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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

22 July 2015

22/07/2015 - Open Mat | Chris Drilling | Guard Retention

Class #654
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 22/07/2015

Handily, Chris wanted to work on his guard passing while I was looking to practice guard retention. Perfect combination. We started off playing with some videos Andrew Smith put up on one of his Revolution BJJ articles (you may have seen those pop up if you're on Facebook and frequent BJJ groups, he shares them frequently). The videos included were simple and easy to understand.

Chris and I both particularly liked the option of trapping their wrists in the crook of your elbows if they grabbed your trousers, breaking the grip by moving your legs, then sweeping them. When you wrap up the wrists like that and put your hands together, it's a surprisingly strong grip. Almost felt like a wristlock.

I had Chris run through his passing a few times without much resistance, aiming to help him combine his passes. The first point is to add changes of direction, then try and see which passes fit together well. I find that the single underhook often becomes viable once you've driven in close, something I often finish with. Once you have that grip and manage to add lots of pressure, it's tough to stop.

With the knee cut, that reminded me of several techniques I've watched recently about turning the position into a sweep, from videos by Mackenzie Dern over on BJJ Library, Ryan Hall's Defensive Guard and Jason Scully over at Grapplers Guide. The part I remembered was lifting the trouser leg, then putting your shin against the shin of their cutting leg. You can then lift and go for a sweep, or at least make enough space to stuff the pass. Hall recommends bringing your foot back in order to press into their hip, re-establishing the 'defensive wall' he discusses at length in his DVD series. Works pretty well, though I do worry about potentially messing up my leg if it gets squished at an awkward angle. I'm comparatively flexible, but I don't want to ever rely on that, especially as I've had that recurring groin injury.

Chris took a long video on his laptop: I look forward to watching that, as it should jog my memory about a number of the other techniques we played with. It's really helpful to film training, the hard bit tends to be doing something with the video afterwards. ;)

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