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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

26 October 2010

26/10/2010 - BJJ (Advanced)

Class #354
RGA High Wycombe, (BJJ), Kev Capel, High Wycombe, UK - 26/10/2010

After getting back home from Bristol, I was pleasantly surprised to find a new package from Roy Dean. This time, it wasn’t a DVD, but a collection of his four music CDs: this is the ambient soundtrack you’ll hear on his instructionals. I’m a fan of people like Kid Loco (or at least his first album, ‘A Grand Love Story’), so that kind of trip hoppy stuff appeals to me. I’m not sure you could make a direct comparison, as there isn’t the dense layering and samples: it’s a cleaner sound, mostly piano, guitar and drums. I've been giving it a thorough listen over the last day or two.

My favourite is Roy’s second album, appropriately called Second Sound, with tracks like ‘Strings’, a bit reminiscent of Moby, ‘Distance’ and ‘Alleluiah’, probably the best of the bunch. I was less keen on the ‘harder’ fourth album, End of Days (the fact there is a track called ‘Reznor’ implies what the influence was this time), but there were still a number of highlights there, like ‘Laver Blue’ (which is also cool, because I know Paul from the excellent K3 Academy in Poole).

The smooth, stylish production of Roy Dean’s DVDs is reflected in his music, with a sophisticated sound that works beautifully as a background for rolling in class. You can buy the four CD set, Arc and Shadow, from Roy’s site, here (scroll down to the bottom of the page).

The blogger map has also been growing steadily, so if you’re a blogger who wants to be on there and isn’t yet, let me know. You can get in touch with me via email on this page. Georgette has also kindly agreed to help out as a collaborator, which brings the total up to six. :)

Progressing from half guard, Kev focused on the deep half during the advanced class. That adds to the introduction I had to the position earlier from Rob Stevens at GB Brum, who is very good at using it. Rob taught a class on entries and sweeps from the deep half in April, followed by how to pass it with Kevin Webb in May.

Kev (Capel, not Webb ;p) began by showing us how to move into deep half guard from a z-guard/knee shield position (like half guard, but you have your outside knee pressing into their chest). This should make them drive forward, which gives you the momentum you need to reach through and spin under their trapped leg. A common mistake is to go for the other leg: you want the leg on the same side as your knee shield.

Once there, stretch out their leg, with one arm around the outside, the other holding inside, facing away from their body. Kev said that you didn’t need to worry about being super tight with your legs, as they will find it difficult to move that trapped leg due to the awkward position.

You can now go for what Jeff Glover calls the ‘Homer Simpson’ deep half guard sweep, from his DVD. With their leg still in between yours, walk along the floor towards their other leg until you feel their balance is gone (hence the name: you’re running in a circle while lying down). Pull their knee over to the side, then spin over the leg you’re holding. You need to keep their leg in between yours, otherwise you’ll be walking straight into a triangle. Depending on their position, you can spin under and work for the back, or spin over the top and pass.

Note that once you get on top, they can get their leg in the way. The triangle isn’t much of a risk if you’re sitting on their leg, but it can mess up the pass: I kept getting stuck there when I last drilled deep half at Rob Stevens’ class. To avoid ending up in a sticky situation, drive your head to their opposite hip (although watch your neck: I think I was pushing too much with my head and forgetting about the rest of my body, so it felt a little sore the day after. Then again, that might have been from pushing too much with it on the sweep). From there you can do the switch pass Kev showed earlier.

Kev finished up with an escape from mount which puts you into the deep half guard. The idea is to escape as if you’re going to half guard (e.g., like Rob’s version). However, rather than working from there, you’re going to wrap their lower leg, so that their ankle is resting on your bottom leg, with their foot dangling off to the side. That means you can press on that foot with your top leg, which will pry up their knee. Use that space to shoot your arm in, spin under and go to deep half.

There was just one round of sparring, again from half guard. I was with a tall blue belt I don’t think I’ve seen before, called Simon. On top, I essentially bored him into opening his half guard, staying low with my leg sprawled back, like I did with Howard earlier. However, Simon wasn’t using the knee shield in the same way, which made all the difference. Later, I was trying to attack the far arm to act as a distraction, but couldn’t quite sink that kimura. I’m getting closer, but need to make more effective use of my head as a third hand, also making better use of Roy Dean’s lockflow from the 2009 seminar.

Underneath, my legs were getting squashed to the side too much. I need to keep my legs active, knocking my partner’s posture forward, pushing into their armpits and sides. I also need to remember to use my legs in conjunction with my arms, which is a central principle of BJJ. I’m getting better at it, but there are numerous positions where I’m still letting that concept slip my mind.

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