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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

20 September 2007

20/09/2007 - BJJ (No-Gi)

Class #89

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Felipe Souza, London, UK - 20/09/2007No-Gi

Hooray, finally made two classes tonight! I was a little confused by the technique, which I think was a Brabo choke, but will have to check that with someone more knowledgeable (by which I normally mean Oli). As they go for your leg, sprawl back until you break your grip, putting one arm into their neck, the other under an armpit. Move round their body, then switch the arm by the neck from the far to the near side. Grab their far elbow with your other arm, then also grab that same elbow with the neck arm. Pull it towards you and drive forward to put them on their side.

This is where I got a bit lost. If I recall Chris’ directions rightly, you switch your arms, so that the left arm is now slipping underneath their arm and their neck. That reaches right through (trying to get your elbow to their neck and shoulder deep inside) for your right bicep. Grip, then bring the hand of your right arm to their side. Bring the elbow of your right arm in towards you, crushing their neck and arm with the ensuing hold as well as with your shoulder. To complete the choke (which is effectively an arm triangle), move round their near side. Point to note here: can be a little awkward to tap from this position, so I’d suggest tapping on the person’s arm.

The other variation, which Chris tells me is an anaconda choke, a favourite of his, begins from when you’ve sprawled back. This time, push their near arm with your left arm, then bring your right arm all the way through. Grab your left bicep, and again touch their ribs. Now bring your head to the floor on your left side, then roll them over you, ending up in an arm triangle with them pointing behind you. As before, move round to their side to complete the choke.

I’m not too certain on that, though, so again will need to double check. Hopefully I’ve got those names right, as that at least means I can look for videos along with asking people like Oli: edits likely!

Sparring was productive, again managing to go with three people of varying builds and skill level. Things kicked off with Aika, who is about 10kg smaller but far more skilled. We ended up with me in side control, occasionally going to half guard, though I eventually freed myself both times. My problem in side control was that I couldn’t think of more than one way to pass: my mind blanked and I concentrated on getting my hip into her elbow to make space. She knew exactly what I was doing, so that ended up as a stalemate.

After yet another failed attempt on my part to mount, I found myself in Aika’s guard, where I tried to maintain posture, time running out not long after.

With Chris, I felt a lot more mobile than normal – the scary thing is Chris is now almost my weight, having previously outweighed me by close to 20kg! I’m sure he’ll be a monster in competition, as he still has plenty of muscle. I did go to half-guard a few times, but finally managed to sweep (although I think that was largely because Chris was focusing on trapping my leg). While I did end up on the side I wanted in half-guard, still couldn’t get to his back, and also had the usual trouble sweeping until he went for my leg.

In guard, I was surprised by a guillotine, so must remember to be watchful of that and not lean too far forward and ESPECIALLY not to the left or right. I did have Chris in a similar sort of triangle thing like Nathan last week, and he mentioned afterwards that I apparently had his arm in too. However, after squeezing for a bit, I let go: I’m not looking to get some random tap from a ridiculous position I end up in by chance, as that isn’t going to improve my technique. Nevertheless, as I’ve found myself with that hold a few times now, I’ll pay a bit more attention to the mechanics. I haven’t yet got anywhere near to the level I want with escapes, but it doesn’t hurt to occasionally think about submissions.

I finished up class with Christina, who again is stronger than me and around the same weight. I had a go at spinning round her legs to side control as I’ve seen others do, but quickly discovered an important aspect of that move: look where you’re going! On my second attempt, I left my back completely open to Christina, which she immediately took – after a brief struggle where I tried the RNC defence Oli showed me a while back, she sunk the choke. I was able to resist some of the sub attempts from guard, but mainly because, once again, sweat enabled me to slip free.

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