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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

10 September 2014

10/09/2014 - Teaching | Women's Class | Elevator Sweep

Teaching #194
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 10/09/2014

BJJ Bristol Artemis Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Side ControlI introduced the important concept of shrimping tonight, via the elevator sweep. This follows on from the upa we learned in the first Artemis BJJ women's class, as if you're rolled over from mount with that technique, you can move right into closed guard. This is perhaps the signature position in BJJ, which you can see in the picture. 'Closed guard' is when you are wrapping your legs around their hips, then 'closing' the position by crossing your ankles behind their back. Here's some more info about closed guard, over on the Artemis BJJ website.

From here, you need to break their posture: if they are upright, the sweep will be difficult (that's where techniques like the sit-up sweep come in). Overhook one of their arms (i.e., wrap your arm over the top), reaching through to the other side of your chest to lock that in place. Your other arm is going to underhook (the opposite of overhook: you're reaching underneath this time) their same side arm pit, pulling them down towards you.

They are probably going to try and drive into your with their full weight, often stepping out a leg to add more power. In this scenario, they've stepped up their leg on the underhook side. In response, you're going to move your hips out (what in BJJ is called shrimping) in the direction of your underhook. Uncross your legs, then circle the leg on the underhook side around, until you can hook behind their knee. You might need to shrimp out further if you're finding it hard to get your foot in place. Your other leg slides down to the outside of their same side leg.

From here, you can now sweep them. Bump them with your underhook, whacking their armpit with your bicep. Your aim is to knock them forwards: that disrupts their balance, making it easier for you to sweep. Lift with your hooking foot, using your other leg to chop into their leg. Simultaneously turn towards them, continuing the motion until your end up on top. Be sure to drive your leg through into mount: if you leave a leg between their legs, they will be able to trap it (putting you in what's called 'half guard').


Teaching Notes: I thought long and hard about what to show tonight. I knew I wanted something that could introduce the concept of shrimping, as that's really important to learn early on, but there were lots of choices. At the moment, I've built up about 24 classes that flow together, which I'm intending to use as a flexible curriculum for the women's class. I began with the upa, then a few sessions on mount, flowing into the back. The next big thing I wanted to cover was shrimping, building up to the shrimp escape from mount.

I decided tonight was going to be something from closed guard, where again there are lots of options. At first I thought armbar, but then decided to have a look at what Gracie Combatives picked as their first technique from guard that involved a shrimping motion somewhere. That turns out to be the elevator sweep, a simple technique I can remember playing with early in my jiu jitsu, but haven't used much since (I think because the butterfly sweep does something similar but much more effectively. That's probably too complex to show as an initial introduction to guard, but then again, could be an option: Jason Scully has been discussing how he likes to show open guard before closed guard when he teaches, which is interesting).

They do show the triangle before that, which I'm probably going to do next week, but that's not something where shrimping is a big factor (I think? I haven't taught it in a while, so perhaps it's more helpful for shrimping that I'm imagining). The elevator requires you to shrimp your hips out for the angle, which is why I picked it. That was where a number of people were having problems, as you'd expect: it's easy to end up flat if you're not used to martial arts where you move on your back (so, that's most people).

However, I think on reflection the armbar from guard might have worked better to highlight shrimping. There's also the scissor sweep, but that's a bit more awkward without a gi. You can grab behind the head instead of a collar I guess, so that's another one I could try at some point.

I still haven't put in any takedowns to the class, but I'm intending to do the really simple body fold they show on Gracie Combatives. I had another look at it before class, which confirms it's a good option. I wouldn't want to do a whole class on takedowns just yet, so this would be as part of the warm-up. The advantage of that body fold is it can be done with control all the way down to the floor. That means that breakfalling and the like isn't as essential as it normally is when learning takedowns.

I'll give it a try when I teach the triangle, I think. I may do that next week, but ideally I'd like to have Christine, Alex or my girlfriend there to demonstrate. It's much easier when I have somebody with a bit of experience as uke, though fortunately I have several regulars at the class, so they are becoming experienced too. Cool! Hopefully they'll feel ready to try out the mixed classes in the future (there's one right after the women's class, so I'm guessing that would be the most convenient one for them to check out). :)

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