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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

20 September 2012

20/09/2012 - Last Class Before the GrappleThon!

The video channel will go LIVE at 9am British Summer Time this Saturday: the main streaming site is here

Main GrappleThon donation page here.

After several months of planning, the GrappleThon is taking place this weekend, starting at 9am on Saturday 22nd September 2012, running through to 9am 23rd September 2012. The idea is that we'll have at least one pair sparring the entire time: the whole event is going to be streamed live on, hence the embedded video above (if you’re reading this between 9am on Saturday 22nd and 9am Sunday 23rd, simply click play on the video to tune in the live feed. Similarly with the chat, you can leave us a message on there and we’ll get back to you :D).

The main aim is to raise money for Meningitis UK. Most of that is coming via JustGiving, so if you'd like to contribute, pop over here. One of the various advantages of JustGiving is that you can donate from anywhere in the world. So, no excuses to help a worthy cause! ;)

Teaching #073
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 20/09/2012

Getting back to class tonight, it's my first class in mat two, now that the new class schedule has started. From now on, mat one on Thursdays will be a nogi class, while I'll be in the smaller building next door and up the stairs. So, please keep supporting the Thursday gi class if you want to see it continue! ;D

Today I wanted to take a look at a pass Ed Beneville and Tim Cartmell refer to as 'inverted half guard' in their excellent book, which I first learned from Roger Gracie a few years ago. The orthodox method to pass the half guard is to get a similar 'super-hold' (as Xande calls it) as you would in side control, then use shoulder pressure to hold them in place as you bounce your leg free and slide through.

With inverted half guard, you're also using that cross-facing shoulder pressure. For this pass, you will start off by controlling their head, where you have a broad choice of grips. Option one is to reach under their head with the arm on the same side as your trapped leg: that may feel counter-intuitive, as normally that is the arm you would use to underhook (it will make sense in a moment). Option two, still with that trapped-side arm, is to grab their opposite shoulder.

Option three is grabbing the back of their gi. Option four comes from the Beneville book: if you can get this one, it's probably the tightest option. Before you swing over, open up their lapel on the free leg side. Pass the end of their gi to the hand you have under their head and feed it through. Push their head slightly towards the trapped leg side, then shove your head in the space you’ve created. You can use your head for base, along with your free hand if required.

Whichever hold you've gone for (there are more, but we'll stick with four for now), the next step is to swing your free leg over to the trapped-leg side, so you're lying next to your opponent. This is where that grip and shoulder pressure comes in, as if you don't have one of those grips, they would be able to simply turn towards you and take the top position. If you've gone with option two, in the process of swinging over, you'll bring your arm across their throat. That is therefore probably the least pleasant of the four options.

You need to be careful of their leg, as you don't want them to bridge. Grab their far knee to keep them in place. You can then kick their other leg off and free your foot. At this point, watch out for a counter they may try, which is to lift up your leg with their far foot, flipping you over. To re-counter that, immediately switch from holding the knee to hooking behind their knee with your arm. That should stop them lifting for the sweep. Alternatively, you can also do a big step over to the other side as they try to flip you to your back.

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