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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

19 September 2007

19/09/2007 - BJJ (Beginners)

Class #88

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 19/09/2007Beginners

I wimped out of the advanced yet again tonight, so really must try and make two tomorrow. I was close to forcing myself to train, but decided against it: term starts soon, which will mean I’ll be coming down from Birmingham to training, so will have had plenty of sleep the night before. So, finally run out of excuses in two weeks!

Besides getting home early, I also felt I’d got plenty of useful technical details from the beginners class. Jude, who always goes into depth when demonstrating (something I very much appreciate), went through the triangle from guard today. The first set up he showed was to have a grip on both their wrists. Push their left hand into their stomach, then bring your right leg up over their shoulder, effectively putting them into position. Put your left foot on their hip, then raise your own hips in order to bring their right arm up, after which you pull it across to your right. Grab your shin and swing your left leg over the ankle, then swivel round to the side, squeezing for the submission.

I’d had trouble securing the triangle at the Belfast Throwdown, but either this set-up was better, I was performing it correctly or Dominique was tapping more readily, as I had no problems this time. It seemed a handy set-up, Jude coming over to iron out some of the fine points. I wasn’t sure whether to have the triangle locked in before swivelling or not: I think you do, although Jude mentioned closing, opening then closing again. Might have misheard him, as it appeared he kept it closed when turning.

The next set up was somewhat different. This time, you start with a firm pistol grip (you bunch up the fabric of the sleeve and grip it like a handle) on each wrist. Moving your feet to their hips, you use that position to shrimp out to the side. Open up their arms, swinging your right leg through and over their neck, pulling them forward with your left arm. You can also put in another step, where you have your foot in their bicep: that means that this triangle set-up can work off a failed sweep from the same position. Having pulled them in, bring your over leg over your right ankle to secure the submission.

I found it useful to be reminded of how you could shove your foot into someone’s bicep, as I gave it a go in guard passage, which appeared to provide a little extra control at times. On top, I couldn’t really do much against Dominique, as she swiftly trapped me between her legs. I had both arms through, so was able to prevent the triangle, and I also had enough space to block her choke attempts with my hand and chin. However, I couldn’t do anything offensive, though I don’t mind the opportunity to work my defence.

On the bottom, I was similarly defensive, but I got a lot of use out of the guard pass defence where you put your hands into their armpit and side. I also tried to stay mobile with my knees, aiming for half-guard or at least a shin into their stomach. It was at that point I also tried to get feet into Dominique bicep (I think: might have just been the next roll). Either way, this one again ended in a stalemate.

I finished up with a stocky looking guy called Alex, who apparently came all the way down from Durham Uni to train, though I might have misunderstood him. I’m not sure if he was going easy on me or just cautious, but our roll was fairly slow (though that’s fine with me). On top, my usual passes weren’t getting too far, as Alex could readjust, though I also was able to shift position to stop him going for a sub or sweep (I think: again, not sure if he was holding back, perhaps because he’s a bit bigger). I made a concerted effort at that standing tailbone guard break Maurição showed us where you basically try and drive them into your knee, but couldn’t quite get the right position.

I did eventually get past a couple of times, but that was mainly when he opened up his guard sufficiently that I could get a knee through. I thought at this point I was going to get swept, but I was able to move into side control, either by double-underhooks or pushing past the knee.

Underneath, I swept him with a scissor once, and had a few tries at the flower and elevator, but they didn’t work so well. Generally I was looking for a sweep I could try in that position when they’re trying a tailbone break, meaning they have one knee forward and the other back. That seems like a good opportunity to put your shin into their stomach, dropping the other leg down by their forward knee, then attempt the sweep. Got it the one time, but I guess he cottoned on after that, as I couldn’t get him off-balance a second time.

I also ended up in a sort of rubber-guard thing as he was trying to pass, using that position to try and get either my shin or foot into his bicep. Sort of worked, but then ended up with one hook in under his thigh, the other outside, which would normally have been ideal for an elevator if he hadn’t been pressing his weight down so well. Tried to pull him up and roll him to the side, but to no avail.

At some point seem to have got a load of blood down the back of my Padilla: I don’t think it was me, as I didn’t have any cuts, so I guess someone must have sliced their finger while gripping me round the back. Could also have been a really tight guard on their part – this gi is fairly soft, though it was a bit stiff from its second wash, so wouldn’t have thought it was hard enough to rip anyone’s skin. Whichever, refreshing that its not my blood this time. ;)

I was sorely tempted to go for the advanced, but I decided that I was still too knackered from lack of sleep the night before. As I’ve whinged a few times, I don’t want to get ill again, so I’m taking it extra-careful for this month. Plus I’m really lazy, which probably has more to do with it. Ahem. So, must do two tomorrow! Although I say that every week…

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