Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 25/10/2014
Most of open mat this week was less focused for me than normal, although I did a bunch of drilling at the start. Tracey and I worked on the various techniques she'd been learning in the women's class, plus a bit of sparring. I then got in some rolls with a fellow purple belt, always cool. As ever I spent lots of it underneath side control and failing to do much from guard. I need to be careful of my arm in the running escape, as the third time round he got a swift armbar.
Passing I need to be careful too. On less experienced training partners, it isn't too difficult to pin an ankle or knee then move around, popping their foot off my hip either with an elbow or a sharp scoot backwards. Against a purple, that's rather less successful. I also need to watch my posture, as I had my head down a few times which almost lead to a loop choke (I was able to prevent it by pushing his elbow off, but only just).
On the plus side, I was pleased that I felt comfortable and secure once I got to the top of side control. Although that satisfaction evaporated when he mentioned he'd had some major shoulder and neck issues and was only recently getting back to full sparring. So yeah, that probably hampered his ability to escape side control just a little. ;)
The rest of the open mat was spent going through some north south escapes. This is a horrible position to escape, as it offers really great control for the person on top with minimal energy expenditure on their part. I'm a big fan of it myself: it's good for scooping up those kimuras too. I played with the basic escape first, where you swing your legs from side to side until you can either fling your legs right over and take their back (unlikely, but cool when you manage it), or swing right back into guard (safer).
There were several less orthodox escapes I'd seen over the years too, but never played with much. Kurt Osiander pops up their torso and loads them onto his knees. He secures his knees behind their arms, then manages to flip them right over. I wasn't able to do it in drilling, but I'm not sure it's one I'd want to get into anyway: I kept worrying I would end up piledriving my partner when playing with that escape. Still, worth working out the mechanics.
Something that felt a lot more viable was an escape where you push their head to the side, bring your arm against it while reaching over their back, while your other arm controls their same side arm. I'd be concerned about letting them get control of my elbows, but if I can avoid that, it looks like a decent principle for escaping. The last one involved getting your knees locked to your elbows, which works, but you have to get that in place before they secure north-secure. Normally I don't get that much time to transition into an escape posture. Worth keeping in mind anyway, as the knees are a handy barrier.