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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

29 September 2009

29/09/2009 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #245

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 29/09/2009

As appears to be a theme for Tuesdays, the advanced class started with takedowns, focusing on the single leg. Kev then drew on his judo experience (he's a black belt in that, along with his brown in BJJ), showing us a throw you can try if they've trapped your leg from the shoot, leaving you hopping around on one leg.

Its a variation of the sumi gaeshi sacrifice throw (lots of clips here). I don't normally bother listing throws, but this one was interesting. Having gone for a single, they've trapped your leg, holding it with their arms and pinching it between their knees. First you need to find your balance: Kev mentioned that at some point in the future, he wanted to get us doing some drills for that.

Reach over their back and hook your hand into their far armpit (Kev used two fingers, so I'm not sure if its better to do that, or grab with the whole hand). Your other hand will grip their far sleeve. You also want to hook the inside of their leg with yours, before sitting down and dropping back, flipping them over, then coming on top to side control.

If you're not careful, they may be able to turn into you after landing, so that you end up under side control instead. To prevent that from happening, you'll need to make some adjustment before you throw. Move your head so that it is in pressing in front of their head: maintain that pressure all the way through the throw. That should stop them being able to turn into you, and also make it easier for you to switch straight into side control.

Continuing with side control, we worked the Brabo choke (which as Kev mentioned, has a lot of names: John Kavanagh apparently takes the mick out of this difficulty with nomenclature, calling it the 'chokey choke'). Once you've cleared the elbow, move round to north south, making sure you don't let them get that arm free.

Now that you have their arm squished against their head, slip your opposite hand under their head, reaching past their trapped arm. Grab your the bicep of your other hand (like you would for a RNC), then reach that arm over their stomach. Squeeze for the submission (again, like a RNC).

If they get their arm free when you try that, there is a variation available. Make sure their head is facing away from you (if not, push their chin with your knuckles). Slip your hand under their head as before, so that your bicep is pressing into their throat.

You can now either slide backwards for a crank, or get that hand right through. That will then allow you to again grab your other bicep and get that RNC type position, squeezing for the choke. This is especially good if you have skinny little arms, like me: otherwise, it may be tough to get the right pressure on the neck.

Sparring started from side control, but wasn't specific: after that, you continued until somebody got a submission. Kevin does this quite a lot, and it like the way it cuts out that slightly pointless moment of staring at each other from the knees, where I inevitably pull guard.

Sparring with a tall white belt, I found myself in mount. As he was trying to wrap my arm, I swam through without thinking to re-establish my position. It then struck me that this is exactly what I'd been working with my girlfriend, who is still slowly making her way through Gracie Combatives. I then made a conscious effort to use the high and low swim, which functioned well in combination with some of the other parts of Rener's lesson, like 'anchor and base', along with hooking both legs.

Just goes to show how good Rener and Ryron's teaching is on that DVD. I haven't been practicing any of it myself, but instead have been directing my girlfriend in her training, after watching the videos together. Nevertheless, it has clearly sunk in, as I was able to use it effectively tonight against somebody bigger.

With Rob, I soon found myself in the opposite situation, under his mount. This happens frequently against blue belts, so I'm clearly making the same mistake. However, it also gives me a chance to try the techniques from Saulo's book, focusing on making a frame with the arms against their hip. I need to use that more, and as ever stop being so static.

I also got caught in that triangle position again where they don't have the arm. This isn't really a submission, but it hurts your neck. I'd learned my lesson from straining against this one when sparring Dan a while back, so just tapped. Much better to restart and do something more productive, instead of hurting myself to soothe my ego.

Finally I rolled with Howard, a blue belt I haven't seen before, but seems both experienced and friendly. I was trying to think carefully about using my arms, legs and hips under side control: I often forget about my arms, as I'm being overly careful to avoid expending energy. They're handy for wedging some space, and helped me escape a couple of times.

At one point, I even found myself set up for a triangle when spinning out of side control. It wasn't a planned set up, I just happened to have my legs in the right place. Howard immediately postured and moved back, so it wouldn't have gone anywhere even if time hadn't run out, but still something to keep in mind. Roy Dean spins into triangles out of side control repeatedly on Blue Belt Requirements, so I should try it more often.

I'm stll getting crunched up in half guard, where I need to try bumping them with my knee more often, to break their posture. I'm also continuing to find myself under knee-on-belly, which I have to block more effectively. I've been trying Michael Jen's defence, where he lifts their leg into half guard with the space between thumb and finger, but the arm feels vulnerable when stretched out like that.


  1. I know Howard, he was an established white belt when I first started training. Top bloke.

  2. Yeah, I get the impression he's been training a long time: mentioned learning from Felipe at Bob Breen's place, and also checking out RGA when it first opened.