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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

10 August 2008

10/08/2008 - Warwick Uni BJJ (Drilling)

Warwick Uni BJJ Training Group, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK - 10/08/2008

I haven't been able to make all of the University of Warwick BJJ training sessions, so this was the third meeting of the Warwick Uni BJJ group for me. As I've said before, it isn't a formal class, as none of us are experienced enough to teach: its just a bunch of people getting together for drilling. I wouldn't normally stick it in its own entry, but scribbling this down now its getting kinda long, so I didn't want to shove it at the top of my next RGA post.

I finally got to meet Rosie today, who trains at GB Brum, and also did lots of drilling on side control escapes and a De La Riva sweep. Started off with the basic escape where you bridge, shrimp, bring your knee in and recover guard, then moved on to the 'spinout' Roy Dean demonstrates on Blue Belt Requirements.

I've only seen this on that video, so that means my understanding remains suspect. So, keeping that in mind: the spinout side control escape starts the same way as the basic bridge and shrimp. If you can't quite get your knee through, then as Roy Dean explains on his DVD, you can try changing directions. Slide the hand that was by their hip under their body, and grab their far hip. Bring your knees towards their knees, then fling them back in the other direction. At the same time, you'll be using that momentum to swivel right round underneath them, also pushing off with the hand on their far hip, ending up in open guard.

As always, I combined several drills together, as I think the best way to drill is where both people get to work. So, that meant I started with a guard pass to side control, after which the other person recovered guard, so you passed it again. After that, we did Roy Dean's spinout escape, which puts you in open guard, so perfect for adding the De La Riva sweep Rosie wanted to work on.

The spinout works fine in drilling, as everything does, but once you start adding resistance, it becomes very difficult. I've attempted it a few times in sparring at RGA, and yet to get anywhere with the technique. However, both Rosie and I found that while we couldn't complete the spin because the space was cut off, the escape still opened up options.

For me, the momentum of swinging the legs off-balanced the person on top sufficiently that I could drive through with my legs and shoulder to roll on top: that may have been down to the weight difference, though, as I've got 9kg on Rosie. When Rosie was on the bottom trying out the escape, she didn't roll me over, but was able to pop out the side. I found that her head slipped out of my grasp after she attempted the spinout, even though she couldn't complete the motion when I cut off the space.

I also noticed she often uses her arms for pushing out to escape to guard. I've been avoiding using my arms when escaping side control, as I'm wary both of armbars and of trying to use pure strength to shove people off (I'm small, so in addition to wanting to concentrate on my jiu jitsu technique, I don't have the muscle to fall back on anyway). Perhaps I've been avoiding them too much, however, as it might help when trying to make space to recover guard. Something to think about when I next spar.

The De La Riva sweep looked familiar, but looking through my blog, I don't think I've done it before. From the De La Riva position (same side leg around the outside of their leg, instep hooking their other hip), you push their leg back with your free foot, pressing just above the knee. This should put them a little off balance, setting up switching your pushing foot to behind their ankle, while you De La Riva leg goes to their same side hip. Simultaneously push on their hip and drag on their ankle: as they fall back, use your grip on their sleeve to pull yourself up, moving through to side control.

As we were doing that sweep off the spinout, that meant you end up already with a grip on their arm. However, it’s the wrong arm for the De La Riva sweep, so you have to switch. I was trying to come up with a way of doing that, mainly by relying on the initial push on their knee to off-balance, but not entirely reliable, especially if your training partner knows what you're trying to do. Grabbing the collar first and then switching was another option, but then you still have to release to grab the sleeve (if you don't have the sleeve, they can post to stop their fall).

Aidi and Rosie got in some sparring towards the end of the two hours, whereas I did a bit more drilling with Dan. Not as measured as before, because we mainly just went through some drills Dan wanted to do on armbars. I also showed Dan some options to complete the armbar from mount, with the proviso that I'm total poo at submissions. Hence why I don't teach a Brazilian jiu jitsu class: just a matter of exchanging training tips.

We finished off by going through that side control escape Nick showed me last week. It’s a little strange, so I wanted to take the opportunity to drill it some more. I still don't quite have that roll to my other shoulder down, and I also need to watch where I land, as I was ending up rather too high.

No idea when I'll make the next one, as I can only ever do these drilling meets when my gf is away: I get limited time with her as it is, so normally spend my weekends with her. Hopefully won't be too long before I pop down to a University of Warwick BJJ meet-up again, as its really handy having that extended period to just drill technique.


  1. I nailed that sweep I've been talking about, on my instructor of all people! Bonus!
    Would be cool if you checked out my vid...

  2. Cool - can you stick up a link? Can't see it on Martial Farts, but entirely possible that's just me being dim.


  4. Awesome - good to see it in action, with added bouncy music bonus. Shall be wiggling on the play bar to give that a bunch of repeat viewings. :)