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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

16 March 2010

16/03/10 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #295
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 16/03/2010

The monthly price is rising by £10 as of 1st April, from £40 to £50. That is still cheap, though I'll miss the super-cheapness of the previous fee. However, Kev has managed to get a rather nifty perk through becoming a Gracie Magazine Associate Club (or something like that: can't remember the official term). That means that everyone who pays by standing order will get a monthly copy of Gracie Mag as well, which is nice, especially as they cost around a fiver anyway. RGA Bucks will also occasionally get a mention in the mag, such as competition results, though it will be small and at the back. Still cool though.

Kev began tonight with what he called the Roger sweep, as apparently Roger has done this a lot in competition. It works best for people like him with long legs, so probably not something I'll be trying often. It begins from when they go to combat base. Close guard around their raised knee, high enough that they can't just push their knee through, but not so high that they can sit back into the space. Get a cross grip on their same side arm, then pull that across their away from their knee, removing their ability to post.

With your legs still closed, twist your knees down towards the floor on their trapped knee side. If that isn't sufficiently breaking their balance, you can also try bringing your knees to your chest. This should pull their foot off the floor, making it harder for them to resist. Once they start to fall, put your hand back for base and come up on top.

You still have to deal with that knee, which will now either be underneath your stomach or to the side. If it is to the side, you can press down to lock it in place, then do a big backstep to swing over into side control. If it more under your stomach, you can push it directly behind you, popping through into mount.

Next up was the Flower sweep, which contrary to what I thought is slightly different from the pendulum sweep. I've seen those terms used interchangeably, but apparently the difference is with a pendulum sweep, your partner puts their knee up. With a flower sweep, you initiate yourself, by grabbing the lower part of their gi pants. Also secure a grip on their other elbow with your other arm. Put the same side foot on that side on their hip.

The most important part is kicking up with the leg on the side you've grabbed their trouser. That needs to be up high into their armpit, pushing right through. This is what you use to break their posture. To further knock them off balance, lift with your pant grip, then finally chop your other leg low (firstly, you don't want them to land on it, and secondly, it adds to the momentum). You should end up in mount.

You can also move into a triangle, if you intentionally grip the 'wrong' elbow, on the same side as the trouser grip. When you go for the sweep, they'll post out with their other arm (which is why you normally keep hold of it). However, while that blocks the sweep, it means you can now bring your leg over and lock on a triangle.

Free sparring began in guard, so again I was trying to pass Howard's guard. As before I was looking to strip grips, but this time I had an opportunity to go for the double underhooks pass. I didn't clamp around the legs properly, so Howard was able to scoot back. I focused too much on bringing my arm over and grabbing a collar, before having properly secured position. I briefly tried to readjust, grab the top of Howard's trousers and flip him, but it was too late. I also doubt I have enough strength to manage that, though I've seen people do it on videos.

Against a white belt, things were easier, because he is smallest guy in class. Even I probably outweigh him by at least eight kg or so. That meant I wanted to make certain I wasn't just using forced. I had a play with various submission attempts, starting with the Shawn Williams Guard and overhook from guard. As before, I wasn't able to swivel into the omoplata like I wanted. I also couldn't get a sufficiently tight grip for the choke from an overhook.

Eventually that resulted in a very sloppy sweep into mount, which I suspect was only possibly due to the weight difference. Dropping into my preferred low mount with grapevines, I had a go at the Ezequiel. He could see it coming, and prevented me from properly blocking off his carotoid with my gi sleeve. I switched back, then worked to technical mount, looking for more chokes. Again, he defended well, so I couldn't work the grips I wanted. I could possibly have gone for an armbar, but I was hesitant as in that position, I thought he'd have too much room to escape. In retrospect, I probably should have gone for it anyway, after attempting those chokes for a while.


  1. I don't know, Can, sometimes it's better not to go for the submission. If you thought you'd lose mount, then I think you made the right choice. If it wasn't times, something more secure would have eventually come up.

  2. In a tournament, yes, but I don't think it is the approach I should be following in training, especially with a lower belt. Much better to try it, fail, then work out what went wrong and try again.

    A slight mental block I need to overcome, as I've lost position due to armbar attempts before. Only way to stop leaving them space to escape is to keep on trying it, gradually ironing out the kinks. ;)

  3. I use combat base all the time and every now and again people have swept me using the Roger sweep but it was only last week or so that Kevin did it to me and he told me it was called the Roger sweep - that was the first time I heard it called that. I guess I should pay more attention to Roger's fights on youtube.
    Anyway tried it for the first time tonight and had an epic fail (he was a purple belt mind).

    Oh yeah, have you heard of the 'Sandy sweep'? I think that's what Nick calls it. Like pendulum or flower but you plant your sleeve gripping side foot firmly beside uke's knee to stop him basing out. Again, can also do variations in grip etc to obtain other submissions or positions.

  4. Can't say I've heard of the 'Sandy sweep', but it wouldn't surprise me at all if that was down to the usual problem of BJJ terminology.

    I've said it before, but I really wish BJJ had a straightforward naming convention for techniques like judo. Makes me jealous that a judoka can go to any judo school in the world, talk about any judo technique she wants, and everyone else will immediately know exactly what she's talking about. ;)