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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

11 August 2009

11/08/2009 - BJJ (No-gi)

Class #236

Combat Athletics, (BJJ), Rich Green, Coventry, UK - 11/08/2009

The hour of drilling and rolling with Rosie at Warwick a couple of weeks ago was handy, with two things of particular use. First, she gave me a handy pointer on the guard break Roy Dean showed me, which was to do with grip placement. I had thought you grabbed their biceps and shoved their arms back.

Rosie drove her hands into the armpits instead, thumb on top, which seemed to provide a lot more tension. That made it easier to then push to make space, bringing the knee past their tailbone and through their legs, opening the guard.

Working on setting up the triangle was also useful, especially combining it with the armbar. I was hooking the leg more during sparring, which was useful, as it gave me greater stability for the armbar. However, I was relying a lot on getting hold of the sleeve, which obviously doesn't work in nogi. I could grip the wrist, but sweat makes it easy enough to slip free.

Unfortunately, at some point that day I seemed to mess up my left foot, meaning that I wasn't able to make it to Combat Athletics in Canley the next week. I don't think it was from training, but whatever it was, healed up by the 11th, so I was back down to the Canley Sports and Social Club for more nogi.

Like last time, Rich again let everyone warm up on their own, then called for light rolling. I assume it was just positional, but either way, makes for a nice exercise (though if it was positional, I probably should have flowed out of closed guard more often).

Also in keeping with the previous class I attended, Rich built up a set of mobility drills rather than a specific series of techniques. The central focus was the wrestler's sit-out. First off we did what Rich called the 'baseball slide', where from the all fours position, you post out one leg and reach back with the same side elbow. Slide your other leg through, then switch your first leg back over to return to all fours, repeating the motion on the other side.

The application soon became clear, from turtle. They are facing you, gripping around your chest, under both your arms. On the side you'll be using to escape, post out your foot, then reach back with the same side elbow to make space (this is intended to clear their arm).

Your head pops out to aid the motion, then you bring your other leg through, sliding as before. As soon as you break free, move round to take their back. The leg with which you escaped now steps over to initiate that attack.

The same is true if they grip you with an over-under, so one arm going past your shoulder, the other underneath your arm. The only difference is that you need to do it towards the side on which they've gripped underneath your arm, rather than either direction.

For the arm that is around your head, there's a different option. Grab that elbow and lock it to your head, then do the wrestler's sit out in that direction. Continuing to drive with the head and body, you're aiming to put them flat on the floor, with you on top still holding their arm.

You now need to break their grip, either with a figure four and push, or by attacking the wrist. Once the arm is free, you can get a figure four, using their elbow as a fulcrum, and armbar them from there. I think this is the same thing we did in judo, where it's called waki-gatami.

Rich moved on to cover the drill from last time, where as they pass your guard, you shrimp and reach for their ankle, come to your knees then go for a double leg takedown. The wrestler's sit-out can be added in to the sequence, if the person on top manages to move round, facing your turtle again, where you can then repeat the earlier techniques.

I had a chance to spar Rich today, which was interesting. He has a size advantage, so took it easy on me, but still had little trouble getting into strong pins. While I'm relatively happy under side control, I can see I'm a lot less comfortable underneath variations of scarf hold: something I need to work on.

I wasn't being sufficiently mobile underneath, and I also need to watch how I spin: at one point, he could have got that same waki-gatami from earlier, but didn't crank the submission, letting it go instead.

In guard I was still looking for triangles, which Rich let me move into, but then easily defended. While I had the triangle in place, Rich's elbows were in tight, which stumped me. On another occasion I didn't get proper head control, so he was able to just posture up.

I found myself in mount at one point, but struggled to properly grapevine Rich's legs: definitely harder in nogi, due to less friction, and obviously more difficult with a more experienced opponent. He let me shift to a mounted triangle, after which I rolled into guard, but still couldn't finish.

Should be back again next week, hopefully twice. Off to Wales before that, to the annual trip with our friends to Aberystwyth. Weather doesn't look like its going to be too pleasant, but hey, its Wales, so that's to be expected. ;)

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