Roger Gracie Academy (BJJ), Felipe Souza, London, UK – 25/01/2007
Today’s session was all about the mount. After we’d done the hip throws, Felipe demonstrated how to maintain mount. He didn’t mention the tight feet thing that Jude made a point of noting yesterday, instead showing how with legs in tight, you react to what the person on the bottom is doing. If they throw you forward, base out with your hands, similarly if they throw you to either side. If they try to push your knee, swivel to the side, raising up on that knee but remaining tight. Then underhook the arm, pull it up and use that to get your knees into a higher mount.
I drilled this with Herman for a while, though for the first time this was a more ‘alive’ drill, as it was done with light resistance. Felipe then reminded us of the usual collar choke from mount: feed your hand into a collar, slip the other hand underneath to get a deep grip on the opposite collar, twist to make it tighter, lean forward and pull for the submission.
As before, he then also showed us the variation into an armbar if the person on the bottom manages to secure your arm before you can go for the choke. Using the same position we’d just drilled, you raise on one knee, getting the knee underneath an arm and pushing it across. Trapping that arm with your body, your put your hand on the other side of their head, bring your leg across, then release your grip on their collar, shifting to grab your own gi. Having isolated their arm, you can then go for the armbar. I think I was leaving too much space, also having some trouble getting the leg past their head smoothly. I found I was tending to drag my leg round rather slowly and in stages. (Rowan Cunningham vid)
Instead of guard passing, we did specific sparring from the mount, as you’d expect after a class focusing on that position. It was winners stays on, but unlike last time (when we rotated through the entire class) we were split into groups of three, presumably so people would be around the same weight. I was with Herman and Del. I was easily swept the first time in Herman’s mount, who managed to hold both Del and I off for a while, but eventually tapped from exhaustion. I rode Del for a while, but was swept, then Herman resumed control. I continued to improve, staying on longer but still getting swept.
However, after that I started to have some success. For the first time, I got a submission, which was also the first time I’d done what you’re supposed to do and tested the technique we’d been learning earlier. I was on top, as usual waiting for an opening, when Del went to try and pull me down. He left enough space that I could grab and arm and swivel into an armbar – a very sloppy armbar, but I’ll take what I can get. I was worried for a sec that due to said sloppiness I might have yanked on the joint too hard, but there was no discomfort on Del’s part, so I think he tapped when he saw the position was locked in rather than from pain.
I also managed to get a few reversals: as with last time, that was from keeping in the mind the ‘remove the legs of the chair’ analogy and keeping my elbows tight into my partner’s knees. At one point I almost managed to take Del’s back, getting my hooks in and pushing him flat once, but he successfully readjusted, meaning I lost one of my hooks and he escaped. Still, that’s much better than the last time I was close to getting someone’s back, when I just dangled on the side until they reversed me.
So all in all, another pretty good spar today. I need to be tighter on submissions and think more carefully from the mount. I’m a little placated by what Jude said about mount being the hardest position to submit from, but still something I need to work on in order to be able to force space. I had a go at the Americana Jude showed yesterday a few times, but wasn’t getting anywhere against either Del or Herman – their arm’s weren’t budging.
ZSK again next Tuesday, then should be BJJ on Wednesday and Thursday as normal. Not sure yet whether or not I’ll skip Valentines Day, but from discussing with my gf, probably not as I’d need to take a day off to make a night of it. Probably better to save my holidays for something more exciting, like a trip to the Lake District. Would be cool to go back there, as its been a good few years since the last time.