Hit Fit, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 23/01/2014
I'm excited to announce that next week will be the first class at Artemis BJJ, the new club Dónal and I have set up! We haven't done a big launch yet, but the website is up and running, along with the usual social media stuff (so far, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram). I'm still digging through the various bits of bureaucracy involved in setting it up, but I'm looking forward to finally getting back into a regular pattern of training. First week will be free regardless, but we'll probably have a longer free period to kick things off. So, would be cool to see you on the mats at the Bristol Sports Centre on Monday at 19:30. :D
Dónal started with a simple knee cut drill, where they are on their back in open guard. Step between their legs with one of your own, then cut across to the opposite side, over their thigh. Slide your hip through, keeping your hip tight for pressure, ideally also underhooking their far arm. That was followed by a connected drill, where you're in the same scenario but this time they push into the leg you're trying to cut across. Swing your leg back, then step it through to their side, moving into knee on belly.
Dónal rounded off that section with the butterfly pass he likes to teach. You're facing them, both of you kneeling with one knee raised. Reach over their back and secure a grip under their opposite shoulder. Using your raised knee, push their knees in the opposite direction. The idea here is to clamp their knees to the mat, pressuring through the side of their top knee. Replace that pressure with your hand, keeping the arm straight to use your skeletal structure rather than muscles. You can then pass to side control or possibly take their back, depending on their reaction.
Finally, there was a very basic butterfly sweep from the same position. As soon as they go to grab the knee you have on the floor, control their elbow or sleeve and push their arm across your body. Hooking under their raised leg with your same side instep, then lift as your drop your shoulder on the other side to the mat. This should flip them over, whereupon you can establish side control.
Specific sparring was from on your knees, with the goal of either passing, sweeping or submitting. I was impressed with how quickly my training partner, Estee, picked up the fundamentals of grappling. She was already doing a good job of keeping me away with her feet (just like I'd taught her last week, with good hip movement. Seems to be a natural, so it will be cool to see how she progresses, especially as this is only her second class!
I also had a roll with Mark, where I was pleased to manage a tripod sweep, but weirdly while he was still on his knees. I didn't expect it to work too well from that position, so I'll keep trying it. It's been really helpful having that focus from my previous private lesson with Kev, though I still keep forgetting to try the arm drag attempt to sit up sweep. I've also found considerable utility in the basic open guard position Kev suggested, where I'm sat up, one hand behind for base and the other gripping deep in their collar.
In the open mat hour after class, I was able to fit in a long roll with Gary. I'm not having any luck with the mawashi grip. I did a bit of drilling, but couldn't seem to get any benefit, so that's something to keep experimenting with. I was mainly keeping him at bay by pushing on his hips with my feet, but with very limited success on sweeps. I did eventually get to mount, where I could hold the position, but wasn't able to progress to any kind of submission. I need to keep working on walking my knees up high, as well as threatening the ezequiel when I'm lower down.