So… Caio Terra’s seminar on Sunday was quite ‘wow’. It’s hard to believe that this guy is in fact slightly older than me; he certainly doesn’t look or act like it. At least not when he’s out of a gi. After the seminar we went out for dinner and a drink (still laughing about that flat ginger ale; we have some characters of our own at my gym!), and God, I never heard so much BJJ gossip in my whole life. I probably never heard so much about BJJ in my whole life. This guy knows all about BJJ trivia; if you say something approximate he will correct you, and if you know one part of the story he will tell you the rest. After all, no, it is consistent with the way he is on the mats, which is pretty bad ass. Like, be ready to give a full three-hour seminar on any of seven topics? (The majority of the attendees chose half-guard from bottom.) Or answer every odd ‘what if’ question by making you do it to him and show you how he’ll always end up on top? The way he is, is he won’t let you get away with anything. It’s this, not that.
BJJ – BJJ DRILLS
a) Half-guard starting position
All the six-seven techniques he showed began from the same position, which is a challenge unto itself to get right (but then also a challenge for your opponent to break or get out of). Unlike the traditional knee shield, which has your knee pointing up and blocks the other person on their shoulder, the concept here is to get your upper/free leg as parallel to the ground as possible, with your knee pressing into their thigh, near the hip (which may be somewhat painful for them, especially if they try to pull their leg out or stand up). Your knee shouldn’t be higher than your foot, while your ankles should still cross in a nice, safe way.
In order to achieve that, your lower/trapped leg must of course have enough room so that your foot is clearly pointing upwards. Your hips must also be turned on the side; you may even face slightly more towards the ground, rather than the opposite.
If your opponent grabs your knee from the top to try and push it:
b 1) Feed the sleeve to a joystick cross grip. Tip: when you have a cross grip, you should always try to keep your hand on the outside of their wrist. When your grip comes from the same side, you should try to keep your hand on the inside of their wrist. You’re stronger that way. With your second hand, grab the back of their elbow.
b 2) Now there’s a bunch of moves you should ideally execute at the same time. Firstly, pull their elbow towards you while punching their wrist against their own belly/opposite hip. Secondly, kick your upper leg free and use the momentum to sit up.
b 3) Reach across their shoulder and make sure your chest stays close to their side so they can’t bring their elbow back. Push out your inside knee to get on their back while securing your base. Take back, seatbelt, etc. (Be like a backpack on their back.)
Now there’s a possibility that as you break their grip on your knee, they’ll be holding your lapel and stopping you from sitting up properly. Even if you sort of do, you probably won’t be able to go further and get to their back. So here’s a sweep:
c 1) It begins with the same move of the arms, so that you end up trapping their wrist against their belly/side. Except now you’re blocked. With your second arm, reach over their shoulder to their back and bring them down over you.
c 2) Now here’s the key/tricky part: as you uncross your ankles, bring your outer/free foot down to the ground and use it to switch your hips to the other side. Remember how your hips were completely sideways, vertical on the mat? You want to get to the symmetrical position on your other hip, without pausing on your back in the middle. As soon as you get to your other side, push on their wrist (it’s on their belly/hip, right) and they should fall very easily.
c 3) But! It is not over. Without letting go of their sleeve, keep them rolling on their side some more by pushing your hips forward against them. Then bring your free knee behind their head and sit down while flinging their arm open to the side, so they basically roll back into you and you can take their back.
More to come later. By the way, did I mention I finally got my second stripe? And took part in a friendly in-house tournament? (Of course I lost, but they paired me with a blue belt for lack of enough female competitors. Cool experience nonetheless.)