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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

17 February 2021

17/02/2021 - Covid training update

Class #1237
Artemis BJJ (my living room), Bristol, UK - 14/08/2020

I definitely wasn't expecting to still be teaching over Zoom from my living room a year after the pandemic started, but such is life. There was that brief period of being able to train in person, over September and October 2020, but other than that it's been all Zoom since March 2020. Still, I can't complain as I'm in a much better position than many other people who run BJJ clubs as their livelihood. My awesome students have continued to stay engaged, with enough of them paying fees that I can keep the club going and my own head above water.

The format of classes is something I continue to tweak. At the moment, I do 5 solo drills, two and half minutes each. There are two solo drills I include every time (sliding shrimps and the grilled chicken self-directed sequence, meaning students can combine the grilled chicken elements and variations they know however they want), with three other solo drills I pick from my big spreadsheet (which is up to 100+ drills now).

After that, I move on to 3 grappling dummy drills, again picked from the spreadsheet, three and a half minutes to drill each time. To finish up, I'll go into another technique in more depth, then stretch to end the class. That works out at an hour, sometimes slightly under, sometimes slightly more if I get plenty of questions.

The addition of a daytime class on Tuesdays, which I started doing last month, has helped a lot too (especially as the main people who attend are a couple drilling together, which keeps it grounded because I get to see how the drill I just taught on a dummy works on a human). Just as with the daytime classes I teach in the mysterious otherworld of pre-covid, I use daytime classes to prepare for the evening class the following day. It always ends up being educational for me, enabling drills to be refined or dropped. It has also meant that I can keep trying out videos I've seen that interest me, whether that's a random cool variation or an entire instructional.

My main project continues to be Priit's grilled chicken open guard. I also picked up his running escape and baby bridge instructional, which I'm going to dig into properly over the next side control month (which is March). I think I could develop a self-directed running escape drills sequence, like I have with grilled chicken.

I'm still finding good stuff on the internet for the basic techniques too. I'm particularly pleased that thanks to inspiration from Ritchie Yip's list on GrappleArts, I've got a few passing drills to play with now too. Yesterday I went through a knee cut drill self directed sequence, which I built out of Yip's drills plus my own modification. That went pretty well, I'm going to keep trying to bring in passes this month. As my grappling dummy doesn't have any legs, I didn't think it would be possible to teach passes, but it turns out it is (you can even use an arm to substitute as a leg, like with the knee cut/slide pass).

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