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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

15 December 2009

15/12/2009 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #272

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 15/12/2009

There has been some cool historical grappling stuff on the internet recently, starting with this judo video from 1905, followed by this old (1952, I think) judo text, Higher Judo Ground Work, and finally Pat Jordan's 2009 follow-up to his original 1989 article on Rorion Gracie.

Kev continued through into the technical mount, which followed on nicely from the problems I had been having during sparring. First Kev initiated a basic drill to get used to the timing, because as he had said earlier, it is essential you pre-empt their escape. From mount, your partner shrimps and goes for an elbow escape. Immediately slide your knee up to the top of their back, while the other knee raises up, foot tight to their hip. You can also use your hands to both base out and help make that transition of your weight smoother.

Those based out hands are also helpful for the next technique, a choke from technical mount. Use your hand nearest their chest to scoop up their arms, also preventing them from digging an elbow under your leg. You need to get a hand under their top arm to grasp their nearest collar, then open it up. Your other hand curls around their neck, whereupon you can feed the collar for a tight grip.

Your first hand is now going to push through past the crook of their elbow, catching their arm in the process. Bring that hand behind their head, then pull your collar gripping hand back towards you, snaking around their neck. This should result in a tight choke: your first hand is mainly blocking their arm, rather than playing a major role in the choke.

Also note that it is tempting to try and use that grip on their arm to drop back for an armbar. Kev advised that you don't, as it is all too easy to leave sufficient space that they follow you round, ending up in your guard instead of at the receiving end of a submission.

The escape from the technical mount, as you'd expect, involves preventing that grip on your collar. Grab either just the upper collar or both and pull them tight to your body, so your partner can't secure a grip or open them up. Shift your legs backwards to prepare your escape, then shrimp in the same direction.

As soon as you open up any space by the foot they have against your hip, wedge in an elbow, which should help you insert a knee. You can now use that as a hook to move into butterfly, attempt a sweep, or simply recover open guard. This fit the pattern of the spar I had with Callum in the previous lesson, where we were both doing that to escape each other's technical mount.

Sparring in the advanced class is full, but we started from the mount – this makes much more sense than going from the knees, if you want to work a specific position (as we did here). I tried to be proactive, following Eamonn's advice from last week, which did help, though it also left me considerably more knackered than usual.

I also found that with both Callum and Trev, I spent some time trying to escape back mount, especially with Callum. He came close with a collar choke, but I just about managed to spin into half guard, having been trying to turn towards him for what seemed like ages. That tends to be my main escape from the back, so I need to try out some more (or even better, stop finding myself in back mount so frequently!).

Trev presents a different set of problems, due to his long flexible legs. They seem to appear out of nowhere, pressing down on your back, sliding in front of your face, or looming over your own legs as your guard pass is suddenly ruined. Today was no exception, as I had a tough time trying to even get my posture in Trev's guard. He was very near to landing a sneaky choke as I spun out of one attack: the only thing that saved me was his grip was loose enough that my momentum was enough to break it.

My main tactic was to try and stay square to his hips, so that he couldn't angle off to go for an attack. That sort of worked, though I was on the defensive the whole time. I managed to slip out of a triangle he was setting up, but failed to capitalise and pass. What I should have done is really drive with my hips and perhaps pull up on his leg.

I also almost gave up my back yet again, but this time, I was rescued both by us falling off the mat and time running out. Not much of an escape, so again, I have to be more careful about exposing my back, especially against people with the physical attributes to really take advantage of that mistake.

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