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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

24 June 2008

24/06/2008 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #155

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 24/06/2008 - Advanced

I haven't made a Tuesday in a while, but because I'm doing a training course through work, I'm in London more than usual this week. Term also ends soon, so that means I'll be able to make more Tuesdays over the following few months. My hand is still a bit sore, but I thought resting it over Monday should be enough (also needed to get up at a silly time for course registration, so wanted to try and get some rest. Didn't work, but meh, was at least in bed earlier than I would have been after training).

After the warm-up, Jude moved us straight into specific sparring. None of my regular training partners were around, so I ended end with one of the purple belts, Bruno. He looked kinda bored, as I wasn't able to put up much of a challenge, especially from guard.

In side control, I was able to do a bit more, though I'm pretty sure he was going easy (I know I always say that, but the expression on his face was extremely relaxed, as if he was thinking about something else entirely). On top, I worked for my favoured tight Tran side control, then had a chance to try the tight judo scarf hold Dan showed me at the last meeting of the Warwick Uni BJJ training group. Main thing I wanted to try was grabbing under their head to get a solid grasp of my own thigh, staying close to them, pressing down with my head. Seemed to work, but again, I'm not sure how much Bruno was resisting. He eventually escaped, of course, but I felt relatively secure (though wasn't able to trap his arm, which was my next goal).

Underneath side control, I wiggled around trying to maintain a 'safe' braced position with my arm into his next and the other by his hips, keeping the elbow inside to stop him getting his knee under. I also tried to escape from the Americana where you just push on their armpit, which appeared to sufficiently knock him off balance (though he got me in repeated armbars instead). The Tran side control escape, where you bridge into them as they go for mount, also proved its worth once again. I did almost land straight into a guillotine, but had my arms inside, so wriggled out.

On top in mount, I wanted to try the pushing on the sleeve strategy Gustavo showed us last week, but couldn't get my weight down properly. I need to really settle it onto their chest, as while I was sitting in position with my foot by the head and stomach pressing into the elbow, I wasn't applying my weight properly.

Underneath, Bruno got me in a lot of armbars, though I was able to block his choke attempts by getting my knuckles in the way of his questing fingers. Not sure that's a good defence to rely on, so I should buck more, rather than passively using my hand as a shield. I also don't think I'm using what used to be my favourite step-over heel drag escape, so must remember to attempt that more often.

That meant we were finally at the technique section of class. Jude focused on takedowns tonight, which I think we've done before in nogi, at least the first one. You grip over one of their arms, then under the other, linking up in the small of their back. Pull their hips towards you, pressing your head into their shoulder, making them arch backwards uncomfortable. Once you've got them off-balance, trip with the leg opposite to the shoulder you're pressing with your ear, dropping them to the mat.

However, it is possible for them to try and sprawl from their. So, another option is to grab their same side leg, keeping your same side knee up. Your other leg will hook behind their other leg, whereupon you can then drive forward to knock them to the floor.

Next Jude demonstrated how those same takedowns could both be applied when your partner stands up in your guard. Raise your body up with them, gripping behind their back while still holding a closed guard. Having secured that hold, opened your legs and fling them back: you'll now find yourself in the position from earlier, ready to apply one of the two takedowns. Which one you go for will depend on if your arms are above or below theirs, IIRC, going for the standing trip with the former and the dropped knee trip with the latter.

My drilling partner Justin wasn't feeling too well – possibly a blood pressure thing – so when it came to rolling, he took it pretty easy. I spent most of my time spinning about under side control, snatching half-guard. Its always nice to have a light roll, though even at half-speed Justin had little trouble maintaining control. His base from wrestling is definitely noticeable, and was a considerable help in drilling (he could give lots of tips due to his takedown experience).

Finally, I had a roll with Tanvir for the first time in ages. I was able to again try that tight scarf hold, this time managing to trap his arm with my leg. Not sure I then followed up correctly, as I triangled the arm and spun to attack his other arm: might have been better to try to step over and triangle his head instead. Went for a few submissions on that isolated arm, transitioning to the Americana (I think, or was it a kimura?) when I couldn't lock in the straight armbar. However, sloppy on my part, as Tanvir got his arm free, so I had to scrabble to get the figure-four grip again.

I also had the opportunity to work the 'paw' concept from Indrek Reiland's Functional Half Guard video. First time I've really been able to shift from single to double paw, like Indrek does in the video, and I think I got the arm sweep later on, albeit sloppily. I only just kept the top half-guard position, as Tanvir very nearly got his leg through to recover full guard.

Hopefully I'll be training again tomorrow, if that pain in my hand finally goes away. Seems to have moved from the middle to the side, strangely: will have to keep an eye on it. In more exciting news, Oli and Luciano both got their long-overdue promotions yesterday, Oli moving up to purple and Luciano getting his brown.

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