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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

29 September 2009

29/09/2009 - BJJ (Beginner)

Class #244

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

Bit late on this, but I just saw on one of the forums that Black Eagle is doing another 10% discount at the moment. To get the 10% off, go to their site and use the voucher code sept09 when you check out. Only works until the end of this month though, so seeing that is today, probably not too helpful.

The theme tonight was side control, beginning with the basic side control to mount transition, followed by an Americana from side control.

There are several ways of getting your arms in place for the Americana, and while I never get this submission, it is interesting to see the slight differences. Once their wrist is secured, Kev was slipping his whole arm past the elbow and into place. On Gracie Combatives, Rener and Ryron insert the hand palm up near the elbow, then gradually twist it round to secure the grip. The main problem for me, however, is working their arm down in the first place, so I need to focus on that part of the technique before worrying about the finish.

Kev also went through some defensive options if somebody catches you in an Americana. Naturally its better to not end up there in the first place by keeping your arm safe, tucking the elbow, but that's easier said than done during sparring. If you do get caught, then Kev suggested getting your head into the crook of their elbow, which is a great stalling position to give yourself time to escape. However, as Kev heavily emphasised, you need to tap if you get caught during the escape: it isn't worth your shoulder.

Finally, Kevin showed us a basic escape from side control, which is always welcome. The point to note on this one is using a single leg bridge. You can go to both legs to increase the power of your bridge, but that will give them a chance to block your knee with their arm. If you bridge off one leg with your knee already in place by your ribs, then you can drop that knee right into place after bridging. They don't have time to jam their arm in the way.

That also reminds me, again, that I haven't updated my technique summary in a long time. Now that I'm regularly attending a basics class again, that's definitely something I'd like to do (if nothing else, means I can just link to the technique rather than repeatedly writing it out).

Sparring was of course from side control. It was king of the hill, and I was pretty terrible at maintaining my side control tonight. I attempted to stay mobile and switch position, swinging my arm through to block the hip if they were slipping free. However, I was neither quick enough nor sufficiently sensitive to how they were moving.

I can feel myself losing control, as their hips begin to escape, but I'm never able to do anything much about it. I should be controlling their hips better in the first place, but this isn't a position where a small guy like me can just hunker down and hope to squish them in place. I have to move, but more importantly, I have to know where to move. That's at least one aspect I'm missing at the moment: just randomly going to some variation of side control isn't going to help.

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