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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 November 2011

25/11/2011 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Side Control Escape)

Class #434
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Nicolai 'Geeza' Holt, Bristol, UK - 25/11/2011

My neck is still sore, but as my gf was off on a work do, I thought I'd take the opportunity to get in another class tonight. After some self defence (following the Gracie Barra Fundamentals as usual), Geeza ran through the basic side control escape to the knees. One arm is under their forearm, the other hand by their hip. Bridge up, in order to make space to circle the neck arm around to reach for their back. Swivel, tucking your elbow so that you can move into the turtle position.

Adjust your grip to their leg, with your head on the other side (be wary of guillotines, as your head is on the outside). Step up your foot on the same side as your head, then pulling their other leg towards you, while driving with your foot and head, push through to side control. I rarely use this escape, and at the moment it is completely out of the question for me. Anything that involves turtling is off-limits, as I've busted and re-busted my neck whenever I've spent any length of time in turtle over the last two months. Almost certainly something flawed with how I using the turtle, but for now, I've banned myself from going there.

Specific sparring was from side control, which is good for me as it meant I could stay on top. I normally go for the orthodox side control, arm under the head with the other arm under their far armpit. However, tonight I wanted to try to avoid starting from there, as that's my comfort zone: it also has more likelihood of involving my head (e.g., for base if they try to roll me). Instead, I began from the position we used for drilling, where you have the arm nearest their head over to the far side, under their shoulder, with your other hand blocks their near hip.

It was interesting playing with the grip by the near hip, trying blocking with the hand, grabbing the gi material by their butt, or hooking the leg. That isn't a control I use all that often (as my hands are usually much higher up their body), but I found it helped the transition to north-south, which I was also doing a lot during sparring. I was looking to isolate an arm for the kimura at one point, but didn't clamp it to my chest quickly enough, so they were able to defend well by grabbing under their leg.

I also had a go at the gi choke Matt Burn showed me, where you feed your lapel under their neck to your other hand, then walk round in order to bring your head to their opposite hip. I got the lapel under their head and secured the grip, but I'm not sure I quite had it right. I also didn't do a good job of controlling their hips, as they could pretty much follow me round as I moved my head to the opposite hip. Something to play with nonetheless, as I'd like to expand my range of side control submissions beyond 'Americana' and 'north south kimura'.

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