Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 27/12/2014
It was another great christmas this year! I always head up to my parents' for xmas (specifically xmas eve, as this is the time of year we decide that we'll emphasise the German part of our heritage and celebrate xmas on the 24th December). That means I get to play with my nieces, eat my mother's amazing German biscuits, a magnificent beef wellington and of course enjoy a load of cool presents. Ridiculously warm reindeer hats (100% polyester and so hot I couldn't wear it inside), a bizarre but awesome Batman blanket with sleeves and a wonderfully soft onesie from my girlfriend was cool on the non-BJJ front, then that Carlos Gracie biography (in English, so I've now got both the translation and the original. Ooo) and a pair of beautiful Mitmunk tights on the jiu jitsu front.
Training hasn't been too slowed by the xmas holidays, restarting with today's open mat at PHNX Fitness. My groin injury means I'm still not getting too involved in sparring, so I was mostly wandering around seeing if anybody wanted any help with technique. There were a few relatively new people, meaning they had a number of sensible questions, like "what do I do in side control?" and "what should I be doing in guard?"
I did get in some sparring, but again with our youngest grappler, a twelve year old. It would be interesting to start up a kids' class at some point in the future (and it would be good for him, as obviously it helps to have training partners your own size), but until then I'm happy to help out. It's good for me too, as when you're injured, children are the perfect choice for sparring. You still get to do some BJJ, but you don't risk getting into awkward positions where the weight of your training partner can exacerbate whatever you've hurt (because children simply aren't heavy or strong enough to do that).
That doesn't mean I didn't learn anything useful. A visiting purple belt showed me a cool ezequiel choke variation he's been testing out recently. It's predicated off the lapel attack I like to do from side control, where you feed your gi to the hand of your have under their head. You can set that up from mount too, which I haven't really considered before. Even more fun, if they are being super-defensive and crossing their arms to block a choke from mount, the ezequiel is possible thanks to their gi.
Pull their gi lapel up and over their bent arm, feeding it to the hand you have under their head. Bring your other arm underneath that lapel, cutting the hand down by the side of their neck, like you would for a standard ezequiel. You can then finish the choke pretty much as normal. I'm looking forward to playing with that when I'm next in mount: yet another reason why I much prefer the gi to nogi. There is so much fun stuff you can do with all that fabric! ;D
We're back at PHNX Fitness next Saturday, then before that there is one last 2014 session at Bristol Sports Centre/MyGym in St Paul's. The final women's class of the year will be on Wednesday 31st December, from 10:00-11:00. In 2015, the schedule goes back to normal, except that the women's class will now be £5 drop-in, or as part of your standing order (depending if you've signed up for one of the monthly options). If you're not sure the women's class is for you, check out this testimonial. All women welcome! :D