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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

15 April 2010

15/04/2010 - BJJ (Beginner) - Last Lesson at RGA Wycombe

Class #304
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 15/04/2010

To just briefly mention something entirely non-BJJ, that sexual health poetry seminar I mentioned last year is available for download, here. So, if you want to hear me babble about poems on AIDS, check it out. Apparently it's been there since January, but I only just got sent the link: the handouts can be found here. Also, I gave a paper at the International Symposium on Poetry & Medicine last weekend, so hopefully that will be available for download at some point too.

I'm going to really miss training at RGA High Wycombe, as Kev is a brilliant instructor, quite possibly the best I've trained with (hence why I took a private before I left). His lessons are always carefully structured, he never fails to answer questions (I ask a lot of them!), and best of all, he is very approachable. I've realised more and more just how important a trait that is for an instructor: your students shouldn't be wary of calling you over for help.

Of course, it will also be awesome to go train with Braulio and the other teachers at Gracie Barra Birmingham, as from everything I've seen and heard, Braulio is a superb instructor himself. I've been impressed by the instructionals he has up on CageFilm (I'll do a review at some point in the future), so if that is any indication of his average class, I'm going to be very happy at Gracie Barra Birmingham.

My final class at RGA High Wycombe continued the knee-on-belly theme from Tuesday, starting by popping up to the position from side control, then taking the far armbar if they make the mistake of pushing on the top of your knee. Reach through the gap and under their elbow, then use that hold to pull them up on their side. Step over their head and swivel, then with a grip on their trouser leg (to stop them using the hitchhiker escape), slide down their arm and then drop back for an armbar.

Next was an escape, a little different from the one we did on Tuesday. This time, you put your far arm on the knot of their belt (or around their belly button if they aren't wearing one), while your near arm goes to their knee. This is to stop them following you when you proceed to the next step, shrimping away from them.

You may need to shrimp a few times, as you're looking to make enough space to bring your feet to their hips. You can spin straight to guard, but most likely you'll need to get a foot on their hip first and push, in order to get the leverage. To finish, grab their arms and pull them towards you, re-establishing closed guard, or simply stay in open guard.

It may have been my last lesson here, but it was the very first BJJ lesson for my training partner. That meant I could take a relaxed approach to specific sparring, trying to help show him what to do from under side control and on top (Kev asked me to go with the beginner, and also told me to take it easy). He seemed to pick things up quickly, as I've gone with new people before, and they've struggled to understand the concept of bridging and shrimping: he was definitely starting to get it.

He did even better on top. At first, like any beginner, he was leaving lots of space, so I could easily shrimp and replace my guard. However, after some advice on maintaining side control (I called Kev over to make sure I the new guy saw how to do it properly), it became a lot tougher. He was dropping his weight well by sprawling back, and also blocking my hip with his knee.

I'm not sure exactly when I'll be starting at GB Brum, as I only move into my new flat in Leamington on Saturday. Looking at the schedule, Monday will probably be my first time, after work.


  1. Look forward to reading about the next chapter in your BJJ journey!

  2. Cheers - I look forward to reaching it, as still have the move and new job start date ahead of me. ;)

    Knowing that I can get on the mats at GB Brum will certainly be a welcome relief. I wouldn't be surprised if after dragging what I think is all the important stuff up to the new flat, I'll find that I've forgotten a bunch of essentials. ;p

  3. :( Sorry that you;re having to leave behind great friends! Here's to hoping that the next group you find will feel like home.

  4. just updated my blog with detaqils of my Judo Newaza comp in High Wycombe. MEt a couple of good BJJ guys there so will defo have to start cross training soon