BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Christian Graugart, Leuven, Belgium, 20/06/2016
After a big general introduction, the first class was taken by the BJJ Globetrotter himself, Christian Graugart. His approach was simple, a single concept that he feels applies to everything in jiu jitsu. That concept is controlling the space between the knees and chest. If you’re on top, you are looking to put whatever you can into that space to attain your controlling position. That might be reaching an arm across to the far hip, sticking your knee in before they can recover guard, or even stepping through their legs and placing your foot there.
Underneath, you are looking to recover that space between your knees and chest. This looks more complex, especially as it is liable to involve tricky motions like inverting. I am always very wary of that, due to the strain it can put on your neck and back. I look forward to Graugart’s next class, where he said he is going to go into more detail on defending the guard pass, the area I’ve been trying to develop for the last few years.
After he had shown us that concept, there wasn’t much else for him to say beyond answering a few questions. The main challenges to the concept were footlocks, though Graugart felt that you still control that middle space to apply those effectively. The other big question is submissions, which can be applied without attaining a good position first, but it is a lot more difficult. Drilling was unusual, as we were just practicing staying on top by spinning around, then the same underneath. It was made a lot more difficult by the enormous numbers present at the first class. I am assuming pretty much all 250 people are on the mats, meaning that space is at a real premium. Judging by last year, when I only popped down on the Thursday, those numbers drop considerably during the week.