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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 (Beginner)

Class #294
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 16/03/2010

Callum interviewed Thelmo Calmon, a Draculino black belt who recently held a seminar at the Aylesbury location, for the main RGA Bucks website. Good stuff: check it out on the news page.

Fundamentals tonight was again relevant beyond the 'self defence' remit, as it was a basic Guillotine defence, from guard. Grab the choking arm with four fingers, while also using your other arm to reach over their far shoulder. After that, stand up and drive your shoulder as much as your can into their chin and neck. This should relieve the pressure on your neck, enabling you to pop your head free. If you need some extra leverage, come back down to your knees once you've loosened their grip.

Getting back to the main class, Kev kicked off with a basic ankle grab sweep (noting that feet on hips works as well as knees into their stomach, but is a bit slower), followed by the overhead sweep. For that, you start by opening your guard and putting your feet on their hips, then pull their elbows out and towards you. That should help bring them onto your feet.

Take advantage by pulling their elbows even further past your head (Kev described it like "putting on a big hat"), after which you can lift them with your legs. If you've got the technique right, they shouldn't feel heavy, meaning you can now drop them over your shoulder. Follow them and roll backwards straight into mount. If you're the person getting dropped, remember to tuck your head in drilling, so you don't end up getting piledrived into the mat.

Sparring guard passage with Howard didn't really go anywhere, as I was quite defensive, just looking to block or break his grips. That's the biggest stumbling block for me at the moment, as I don't feel safe standing up until I can strip those grips, or preven them being established. He did eventually get past, but time ran out. As ever, I need to force myself to stand up, though I did try the twisting guard break again once or twice. Once I get some income, I definitely need to do a private lesson on guard passing.

At one point, I also had to defend against an armbar. Recently I've been tending to step over their head to try and get free, which has worked once or twice in the past. This time, it did stop me getting armbarred, but I wasn't able to move through to a top position, ending up on the bottom instead. I asked Kev if it was a bad habit, but he reassured me it was a legitimate technique. The only thing to watch out for is footlocks (at brown belt: illegal before then), but they would have to release their grip on your arm first.

Underneath, I looked for the Shawn Williams Guard again, this time making sure I remembered to clamp my elbow over their arm. However, my other foot still isn't tight enough, and asking Howard afterwards, I also need to threaten more on both sides. I did briefly think about swinging my legs through into an omoplata position, but reacted too slowly.

Next up was a white belt. On top, I was a little lazy, because he was opening his guard quite often. That meant I could just keep slipping my knee through to half guard, then using a gable grip and shoulder pressure, get my leg free and pass. Still, that did at least give me a chance to look at the holes in my technique, as I started getting complacent, so about the fifth time I tried it, he managed to sweep me from half guard. I need to make sure I'm not being sloppy about my base, keeping that free leg in a good position. I also have to keep my bodyweight into their neck, so they don't have any mobility in their upper body.

Underneath, I was able to break his posture and wrap my arms over to keep him in tight. I crept out to the back, keeping in mind what Kev taught earlier about pressing my chest into their shoulder. It took me a while to feel sufficiently secure to base out on my elbow and start to spin to the back, but as it was a white belt, I had enough time to practice. I was a bit sloppy in that I wasn't able to properly secure hooks, but there was enough control to lock on a RNC.

Still, I'm sure a more experienced opponent would have escaped back to guard, or shucked me off the back. I also totally burned out my arms by holding him in close most of the time. After that, he passed a few times, when I was playing around with various submission attempts. My cardio clearly remains terrible, as I was knackered: that also reminds me to make sure I'm not relying too much on my arms, instead leaving more of the work to my legs.

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