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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a brown belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

16 April 2018

16/04/2018 - Kirsty on Priit Turtle

Class #970
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Kirsty Wynne, Bristol, UK - 15/04/2018

I don't normally get to train on Mondays now as I have carved that out as an evening to spend with my partner, but as she was busy this evening anyway, I took the opportunity to experience a fundamental class taught by Kirsty. I'm very glad I did, as it was excellent. Ever since I managed to tempt Kirsty onto the instructor team, I've been getting rapturous feedback from students. It is well justified, judging by tonight. In the course of about 10 minutes, I understood more about turtle defence then I did after 12 hours with Priit. That goes to show what a difference teaching styles make, when one happens to fit you well: brilliant stuff, Kirsty! :D

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She began her class with a series of drills, to get you used to the motions in Priit Turtle. First, sit on the ground with your legs stretched in front of you. Curl in your right leg, so that the foot is by your left thigh. Then curl back your left leg, so that your foot is pointing behind you (so, sort of like a hurdlers stretch). Bring your head to the mat in front of your right leg. Use that balance to switch your legs, rotating them in the other direction to previously, returning to your starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Next, start in the Priit Turtle position, with your head, toes and knees on the mat, elbows tucked back. Straight your right leg, then fall towards your left leg. You're now back into a similar position from the previous drill, so can again rotate your legs in order to end up in that seated position with your legs outstretched (which Priit calls the 'passive turtle', or more evocatively, the 'panda').

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In order to defend from here, you need to stay active with your arms defending, stopping them getting a seatbelt, as well as using your elbows to dislodge any attempt to get a hook with their leg. If they swing a leg high enough, to try and circumvent your arms, bring both arms underneath their leg. Lean forwards and base on your head, then turn over their leg. As you do, pin that leg with your trailing shin, staying tight to their leg. Windscreen wiper your other leg over the top. Bring your inside hand through, so that you can put your first on the mat by their hip. This is to stop them bringing their knee through as you move around to side control.

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You could potentially bring your arm under, in order to get to something like that headquarters passing position I talked about with Paulina a few weeks ago. However, as Kirsty pointed out, that could leave you at risk of a triangle from underneath side control, because your head is low enough that with a small push, then can pop over your arm with their leg. A safer option is to get your arm in front to bodylock instead, which has the added advantage of preventing them from being able to escape their hip in that direction. This means you've blocked off both hips, making the pass much easier.

Great class, I hope I can make it down to more Monday sessions with Kirsty.

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