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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

09 August 2016

09/08/2016 - Open Mat | Triangle & Barbell Deadlift

Class #762
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 09/08/2016

A photo posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

There has been a decent turnout at the last few daytime open mats, which is great to see. I spent most of the open mat running through the technique from yesterday with Heidi and Milka, which also gave me an opportunity to emphasise some of the points in general about triangles. As per Ryan Hall, not worrying too much about bringing the arm across is one, prioritising head control is another. I also highlighted staying tight with the legs, to make sure they can't pull their arm free. Then there is the usual pointer about getting your legs over their shoulder, so there is as little of them inbetween your legs as possible, while still having enough that they can't pop out and escape.

We were lucky enough to have a visitor all the way from New Jersey today, an ex-part Brit who is in Bristol for a couple of weeks. He's got good defence in the guard, getting a knee up at the right moment to stuff a number of the open guard attacks I look for. Our roll also served as a good reminder about the omoplata, keeping their arm under control. I had the hip and had shifted off to the side, but forgot to maintain suitably firm control on that arm. He was therefore able to unravel my grip. I couldn't capitalise on a gi tail wrap from closed guard either. I probably should have gone for it with a windscreen wiper sweep, I was being too hesitant. Fun roll, hopefully he comes along again before heading back to the States. Travellers are very welcome here at Artemis BJJ: everybody gets a free week, whether or not you're in Bristol long-term. :)

I also had my first try at lifting barbells, a step up from kettlebells. I've been wary of them for a while, as I'm scared of hurting my back due to my father getting some niggling injuries from weights, but I've also been curious for a long time too. I've long been a huge fan of the old Pumping Iron semi-documentary (as I've mentioned in the past, I say semi because it was partially staged, like the famous t-shirt stealing scene), as well as an avid watcher of Olympic weightlifting.

Rio 2016 has again demonstrated how the weightlifting is among the best events to watch: drama, impressive athleticism and a tactical element I've never noticed before (if you saw the women's under 53kg finals, you'll know what I mean). As I've been able to negotiate my office hours in a way that leaves my Friday afternoon free, I've been considering using that time for more strength and conditioning. David from Strength Lab is clearly psychic: this was all going through my head as I was arriving for kettlebells, whereupon he appeared downstairs at MYGYM, saying that today we were doing barbells. Not only is he a great coach, he can read minds as well! ;)

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on

Just like kettlebells, there is a lot of technique involved in lifting barbells. We stuck with the deadlift today, presumably the safest one. I need to get my feet roughly by the start of the two rough grip bits on the bar, shins up against the bar. My hands grip just inside my feet, tensing my triceps and packing my shoulders. The hip hinge position is similar to a kettlebell swing, also tensing the abs and driving your toes and heels into the ground. Your weight then rocks back, then lift and thrust your hips, shoulders back. My main error seems to be tilting the bar at the moment, though the weight feels ok.

I was surprised that I was already lifting more than my bodyweight (weighting myself today, I'm 66.7kg according to my home scales), with 70kg in the last bit of lifting. Shame I can't see the little plates next to the big ones due to the angle in the video. Next time, I'll get some side on video as well, which will help my see where I'm making mistakes in my leg positioning, as well as if my hip position is ok.

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