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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

29 March 2007

29/03/2007 - BJJ

Class #46

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Felipe Souza, London, UK - 29/03/2007

As with yesterday’s class, we went through the sit-up sweep and kimura from guard. One useful tip Felipe provided for the sit-up which I haven’t been doing previously was to come up on the elbow. Before, I’d always tried to come up on my hand: going from the elbow feels a little tighter, not to mention easier. However, I haven’t tried it in sparring yet, so will see if this method works better. Having yet to manage a smooth sit-up sweep (I always find myself straining, then either failing or having to really force it), worth a try.

Sparring went quite opposite to my rolls with Dominique yesterday, as I didn’t manage to complete any sweeps or passes. Mainly I was finding myself stuck in someone’s collar choke attempt. I didn’t have any real trouble resisting, but because my opponent was clinging on, I found it hard to do anything but defend. Against Mike, he eventually managed to get behind me for the RNC, while with Del, we ended up in a scramble and both standing up. Del is a little unusual, as he seems incapable of stopping – I get the impression that for him to acknowledge you’d passed or swept, he’d need to be lying there unconscious first!

Still, that doesn’t take away from the fact I’m still having trouble securing my position after I get a shin over their knee, enabling them to escape. That’s what happened with Mike, who found himself behind me after my pass attempt, as well as Del. I tried to hold on to a leg and grab an arm, but it was pretty sloppy. So, next time I need to concentrate on making sure I’ve got that knee isolated, grab the gi to keep them down, and leave my hook on the knee until I’ve passed.

As I’ve been whining for some time now, I really want to have more options when passing. At present, I have either the over the knee pass or the tailbone pass, only the former of which I ever get to work. I was thinking I could try going for the double underhooks again, as I used to have some success with that, but probably of greater importance is dealing with the root problem: breaking people’s guard. I should start digging my elbows in, and also use better posture when standing to facilitate the break – this was working ok against Dominique yesterday, but I had trouble making the space today, or perhaps I simply wasn’t pushing down hard enough on the hip.

In the guard – which I only had one chance at, having spent most of the rolling time on top – I decided to go for an elevator again. However, I think that Dicken (or perhaps Deacon? Uncommon name either way) was too far back, as he was able to pass over my leg. So looks like I need to better secure my opponent’s arm before attempting the elevator, or they’ll simply move into mount.

Even more than on Tuesday, it was the time after class that proved especially useful. I’d asked Oli after sparring how to defend the RNC, which he duly demonstrated. First, turn your head towards the elbow that’s choking you. Most important is that you prevent the other arm going behind your head – ideally, you overhook it and trap the arm against your side. Bridge up and drop your shoulders into your opponents chest, which should hopefully loosen up their hooks enough that you can remove a leg on the same side as the choking elbow, move round then turn over into side control.

I found that I had trouble controlling Chris’ arm while drilling this technique, so that’s something I’ll have to improve. However, I do at least now have something to try if I find myself in a RNC again.

Rest of that after class time I spent working the flower sweep, which we haven’t done in class for a while. I particularly wanted to try a variation I saw recently where you don’t have an arm around the knee. Instead, the process is to grab a tricep, with your other arm round the back of your opponent’s head. Then as normal, you bring the leg opposite to the isolated arm straight up under your opponent’s armpit, the other leg chopping at their knee, then roll them into mount. The problem with this tactic, at least judging by Chris’ reaction, is that your opponent can then continue that roll and end up on top of you. So, if I attempt this sweep I’ll need to be careful that I get control as I roll – IIRC the description I saw, that might be accomplished by keeping a firm grip on the head. Will have to give it a go in sparring.

Not staying at my sisters next week, so that’s going to be the last time for a fair while that I get to drill after class. Shame, but at least I got a number of useful looking techniques out of it.

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