Hit Fit, (BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 06/03/2014
Although technically Hit Fit is at present a separate entity, we're still sticking with the same position of the month (which for March is mount). That separation should end in a few weeks, when the new Hit Fit venue is due to open: at that point, it will become the second location for Artemis BJJ, which is exciting! Your monthly dues will cover you for both the new place and our first location over in Central Bristol. :)
Tonight's lesson had some similarities to what Dónal taught on Monday. He again went through that unusual method of maintaining mount. As they push into your leg and start to escape, base onto your knees, then pivot on the the knee they are shrimping away from. Flick the back of that leg over them, hooking their opposite side hip with your foot. You can then shift to knee on belly or side control on the other side, possibly even taking their back. This is mainly an option for when you feel you are about to lose the mount, as going to side control is better than getting reversed.
On Monday, Dónal talked about how you could underhook their arm is they made the mistake of leaving their elbow outside your knee, but he didn't go into detail: instead, he went with the more likely scenario that their elbow is tucked inside your knee. This time, he showed what you could do if they did make the mistake. Insert your hand into the space, palm facing away from their body, getting a deep underhook. Put your head on top, then use the combined leverage of your bodyweight, arm and head to twist back in line with their head.
That should give you extra leverage to bring their arm away from their body and jam it up by their head. You can then slide your knees forward as high up as you can without losing the position, squeezing them in tight to lock their arms in place. Dónal finished with the related Roger Gracie method of getting under the armpits, where if they are flat on their back you can simply put your hands on theirs shoulders and use that as a basing point. It is really hard to keep your elbows in tight when someone is basing on your shoulders, meaning they can slide up under your armpits and again go for the tight knee-clamp around your arms.
Sparring started with specifics from mount. On the bottom, I was heel dragging as ever, though I tried to take the opportunity to practice my trap and roll/upa as well. I also tried to leave a bit of space so I could be put in a worse position and then attempt to escape from there, which is always a good exercise. I ended up doing that last ditch 'fling your legs up into their armpits' escape at one point: it worked, but it isn't a very technical option. Good to know I can still do it though, but I'm sure that's going to get tough when my flexibility and back aren't as keen in a few years. ;)
On top, I was continuing with my mission to finally get my offence up to scratch. I was able to get up high and under their armpits, but not high enough. It became a pattern of sliding up high, working for the americana, then slipping down a bit and trying again. I also never got as high as I needed: I seem to get stuck at the point their arms go horizontal, when I want them to get squashed up past that point.
I went for the americana repeatedly, but failed to land it. Mark was escaping well by using his head, so I should come up with a follow-up for that. I also think that perhaps this would be a good place to try the classic collar choke, to distract them if nothing else. I did at least remember to use the ezequiel as a way of raising their elbows if I was having trouble getting my knees into their armpit.
Technical mount is working well for me too, as another option. I couldn't quite land the bow and arrow transition on Mark, as he's a beefy guy meaning his chest size tends to make his collars move quite far apart! I may also be going for it too earlier, before they've turned on their side. I have seen Saulo do that, so it can be of use, but I need to be careful. At one point I tried switching to technical mount in that flat on their back position, right as Mark was turning towards me. That meant I basically gave him the perfect set-up to roll me over, due to shifting my weight into the path of his escape.
When we got to free sparring, I was working mount too (off a sit-up sweep), but before that stage I practiced my guard too. I managed to land that x-guard type spider guard sweep thing I learned from Kev, which is cool: I need to keep doing that. Although the second time, I didn't manage to get in position, so I should have used the bicep push from the lasso spider to get them to stand up.
There was a lot of legwork in the drills at the start of class on top of all the knee squeezing, so I was definitely feeling that on the way back, especially as I have to cycle up some hefty hills to get back home! ;)