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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 January 2010

26/01/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #280

RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 26/01/2010

Not content with being one of the greatest bloggers to ever sit behind a keyboard, Matt from Martial Farts has now set his sights on mastering the video camera too. He's been doing his Grappling Dummies series for a while, but the latest edition reached even higher levels of awesome than normal. Documentaries, humour, sparring, even techniques (and as this is Japan, crazy spinning is of course involved).

Kev continued with side control, adding in some interesting submission options. First, the arm triangle. You start in side control, then move round to north-south. As you do, catch under their elbow with your own, prying the arm free. You can then use your continuing motion to push their arm over their neck, trapping it with your body weight.

Keep going until you end up directly opposite where you started. They should now have their arm right over their neck, closing off one side. Bring your arm under their head to close off the other side, lock your hands and squeeze. If that doesn't get them to tap, slide your knee over to move into a tight mount.

Retaining your arm's position under their head, your can now bring your other arm over their neck and squeeze, in a sort of reverse RNC. Alternatively, you could reach that other arm to grip behind your own head and squeeze. Finally, if none of that is working, step off mount to the other side. Their arm should now be very tight around their neck, which will hopefully get you that tap.

The second was a simpler, and rather sneakier, lapel choke. You're in side control, with a cross-face: this is important, as the technique won't work without it. Pull out one side of your gi, then feed the lapel to your cross-facing hand. Pull that tight against their neck. You now move round as if you were going to north south, but instead you're going to stay alongside them, facing their legs. Straighten your cross-facing arm against their head, then keep moving until they tap. If for some reason they aren't tapping, you can flip over to increase the pressure, your feet on the other side of your partner.

Sparring was quite fun, as I was with a white belt around my size. Unusually, Kev did extra-long specific sparring from side control, with ten minute rounds. On top, I got to try out various techniques, including my favourite attacking position from side control: the step over triangle (or at least that's how I refer to it).

If you don't know what the hell that is, then Matt to the rescue, as his awesome video features Ishikawa Yuki teaching that very technique (in surprisingly good English, around the 18:33 mark). I first learned it from Felipe, though the kimura on the triangled arm Ishikawa adds here is something I haven't seen before.

I also attempted to do something I saw on the Mundials 2009 DVD set, where the idea is to use your knee to push them on their side, then thread your arm through their legs before stepping over to mount. Looking again at the video, I can see what I did wrong: Shawn Williams leaves his arm threaded, then moves his knee to their back. From there, he can slide the knee over, keeping their legs trapped with his arm. I was trying to step over with my body by the legs, which was silly.

Underneath side control, I played around with the armbar, but left way too much space. There was then a single five minute round of free sparring at the end, sticking with the same partner. That meant I could continue trying things out, beginning with a sit-up sweep to mount, then finally landing the Ezequiel choke from there. However, I think I may have been raising up too much, so someone with more experience may well have escaped at that point (not to mention all the blue belts see this choke coming a mile off, so I still need to disguise it better).


  1. We learned the step-over triangle the other week. Nick told us it was the first ever submission he got in competition, so I trust it is a very good one to use. I've never tried it before, so maybe I will try it tonight - in my current campaign to be more technique focused during sparring.

  2. I find myself able to step into it quite often, as people aren't generally expecting a triangle from there. The difficult part is getting their arm in place, so you can trap it against their head.

    I'll be interested to hear how it goes for you. Actually submitting with the step-over triangle itself seems to be rare (at least when I've tried it), but the cool thing is the level of control, which opens up lots of options for arm and shoulder locks.

  3. Haha I tried it tonight on a white belt and made a right pigs ear of the step over triangle. Gonna have to get Nick to show me it again.
    Still, posts like yours help give me ideas of things to try out in sparring.

  4. Heh - good ol resistance training, very unkind to the slightest mistake.

    I assume you've checked out Matt's video too, where one of the instructors shows it? Must have done, as I've seen you posting it on forums. ;p

  5. Yes great vid, an example of good BJJ film-making as opposed to 99 percent of the dull stuff out there. Gonna watch it again for more step over triangle tips.