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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

26 July 2014

26/07/2014 - FREE Women's Class Starts Next Week! | Open Mat | Cross Grip Guard | Ankle Pick & Collar Drag

Class #582
Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 26/07/2014

The FREE women's class starts next week on Wednesday! So, I'll put up the poster on this post. If anybody wants to share that around (hey, you never know), feel free: after all it's a free class. I've stuck up a few of these posters around town, so will be looking for other places to put them. As the class has funding until the end of the year, that gives me lots of time to build it up. Hooray! All women welcome! Lots more info on this exciting new Bristol BJJ class here. :D

As usual, I had a specific goal in mind for the open mat today, drilling the technique I wanted to teach next week in order to work out any kinks. The only downside of open mat at the moment is that because it directly follows the nogi class, the majority of class tends not to have a gi on (especially in the current hot weather). Fortunately for me, there were two others with a gi, so I had someone to drill with after they finished rolling.

I was looking at two techniques from cross grip guard (I don't know how popular that term is: I'm going off BJJ Library and Jiu Jitsu University. In other words, open guard where you have grabbed the opposite collar). I frequently get into this position in open guard, both because I always go for the tripod/sickle sweep combination and due to Kev's recommendation from that private lesson. Building on what I learned from Kev, I've also been looking at a couple of videos Xande did on BJJ Library, where he goes into considerable detail on the cross grip guard and attacks from it.

First off, keep your basing hand behind you where you can't see it. The only time it should be in view, according to Xande, is when you are shifting off to the side for a collar drag, pulling them by the collar into the space you just vacated. You can then take their back. From the same grip, you can go for the tripod and sickle combination. To enter into the guard, grab their same side collar while putting your opposite foot on their opposite hip. Open up the collar and switch to your other hand. If you're greedy and start off with the cross-grip, that may leave you vulnerable to getting passed, according to Xande.

You can also go for the ankle pick sweep I learned from Kev last year, where again Xande has a bunch of tips. If they begin to stand up when you have the cross grip guard, follow them up into a sort of combat base position, grab their leg, then use your collar grip to direct them to the mat as you pull back on their leg. You can grab the heel/ankle for an ankle pick type takedown (hence the sweep name, which Xande also calls the 'get up' sweep), or the material somewhere on their trouser leg (e.g., by their knee).

Xande emphasises that the leverage doesn't come from trying to muscle them to the ground. It comes from your action of standing up. So, concentrate on getting the grips and then getting up, rather than getting the grips and driving forward before you've stood up. Xande also notes that you want to be careful of your momentum, as it's easy to fall forwards if you aren't careful of posture. Lean back slightly instead as you knock them down, getting into a secure guard passing posture, then do a knee cut. Your knee should already be forward and in place, making this straightforward.

It was very useful drilling that with the two blue belts in gis, as that helped me practice my teaching and indeed modified my intended structure. I had thought to start off with some technical stand up drills, but actually the hip thrust may be more useful. By telling them it was like a technical stand up, that just confused one of them, whereas he found the hip thrust made much more sense. That may well vary by person, but it's extremely useful to know that the technical stand up might confuse some people in the context of this technique. I may still put it in the warm-up, but I'll now be considering how to contextualise it more carefully.

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