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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

24 December 2012

24/12/2012 - Xmas Eve Drilling at RGA Bucks

Class #479
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK - 24/12/2012

Unusually, my family celebrated xmas on the 23rd December this year. Normally, we do it on the xmas eve (with the handy excuse that half of us are German), but this year my sister is disappearing to Canada, so we had to do thing a bit earlier. After some excellent presents, including some wool-assisted beardery, that meant I had the whole of xmas eve and xmas day for BJJ. I finally signed up for a free trial at MGinAction (review here), then at 2pm headed down to RGA Bucks for a drilling class. It is always great to drop into Kev's club and catch up. It is also nice to be able to wear my preferred gi again, rather than the Gracie Barra uniform. I forget how comfortable the Black Eagle Predator jacket and Kingz trousers are! ;D

I am still injured, which is likely to be the case for at least a few months, from what people have told me regarding groin strains. I therefore couldn't take part in a lot of the warm-up, but fortunately I found that the main drilling didn't seem to aggravate my abductor. All of the drills were related to passing the guard. We did them in sets of five, going for a minute each time.

The guard passing drills kicked off with a relatively basic option, with a minor variation from Kev. It is basically the same as the typical bullfighter pass drill, where you push their knees to one side and pass the other way through to knee on belly, step back and repeat in the other direction. The difference is that Kev likes to reach past their knees and grab the belt, then grip the leg and pass on that side. You can either switch your belt grip each time, or maintain the belt grip and use the same hand for passing on both sides.

Drill number two was almost the same, exact that rather than pulling on the belt, you put your hand on the mat between their legs. This lends itself to a slightly different motion, dropping your shoulder as you pass, rather than naturally shifting to knee on belly. As this was drilling, nobody was slamming their shoulder full force, further softened by the person on their back using their arms to brace the passer's weight.

Kev's third drill was for passing spider guard. I was a bit concerned at first, given the leg contortion required for a leg lasso, but fortunately it was possible to just do it on one side. As your partner starts to bring their leg over your arm to lock in the lasso, drop your shoulder and knock their lower leg outwards with your arm. Grasp their toes with your other hand and push it down, simultaneously moving around to the side. For the purposes of the drill, we just went side to side. To complete the pass, you would take out the slack in their grip, then with a 'start the lawnmower' motion, yank your arm free while still pushing on their foot.

Our final drill moved into the acrobatic guard passing realm, though at the lesser end of the spectrum. This time, put your head by their hip, reaching around their far hip with your arm. You other hand will post on the mat. This will enable you to do a headstand, then kick your legs up into the air, swinging your body over to land on the other side. It's a useful motion to ingrain, particularly if you need to suddenly switch mid-pass or overcome a stubborn frame.

I'm intending to head down on boxing day too, presuming I can still move at the point (whether the greater danger will be muscle fatigue or eating too much food remains to be seen...)

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