BJJ Tips: Side control posture breaking and the value of your jiu jitsu instructor knowing you

BJJ seminars are a fantastic way to learn grappling techniques. My favourite ones are with instructors I have some form of a relationship with*, such as my own instructors or people I have come to learn from or roll with over the years. Why? Because they know me and where I am in my development and what I mean with my questions.

Yesterday, a small team of 6 Lab Rats travelled down to London to the Mill Hill Jiu Jitsu Club for the first Biannual grading and seminar with the CFS-BJJ head instructor David Onuma and his friend, training partner and super-nice guy Nick Brooks (Roger Gracie Black Belt, head instructor at MHJJ). We have known David (and Nick, thru him) for quite some time, learned from them and rolled with them on several occasions.

What this means is that when, during the Q&A section, I asked about good side control attacks two things happened:

1. My coach David came around and added a few details on how he works to kill the arm posture on i, the far side ii, the near side and iii, how one posture attack can lead to the other. Tips he gave me were fantastic and beautifully suitable to my game.

Here is an example of some basic posture breaking from side control top by BJJ Black Belt Dr. Marc Hagebusch, head instructor and owner of Texarkana Jiu Jitsu:

2. Nick presumed that I have done all I can to break my opponent's defences but he has somehow managed to maintain and airt-tight defence. I am in side control top, but don't quite have the arm posture broken so he showed me how to advance my position to a far more dangerous one (and gain a few nice points along the way)

David and Nick's response, therefore, meant a lot to me. Anything someone of their expertiese would have said would have been great BJJ advice, but this I could immediately bring into my game.

I'm not saying that if I had asked another BJJ black belt whom I had never met before about side control attacks she wouldn't show me something valid and useful. I just predict that she would probably opt to show an actual attack like some cool variation of the spinning armlock, the entry to which would be lost on me.

Your instructors know you well. Very well. Trust them and bombard them with good questions**.

Here are some beautiful side control attacks that I enjoy watching and know I will have more joy out of in a few years, but are outside the scope of my learning curve at this moment in time:

First of is the awesome Robson Moura with armbar and omoplata attacks from the side control via the knee on belly:

Next is something which I consider an inbetween. Emily Kwok is a great BJJ athlete but a brilliant teacher. The reasonI say that is because her narrow focus is very suitable for me. She shows here a few very important details that make attacks from side control a lot easier (once you have their arms killed that is!)

Finally, a huge congrats goes to the fantastic Anna Mayne and Jay Cahill who got promoted by the black belts to brown belt and purple belt respectively. It's an honour to share a mat with these two BJJ players.

*Seminars are a great way to learn and depending on where you are on your learning curve, there is always something you can get out of a good seminar

**Obviously, all questions have merit, but the way I like to ask questions is focused around a narrow subject matter. I like to know a lot about a little, but that's just me


Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi

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