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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

02 June 2009

02/06/2009 - Nova Força

Class #228

Nova Força Epsom (BJJ), Ricardo Da Silva, Epsom, UK - 02/06/2009

Class was absolutely packed, with a tough warm-up from Simon. There were also three women present, which was good to see. The two new joiners haven't bought a gi yet, but I presume they plan to stay, as they've been to most of the classes I've attended so far.

Technique tonight was the guillotine, which while basic is nevertheless a fundamental move I certainly haven't got down yet. The scenario presented was that you've got head control and they posture up. You follow them and go for a sit-up sweep, which they attempt to counter by pulling your arm and driving their weight forward.

In response, immediately scoot your hips back and bring one arm under their neck, reaching to clasp your other hand. Twist to side on which you've trapped their head, then I think move slightly up (though I keep getting that wrong: either way, you need to get the bone of your forearm pressed against their neck).

If they bring their legs up to resist, shrimp to the opposite side you've trapped their head. At the same time, use your legs to chop low on one side and high on the other: in other words, comparable to a flower sweep, taking them over diagonally. Continue holding the guillotine, which will mean they either tap as you roll them over, or if not, you'll still end up in mount. Ricardo mentioned that in gi competition, you'd have to release the sub at that point (presumably because its potentially a neck crank, but I'm guessing there).

As the class was so huge, free sparring was split into two groups, with one sitting on the side. Rounds were only two minutes, so got through lots of sparring partners. However, that short space of time also meant that they generally followed the same pattern: I'd pull guard from the knees, but so badly that I'd instantly get passed to side control.

From there, I tried to stay on my side, but not all that successfully. My partner would then either transition to knee on belly, where I'd keep trying to shrimp away, or move to scarf hold. I need to review scarf hold escapes, as I'm definitely out of practice.

I was also trying keep my arms tight to my neck to defend against chokes, and my head close to the floor to avoid the cross face. Along with scarf hold, my north-south escape needs work too: I can't remember the last time I was held in north-south, as people don't seem to bother all that often. I aimed to wriggle out with the intention of then seeing if I could swing up onto their back, but didn't get that far. Instead, managed to follow their legs and recover half-guard, as I think they were trying to move round for a choke or something at the same time.

The only spar that broke that pattern was with Lindsey, where I had another chance to keep working the triangle. As before, I need to deal with the arms, getting one in and one out in order to initiate the triangle. I was looking for an underhook too, but struggled to open up her arms sufficiently. Using my hips more might help, perhaps bridging up to make some space.

My left arm was still a bit sore from the previous week, so it will be good to give it a rest until next Tuesday. I'm also hoping to get that friend along to class I mentioned a while back, depending on if he's busy or not. He's in Oxshott, so getting a lift sounds handy too, as that saves me the cycle ride.

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