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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

14 May 2017

14/05/2017 - Open Mat (Sunday)

Class #822
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/05/2017

Great open mat today, well attended, with a surprise visit from an old friend, Mark. I first met him at the 2007 Belfast Throwdown he organised via Bullshido and have kept in touch ever since (along with a second Belfast Throwdown, plus another throwdown in 2009 at Andy Roberts club in Farnborough). He is now a brown belt, we haven't rolled since he was a blue. The first thing I do when high level people pop in is chuck my most experienced students at them, mainly because my students don't get the chance to roll with high level people as a matter of course.

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Mark is an excellent guy to roll with, because he is able to adjust his pace. That's a skill many (probably most) blue and even purple belts lack, especially if they come from a super competition focused school. It meant rolling with Mark was a real pleasure. He is perfectly capable of crushing the life out of people, but didn't up his intensity too much unless his partner starting pushing harder. We had a lovely technical roll, where I worked on my defence underneath Mark's dominant top control. I focused on keeping my elbows in and my neck covered, blocking the cross-face whenever I could.

It is a situation I frequently find myself in with higher level grapplers (unless they're going all out, then they naturally squish me mercilessly). I'll defence, escape, but fail to recover a good position. I need to add in that step somehow, going from a tightly curled position underneath into some kind of guard. I think half or deep half might be the way to go, as that seems to fit the best with a semi-squished foetal position. When I'm facing away from them, I try the granby roll occasionally, but I worry about my neck with that. Instead, I prefer to either get some kind of Jeff Rockwell style frame, or attempt Chiu's shin-in-elbow sequence. The downside with the Chiu option is I feel I extend my arm too much, making it more vulnerable to attack than if I have it curled in with my elbows jammed into my side. Still, I like the concept, so have been working it regularly under side control (with success against less experienced grapplers, not so much guys like Mark ;D).

I think I still have that iconic video of Mark sparring at a Throwdown somewhere, will have to dig through some old hard drives. ;)

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