Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Nick Brooks, London, UK - 18/04/2007
I’d forgotten that there are a few celebrities who train at the club: had a reminder before the beginners class started, as I saw one have a private from Maurição and Luciano. Always kinda cool to see famous people! For some reason it was a small class today – someone mentioned there was a football match on, which may have been the reason for the low attendance.
Jude was present today, but wasn’t able to take class, so we were taught by a purple belt, Nick (I’m assuming Nick Brooks, as I’m not sure there is another purple belt Nick at RGA?), instead. He began with another route to move from side control to mount. Person A grips underneath Person B’s head and one of their arms, clasping their hands palm to palm. Keeping their weight right down, Person A digs their shoulder into Person B’s face, aiming to get them to turn their head to the side. This makes it difficult for Person B to turn their hips, therefore making it easier to get mount. Having crushed their face, Person A moves sideways towards Person B’s head, in order to make space to get a knee on the belly. Once in that position, Person A then drives the knee down, also raising up Person B’s elbow (from the trapped arm) and pushing hard. That eventually leads to mount.
Next, Nick showed us a submission, the triangle from mount. Having achieved mount through the previous method, Person A should have one of Person B’s arms trapped underneath their leg. Pressing that hand to Person B’s chest, Person A raises up Person B’s head, puts their leg out, then slips it underneath Person B’s neck. Person A then grips the shin of that leg, in order to make space to hook their other leg around the ankle. Pressing down with their hips, squeezing with their legs and pulling on the head, Person A goes for the choke. There's a video here of some guy doing it at the end of a sparring session (embedding disabled, unfortunately), while here's a mounted triangle that ends up rolling into guard:
I had real trouble getting this on Dominique. I was in position, but couldn’t seem to get tight enough on her neck. This could have been because I was too far forward, or perhaps wasn’t pressing my hips down enough. She did say that she felt the requisite pressure at one point, but I then readjusted, so its sounds as if I’m getting into position then moving myself out of it. Hopefully we’ll go through the technique again in the not too distant future so I can work out the kinks.
I spent the rest of the lesson sparring Dominique, going from side control. As with the last time I rolled with Dominique from this position, I worried that I was using strength too much, as at one point I picked her up with an elbow and rolled right over. I resolved not to try that again, as its completely pointless because I’d never get it on anyone heavier, instead trying to concentrate on the basic shrimp escape. I managed that once or twice early on, but I think that was because Dominique was holding side control from her knees, which gave me a bit of space to swivel through. When she changed to come up on her toes and press her weight down, it was much harder to manoeuvre.
Also, at one point Dominique could have caught me in half guard but didn’t go for it, thinking I was already through. After I assured her she could have trapped my leg, it became even more difficult on top, as she frequently locked on her half guard. I couldn’t quite remember the half-guard escapes we had been shown a while back, except for switching base and trying to get my foot flat to the floor. I did eventually move through to mount later on, but that was probably due to fatigue on Dominique’s partner.
I also went for a kimura variation I haven’t tried before, where my hands were much tighter and closer together on Dominique’s arm. I think I saw it in the video I posted a while back: not sure if I got it right, but Dominique did say the lock was on. Then again, its not something I’ve been shown in class yet, so I won’t be doing the technique correctly – will have to ask Felipe or Jude about it if I get the chance.
In addition I’d like to inquire about putting your weight down in side control – Dominique said that she noticed I felt heavier than normal, so I’ve at least improved, but as again it isn’t something I’ve been shown yet in class, I’ll need to ask an instructor about the specifics of that technique.
Should be training again tomorrow, which I imagine will be more side control. Good to work on that position, as I continue to struggle for options when sparring, or I go blank when trying to think of the technique I wanted to attempt.
BJJGrrl: BJJ for Women
jnp's Grappling Principles
18 April 2007