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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

12 February 2015

12/02/2015 - Teaching | Half Guard | Whizzer Counter Roll

Teaching #278
Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 12/02/2015

BJJ Bristol Artemis Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Half GuardI continued with simple sweeps from underneath, teaching what Gordo (the guy who effectively created the half guard as a viable position) calls 'Plan B'. I don't think that's very descriptive, so I'm going with whizzer counter roll.

The situation is that you've managed to get the underhook under half guard, but they've threaded their arm through in what's called a 'whizzer'. That ruins your back take, but it doesn't stop you sweeping them. Indrek Reiland shows how you can still do the toe grab, or you can do a counter roll movement. With your free hand, push their knee outwards to disrupt their base: you can also underhook that leg if you prefer. Dive your body underneath them, putting your head into the gap between their arm and their leg.

Finally, bring your whizzered elbow back towards their head, aiming to clamp your elbow to your side (as much as you can in that position). From here you should be able to roll them over fairly easily. If you need some additional help, try tweaking their leg out like you do with the toe grab sweep.

Teaching & Sparring Notes: Thursday classes end up in a different format to the two mixed classes at MyGym, for three reasons. Firstly the Thursday is longer, the mat space is bigger and there tend to be less people. I often fit in two techniques rather than one, so tonight also inluded the toe grab sweep in what became a general recap of Monday and Wednesday. I added in the Bravo version of the toe grab sweep for variety too, which was interesting to watch in terms of how the students worked through it. Initially they were saying "cool, that's simpler," because Bravo doesn't switch his grips. He gets the underhook and grabs the foot, then sweeps from there.

However, in progressive resistance, the students reverted to the grip switch, because with Bravo's method they couldn't get the leverage. Of course, they aren't starting from the lockdown, which makes a difference (though I did mention that too). The whizzer counter roll went smoothly as it always tends to, plus one of the students commented how they whizzer quite a lot (looking for the D'arce. Brabo? Whatever it's called, I get those mixed up all the time). So, useful when rolling with him at least. ;)

The smaller numbers on Thursday has the advantage that I often get to join in sparring, mainly during specific sparring. Rather than putting people into two king of the hill groups based on weight (like I do on Wednesdays, as that's the biggest class), Thursday it's a case of one person in the middle with everyone else switching in. I therefore practiced passing, using the pressure pass and reminding myself of the Xande cross-face alternative. If you can't get the cross-face, you can stick your head next to theirs and use that control instead. My neck was a little sore after class, though I'm not sure if it was me doing that wrong, or a sloppy escape out the back I did later.

Underneath, Braulio's arm shield worked well for me, to the extent that I think it actually fits better into my approach than the paw block. Keeping EstimaInAction in mind, I attempted to shift into deep half guard from there, but without much success (Braulio goes into the waiter sweep, whereas I prefer the Homer Simpson sweep: I wasn't getting either). Nevertheless, I felt considerably safer than normal, so I'll be sticking with the arm shield for the rest of this month.

Another type of shield caused more problems. I am not getting anywhere using the knee shield, in terms of sweeping. I know that there is a viable scissor sweep into back roll from here, as I've used and taught that in the past, but I must be forgetting a key element (probably to do with their weight distribution). I can get the position, then end up uselessly straining to move them with the sweep. Back take might be a good one to throw in there too, as that can work well off the knee shield. Braulio's version is very different to the kick and reach I'm used to, as he does something with the belt on EstimaInAction. Something to try I guess, though I don't like techniques that rely on belt grips (unlike the gi, the belt can loosen and fall off, so it doesn't feel secure).

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