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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

11 May 2011

11/05/2011 - GB Bristol

Class #395
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol, UK - 11/05/2011

Tonight's class focused on what Geeza called the shin guard, which I think is the same as z guard (see Stephan Kesting's pictures of it here). Either way, it's the one where you are in half guard, but with your shin across their upper torso. In Geeza's version, you knee is by their chest, and you feet aren't locked. Instead, your feet are touching close together.

Class kicked off with some specific sparring from that position, as a way of introducing everyone to the shin guard. I was looking to do the sweep Nick Brooks showed me at Mill Hill, but couldn't quite remember the details. It was a good sweep, so I need to re-read my notes on that. Nick's version does have the feet locked. The reason is that without them locked, Nick noted there was a danger that your opponent could simply circle his leg around to press through the gap. Clamping your feet together will help stop that, of course.

The first of Geeza's two sweeps is a set up for the second. In shin guard, you pull on their arm with both of yours to break their posture and stretch them out. You're then going to grab their knee with your same side hand, leaving you with a cross-grip on their sleeve. Pull on their sleeve and trousers, then raise your hips and drive with your knee. Also twist your body, so that your head turns as if you're looking over your shoulder.

As Geeza commented, that sweep is fairly easy to defend, as they can just drop their weight and drive forward. That's exactly what you want them to do for the next sweep. After going for the previous technique and getting them to react, use your sleeve grip to push their arm across their body. You will then lift their knee (as you still have that grip too) as you roll them in the other direction.

The first thing that should touch the floor is their shoulder, on the same side as the sleeve you've trapped. You then roll back into top half guard: this felt like a similar motion to the hip shift Nick Brooks described for his sweep. I also found that again like that sweep, I could keep control of the arm and push it away from their body, ready to be attacked.

Having taught us two sweeps, Geeza returned the class to specific sparring from the shin guard position. On top, I wasn't passing all that often, although circling my lower leg did work a few times, whenever my partner left a gap between his feet. I was mostly concerned with keeping my weight down and maintaining base, looking to post if he tried to move me in either direction.

Underneath, I had a go at the sweeps and went for the kimura a few times. I also looked to take the back, which is something I'm keen to improve, as that is such a good option for smaller people like me. In the process of doing that, I managed some kind of sweep, though I wasn't really thinking about it. I had their arm across their body and a grip around their back, but couldn't quite get around to back mount because they shifted their weight. I pulled them in the other direction instead as I felt that weight shift, getting the sweep.

There was also an impromptu blogger meeting just afterwards, as Andy was over from Gracie Barra Bath. He has been in Germany for the last few months, which he has written about over on his blog. Unfortunately he hurt his arm a while ago, so may not be able to compete in the Mundials as planned, but it could still be ok: he's waiting to hear from the doctor. Either way, cool to see him, as I always really enjoy meeting people I know from the internet. Hopefully that arm will make a full recovery. :)

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