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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

25 March 2011

25/03/2011 - RGA Aylesbury (Beginner)

Class #383
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, UK - 25/03/2011

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I want to try and get back into a regular training pattern, as I think my leg has been sufficiently rested that I can start training two nights a week again. I'm still taking it easy on that knee, so during the warm-up, I'm still doing sit-ups, dorsal raises, press-ups etc instead of the usual jumping jacks and squats. Technique is still based around the turtle position, like last Sunday, starting with guard recovery from turtle.

They are facing your turtle, looking to move around the side to take your back. To stop that, put an arm up by the outside of their leg. On that same side, step up your leg. Your head pops out the other side, and you'll also base out with your hand on that side.

That will enable you to slide your same side leg forward, establishing a butterfly hook. Bring your first foot in to get your other butterfly hook. If they don't react, you can knock them forward and look to take their back. If not, then you can move into a secure butterfly guard position, staying close.

Next up was a more complex technique, which previously I wouldn't have recognised. However, as I had recently seen it on the Roy Harris DVD and been told what it was by Aesopian, I knew I was looking at a reverse omoplata. You start by their side, while they're tightly turtled up. Put your outside foot by their head: this is bait, as you want them to hook it with their arm.

If they fall into your trap, immediately bring your leg backward. This will slide their arm over your other leg. Use the foot of that other leg to hook their arm, helping to hold it in place by pushing on their elbow with your hand. Having trapped the arm, do a shoulder roll, over the shoulder you have nearest their head (just as if you were breakfalling).

As you roll, triangle your legs to trap their arm. If they don't react, you'll kimura their arm: you'll also need to be careful, as this will put lots of pressure on their shoulder (as your whole bodyweight is going against their joint). This is the submission Harris demonstrates in the screen cap from DVD.

However, they will probably roll to relieve the pressure. Follow them, putting your arm across their body to keep their torso in place, with the elbow into their far armpit. You're facing their legs, so it is sort of like reverse scarf hold. You also still have their arm stuck between your legs.

At this point, you have two options: keep your legs triangled, or move one of your legs back, pressing on their arm with your hand to clamp it to your bent leg. Whichever control you use, the next step is to shift your hips backwards (so that will use either your free leg, or your free arm). As you move backwards, you'll be gradually applying the submission.

It may be enough to just keep moving back: that proved to be the case during drilling. If that isn't sufficient, then bring your hips up to twist their arm and torque their shoulder. Remember to keep your body, as you still want to maintain control of their upper body. That also stops them from sitting up to ease the strain on their shoulder.

I didn't do the specific sparring, as I thought there was a good chance of tweaking my knee if I was going from or against the turtle. Fortunately I was able to get in some rolling during the hour of free rolling afterwards, beginning with the same white belt who worked on half guard with me last Sunday. I adopted the same tactic as in Bristol, going for Xande's open guard.

I need to work on swivelling and spinning more fluidly, pushing off their bicep with my foot: didn't quite get it right, but then I was somewhat hampered by only have the one leg to use. Eventually settled into my usual survival position of the running escape posture, which is especially handy when I don't want to use my other leg (although I had to be careful which knee I was using as the main mobile barrier to their arms).

Later, Kev had a roll with me, so I could cut loose slightly more: he's an experienced brown belt and instructor, meaning I could trust his level of control. Of course, he was going fairly light, and avoiding my injured leg. That meant I was playing a similar game as with the white belt. As Kev is a lot higher level, I was finding myself trying to stop him taking my back or rolling into submissions, rather than just settling into my running escape posture.

Though both my sparring partners were going easy on me, it still felt good to get back into the movements of BJJ against resistance, testing my defences. I'm hopeful that I'll be at 100% soon: drilling technique has so far been a relatively good way of testing how much my knee can take.

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