BJJ – Mexico

BJJ @ Mario Sukata Ainara Team (Cancun)

Getting There – Located in Downtown Cancun. Only about a 5 minute (or less) walk from our BnB (NAH IX B&B). Can take the R-6 bus from Downtown or R-5-17 (I think…) from Hotel district, stop is near the OXXO at the roundabout on Media Luna (walk away from town, opposite side of the road to the OXXO).

Neighbourhood – Perfectly fine, awesome street food further down the road away from town (cheap tacos and a cheap meat place for lunch / before 7pm).

Cost – $500MXN for a month or $100MXN per class.

School – Relatively small mat space (enough for 3-4 groups rolling), some weights and kickboxing gear. Run by black belt, normally about 10 people per class.

Class – Everyone is very friendly and majority spoke English except for the instructor. Mostly white belts with one or two blues and a purple belt. Usually about 1-1.5 hours (didn’t really check), started at 8:00 (everyday, Friday is No-Gi).

Warmup – Running forwards / in / out / backwards, high knees, butt kicks, some neck strengthening (lying down, head off the ground, moving side to side & up down etc), couple of minutes for stretching what you need.

Technique –

Night 1:

First technique was triangle guard escape: pull down on leg, bring same side knee up and break their guard, reverse knee ride, spin around into s-mount and transition into your own triangle – sort of like combination of at 1:45 and Second technique was armbar escape: alligator roll, come up to knees, leg drag, get your own armbar Third technique was kneebar from butterfly: underhook and tricep grip, one foot between legs, other leg is tucked under you leg so the arch in your ankle is touching their knee. Pull and kick up and slide down into kneebar Fourth technique was choke from half guard: half guard, grab same side lapel (not too deep, just below chin level), hip out and kick your top leg over their head and pull lapel for choke – ends up something like 2:30 except from half guard

Night 2:

Seems new (<2 tips) white belts tend to continue drills while others do new techniques. First up was drilling guard armbar, they slip arm out, switch to omoplata, they pressure in, switch to triangle – except  omoplata before triangle. Second technique was lapel choke from butterfly guard – grab sleeve and bottom of lapel grip (opposite sides), kick knee out with leg on same side as sleeve grip, wrap sleeve under their chin / over the back of the head (like a loop choke). With other knee, push it into the side of their neck/jugular and pull on lapel to choke – Can’t find a video, sorry.

Return to Cancun

Night 3:

Technique was drilling the armbar-omoplata-triangle as usual. After did clock choke and defense and then armbar from turtle (shin on back of head).

Clock choke – deep grip but pull gi around to you, have their far arm controlled with underhook grip and pull in slightly. While pulling their arm in and pulling up on gi use body to push their head towards that corner, and walk around to that side while switching hips out to choke. No-gi variation use a gable grip to scissor (more of a neck crank).

Clock choke defence – When they initially get grip, grab tight on their arm and pull in towards you to remove their post. Jump into them and hip bump them onto their side, causing you to end up in side control. Careful not to get back taken. Second night I tried this actively while other guy was trying to choke, couldn’t really get it to work very well.

Armbar – from turtle, have double underhook grips on their forearms, pull the one closest to you slightly in. Let go of far arm, place and belt and push yourself up to feet. Place far shin across the back of their neck and near foot slides underneath stomach. Finish armbar on your side, or if they roll because of shin pressure, finish from standard spiderweb position. Initial position different but:

Night 4:

I taught techniques from the previous night (clock choke and defence). Then we did a turnover from turtle/side control. Roll over was – if they’re on their side, grip under top leg and grab their far wrist. Shoulder pressure into their lower back/arse forcing them to semi-turtle, now with other hand grab under their ribs and onto the same arm as you already have wrist grip. Force them into turtle and then jump up to feet, squat and lift them up, rotating them.

Rolling – About 30 minutes at the end of class. Typically paired up by the instructor first up then just whoever afterwards.

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BJJ @ Mark Stables BJJ [Carlson Gracie] (Playa del Carmen)

Getting There – Fairly long walk from the hostel, on the main highway. Easy to find off Google Maps. It’s located behind a Crossfit gym, can’t remember the name (Impetus?). Pretty sure it says on the website anyway which gym it’s near.

Neighbourhood – Not located in the touristy area but no problems walking around. Be careful near the petrol station, some small bits of steel sticking up out of the concrete, easy to trip over.

Cost – $200MXN for one lesson, around $700MXN for a month (from one of the guys, he wasn’t too sure though).

School – Large mat space, located next to Crossfit gym – shared bathrooms and music etc. Nice clean, simple gym with plenty of space. Run by black belt.

Class – 6:30-8:00, nearly everyone spoke English as they were tourists or American’s living in PdC. 2-3 blues, 2 purples, 1 black, 1 brown and a bunch of white belts, about 15 people total.

Warmup – Running around the mat, running sideways (3 in, 3 out), high knees, butt kicks, partner runs (on back), wheelbarrow walks, shrimps x 2 up and back, reverse shrimps x 2 up and back, forward rolls x 2, back rolls x 2.

Technique –

Drill 1: Starting with guard passed, defend side control (specifically cross-face and getting to your side) – aim is to reguard or sweep.

Quick Q&A to see problem areas in Drill 1. One key point was to not try push/pull them using strength (for the elbow push escape etc), move around them and let them fall into the holes.

Technique 1: Defending crossface with both arms, form X under their arm and as they try to lift up arm to remove, hip bump up and hip out to reguard. No idea what to search for a video for this….

Repeat Drill 1, trying Technique 1

Drill 2: Defend guard, try to sweep while they try pass. Start with them having knee grips and you have cross sleeve grip.

Technique 2: From cross sleeve grip, with same side foot on hip – they’re pressuring other leg down to pass, break grip with leg kick, put that foot on hip and drop your other foot. Hip out (most important) while reaching up and doing 2 on 1 arm drag (keep hipping and dragging until they fall into the hole). Take the back as they fall into position. Similar to 3:30 except breaking the grips and arm drag, same mechanics though:

Rolling – 3-4 rounds of 5 minutes each.

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BJJ @ Gracie Barra Cozumel

Getting There – Bit of a pain, neighbourhood looked kind of dodgy but no problems. Address is 50 Avenida & Calle 2, although it’s closer to Transversal de Cozumel and 50 Avenida. It’s in the recreation centre in the corner, located at the back.

Neighbourhood – Looks kind of dodgy but no problems, at least a good 30 minute walk from the tourist area.

Cost – Free

School – Relatively small, mostly TKD guys who also train BJJ. Run by a purple belt.

Class – No-Gi class (Friday) so couldn’t tell grades (one blue, two whites?). Classes 8-9PM Mon-Wed + Friday. Everyone had good English and friendly.

Warmup – Stretching, followed by shoulder rolls, back breakfalls and technical standups.

Technique –

First drill was working guard armbar.

Next drill was working guard armbar – omoplata – triangle (when they roll and try pressure back in)

Next drill was working guard armbar – omoplata – kneebar (when they roll)

Next drill was working the previous two, opponents choice of movement.

Rolling – 3 rolls, 5 minutes each. No submission, only get submission and move on, aim was to keep flowing. Cool down with some extremely painful stretching.

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