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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

24 November 2014

24/11/2014 - Artemis BJJ | Open Mat | Closed & Open Guard Troubleshooting

Class #605
Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre/MyGym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 24/11/2014

Bristol Sports Centre has now fully rebranded to MyGym, with big banners outside. I thought the other name was good (must be handy for SEO), but I can see how making it sound really personal and friendly is a sensible marketing plan too. Great venue either way, so I hope it brings them lots more members. :)

Chris mentioned he was heading off to London later this week and busy at work, so wasn't going to be able to head to class. As his work is flexible and I haven't started my new job yet, we decided we could just meet up and train for an hour earlier in the day. I started by running through what I was going to teach in class tonight (the cross-choke from mount: as I'm writing this up several days later, I can link to it), then we did lots of troubleshooting on open guard and closed guard.

Like I was saying in my write-up of the class at RGA Bucks on the weekend, my guard has been getting stagnant, especially my closed guard. It's my biggest problem at the moment, so I was relishing the chance to really dig into it with Chris. Again, as I'm writing this up a few days later and I've done a few sessions with Chris (Tuesday and Wednesday too). It has really, really helped. My closed and open guard feels way more pro-active now, so hopefully I can translate that into general training.

Anyway, on Monday I started off playing the collar grip, in order to both maintain guard but also go attack for the choke. I wanted to practice what Dónal taught about punching the arm across to get the second arm in. He also had some cool tips about bringing their far arm across, though I keep struggling to get that in sparring. You can do back takes too, armbars and triangles. Might be I need to grip lower, use my hips more or something.

Key thing is getting under the chin, as Chris was doing a great job of tucking his chin down, blocking the second grip. He suggested pulling him in with my legs and generally messing around with his balance, then working the grip under the chin. If you pull them in and they sit back, then you can go for a sweep, namely the sit-up sweep. Shoving my fist into the collar bone works, but I need to also control an arm. Or bail to a normal sit-up sweep, but I'm loathe to abandon that deep grip if I don't have to.

We ramped up the resistance a bit, doing the usual SBG 'aliveness' thing I like so much. More back takes would be good, kicking the knee out in order to move around. I also played with the mawashi grip, where initially nothing was happening, until I realised I again wasn't sitting up. I had more success once I did, though I still found he kept blocking with his arm, so I need to control that somehow.

If I keep the lapel in my first hand (the same side one to their leg) rather than switching to the opposite hand, that seemed to make it a bit easier. Hooking behind their leg with my same side leg was useful too, especially if I could then drive off my free leg. Getting the right angle is again central, stopping them getting into a strong square-on position. More on guard tomorrow and Wednesday! Tuesday was especially useful for my closed guard, revolutionary even, but we'll see if I manage to apply that in regular sparring. It's one thing doing it in drilling, even resistance drilling/specific sparring, quite another to regularly hit it against full resistance. :D

This may be the first time I've trained and taught on the same day, but I'm not sure. It will be on this blog somewhere, but meh: the class later today is written up here, cross-choke from mount (Verhoeven variation with Roger Gracie tips).

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