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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

21 April 2009

21/04/2009 - BJJ (RGA Kilburn)

Class #220

Roger Gracie Academy Kilburn (BJJ), Jude Samuel, London, UK - 21/04/2009 - Beginner

Opening technique tonight was a cross choke from half guard, when they're in the process of passing. You have a grip on their collar, but then they get past one of your legs. The choke is still an option, so switch to half guard, then put your other thumb under the back of their collar. Swivel to their knee, looping your arm over their head as you do now. Move back to the centre and squeeze for the submission.

I mentioned yesterday that I was having trouble getting into a good controlling position from guard. Luckily for me, that is exactly what followed: awesome!

Jude started by demonstrating how to remove their grip when they've grabbed your gi. There are numerous options, the simplest of which is to grab the end of their sleeve, fingers on top, then put your thumbs under their wrist. You could also use a pistol grip (grasping a handful of their gi in your fist). Either way, drive straight up to remove their hand.

Alternatively, you can figure-four their wrist, by putting one hand on top, then feeding your other hand underneath and grabbing your own wrist. Again, push up from here.

Two traditional ways to get rid of that grip are to hold your own collars and pull them apart (if they are grasping both your collars with one hand), or a more complicated process. That begins by grabbing their sleeve again with your opposite hand, then bringing your other arm underneath. Reach right through with that arm, aiming to prise off their grip that way.

Now that the arm is loose, Jude's next technique can come into play, a variation on the cross choke from guard. First of all, you need to get an overhook on their arm. As soon as you remove their grip, pull their arm down to your armpit and also bring your knees back (don't just rely on your arms to get them in close).

You can now bring your arm over theirs, then reach underneath and through to grab their far collar. With your free hand, grip the back of their collar, then bring your arm past their face. Bring the forearm against their throat, then complete the choke.

Best of all, you can follow this technique up with another, the triangle. If they realise what you're doing after your first grip, its likely they will defend by putting their free hand against the side of their face. While that blocks the cross-choke, the position of their arm means you can now push their elbow back, then bring your same side leg over their head.

Make sure you get that leg past their arm: if they still have their hand on your leg, they may be able to defend the submission. Once the leg is in place, bring your other leg up and lock (just cross your ankles: don't worry about triangling your legs yet). As soon as its secure, you can let go with your hands, then raise your hips. This will bring their arm up, making it easier to push it across their body.

Now you can get into position for the triangle. Grab the shin you have across their neck to hold them in place, then put your other foot on their hip. Swivel until you have the right angle to bring your free leg over your other shin, then lock on the triangle. Squeeze for the submission, pulling down on your shin if you need extra leverage.

Class is thirty minutes shorter on Tuesday, so there wasn't quite so much sparring. However, I did get in three free spars, the first and last with the same blue belt. I was mostly looking to play with reverse De La Riva, as I'd seen Saulo recommend it as a holding position in both his DVD and book. Didn't get as much of a chance to practice as I'd hoped, because my partner stayed low rather than standing up, but still helpful to work out the grips.

In between those two rolls, I had a relaxed spar with a teenager that was there: because I'm the smallest person in class, I offered to train with her. I tried to give some helpful tips, mainly on keeping her hips down when on top, and also walked her through the knee pin pass. Hopefully it was of some use to her: certainly of use to me, as I always relish the opportunity to practice teaching (not only would I love to teach BJJ some day, but its also a skill I'm looking to develop generally for my career options too).

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