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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

20 March 2011

20/03/2011 - RGA Aylesbury (Beginner)

Class #381
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, UK - 20/03/2011

Chrissy, a regular contributor to this site (see her articles here), has put up a great post on her own blog, here, about 'winning' in the gym. Go check it out.

I'm continuing to be careful of my leg, but it is definitely improving as I took part in drilling the takedowns. I was taking it very easy and there wasn't any lifting, but it is still a good sign. The takedown today starts from the basic collar and sleeve grip. You bring your elbow over and inside their collar grabbing arm, then circle your arm underneath. Drop to their legs, encircling behind both their knees with your arms.

Hook your same side leg around whichever leg they have forward, then drive forwards to put them on their back. Kev advised putting your instep on the floor, rather than driving over your toes. If they don't manage to immediately go to half guard or closed guard, you can base on your shoulders, arms and head, then hop your legs over to side control.

The rest of the session focused on the clock choke. They have turtled up, so you move to their side, keeping your weight on them with your legs sprawled back (so that you don't relieve any of the pressure by supporting some of it with your knees). Your far arm is going to reach across their body and chop by their knee.

Your aim is to slip your hand inside: this won't be easy, as they will probably be tucking their elbows by their knees. You also need to be aware that even if you do get your hand inside, if you're not careful they may wrap your elbow and roll, putting them in the top position.

While being careful to avoid that trap, use your hand to grab their collar and open it up. Your other hand goes over their shoulder and past their neck, sliding along their jaw line. Feed the collar you've grabbed to that shoulder hand, getting a tight grip. That leaves your feeding hand free to switch to their same side wrist, pulling it towards their body.

Put your head on the mat, then walk your legs around to the other side of the body one at a time. The motion is as if your legs were the hands of a clock face: hence the name of the choke. Make sure you keep your weight on them to prevent their escape, being careful that you aren't too far forward or back. That should eventually get the tap, as the choke gets tighter each time you step around.

Kev then moved into a variation on the clock choke he was shown by Felipe Souza. You're still attacking the turtle, but this time you can't chop your hand through: their defence is too secure. So instead, grip their trouser leg, by the knee, using that for control along with your weight on their back.

You are also going to grab their collar as before, except that this time you won't be able to feed it to your hand. Once you have a deep grip, bring the arm that was controlling their trouser leg to the other side of their head.

Pressing that arm into their skull produces a fair bit of pressure in conjunction with your collar grip. Increase it by leaning back slightly, while walking your legs around as before. This should result in a choke.

Finally, the clock choke defence involves blocking their arm early. Don't let them chop their hand through, instead controlling their arm at the wrist and locking it to your side. Raise your bum in order to knock them forwards, then hook over their near leg with the foot you have closest to that leg. Reach your free hand through to grab their other leg.

Bring your shoulder towards them, while also moving your knee in the same direction. The idea is to get your hips underneath them, rolling through the motion: be sure that you're using leverage not strength, as the latter will only work against people smaller than you.

If you can get that right, you should be able to swing their body right over yours, coming up on top with your back facing their head. Keep moving your hips towards their head, after which you can transition to side control.

I decided against joining in specific sparring from the back, as I didn't think my leg was up to it. As at the Roger seminar, there was a good turnout of women today, so hopefully I'll get a chance to do some light sparring with them next week. I have a lot more confidence in the control and consideration of white belt women as opposed to men, and they're also smaller.

After sitting on the sidelines writing up my notes, I had a chance to ask Kev about leg locks before class finished. Lower body submissions are something I need to better understand now that I'm a purple. I'll go into what he said in the open mat post, although it was only a brief summary, as there wasn't enough time left to go through them all fully.

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