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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

01 June 2014

01/06/2014 - Artemis BJJ (Open Mat)

Class #571
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 01/06/2014

The usual open mat venue was closed at short notice today, though at least a couple of us were able to cycle over to Bristol Sports Centre instead. Once we arrived and had warmed up (though I guess we were already warm from all that cycling ;D), things kicked off by working on the guard break I taught on Wednesday. It was interesting to play around with resistance on that: I can resist it for a while, by popping up onto their leg and/or moving my hips around, but tends to put plenty of strain on my ankles.

When it came to my choice of drill, I wanted to work on half guard, as that's the focus for next month. I played around with some ideas for how I'm going to teach it on Monday, when I'll be starting off with the basics as usual, in this case maintaining the position. I'd been watching some videos on Jason Scully's site earlier, where he talks about tweaking out their leg with your lower leg. That works nicely when you're aiming to switch into the old school sweep.

My personal preference is still the standard kickstand, but there are about five different variations for leg positioning in half guard. Well, there are probably loads more complex ones, but there are five I use: the kickstand, outside wrap, Scully's leg tweak, knee shield and lockdown. I'll stick with the kickstand for tomorrow, to avoid confusing people, but the others will be popping up in future lessons (e.g., I think the outside wrap is useful for recovering full guard, whereas the kickstand is better for when you need to get up on your side after being flattened out).

We went through passing knee shield too, where I showed the staple pass from Jason Scully. Although I'm not sure I remember it properly: if Chris is reading this, the pic I was referring to is on the right. My write-up of last time I taught this pass is here (and incidentally, those side control chokes are here). What I was showing worked, but I think I missed some details.

I also went through the crucifix stuff from the Dave Jacobs seminar again, which is proving by far the best "hey, have you seen this before?" set of techniques in my toolbox. Quite possibly the most productive seminar I've ever been to, in terms of showing what I learned to other people afterwards. They've almost never seen it before too, which goes to show how rare the crucifix is (then again, my BJJ circle is currently made up mostly of white and blue belts, with a smattering of purples).

We finished off with some specific sparring from half guard. On top, I wasn't doing too well on stopping them getting onto their side, even though I was starting from an ideal heavy cross-face. As soon as they can get those hips out I start losing the position, it seems. I'm sure I used to be more comfortable holding half guard, so this next month should be really handy for my half guard top control. I'm not much cop from bottom half guard either, so I'm looking forward to exploring that some more too. Still, I did get some sweeps from there today, off the kimura grip.

Also, when we were playing with leg positioning earlier, I found that if they load up their weight when you try the leg tweak, that can lead right into a sweep. They went heavy when I tried to pull the leg out, which enabled me to simply scoop under with an arm and roll them right over. I need to play with the old school more: Bravo may have lots of over-reliance on flexibility in his game (I have zero interest in rubber guard), but his simpler half guard stuff is well worth checking out, as he proved again at Metamoris.

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