| bjj resources

 BJJ FAQ  Academy

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

13 October 2009

13/10/2009 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #251

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 13/10/2009

If there is anyone reading this who happens to enjoy poetry and can get to Birmingham at the weekend, yours truly will be teaching a seminar. I was asked to discuss Michael Donaghy at the Birmingham Book Festival on the 17th, so in the unlikely event any of the BJJers out there reading this are interested, would be cool to see you there. Further details on their site.

Getting back to tonight's class, Kev continued with work from the guard. He started by drilling a combination attack. First you go for the armbar, letting them pull their arm free. Switch to an omoplata on the other arm, allowing them to posture up. Finally, open your legs and shift to a triangle. Change sides and repeat, then let your partner have a go.

The first technique was the omoplata from guard, which I've always found confusing. The way Kev showed it was from a triangle, but they've managed to hide the arm you've isolated, reaching around your leg towards their feet.

This gives you the perfect opportunity to go for an omoplata. Reaching over the arm which is reaching back, grasp their belt, locking your elbow in to prevent them escaping. Your leg is still around their arm and now locked in, so grip the shin with your free arm, then step out with your other leg. This will enable you to shift into position.

Bring the leg still on their back past their face, until you can sit up, sliding your other leg back. You are now sitting with their arm still trapped in your leg, unable to move because it is pressed against the floor and your legs are blocking escape routes.

You also want to get them flat on the floor, by switching your grip on their belt to instead clasp around their far side. Shift sideways in the other direction, until you've broken their balance and they are lying flat on the floor. To finish, simply lean forward, as if you were going to whisper in their ear, which should torque their shoulder.

Alternately, there is an omoplata sweep. This time, they've stood up in your guard, while you've got a grip on their opposite side sleeve. Move to wrap their leg as if you were attempting a hand stand sweep, switching the sleeve to your same side hand (which is wrapped around the bottom of their leg). Your guard stays closed.

Next you need to break their posture, so that they are leaning found. You can do this through a combination of pulling down on their collar, then if you need greater leverage, swinging your far leg around and pressing it down on their head. They should now be off balance.

Take that leg off the head and triangle their arm (though you don't need to lock it in). In a smooth motion, bring your legs away from their body, aiming to roll them over to the side. Continue the roll and sit up, so you are sat on their arm while they are on their back. You can now switch to side control.

There are some similar techniques covered on the Demian Maia DVD, though I'm not sure he does the exact same thing as Kev in the omoplata part of the set.

Kev then ran through two omoplata defences, early and late. If you react quickly enough before they've managed to lock on the omoplata, you can just roll over the shoulder of the other arm, making sure to get your head out of the way (I didn't the first time, and its not pleasant on the neck). Also, you need to immediately pull the arm they attacked towards you, or they could transition into an armbar.

The second option is for when you're caught. Before they can complete the submission, grab your trousers with your trapped arm. That should give you a moment to then turn into them. You end up stuck under mount, which is still a bad position, but it is better than being a few seconds away from tapping out (if you're looking at it from a competition perspective).

In sparring with Callum, I ended up in the reverse triangle as he was moving to side control a few times, and tried to be a bit more active in that position. It helped me sit up and go to a sort-of front headlock a couple of times, but that was only if I was quick and got there before he could settle into side mount.

I also attempted to lock in my favoured overhook in the guard, but he knew exactly what I was going for (in fact, we'd been chatting about it earlier). He managed to step through into half guard, making it rather less useful, though I had a try to see if I could still launch and attack from there. I need to make sure I don't forget about my legs when attempting to get that overhook, and also pull them in towards me: I think Callum was able to posture, which in turn made passing over my leg easier.

Finally I went with Joel, which was another slow, patient spar. I spent most of it in his guard (which is where we started: Kev again had everyone begin in a position, then free spar from there), defending against chokes and trying to maintain good posture. I also wanted to stand up, but couldn't avoid his deep collar grip. Maybe Passing the Guard will have some useful tips, though naturally the best thing is to prevent them getting that grip in the first place.

Thursday's sparring hour is going to be nogi again, so I may or may not attend. Kinda reminds me of what Simon Hayes said here, about forcing people to train nogi by not telling them in advance. I certainly don't think Kev is doing something similar (its just because there are a bunch of people competing in a nogi tournament soon), but made me think about how I'm perfectly happy to just stick with gi and let the nogi slide. Very much a hobbyist! ;)


  1. It's funny that you guys worked that guard combination. We did the same thing at our class tonight. Very useful.

  2. It's the opposite for most of the guys who train here -- they have to be forced in to gi training and weren't happy when the schedule changed to make room for more gi.

    I like both, though. After a week of the gi, it's nice to have a night where you can fly over the mats and slide around your partners.

  3. Hey, slidey -- it seems Aesopian has redone his site, and the links here (your FAQ mostly) and in your posts on Bullshido aren't working. If you take off the article title and add "?p=" before the article number, that should fix them all.

  4. Thanks very much for the heads up: wouldn't have noticed that otherwise! I'll check that out now.

  5. No problem. Neil pointed it out on one of my pages; just passing it on.

    I may have also found some new-to-you blogs. They're listed at the top (and very cleverly marked as "New").

  6. Cool - always good to have more blogs to read!

    Missed the nogi comment earlier: I think its due to the fact that wrestling is common in the US, but rare here in the UK. Much more likely you'll see judo in the UK than wrestling.

    Also, its cold. ;p