Gracie Barra Birmingham, (BJJ), Chiu Kwong Man, Birmingham, UK - 28/05/2010
I wasn't able to train last Wednesday because my train inexplicably didn't show up. So far, I've been heading to Solihull on the 17:58, then catching the 18:30 to Acocks Green. Normally what happens is that the 17:58 is delayed by a few minutes, which carries over to the Acocks Green train, so I'm guaranteed to catch it. However, last week, that didn't happen: I arrived at 18:33, and the train had already gone. Very annoying, as it meant I'd just wasted that return ticket and a good chunk of the evening.
Still, the Roy Dean seminar was at the weekend, so much less annoying than it could have been. To stop it happening again, I managed to shift my hours at work a few minutes earlier, which should hopefully mean I can make the earlier train, presuming I can make the bus ok.
There has also been yet another good post by top blogger Cane Prevost recently, where he proposes switching the terms 'basic' and 'advanced' technique to 'high percentage' and 'low percentage'. Sounds like a sensible suggestion, semantically speaking.
Tonight's class was no gi, not something I do very much, but it makes for an interesting change. I also got to meet someone I chatted to on the internet (Planet Jitsu, IIRC, though that might have been someone else) a while back, when he was looking for a place to train in Birmingham. So, cool to see that not only did he find his way to GB Brum, but he remembered me too. Similar thing happened with a guy in the changing rooms after class, who recognised me from the blog. :)
As so often seems to be the case with no gi classes, things started off by working on entries to takedowns. Chiu went through a few options for the arm drag, slightly reminiscent of how Roy Dean shows it on No Gi Essentials. Your partner puts their hand on their shoulder. Circle your hand around, cutting up into their arm, while your other hand reaches to grab behind their tricep. You'll then slide your first hand towards their wrist, pulling their arm down and across your body. Make sure that you drive forward and suck up any space by staying tight to them. If you don't, they'll be able to simply turn towards you and negate everything you just did.
Chiu then moved on to a more reactive technique, which more of an arm push than an arm drag. They have grabbing behind your head, looking to snap it down in order to break your posture. You inside hand presses on the shoulder of their gripping arm. Your other hand grips behind that arm's tricep, a little above the elbow.
Squat down, then bend forwards slightly and make a small dip with your the head. Simultaneously, push on that tricep, locking out your arm. This makes it difficult for them to turn back towards you, by which time you'll be aiming to move to their back. It is essential that you have the right grip on that tricep (so hopefully I've remembered it correctly!).
You are holding their tricep with your fingers on the outside, thumb inside. Your fist is vertical, with the thumb on top and little finger on the bottom. If you have your hand the other way round, they can easily dislodge their arm and turn to face you.
Shifting to the ground, Chiu reviewed a technique he apparently taught last week (I wasn't there), on escaping side control. The situation is that they have managed to get a tight control, with your arm around the other side of their head, and they've also cleared your near elbow. This is very dangerous if you're on the bottom, as your arm by their head is very vulnerable to attack.
So, to get that arm into a safer position, your near arm is going to punch through, so that you whack into their armpit with the inside of your arm. Use that space to bring your far arm under their head and into their neck. You'll also make a small bridge and shrimp towards them.
Once your arm is under their neck, try to get your hand into the side of their neck, then straighten your arm. If possible, you can also brace it with your other hand for extra support. Combined with your bridge and shrimp, that should give you enough space to bring your knee through and start to recover guard.
The last technique was an armbar from under side control. This looks like the same attack Braulio shows on one of his videos, so it was very handy to see it in person, in the same place if was filmed. Once you've made space under side control, bring the knee closest to their legs high, so that it slides past their armpit. It is important that you hook your foot around their tricep: this will form a barrier so they can't simply pull the arm free.
Your other leg goes over their head, making sure that you aren't leaving any space. The crook of your knee should be by their head, so that you can clamp your leg down. Essentially, your legs are pressing together as if you were trying to triangle them, but there is a person in the way. Aim to get your heel towards your foot.
Squeeze your knees together, and if you need some extra distraction, press the back of their other arm. You could potentially get a pressing armbar submission, but it is more likely that this will set you up for the normal armbar on the other arm.
There was no sparring, interestingly, but then this was a basics class, which is only an hour long. It is a shame I won't be able to attend next Friday (I'll be heading down to Bristol as usual), because Chiu said he was going to cover escaping side control when they switch their base. I've definitely had some trouble with that, so it would have been useful. Still, he did briefly show the basic idea, getting your elbows in, using that to create space for your shrimp and guard recovery. Then it was straight into the gi class.