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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

05 August 2011

05/08/2011 - Gracie Barra Advanced

Class #413
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol, UK - 05/08/2011

I added the 500th blog to my blog index today (TwinJitsu, which is pretty cool, but unfortunately hasn't been updated for a while). As is so often the case, I found it by clicking through a comment TwinJitsu's author made on another blog: sometimes it feels that BJJ goes hand in hand with blogging these days. When I started blogging regularly in 2006, a few months before starting BJJ and first meeting Dom (I had been writing up classes since 2004 in other martial arts, but not systematically), there wasn't much out there. In the UK, it may have even just been me and Seymour. Needless to say, that has definitely changed over the last five years, which is awesome.

Class continued with attacks against the turtle, this time more specifically clock chokes. Geeza began with the basic set-up, where you reach through for their collar and get a deep grip (to expose their neck, he grabbed their far ankle and leaned on their lower back). Your other arm goes over their body, as you then slide down their back. Start walking your legs around as if they the hands of a clock while pulling on the collar, until you can secure the submission.

Darren then taught a variation on the clock choke, which I seem to remember Felipe teaching us. The set-up is the same as the previous choke, except this time, you bring the elbow of your free arm to the opposite side of their head. Slide down their body and step through. You can then pull with your choking hand, also benefitting from the increased leverage provided by your elbow.

Finally, there was a particularly flashy clock choke from Geeza, which he aptly described as "one for the highlight reel." Same set-up, but once you've got that grip into the collar, step your foot up on the same side as your gripping hand. Your other leg is going to swing right over their body and their head, so that it is behind your choking arm. Dive over their body (so, towards the non-choking side). As you roll, secure their arm with your own free arm, then complete the choke from there.

Class finished with a few rounds of free sparring, where I had the pleasure of sparring Dom once again after all these years. I know Dom is fond of chokes (just like she was at that first class!), so I was being especially careful of my neck, particularly as the Datsusara is so baggy. Most of the time, I was in the running escape, trying to recover guard. However, I wasn't able to hook a leg, or prevent Dom from continuing to move around towards my head. As usual, my attempts to spin back to guard just resulted in being back under side control: I definitely need to take another look at how Saulo does it, as I never seem to do that right.

Donal gave me a good smashing, which tends to happen every time we spar. My back defence got a particularly good work out, though again I'm making a recurring error there, which I've mentioned before. When I'm trying to escape and have their back on the mat, I'll often look to secure their arm to try and turn to top half guard. That rarely gets me anywhere, as normally just the arm isn't secure enough, given that their hips are still free to move. Last time I grabbed their head and managed to get where I wanted, but it was sloppy and low percentage.

I don't think I quite understood properly (as we didn't have time to chat about it properly), but Donal mentioned that he likes to block the leg as he turns to escape. I'll have to remember to pick his brain on that next time, as I need to work on that switch to half guard. I'll be looking to get more practice in the position over the next few weeks anyway, as I'll be teaching half guard for the rest of the month.

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