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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

03 June 2015

03/06/2015 - Open Mat | Closed Guard

Class #647
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 03/06/2015

Today was essentially a follow up to the open mat session I did with Chris last year. Back in November 2015, we worked on the deep grip from closed guard, then angling off and creating opportunities from there. In November, I mentioned about grabbing the sleeve to put yourself in a good position. This time round, we found a number of other solutions in addition to that.

As before, the key training methodology was specific sparring, but very specific and not especially high intensity. We took it in turns to start with that deep collar grip, then progressed from there, seeing what the common problems were. Generally, after you've got that grip, if you go for the choke they'll block your arms. If they are gripping your second hand with their opposite hand, you can switch into a sleeve grip. You're now in a good position to go straight into an armbar, putting up your leg on the same side as their gripped arm. Control their posture with your collar grip, kick the other leg into their armpit and push their head away. You can then go for the submission.

Often it won't be as easy as that, of course. However, if you can get into a halfway position, that's really strong. So, get your legs up high on their back, then move into a sort of triangle position. You're clamping in with your legs, though at this point you may still have both their arms inside. You can try to move into an armbar, or if you're able to push one of their arms (or circle around it), into a triangle.

Another good option I randomly came up with, as I'd been having difficulty keeping good control because Chris kept gradually managing to back out, was to get an underhook. That adds in another dimension. If I can get the underhook while maintaining the strong collar grip, I can isolate the arm against my shoulder, like I was going for a pressing armbar. I could at that point either go for the pressing armbar, or circle my body around their arm to go for a belly down armbar. The omoplata is available too.

A number of times it felt like I should be able to go for some kind of sweep, but I wasn't able to get the leverage in the right place. Either Chris had a leg or an arm to base on, while I'd be occupied gripping something else. However, when we switched it felt like he had me a lot more off balance, so I'm doing something wrong there. Anyway, I want to start trying to go for that underhook combined with the grip, that seems like it has some potential.

We also ran through the techniques I'm planning to teach over the next few lessons. I don't think I'd change anything about the sit-up sweep, though interestingly Chris tends to grab the sleeve: I prefer reaching over the shoulder and grabbing the triceps. With the armbar, a useful thing to keep in mind is to get the collar grip first before the sleeve, as otherwise they can posture up. If you can really pull the sleeve across and break their posture that way, that's an option, but not easy.

Final thing I wanted to note was on the omoplata. It will make it far easier to break their posture if you pull their leg out with your arm when you go to kick into their armpit. This is a tip from Donal, which I'd forgotten about until Chris mentioned it.

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