| bjj resources

 BJJ FAQ  Academy

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

16 February 2010

16/02/10 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #287
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 16/02/2010

The passing of Valentine's Day means that it is now two years since I got my blue belt, so I thought I'd take stock of my current progress. I still have many, many gaping holes in my game. I can't break the guard unless they pretty much open it for me, and then only if I'm on my knees and therefore close enough to capitalise. If they manage to make any distance and I have to stand up in open guard, my passing is about as effective as a paraplegic catfish. I have no idea how to use knee-on-belly (I don't think I've ever been on top in that position during non-specific sparring). I fail miserably at holding back mount, and the only people I ever submit at all are rank beginners.

On the plus side, I'm fairly happy with my defence (although my escapes from knee on belly and scarf hold still need plenty of work), and my guard is getting steadily better: my major goal from there continues to be stringing together some attacks. I also feel much more secure on top of side control and mount than I used to. My half guard passing has improved as well, thanks to better use of shoulder pressure, but that does mean I'm developing a bad habit of accepting half guard rather than properly passing.

Class continued with back attacks: unusually, Kev said he would be teaching escapes next week, whereas normally he combines them in one class. First technique was an armbar from the back. You've got back mount, but they're doing a good job of blocking your choke attempts. So instead, slip your hand under their armpit and grab their same side wrist. Bring your other arm over their head, then secure a second grip on the same wrist. You want to be pulling their arm in tight the whole time, both to keep your position and to stop them making space to escape.

Switch your first hand to the wrist of your second, leaving you with a figure four on your partner's arm. Step your hooks off to their opposite side of their body (as if you were about to move into a body triangle), shifting your legs up towards their head. Keep the pressure on their trapped arm to stop them turning into you and escaping. Finally, bring your leg over their head, break their grip (Kev's option from last week works great) and drop back for the armbar.

The next option was an Ezequiel choke from the back. The set-up for this is fairly simple, as you just need a harness grip (one arm over their shoulder, the other through their armpit). Grip the shoulder arm sleeve with your armpit hand, then move your shoulder arm up and to the side, so that the gi material is pressing into their neck. Bring your shoulder arm around behind their head, then knife hand downwards on the other side of their neck. That should block off both arteries, resulting in a submission.

Sparring started in back mount, then went from there as normal. As Howard started on my back, I was defending the whole roll. I clamped my hands to the side of my neck, as per Aisling's advice, then looked to remove one hook and trap it with my legs. I was able to do so, but because Howard kept a firm grip with the arm under my armpit, I struggled to turn towards him.

Once I did finally get free, Howard was trying to initiate an attack with his gi lapel. I got free, and found that I could then grab that dangling gi and use it myself. However, I'm never quite sure what to do with loose gi fabric, so just played around with putting it over his back, then seeing if I got get it through his legs to help with a sweep. I'm sure I've been shown a few techniques related to that, so will have to look through the blog.

Rolling with Kev was of course very one-sided, but gave me a chance to work in guard. Once again, I was looking to use jnp's 'ball' principle, keeping my knees close to my chest, as well as principles from the Roy Harris seminar on Roy Dean's DVD. He eventually caught me with an armbar, and after I asked about options for defence, he suggested that trying to get to his guard and stack him was a good strategy. You're still stuck in an armbar, but you have gravity on your side: much better than being on your back.

I also sparred a white belt, which usually means I can practice my submissions (unless the white belt is bigger than me). While I landed a few, I still haven't got into the combination mindset Roy Dean talks about on Purple Belt Requirements. I went for an armbar from the back, but just clung on to it, rather than thinking of the next move, so because I left too much space, he was able to work his way free.

I did at least get back to guard, where I had another opportunity to go for the arm, as he was pressing his forearm into my throat. I landed it this time, but it made me realise that earlier, should have been thinking about shifting into omoplatas and triangles. Even though I managed the armbar from guard, I wasn't considering my next move if it failed. Going for mounted triangles and submitting with a kimura was fun, but I'm pretty sure somebody more experienced wouldn't have let me lock that position on in the first place (as I basically just shoved his arm down and stepped over it).

1 comment:

  1. Ezekiel from the back...oooh new variation to me, must see if i can do it based on your description.
    Bletchley is where my inlaws live but i only ever visit at weekends, still nice to see growth.