Bristol Sports Centre, (Artemis BJJ), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 10/03/2014
I was mostly teaching today, as due to numbers I was wandering round helping people out during drilling rather than taking part myself. We were doing more work on maintaining mount, with some similarities to what Dónal has been demonstrating earlier this month (all mount this March). He started off with escapes, drilling the elbow escape. Frame your arms against one of their hips, bracing one arm by pressing into your wrist, then shrimp powerfully in the direction of the other leg and bring your knee through.
The main technique of the lesson dealt with maintaining mount, specifically when they are trying to dig their elbows in for an elbow escape. Reach across with your opposite hand and grab their sleeve. Scoop your same side hand under their digging elbow, then pull and push that arm right across their body. Immediately replace the space that opens up by their side with your knee. They will almost certainly turn and try to elbow escape the other side, whereupon you repeat the process, ending up in a tight, high mount: squeeze your knees together to suck away any remaining space.
Finally there was a drill similar to the lower-leg flick Dónal showed last week. However, this time you are flicking further down their body, ending up in the leg squash pass position, moving to mount from there.
Specific sparring was from mount, as you'd expect. On top, I was trying to shove my knees up high again, but still not quite getting as high as I wanted. I considered going for a collar grip to see if that would open things up, but I was too high to get a decent angle. For the moment, I'll just keep on working on getting higher, scooping up those elbows and looking for openings. I feel fairly confident maintaining the position still, especially tonight as there were more blues (and bigger blues) than usual, which is good for practicing. I got rolled once or twice, but generally I could hold the mount once I got there.
Underneath, I was looking for the heel drag: due to the higher level of training partners tonight, some of them were able to pre-empt that with a turn to technical mount and lock in their heel by my hip. I've been a bit complacent about technical mount escapes, as I think people have been leaving enough space for me to dig my elbow in and pry free, but tonight that wasn't so easy, which is good.
I could try Saulo's escape where he essentially pushes on the knee and sits up, but that makes me feel vulnerable. Still, I should drill it some time, perhaps when we start up our open mats at the new place. Blocking their hip with my elbow to stop them turning to technical mount could be helpful too. I was still escaping, but often off their armbar attempt, which is a risky habit to develop on my part because it depends on their mistake.
In free sparring, I'm continuing to try and practice the spider guard sweep tips I learned from Kev. I'm continuing to find myself unable to get the position I want, yet on the other hand I did hit that "bait them to pass" sweep I haven't used much in the past. I need to try that option where you make them stand up then knock them down.
I got into a strange backwards kimura type position on somebody else, which I failed to finish, but to my surprise I did manage to switch it into an armbar from mount. I hardly ever armbar people - I don't like the risk of losing position - so that was fun. I got to that position again later, but fell off that time. I then landed a weird sweep where it was mostly just them overbalancing and me shoving my knee at the right point, putting me in mount. Positive, but then if I don't know exactly how I did something, not as useful (though I guess it's good that I had some kind of instinctive thing going on there).