Bristol Sports Centre, (Artemis BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 31/03/2014
Metamoris III has been the talk of the town, with a lot of praise for Bravo. It's had a significant impact on his reputation, which has spilled over to a renewed appreciation for his school and system. However, it doesn't change my views on 10th Planet, as I still haven't seen anyone successfully use the system at a high level and win major titles. That will be the test. Unfortunately, some have already spun the result as "see, 10th Planet does work!", whereas it's more accurate to say "see, Bravo can make his game work!"
Nevertheless, even though this proves little about the efficacy of 10th Planet for the average student, it at least proves Bravo himself can use 10th Planet at a high level. You could quibble about age, but his performance was impressive. Bravo proved it already, as seen on his old The Twister DVD that compiles lots of his comp footage, but Metamoris III was a great reminder. There was a good breakdown by Alaina Hardie over on the Underground, where she argued that if there had been points, Bravo would have won 9-4. Of course, Royler would have approached a points match differently, so it's a moot point, but still interesting to consider.
Hopefully all of this attention and discussion will mean we get to see a high level 10th Planet rep against a current high level competitor from somewhere else at the next Metamoris. Bravo/Royler was a good start, which should help set it up. I guess it would be either Denny Prokopos or Adam Sachnoff, as they appear to be the most successful of the current 10th Planet competitors.
Unusually, tonight it was all blue belts, apart from Dónal and I. Dónal therefore decided to teach something a little bit more advanced, though still based off the mount. He began with some drills, for when they are almost preventing your pass. Raise up your leg, like you're a dog going for a wee, then bring that over their leg and push it into the side of their knee. Backstep with the other leg, moving around to side control on the other side. There was also a more acrobatic one, where the motion is similar, but you jump over and twist in mid-air.
The main technique was based around my favourite mount escape, the heel drag. Get on your side, knock them in the bum with your knee to make them lighter, then hook their foot with your heel and drag them into quarter-guard. If you find that at this point, the person on top has great base and you can't get up on your side to secure the half guard, you can instead switch into deep half and sweep.
The specific deep half sweep is I think what's commonly known as the waiter sweep. Although you can't finish your heel drag, you should still be able to twist their leg enough that there is a gap behind their knee, suspended above your hip. Reach into that gap, bumping them forward with the back of you hand and again knocking their bum with your knee. Scoot underneath to move into deep half.
Again using the back of your hand, reach behind their ankle and bend their leg around your own leg. Reach your free hand behind them and grip their belt, or their gi if you either can't reach the belt or it's too loose. Kick the leg you have pressing into theirs forwards, to roll them over and onto their back. Switch your free hand to underhook their other leg, maintaining the pressure as you move your body perpendicular (I think? I got a bit confused at this point). Bring your leg back to stop them securing half guard, getting them almost into a sort of 'banana split' type position, until the tension is such that you can pop your leg over and transition to side control. Here's how Tim Peterson from Robot BJJ shows it:
Of course, if like me you find yourself getting perplexed in the midst of this sweep, the simpler Homer Simpson option is there instead, where you just pull their knee outwards with your hand and spin on top. We followed that up with a bit of specific sparring, which I can't remember, then getting into the free sparring, I started by stalling looking for a pass again. I was looking for the half guard pass for a good while, then at some point ended up on my back.
It got even worse, as I was later fending off a back take. What happens quite often is that I vaguely get out and I'm looking to grab their arm and get my weight onto them, but it just turns into a stalemate for a while until I mess up my grip and they retake the back. That's definitely something I want to look into for my private lesson with Kev this weekend.
Next spar, I was able to pass to side control and was surprised to get that lapel choke I like, but only because my partner hadn't seen it before. I showed them what I did afterwards, so that should mean next time they won't let me get that grip as easily. Playing guard I was trying to go for the spider guard sweep Kev showed me and got into position, but I was missing a few details so failed to affect their base. I also tried the lasso sweep when they pass around to side control, but didn't have leverage: I think I hadn't lifted his leg and was relying too much on simply using the pressure on his arm.