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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

29 January 2012

29/01/2012 - Teaching (Open Mat)

Teaching #039
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 29/01/2012

Reading the forums and Facebook, it sounds like the UK BJJ contingent at the Euros has been getting some incredible results. Top UK brown belt competitor Luke Costello didn't just win his weight category, he won gold in the absolute as well. More results have been coming in steadily over on the EFN, so I look forward to hearing more. In terms of the GB Bristol team, there were some great results there too: Geeza won the silver medal in the ultra heavy brown belt division, an age division or two below his usual, which makes it even more impressive. Well done Geeza!

As Geeza was busy winning medals, I ran the open mat today. That's the easiest class to run, as all you have to do is go through the warm-up, pair people up, make sure nobody crashes into each other, then stretch out at the end. It also meant I could get in a few rolls myself, which is always nice. I was intending to try and work some spider guard sweeps, as that's what I'm teaching next week, but once again found myself working from top half guard much of the time.

That seems to be my go-to position at the moment (or at least it is when I'm sparring someone around my size), but still plenty of kinks to work out. I forgot to follow my own advice at one point, when I went for the inverted half guard pass, but didn't take enough care to prevent the recounter. Mike got a smooth sweep on me off that, which is a good reminder to always be ready for them flipping you over as you try to pass to side control.

I sort of got a sloppy roll back sweep from half guard, after trying to scissor, but I think I had a kilo or two on my training partner (amazingly, there are a few people slightly smaller than me at the club), so I probably wouldn't have got it without that weight advantage. It's definitely something I want to practice more often in sparring, especially as that will mean I can teach the sweep much more effectively.

I also ran the nogi open mat, which was significantly smaller. Almost everybody had left, leaving just Ben, Martin and Dónal. Due to the tiny numbers, I used a specific sparring set-up I quite like from previous lessons: one person on the mat for six minutes in one position, with the other two cycling in whenever that one person achieves their goal. I started it off with the person on the mat staying under mount for six minutes, then guard (only closed or open, rather than getting into half) and finally back mount.

I didn't spar nogi myself, as no-gi is not something I normally enjoy. I never go to the nogi class, unless I'm needed there to run it. However, I was thinking about nogi recently, because I see that veteran nogi coach Nathan 'Levo' Leverton is codifying his own nogi system. He's calling it 'Leverage Submission Grappling' (nice play on his surname ;D), with ranks, affiliation options, seminars etc. Although I've never met Levo in person, he's earned my respect from the posts he's made on the internet over the years, which are always insightful, mature and intelligent. So, despite the fact I'm not a big fan of training nogi, I'm intrigued to see what Levo has come up with and how it develops. The new LSG website is here.

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