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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

10 April 2011

10/04/2011 - RGA Aylesbury Open Mat

Class #387
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Yasmine Wilson, Aylesbury, UK - 10/04/2011

The videos Yas produced with Black Eagle have now been joined by a series of counters, demonstrated by Kev. You can see all of their videos here, on the main Black Eagle site. As she won the Abu Dhabi Pro UK Trials a little while ago, Yas will also be jetting off to the Middle East to compete at the main event next week. So, very best of luck to her!

After the beginners class was over, it was time for the open mat, starting with a bit over an hour of 'skills and drills' led by Yas. This was essentially the great open guard routine that Kev has gone through a couple of times, with an addition. The open guard drill starts with you on your back. They're standing in front of you, to one side of your knees. Reach your far foot over to the inside of their leg, using that to square yourself up.

Next, they stand a bit further forward, by your hip. That's now too far to comfortable bring your far leg in to hook, so instead, put both hands on their leg and shrimp out. You should now be able to establish a hook with the far leg as before. I stopped at this point, as my knee was complaining again.

I also managed to aggravate the mat burn on my shoulders, which I somehow managed to do during shrimping at Mill Hill. It's been a while since I've done shrimping drills due to the knee injury, but still weird: can't remember that happening before. Probably didn't help that I kept on going, but it's only mat burn (or I guess gi burn in this case, as it was the inside of the gi causing the actual abrasion).

Moving on, the scenario becomes that they've passed your guard and established knee on belly. This is a little like the escape Saulo shows as part of the running escape series, except that you're not in the running escape posture. Push off their knee, stretching your outside leg directly away from you. Swivel and twist, so that your hips are up in the air, then roll back towards them, in order to re-establish guard.

There were then an additions to the last time I did this sequence, as they now walk around you, side-stepping in a circle. You're still in guard, but sitting up: following them round. At some point, either stop and let them come to your side, or wait until you aren't spinning enough to catch up with them. Once they are standing by your side, falling in the other direction, then roll to face them square on.

The skills and drills finished with the same specific sparring I'm used to from the last time. It is all open guard, beginning by using just your legs: your hands are tucked into your belt. I didn't trust my knee enough for that, so just stayed in the top position, slowly walking around in a circle to give Stuart some resistance.

Next you can use one of your hands. I thought that would be ok for the knee, so joined in fully this time. Passing was interesting, as I could collapse into top half guard and move around. As they don't have a second hand to block, it is probably easier for the top person in this drill. While I don't have the second hand either, weight and gravity makes up for it.

Underneath was ok too, as I could move into either Xande open guard, or just spider guard with one leg, swivelling around to follow. Again, I couldn't go for any sweeps with just one leg, though I did find myself moving into a triangle again out of habit (no twinges this time, though, which was either due to loosening up, or I just didn't feel it).

Finally, it was full sparring from open guard, so no restrictions on hands or feet. My passing, as usual, was terrible. Even without the excuse of a knee injury, I really, really suck at passing open guard. Stuart swept me over a few times with x-guard: I attempted to base out on my head and see if I could twist back into the top position, but that wasn't too successful. Probably would have been just as ineffective if I could use both legs properly, though it's kinda fun to try and breakdance your way out of a sweep. ;)

It was a rather small class today, probably due to the good weather. That's a rarity in England, so people tend to whip out their barbecues and/or head to the park. I don't get especially excited over sunshine, so it's not something I'd ever use as a reason to skip training (if I ever skip training, it is more normally things like my gf wanting to do something together, as she's always my top priority :D).

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