Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 19/06/2014
My flight back from Croatia arrived in good time (much more on that trip later, though it will probably take a good while to get it all written, judging by how long it took me to finish the Paris write-up ;D), so I was able to head down to the class at Impact Gym. While I was away, I tried out the 'schedule post' option for this website so there would be content whilst I was away, which seems to have worked ok. In case you missed it, the two part interview I did with the excellent blogger BJJ Grrl can be found here and here.
Following on directly from the previous time I was at Impact, Dónal was continuing with knee shield, moving on to passing that position. Dónal also chatted a bit before the lesson about dealing with that bugbear of old school BJJ fans like me, the berimbolo (*shudder*). In contrast to the flashiness of the technique, there is a very simple method for countering the berimbolo, at least in principle (application is a whole other thing in BJJ, as anyone reading this will know). Basically, you just stiff arm their free leg as they try to swing around into the technique, then do a technical stand up to back away and initiate your pass.
The knee shield pass was quite simple too. If they are on their side (very likely), to get them flat again, stiff-arm into their same side armpit and pull back on their other sleeve. Should they be wearing a gi, make sure that if you're gripping the gi material, you shove it right into their armpit. If you just grab the collar, when you try to push, you'll end up shoving their gi to the mat rather than their shoulder. Without a gi, shove into their armpit and grab their wrist: note that may need to swivel your armpit-hand to their shoulder to keep them flat.
From here, cut your knee through. It will help if you're able to raise your trapped knee, but you can still try and pass without (harder, but possible). Slide through on your hip, keeping your weight on them as you aim to surf over their knee. As soon as your leg is free and you're past that knee, shove your hips back into their leg and establish side control.
Sparring was fun, after being off the mats for two weeks. On top I tried to maintain heavy pressure and gradually work my leg free, which generally worked, but I often being sloppy rather than going for a specific technique. When I did try and do something specific, my staple pass attempt ended up getting me swept. I need to take another look at that: it would be worth teaching it next week as well to really solidify it back in my head. I'm not sure whether I'm going to go for stuff on the bottom or focus on passing, so I'll see what I reckon after having a play at open mat on Saturday.
Underneath, I vaguely managed the roll-back sweep from knee shield, although I ended up a bit low when I got to the top position. Also, I wasn't pulling out the sleeve, having grabbed the collar instead. It still seemed to work, but probably not as good control as a result of where I was gripping. That's something else I could consider teaching again to work out the kinks.