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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

19 May 2009

19/05/2009 - Nova Força

Class #224

Nova Força Epsom (BJJ), Ricardo Da Silva, Epsom, UK - 19/05/2009

I was looking around the net to see first if 'Nova Forca' has a wiggly bit on the c, and secondly what it means. While 'nova' is 'new', apparently both 'forca' and 'força' can be translated in a variety of ways. 'Forca' can be 'gallows', 'fork' or 'trap', whereas 'força' means 'strength', 'force', or even 'hang in there' (at least according to somebody on Yahoo Answers, which like anything user-generated isn't always reliable).

Cycled in this time, leaving myself loads of time in case I got lost. Naturally I did get lost once or twice, but still only took about an hour or so. Next time, I should be able to do it around 30 or 40 minutes, now that I've got an idea of the route. Best of all, its free...or at least it is when you don't manage to lose your back light because you didn't fix it on properly, so it gets shaken lose by all the potholes (visibility is a bit pants at night, due to lack of lampposts). Grr.

Tonight Ricardo concentrated on butterfly guard sweeps, or at least he did for the blue belts and up: the white belts were shown a basic pass instead. For the first sweep, grab the back of their belt, then with your same side arm, grip the sleeve of their far elbow, ready to push. Shrimp out slightly then immediately move in close to them.

Next, lift them with your leg while simultaneously pushing their elbow into their body. Don't try to go to mount from here, though its tempting: instead, roll over your shoulder and fling your leg all the way over to plop down next to them. Make sure that you keep a foot on their knee as you do so, then use your hand to hold their far knee. That puts you in a perfect position to easily switch to side control.

A variation is to overhook their arm instead of using a belt grip. You then proceed as before, except that this time, you need to be especially careful to get your head onto their chest. If you don't, they can simply roll to get back on top after you bring them over.

Due to the well-attended class, there wasn't all that much space for free sparring (no specific sparring tonight), so it was done in shifts. That works out great for me, as it means a guaranteed rest between each spar.

I started off with the sole female member of the club, Lindsey, who wasn't there last week. Stayed fairly relaxed, looking for the overhook grip, along with triangles, but couldn't finish anything. That meant I basically stayed in a tight open guard the entire time, except for a failed attempted at a choke from the back. I can never finish from there, so that's something I need to work on (though its rare I'll be able to get to an attacking position like that).

That was followed by a purple belt, Simon, who gave me a good kicking. I was staying passive in his guard as usual, while he was very attacking. It was only a short round, but nevertheless, didn't take long for him to secure an armbar.

Next up was Rob, a bigger white belt. As always, I pulled guard, then stayed mostly under side control or half guard, working my defence. He went to take my back towards the end, with time running out as I started to return to half guard by triangling his legs.

Finally, I went with Jack, another bigger blue belt who like me has been training 2.5 years. He may have been taking it easy on me because of the size difference, but felt fairly even. Always hard to tell in a class setting, which is one of the main reasons its difficult to use sparring in class as a measure of progress: if you want a clear indication of your ability level, you have to go and compete.

I managed to get Jack into a tight open guard a few times, again trying for triangles, but I wasn't able to get his other arm through. I also made a crappy guillotine attempt, which did at least lead to an overhook grip, holding his collar. My second effort at the triangle fared no better than the first, for the same reason: will have to revise how best to get the arm from that position.

There might have been an opportunity to switch to an armbar instead, as I had the arm secured, but I had no idea how to get there. The omoplata also looked like a possibility due to that overhook, but I failed to get that either. Probably needed to have their arm pushed back for that, and also better hip mobility to set up the attack.

Eventually ending up rolling on top, then as I stood up in his guard, he went for armbar. I think I had too much space for him to finish it properly, but on the other hand, could just be he was going easy on me and didn't want to crank (Christina has certainly done that plenty of times in the past). Either way, I was able to get my arms free to go for a stack pass, but couldn't finish it. I tried getting his hips off the floor, but found it tough to control his legs properly. Perhaps I need to grip higher, and no doubt I'm not putting enough pressure down with my weight either.

I'm hoping to get an old university friend of mine down to class next week, who I met up with last week because he's in the area. Haven't seen him for about seven years, but we used to train together at Zhuan Shu Kuan. He's still training, but now its in Kuk Sool Won, of pink fans and made-up-lineage Gary Goodridge fame. If he gives the BJJ a go, I'll try that out too: will be fun to relive the acrobatic jumpy-kickiness of my uni days.

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