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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

06 February 2011

06/02/2011 - RGA Aylesbury Beginner Class

Class #376
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, UK - 06/02/2011

First off, some readers might remember I had the pleasure of watching Future Champions in action back in December 2009. If you haven't heard of them, they're an excellent charity that uses BJJ to help kids. I just noticed that they have a Facebook page: so, go like it! :D

I was down in Bristol last week, but didn't get any time to drop into GB Bristol. May have been more difficult to just drill, as they don't have an open mat. Then again, there is a sparring class on Sundays, so if my leg still isn't healed when I next have the opportunity, I'll check that with Geeza. It did at least mean I could rest my injury for a bit longer.

Still not 100%, although I'm not limping much now. Stairs remains a bit slow: going up it is just a bit sore, if I try to take the steps in the normal way (i.e., one foot on the next step, then swing through with the other foot to the one above that). That means I'm just putting my healthy leg on the next step, then bringing my injured leg to the same place, before continuing up the stairs.

Going down the stairs is more painful: if I put my injured leg down first, no pain. However, if I try to put my healthy leg down, then the way I have to bend and take the weight on my injured leg does seem to hurt. A less lazy and more sensible person would get off their arse and register with the doctor at the point. Given my usual time scale with things that involve calling people on the phone, that probably means I won't actually get it checked out until I get back from Malta at the end of the month. ;)

I had been planning to get in some training while in Malta, as there is a BJJ club there, but that would probably be unwise given the injury. Still, enough whining about that: I intended to treat today's session just like last time. That meant pure groundwork drilling, and only when it didn't involve putting strain on my right leg.

As ever, things started with takedowns, which I didn't drill due to the leg. However, interesting snippet on terminology from Kev, in relation to the single leg. When you have that leg trapped between yours, then step round and drive to knock them to the ground, there are two separate wrestling terms for it. Kev said that in the oil-drilling states, it gets called 'running the pipe' (which is the one I've heard before), as for oil drilling, you pass a pipe between your legs. However, in American Football states, they call it 'hiking the football', presumably for when they chuck the ball behind them through their legs.

Groundwork technique was all from the mount, which works well for my injury (except for escapes, but we didn't work on those today). That started with the Americana, with a handy tip on grips. I had thought that you put your hands on the wrist and elbow, stiff arm, then press forward with your weight. However, Kev suggested that it was more effective to have both hands by their wrist, gripping with the thumbs underneath.

Kev mentioned that was tough to land, but that he often used it to transition to something else. For example, an armbar from the mount. When you try the Americana, they will usually defend by turning towards their arm, or grabbing it with their other arm. Either way, you can then switch to technical mount, bringing your hand to their other wrist. Secure a figure four on that arm, and you can then finish as normal.

Another option if they try that defence is to take the back. This time, when they turn bring your arm under their head and grab their wrist: this puts you in what Rener calls 'twisting arm control' in Gracie Combatives (lesson thirty-five). Unlike that picture, you then grab your own wrist to create a figure four. You also want to keep your chest to their back, with your shoulder by their head (remember that with technical mount, your knee will be up high near their head too). With that solid grip, lift them up slightly, then you do a sort of sitting roll, pulling them onto you. It is then straightforward to establish your hooks to take the back.

Be careful that you don't end up too high, as that will help them escape. You also need to make you lift them up, or you'll end up trying to push them through your best. At best that will make it more awkward to get your hook as you'll have to free your leg first. At worst, it will set them up for another escape.

To finish, grab their opposite collar and feed it tight with the hand that should now be slid past their armpit. You can then bring your armpit hand behind their head, scooping up their arm in the process. Drive your hand as far past the head as you can, then also apply pressure by pulling on the collar. This should eventually get the tap.

I sat out of sparring, but that did at least give me the chance to both take notes, and also watch some of my classmates in action. I was particularly interested to see how Draz and Trev matched up, as they're both flexible and athletic. Whenever I spar them myself, legs seem to come out of nowhere to wrap up my arms, and it is tough to hold them down. So, good spar to watch.

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