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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 March 2007

28/03/2007 - BJJ

Class #45

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 28/03/2007

I had a good idea of what Jude was going to run through due to Asriel's blog (for which you need to be a Supporting Member) of what happened on Monday, but still had to double-check when it came to getting mount from side control. Or rather, my partner checked, who today was a fairly new guy called Roberto. From side control (arm under the head, gripping hands under your partner’s arm), you first bring your hand from under your partner’s head and instead drive your elbow on the opposite side. Switch base – pushing one knee firmly into their side – then taking hold of their far leg, swing round into mount. Rowan Cunningham shows it like this.

Jude then showed us the correct procedure for taking the back. With your partner in the turtle position (curled up tight on all fours, bottom down on their heels), your grab them by the neck of the gi and their belt. Pushing their head firmly to the floor, post the foot nearest their head by their side. Next, feed that foot underneath them, aiming to hook around their leg from the inside, putting your knee on the floor (Jude emphasised that you should be in a position where there is a straight line from your hip to your knee, which means you need to be raised up rather than sitting). That facilitates bringing your other leg over and in on their other side, meaning you now have hooks on both of their legs. I wasn’t sure whether it was at this point that you reached under an arm and grabbed their wrist, or did that before you brought the other leg over – my partner reckoned grabbing the wrist came first.

Either way, once you’ve done that, then look up, push forward with your hips and back with your legs, aiming to straighten your partner flat onto the floor. This meant they were in position for a rear naked choke, for which you simply raise their head, bring one forearm across their throat, use the hand of that arm to grab your other arm’s bicep, bring your free arm behind their head, then squeeze, bringing your head to bear for extra force.

Jude had previously demonstrated this from kneeling – to repeat the basic process, forearm into neck, grab other bicep, bring that arm round behind to grip the back of the head, then squeeze, also pushing with your head. Jude described it as trying to bring your elbows together: this choke appeared to be even more effective when applied against the ground, as then you could bring more of your weight into play.

Finally, Jude went through the sliding choke (which I keep mixing up with the clock choke: not quite the same thing, as discussed in the members-only Bullshido training logs section). As with the RNC, Jude first showed this from a kneeling position to get the technique right, then in context, which for the clock choke was when an opponent has rolled to one side with their back towards you. The basic process is to come under one arm and grip the nearest gi collar, opening it up. The other arm then comes round the neck (similar to the RNC), whereupon your first hand feeds the collar to the other hand. Switching your first hand to grip the other collar, you then pull down for the submission.

From the position where your opponent has their back to you (Jude set this up from side control, from which you imagine your partner has just managed to turn), the same process applies, but you need to get your elbow into their hip to stop them turning further in that direction, as well as a knee firmly into their back to prevent that escape route. If you forget to block off those exits, then your opponent can go for half guard or indeed sweep you from there.

I did all my sparring with Dominique, as unusually there was nobody else in our weight category: normally there are at least a few people of similar size, like Nathan, but everyone seemed bigger today. There is still a bit of a disparity between Dominique and I, but much less than with anyone else.

I found that putting into practice Oli’s basic tip from yesterday – control the hip with your hand when passing – worked very well. I was able to get the pass across the knee a few times, though I think I still need to be quicker switching my base and also keeping control on the neck and knee as I pass. I also think I’m forgetting to leave a hook round the knee as I bring the other leg round, meaning that my partner can recover guard – happened at least once against Dominique.

Still not managing to get the tailbone pass to function, though I think it was at least a bit improve. I ended up transitioning to the standing version instead – definitely want to get more options for passing, because at the moment I’m only having success with the pass across the knee. While that’s good, because at least it’s working, that also means I’m screwed against anyone adept at defending that particular pass. Dominique pointed out that I need to watch my posture, as I was leaning forward too much, so that something else I want to keep an eye on.

From the guard, I was trying to get into position for a flower sweep, but had trouble making enough space. Instead, I found myself trying open guard, and managed to get the elevator sweep a few times. However, I think it was a little sloppy, so I look forward to being shown the technique in class – apparently, Roger went through it on Saturday, so hopefully I’ll get the chance to see either him or one of the other instructor demonstrate soon.

Should be training again tomorrow, although I’m concerned about my gf up in Brum, as she’s been having severe tooth pain over the past few days. I don’t want her to be alone in the flat any longer than necessary, as I know how horrible tooh pain can be – had to have emergency dentistry myself a while back. Bad enough to be in agony without having to do all the usual household tasks on top of it, like cooking lunch etc. The dentist is seeing her tomorrow, but if he doesn’t sort it I’ll try to take time off work and go up to Brum early.

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