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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

03 December 2008

02/12/2008 - Salsa

Class #7

Warwick Salsa (Salsa), Billy, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK - 02/12/2008

Tonight we again went through the routine Billy has been building up for the latter part of this term. To recap: two mambos, cross-body lead, step back and swing the arm, man's turn switching arms, then back to two mambos. On the second mambo, slip your hands down so you change to a grip on both their hands instead of their hand and shoulder. Break (you both step back, then use the tension in your arms to swing back towards each other), spin them in towards you (still holding both their hands, bring your left hand across to your right), then on the five, six, seven count, move around in a semi-circle.

Next, spin them out to the side. Billy pointed here that once you get adept at salsa, you can do that in one motion, but for the moment, you should try and split it across the one, two, three count. A slight step out with your other foot, then nudging gently with your shoulder, bounce your partner into their spin. Bring them back in again (keeping your arm around hip level for ease), then pressing palm to palm, lean to the side: your partner will lean onto your other side.

Spin them out again, and then bring them back in. This is the first variation Billy made on the previous routine (or at least the one I'm used to: I wasn't there last week). As you spin them in, let go towards the end and guide them towards you with your arm. Continue their spinning motion, until you have a grip around their back with both hands. Make sure you can support their weight, then dip them, twisting to the side.

Come back up, so that they are now in front of you. Keep your hands on their hips, and do a basic mambo from their. Shift your arms back so that you're now holding their hands instead of their hips. Next, switch your grip, so that you are holding their opposite hand: also note your right hand should be above your left hand. I'm not quite sure how to get that grip switch, as there is supposed to be a flashy way of doing it (something about swinging your hand out and switching, but I wasn't able to follow the motion).

You can now do another nifty spin, which I had some problems with before I got it right. First, do another break as before, but this time with your hands in that diagonal hold. As you bring them in after the break, twirl them by pulling your left hand to the left. Then bring your right arm over their head, as they bring their left arm over yours. It's a little complex and easy to get entangled (I did repeatedly), but you should end up with an arm behind both your heads, holding a hand.

To finish, switch your right hand to grip their hand by their hip, release your other grips, spin them around to the left and do another dip. Move into a normal mambo, cross-body lead, step back and swing your arm, then finally push on their arm as you do an inward turn to complete the routine back in a mambo position. From here you can restart the whole thing (which is what I did with my girlfriend during the freestyle, to practice), or you finish with a bow or something instead of going back to the mambo hold.

As it was the last lesson of term, there were some christmas nibbles on hand, which was cool. Mince pies, like custard, are awesome hot or cold, and those little cocktail sausages are great too. Great way to see off salsa for this year, with a brief drink at Varsity afterwards. Now I just need to make sure I record myself and my gf practicing that routine in the kitchen so we don't forget!

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