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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

10 April 2007

10/04/2007 - BJJ

Class #50

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Felipe Souza, London, UK - 10/04/2007

Nothing new today, but we did cover something on which I needed a refresher: guard defence. As Person A gets an arm under the leg and starts to move round, Person B grabs them under the armpit and on top of the arm, their leg pushed up on the same side of Person A’s head due to the pass attempt. Note that you shouldn’t put your arm in the way of your leg, as the next step is to swing that leg out, shrimp away from Person A, then bring the same leg back in. The shin is pressed against Person A’s stomach like you would for a scissor sweep, with the other leg coming round next to Person A’s head, at the same time maintaining a grip on Person A’s arm. This provides Person B with a secure hold, so that they can firmly resist Person A’s pass, moving with them. Person B then picks their moment, pushes Person A away with their legs (still holding the arm), then swings back into full guard.

As well as providing control, gripping that arm can also set-up a triangle. When Person B swings back into full guard, it is possible to trap an arm, meaning that Person B can now go for the choke. First, they drag the arm across their body, pulling Person A down. Their guard climbs up, with one leg across the back of Person A’s neck, while the other foot pushes off Person A’s hip, leaving Person B slightly swivelled to one side. Person B then grabs their ankle to pull the leg in tighter, bringing their other leg on top in order to secure the lock. Finally, Person B grabs Person A’s head and pulls down, simultaneously pushing up with their hips to get the choke.

Sparring today was winner stays on in weight groups, where I started off with Diccon. I almost managed to pass his guard a few times, but couldn’t quite get round: he eventually got me in a tight collar choke, having cinched it in after sitting up, so my usual defence of simply raising up didn’t work. As with last time I sparred him, Diccon didn’t have any tips when I asked what I did wrong, so instead I discovered one of the advantages of winner stays on. The lack of a single training partner means that I have time to wander off and ask questions of the instructor and higher belts, so I took the opportunity to query Oli and Felipe about how best to secure a pass when you’re almost through.

The basic principle seemed to be to grab around your opponent’s head, after which you can then drop your weight on them. I realise that I’ve been concentrating on their hips and legs instead, and giving too much space – instead, I should go for the head and use my weight and hips to control their lower body. Felipe also mentioned that you should repeatedly switch base to get the side control: I’m not sure I fully understood this, but I’ll see if I can employ it next time I’m in position.

I wasn’t so successful from guard today, as I didn’t remember to use the guard defence we’d gone over in class. Sparring with Paxton, I left way too much space when opening my guard, and also didn’t secure a sufficiently strong hold before doing so. That meant he was able to pass – next time, I really need to keep the guard defence in mind, and use my arms more defensively as well as my legs.

Today also marked the first time I got to wear my new rash guard, having received it for my birthday last week. It definitely stops the rashes from gi burn, as you’d expect given the name, but I’m not sure I got bad enough rashes to warrant wearing it under my gi. So, I’ll save it for when I move up to the advanced class, or if that doesn’t happen before May, I should get to wear it at whatever sub grappling place I give a go in the mean time. Might train at F’s Freestyle, as that’s near me in Kings Norton, or perhaps one of the London MMA clubs I’ve been to before, like HSD Combat and Elite. Shall have to wait and see: hopefully my plan to get my gf to come along by taking some form of dancing class with her will work out ok.

Might as well put in another plug for the Birmingham Throwdown. If I haven’t pestered you about it yet (meaning you’re either not in my Facebook groups or Bullshido), then its basically a chance to have a spar at whatever level you and your partner want to go. I’ll be going along to help my groundwork, probably doing plenty of drilling, but there will be people there who also want to work striking. £50 for the room (Stevie B’s), split between whoever shows up.

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