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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

24 February 2017

24/02/2017 - Open Mat with Chad | Open Guard

Class #805
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - -24/02/2017

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I was lucky enough today to have a visit from a BJJ Globetrotter friend of mine, Chad Wright. He was passing through Bristol, so kindly dropped in to share some tips with Matt and I before class started. The focus, as ever, was open guard, my major bugbear. For the typical open guard approach, you want to get that push/pull going, that I've talked about before. Grip a sleeve and push your foot into their same side hip. With your other hand, you want a deep collar grip, really pulling them down towards you. Classic guard, with your other leg swung out. It would be good to learn more about that from Neil, I'll ask if he can cover that for the seminar.

If you lose your hip control, try bringing that leg over their head, if you can. On the butterfly sweep, Chad suggested that rather than just falling to the side, you should really emphasise pushing off the other foot. In his version, that was key, rather than just a way to get a bit of extra leverage if you can't quite finish the sweep (which is how I've been using the other foot).

You do the same kind of motion as in the turn to the knees shrimp (which I need to get back into the warm up, it's been slipping. The application for techniques like this is useful, but needs that facility with the movement). That's where the leverage comes from, lots of power. I need to play with it more, felt a little awkward, but interesting.

Another simple point Chad made is that open guard is hard. There is no need to engage with it, you can just put a hand on their head and stand up. In a competition setting, at worst they will take you down and get two points. Still better than the alternative result of your crappy open guard, which is them passing and getting three points.

However, it isn't so workable in class, there isn't the room or mat thickness to get into takedown battles. Maybe I could just come up slightly, like I do for the ankle pick sweep, using it to get in close and secure better grips. I don't have to fully stand up.

Chad also went through a bunch of details on the over-under sweep with Matt. I didn't catch a lot of what he said, but the main thing I remember is squaring back up to finish the pass. The temptation is to keep going around, but that makes it easier for them to wrap their leg around yours. If you square up first, it becomes way harder to keep that leg in play, meaning you can just kick it around.

Checking with Matt, he filled in some of the bits I'd forgotten. First, the importance of staying low on the hips rather than going too high with your shoulder. If your shoulder goes up too high, their hips get more space to move as a result. You also need to be careful they can't underhook your arm: that's something I managed to do a couple of times when we were testing this pass, which makes it hard to complete.

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