Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 06/04/2013
There were three key details I want to take away from this private. First off, I can relax a bit on my defence: I don't need to clamp my arms by my neck the entire time, as that also locks me in place. Secondly, the importance of getting your head under theirs. You can literally dig your head into place if their head is still in the way when your drop to your side. Finally, hook their top leg as you start to escape. That means you can both shift into deep half if necessary and block their attempts to turn.
For blocking the neck, the Saulo method is worth using, with a thumb in the opposite collar, the other free to defend. If you miss that, then there is the option of grabbing the elbow or gi sleeve and yanking it down. Bring your knee up on the choking arm side, heel closer to your bum. That leg is there for base, so angle your knee in slightly to prevent them turning you.
Push head their head across like last time, then drop to the open side. Wriggle your shoulders and spine onto the ground. As you start to escape, hook your leg on their top leg, so they can't turn to side control. If possible, you can even step your foot right onto the ground to lock their legs in place.
If they have a grip and are going for a single collar choke as you try to escape, your first option is to peel it off with a free hand. Don't let them sit up, or they can tighten up the choke: block that with your leg entangled in theirs. I find that if I can get my near arm under their head, pinching it between my shoulder and arm, I can retain enough control to start moving on top.
When you've got their leg hooked, the route to deep half opens up. If you do that, remember to so they can't underhook, which is the first thing the person on top will look to get against deep half. Grip under their knee cap, using that to turn their leg slightly outward, spin to top and pass.
If you can't push the head, drop to the side and use your foot to push off their opposite hook. Immediately start to slide free, keeping their leg hooked as before. That again gives you the option of either going to deep half or simply trying to keep them locked in place so you can work to go on top.
While doing light sparring this week, we got into some weird positions. At one point I was lying next to him, stepped my leg right over and locked into behind his knees. That prevented turning, then I could spin through into side control. Somewhat random, but fun to play with stuff like that and see what happens.