28 Oct 2009


Last night I was invited down to my old traditional ju-jitsu club for a spot of groundwork teaching. When I ran the club, I tried to get everyone involved in ground-fighting based on my knowledge of BJJ. So I thought it would be a good idea to keep in touch with the lads and offer them my slim but perhaps mildly useful amount of knowledge on the subject. But before that, there was one importantant thing on my mind. It was a matter that I've given far too much thought to and still not had a conclusive answer to...

Which gi and belt to wear?
I mean - do I wear my BJJ outfit and blue belt? Or do I don my old black belt and JJ uniform with association badges? You see I worry too much about these things so in the end I consulted that great font of wisdom - the eenie-meenie-miney-moe oracle. Old skool gi won.

Okay, onto matters at hand. How to show a handful of BJJ techniques that would work within the tradJJ rules of groundfighting?

I chose to focus on one thing - start from the knees, grab for the cross collar grip, then attack attack attack. I went through basic loop choke, then reverse bow and arrow, pulling guard and then cross choking, pushing into your uke to sweep him backwards (assuming he has bad balance) - basically a lot of really basic stuff with the common theme of starting from that one cross collar grip. Its something my instructor Nick showed me often and, going way back, my former intructor Eddie also showed me whenever I asked about our 'on-the-knees' style of competition. And it seems to work. The gripping arm is also a basic guard if you 'stiff arm' your opponent, or acts as a foil if your uke tries to pull guard. At the very least, its certainly a solid way to start a match I think. Remember this is from-the-knees competitions, BJJ with its standup, is a whole different kettle of sardines.

From my experience of past tradJJ comps, the two minute time-frame is simply not enough time to work a complex guard game and in any case, the judges will always score the top player (even if he is within the closed guard) the win because he is seen as, er, the top player. Hey I don't make the rules. Hence my reasoning for the wholly attack oriented theme last night.

No workshop is complete without a few flashier techniques to wake the audience up, so I offered them a suicide choke from on the knees (risky I know), evil knee on solar plexus and evil knee on sternum. Oh I also made up a kata where you move from side hold variations into knee on belly into full mount into modified mount into taking the back. I figured it was important to give the newbies to groundfighting a sense of position rather than just stuff like 'here is a choke' etc.

We finished off with a few rounds of sparring. It was good to have a scrap with my old pals. The Team Imperial lads compete in two weeks time so I wish them luck!
Hopefully, if I make it back again I would like to focus on defence defence defence, you know, just for the sake of a Yin Yang style balance to the proceedings.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.


Anonymous said...

A pleasure as always - you're welcome back to put the Yin into your Yang anytime.



Anonymous said...

Need I state the obvious? You are (Mr) Yang.

Many thanks for the seminar and your usual expert instruction cheerfully imparted, as always.

It's a reminder how poor I am at the Groundwork: we used to do much in Northumberland Avenue but now, no time...

Off to Chris Harvey's this weekend for a Masterclass. I expect to get my Clock cleaned...and no one with which to share the knowledge (same as last 2 visits, then).

Peter McC

Anonymous said...

Sounds good, I had a similar expirience teaching with a Karate club.

I found it usefull as I'm sure you did even as a fellow blue, that even coaching on a 1 to 1 level helps develope your own game.

Dont panic about your trip to dartford just do your thing.

Good luck.


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