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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

22 April 2014

22/04/2014 - Gracie Humaitá (Beginners Class)

Class #561
Gracie Humaitá, (BJJ), Paulo ‘Coelho’ Brandão, Austin, TX, USA - 22/04/2014


A photo posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on
After being dropped off by my new friends from the Aces Jiu Jitsu Club session, I headed up to Georgette's office. The next destination was Gracie Humaita Austin, another beautiful facilitiy. I've read and seen so much of that academy through Georgette's blog that a lot of it felt familiar, especially the faces I saw later on during the sparring class. The focus tonight was on butterfly passing, which Paulo said was a signature move of his.

The first butterfly pass begins by sinking your base as low as possible. If they have both butterfly hooks rather than one ready to lift, you can box them in with your knees. Insert a knee behind their heel (if they have one leg raised, you want to put your knee by the other leg), then step out your other foot. Make sure you are stepping out rather than forward, to avoid giving them a chance to get underneath you and lift.

Using an underhook and driving with your head, spin their upper body to the ground. You aren't driving straight forward, you're steering them in a semi-circle. Basing on your head and the shoulder you have pressed into them (due to your underhook), pop your hips up. You can then knee cut across the leg where you put your knee earlier. If you need to, shove their leg to the mat with your hand.

I don't think I quite got the second variation. It starts the same, but this time they manage to initiate an underhook before you can complete your knee cut. With the arm they're trying to underhook, grasp their same side knee and clamp your elbow to your side. This is where I got a bit confused: move around (I think?), then as they try to shrimp away, cross face and complete the knee cut pass.

The main super-cool thing about tonight was finally training with Georgette. You can tell she'd be a good teacher as she's very focused on getting the technique right, regularly calling over the instructor to double-check the finer points. She also gave me a ton of useful advice as we were doing the technique, polishing specific movements, questioning grips and highlighting details. I'm keen to get in some rolling with her later this week.

I was less keen on getting in loads of rolling generally. So, I continued to be wimpy and sit out of the following hour of sparring, both because I'm lazy and I also don't want to injure myself this early in the trip. Not that I don't trust the control of the students there: I don't trust my own control, as I regularly hurt myself if I do any extensive sparring . ;)

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