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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

04 August 2013

04/08/2013 - Study Hall (Back Escapes & Chokes)

Class #515
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Study Hall, Bristol, UK - 04/08/2013

Just like last week, I wanted to continue working on back escapes, especially as I'm teaching it on Tuesday. The main thing that came up at last week's study hall was preventing them from turning to mount. I rewatched my videos from those private lessons and re-read my notes, from which I gathered that while blocking the leg to stop them turning was a good option, often going to deep half is the best idea.

I practiced blocking their turn a few times, clamping more tightly than last time, so that I wasn't just hooking over their top leg but also hooking behind their lower leg. I then moved on to practicing the switch to deep half and sweeping. The Homer Simpson sweep from there is one option, but you could also try for the sweep I learned at the University of Jiu Jitsu in San Diego about a month ago, which relies more on lifting their leg up with your own.

I also wanted to practice chokes from my most recent private, particularly the bow and arrow choke. Initially I had a go practicing chokes with a white belt, who upon being told that he could resist during the drilling immediately clamped down. It is often good to train with beginners because they won't react in the way you expect: he basically just got a death grip on both of my wrists, which made for an interesting challenge.

I ended up trying to swim through and get an arm across the neck, then see if I could grab some collar. If I did get the collar, it wasn't generally a good enough grip to move into the bow and arrow. I also kept forgetting to hook their leg in to grab it and then use as a base point. That's also something I kept forgetting when I had a more technical bit of drilling practice with Berry.

Getting yourself upright is one of the harder parts of the bow and arrow, it seems. I tried pushing off the same side choking leg as I'd been shown in the private, but still struggled. However, I did find that you can try bringing the other arm behind the head to finish off the bow and arrow if you're struggling. I'm not sure that is a viable option, as it was just drilling, but something to play with.

I finished off by rolling with Geeza, who I don't often spar against. That's because he is so much bigger: as a general rule, much larger opponents are less beneficial for my learning, but for working defence, they're great. Of course, Geeza is also a black belt, so that helps a lot too. I asked if he could start on my back, which meant I got choked repeatedly, but it was a useful reminder that I should put myself in bad positions against skilled opposition more often.

Geeza had some advice for defending the multiple ways he choked me. He used a different method requiring a different defence each time, but the main thing I remembered was grabbing the elbow. I think for the bow and arrow he suggested grabbing their elbow with both hands and pulling it over your head. Again, something else for me to work on, alongside general back defence.

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