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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

26 September 2015

26/09/2015 - RGA Bucks | Open Guard | Koala Guard Sweeps

Class #667
RGA Aylesbury, (BJJ), Kev Capel, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, UK - 26/09/2015

Kev began with a takedown off the usual grips. From there, press down on the arm that's gripping your collar, leaning on it until you can reach for the leg. Grab that leg and pick it up, which they will normally defend by certainly their leg to the outside (if they don't do that, take them down with a single). When they circle to the outside, step your other leg inside, posting it behind their non-circling leg. Drive and trip them, moving into your pass. As with the ankle pick sweep, keep your weight back so you don't fall forwards into a guillotine.

We then progressed into the main part of the lesson, covering various options from what Mackenzie Dern calls koala guard. It was the same sequence I taught during open guard month recently. I can therefore copy and paste most of that.

From sitting guard, immediately scoot in, hooking the leg you have on the ground around the back of their leg. Your collar-gripping arm goes around the back of their leg. Jam your head in tight against their leg, on the inside (or you're at risk of guillotines). You don't have any grips on their sleeves, meaning your sweeping options are slightly reduced.

There are plenty of strong options remaining though. Perhaps the simplest is a mini technical stand-up, basing off your free hand and other foot. Posting on your outside leg and your basing hand, lift your bum slightly off the ground, then scoop their leg with the leg you have behind theirs. Maintain a tight grip, then move into side control.

For even more control, it's useful to grip their sleeve with the arm you have behind their leg. Failing that, you can also grab their belt or their gi lapel. If none of that is available, you can just grab your own gi. Be aware of their knee positioning. You want to try and stay on the side of that knee. If they are able to drive their knee into your chest, that gives them a chance to set up a pass, crushing your back down onto the mat.

If you can get a grip on their sleeve, then you can feed that to the hand you have behind their leg. Get your free arm high around their back (you may well have to pull down on their collar first to put them in range), reaching around the outside of their head so you are 'pre-establishing' your cross-face. Roll them over, knock them down and go straight into side control, or mount (if you can angle your foot positioning to step straight through).

Finally, there was the roll under sweep, from the same starting position with a grip on the arm. Note this will be hard if their leg is far away from you, time it appropriately. Push with your foot into their thigh, they grab your foot and step through to pass. That puts them in position for you to dive underneath, reaching with your arm for their thigh and roll through.

Immediately get a grip as you come up, hooking your hands around the top of their belt and pulling it in tight (like Kev showed in my private lesson earlier). With your other hand, you're pushing their knee back to help the pass. If for whatever reason they are able to post (i.e., you haven't got control of their sleeve), you might find it easier to go for the back instead.

In sparring I worked on koala first, but wasn't getting far enough around the leg. That meant they could crush their knee down and flatten me out, starting their pass. The 'present the dish' cross-face concept was fun to play with, as well as trying to pull the gi across the mat to get their shoulders to the mat. That proved to be difficult, but still, felt good when Kev did it to me so I'll keep trying it.

Rolling with a fellow purple, I was looking to get on top with those new cross-facing ideas. Pulled out his gi, but I waited too longer and he was able to wriggle back into half guard. I kept trying the knee slide, then each time he adjusted his foot position with a kind of 'reverse lockdown', enabling him to turn whenever I attempted to push through for the knee slide. Bit like shin-on-shin, I think? I'll have to try it: effective on me! ;)

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