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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

07 July 2009

07/07/2009 - Nova Força

Class #232



Nova Força Epsom (BJJ), Tim Radcliffe, Epsom, UK - 07/07/2009

At long last, I'll be heading to Turkey with my gf in a couple of months. I've been meaning to take her there since we started going out eight years ago, so very much overdue. Also given me the sufficient kick up the arse I need to finally try and brush up my rather terrible Turkish. Only downside is that the people I cycled past probably thought I was nuts, as I was loudly repeating Turkish from my language podcast on the way to and from training.

Tim went through two sweeps today, both of which I've seen before, but still can't perform very well. The first standing sweep begins when they stand in your guard and try to open your legs. Grab their sleeves, slip down their body and open your guard. Once you get to their knees, squash them together with your legs, locking your feet. This needs to be quick, as normally they'll put one leg back to begin passing, which prevents you trying this technique.

Using your sleeve grips, push their arms down and as far back as you can. This should put them off balance. You can now crunch your legs towards you and roll over one shoulder (as in the typical breakfalling drill). Keep pulling on the arms to end up in mount, aiming to end up near their hips.

I had some trouble getting this right. Locking the legs is straightforward, but I found pushing the arms back in combination with crunching your knees in and rolling over awkward. Aside from my general ineptitude, I also don't like techniques where I feel I lack control, which is the case with this one: momentum is a big part of it.

On top of that, when I rolled back, I was ending up too far forward in mount, which in sparring would provide my partner with the option to escape out the back. That was because I wasn't controlling the arms properly, or pushing on the sleeves as I rolled.

The next standing sweep is a variation on one of my favourites, the handstand sweep. This time when they stand up in your closed guard, you keep your legs locked around their waist. Grab a sleeve, then underhook their opposite foot with your arm. Drop your hips to their knees and twist: if their knees are closed, use your hips to dig your way between them.

Drive your hip against the knee of their trapped leg to knock them to the floor. Come up on top using the grip on their sleeve, with your legs in a hurdling position (i.e., one bent with the foot pointing back, the other straight, pointing diagonally away from their body). You're now well placed to shift into a strong mount.

Simon had a tip on the grip here, demonstrating what he feels is the most powerful method. First, get your thumb under the sleeve. Twist that up, wrapping your fingers around the top, continuing to twist. You should end up with a pocket of gi material held by your four fingers, thumb gripping outside.

In free sparring I started with Tim, quickly getting into the usual thing pattern of escaping side control to guard repeatedly. As before, I was concentrating on staying on my side, shrimping, and also trying to get my forearm to my thigh in order to block knee on belly. Need to be quicker with that, and also keep in mind the option of going to knees from under side control.

After briefly rolling with a beginner, which resulted in me showing them how to escape side control (which surprisingly they don't appear to have seen yet), I went with Simon. He's always really good for tips, though he tends to go at a harder pace than the other senior belts I've rolled with at Nova Força.

First thing was that I need to press forward when in someone's guard or I'll simply get knocked over backwards. That's especially true when starting from knees for sparring, as I'll tend to be passive and wait to see what they'll do.

Secondly, to defend the baseball bat choke (Simon said this was applicable to chokes in general too), I should press the elbow of their choking arm outwards, defending my neck with my other hand. As they need to close their elbows for the choke, that will give me room to turn towards them and shrimp out.

Finally, to escape mount I need to be proactive with my elbows. Rather than just staying tight and defensive, I have to really push on their legs and shrimp. Simon exposed the weakness in my defence by repeatedly moving into a mounted triangle, which is something that's happened before with other people too. So, more activity on my part under mount!

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