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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

22 December 2008

22/12/2008 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #205

Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK – 22/12/2008 - Advanced

Slightly strange start to the class, in that a bunch of us wandered outside in our gis to go move some mats. Mix up on where they were supposed to be by the workmen, possibly, but not entirely sure. I’ve not made it down to a Monday class before, but I’m guessing that isn’t normally the case. ;)

Main thing today was half guard sweeps. For both, you need to get up on your side: if they manage to put you flat on your back, you won’t be able to execute the sweep. Start by disengaging your half guard, pushing on their leg and then bringing your outside knee into their chest. To stop them pressing you out flat, you can also use your other leg, bringing the inside knee up to block their weight coming forward.

Get a high underhook, right up under their armpit, knocking them forward. With your other hand, open their gi, then feed the trailing fabric round to the underhooking hand. You can now force their head to the floor, which establishes the position for your sweep.

Swivel round toward their leg: this time, you do want to go flat on your back. Your inside leg comes up, rocking them forward. Using this momentum, you’re aiming to bring them over with your foot.

I found the technique rather complex and got confused, so I’m doubtful I remembered it correctly, particularly as this was the first of two classes. The second half guard sweep felt simpler. It starts off the same, but this time, they avoid your underhook, bringing their arm over yours. Take advantage and grab the sleeve cuff of that arm, pulling it down to the floor.

With your other arm, reach over their back and grab their belt, or a handful of gi material (if the belt has come loose). Shuffle back, then bring your outside foot in, establishing a hook (so, sort of half-butterfly guard). Your other leg stays between their legs: kick this through in order to generate the momentum to sweep them to your side, coming up into side control.

During guard passage, I started on my back, but was faced with one of the biggest people in the academy, Mike. Still, I found that I was able to briefly hold him off by using my knees after he stood up. Even though he eventually crushed through, it did make me think I should use my knees more often to block.

I was planning on doing the evening class later on, and also wanted to leave plenty of time for going round the National Gallery, so had intended to go shower before sparring. In the end, I decided to do one round, with Liam. That proved to be a good idea, as I managed to apply several sweeps. The Tran side control escape worked once again: that one is all about timing, though if your partner is especially quick moving from side control to mount, its going to be difficult to effect.

I think I also got some kind of random half-guard sweep, using hooks, and then later on, I grabbed onto a foot without having anything specific in mind. I can remember being shown a sweep a while back, along with what Eddie Bravo calls the ‘old school’, but the only part I remembered was holding the foot. Either way, it worked, but that’s not too helpful if I’m not sure why. Will have to check through the blog, and also have another look at the basic half-guard section of Mastering the Rubber Guard (which is the only section I’ve paid much attention to up until now).

On top, I was working to trap the knee when passing, after Liam opened his guard. I got through to half-guard once or twice, but found it tough to get around Liam’s legs. I need to put my weight down better, and also control their hips, as otherwise it’s a simple matter for my training partners to shift away as I try to pass.

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