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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

24 July 2016

24/07/2016 - Seminar with Ana Yagües

Seminar #020
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Ana Yagües, Bristol, UK - 24/07/2016

I am always keen to get more women down to teach at Artemis BJJ, as well as bringing in black belts for seminars. Up until now we've had Chelsea Bainbridge-Donner teach us twice, which was cool. When I heard that Ana Yagües would be in the UK for a BJJ Globetrotter Camp, I jumped at the chance to bring her up to Bristol. Ana is somebody I've known online for a number of years, initially due to her blogs about BJJ and pregnancy. I was able to train with her at the Globetrotter camp, from which she made the journey on Sunday morning (thanks to David kindly offering a lift, meaning Ana didn't have to contend with the clunky and overpriced British train system ;D).

We've been looking at Ana's de la Riva x guard sweep all week, so she kicked off with that. It's always awesome to have the black belt perspective, as Ana added several details I'd been missing. The most important tweak was on lifting the hips to make that de la Riva hook really deep. I had been lifting them straight up, but to get maximum extension, you should twist inwards. That then means you can get your foot horizontal: a few people in training had only been managing to hook by the hip, which isn't far enough. With that tip, they should hopefully be able to secure a much deeper hook.

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


To achieve the same sweep when your partner goes to combat base, push on their leg to open up space. It's tough for them to avoid giving you enough space to sneak that hook through. Once you have that, then it isn't too hard to get the other foot underneath. That becomes a powerful sweeping platform, in either direction. I'm looking forward to trying this out some more in sparring, as I like the idea of an open guard that keeps my partner close and controlled, as well as relying principally on my legs rather than some kind of finger-mashing gi grip. ;)

Next up was the shin-to-shin guard, also commonly known as shin-on-shin. We went through a sweeping sequence that was similar to the series my instructor showed me at a private in February last year. Put your shin in front of their same side leg, wrapping behind their leg with your arm. Your other leg pushes on their knee. That will normally make them post their arm, or at least put the arm in range. Grab their sleeve, ideally passing their arm under their leg to your other hand. With your passing hand, grab high on the arm you just controlled, up near their shoulder. Pull down on that arm as you lift with your shin. It's much the same motion as the basic de la Riva sweep I was taught at GB Brum.

Another option is to instead grab their far ankle, rather than high on their arm. This is to block them from stepping to recover their base. You can then again lift with the shin and drive through for the sweep. Finally, if you can't get either arm, again like the de la Riva series from GB Brum, grab their belt or gi tail instead and pass that under their leg. Should they base out heavily on their arms when you go for the sweep, you can potentially switch to a single leg, or move to take their back.

The only downside I find with the shin-on-shin guard is that the eponymous body part gets rather sore after a while, especially as I'm a wimp ;D. So I was relieved when Ana then moved into some closed guard options, starting with an old favourite of mine, the overhook guard. I sometimes have trouble setting that up: Ana had a simple but effective solution. Just swim their hands out as you pull them in with your knees, to make them post on the mat. You can then secure the overhook (another option is off the two-on-one grip break where you pull it behind your head, which is the one I was originally shown back when I first learned this. Tougher to get, but I might show that during closed guard month).

There are lots of attacks you can do from here. Ana began with a triangle from the overhook. Press into their non-overhooked arm with your free hand, then use the space to slip your leg through. You may need to shrimp slightly in order to get your leg past the arm, especially if you are tall. Once you've brought your leg out from underneath that arm, swing it across into their neck. Control their head (e.g., by grabbing the shin of the leg you now have across the back of their neck), then step on their hip to swivel into triangle-locking pushing. You can now bring their arm across and finish the triangle.

If you aren't able to get your leg out for the triangle, you could instead go for a pressing armbar variation. Shrimp out and bring one leg up their back, your other knee clamping by their chest. You still have your arm wrapped around theirs due to your earlier grip. Move your hips out slightly to straighten their arm: their wrist should roughly be on your ribs. To finish, press down on their elbow with your arm and knee. Be careful, as this can come on fast and they also might find it hard to tap as both their arms are in awkward positions. If they twist their arm out to escape, you're set up for an omoplata.

Getting the pressing armbar (or a shoulder lock, depending on the person) can be tricky, so another option is to move instead to a gogoplata. Bring your leg on the overhooking side past their head, threading it around the overhooked arm, until you can hook underneath their chin. You will eventually need to bring your hand out of the overhook, but you're still controlling that arm with your leg. To complete the gogoplata, grab your toes/foot to make sure it's tight and extend your leg.

If you have trouble with that one, keep extending your leg until you can get right under their far armpit. From here, you might be able to get a submission by twisting your hips, or you could go for a wristlock. I think you twist your hips away from them, but I'll check (either from drilling at open mat, or if Ana gets a chance to read this. I did take video of everything, but cleverly deleted it by accident).

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


The last technique of the day was reminiscent of what Chris Haueter taught in Leuven last month, with a cool additional detail. Pull out their gi tail, outside their arm. Yank it back across their arm, locking it in place by grabbing it with your opposite hand. Grip their sleeve with your same side hand, then use those two grips to bring their arm over your body. Slide your gi tail grip to the end of the gi lapel, wrapping your same side arm around their head (keep the elbow tight, so they can't wriggle their head free). Pass the end of the gi tail to that head-wrapping arm, securing it against their neck. Finally, use what is now your free hand to grasp their same side knee. Pull on the lapel and the knee to get a sort of bow and arrow choke: video above, if that's confusing. ;)

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on


Thanks to everybody who came down to support the seminar, both from Artemis BJJ and from our friends at other clubs: it was cool to see Piotr again from Gloucester, who also brought his team mate Chris. Piotr was a major part of this year's GrappleThon, maintaining that big smile for most of the twenty-four hours. ;)

As always after Artemis BJJ seminars, we went to Pieminister for a delicious meal. If you'd like to come to the next seminar, keep an eye on the Artemis BJJ Facebook page: I'm intending to keep every seminar at £20 and they will also stay open to everybody. Hopefully see you at the next one. ;)

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