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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

09 June 2009

09/06/2009 - Nova Força

Class #229

Nova Força Epsom (BJJ), Ricardo Da Silva, Epsom, UK - 09/06/2009

I was fortunate today in that I worked exclusively with the higher belts Tim, Theo and Simon, which always means loads of great advice (especially in a welcoming, friendly class like Nova Força), which I've added to the descriptions below.

Both techniques tonight were from butterfly guard, starting with what Ricardo referred to as a basic butterfly sweep. From butterfly guard, underhook with one arm and reach around the back (grabbing the belt if they're wearing a gi), while the other hand grabs their same side arm, closing tight with the elbow to keep them close. From there, you want to shift slightly towards the underhook side.

To get the sweep, the foot you have under their thigh on the underhook side is going to serve as the leverage point to roll them over. However, you can't lift them with just your leg: instead, you want to put your whole body into the motion. To do that, drop back, then kick your other leg out straight. That will provide you with a much stronger position to move your partner (Ricardo noted that you don't have to kick out the leg, but he finds it helps to do so).

As you roll over on top, you want to make sure your shin moves to trap their leg on the underhook side, ready to initiate the pass. You also need to move your underhooking hand up to grab the back of their collar instead, or you'll end up trapping your own arm. Bringing your head down next to their shoulder will help your base, meaning you should end up with a lot of pressure on your partner. Finally, pull up on their arm, then slide through into scarf hold.

If they manage to base out with their leg before you can complete the roll, it is still possible to sweep them, by going to x-guard. As soon as they post their leg, swivel your body towards that limb, using your arm to trap their foot against your head. Put your legs into the x-guard position (one foot under their thigh, the other foot on their hip, pressing with the top of your instep).

Next, you want to get the foot you've trapped off the floor, by pushing with your own feet on their leg. As soon as you feel their foot lose purchase on the ground, switch the hook you have under their thigh to their knee. Push to get them off-balance, then do a technical stand-up to get back to your feet, still holding their leg. Their base is now completely broken, so it should be a simple matter to take out their leg for the sweep.

Specific sparring was from the sweep position, where the person in butterfly already has the underhook and the arm trapped. My butterfly guard passing is just as terrible as all my other passing, so I didn't get far: I tried wibbling around to get my balance, which without fail resulted in a sweep. I also thought I'd try moving a leg out and then back in to try and clear their hook, but that didn't work any better. Clearly need to review butterfly passes: my passing in general, as always, has a very long way to go.

Just two free spars today, or more specifically, two and a half. I started with Simon, trying to keep in mind Tim's advice about getting to my side when underneath. I tried defending against a choke from knee on belly by getting my hands in the way, but that wasn't enough to prevent the submission. Simon advice that instead of relying on using my hands as a barrier, I should turn into the choke, which fits in with the general advice on getting to my side.

He was followed by Tim, where we started towards the end of one round then continued into the next. I spent pretty much the whole time trying to escape side control, again concentrating on getting to my side. That meant I was always looking to recover guard or half guard, wriggling a knee through to begin the recovery.

However, that is not the only option for escaping side control: I'm still tending to completely forget about going to my knees. Tim suggested I should be attempting that more often, which is also something Jude has advised in the past. Being on top is an alien world for me, so going to my knees and driving forward hardly ever even enters my mind: something I need to rectify.

My friend should be popping down to class on Thursday, which will mean not only do I get to introduce someone to BJJ, but I can also get a lift (as he's nearby in Oxshott). Will be interesting to see what he thinks of the sport, particularly how it differs to the Kuk Sool Won he's used to.

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