RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 12/10/2010
The Ultimate Fighter (UK viewers can see it on Sky Sports, and it is also up on the TUF website), does not normally get my attention, as all I ever hear about is lots of smack talk, irritating behaviour (carefully edited to make it even more annoying) and lowest common denominator sensationalism. However, this season they have something worth watching: John Danaher. I was very intrigued to not only see and hear from the great man himself, but also what kind of impact he would have on the team.
The coaches match up is in classic pro-wrestling style, with a heel (Josh Koscheck) versus a face (GSP), both men doing a good job of playing their allotted roles. Koscheck even talks about “not wanting to lose to a bunch of nerds,” while there are snippets showing GSP talking about how he used to get bullied at school. Despite the obvious tactic, it works, as it does make me keen to see Koscheck’s team lose (although at the same time, I was rooting for the sole Brit, Aaron Wilkinson, who hilariously gets subtitled due to his Mancunian accent).
Without Danaher, it would be difficult to maintain my interest. After all, there is a lot to dislike about the program, such as the way that in every single episode, they make sure to zoom in on the ring girl’s cleavage and backside. There will probably be some equally idiotic antics in the house later on too (fortunately not much so far, but I’m only at the fourth episode). Hopefully Danaher will start to get some more screen time (they do talk about him a bit in one of the ‘Aftermath’ shows) and make it all worthwhile, and there’s Dave Camarillo too (a big fan of Danaher).
I also wanted to mentioned that Chiu, one of the instructors from Gracie Barra Birmingham, is going to be teaching a class at the University of Warwick on Sunday 17th October. Shame I’ve already left the area, as that would have been cool. Hopefully that might eventually lead to a formal BJJ class: check out the Warwick BJJ Facebook group for more details.
Getting back to tonight’s class, things kicked off with an armbar from guard. Normally, you would grab the same side arm, but in this variation, you reach over for the other arm instead (known as a ‘cross-grip’). Your same side arm is instead going to reach for their opposite collar, which means you can now clamp your elbow down on their arm, giving you extra control. The armbar then proceeds as normal, with your same side foot going to their hip (on the side of the arm you’re attacking), swivel and kick your other leg up into their armpit, then bring your hip foot up over their head. Note that to clear their head, you may need to push it back with your hand, or alternatively shove into their neck.
Kev then showed a neat little trick, for when their gi is loose. On the same side as the arm you want to attack, pull their gi underneath the arm, then wrap it over the top and feed to your other hand. Pull this across and down, which will give you even greater control on their arm. You won’t be able to keep them there for ever, but it should give you a little more time to land the armbar.
The flower sweep combines well with the armbar. If they manage to block you bringing your leg over their head, switch your grip on their sleeve: most likely they’ll be leaning forward and your arm will be under their head or torso, so you’ll probably be in position to easily switch your grip on their arm already. Your other arm either reaches behind their same side knee or grabs their gi trouser leg, then kick up with one leg and chop with the other, rolling on top into mount.
Kev finished off with a basic standing guard pass. Get the usual double collar grip, then grab their same side sleeve and shove it into their hip. Step your leg up on that side, let go of the collars and yank their arm up, bringing your other leg slightly back. Having stepped back, you can now push down on their knee and break open their guard.
As soon as their guard is open, drop down to combat base, where you have one knee up in their guard, your other foot by your heel. Reach under one of their legs (it doesn’t matter too much which, but feels more natural to go for the leg opposite your raised knee) and bump it up to your shoulder. With the same hand, reach through for their collar, or if you can’t grab that (or it’s nogi), their opposite shoulder.
Making certain your other elbow is inside their knee (otherwise they might try for a triangle), drive forward and walk your legs around to the side. Keep the pressure on until you can slide past their leg and move into side control. You might also find it helpful to grab the back of their belt with your free hand and raise their hips up, making it difficult for them to use their hips.
Sparring was specific from the guard. On top, I was looking to use Colin’s pass, where as soon as they grip your collar, you grab that sleeve with your same side hand and stand up, then break their guard. It worked, but I wasn’t reacting as quickly as I should: at one point I had stood up and broken the guard open, but stayed where I was, rather than shoving a leg down and doing a big step over the top to start the pass.
A lot of the time I was finding that I am still accepting half guard, rather than driving for the full pass. From there, I kept on trying to attack the far arm, but I was too obvious about it, so they had little trouble grabbing onto some cloth to stop me easily bringing the arm out for a submission. However, it’s a good habit to get into, as that helps distract them from my efforts to get my leg free.
Underneath, I was playing around with various attacks. I need to be more careful with the scissor sweep, as I’m still tending to just end up opening my guard and helping them initiate a pass, rather than staying tight and breaking their posture properly first. I wasn’t doing enough with spider guard, as I had the arms extended but didn’t progress to a sweep, and I also totally messed up the omoplata sweep: I ended up just rolling them on top of me and giving them side control.
I did manage to get an omoplata later on, but very sloppy. I started off with my legs in completely the wrong position, underneath their head rather than out to the side. Not quite sure how I ended up there. Eventually I got them free and out to the right side, then worked into the submission, but against anyone more experienced I would have just lost the position.