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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

30 March 2010

30/03/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #298
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 30/03/2010

I forgot my note pad today, as I was at an academic meeting earlier to discuss a conference paper I'm presenting. So instead, I grabbed a newspaper on my way back to High Wycombe: a handily plain advert with lots of white in it worked just as well, though must have looked a bit weird to the rest of class. Meh.

Kev didn't continue with side control for the advanced session, instead looking into two submission options off a failed scissor sweep, starting with an armbar. If their base is too solid to get the scissor sweep, step off their same side hip with your chopping leg. That will enable you to kick the bent leg by their stomach straight out. Use that space and momentum to swivel towards the chopping side, clamping your previous bent leg down on their back.

You can then move into armbar, which would normally be completed by raising your hips. Kev had another option, which somebody showed him a while back: turn their hand, then push that arm towards your knee. As long as you have their elbow pulled past your legs, you can get the tap from here too.

The second option was a triangle, which Kev also showed us last month. Those two submission follow-ups reminded me that I really need to try sweeps more from guard, which I hardly ever even attempt these days. It used to be the first thing I tried, especially the sit-up sweep, but I seem to have very much fallen out of the habit.

Sparring with Howard, I wanted to try Roy Dean's take on the Gracie Gift. Unfortunately I continue to have trouble dealing with that collar grip, though I did eventually get into the position I wanted. I wrapped his leg close to my body and kept my elbow back, as Dean teaches. However, I didn't drive forward enough, so I ended up almost getting knocked to the side. That meant I needed to step over and trap Howard's head to free myself.

I also had lots of fun trying armbars under side control, and to my surprise, got closer than I ever have before, but Howard managed to pull his arm free. Judging from the times I've attempted what is presumably a low percentage technique (as its from an inferior position), it looks to be a useful way to make the person on top more cautious. Naturally, that in turn helps my escape prospects.

Against Kev, I still wanted to work passing, so stayed in his guard each time we restarted. As a decent brown belt, Kev was taking it easy, letting me move into a double underhooks pass, but I couldn't finish it. Normally I go to reach the collar and lose the position, but I remembered in time. I switched to wrapping my arms over the legs and pulling them in, driving forward. However, it proved to be to no avail, as Kev made his legs heavy and I couldn't do anything. He did mention I wasn't doing anything wrong afterwards, so at least I appear to have got the basics of the technique right for once.

At a point where he was about to pass my half guard, I tried to quickly drive my leg through to stop him and recover guard. However, I must have been too explosive, as my calf immediately and painfully cramped up. I guess I haven't drunk much water today either, due to coming straight from Uni rather than getting in my usual meals at home. So, silly error on my part. Kev showed me a good calf stretch later, where you put your foot against the wall, angled upwards, then lean in.

Finally, I was trying to play with half butterfly to control the leg, and had a brief chance to switch to full butterfly. I didn't seize that moment, so Kev was able to sit on my leg. So rather than having the control of guard, I was relatively stuck. My instinct is still to try and go to closed guard, so I need to make butterfly instinctual as well, so I don't have that moment of hesitation where I'm trying to get my bearings.

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