid simple sweep), elevator and armbar (or was it a triangle?).

Dominique was planning to just let me drill, but I thought that wouldn’t be too fair, so suggested she try something like the pass where you pin the leg, as that didn’t involve her left arm. Having said that, she made the point that she normally pushes with both arms – I guess it works either way, but as far as I’m aware the normal process is to push down on just the one leg. Jude offered another useful hint here, telling us that as you pass, you should grip right under the neck until your hand could hold the gi on the other side. This is something I haven’t been doing when passing, so perhaps that’s part of the reason I’ve been having some trouble completing the push into side control.

Jude also showed us something he called an omoplata sweep, after having been asked by Dominique about a sweep she couldn’t quite recall from the Carlinhos seminar. Unfortunately, this was a little complex, especially as I only saw it from the perspective of the person being swept, so I can remember exactly what he did. Involved grabbing the leg and the arm after your opponent has stood up in guard, but I missed what Jude did after knocking me down.

Jude also asked me how to pronounce my name, which was nice – not sure if he’ll remember, as it’s a pretty weird pronunciation given the spelling (if you’re not Turkish), but good that I had a chance to tell him. Training again tomorrow, then hopefully a fourth time on Saturday. Lots of BJJ this week!

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