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24/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Side Control Attacks (Kenny Polmans)

Slideyfoot - Fri, 2016-06-24 03:00
Class #739
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Kenny Polmans, Leuven, Belgium, 24/06/2016

For his second class, Kenny focused on my favourite position, side control. As with his session on closed guard, he started off with the basics, keeping his instruction concise and clear. In order to move round from side control to north south, he suggested blocking the near hip, extending your leg nearest their head, then shifting towards the head.

However, he warned against getting greedy and trying to go straight to the head: that can mean your weight is off and you get rolled. Keep it steady, settling your weight down. Push their near arm out of the way (anybody experienced will make this a struggle, as that gives you a lot of control), shifting your leg forward then shuffling back to dislodge the elbow. You can now move into mount (grabbing your foot is an option here, though I always prefer driving the knee across, ideally into the armpit).

Next, Kenny began to set up the breadcutter choke. If they have their near arm in front of your legs, you can hook it with your arm, as you bring your knees back around into side control. I couldn’t quite see what was happening from the angle I had, but normally you then get underneath that arm with your hand, in order to reach back under for their collar. You can then grip their far collar with your other hand, swivelling your elbow back to lock in the breadcutter.

Just as I was thinking I couldn’t see the detail, Kenny psychically heard me and shifted his angle, meaning I could zoom in with my phone too. That meant I could see how Kenny pushes them up onto their side to secure his grip. He also secures the arm differently than I’ve been shown: rather than sneaking an arm under and staying sprawled, he does a quick motion with his legs to get the arm, knees staying in tight.

When you go for this choke, often they will be blocking. Just as often, you may find their gi lapels are loose. If not, it’s not normally too hard to pull them out yourself, though that does telegraph what you’re about to do. My training partners know how much I like choking people with a lapel, so get very wary once I start pulling out gi tails. ;D

For Kenny’s gi tail choke, grab their far lapel with your hand that’s nearest their legs, maintaining control of their head with your other arm. Punch it out to give yourself maximum gi tail to play with, then slide back and push it through the gap they usually create with their far arm (because that tends to be framing into your neck, head, or perhaps shoulder). You can go over the top too, like the attacks I enjoy from half guard. As Kenny said, they frequently pull their arm out if you do that, opening up the route you wanted in the first place.

From there, you can move into an Ezequiel choke using the lapel, which again connects back to that half guard sequence I’ve taught in the past. Keep it loose enough that you can insert your hand through. A big advantage of side control over the same attack from half guard is you can go to knee on belly, adding much more leverage. Look up, to engage the muscles of your whole body.

That was followed by another gi feed attack. This time, feed the gi collar over the arm, trapping their limb in the bent position. Bring your elbow underneath their elbow, then grab the gi tail with that hand (like the one I’ve taught from top half guard). Keep feeding it until you are gripping that gi tail close to their wrist, to lock their arm in tight. Put your knee on their stomach. Take the arm you have behind their head out, instead gripping their far wrist. Now just pull up their elbow as you push on the wrist for an Americana.

I didn't get a good angle on that last one, so couldn't see what was happening too well (thanks to Chris Paines, when I wrote this up in Madrid a few weeks later, I had access to his video from the other side), which also made me think I wanted more detail on everything. This was all stuff I like to use, so I decided to check with Kenny what he charged for private lessons. They were MUCH cheaper than I expected, meaning I immediately booked one there and there. Keep your eyes peeled for the class write-up, it will be the next post I upload on here. ;)

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

23/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Open Mat

Slideyfoot - Thu, 2016-06-23 12:00
Class #738
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Open Mat, Leuven, Belgium, 23/06/2016

I was very careful about pacing myself over the course of the camp. My plan was to avoid any sparring until towards the end of the week, to make sure I didn't pick up any knocks that might stop me training properly in the classes. By Thursday, I had done most of the classes I was particularly interested in, so decided I could finally begin sparring.

My initial plan was to do a kind of 'belt ladder', starting with white belts and progressing up to black. However, I didn't have much time today, so only got to blue belt. Still, it was good fun. I started off with Marthe, one of the many cool Germans in attendance. Later on, I would have a long chat with her and one of her team mates, Gina: hopefully I can visit them at their school in Hamburg next year. There is a massive German contingent at BJJ Globetrotter camps, with other cool people like Carmen over in Berlin. I've been wanting to do a proper trip around Germany for ages anyway, so this is a good excuse. With all the depressing Brexit nonsense, I can hopefully get myself a German passport too (via my German mother). Britain may be foolish enough to leave the EU, but that doesn't mean I have to. ;)

I also got in a roll with a blue belt, Lars, who I'd chatted to earlier at a meal organised through the camp. He is considerably larger than me, but didn't use lots of strength in our roll. I was surprised to get a pressing armbar from mount, belly down. I didn't think that was viable, but it popped up as I went to the super high mount I like, isolating the arm. Of course, he wasn't going very hard, but still, that's an attack I could try adding in to the stuff I normally try from there.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

23/06/2016 - Private with David Morcegao | Open Guard & Side Control | Stiff Arm Frame, Knee Cut Counters & Gi Tail Choke

Slideyfoot - Thu, 2016-06-23 11:00
Class #737 - Private #023
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), David 'Morcegao' George, Leuven, Belgium, 23/06/2016

I hadn't intended to do any privates when I was booking the camp, but David mentioned he was only charging €40 for two people, a price too good to pass up. That set me off on a private lesson spree, booking another for Friday and a third for Saturday, each with a different instructor. For anybody going to a BJJ Globetrotter camp, I would therefore recommend bringing along a 'private lesson piggybank', to take advantage of affordable one-on-one attention. You can also grab black belts at open mat to ask them stuff (e.g., Christian said to do that, as he wasn't looking to do privates at this camp), but I feel better able to babble after having paid for an hour. Especially as I ask LOTS of questions. ;)

A photo posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 23, 2016 at 11:02am PDT

First on my list was knee cut counters. David began by suggesting you grab the foot from a reverse de la Riva position. If you mess up and they have gotten a knee through, you're in trouble. They want their balance centered, you want to disrupt that. Bump them with your knee, with the intention of swivelling up behind them. It could be either knee, depending on the position.

Pulling on the collar can help you with that too. You will end up in a scramble, like Haueter said, meaning that a wrestling approach will pay dividends. You're spinning through behind the leg, looking for the back or possibly moving into a single leg off that position.

If you can get some kind of purchase on their leg, you can turn, rolling them over. Securing a collar and grabbing their knee will help with this too, stiff arming to stop them recovering their position. If they don't fall over (e.g., you end up with their leg, but they still have some base), hook the leg as you turn, then stand to complete the single leg. If they are on their knee, you can tap that knee and drive through.

A late option is to try and spin through, your arm going underneath their body. Your other arm loops over their head, ending up in a brabo choke type thing (anaconda? I get confused as to which is which). To complete the choke, you're curling your body around their head.

Along with knee cut counters, I more generally want to improve my open guard, particularly the sitting guard frames I've been playing with from Ryan Hall. Rather than curling your arm in when you have it behind their head, make sure you're redirecting that head. That's a great point, as like David said, just curling the arm ends up using triceps. In a related point (which applies to side control frames too), you can reach for their shoulder, getting the lower part of your forearm into the throat.

I'm keen on improving my chokes from side control too, as I go for those a lot. David had a nifty little tweak on my favoured gi tail choke. If you can't get the basic gi tail to work, bring your other hand through to grip on top of your first grip, similar to a baseball bat grip, but on the side. Lever their head up for the choke (David described it as a steering wheel), being careful not to put your forearm through too deeply.

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

23/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | North South Choke (Robson Barbosa)

Slideyfoot - Thu, 2016-06-23 09:00
Class #736
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Robson Barbosa, Leuven, Belgium, 23/06/2016

I remember Robson and Bruno's classes from last year as being rather acrobatic, but as this one was side control attacks, I was intrigued. That's my most comfortable position, therefore some acrobatics would (hopefully!) be less confusing. As it turned out, Robson did indeed manage to come up with something that looked cool and flashy, but fortunately I had seen something vaguely similar before.

He began by switching around to the other side, hooking their arm as you spin around. That leads into a way of moving into technical mount, bringing your knee in close to their head, stepping your other foot through. Another option is to move into a north south choke. Pin their arm with your hand, your other arm going under their head. Switch to north south, still pinning that arm. Your other hand then releases that hand, linking with your other hand to apply the choke as you slide your weight back.

I find this one is tough to get, as there seems to be a lot of finesse in getting your body in just the right spot to close off the choke. It is also difficult to demonstrate, because it's hard to see the pressure unless the instructor is transparent. As ever I struggled to get the position, but at least now I have a video I can refer back to. :)

Robson finished off with a helicopter armbar, a suitably flashy finale. Not something I'll be trying in sparring any time soon, but again, handy to have a video. It's fun to bring that one out if you want to show something impressive and have a small person handy to demonstrate it with. :D
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

23/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Armbars from Closed Guard (Chris Haueter)

Slideyfoot - Thu, 2016-06-23 04:00
Class #735
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Chris Haueter, Leuven, Belgium, 23/06/2016

Haueter's second class was a considerable contrast to the first. Lots of technique, tightly focused with cool details. That was particularly useful for me today, as I was going to miss most of Thursday's lessons due to an art gallery trip. He kicked off once again by emphasising the importance of controlling the hands, head and hips.

Haueter then described his perfect armbar, where he pointed out that as you bring your heels down, your hips should extend, not collapse (a common white belt problem). He also angled out his leg by the head, like that old DVD from Adam Adshead (thighmaster style, to use Haueter's analogy). You also want to cling on, as if you were climbing a tall pole, where letting go would mean you fall to your doom.

In his lesson plan, he had four variations in mind. First, the step by step, method armbar. Control the wrists (harking back to the hands, head, hips approach). Reach over the arms, keeping your arm pressing into theirs arms. Hook their elbow, pulling the hand to your ear, also bringing your ear to their hand. Next, hook your opposite hand around their shoulder to anchor into their armpit. Pull them down. Then, climb your legs up, quickly, getting a leg over the shoulder. Maintaining the tension (so they can't pull their arm free), reach your leg over their head. This was then perfectly condensed into pull, hook, climb, reach, armbar.

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 23, 2016 at 3:53am PDT

Second up, he began by commenting on three different postures: passing (upright), neutral (slightly forward) and safety (head in stomach), in order to determine how to drill. We were to go from neutral posture, for the purposes of practicing that technique. He also talked about the 'ABC' of closed guard, which is 'always be choking'. A second armbar followed, referred to as the 'look ma, no hands' armbar. Just keep climbing until you get to the armbar position. Again, cling on like it's a tall pole you can't afford to fall off.

That leads into the swinging armbar, intended as a drill. Simply swing yourself around to go into an armbar from side to side. It might happen in sparring, but it's unlikely. Up next was the 'flash armbar', that goes from zero straight into the armbar. That's like the one Rickson showed at his Glasgow seminar several years ago. You lift directly into the armbar, grabbing the arm, then using that to help swing your legs right up into place.

Then there was the cool one, which I've since been calling the Humiliation Armbar. For this one, from a double sleeve grip you cross their arms over, then fling your legs up by their shoulders to clamp in place. Squeeze your legs really right, then you can armbar by pushing/pulling on either wrist.

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

22/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Pocket Guard (Chad Wright)

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-22 09:00
Class #734
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Chad Wright, Leuven, Belgium, 22/06/2016

This was one of the more complex classes at the camp. It connected to what Haueter was talking about in his class in terms of lapel stuff, used a little differently. The entry starts with a collar grip, also pulling out their lapel on the collar grip side. Switch your body over to the side, switching your grip from the collar onto the lapel you've pulled out. Their arm should now be pinned to your chest.

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 22, 2016 at 3:43pm PDT

To get the slack out of the lapel, you're pulling it behind them, rather than sideways. Moving into pocket guard itself, you bring your bring up high on their back, getting onto your side. The grip you have on the arm is the 'romantic walk in the park' grip, arm in arm. Your free arm reaches over their head, grabbing all the way over to their lat. Sometimes you might end up crossing your feet, but initially at least, you're pressing your knee down, like you would when moving into a pressing armbar.

Now you have the pocket guard. If they stay there, you'll look to take their back. Due to your 'romantic walk in the park' arm-clasp, you might be able to get an armlock by securing the arm by gable gripping your hands, then thrusting your hips into their armpit. Chad had a rather more colourful way of describing that, I'm going to stick with 'thrust your hips'. ;)

For a choke, pass that loose gi tail under their neck, gripping it with the arm you have around the back of their head. To close off the choke, again thrust your hips into their armpit. Chad calls this the 'infinity choke' or 'figure 8', due to the figure described by the gi tail and arm as you pass it through.

If you can't get that choke, you may find they posture up and drive into you. Reach under their leg, lift your opposite leg, then roll them past your shoulder. You can now move into a sort of ezequiel choke, as you've maintained your grip on the collar. It would be possible to switch into an armbar too, due to that 'romantic walk in the park' clasp on the arm.

Should they post on their arm, Chad showed how if you have long limbs (like him, he's a tal guy) you could go into a pressing armbar. Back takes may be available too, or indeed a belly down pressing armbar. Chad told us to try stuff out at this point, see what we could come up with. Interesting to have that emphasis on creativity. :)

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

22/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Closed Guard Two-On-1 Grip Break (Kenny Polmans)

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-22 08:00
Class #733
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Kenny Polmans, Leuven, Belgium, 22/06/2016

Another Belgian black belt and more lovely closed guard, this time focusing on the two-on-one grip break. Kenny likes to stick a thumb in the sleeve to open up that sleeve first, in order to establish your grip. He also turns his body, shifting his torso towards the gripping sleeve side. That slight shift adds more power to the grip break.

From there, you have lots of options. The main ones I like are a back take or a sweep, both of which Kenny covered. He went with the windscreen wiper sweep, like Andre Anderson does on his top notch DVD about closed guard. He controls the arm by gripping around the back, pinning down his elbow to clamp their arm against him. He can then grab their knee, then kick his leg up to roll through into mount. Punching up with that knee grip finishes the motion.

He showed the back take as an option when that sweep was blocked. Similar idea, with a strong grip, shrimping away to get the space to get your hooks in. I think it's also a sequence Yas went through at that comp fundraising seminar a while back: either way, solid stuff from closed guard.

More surprisingly, Kenny showed how you could move into a bow and arrow from here, from that same position. Instead of keeping the hand grabbed around their back gripping the lat, you reach to grab their collar. You are gripping all the way around their head, gripping the collar underneath their head. That means you can roll them over like in the windscreen wiper, right into a bow and arrow.

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

22/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Leg Swivel Pass (David Morcegao)

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-22 07:00
Class #732
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), David Morcegao, Leuven, Belgium, 22/06/2016

For David's second class, he did an interesting 'leg swivel' motion to complete the pass. This was gradually built up from a drill. You start inside their open guard, where they have hooked both feet inside your knees, you're grasping their knees (though the drill was originally without the hands, to focus on that motion). Lift your leg high, cutting the knee in, then pivot. That should swivel your leg over their other shin, with the aim of ending up outside their other leg.

The hard part is stopping your leg getting caught on their foot as your twist it over, but with plenty of drilling, that should smooth those snags out. David addressed that point, emphasising that you need to get your leg high, then chop that knee down, making sure you twist your hips each time. That should give you the clearance you need. Good balance is also important, as David pointed out, meaning you would be able to do things like 'surf' over their legs if they try to knock you off.

Sometimes you won't be able to clear both legs, resulting in one leg still inside theirs. You have the options of knee cutting, or simply repeating your leg swivel to clear their other leg. X pass is another option as well. Pressing their knees down with your grips should help too, which David highlighted as he added the hands back into the drill. If they have a grip on the collar, break that off before continuing the pass. If they have one ankle, it isn't a big problem, but with two, you will need to kick one off first.

There are lots of passing options. David picked a cool one, the breakdance pass. That backstepping motion is one I've taught as a drill in the pass, from reverse knee on belly. You pivot around your knee, kicking your leg all the way over. That can lead into mount, or you continue the motion, swinging the other leg through into side control. There's also a chance you could flow into a submission, catching an arm or triangle (plus a few nastier, more catch wrestling style attacks, which I avoid because I prefer the buttercups and rainbows end of the forest, instead of the dark thorny part ;p).

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

22/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Double Under & Over Under Pass (Oli Geddes)

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-22 03:00
Class #731
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Oliver Geddes , Leuven, Belgium, 22/06/2016

The double under pass has various names: I've tended to refer to it as the 'stack pass', or 'double underhook' pass, which relate to the 'single stack' and 'single underhook'. The principle is the same with all of them: elevate their hips, get a cross collar grip, crush through to side control. Looking back through my blog, I haven't been to a class on it in a long time: the most recent entry is a class from Jude back in 2007. More recently, I've taught this myself a few times, so I can cheat and use that as a skeleton to help write this class up. ;)

When I teach it, I go from closed guard. As soon as you can create enough space in their closed guard, slip your arms underneath both legs. Grasp around the outside and secure a gable grip (palm to palm), or an s-grip (four fingers clasped together). If you prefer, you can instead grip their trousers and lock your elbows, or indeed their belt: the problem with those grips is that the loose fabric may provide them with enough space that they can make room to escape.

The latter is the one Oli went with when he was teaching this, staying very tight. He also interestingly mentioned a funky elbow lock you can do to counter: writing this up some time after the actual camp, I've now been to a class at RGA Bucks which was all about countering the double unders with a whole bunch of submissions (I haven't written that up yet either, but it's on the list ;D).

Whichever grip you prefer, you now want to stack your opponent, driving forward off your toes. Before that point, Oli talked about sprawling back to recover your position if they started getting legs under, as well as doing a sort of 'hip switch' if they were able to hook your leg. To get them in position for stacking, the two basic methods are to either pull them up onto your hips using your thighs as a ramp, or move forwards so you're close behind them and they are rolled up onto their shoulders.

Oli had a third version. He steers them in a direction, pulling back and down on one side, in order to get his shoulder behind the knee. That's when he starts to stack them, getting the lower hand in the middle by their lower back. Once you've got them stacked and have reached for their opposite collar, the aim is again to push their knee right into their face. You can keep them stacked by putting your knee into their bum, while you continue to shift around.

If you can't grab the collar, your can grab the shoulder, or you could also reach behind their head. An even tighter option is to reach all the way behind their head and grab the shoulder. In that situation, be careful you don't start neck cranking with a 'can opener' (a crude technique from closed guard where you pull their head towards you), as that's illegal in most competitions for a reason.

I normally establish a wide base with my feet, Oli's version looks easier, as he stayed fairly low. Either way, it is important to keep maintaining heavy downwards pressure throughout this pass. Keep pushing until eventually you drive past their leg and transition to side control: don't raise your head, just keep pushing until you slide past, nudging with your shoulder if necessary.

Oli didn't spend much time on locking his hands together, as he pointed out that if somebody is good, they are not going to let you do that. He therefore sticks with grabbing the top of the trousers on either side, by the hips. A variation is to get both hands to the middle of their lower back, then do a powerful motion to flip them up. As Oli emphasised, this isn't going to work well on somebody bigger than you. He then used his head by the hip to move round and get the pass.

There was a weird leglock you can do too if they block with their leg, which looked a bit like the way you armbar from a crucifix when you're still attacking the turtle. You lock around their leg, then stretch your body, driving your hips down. Most of the time, this isn't to submit them, it's to get them to move their leg out of the way so you can complete the pass.

Finally, there was another variation, the over under pass. I've heard the term, but I don't think I've ever been shown it in class. You're going for the double under, but can't get the legs into position. Instead, shift your weight to isolate one of their legs. You're trying to get your arm free on that side, to bring it over their leg, gripping underneath. That also means you can drive your shoulder on that side heavy into his thigh.

Bring your hips high, using your arm to punch that same leg your were controlling away, in order to pass. Be sure they can't shrimp away, as that will mess up the pass. That's where your other arm comes in handy, driving their hip to the mat. Your head is also by that far hip, adding more control.

Don't forget, you can also go to top half guard if you can't get past their leg. Finally, be wary of the reverse triangle as you pass. Keep solid control of that leg, so they can't push your head through. I like how he described "removing options": it's a slow, steady pass, taking away their options until you've got all their escape routes covered.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

21/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Introductory Speech, Lapel Guard & Knee Cut Counter (Chris Haueter)

Slideyfoot - Tue, 2016-06-21 11:00
Class #730
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Chris Haueter, Leuven, Belgium, 21/06/2016

Chris Haueter is a name to conjure with, a member of the Dirty Dozen and legend of American BJJ. He has also become known for delivering long, entertaining speeches, thanks to a class that turned into a lecture at last year's Leuven BJJ Globetrotters Camp. I was therefore expecting he might give a repeat performance in his first class tonight, which indeed he did. The 2016 edition of the Chris Haueter Lecture Series has been uploaded to YouTube, virtually in full:

It was an engaging talk, though personally I'm more interested in specific technique. Clearly many others were ready to sit down and get a long talk, as even when he asked for questions, many of them were about street fights. There was some technique in there too, focusing around the guard.

Haueter's first point was the importance of hips, head and hands, the old school approach to grappling. If somebody is trying to punch you, it makes sense to control their hands, head and hips, as then they will have trouble whacking you. Controlling the head means they can't headbutt you, a tactic that used to win a lot of MMA/NHB fights back in the day (Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman were especially successful with it).

There were lots of other interesting tidbits that came up. He mentioned that while he used to be a strong believer that everything he did should work in both nogi and gi, he has changed his mind. When standing, he recommends staying on your toes (similar to how you should be on your toes when inside closed guard too).

He talked about four 'pressures' in the guard: chokes, joint lock, sweeps and standing up. The idea here was that the person on top has to hold you in guard, as otherwise you will move around that guard (e.g., stand up, move to the side etc). Haueter also likes to get their gi out of the belt as soon as he can, from standing.

That's where he got into his first 'proper' bit of technical demonstration, on a palm up, palm down choke in the closed guard. Grab their same side lapel and same side sleeve, aiming to lock that forearm against your stomach. 'Cast' the lapel slightly open, like you're casting a line when fishing. Insert your arm gripping hand into that collar you've opened up, as deep as you possibly can.

Your arm is extended, which Haueter uses to block any punches on that side. He then swings them to the other side, swinging his body underneath in the opposite direction, elbow into their sternum. Your free hand grabs the material by their opposite shoulder, then drop that elbow into their sternum too. Square back up and choke.

He also discussed lapel guard, much to my surprise. It was cool to see how somebody with a solidly old school mindset approaches a new school technique. Pull out both of their lapels, gripping inside their arms, while they are in your closed guard. Pull out as much as you can on one side, gripping that with both of your fists. Move that off onto their arm, which can lead into all sorts of chokes. You can try reaching an arm around their head, passing the gi tail to that hand and locking it off. Your other hand stays inside, under their chin. Drive that chin-hand up while pulling with your gi grip for the first choke.

Another option, bring their gi around their head instead of your arm, gripping the end with your same side fist. This time, you close off the choke by grabbing your gi-gripping wrist with your other hand to bar across their neck. Pull the gi and apply pressure with your arm to finish. It's even possible to simply wrap the gi all the way around the neck, getting the pressure from ratcheting your arm with a single hand gripping. You can also attack the arm, wrapping the gi tail over their upper arm, then pushing their wrist: the gi becomes the fulcrum for the joint lock. You can use that same gi grip to stop their arm posting, moving into a scissor sweep.

I got in a technical question myself, about the knee cut counter, my main focus for this camp. When you ask Chris Haueter a question, like some other old school instructors I've seen (e.g., Rickson), he will get you to show what you mean before answering. That meant I needed to put my phone down to head over and demonstrate. Fortunately for me, the very awesome Oscar picked up my phone and immediately started filming, so I have it all on my phone after all. Thanks again, Oscar! :)

First off, keep them constantly off balance. If they are leaning in towards you, attempt to lift them up, possibly even over your head (Haueter used a de la Riva hook to help with that). If they are leaning back, he keeps the pressure, holding the heel of the knee you want to cut, also with a firm grip on the other lapel. Should they manage to start that knee cut, make sure they can't push your opposite should flat, as that really stuffs your counters. If they pull up on your arm, even worse.

If they try to push you flat, drive your shoulder in hard. If they pull up on your arm, reach behind their knee cutting leg, lock in a strong quarter guard. As they pass, come up, scramble, wrestling to get back to a good position. You might end up back in guard, but that's still better than being passed. This would be far from the last time I asked about knee cut counters: by the end of the camp, I had done three private lessons on the same topic. ;)
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

21/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Retaining Open Guard (Christian Graugart)

Slideyfoot - Tue, 2016-06-21 08:00
Class #728
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Christian Graugart, Leuven, Belgium, 21/06/2016

Christian continued with his concepts-led approach to teaching, with most of the class spent doing drills. The details built upon his opening session. This time, he fleshed it out more, in the context of maintaining your open guard. I have been focusing on maintaining open guard for several years, so this was ideal for me. Any more details I can glean on basic open guard are very welcome: I’m not interested in flipping around or weird leg grips, just simple ways to stop my guard getting passed. This class was directly related, giving a broad overview of how to retain that guard.

The class followed a pattern of Christian elucidating the concept a little further, then going off to specific spar on that point (essentially, increasing levels of resistance in specific open guard sparring, but with no sweeps or submissions). First up, he re-emphasised that importance of controlling the space between your knees and chest. Whenever they are passing your guard, it is because they have managed to get your knees away from your chest.

Therefore, your goal is to return to that tight position, whether you're in sitting guard or on your back, with wide knees close to your chest. If your knees are close together, it narrows your guard, making it easier for them to move your legs around and pass. If they pull your leg, you pull it back: Graugart calls this the 'rubber band' principle. It should be difficult for them to break your posture. Some people will even grab their own knees for that reason.

There are exceptions: if you have control, you can straighten the leg, such as in spider guard. As soon as they manage to break that, you need to return to the knees-to-chest guard. Don't reach with your legs, as that opens up your posture without that requisite control. When there is distance, just wait for them to come to you. If you're determined to chase them, make sure you sit up, as then you can stay tight as you move forward.

Christian has a simple approach to grip-fighting: if they grip you, grip them back (grabbing whatever they're gripping you with). For example, if they grip your leg, grab their sleeve. Another big point is to use all four limbs. Make sure that your hands and feet are always engaged, there shouldn't be fresh air under your feet or hands.

Finally, if they are starting to pass, create a frame and get back to your posture. That's the same idea as the stiff arm escape. For example, if they get a double underhook, push up into their arm to try and scoot away. Build a frame, break their posture. The drill this time was to let them pass part of the way, then escape.

All that drilling meant this was the first bit of 'sparring' I got at the camp, though I was holding off on 'proper' sparring until later in the week. My thinking was that if I got banged up from sparring later on, it didn't matter so much, as I already had plenty of classes under my belt. The fact that most of the classes I was looking forward to were earlier in the week anyway helped on that too.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

21/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Passing NoGi (David Morcegao)

Slideyfoot - Tue, 2016-06-21 07:00
Class #729
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), David 'Morcegao' George, Leuven, Belgium, 21/06/2016

I very rarely train nogi, as I don’t like the absence of gi grips. I also find it becomes a lot more based on physical attributes when you take away the gi, exactly the opposite of what I want from my jiu jitsu game. However, I was intrigued by the prospect of learning from David George. I first encountered him on the sadly defunct European Fight Network forum that my old instructor Jude Samuel used to run. When I started BJJ, the EFN was the place the UK BJJ community congregated. That’s where you would hear about competitions, gossip and of course trolling. The notorious david5 was a master of the latter.

Since then, he’s become better known as the UK’s only (I think?) black belt earned directly under the legendary Ricardo de la Riva, as well as the organiser of Roll Models. That was the first competition Artemis BJJ went to as a club and it was a great experience. Well organised, very affordable and supportive of female competitors (they initially could enter for free, then later editions had heavily discounted prices for women). He has also started his own school, Morcegao Jiu Jitsu, as that is now his moniker (including a memorable custom design by Seymour).

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 21, 2016 at 3:46pm PDT

David focused on passing, with a strong wrestling slant. To begin, you need to get your distancing right. You can’t be too far away, but you also don’t want to be too close, or they may be able to grab your legs and go for a sweep. Crouch low, a little like you’re going to shoot for a takedown. Pick your moment, then grab their feet and drive forward. You want to get their feet right over their head. To do that, you’ll also want to switch your grip, so that you are driving the web of your hand (between your thumb and finger) into their ankles (or sometimes the back of their knees). As their legs go over their head, follow in, driving your hips into the bottom of their back, right below (from your perspective) their bum. Stay upright, stopping them from bringing their legs back down or scooting away from you.

If they are being squirmy, you may want to lock your hands around their hips. If you mess up the motion and can’t get their legs over their head, you can try to pass by swiping one leg in front and towards their hip, sliding to the side. That squashes their legs down, enabling you to slip through into side control. To secure that side control. David’s catchphrase was ‘punch them in the head!’ In other words, whack into the side of their head, relatively high, with your bicep. That makes it very tough for them to turn back towards you.

When you have them in that compromised position, tight to their back with their legs in the air, you can of course pass. David suggested sliding your arm across their neck/jaw to turn their head (depending on how much of a neck they have). Turn, so that you still have one knee up to jam against their back and keep them stacked, sliding the rest of your body around behind your neck/jaw pushing arm. You might be able to choke by leaning into their neck, or complete the pass by crushing through, like you would on a single or double underhook pass.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

21/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Bow & Arrow Choke (Brad Wolfson)

Slideyfoot - Tue, 2016-06-21 03:00
Class #727
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Brad Wolfson, Leuven, Belgium, 21/06/2016

I was looking forward to this after Wolfson's first lesson yesterday, because his teaching approach gelled well with my learning style. The classes I'm going to make a particular effort to attend are those that break this down into short sections, focusing on a small number of techniques without a million steps. Wolfson made me even keener to attend his lessons with an early quote from today, where he talked about how he didn't care if we only did one technique for an hour, the important thing was getting that sorted. Exactly what I want. I can think of nothing better in terms of format if all the instructors picked one technique for their whole class (that's how I most like to learn, which is why I teach that way).

A video posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 21, 2016 at 2:46pm PDT

The technique in question was the bow and arrow choke. That was a contrast to yesterday, as this is a technique I know well and have taught plenty of times. Starting from standard back control with a seat-bet grip, you open up their collar with the hand you have under their armpit. Grip it with the hand you have over their shoulder. I normally tell my students not to grip too high, but interestingly Wolfson made a point of saying where you grip didn't matter (and demonstrated it too). So I may be emphasising that too much, something for me to play with.

His progression from there was different too. Instead of grabbing the non-choking side leg to help swing into position, he doesn't force the position. Instead, he reacts to their escape attempt. As they bring their leg out in the standard bridging back escape, he comes up on his choking elbow, bringing his leg up to their neck (like you would if you were looking to do the technical mount style back retake). Your other foot is in technical mount now, having shifted across (like another thing I often teach, going to mount if they start to escape the back). Thrust your hips into them, also driving off that foot, lifting their head and upper torso sideways.

That gives you the space to bring the leg nearest their head over their neck, grab their leg for control, then drop back and secure the choke. I prefer to be upright for the choke, so it's useful to have more details on the alternative way to finish. There was plenty more detail too: most of the classes at BJJ Globetrotter Camps will be a series of techniques and a short bit of drilling, packing in up to around six techniques (normally related, but not always: the latter classes are the ones I tend to avoid, as I get confused if it's loads of unrelated stuff. I'm easily confused ;D).

Wolfson also showed how you could enter the back from knee on belly, moving to bow and arrow from there. You're going for a cross choke from knee on belly. Your first hand gets into the collar no problem, they block the second hand, leaving it by their shoulder or gi. That's fine, as this is just the set-up (though of course you can finish the choke if they don't block it successfully enough). Step around their head unwinding your hands, then do a kettlebell swing motion to lift them upright. Just as with a kettlebell swing, this should be about the hip thrust, not pulling with your back. I felt like I was using my back too much on this, plus I seemed to jam my wrist a bit, so I'll need to play with it some more (with a light training partner, to be safe).

Finally, if you can't get your hand in for the grip, use your own gi instead. Pull out your lapel, passing that tightly over their shoulder to your other hand. Wolfson had an evocative simile here, saying "throw it over their shoulder like a cape." You can then lock that in and apply the rest of the choke as normal. The gi is able to cut past their hands, or even if not, you can often choke them with their own hand by tightening that lapel across. Naturally it isn't invincible, sometimes people will be able to defend (especially if they get both hands in and clamp their elbows down). If that happens, just as with any bow and arrow choke, you can just switch to one of the many follow-ups, like an armbar. If they are committing to grabbing your lapel and pushing it away, almost always they will leave a gap somewhere else as a result.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

20/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | The Dummy Catcher (Brad Wolfson)

Slideyfoot - Mon, 2016-06-20 11:30
Class #726
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Brad Wolfson, Leuven, Belgium, 20/06/2016

Wolfson was keeping his cards close to his chest with the name of this one, originally the last class of the camp, later moved to become the last one for Monday. The position looked like it might fit with the Ryan Hall/Jeff Rockwell style open guard I’ve been playing with, using frames and coming up on the elbow. The Dummy Catcher comes into play as or just after they pass your guard. Bring your inside arm over their head and arm, tight to the neck. Anchor that arm by grabbing behind your nearest knee, preventing them from moving away or freeing their arm.

The first of four techniques was attacking their enclosed arm. To get it into place, bridge and knock them in the direction your hips are pointing, forcing them to post with their hand (if they don’t, there are follow ups). Grab that wrist and push it to their head. You need to make sure their elbow stays on the ground, by your hip. Scoot your hip in closer, then bring your arm-anchoring leg over their wrist. You can now twist your hips to apply an americana: be careful, this can come on quickly.

A photo posted by Can (Jun) (@slideyfoot) on Jun 20, 2016 at 11:36am PDT

It’s very likely that they will prevent you isolating their arm like that, either by straightening it or folding it back. Should that happen, you will probably be able to continue your roll and knock them right over. Bridge and bring them over the top. I was concerned for my lower back doing this, but on reflection, I can just switch to the third technique if I feel any resistance or strain. That is very simple, as you just swing or walk your legs out the way to knock them over. This is most effective when they are trying to bring their weight back to avoid being rolled over: it’s the same kind of leg motion as Jeff Rockwell’s counter to the knee cut, which I also want to work.

Finally, if you can’t get the arm, you can’t roll them over and you can’t adjust to knock them in another direction, there is a fourth possibility. The scenario Wolfson demonstrated for this was if they come up on their toes and drive their weight through your shoulder, preventing you from coming up on your elbow or hand. You will then search for their leg with your lower foot, then hook your higher foot behind their knee (depending on your flexibility, you may not need to search for the leg first). Once you have that secured, you can lift and turn, in a ‘wing sweep’ motion.

Wolfson also went through some tips from kesa gatame, starting with bringing your leg right under their shoulder. In terms of preventing being rolled over, you can go onto the ball of your foot rather than pressing your entire sole onto the mat, also angling your knee towards their head. That makes your base much stronger. He added some submission at the end, but as soon as the words ‘neck crank’ left his mouth (particularly when coupled with ‘catch wrestling’), I switched off. I have a strong aversion to all the nasty, painful stuff that catch wrestling seems to thrive on, though that’s just my personal hang-up, nothing to do with the efficacy of the techniques. ;)

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

20/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | Closed Guard (Wim Deputter)

Slideyfoot - Mon, 2016-06-20 08:00
Class #725
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Wim Deputter, Leuven, Belgium, 20/06/2016

Deputter began his lesson with an exercise to get the right hip movement in closed guard. First, bring your hips up, driving them into your partner. Then shoot them back down, pulling your partner in with your knees, wrapping your arms around them to keep everything tight. Adding to that, he then showed how when you feel their weight going one way, bring your head and torso to the other side. That means when you pull them down, you’re in position to take their back or set up a sweep.

A sweep therefore followed next. In order to get the momentum, he pulled them in, then extended his hips up as he lifted his knees. It was a tricky motion to work out in sparring: watching the video as I type this up during the nogi class makes it a little clearer, but I’ll need to drill that a lot more at open mat. Anyway, for the sweep, establish a pistol grip on their sleeve, your other hand gripping their knee. Thrust your hips up, then pull your knees in to lift them up (the tricky motion). Angle off to look in their ear, so you gripping hand is far away from you. Then kick your leg into the armpit, lift the knee and sweep.

If you can’t get that sweep in for whatever reason, keep the sleeve grip and turn away, so your non-gripping elbow is on the floor. Extend your hip and punch your gripping arm away from you, stiff arming so you can then pass it off to the other hand, locking in the gift wrap, their arm getting pulled around their own neck as a result.

Often they will stand up in the closed guard. A useful standing sweep to try is the handstand sweep, which Deputter does differently to how I’ve seen it before. He begins the same, wrapping an arm around their leg. With your non-hooking arm, grip their arm on the trapped leg side: in the scenario he demonstrated, they had a sleeve grip on your non-hooking arm, but you could still adjust to grab their other sleeve. The main difference is his reliance on the legs to off balance, rather than driving hips into their knee. Once he had his sleeve grips, he opening his legs, curling the hooking side leg by their hip. That continues to curl in, while the other leg chops up and across into their armpit. I think he kept cycling his legs to knock them over, but even with a video, it was hard to be certain.

The final technique was an omoplata sweep. You are trying to get into position for your handstand sweep, but they turn in their knee and solidify their base. Reach the arm you have under their leg through, to grab their sleeve. At the same time, you are gripping their collar. Swivel through, pulling on their elbow to move into the omoplata position. You aren’t going to use the swing of your legs to finish. Instead, put your free foot on the back of their head, pushing it down. You should then be able to extend and roll through for the sweep. Deputter then somehow managed to swivel through into an armbar, staying really tight, but I didn’t quite catch the details.

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

20/06/2016 - BJJ Globetrotter Camp | Leuven 2016 | BJJ Fundamentals (Christian Graugart)

Slideyfoot - Mon, 2016-06-20 07:00
Class #724
BJJ Globetrotter Camp (Sportoase Leuven), Christian Graugart, Leuven, Belgium, 20/06/2016

After a big general introduction, the first class was taken by the BJJ Globetrotter himself, Christian Graugart. His approach was simple, a single concept that he feels applies to everything in jiu jitsu. That concept is controlling the space between the knees and chest. If you’re on top, you are looking to put whatever you can into that space to attain your controlling position. That might be reaching an arm across to the far hip, sticking your knee in before they can recover guard, or even stepping through their legs and placing your foot there.

Underneath, you are looking to recover that space between your knees and chest. This looks more complex, especially as it is liable to involve tricky motions like inverting. I am always very wary of that, due to the strain it can put on your neck and back. I look forward to Graugart’s next class, where he said he is going to go into more detail on defending the guard pass, the area I’ve been trying to develop for the last few years.

After he had shown us that concept, there wasn’t much else for him to say beyond answering a few questions. The main challenges to the concept were footlocks, though Graugart felt that you still control that middle space to apply those effectively. The other big question is submissions, which can be applied without attaining a good position first, but it is a lot more difficult. Drilling was unusual, as we were just practicing staying on top by spinning around, then the same underneath. It was made a lot more difficult by the enormous numbers present at the first class. I am assuming pretty much all 250 people are on the mats, meaning that space is at a real premium. Judging by last year, when I only popped down on the Thursday, those numbers drop considerably during the week.

©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

UC Fight Night 89: Mac Donald v Thompson Results

Kid Peligro's Mat - Sat, 2016-06-18 21:27
UFC Fight Night 89

UFC Fight Night: will take place on June 18, 2016 at the TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada, with a Main Event  between Rory MacDonald and Stephen Thompson.

Main Card (Fox Sports 1)
  • Rory MacDonald vs. Stephen Thompson –
Kid Peligro Iphone App: Passing the Guard
Kid Peligro ebook: Secrets of The Closed Guard
Kid Peligro Iphone App Secrets of the Closed Guard

Brock Lesnar receives his BJJ Blue Belt

Kid Peligro's Mat - Thu, 2016-06-16 18:35
brok 1

Former UFC Heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has just earned his blue belt in BJJ from his instructor Rodrigo “Comprido” Medeiros. “Comprido” was been (read more)
Kid Peligro Iphone App: Passing the Guard
Kid Peligro ebook: Secrets of The Closed Guard
Kid Peligro Iphone App Secrets of the Closed Guard

15/06/2016 - Teaching | Half Guard | Kimura (Bottom)

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-15 12:30
Teaching #519
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/06/2016

To secure the kimura from the bottom of half guard, start from a 'double paw' on the arm they're using to try and cross-face you. Slide one hand down to their wrist, the other wrapping around their elbow. Flare that elbow out while simultaneously pushing their wrist towards their leg. That should collapse the arm, enabling you to then reach over their arm with your elbow hand, gripping your other wrist to lock in the figure four. Alternatively, you can simply sit up and reach over to lock in the figure-four.

Either way, if they sit back and try to free their arm, you can move into a hip bump sweep, much like you would from closed guard. If not, curl your wrists in to prevent them straightening the arm. Clamp the elbow to your chest, then you can torque for the kimura as usual. If they hide their arm, you could initially try Xande's option from my favourite online instruction site, BJJ Library. Xande shows how even if they are hiding their arm, as long as you can get the grip, you can still harvest that limb. He does it by scooting his hips towards them.

Another excellent resource is Andrew 'Goatfury' Smith, well known for his expertise in the kimura, all to be found on his brilliant Hubpages sequence of tutorials. He suggests shrimping away to make space, then bringing your leg all the way past their head, until you can push off their hip (on the same side as their trapped arm). That should give you enough leverage to yank that free. He is also the source of that handy tip on collapsing the arm.

Teaching Notes: Lots to emphasise and change next time. The basic grip was causing some people trouble, so next time I might suggest grabbing the meat of the hand, to make sure people aren't compromising the integrity of their frames to secure the grip. Also, clamping elbow to chest needs emphasising too, people weren't doing that enough: I did say it, but I think I need to demonstrate it more clearly to highlight where your arms should be. Also, curling the wrists inwards, as well as gripping with the fingers and thumb over the top.

People were having real difficulty extracting their leg in order to bring it all the way over the top, so that needs more emphasising. That should be easy to solve though, as it is mainly a matter of shrimping out enough to create the space to get that leg over.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ

15/06/2016 - Teaching | Women's Class | Butterfly Sweep

Slideyfoot - Wed, 2016-06-15 11:25
Teaching #518
Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 15/06/2016

Marcelo Garcia has written that when passing butterfly guard, it's important to keep in mind that "unlike the closed guard or half guard, in the butterfly guard, your opponent is not trying to hold you in place." In my opinion, the ensuing dynamism and movement makes butterfly guard a more advanced position, which requires greater sensitivity and timing than closed or half guard.

So, I stuck with the most basic technique in butterfly, which is the classic butterfly sweep. There are numerous grips to try, but for me there are three main ones: collar and sleeve, deep underhook and the shoulder clamp. Having the collar opens up chokes, as well as providing excellent control to switch into other attacks and sweeps. The shoulder clamp gives you the option of sweeping in either direction (either away from underhook side, or if you can get your arm by their head, leveraging up with your elbow under their head to go towards the underhook), as well as things like pressing armbars and omoplatas.

However, the deep underhook is the way I first learned and I think the easiest one to teach. Saulo calls this the 'competition' grip, I guess because it must have been something he noticed appearing more in competition (as opposed to the collar grip, which he dubs 'classic': interestingly, his personal preference is grabbing the front of the belt, not something I've ever had much success with). You reach under their armpit as far as you can, getting your shoulder in if possible. Secure that arm around their back, or you can grab the belt.

With the legs, it tends to be slightly more straightforward. Either you're going to have both feet hooked under their thighs, with your knees flared out wide, or you'll have one hook in, the other knee on the ground: I'd recommend the latter. That angle helps with the sweep, I find, as well as making it harder for them to drive your back to the mat. In both leg configurations, you want to have your forehead driving into their chest. If they can get their head under yours, that's problematic, because then they can drive you flat on your back and start their pass.

Butterfly also links back to sitting guard, of which butterfly is effectively a short range version. That's because in both, you can put an arm behind you for base and mobility. It makes it harder for them to collapse you to your back, while also enabling you to keep angling off. That sets you up for attacks (especially the butterfly sweep, along with various fun from the underhook, like pressing armbars, back takes etc). Armdrags are another big area for butterfly, though that's a topic for another day.

Whatever grip, the basic mechanics of the sweep are broadly similar. You need to have some kind of control over their arm on the side you want to sweep, otherwise they will be able to post. Grab the sleeve or the wrist, possibly the elbow if you can sufficiently control their lower arm too. Lean back very slightly to get their weight towards you, then drop to your shoulder on the sleeve grabbing arm, lifting as you drop. Switch your legs, bringing one under the other in order to establish scarf hold, heavy on your cross face. If you've lifted them up but they aren't going over, try hopping towards your lifting leg with your other leg. That should eventually provide the leverage to knock them to the mat.

Teaching Notes: On the shoulder clamp, I didn't feel we really got into the importance of sitting up, so I'll focus more on that next time. It is perhaps a bit too complex to squeeze into an hour together with other butterfly grips: possibly something to show in isolation, though I do often teach multiple techniques in the women's class. On pushing the head down, it's important to get the elbow right by the back of the head, as well as keeping your arms in tight. If that starts loosening, they have too much room to move and may be able to pull their head and/or arm free. Gable grip makes it much easier to sweep too: Kirsty was naturally moving into the forearm clasp, which is good for maintaining the grip, but sweeping is tough from there.
©2004-2016 Can Sönmez, originally published on You can also find me at my school, Artemis BJJ
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