RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Matty Burn, High Wycombe, UK - 28/01/2010
Kev is away competing at the European Championships this weekend. I've seen that tournament getting a fair bit of criticism on forums, but nevertheless, it is still the most prestigious BJJ event easily reachable from the UK. Then again, the arguments about organisational problems and price seem fair enough, from what I've read.
Anyway, one of Kev's blue belts from Aylesbury took the class, Matt Burn (which come to think of it is a pretty cool name for a BJJ instructor). I'm not sure if Kev advised what he should teach, but Matt continued the side control theme from Tuesday, running through some important basics.
He kicked off with the usual way to transition from side control to mount, followed by the two fundamental escapes, to the knees and back to guard. I am used to swimming the arm through when going to the knees (though I still don't automatically go for that, much preferring guard recovery), but interestingly Matt also used that swim when recovering guard.
Sparring was naturally from side control, and again I had the chance to go with a white belt, though I'm not sure on his size. Either way, he was pretty new, so on top I was looking to try out some of the techniques from Tuesday, like the choke with the lapel. However, he grabbed my far arm, which stymied that particular technique. So instead, I went for scarf hold, and eventually moved into the step-over triangle.
When I went to attack the arm, it had already gone limp. For a moment I thought maybe I'd accidentally choked him out, but looking back, he was fine. What actually happened was that he gave up as soon as I got the triangle position. Shortly afterwards he tapped, saying there was nothing he could do. I was so surprised I didn't think to make the obvious response, which was "you should still try and escape, as you might be able to get free."
Then again, I can understand it would be annoying to be put into some random position by a blue belt when you haven't been training very long. The triangle wasn't an option with the other blue belt who was training, as I couldn't even keep him under control. I tried to switch to north-south, but he already had his knee in place and recovered guard.
Underneath the white belt, I wanted to see if I could play with armbars and triangles again, but he was a bit more savvy with his defence than the last white belt I rolled with. So instead, I just practiced escaping as normal. Again, no such luck with the blue belt, who was able to work through to mount after a bit of a struggle. He's a bit bigger, but that should serve to encourage me to be less passive: I'm still too complacent under side control, as I've gradually grown comfortable with just lying there and waiting for the opportunity to sneak my knee in. I keep saying it, but must bridge more!
I've got loads of books in the pipeline to review, as I received about five of them at Christmas. I normally send a list to my mum, so she can pick something from it, but this year, she got everything on the list. Which is kinda cool, so I'm certainly not complaining. Couple of DVDs to cover as well: about halfway through reviewing one of them. :)