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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

12 October 2010

12/10/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #351
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 12/10/2010

If you’re a fellow BJJ blogger, I recently set up a map for those of us looking to meet up and train, here. This isn’t a club directory, it’s a blogger directory, listed by their club. I’m keen to bring the online community onto the mats, so drop me an email and I’ll add you to the mat. Various other bloggers said they may be able to help, so they’re up on the map as collaborators (Leslie from BJJ Grrl, Chrissy from clinzy, Meg from MegJitsu and Liam from Part Time Grappler). :)

Speaking of bloggers, I hadn’t realised until recently that regular FightWorks Podcast correspondent, Christian Simamora, has been running his own blog since August. Check it out here. Also reminds me to update my blog list.

On a somewhat unrelated point, there’s a great sequence of videos filmed at Eddie Bravo’s gym here, which like TUF wouldn’t normally grab my attention. However, the difference with these is that you get to see what it looks like when Bravo teaches a typical class, rather than just an interview with the same old questions. Instruction is interspersed with both conversation and sparring.

Also nice to see Alex Reid asking the questions later on, as he doesn’t come out of the usual BJJ background, so presumably hasn’t spent lots of time on forums with constant Eddie Bravo threads filling up the screen. You also get to see Oli Geddes (meaning the videos must have been from a good while back, as I remember Oli posting about his roll with Bravo a couple of years ago).

I was also excited earlier today when I found out that a new branch of RGA has just opened up in Bristol, right near the area where my gf and I are intending to move in a few months (once we find somewhere). Gracie Barra Bristol (which despite the name is still part of the RGA network) is run by a four stripe brown belt under Roger, Nicolai ‘Geeza’ Holt. That’s a name I’d previously heard due to his excellent YouTube channel.

I had thought I’d have to switch to a different team once I moved to Bristol, so this is great news (not that I wouldn’t get good training at other clubs, of course, but it’s definitely preferable to stick with the family, so to speak). Check out the website here, and the map entry here: from what I gather, Nicolai isn’t currently charging anything for training, which is pretty awesome.

There wasn’t going to be any technique tonight, just specific sparring. Things started off with back mount, where I was terrible both attacking and defending. Must re-read that ‘survival’ section in Saulo’s book): although I was able to protect my neck, I didn’t make any real progress towards escaping, aside from one point where I turned back to half guard (can’t remember how, though). I was trying to slip down and pop over the leg, but I think even the one time I managed that, I ended up underneath side control. When it came to my turn to attack I got to full mount a few times, but wasn’t getting anywhere with submissions: I’d go for the arm, trying to get that double grip, they would slip out the side and then I’d try and switch the mount. Of course, my partner was fairly small, possibly even smaller than me, and a white belt. With someone more experienced, I most likely would have just lost back mount and ended in a scramble. Next up was full mount, with the same partner. He was quite energetic, so kept attacking for ezequiels, although it ended up being more of a face crush as he didn’t have the neck. Uncomfortable, but unlikely to get a tap (unless they happen to be especially powerful). Underneath, unusually for me, I was mainly having success with the bridge and roll rather than my preferred shrimp to half guard, but again that was probably due to size. On top in mount, I was looking stay slow and steady, working from the grapevine. I’m still not having much luck with the ezequiel (again, need to check Saulo), though I was able to get some attacks on the arm (although he tapped very early, so I’m not sure I quite had the lock right). I’ve been trying to improve my transitions to technical mount, but I still need to be tighter with the leg that’s over, and also work harder on bringing the second hand into play, as well as that initial collar grip.

The penultimate round was side control, where underneath I need to be careful when I roll out of choke attempts. I almost put myself right into a bow and arrow: the white belt I was with didn’t have their legs crossed, which is the main reason I could get out that way. I had a brief go at bringing my shin into the crook of their elbow, but I think I may have been using the wrong leg. I also wanted to sit up and stiff arm into their armpit, and got closer than I have before, but still not backing my hips out enough.

On top, I was pleased that my transitions seemed to be going better, for once. I was able to switch to north-south as I felt my control slipping, sitting on their head (although once or twice I was leaving too much room still, so they were able to work their way free: must pay attention to their elbows). That meant I could attack the arms, and eventually secured a kimura. However, I need to make the grips more instinctive, as I had to pause and think a couple of times about which arm went where, which gives them time to grab some material (though from that position it is easier than normal to break their hold).

After a round out writing notes, things finished up with guard. I was knackered by this point, despite the rest (my cardio remains awful), so took the easy option on top and brought my elbows inside my knees. I was still looking to react if they opened their guard to attack, but mostly stayed defensive.

Underneath, I got the overhook and collar grip, but couldn’t do much with it. I was thinking about the omoplata, then moving towards the triangle, but failed to clear the arm: I was telegraphing it, so need to think about switching to something else from there, or use the choke as a distraction.


  1. Hi slidey. Nice blog. I really like your idea about the jiu jitsu training map. :)

  2. Thanks Li, although I can't take full credit for the idea, as I wouldn't have thought of it if I hadn't read this comment. :)

    As I've see you've got a blog yourself, do you want to be on the map? Drop me an email with the details if so.