BJJ Class, Tue. Dec. 27

Haven’t been for a while, so it was good to be back. There was only one other BJJ guy there, and a class full of Shootors (MMA). Which is fine by me, I like some one-on-one tuition.

The teacher was subbing for the regular sensei who now teaches out at a branch on Tuesdays. This particular guy, only a young lad, just got back from 3 months of BJJ training in Brasil, with the Brasa team (or at Vieira’s gym or something… anyway) so he is chock full of good info, funny portuguese words and interesting odours.

We decided to work on some guard passes.

By the way, you should know, I basically communicate in some kind of English / Japanese hybrid at training, and rarely catch the correct names for anything, so if you want to give me the right name for something, feel free to! Although the “right name” is a relative concept, janai desuka?

Standing open guard pass
I am standing. Opponent is sitting, playing some kind of crappy open guard. I grip my opponent’s gi, left hand inside his knee, right hand on the other leg, lower down near his sushi roll. This particular pass involves dropping to my right knee and jamming my right shoulder into his left inner thigh. My left leg is posted out behind me. Keep the grip on the left leg but bring my right hand out, around his leg, across his chest to the lapel on his right breast, Grip with the thumb inside and little finger down (as opposed to putting the fingers inside and the thumb being up). At around the same time I rip his right leg down with my grip, so that it is flat on the floor, and sit on it, knee on either side of his knee.

Then, I sneak my right foot over his leg, and tuck my toes under the outside of his right leg… basically, getting your hook in, ready to pass the right leg. Let go of the right pant leg and bring your left arm up to grab his collar behind his head. Same grip as before. At the same time, switch your hips to the right, passing his leg, and let your right leg swing all the way back out behind you to slap on the floor.

Jumping open guard pass
Similar set up to before, except instead of dropping to one knee and driving my shoulder in, I pull his right leg down to the floor, jump right over it (my left foot landing clear of his leg), allowing my body to twist and naturally fall to the ground ending up in the same position as the end of the above technique. My shoulder drives into their chest. Key point to remember is to keep both grips on their legs and keep their legs off the ground until I have secured position. It is difficult if not impossible to shrimp away when you can’t put your feet on the ground and your legs are being slightly lifted.

Ha, I finally learnt a useful application for a wing chun move… Huen sao. I was trying to pass someone’s open guard, and ended up fighting their spider guard. He had a grip on my wrist, and his foot wrappped over my arm and basically in my armpit. I sat down to try to escape the grip (he had a very, very strong grip on my gi at the wrist) and couldn’t, so he helped me out. This guy, Ide-san, is 40 something years old, and always gives me tips on how to use strength less and technique more, and this is a perfect example of it. (He came silver in his division and age group at the all-japans). So, I am stuck with my arm in between his calf and thigh, he has a kind of deep spider guard, and man, it is almost a bicep slicer, it is so secure. All I have to do is huen sao (rotate my wrist out to the right) so that my hand sneaks to the outside of his thigh. Then, creep my fingers up his leg (it helped, strangely, to do it cm by cm, like a spider… ) then clamp over his knee and pop my wrist up. His grip is invariably broken.

Dang, that’s hard to explain.

Sparring was good. There were only a few of us by the end of the class, so we joined with the shooto guys and rolled with them. I was thinking of something I read in yrkoon’s training log about the chair and ball analogy, and taking away a leg etc., and it came to me in a flash of inspiration as I was under someone in a kind of strange half guard and he posted out on the arm and I thought “chair leg! chair leg!” and scooped it out from under him while kicking my leg up for a nice sweep.

I have got this really simple butterfly guard sweep working nicely now. I don’t know why but people seem to always fall for it… I can practically dive one-footed towards them, jam my foot under their thigh / knee, fall on my side and flip them. Soon they’ll catch on I’m sure.

I had a great roll with a purple belt where we flowed from one technique to the other, a positional kind of roll rather than the grab-someone’s-arm-and-try-to-rip-it-off-while-gnashing-your-teeth type roll I often get. He even did the Rickson Gracie flip on me… I felt him overbalancing towards me, scooted under him, and flipped him right over my head a-la-Ryu and Ken’s grab attack from Streetfighter II, but to my surprise I felt him twist in the air and land with his feet on the ground… sneaky bugger.

One more sneaky bugger move, more of a “ha ha” move than a serious technique, kind of a novelty.

You are in side control or attempting knee-ride. Person puts hand on your knee or wherever and shrimps out. The point is, they arm is now across their body around or just above their belt. Here is the technique: shoot your hand through their belt (go in under where it is tied so your hand pops out above where it is tied) and then clamp onto their forearm. Voila. You now have a very strong grip on them at or around their centre of gravity, so it gives you quite a lot of control.

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