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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

04 September 2012

04/09/2012 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Guard Recovery to Triangle & Back Take)

Class #467
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 04/09/2012

The triangle fortnight is still going: for tonight's lesson, Dónal moved into spider guard, although from an angle I wasn't expecting. Rather than the typical spider triangle set-up, this was a method of using spider guard to hit a triangle off guard recovery. They've just passed your guard: push on their shoulder to block them getting any further.

In regards to blocking the shoulder, previously I've always assumed that you push on the near shoulder or the near side of their head to stop them passing. That means they can't continue to drive into you: e.g., like the Demian Maia DVD, where he talks about 'head control theory'. However, Dónal prefers to push on the far shoulder, which is interesting: something I'll have to experiment with. Quite possible I've been doing it wrong the whole time. :)

Anyway, whichever shoulder you've blocked, shrimp out and get onto your side, then bring your bottom leg into their torso, hooking around their side with your foot. Grab their far sleeve with your same side hand. Due to turning on your side, you have a greater range of motion, so can swing your top leg right over their head. Press that foot into the crook of their far elbow, pulling with your sleeve grip. You also want to grab by their upper arm on the other side with your free hand.

To really stretch them out, bring your foot up, which should drive them flat. Getting to this point was the key, as if you can do that, you've added a useful tool to your guard recovery repertoire. However, you can then move into at least two different techniques, starting with a triangle similar to the one Braulio teaches on one of his instructionals. From the previous position, lift up your top knee slightly, towards their head.

That should give you enough room to put your bottom foot directly next to the other, so you're now pushing both legs into the crook of their elbow. From here, you can swing your top leg over their head, pull their other arm towards you between your legs, then raising you hips lock your feet behind them. From here you should be able to move into a triangle.

The other option Dónal showed from there (along with an alternative triangle set-up I can't remember) was to take the back. This time, you're going to swing your leg right past their head, using that swing to generate enough momentum to sit up. You could move straight to the back from there. If you need some extra help, your sleeve grabbing hand can switch to an arm drag, grabbing inside their other arm and pulling it across.

Sparring started off with the chess drill, then two rounds of free sparring. I began with a white belt, where I was looking to set up a deep grip on the choke, but without much success. I'm keen to get those collar chokes more effective, as pretty much everybody is complacent about that first grip, so I need to think more carefully about shifting into other attacks. There's a good video on Gracie University about the 'triple threat' which bears further study (I've got several reviews in the pipeline, so once those are done I can get back to my notes for the Gracie University blue belt stripe 1 guard chapter review).

With Miles, things were of course quite different, so I was mostly defending. I was attempting to keep pushing on his hips with my feet and shoulders with my hands, shrimping as much as possible. I did still get stuck with Miles on my back, but just about managed to struggle out. However, he was taking it fairly easy, due to the size difference, so I'm sure he could have finished off that choke if he was feeling mean. ;)

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