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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

26 November 2009

26/11/2009 - BJJ

Class #264

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 26/11/2009

If anyone reading this happens to be a student at Warwick, tomorrow I'm running a free seminar on poetry related to AIDS, as part of Sexual Health Awareness Week. Full details here, with the handout and poems available for download. So hey, even if you're not able to make it, at least you can check out what I'm going to teach. ;) Update Apr 2010: Download here.

I'm also excited to see that one of the best BJJ sites on the web, Global Training Report, is back online. Unfortunately, looks like he isn't going to do any more interviews because he's so angry about copyright violations. That would be a huge shame, so I hope he changes his mind in the future.

Class tonight focused on the open guard, but unusually Kev just showed techniques from the bottom, rather than corresponding passes. To begin, Kev showed how to get into cross guard after they've managed to get a solid grip on the inside of your knees. This is a bad position for you, as they are well placed to initiate a pass.

Sit up, then immediately scoot backwards (so you aren't purely relying on abdominal muscles). That should unbalance them slightly while in turn stabilising your base. Overwrap one of their arms with your own, then kick out to break their grip. Do the same for their other arm. It doesn't matter too much how you overwrap the arm (e.g., you could use your same side arm, the opposite arm, or even try to wrap both their arms at the same time), but for me, the same side arm felt the most natural.

It is also seemed to set up the next stage, which is to cross-grip their opposite sleeve. Pull that towards you and secure a grip behind their ankle as well, putting your same side foot onto their hip. That should block off that side completely, leaving your other foot to go on their hip or bicep.

Next, Kev moved on to a triangle from open guard, in the same position. It is important that their posture is broken, as you will struggle to get this submission if they are upright at this point. Pull down on their arm and shoot your hips up, kicking your legs through. You can either try and leap straight into a triangle, or more methodically just get your ankles crossed, then adjust into the triangle. If they're able to resist the triangle but you have your legs locked, you may be able to armbar them instead.

Specific sparring was cardio intensive today. We began by only using our legs, meaning that the person trying to pass had to keep their hands on their belt, while the person underneath actively tucked their hands into their belt (the person standing can't do that in case they fall over and need to break their fall). That meant that you had to constantly move, as to pass you were running around your partner, while underneath you were frantically spinning to keep up, trying to establish hooks and pushing on the hips.

I find it hard enough to pass when I've got my arms, so this was really hard for me. On the bottom, I was much happier, generally able to spin into position, hook their legs, and keep facing them. I couldn't do much else, but then with no hands it was hard to set up sweeps or submissions.

Kev then changed to allowing one hand, which made a considerable difference. I now managed to land a couple of sweeps from the bottom, particularly as they no longer had a second hand to post out. However, I was still just as bad passing on top.

Finally, as you'd expect, it was normal open guard sparring, with both your hands and your legs. Again, I fared much better on the bottom on top, though I almost got a pass towards the end. I pushed through to top half guard, freed my leg and spun round to a sloppy north south, but left too much space. My partner was able to get to his knees and single leg me (the fact I was knackered by this point probably didn't help my defence much).

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