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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

20 March 2007

20/03/2007 - BJJ

Class #41

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Felipe Souza, London, UK - 20/03/2007

Lots of new people today (I only got to speak to one of them, Kenny, an ex-boxer), so much so that Felipe decided to split the class when drilling. On the board it said ‘pulling guard’, but I didn’t expect that to be ‘pulling guard into armbar’, which is something I don’t think I’ve done before. Person B grabs an arm and the opposite lapel as usual, then puts the same side foot as that lapel into Person A’s hip. Person B then drops down, swivelling in the direction of the lapel, bringing their other leg over Person A’s head as they do so. The leg which was on the hip moves on top, then Person B secures the armbar.

Next, we went over armbar from guard. Person B grabs a wrist with the same side arm, then brings their other arm underneath Person A’s and grabs the elbow, thereby isolating one arm. Person B then yanks that arm to the middle of their chest, then posts a foot up on the same side hip. Raising up, Person B uses the space to swivel and bring their other leg onto Person A’s back, breaking their posture so that the first leg can go over the head, then finally secures the armbar.

Finally, I got a refresher on the escape from armbar, which is always useful. As soon as Person B attempts to isolate the arm, Person A uses the hand of that arm to grab the bicep of their other arm (the hand of which grips Person B’s leg, or if possible, behind their knee). Person A then posts up a leg on the same side as the isolate arm (so Person B can’t simply roll Person A over), then jerks their arm free in a few small movements. Having freed the arm, Person A keeps control of the leg, then grips Person B’s near shoulder with the same arm that was previously isolated, using that to move round into side control. My training partner was Tas, a guy I don’t think I’ve worked with before – Asian guy with stubble and a fair head of hair (need to remind myself of names!).

Strangely, none of that was tested in sparring, as it was from the mounted position. Still, got some useful tips today. First up I was against Tam, going on top. However, because I ended up shifting slightly to the side, he was able to come up and take my back. This is something that was again emphasised against Will (American guy who I discovered on Saturday was a Creative Writing graduate, which is kinda cool: a significant proportion of my friends from uni are from that degree, so always nice to meet another writer), who advised me to make sure I kept my weight forward rather than to either side. He also mentioned that as I’d walked my knees up high, I might as well go for an armbar. I attempted the Americana a few times, which he easily resisted, but should have forced myself to try an armbar. While I’m glad I managed to stay upright rather than my usual habit of hunkering down, I have to make sure I’m not too scared of the upa to feed my hands in for a submission.

Against both Sam and Edward (American guy with blonde hair), I was on the bottom, and remembered to keep my elbows into their hips. With Sam, I eventually found myself trying to slip out from behind, but trailed an arm, meaning Sam could secure the armbar: must keep my arms together next time. Time ran out during my spar with Edward, but that provided a further demonstration that while constantly bucking hampers the person on top in going for submissions, it is rather knackering. I need to try and be more patient and measure their position better, so I’m not wasting energy. Ed also had an intriguing method of trying to prevent me keeping my elbows in by simply grabbing my head, which also helped him pull himself up into a higher mount.

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