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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

19 January 2010

19/01/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #278

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 19/01/2010

Last week, I watched an interesting BBC 4 documentary on women in MMA on iPlayer, linked from Rosi Sexton's blog. It makes for a revealing insight into what it takes to step up to the cage, with plenty of sacrifice and emotional hardship.

Still on the topic of women, my 'Treatment of Women In BJJ' article brought up a number of comments, which in turn led to this wonderfully academic follow-up by Meg.

As a random note of interest, I was recently updating my BJJ History Index, and by trying various spellings of BJJ on Google Books, I eventually came up with this 1972 piece on judo in Brazil. In there, it mentions that:

In a match with the Brazilian ju-jitsu champion George Gracio, in 1936, Naoichi used his judo techniques and won

Hélio's losses to Kimura and Santana are well known, but I haven't heard much about this one before (though Googling it, I see someone did actually mention Naoichi and his brother in one of the comments to my history post).

As to class tonight, Kev returned to what is clearly one of his favourites, Shawn Williams guard. I wasn't sure if it was quite the same thing last time, but given Kev started off in an identical position to Williams this time (with both arms on one side of the head), looks like Shawn Williams guard is the right term to use.

Like last time, Kev kicked off with the armbar to triangle combination. Pull their sleeve across and secure the armbar, then switch to a triangle if they pull their arm out. Alternately, you can drive your knee into their arm and work your way past, in order to go for the triangle.

I also found that I liked Kev's method for adjusting the angle on a triangle. Kev gets his leg over their neck, then secures that by gripping his shin with his hand. He can then open his legs and swivel around their head, which is made easier by the added mobility of that position. That's especially handy given small guys like me tend to get stacked a lot: I had thought my major error was not scooting back enough, but rotating for the angle may well help too.

Kev then moved on to an omoplata from the Shawn Williams Guard. This is perhaps the most logical attack from the position, as you already have their arm locked up with your leg raise. Bring the leg in front of their face, shifting the arm with which you were previously gripping their collar to their belt.

Your other hand needs to clamp their arm around your leg, so they can't pull it out to escape the submission. You can now sit up, triangling your legs over the arm, shifting out to the side in order to knock them flat onto the floor. To finish, lean forward, as if you're going to whisper in their ear.

Kev also suggested yanking their near leg backwards in order to knock them flat. I can't remember if you have to release the grip on their arm first: I presume you do, which would mean it has to be firmly trapped by your legs. Kev also ran through a number of 'what if' situations, such as moving into a footlock if they try to roll through, or moving into an omoplata sweep, but I think I'd need to see them again to describe it properly (he did about four, IIRC).

Sparring was all about escapes for me, except when I sparred with a white belt. Howard spent most of our roll trying to cinch in some kind of choke involving my own gi, but I was able to wedge a hand in the way. I wasn't sure if that would be enough, as I've been choked through my hand before, but this time it proved sufficient. I was able to eventually slip free, making enough space to clear my head, but it was close. Trying to get some kind of purchase on his legs helped too, as once I got to half guard he wasn't able to move around to tighten the choke.

Similarly with Callum, he had a loop choke, I think. I thought he had the submission several times, but quickly spinning seemed to be enough to stop it completely closing off the sides of my neck, although I had to do it several times before I could work free. I also tried to shift into butterfly guard, as Callum has a habit of clamping down in guard leaving no space. However, he also has a habit of passing soon after I try to go to butterfly: something to work on, especially moving him back and then sitting up.

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