Gracie Barra Bristol, (BJJ), Study Hall, Bristol, UK - 28/07/2013
Back escapes have been a weak area for me for a long time, which is why I did two private lessons on them a while ago. However, I haven't been implementing one of the key points from those privates: I'm still clamming up and jamming my hands to my neck. Drilling should hopefully wean me off that habit, so I wanted to purely concentrate on back escape for today's study hall, with increasing levels of resistance.
The version I want to get good at is a tweaked bridging back escape. I've also begun incorporating that into my teaching of the back escape. My training partner today was Geraldine, who as ever proved to be very helpful in highlighting a few issues with my technique. We started off just drilling it light so I could get some reps in: initially I forgot to angle my knee to prevent them rolling, but remembered that later.
As we started upping the resistance in later rounds, the main problem that came to light wasn't my excessively defensive grip by my neck. Instead, it was preventing them bringing the leg over to take mount. I tried hooking the leg, but that either meant I lost my brace against being rolled the other way or it didn't seem to make much difference (meaning I'm clearly doing it wrong). Pinching my knees fare a little better but wasn't entirely reliable either. I briefly attempted shifting to deep half, but just got stuck under mount.
I'm pleased I've now got some well-defined areas I can keep practicing. Next time, I'll isolate the mount defence part, then build up the resistance on that. Back escapes could easily keep me busy for the foreseeable future, though I also want to make sure I'm drilling techniques that I'm due to teach the following week, along with whatever I've learned from the most recent private lesson.
I was also able to get in a bit of sparring at the end, starting with Dónal. He was going light, or I would have just been mercilessly crushed, but it was nevertheless a useful exercise in attempting to retain guard and transitioning between positions. We briefly ended up in 50/50, which I know for a fact was Dónal being playful: he knows I hate all the flashy stuff like that. ;)
My rolling finished up with Geraldine, where I looked to practice the ezequiel series from mount (although I didn't get to the ezequiel part, moving directly into the tight americana against the leg). I hopefully wasn't putting on too much pressure, but then as I know she's preparing for a competition in a couple of weeks, should be ok. She's more than capable of holding her own, of course: it's difficult to pin her down as she has good hip movement and escapes.
That injury I've had since September is STILL not entirely gone away, but I'm not sure whether it is paranoia on my part. I very much hope it's just me being paranoid, rather than a gradual slide into the same strain I had before. Bleh. To end on a positive note, these study hall classes continue to be a really cool addition to the schedule. Attendance was great today as well: it was good to everyone supporting the Sunday sessions. :)