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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

30 January 2017

30/01/2017 - Teaching | Closed Guard | Closed to Open Guard

Teaching #625
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 25/01/2017

In exciting news, we have two new instructors at Artemis BJJ! Lisa will be taking over the women's class (with other experienced female grapplers covering when she's away, like Kirsty W). Right before that, the 17:55-18:25 open mat on Wednesdays will become a Judo for BJJ class, taught by experienced judo black belt Federico. Yay!

A video posted by Artemis BJJ (@artemisbjj) on

In terms of the technique tonight, I covered moving from closed to open guard, as per the Neil Owen seminar from last year. As they get close to opening your closed guard, put your foot on their hip (not near their hip, their actual hip bone). You're cupping their hip bone with the arch of your foot. That provides you with some distance control, along with enough time to shrimp out a little with your other foot. Lean back (bringing your shoulder closest to the floor back), in order to help bring your same side elbow back for base.

Once you've come up on your elbow, insert your free hand deep into their opposite collar. On your basing arm, go from your elbow to your hand, making it easier to shrimp a little more, squaring up to them. You're now ready to establish butterfly guard and go from there, making sure you are wriggling back on your bum to stop them shoving you down. You always want to have your bum behind your head in butterfly guard, resulting in a stronger posture (in other others, bum back, head forward). You can also go to the related sitting guard position, or indeed try to recover your closed guard.

Teaching Notes: I thought this lesson went well. Next time, I need to decide if it is better to go to butterfly, or into my preferred sitting guard. I did both today, but it would be better to focus on one to avoid confusion. With butterfly, you are leaning forwards, bum back, head out. With sitting guard, it can be similar, but the Ryan Hall style is more thrusting the chest out, with a line through the shoulders. Hence why showing both can be a little confusing.

I added in drill at the start where you do sitting guard on the spot, then with a partner. I like that, a partner is important for testing your structural alignment, once somebody puts some weight through your arm. On butterfly, I decided to use that thumb in grip I like, Saulo choke style, straight to mount and a choke potentially. There is the orthodox one with an underhook, which I might try next time but I'll see which one I want to go for.

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