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This website is about Brazilian jiu jitsu (BJJ). I'm a purple belt who started in 2006, teaching and training at Artemis BJJ in Bristol, UK. All content ©2004-2016 Can Sönmez

26 March 2014

26/03/2014 - Teaching (Maintaining High Mount)

Teaching #147
Bristol Sports Centre (Artemis BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 26/03/2014

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.

To attack, you're better off climbing further up, into high mount. Again, you need to worry about their hips. To control them, put your feet by their bum, tucking your toes underneath: Roger Gracie points this out as of particular importance. In what you might call 'middle' mount where you're still over their hips, Saulo suggests that you 'ride' their bridges, like you were on a horse. Lean back, then as they bridge, lift up: you’re aiming to move with their hips, rather than just leaving a big space. So, this takes a good understanding of timing.

He also recommends against leaning forward, as he feels that gives them more space and leverage to escape. Hence why he leans back instead. Experiment, seeing how holding the head works for you versus leaning back. I think Saulo’s method requires more experience, and personally I feel unstable there, but as ever, I want to offer students choice whenever possible.

The danger of leaning back is when you're facing somebody with flexibility and/or long limbs. They might be able reach their legs over to kick into your armpits, either sliding out through your legs or pushing your over. You must control their hips with your feet, to prevent them from bending their body. Swimming the arms through might help you out here, this time against their legs, depending on how they attack. If they do get their feet in place, I generally grab on the back of their collar, stay really low, then attempt to gradually work my hips back to flatten them out: that worked for me last time it happened.

Another option is to move off their hips, shifting into an even higher mount. Gradually walk your knees into their armpits (pulling on the top of their head may help, which will also stop them wriggling back out) being careful of the elbows. If they start to work an elbow into your thigh, twist to one side and raise that knee. Pull their arm up with whatever you can grab, then reinsert your knee. I've seen Rob S teach grabbing their sleeve with your opposite hand, while Mauricio likes to grab the elbow with their opposite hand and Felipe essentially shifts to technical mount for a moment.
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Teaching & Sparring Notes: I started off with John's control point theory this time, as I think that helps me structure my teaching. I still felt a little more rushed than I would like, though I don't think I added in too much. I mentioned things like using a grip on the back of the collar to stop them slipping out the back, but not sure how essential that is to note. I'm also continuing my sparring format of starting with specifics, then going into free sparring but have people start from the same position as specifics. Seems to work ok.

Chris was using a nice escape to get out of my high mount, gradually working past my leg. I was still able to maintain a tight grip though, and because I'd already worked one leg up high, I could switch straight into a strong side control. However, I'd of course prefer to not lose the position at all. I perhaps need to be more proactive about yanking their arm up and switching to technical mount, or simply switching back to low mount if it feels like my high mount is slipping (which is the option I went for).

I'm also still not managing to get their arms up by their head: I seem to end up putting them horizontal. I'm wondering if rather than going for the armpits I should be driving just below their elbows to really jam their arm by their head? But that might leave them space to wriggle free. I also had a play with grab the sleeve of their arm with the hand I had under their head, which sort of worked but I'm not sure how useful it is.

Underneath I keep forgetting to try Verhoeven's escape from the low mount where you do some mini-bridges to york your hand in, then shove into their opposite hip. I'm also relying to much on shoving to escape technical mount, pushing into their leg and I bring my knee in. It generally works, but I feel like there should be a more leverage based option. Saulo basically just sits up and pushes, but I haven't got the hang of that one yet (and it makes me feel more vulnerable, but I'll never get better at it if I don't at least try it out. Still, something I could drill once we start having open mats).

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