Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 27/10/2011
Last time, I talked about the two main ways of maintaining the mount, which are low mount with grapevines, along with high mount, walking your knees up into their armpits, squeezing your legs into their sides. However, as with all the other dominant positions in BJJ, sometimes you'll find your opponent is about to escape. Rather than lose the position, there are several transitions in mount that mean you can retain control.
The most common is probably technical mount, sometimes referred to as seated mount. I mentioned this briefly in my previous lesson, but I wanted to spend more time on it tonight. If they turn under your mount, turn with them, so that you're facing in the same direction as their head. They will end up facing away from you, balanced on their side. As you turn to follow them, lead that turning motion with your knee, sliding it along their back. The other knee comes off the floor, meaning that you can now jam the heel of that raised leg into their hip. This is key: if you leave any space, you're vulnerable to their escape.
I tend to have the foot of the leg by their back tucked close to them, to cut off space. However, that may not provide as good a base compared to angling the foot away slightly, should they try to shove you in that direction. Lean into their shoulder with your upper body, to further help stabilise the position and remove any gaps. From there, I like to reach through with my lower hand and grab their collar, ready to initiate some choke attempts.
If you can get a decent grip on their upper body, then you can also apply some lessons we learned about other positions. For example, a while ago I showed one of Andre Galvao's methods for keeping the back. If you look at that technique, you'll see that certain stages are quite similar to the technical mount. So, if from reason the foot you have by their hip is slipping and they try to catch it in half guard, try sliding your other knee right to their head and rolling them to the other side. Due to their half guard attempt, they've already given you one hook, so you just need to insert the other.
It is also worth keeping in mind that you can of course switch back to full mount. That may present itself if they turn towards you from technical mount. By doing that, they're basically putting themselves back underneath full mount: you just have to adjust your leg positioning slightly. Always try to stay fluid, rather than locking yourself stiffly into one position.
A more secure way to go to the back from mount is to use a gift wrap, which you'll also see called twisting arm control. If they have an elbow exposed (e.g., they might be reaching over to grab their own collar, in an attempt to protect their neck), you can push into that with your chest, to shove their hand down next to the side of their neck. If you then reach under their head with your arm and grasp their wrist, you can pull it tight.
Use that grip on their wrist to turn them on their side, switching your legs to the technical mount position. Drop backwards, pulling them along with you using that gift wrap grip. The first hook is simple, as you already had that foot by their hip, so it is in position. For the second hook, your knee that was by their back slides into position, as you are pulling them past it.
Another option is to switch into s-mount, which is often the precursor to an armbar (which I'll cover next week). From full mount, slide one knee up towards their head. Your other knee is going to drive into their far arm. Once you have their arm roughly at the level of their chest, swing the lower part of your far leg: your foot should point towards their head, with the rest of the leg curled around their armpit. It is important you keep this tight.
You should now be turned towards their far side, sitting back on your near side heel. To further tighten up the position, you can reaching under their head and grabbing your far ankle, pulling it towards their near side. Stephan Kesting recommends you slightly raise the knee that is by their head off the floor, to put additional pressure into their diaphragm. A final tip on s-mount, this time from Aesopian (fill out his gi survey if you haven't already), is to hook their far leg with your free arm, to diminish the power of their bridge. He also tends to drive his near side knee a bit further, so that it slides under their head.
BJJGrrl: BJJ for Women
jnp's Grappling Principles
27 October 2011