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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

10 November 2009

10/11/2009 - BJJ (Beginner)

Class #259

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 10/11/2009

I've started putting the date on new additions to my blog index, which should make it easier for anyone who is looking to beef up their Google Reader list. I use the format for dates, as being a geek, I like to be able to easily put things in order (in this case, Z-A on the 'added' column, with a secondary A-Z sort on 'blog title'. I made a handy little macro that does that for me whenever I press Ctrl+Shift+S). Which is also part of the reason I love Excel. ;)

This week, Kev is focusing on the mount, so it's a shame I'm off to Bristol tomorrow. I would have liked to have made the beginner class on Thursday, as I'm hoping he's going to go through the ezequiel from mount at some point (been trying to land it for a while, and though Kev has already given me some great advice on that, it would be very helpful seeing him go through the submission step by step from a grapevined low mount).

The first technique was an armbar from mount. This was mostly the same as before, but getting into the technical mount was a little different. Unlike previously, Kev started in my preferred low mount, grapevining the legs.

From that stable position, you first want to shove their arm to the mat. Grab their wrist with either one or two hands, then drive it to the floor. Kev grips with the thumb, which he mentioned can also help your base (if you're shoving with both arms and they try to bridge you halfway through). As usual, it isn't about arm strength, but straightening your arms and letting bodyweight do the job for you. Bring your knee up to their armpit, repeat on the other side, moving into high mount.

The technique then continues the same as before, though I did have a chance to get some further details from Kev, specifically on getting past their arms when securing the collar grip. Back when I was training at RGA HQ, Roger Gracie ran a class on how to use your hip against your elbow to drive that hand through (making a knife hand for less friction), but I had been thinking you needed to keep on shoving it with your hip.

As Roger did a seminar at Kev's Aylesbury location recently, he was able to clarify: you only need to get the hand past their blocking arms using the hip. Once you've done that, you can shift back to just pulling on their lapel to drive your other hand into a deeper grip.

In addition, Kev had some further points on that technical mount to armbar transition. As you shift into what Kev calls the 'dog leg' position (your far leg is diagonally wrapped around their arm, foot by their head), you want to keep a hold on the far arm. The grip should be by their elbow, but the clever part is that you also want to prevent their other hand from locking up (e.g., if they grab their gi or something). While holding their elbow, you simultaneously want to wedge your forearm under their other wrist, prying it away from any gi or arm they could grab. That should make it easier to isolate when dropping back for the armbar.

Also, like I mentioned last time, Kev crosses his feet when doing an armbar from mount. Given that there was recently a Bullshido thread on exactly that topic, I wanted to ask about something I'd read, which is that you should only cross your feet if both arms are trapped. If they get one hand out, you switch back to uncrossed. Kev has a different suggestion: if they get the non-trapped hand out and move to escape, he tends to catch them in a triangle (if they're turning into him) or go for a belly-down armbar. So, his legs stay crossed.

Kev then showed how to escape the armbar from mount. You're in exactly the same position as above, where they're in technical mount and have now brought their leg over to go for the submission. You need to grab their leg, then switch your own legs in order to get to your knees. This is easier said than done, but if you manage it, you should be in their guard, ready to run through the usual armbar escape.

A really useful element I hadn't thought about before, which I need to add to my technique summary, is shifting backwards on this escape. That helps to kill their pressure, combined with driving your shoulder into their leg and crushing it towards the floor. It was much easier to free the arm if you move backwards slightly first.

Specific sparring from mount was similar to last time, as again I found I was more successful when using a low grapevined mount, rather than moving higher up. However, also like last time, I couldn't launch much of an attack from there. I tried to shift into a high mount, but generally Howard started to bridge at that point. I did normally manage to switch into a sloppy technical mount, but not very secure, so kept floppy back into a grapevined mount to prevent losing control entirely.

I also had a go at triangles from mount. As I already had an arm under the head, I thought I could use that to lift the head and quickly get my leg under. Wasn't too successful, as I think I was trying to bring my leg too great a distance, and it also felt like perhaps there were some other steps I was missing. Moving into a rolling triangle might work, like the one from side control last week, but mount is of course a somewhat different position.

Escaping I managed to get back to half guard repeatedly, which was good. I think the Saulo arm frame helped with that, because as soon as Howard tried to shift into technical mount, I was able to create enough space to get my knee through, spinning to half guard (or once, rather less successfully to the bottom of side control).


  1. Regarding the ezekiel from the low grapevined mount - Saulo shows this technique on his first DVD set. To me, he explains it perfectly.

  2. Good idea: I should go watch that disc from Jiu Jitsu Revolution again. It's been a while.