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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

26 July 2009

Roy Dean Seminar: Day Two

Seminar #3
Uplands School, (BJJ), Roy Dean, Poole, UK - 26/07/2009

After a gentle warm-up, day two began with a great drill to improve your mobility in side control. Start in side control, then turn towards their legs, one hand under their head. Reach your other hand to hold their knees, then bring your leg over. Initially that just replaces the pressure on the knees previously provided by your hand, before dropping into mat, upon which you establish mount.

From mount, switch your hands under the head, then step all the way back and over with your leg, from the side you just left. After landing, scoot your hips back, move to side control. Then you repeat, by again facing the legs, this time transitioning in the other direction.

You can also add scarf hold to that sequence, pulling the arm to switch to scarf, holding your thigh with the hand under the head, before going to side control. That set up the next few techniques, as Roy went through a few scarf hold submissions.

The first was a straight armbar from scarf hold. Slide the arm you have trapped up your knee, making sure it is straight, before stepping your rear leg over to trap. Your other leg will be used for leverage, so you need to be certain you have their elbow placed correctly to hyperextend the joint.

Stretch your legs out slightly, lowering them towards the floor, and also drag them back a little. From there, you can put pressure on the arm with your top leg in order to get the submission.

If they manage to free their arm by bending it towards your head, you can now go for an americana with the legs (similar to the one on the Renzo/Kukuk DVD set). It is important you're quick with the other leg, stepping it over their bent arm immediately to trap it. That transition requires a bit of flexibility, so to make it easier, raise your hips before bringing the leg over.

To secure the position, triangle your legs, also pressing on their shoulder to stop it raising up. Scoot you hips back for a better angle, then lift your hips towards the arm in order to get the tap: keep in mind you're aiming for their arm to perform exactly the same motion as if you were doing a regular americana. Be careful with this, as it can come on fast (even before you've locked everything into place), especially if their shoulders are tight.

Roy then returned to the americana from side control. Roy began with the basic set up, noting that you shoulder insert your second hand by the elbow initially, before moving into position. Reason being, that means your hand has less distance to travel in order to secure the figure four grip.

You can also get the americana if your arm is under their head, though you'll need to be more patient. Lock the wrist with the hand you have under the head, then wait for the chance to bring that arm all the way around the other side. Your other hand should be ready and waiting to insert, so you can instantly lock the figure four, then finish the submission.

A useful technique followed, in reaction to your partner pushing on your neck, preventing you from settling into side control or properly attacking their arm. Or at least that's what they think: by shoving your neck up, they are actually leaving themselves open for an americana.

Go with the force, letting them push you back, then at the top of the arc, forcefully shift your entire bodyweight in the other direction, changing your hips. To help that motion, you should also switch leg over the other. This will help you slam their wrist down to the mat, after which you can complete the americana as usual.

A second option if their pushing into their neck from under side control is to go for an arm triangle. Deflect their arm past your head and towards theirs, clamping that arm to their neck using your head. Next, get your arm under their head on the other side, either just clasping your hands, or if you have room, grabbing your bicep and then using the hand of that arm to grip your head.

Either way, you normally need to be on the other side of their body to finish the submission. Hop your body over, then squeeze from that side for the submission.

Following a quick break, Roy continued into the second hour. We remained in side control and with the americana, but this time it was a beautiful flowing sequence between three submissions.

Begin with the americana from side control, as before. They manage to straighten out the arm, which gives you the chance to switch into a straight armbar from side control. Maintaining the figure four, fluidly slide your grip up to their wrist, which will leave your other arm under their elbow. Make sure you're in the right place to leverage their joint, then curl your wrists (so, downward pressure with the top wrist, upward with the bottom wrist).

They escape yet again, this time by bending their arm downwards. You can now attempt a kimura, but you'll need to switch the arms in your figure-four first. To that end, glue their arm to your head by shoving up under their arm with your own, also applying downward pressure with your chin. Your other arm moves underneath, smoothly replacing the previous pressure from your first arm. From there, you can then move into position for the kimura.

To continue the sequence, they might straighten their arm again, so you shift into the straight armlock once more. If they straighten, the above description for the transition to a kimura applies equally to an americana.

Roy then added further details for the kimura from side control. To get the tap, you may need greater leverage. To get it, switch your hips so that you're facing their head. Shimmy back to put your weight right across their hips, with your back near their knees. Slightly raise your partner, providing you with an increased range of motion on their trapped arm. To make it secure, step over their head, then finish the submission.

Next up was a technique I found much more difficult, the transition to north-south. I may have remembered this incorrectly, but I think it starts by clamping their arm to their side. Move around until your knees are on either side of their head.

Get that clamping arm under their armpit, palm up, reaching across towards your chest to trap it. Use that to pull them up on their side, then come up a little on your toes, pressuring forward, while also driving your shoulder into them.

From there you can go for a kimura from north south. Progressing from the above position, bring knees towards their shoulders until you're basically sitting on their head. Put your shin across their free arm, then secure a figure four grip on the other arm. Move that arm across their body and down, then complete the submission.

If they grab their belt before you can finish the submission, use rhythm to break that grip. Push into them twice, as if you are really trying to free their arm, then yank hard in the other direction (aiming for the direction in which their fingers are weakest). That should free their arm, so you can get the tap as above.

You can also go for an armbar from north south. From the figure four position, instead of going for a kimura, hop up into a crouch above their head, then swivel into an armbar. Remember to keep your hips in close, so the armbar is tight.

Again, if they clasp their arms and you can't break the grip, all is not lost. In this position, you can go for a bicep slicer (I think, though Roy referred to it as a joint compression, so I could be using the wrong terminology).

You have a figure four, but they have clasped hands. Bring the leg nearest their knees over your own arms, then triangle it with your other leg. Before squeezing, release you upper grip, leaving one of your arms stuck through (it needs to be the forearm for this to work, not just your wrist).

Twist that forearm up, so your thumb is pointing to the ceiling, while squeezing with your triangled legs. This is very unpleasant, and should get your the tap. Be careful, as if they don't tap (which is possible if they're unfamiliar with the technique and think its just pain compliance), this could cause a nasty injury.

After another short break, in which I was again frantically scribbling notes, Roy moved on to guard passing. I put my glasses on for this, as I'm really keen to finally shore up that gaping hole in my game.

The first guard pass position had them lying on their back, feet pressed into your hips. Grip the gi material on the inside of both knees. Drive forward with your own hips, then when you have decided which side you want to pass, shift that side hip backwards.

Using the space and momentum of their leg (remember, that was pressing on your hip, so will still have some forward motion), slam that leg to the mat. Trap it with your shin, pull up on their arm, then slide through to scarf hold.

Alternately, when you have crushed their leg to the mat, immediately drop down on top of it, pinching with your knees (note that they'll probably try to trap a leg here, so trap their leg first, with the instep of your outside leg). You'll also need to quickly establish a grip on their upper body, under a head and an arm.

From here, wait until the time is right, then swing your inside leg out over your other leg, squishing into their leg with the knee of your outside leg. Switch your legs again, then move to side control, sliding in with the intention of clearing their elbow as you secure the position.

Roy progressed from that position to what he called a z-guard pass. This is when they have indeed wrapped one leg over yours, jamming it to the ground, while their other shin is across your stomach. That creates a pattern reminiscent of a 'Z', hence the name. To get some kind of control, you have a grip behind their gi collar, with the same side arm.

To free your trapped leg, drive the knee forward and in, towards your other leg. You are looking to get enough space to circle your upper leg under their leg, then come out over the top. Do not try and lift your knee over: that isn't the idea here, and is much tougher.

Once you've cleared their leg, pull on their same side arm with your free hand, then slide through, crushing the leg across your stomach with your hip, turning towards the sleeve grip. Keep constant pressure, once again getting to that position where your facing towards their head, your weight on their hips, slightly raising your own hips to maximise your pressure.

If they are not only pushing on your hips, but also holding both your sleeves, a different pass is called for. Start by grabbing one of their sleeves in return, then bring your other hand under both legs until you can grip their trouser cuff (this leg should be on the same side as the sleeve you've grabbed).

Before you can progress, you require tension from their legs: if they aren't pushing on your hips anymore, this won't work. Once they are, shove your hips straight back without moving your feet, then pull on both your sleeve grip and the trouser cuff hold (so again the "it's me" motion from the ankle pick earlier).

This should cause them to spin, leaving them wide open for knee-on-belly, but depending on how far they swivel, you may need to step to the side to get there. Maintain the hold on their sleeve, as that will mean you can move into an armbar. Roy explained a useful detail here, which is leaning forward with your head. That helps you when dropping down, as it stops your hips ending up too far back.

Roy then demonstrated the Margarida pass. The situation this time is that they are sitting in front of you, while you have one leg between theirs. Secure a deep grip on their same side collar, pulling up with your other hand on their same side sleeve. From here, simply drive your knee into their sternum (don't go too high).

Drive forward through their guard, forcing their back to the mat. You now have two options: the obvious one is to move your foot to the side then drop into mount. However, they may well push on your knee to escape, which means you can slide through into their armpit pulling up on their sleeve, in the same way you did for many of the above techniques.

Finally, because you have that deep grip on their collar, you are set up for a choke, if you can drive them into mount. Grip the gi near the back of their shoulder on the other side with your free hand. You can then just drop the arm across their throat and squeeze for the choke.

At the end of class, Roy and Steve went into a corner, calling up students in order to evaluate them: lots of people got stripes, and there should be a bunch more UK Roy Dean blue belts after the next few trips out to Bend, Oregon. Due to those students waiting to hear their name, there wasn't quite so much sparring. I was scribbling notes again, but later had a roll with Kevin, an old friend of Steve's who is one of the Brits working towards a blue.

Finally worked through the triangle set up to land the submission, but it was pretty sloppy. The reason I was able to finish this time was scooting my hips back enough, maintaining head control, and making sure I didn't get stacked. Earlier I flailed unsuccessfully for the triangle to armbar combination as Kevin stood up, but didn't have anything like the leverage required.

A camera was almost constantly running over the two days, so I'm really looking forward to the footage. It will certainly help with going over that enormous mass of technique, which has taken around four hours or so to type up: good way to make two long train journeys less boring!).

That reminds me of how important it is, at least for me, to take notes. No way I would have remembered more than two or three techniques without some kind of record keeping.

As with a considerable proportion of what Roy Dean showed over the last three days, many of these techniques can be found on the new Purple Belt Requirements DVD, which is what I'll be typing up next. Hopefully have it done by Monday or Tuesday afternoon.

The past three days have been brilliant, so I hope to be at next year's seminar, when I'll also hopefully be able to congratulate some of the Brits I met on shiny new blue belts. It was a real pleasure getting to both train under and talk with the guys from Bend, so travelling out there myself is definitely something I'd like to do in the future. Thanks again to everyone for their hospitality, and the chance to train at this seminar!

[Pics included by kind permission of Paul Laver]

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  1. Wow What a privilege - I'm very envious!

    If he pops over again next year, I'd be pretty keen to come down as well.

    Just ordered my purple belt requirements DVD, but await your review with anticipation anyway.

    Well done Slidey, those few days are defo ones to remember!


  2. How awesome is that!? (Hint: Very.) Here I was just hoping Prof. Dean would just get you a copy of the Purple Belt Requirements to review. Looks like you got that and a lot more. I'm eagerly awaiting your review of that new DVD, though honestly I'm still digesting the Blue Belt Requirements, and being a (very) white belt I may not yet be advanced enough to fully benefit from the new material yet.