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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

08 December 2009

08/12/2009 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #269

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 08/12/2009

I came across another great blog thanks to Georgette earlier this week, here (especially the excellent articles). As ever, Jo's blog has been added to the blog index, which now has an extra 'Added' column. That should hopefully make it easier to see new additions (presuming there are other people out there who are constantly searching for yet more blogs to stick in their Google Reader). Unfortunately, it seems that it is no longer possible to upload Excel sheets from your desktop onto Google Docs and retain links: hence why I've shoved in the whole URL instead (e.g., on the Black Belt magazine BJJ index).

The knee on belly attacks continued with an armbar from knee on belly, this time on the near rather than far arm. You begin in a low knee on belly (as in, your weight is low, torso down towards theirs), then attack with a kimura on the far arm. Your opponent can't ignore this, so may well bring their other arm over to try and prevent you getting the necessary leverage.

As soon as they do this, step your foot up towards their head, still threatening the kimura. Once you've pulled their arm up towards you and have your leg in position, switch your arm positioning to instead go for an armbar. It is possible to either have your foot over their head or your shin on their neck, hooking your foot for further control. In that situation, you might need to switch to a belly down armbar, depending on how much they try to turn away from you.

Alternately, you can go for a choke from knee on belly. Kev refers to this as a baseball bat choke, but he wasn't sure if that was technically correct. Either way, you start by gripping the near side collar (palm towards their gi), meaning you can use your arm to cross-face, preventing them from turning towards you. Your other hand grips next to the first, but this time palm up, thumb inside.

They will probably begin to turn towards you as you cross-face: once your arms are in position, you can relax that long enough to loop your first arm over their head. Bring your forearm into their throat, and the elbow of that arm down towards the elbow of your other arm. From here, apply the submission as usual, blocking both sides of their neck.

Kev followed that up with two escapes from knee on belly. The first was much the same as the escape we'd just done in the beginners class, except that instead of recovering guard, you switch one leg under the other and go to your knees. Grab their foot and leg, then pull it out from under them, yanking upwards so you can then move round to knee on belly. In the process, you can either stand for greater leverage (the recommended option), or drive your weight into them, leading with your shoulder.

The second escape from knee on belly is to use your arm opposite their pressuring knee to hook under the ankle of that leg. Bridge up and lift with your hand at the same time, aiming to lever their leg in between your own. That puts you in what is sometimes referred to as 'quarter guard': this is still a precarious position, as their knee is free to try for a pass.

If the knee is still on your belly, push with both hands, then establish half guard, getting up onto your side. If they start to pass with a knee slide before you can try that, bump them forward with your knee. This should enable you to slip free and get to your knees, escaping knee on belly. Alternatively, you could try and move into deep half guard.

In sparring, I found myself under what I think was a modified scarf hold (as they didn't have my arm). I always find this tougher to escape than side control, as there seems to be less space. Still, I did attempt to shift out for an armbar once or twice, which was entertaining, if not very effective. Definitely need to take another look at scarf hold escapes.

I also had the chance to spar a blue belt who hasn't been in class before, Sahid. I think he's taking the class on Thursday, as Kev has a family appointment he can't miss, so it was nice to meet Sahid beforehand. I think Kev mentioned he's a fairly experienced blue, and that showed in his measured style of rolling, always being careful to stay controlled. He also immediately reminded me to be careful where I put my arms if they go to turtle: I reached in too deep and was immediately rolled and armbarred, with a waki-gatame.

That roll also gave me a chance to put the defensive strategy of connecting your knee to your elbow into effect, to prevent them going to knee on belly. However, while that was slightly helpful in blocking the knee, it would have been better if I'd made a proper barrier with those limbs, putting my forearm to my thigh instead.

Tomorrow should be interesting, as I'm hopefully going to get the chance to train with an old friend. Looking forward to it!


  1. Hey, slidey, have you considered making a list of BJJ/MMA forums, too? I know you frequent a bunch of them because any time I find a new one, you're already passing out links :P

  2. Heh - yeah, I tend to sign up to a lot of them. Wouldn't be too hard for me to whip up an extra tab on the spreadsheet, as I've got a ton of forums bookmarked in my favourites. Good idea! :D

  3. slideyfoot,

    Would you add me please?



  4. Sure: thought I already had, but will put you on now, Jason.

    I also stuck in that BJJ Forum tab Leslie suggested: I know there are way more BJJ forums out there than that, so further additions welcome (just needs to be a forum or sub-forum specifically about BJJ)