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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a black belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©Can Sönmez

31 January 2012

31/01/2012 - Gracie Barra Bristol (Mount to Back)

Class #444
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 31/01/2012

For tonight's technique, you're in mount, threatening a collar choke. However, that's not your end goal: you're intending to take the back. As they defend the collar choke, drive your other arm inside the crook of their opposite elbow. Reach back to their armpit, so you're effectively in position to do an armdrag, but from the mount rather than guard. Pull, so that they're moved onto their side, while at the same time you slide into technical mount.

Dónal added a quick tip on that, noting that he turns the foot he has pressed into their hip outwards, so that it points more towards their feet. This helps add a bit more control, as with that foot positioning, it is harder for them to recover half guard. You also want to be really tight with your upper body: Dónal makes that especially tight, as he gets his lower arm wrist right into their neck, gripping the wrist of his upper arm. If you then raise the elbow of your upper arm slightly, you might even be able to get a choke.

Most likely, you'll just make them uncomfortable. Lean forwards, then use their discomfort to help you roll and shift into back mount. As you go to the back, set up and apply your choke. I wasn't too good at going straight into the choke, but that's something useful I can work on. Just as it makes sense to set up a strong guard position if you can feel you're about to be past, moving straight into an attack as you transition is a good idea too.

Specific sparring was from the back, beginning with 1-2-3 sparring (everyone is given a number, then the 1s go down for a few minutes while everyone else spars with them, followed by the 2s and then 3s). When escaping, Dónal gave me some handy advice. I tend to escape by pushing their hook off with my opposite foot, popping my hips over and moving around to side control or half guard.

That last part is where I often have trouble, so I'll get into a cycle of dislodging their hook, move my hips, they recover the hook, I pop it off again and move over, then recover...over and over again. Dónal suggested that when I push off that hook and step over, I should immediately bring the heel of the foot I've left behind (I think? Maybe I misheard, and it was the other foot) against the top of their ankle. That should lock their leg in place, meaning they can't recover their hook so easily, which also gives me more time to transition to the top.

Like always, my attacks from the back weren't all that great, as I tend to lose the position pretty quickly. I'm still working on the bow and arrow choke, as Kev finds that such an effective submission and he isn't far off my size. My problem is that I sometimes mess up by grabbing the wrong collar, or I hesitate trying to remember which side I should be circling towards. Sometimes even if I go to the right side, I end up with them too high, so can't get my leg out from underneath, which makes it tough to shift them towards my lap. Then again, I was landing this choke a few lessons back, so meh: I can occasionally get it to work. ;p

There was enough time for some free rolling, where I got the chance to spar with Oli. That's always fun, as he tends to be creative, and it's been a while since I last sparred him. In fact, I think it's been so long that he may have even grown a bit since then (he's either 17 or 18). I had a go at that escape from Xande where as they try to take the back, you switch your hips in midair and swing to the other side, swivelling into side control. I almost made it, but didn't fling myself far enough over, so ended up losing position. Entertaining escape to attempt, though.

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