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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 2013

29/01/2013 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Top Side Control)

Class #483
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 29/01/2013

As always with Dónal's lessons, there were some interesting drills. Particularly useful today, as I was trying to think of more top side control drills when I taught last Saturday, so these should come in handy. For the first one, you're in a standard side control, then they turn towards you and try to secure an underhook. Put the arm you have nearest their legs by their near side hip, with your fingers pointing towards them. That's going to be one basing point.

With your other hand, push their head towards you, simultaneously stepping your other leg over their head, keeping your weight on them. As you spin to the other side, bring the elbow of your head-pushing arm inside what was their near hip and is now the far hip. Move back into normal side control, then the process starts again.

The same motion fits well with an armbar drill. This time, you have side control, one arm under head, the other hand reaching under their far arm and cupping their shoulder. Move back slightly for space, then yank their shoulder towards you, putting them on their side. Secure what was the far arm and is now the 'top' arm, then push head and step over as before. Grab their same side knee with your free hand, falling back for armbar.

Note that this is for when you have their arm next to your head, leaving it vulnerable. If they have arm in the typical position under side control, pressing into your neck, you'll need to base forward and wriggle that arm in place, or adjust as you swivel to isolate the arm.

Finally for top side control, Dónal had a knee on belly drill which moved into an unusual arm control side position. Pop up into knee on belly, one hand gripping their near side collar, the other hand with a firm grasp by their far side hip. Slide your knee into their arm, towards the near side shoulder, dropping your hip so it is your body weight and leg against their one arm.

When you have driven that arm to the floor, step on their wrist with your free foot, trapping it in place. Then shift and twist, so the knee on belly knee points towards their legs, your instep hooking the arm you just stepped on. From there, you're in a good position to attack their far arm, as you've already secured near arm.

Along with side control drills, there was always a good passing drill. You do the knee cut across their leg, your hand on their far hip, using your elbow to block their underhook. Put your knee to the floor. If they manage to get the underhook, put one hand on the floor for base, then swing over, ending up further away rather than super tight: this is to improve your base, according to Dónal.

That's where the drill stopped, but you could do an opposite side half guard pass from here, like I taught a little while ago. When swinging over I liked to stay tight with my head into their chest, grabbing around their back and securing an armpit, which sets me up for that opposite side half guard pass.

Like previous lessons, while everyone else sparred I did some drilling. My choice for today was the windscreen wiper sweep. Main thing I took from that was that I need to really control the arm and pull it across, to stop them basing on it. The drill seemed to work ok with my hurt groin, so a good one to drill.

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