Artemis BJJ (Impact Gym), Dónal Carmody, Bristol, UK - 02/09/2014
Following on nicely from the lesson I taught yesterday about keeping the top position in turtle, Dónal went through his approach to the same set of techniques. He started with a few drills to get the movement, spinning around their back. A nifty little detail Dónal added was with the position where you're right behind them. Pinch your knees on their thighs with your feet off the floor, then use that sinking down to lift their head up slightly. That could give you the access you need to attack their neck. From there, you can also run behind them in the same way I showed, establishing side control.
Dónal has another addition to that technique as well, if you miss the opportunity and can't quite get past their legs as smoothly as before. Reach through and grab their opposite leg with your arm, clamping down with your elbow on top of their near leg. That should mean your arm acts as a barrier to their guard recovery, stopping them from swinging their legs through to establish some kind of open guard.
Sparring started off by helping a new student, which is always cool: she was picking up the details well, transitioning to side control. I then went with one of the slightly more experienced beginners, giving me the chance to play around with crucifix entries. I'm not managing to get that transition from side control Aesopian shows in Mastering the Crucifix, so I should get some kind of drill going for that. Once I did manage to get to the crucifix (from the standard side ride entry), I managed to finish off with a single-arm RNC, as my partner wasn't wearing a gi. That's possibly what I'll show when I next do some teaching at Impact this month, as a fair few of them don't have a gi. I could also go with stuff like the D'arce, but I find that a little neck cranky (still a good submission though, so could be worth showing in a nogi class where it's especially applicable).
Dónal had a few pointers after class regarding side control positioning, for the person underneath. It's generally a bad idea to try and wrap over the head of the person on top, burying them under your armpit. That's because they can shove their head up (especially if they twist to put their whole body behind it), trapping your arm against your head. This sets them up for a head-and-arm choke, like the ones John Will showed at his seminar a while back.