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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

02 March 2010

02/03/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #292
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 02/03/2010

Despite my parents having lived in this area since I was in secondary school, I only just realised there was a bus route a short walk from the house this year. Kinda late, but as I don't drive, most handy (I normally rely on trains rather than buses, which is one of the reasons I'm keen to find a job in Birmingham, as the relatively reliable public transport system was something I liked about it when I lived there a few years ago). Especially useful tonight, as there was nobody around to give me a lift.

Kev basically wanted to share the techniques he learned at the Roger Gracie HQ seminar, on taking the back (see Meerkatsu's post for a full write-up of that event). If your partner is in the typical guard posture, with one arm forward and the other back by your hip, you'd normally look to armdrag the front arm. However, that's difficult, as their arm tends to be strong in that position.

So instead, Roger taught Kev how to attack the arm by the hip. Start by grabbing that wrist/sleeve with your same side hand. Slide your other arm underneath their front arm (otherwise they can block it by moving their elbow up), aiming to cup behind the tricep of their hip arm. You will probably have to bridge and drag their back arm a few times before that tricep is in range.

Keep your guard closed the whole time if possible, bridging, pulling their arm forward, while trying to also shove it across your body with your tricep grip. You'll also be gradually slipping out to the side, until eventually you've pushed that back arm right past your torso. Drag them in tight, leaving your tricep grip in place, but releasing their wrist and reaching over their back. Secure a good hold under their far armpit.

It is essential that your chest is pressed firmly against their shoulder: you don't want them to get that arm free. You can then release the grip on the tricep and post on that elbow. This will enable you to slide round to their back. If your legs are still locked, then you're basically in a body triangle. If their knee is out, you can establish your hooks.

If it isn't, then make sure you have your foot on their knee, on the side you didn't slide round. Grab their same side arm, to stop them posting, then roll in that direction. You'll end up right in technical mount, in a great position to go for a choke, armbar or full mount. Be careful of your foot as you roll: you don't want to end up squashing it mid-technique.

Kev then covered two 'what ifs'. First, you have established your control, and are about to try and slide to the back. However, they step up their leg on the opposite side of your preferred slide, intending to press you back down flat on the floor. Simply reach under their leg, hooking behind their ankle. You can now just roll into mount, keeping hold of the leg for control until you reach the top position.

If they step up their other leg, it is slightly more complicated. Put your same side foot on the hip you were intending to slide past. Use that to raise up slightly. You want to bring the elbow of the hand which is gripping around the back over their head. That means you can then move into a tight armbar.

Free sparring with Howard started from his guard. Once again, I was having trouble shutting down his hips for the twisting guard break. I also tried getting a sleeve grip and standing up, but forgot to release his grip on my other sleeve first. One positive was that Howard tried a similar attack to Chris, but this time, I was able to get my foot past his head. That enabled me to break free and pass, though I think he loosened his grip slightly, as he thought for a moment we were still just doing guard passage, rather than free sparring (I did offer to stop and restart, but he was happy to keep going, as he said I'd already passed the guard).

Not that passing helped me much, as Howard was able to spin to turtle. I couldn't secure my hooks, scrabbling around trying to keep pressure on his hips and look for an opening. Eventually I was rolled into guard, where again I was going to high guard and Howard was getting his knee ready for combat base. Moving into open guard, I was looking to try the tripod sweep, but time ran out.

I had wanted to spar a couple more times, but it seems I haven't successfully escaped my gf's cold as I'd thought. I started to feel a bit groggy after sparring Howard, so decided to sit out the rest of the sparring. Hopefully it will clear up by Thursday, but we'll see.

Also cool to meet Graham, who sent me an email beforehand asking about Kev's club. He was just making a flying visit, but looked like he enjoyed it. I hope you manage to find somewhere to train closer to home! :)


  1. Darn! It was like you were there. Only better. Ignore the link to my blog entry people, his description of Roger's closed guard to taking the back is class!

  2. Heh - maybe, but your write-up has pretty pictures and meerkat impressions. ;)

  3. nice to meet you too mate! I did enjoy myself and am hoping to do more gi work in the future. There is a LOT of my game i need to work on and i think training in the gi will tighten up my nogi game a lot.



  4. Cool - let me know how it goes, as I'll be interested to hear about your progress.

  5. hi mate, looks like im going to be starting at matt benyons scramble club. Looking forward to it. If you're interested i may post a few bits on my little part of the net at

    take it easy!

  6. Heh - from blogger to blogger, eh? ;)

    I look forward to seeing how it goes for you: will stick your blog in my Google Reader.