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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

15 June 2011

15/06/2011 - Gracie Barra Bristol

Class #404
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol, UK - 15/06/2011

Geeza's class tonight handily focused on a position I've been showing as a drill, since I taught the class on maintaining mount a while ago. He began with that drill, where you switch into technical mount as they roll in either direction. Geeza added in two details I haven't been emphasising: first, point your foot slightly towards their feet for better control, and secondly thrust your hips forward.

That led into two attacks from there, which again is useful: more stuff for people to try during specific sparring tomorrow, when I'll be teaching mount escapes. The first submission is a choke, which you begin by getting your top arm under their top elbow. Grab their top collar, then push that down. With your other hand, reach under their head and grab that same top collar, which you can feed through due to your grip.

Your top arm is now going to swim behind their head. Raise the shoulder of your bottom arm and twist your grip, while simultaneously pressing your top hand into their neck (same kind of motion as in an ezequiel). Finally, thrust your hips forward to apply extra pressure: this can make a significant difference, as otherwise you might find yourself relying on arm strength.

If they manage to block your choking hand, you can instead switch to an armbar. Your top arm will reach through and grab your own gi, while your other arm will post directly in front of their face. This help prevent them escaping the attack: if you want to be mean, you can also dig the elbow of your first arm into their side. Lean towards their feet, step your leg around their head, then drop back for the armbar, squeezing your knees as usual.

There was a surprising amount of sparring for an hour long lesson, so I'm guessing we either ran over or Geeza just managed the time well. That started off with specific from mount, in weight groups. I was looking to practice the escapes I plan to teach tomorrow, playing around with different frames. It also reminded me I'm not trying the trap and roll enough from underneath: I continue to rely much too heavily on the foot drag, my favoured escape.

On top, I feel relatively comfortable getting good control with low mount and grapevines, but I'm still having trouble finishing the ezequiel. However, during my research for teaching attacks recently, I rewatched the Saulo video from Jiu Jitsu Revolution, which has been useful. Trapping that blocking arm by their side is a good goal to aim for, as that should make everything else easier to put in place.

I was also looking to practice the other technique I taught during that earlier lesson, the Roger choke. You have to move up into high mount for that (or at least you do if you lack Roger's height), where I was getting rolled relatively often. What I should have done is switch to technical mount, as per Geeza's drill and indeed my own drill that I've incorporated in my last few lessons. At the moment, I still find myself leaving too much space, getting rolled and attempting to shift to an armbar mid-roll, losing it as I flop into guard.

My back control isn't good enough either. With one of the white belts, they basically gave me their back, but had a tight grip on my sleeves. I couldn't free my arms, and ended up back in guard. Maintaining back mount should be another interesting lesson to teach, given my own lack of success there.

Free sparring was with Tony, a blue belt roughly my size, which is always refreshing. Lots of running escape as always, which in contrast to back control or guard passing is a lesson I'm looking forward to teaching. It will be good to see how other people work through its flaws and strengths: I'll be keeping a particularly close eye during specific sparring on that day.

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