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BJJ Class 84

Posted by forlogos on June 16, 2007

Another gi open mat class.

After a short individual warm-up I rolled with a white belt that’s been there longer than me. After rolling a bit I went for an armbar from mount, everything was in place and it was tight, but my back landed right on the wall with no space to fall back on, so we moved back to the center of the mat and reset positions. That was one near sub. He later put me in a clock choke, which I tapped to. A little bit later I managed to sub him with a clock choke. When we restarted, I pulled guard and he got on his feet to look for a pass. I saw an opening for an armbar, locked his opposite shoulder, and moved my other leg to hook over his head. As he was falling down to the mat, I was smiling happy as I do whenever I get the armbar from guard, but instead “BANG!!!!” his head landed on the edge of a treadmill that was tucked to the corner of the mat. Man, not really my fault, but I felt bad anyway. He ended up with a huge red bump near the top of his head. I’m glad it didn’t bleed and that he wasn’t seriously hurt. After resting and icing his head for a bit, we continued rolling after he said something like “I’m fine, I like getting hit.”

My next roll was with a huge white belt with whom I used to have a lot of trouble with. I still do, but not as much. Things were even until he got side control and we were there for the rest of the match. Afterwards, a blue belt practiced his leglocks on me, and he gave my some great tips for when you are under side control. I wish I had learned or been taught these sooner, as I still have problems being under side control. Here are the tips (some of them I knew already, but they were put together very nicely, and it’s always nice to get a reminder for something that isn’t done by instinct yet):

  • Keep your elbows in. Always. You can let your forearms out to defend, but your elbows should always be tight to your body
  • Don’t let your opponent get an arm behind your head. You can do this simply by keeping your head flat on the mat (forcing it down if needed) and shrugging your shoulders. If the arm gets behind your head, it will be more difficult to bridge to help you escape to a better position
  • Stay at an angle facing towards your opponent. Not flat on your back and not facing away. This reduces the weight (your opponent’s) that you have to bear, and makes setting up bridges and escapes easier
  • When you bridge up, bridge up very high on the shoulder that is closest to your opponent. This makes the bridge go up and toward your opponent, not just straight up
  • With the space created from the bridge, hipscape (shrimp) out and then back in to try to regain your guard.
  • If your leg is blocked when trying to compose guard, slide your nearest leg under your body so that you go belly down. You should stay low when doing this, or you will be easily rolled back into side control. Quickly go to turtle, and spread your arms out a bit like a “U.” This is so that in case your oppponent tries to take your back, you can catch their legs, and maybe single leg them down, or if they don’t, transition to either guard or stand-up or whatever

Drilling with the blue belt took a lot of time, so I rolled with only one person afterward. It was a long roll that we did, ten minutes or so. After the ten minutes, there was no one else to roll with so we rolled again for ten or fifteen minutes or so (well, felt like it). I scored an americana and an armbar, and he had two subs on me as well. In terms of points, I was prolly ahead (he thought I was) and I really got to practice my passing. We were pretty even and I really enjoy rolling with this guy. He rolls technically and it makes me be more technical as well. The roll ended when he got half-guard or side control and I was too tired to defend, and he got his third sub on me, an americana or straight arm lock, which ended our rolling.

After the rolling I watched my instructor roll with a purple belt. My instructor is really awesome to watch, he really has fun rolling. He won the Mundials (first place) twice in the past. Anyway, it’s pretty amazing how much there is to learn in terms of submission grappling. You can watch how, almost effortlessly, an older white belt will work on a newer white belt. Then, you can see how that white belt gets outdone by a blue belt, who can be beaten by a purple belt, who can be outdone by a brown belt, who can be outdone by a black belt. It’s really amazing how much more depth and learning there is to BJJ that no matter how good you think you are you can still improve your game many times over. And I’m really glad that BJJ schools haven’t become belt factories or McDojos.

Guard Passing. Felt like I did much better than in the past few weeks. Still have to smoothly transition controlling my opponents upper body from when I control their legs. Also have to figure out how to better control their posture when I am controlling their legs.

Guard offense. Sweeps were cool today. And I did almost get that armbar from guard. Otherwise, I didn’t spend much time in guard. Half-guard feels better today although I’m not really working on it.

Names. Remembered a good number of names, although I also forgot a good number of names.

Weight. I’ve managed to loose two pounds and keep them off for a few days. Hope this beer I’m having now doesn’t bring it back.

I’m going to try to make the monday night class a long one (attend two classes back to back) as I’m going on vacation with AG on wednesday.



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