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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

14 November 2013

14/11/2013 - Typhoon Haiyan Fundraising & Teaching (Maintaining Low Mount)

Teaching #131
Hit Fit, (BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 14/11/2013

Seymour 'Meerkatsu' Yang has come through yet again for charity, with the money from sales of this t-shirt going to help the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. It's a collaboration with another cool BJJ artist, Bong 'Gawakoto' Abad, in a lovely bright yellow. So, not only do you help a very worthy cause, you get an awesome shirt too! :D

Also, if you're near San Diego, you can head down to the Roll4Relief on the 1st December. Further north, the good people at Gracie Barra Edmonds are arranging a GrappleThon for that month too: check out more details on their Fundrazr page, here. I'll put the full details on when I have them, but this is what I've got on the Events page so far. :)

There are two basic types of mount to choose from, which I'll call low and high. Once you've achieved mount, I find that low mount provides the most control. First off, you want to immobilise their hips, as their main method of making space is to bridge up forcefully.

Bring your feet right back, threading them around their legs to establish two hooks: this is known as a grapevine. Alternatively, you can also cross your feet underneath, which has the advantage of making it much harder for them to push your hooks off. Your knees are ideally off the ground, to generate maximum pressure. How far off the ground they are depends on your dimensions: the key is getting loads of hip pressure. Another option, which I learned from Rob Stevens at Gracie Barra Birmingham, is to put the soles of your feet together and then bring your knees right off the floor.

Whichever option you're going for, thrust those hips into them, using your hands for base, where again you have a couple of options. Either have both arms out, or put one under the head (remember, you can always remove it for base if you're really getting thrown hard to that side) while the other goes out wide for base. Try to grip the gi material by their opposite shoulder, or even better, by the opposite armpit. Keep your head on the basing arm side, loading up your weight there. If they're bridging hard, you can switch from side to side.

A basic escape is to trap an arm, bridge and roll. So, don't let them grab your arm and crush it to their side. Instead, swim it through, like Ryron and Rener demonstrate in the third slice of the third lesson in Gracie Combatives. Be sure to do it one at a time, or you may get both arms squashed to your sides.

The drawback to the low mount is that there aren't many submissions from there: the ezequiel is one of the few high percentage attacks. In terms of their defence, they are mostly going to be trying to unhook your feet and digging their elbows under your knees, so you'll be battling to keep those in place.

You therefore tend shift into high mount in order to initiate your attack. But as this is just a 1 hour class, I'll be covering that some other time. ;)

Teaching & Sparring Notes: The two main problems I noticed were people not thrusting their hips through the floor and getting caught in a trap and roll, due to not putting their arm out for base. On that point, I think I need to emphasise how you should switch the arm you have under their head if you're getting shoved in the other direction. I remembered to mention putting your arm out for base, but did not make a point of the arm switch, so that's something I need to do next time.

I think the class structure worked ok, for an hour, although I could perhaps vary up the sparring. I went for the basic option of just having one person on top for five minutes, then the other, in the same pairs as people had been drilling, finishing with a couple of minutes flow-rolling. It is good to vary up training partners, which either 'king of the hill' or the parallel lines method does well, but I probably need more time than an hour to do that properly. As ever, feedback from anyone who was at the class is very much appreciated: do you guys prefer king of the hill (increased variety of training partners) or that focused one-on-one specific sparring (increased amount of sparring time, as there is no waiting in line, but no variety of partners)?

I stayed with Dharni for sparring, as I was the closest to her in size: her mount has really improved, with good pressure from both her shoulder and her head. Naturally there is still a size gap, as well as experience, but I took the opportunity to try out some of the back take suggestions from the Rickson seminar. The seat belt grip from turtle where you then roll over them worked nicely, but that could well have been done to the size difference. I also tried the thing Rickson did with his legs from guard, in order to take the back, but I don't think I've got the pressure of the top leg quite sorted, or the chopping motion with the bottom one.

I'm keen to test out Rickson's side control escapes too, so was looking for a chance to drill them after class (Mark did open mat for an hour after class, though I just did the one roll with Dharni). Next time, I'll just ask whoever I'm sparring to go on top in side control so I can practice them, hopefully also getting an opportunity to simply drill it too. I think there is an open mat on Sundays, so that would work (although this Sunday I'm busy, should be able to make it next Sunday, I think).

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