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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 September 2008

24/09/2008 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #181

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 24/09/2008 - Advanced

I'll be spending all of next week near Warwick Uni, in order to help my girlfriend settle in both to our new place near campus, as well as her return to education. So, that means I won't be getting in any training at the Roger Gracie Academy that week, but I should hopefully be heading back to Warwick Judo, after three years away.

In 2005, I picked up a shoulder injury in my third judo class, which took months to heal: that has made me wary of returning until now. I'm hopeful that my greater experience with grappling should mean I'll be ok this time round, but we shall see. I'll also get the chance to finally return to fencing, which I've been away from for much longer: my last lesson was at school in about 1994, I think. Should be fun. Might give archery a go too, but not sure if the times will match up.

Also, I came across two especially interesting from my usual lunchtime wander through my Google Reader. Firstly, Al from Chasing the Blue put up this interesting post on Rickson. Secondly, BJJ Asia embedded a YouTube trailer for a Renzo documentary that looks really awesome:

Tonight Jude again went through spider guard sweeps, though different from the last set we did. For the first spider guard sweep, you start in the usual position of one foot straightened into their bicep, gripping the sleeve, while the other foot presses into the other bicep, but with a bent leg. As before, switch position on the legs then kick out the bent leg to break their grip on your trouser leg. With your now free foot, bring that underneath their opposite thigh, swivelling your body round.

Push the leg that you still have straightened into their other bicep, aiming to bring your own foot past your head: this should off-balance them and force them to step forward. That will bring their same side leg in range of your other hand, which you can then wrap around their knee, gripping slightly above the kneecap. Your other foot disengages from the bicep, joining your first shin under their thigh, while using your sleeve grip, you pull that same arm across their body.

Feed the sleeve to your other hand, so that you can then grab their same side heel with your now free hand. Press forwards with your legs, also lifting their other knee and pulling back on the heel, which should knock them down. Make sure you drive forward with your hips as you follow them up, sliding your knee over their leg to move into half guard.

Get your weight forward, wrapping one arm behind their head, then move your other hand to link up with the first (still maintain your hold around their leg: they will be stretched out uncomfortably as you press forward). Finally, use your free leg to push on their leg, which will enable you to release your trapped foot, securing side control.

The next spider guard sweep proceeds in the same way as before, but this time they drop their knee before you can get both feet underneath that thigh. You can still sweep them: like last time, bring the foot of the leg you have straightened into their bicep over your head in order to force them to step forward.

Wrap up that leg with your same side arm, then shift onto your side. Also as before, bring their arm across their body by pulling on their sleeve, then switch it to the hand around their leg. Your non-hooked leg is going to chop their knee, like you were doing a scissor sweep, while you use your free hand to grab a handful of gi material near their same side armpit. Lift their leg with your arm, bring your free leg chopping into their knee and pull on that gi material, sweeping them to your side whereupon you can move into side control.

In guard passage today I made a concerted effort to try and stand up with all my sparring partners. Definitely did better on that score than normal, as I didn't just sit there in guard, though I did of course get either swept, armbarred or triangle swiftly after getting to my feet. I'm probably leaving my arm out too much, but either way, the only way I'm going to finally overcome my awful guard passage is by failing repeatedly, making small improvements until I get it right.

I did start on my back, but was soon passed by Ted, a guy not too far off my size who I think trains at the Budokwai as well. I was attempting to pull on the sleeve with both my hands and get my foot into the same side hip, so I could effect that sweep sequence Nick showed us recently, but I'm not keeping my elbows tight enough. I'm also not managing to really push with that foot to bend them at the waist, which would break their posture and make them easier to sweep.

Same thing happened in free sparring with Helen, where I spent much of my time in half-guard. I was attempting to get my torso to the same side as the leg I'd trapped, which I did eventually manage, but then couldn't capitalise once I'd gotten onto my arm and legs, simply getting stuffed underneath Helen. I then had a go at a triangle, trying to move to an armbar when I failed to cinch it on right, but Helen walked right through it, rolling me underneath her. I still had a sort-of reverse triangle vaguely in place by her head, but she was in no danger of being choked, taking little trouble to shrug it off.

With Yas, I was mainly in scarf hold. My aim there was to trap her arm under my leg, then step over her head to wrap up a triangle, after which I could attack the far arm, squeezing for a choke if that didn't work. While I could trap the arm, I couldn't seem to step over: Yas' other arm defended, and I couldn't seem to work out how to get my leg into position. I also had trouble switching to back to side control, generally going immediately back to scarf hold as I could feel her escaping. After several switches, I then had a go at moving into reverse scarf hold, but messed it up, landing me under Yas' side control instead.

Kev was my final sparring partner, where this time I was the one under scarf hold. I struggled to escape, almost getting locked into a kimura (I pushed on the arm to knock him forward to get out, but he was going light anyway), then eventually got stuck in an Ezekiel choke (I think). Tried to bridge out of that, but it was too tight. I need to watch my arms under side control, as Kev was able to shift one across my throat, which made escaping difficult, and I also need to keep a shoulder off the ground, then bridge and shrimp more.

Roger was sitting on the sidelines, but wasn't training: possibly due that injury that unfortunately scuppered the MMA fight he was going to do? Christina's arm is still a bit tender, but she was training today anyway, though being careful not to make it any worse. Hopefully she'll make a full recovery soon, so she can get back to mercilessly crushing me with her guard passes. ;)

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