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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

01 November 2011

01/11/2011 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Open Guard Pass)

Class #429
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Donal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 01/11/2011

The ADCC was only held recently, but on the 5th November, there is another big nogi event on the way: the No Gi Worlds. It doesn't tend to get as high level competitors as you find in the ADCC, but then again, it hasn't been around as long, so perhaps more of the elite will show up this time. If you want to check out some grappling action along with the fireworks outside your window, then there is a live stream from BudoVideos again, costing $10. You can buy access here.

I left my parents house at around 12:00, lugging my backpack along with me, walking the mile and a half to the station. Another hour into London, where again I had to run to make sure I didn't miss my megabus to Bristol. That was followed by a few more miles walking from the centre of town. As I pass Gracie Barra Bristol on my way home anyway and I was in time for class with a gi in my bag, I thought I might as well train.

Good thing too, as Donal was covering open guard passes, which is definitely my weakest area. Specifically, he was looking at passing spider guard, when they have a lasso on your arm. Donal's approach was to get them into a typical open guard first, then pass that: in other words, he gave us a general principle which can be applied to a number of different open guards, so handy stuff. For spider guard, you first want to grab the hand they're using to hold your sleeve (on the lassoed side), then pull it towards you. You should now be able to circle your trapped hand behind their leg to free it.

That puts you back into a more typical open guard. To attack, they normally need an angle, so put them flat on their back. Get a good grip on their gi trousers: either grab inside theiAIn free sparring, I was ok to go with controlled, smaller people, finishing off by having a fun roll with Mike. As he was keeping things light, I was able to play around with half guard control using just the one arm, gripping under the head and tightly grasping the material by the opposite shoulder. From there, I lifted my legs up to then cut the trapped leg through. At some point I end up on his back (I think I was losing the half guard, then tried to snatch that unusual 'half-back' type thing Dean Lister did at the ADCC), which unusually for me ended up with a body triangle.

I don't normally like to use that, as first of all my legs are short. Secondly, it makes me feel vulnerable, especially as there is a nasty footlock they can do to you if you're not careful. Thirdly, though less importantly for me personally, IIRC it doesn't net you any points in competition, as you need to have both hooks in. Still, worth trying out, especially as I'll probably end up teaching it during the back maintenance lesson in a month or two.

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