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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

26 December 2012

26/12/2012 - Boxing Day Drilling at RGA Bucks

Class #480
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK - 26/12/2012

My legs were still burning from the xmas eve drilling session, but as I have got in so little training this year, I wasn't going to miss out. I was a little worried when Kev said it was going to be drills from standing, but we weren't doing too much actual throwing, so my leg didn't seem too unhappy.

After a warm-up based on something Martin Rooney does (with things like "dog urinating" posture with the leg), we moved into the drilling. It was the same format as xmas eve, with five rounds of a minute each, so ten minutes total. We began with uchikomi, working whatever entry into a throw we wanted. I went with the basic trip (can't remember the judo term), where you grab collar and elbow, step through and kick out their leg, following through with your arms.

I'm not sure if it is better to punch the gi you've grabbed over their shoulder or pressing directly into their chest, in terms of leverage. But meh, I have no intention of doing any sparring from stand-up if I can avoid it, so as a non-competitor, not a big issue. :)

It also meant I could practice the takedown Rolles JR showed at his seminar in Houston, where you grab over the back, drop down then lifting their leg, drag them into side control. I'm sure I'm missing lots of details, but mainly I wanted to play with that over the back grip, where you then drop your elbow in front of the shoulder.

Next we did the throws, with some very light resistance. I decided to go for it and complete the technique, which may or may not prove to have been a good idea. I was only doing it on one side, to avoid pressure on my left abductor, but did feel a tiny twinge a few times. I also did a few seoi-nages, but that didn't generate the same kind of twinge.

Third drill was guard pulling, which worried me even more, but fortunately it wasn't jumping guard. Again there was some very light resistance, to keep the drill alive, so your partner blocks your attempts to get grips if you aren't going for it properly. We then just dropped while pushing a foot into the hip. That didn't aggravate my abductor, except for once where I think I must have swung the leg out too forcefully.

I got nervous yet again where we were lined up against the wall, but it wasn't randori. With one person in the middle, everybody else did some grip fighting with them one after another, for ten seconds each. It proved to be a quite nice way of doing stand-up training but without the worries about injury. I again tried for the Rolles grip, but failed to use it to keep them at a distance. People were just gripping with their arm on the same side, which pretty much negated my control.

I asked Kev about it afterwards, to check if I was doing the grip right. I wasn't. Kev demonstrated how you can either grab high on the collar and drop your elbow, which looked like what Rolles did: the difference is that Rolles is huge, so can grab over the back and still have enough length in his arms to drop the elbow.

Kev's second variation on the takedown was interesting, where he grabs the collar, then braces the heel of his hand against their jawbone. That accomplishes a similar distancing effect to Rolles elbow drop, and having experienced Kev demonstrating it on him, definitely feels like it would be good control. Kev suggested combining that with a grip on the leg.

The reason for the trouser grip is that in a BJJ competition you would then automatically get takedown points if they tried to pull guard. You can also bring your leg across to hook their far leg, then drive through for the takedown (IIRC: my memory for takedowns is rather poor). One thing you need to watch out for when grabbing the leg is that they don't drop back and put you in a triangle. As he explained, Kev once won a fight at a competition that way.

Class finished with some specific sparring from closed guard. I wasn't able to do a whole lot, generally getting my back taken when I was on top and passed when on the bottom. Not being able to stand up properly was a hindrance on top, though I suspect things would not have gone all that differently even if I wasn't injured. My guard, both on top and on the bottom, continues to be atrocious. Weirdly, I seem to have become a top player over the last year or two (though my top game isn't all that much better).

I was trying the knee shield type thing on the bottom, but wasn't doing a good job of blocking the pass. It is harder when you can't easily bring one of your legs into play, but I still should have had better hip movement. It's frustrating that I'm not going to be able to work on my guard much due to the injury, despite it being a major problem area at the moment. Meh. At least I can train around a groin strain, which is much, much better than being forced off the mats completely.

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