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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

06 October 2009

06/10/2009 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #247

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 06/10/2009

Advanced class began with throws as usual, this time moving from an outside trip to an inside trip (ko-uchi gari into o-uchi gari, I think, or possibly the other way round). Kev then added on a version where you wrap your leg around their's on the inside trip, then underhook an arm and drive forwards at a forty-five degree angle, locking them to the floor with your shoulder pressure into their sternum.

Ground technique (the fun stuff: throws remain something I feel I have to get through rather than enjoy) continued to focus on mount. As this was the advanced class, it was a combination attack, going from collar choke to armbar, which fits in nicely with Roy Dean's philosophy of using attacks as a 'probe' on Purple Belt Requirements.

The collar choke isn't what you're looking for, but you still need to go for it properly, or you won't get the resistance you're looking for. Start with a deep grip, then slide your other hand around to grab their shoulder (as much as possible, avoid letting your head pass the centre line of their head as you do this). Apply the choke at this point, but don't drop your head to the floor in the normal: keep your torso slightly raised.

That should get a reaction, as they try to defend the choke. You can now slide into s-mount, then release the grip on their shoulder to wrap their arm instead, completing the armbar as normal. You have the added bonus of potentially getting a choke too, if it turns out that you don't merely cause a reaction, but a tap.

Next Kev showed us an armbar escape Nick G had taught a while ago. You're in a bad position, with the arm about to be trapped, but not quite locked in yet. You'll need enough freedom to point both your arms towards your legs. Bring the foot closest to their head out and up towards it, then bridge firmly in that direction.

Keep going until you're sitting on them, facing their legs. It should be relatively easy to extract your arm now, if they're still holding it: you'll know if you were too late at this point, as they'll likely switch to a belly down armbar. Finally, you want to switch into normal mount (unless you're happy with reverse mount, which is a viable position. I can remember Stephan Kesting talking about it in one of his newsletters a while ago).

To do that, bring one leg under the other, spinning into mount: alternately, you might end up in side control. It looks pretty cool when done right (Kev does this to me all the time whenever I spar him, looking like he isn't expending any effort as he floats from position to position), but also appears a bit complex. I'm doubtful I have the coordination yet to get this outside of drilling, but then that's the first step: introduce, isolate, integrate.

Specific sparring from mount followed as before, and also was with Howard again. I did much the same thing, with the Saulo frame and a few overly strength-based escapes from underneath, then grapevining as much as I could on top. Positional control is getting better, but my mount offence is non-existent. I need to work out how to move into chokes when grapevining, or alternately transition more smoothly into s-mount than I'm currently managing.

Full sparring was next, but starting with somebody in mount. I was with Rob, who I knew was liable to choke me repeatedly. I tried to stay tight and defensive, ending up in a another position from Jiu Jitsu University, the running escape. However, I stayed there way too long, unsure of what to do next, as Rob progressively tightened his choke, eventually bringing all his limbs to bear on my neck. My neck lost.

At another point, I found myself in Rob's guard, slipping out of a triangle. I tried to immediately switch to a double underhooks pass, reaching for the opposite collar, but as usual couldn't maintain the pressure, ending up back in guard. I think I need to drive my hips more, as I always leave way too much space. This keeps happening when I go for the double underhooks, so clearly there is a fundamental flaw with my technique.

I also had another play with the reverse triangle, seeing as Rob's head was low. Last time I made the mistake of focusing too much on the choke, forgetting about the position. So this time, I tried to look for the arm and kimura opportunities, but wasn't able to isolate it properly. I also could probably have tightened the triangle, which would have helped as a distraction.

On top, things went a lot better. I again used the grapevine, managing to maintain that mount position, but not able to launch any attacks. I'm also trying to switch grapevines like Rener does on Gracie Combatives, though its a habit I'm not quite used to yet (still helped). The low swim also proved useful again, preventing my arms from getting trapped too easily. Of course, I'd just sat out the previous round, so was coming in fairly fresh, which makes a difference.

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