Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 13/06/2007 – Beginner
Today’s session was all about side control. Jude began with Americana from mount, then move on to Americana from side control. The technique was slightly different than I’ve seen before, starting with the usual grip underneath the head and arm. Person A stays very tight, driving their shoulder into Person B’s face, leaning forward to increase the pressure. This also helps to isolate Person B’s grip on Person A’s neck. Person A brings their elbow around Person B’s head and drives it into their cheek. Having isolated the grip on the neck, Person A then strips that away by grabbing the wrist and pushing down. Once they’ve got the arm to the floor, they keep their grip until they can switch hands, then go for the figure four position, finishing with an Americana.
I had some trouble getting the grip off, so need to work that part of the technique. I think I wasn’t isolating the arm sufficiently, and may also have been failing to properly press my weight down. Whichever, going through that particular technique was great as it means I have another option to go for if the previous method I’ve been shown, where you switch base, doesn’t work. Liam also showed me that if they get their arm straight, move right to the joint and bring their arm down, which should help bending it and then getting the submission.
Jude then demonstrated what to do if your partner gets their arm underneath you rather than by your neck. Instead of going for an Americana, you go from side control to mount. As before, you press down with all your weight, driving forward and getting your shoulder into their face, then driving your elbow into the other side of their head. Keep that grip tight, switch base, then bring your leg over to transition to mount: Jude had a finish with an Americana from there.
Sparring was of course from side control. After Liam, against whom I couldn’t go a whole lot from on top and little more than maintain my position on the bottom, I rolled with two new guys, Tamvin and Chet. With both, I found that they were leaving sufficient space for me to recover guard. On top, I was able to get their blocking out the way with my hip, providing me with enough space to transition to mount. Explaining, in my noobish way, what they were doing wrong helped me in turn focus on what to do right. After seeing their mistakes on not pressing their weight down enough, I found it easier to improve my own position on top, and the same on the bottom: I focused on getting into their neck and hip, pushing up and recovering guard.
At the end of class, I had the always pleasant experience of getting a new stripe. Jude called me up (and got my name right, which is cool!), meaning that I was now able to move up to the advanced. Good thing I brought a notepad, or I most likely would have forgotten what I’d just learned in the beginners – something I’ll have with me from now on. If you’ve already done one class, then you generally sit out the warm-up of the next, giving me time to write up some notes.
BJJGrrl: BJJ for Women
jnp's Grappling Principles
13 June 2007