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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

24 July 2013

24/07/2013 - Dónal Private (Bit of Mount, Maintaining & Chokes from the Back)

Class #512 - Private #012
Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 24/07/2013

I started off by asking about mount escapes, in case Dónal had any tweaks to add. I'm relatively clear on what I need to do when escaping mount, but I'm always looking to add more details or just different perspectives. Dónal had two suggestions: firstly, bump them with your knee to lighten their legs for the heel drag (a useful tip in general, which I think I initially heard in the context of half guard). There was a quick point from on top, where Dónal mentioned that to stop them getting on their side for the heel drag, Norby likes to put his body next to their head.

Secondly, if you're making a frame against their hips, turn your hand so it is palm towards the mat rather than pointing back towards you. Kesting recently had a video on that as well, where he suggests making a fist rather than open hand, in order to make it harder for them to knock your hand off and break the frame.

That didn't take very long, so for the rest of the hour we focused on the back. To being Dónal offered some suggestions for maintaining the back. They will be looking to escape by turning away from your choking arm, getting onto their side. To prevent them slipping free, tighten your hamstring by their choking arm side leg. You don't have to sit there tensing, as you're just looking to block them whenever you feel that leg try to move. If they are unable to bring that leg into action, then they'll struggle to both slide across and also use their foot to push off your heel.

If you can't get your seatbelt grip, dig your hand under their elbow on the non-choking side and pry it up, until you can slip that hand through. From here, you will often find they try to grab your choking hand. An effective way to break that hold is to put your non-choking hand on top of their same side forearm, palm up. Reach your choking hand to grasp your non-choking arm (you'll probably only manage a couple of fingers, but that is enough).

Bend your non-choking hand backwards, at the same time twisting your choking hand in the same direction, still holding on. This should be uncomfortable on their wrist. To finish extricating your arm, wriggle your non-choking wrist sideways into their arm, which should pop their hand out of the way. As soon as you knock it free, unclasp your hands and grab the meat part of their hand with your non-choking hand. From there you could push it down and step your leg over to trap it, or simply hold it in place with your hand.

You can now move into some attacks. Your first option is the short choke from last week, which you can do either grabbing onto their shoulder or holding the gi, then driving your shoulder into their head. Alternatively, there is Dónal's option, where the elbow is on their shoulder and you squeeze your arm together for the choke. A stronger option is the classic bow and arrow from the back. If you're still on your side, you need to get them upright: push on their choking side leg with your same side foot, shoving it forwards to bring them up off their side.

Don't make your initial grip on their collar too tight, or you'll lack the range to finish the choke. If they're got a GB gi on, you're gripping at roughly the 'G' from the ugly Gracie Barra patch along the jacket. Next you want to get hold of their non-choking side leg. With your same side heel, dig that by their knee and curl your leg back. That should bring their trouser leg in range for you to grab with your free hand, establishing a good anchor point.

Switch your non-choking side foot to hook around their far hip. That acts as a useful leverage point to swing your other leg out (you want to end up upright, rather than falling to one side). Your aim is to drop them into a space between your legs, rather than having them resting on your lap. Bring your choking elbow back to hide it near your hip. If you don't, they have a chance to reach back and pull on your elbow to try and escape. At this point, you will also probably need to release a few fingers, leaving you with two or three fingers. It ends up looking quite different to the version Roy Dean shows in the picture on the right, as Dónal doesn't extend his body like that or use the same grips.

That increases your range, but note that they will most likely attempt to grasp that hand and yank on it to remove your control. Two fingers gives more range, but feels weak on that situation: drilling, I felt more comfortable with three, especially if you imagine you're with a muscle-headed white belt looking to rip your hand off.

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