Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 29/02/2016
You have a standard half guard top position, with a cross-face. Pull out their lapel, bringing it under their far arm. Feed that under their head to your cross-facing hand, so you can pull the gi into their neck on the far side. Let them come up on their side: it doesn't matter if they get an underhook, as you can jam your cross-face arm into their head to stop them turning too far. Next is the hard part: dig your free arm down their chest to your cross-face hand, then transfer your grip. Drop the shoulder of that second hand, staying tight to them.
Get your newly free hand past their head, anchoring it to their upper back by grasping the gi lapel. Circle that arm into their neck. To finish, pull with your hand gripping the end of the gi lapel, leaning your weight into their neck to press your other arm and close off the choke. Once they know this choke, they may try and block you as you try to bring your arm for that second grip. If they do, drag their arm across your body, then squish down. Grab around their head and grip the gi, then sink your weight down as you pull on the initial grip, for a brabo variation with the gi.
Teaching & Sparring Notes: Like the americana with the gi, this is another one from Jason Scully over on The Grapplers Guide. It's a bit complicated to describe in words, but hopefully the pictures help. This is the first time I've taught it, after using it for a while in sparring, but everyone seemed to pick it up ok. Next time, I think the things to emphasise are staying tight, being careful of your base and making sure you let them get on their side. Although having said, I think it is possible to get when they're a bit flatter too, judging by progressive resistance today.
I got in some good sparring today, playing with various options from half guard. I'm trying to have more a plan underneath, as well as fighting harder to get further to the side, in order to attempt kimuras and the like. Sparring Rafal (who excellent is back in Bristol, really good to see him on the mats) at open mat was cool. I have moaned about my open guard for a while, so I want to do as much open guard specific sparring as I can. I am continuing to go for the leg in koala guard and shin-on-shin, without knowing a whole lot of sweeps. It helps anyway, as that at least is a clear goal to aim for, then I try and off-balance them, lifting the leg etc.
AJ Sousa has an interesting looking counter to the knee cut, which I tried yesterday too. I looked to drill it today, but I'm missing something and I wasn't getting them off-balance. I need to check the vid again. However, grabbing the trouser leg while having your legs either side did help mess up their knee cut. I also did Kev's 'nappy grip', which Rafal suggested I grip palm down rather than palm up. That's a good tip, because then if feels easier to do stuff like bringing my elbow into play, scooping up their leg.