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

19 November 2014

19/11/2014 - Teaching | Mount | Maintaining High Mount

Teaching #236
Bristol Sports Centre (Artemis BJJ), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 19/11/2014

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.

Teaching Notes: I didn't feel as structured with the lesson today, but it went ok regardless. I also tested out adding in the ezequiel choke as a method for getting past those pesky elbows when you're looking to move up into high mount. My goal with teaching is not just cover the fundamentals, but also cover the most common problems. I find those elbows and getting rolled are the two big issues, so that's what I focus on when teaching high mount.

There is another option for beating those elbows, which is Dónal's trick of pushing the shoulders. The ezequiel has the advantage that you can do it without raising up or removing your cross-face, plus it leads into a submission, but it takes a bit more time to teach. I could easily do a whole class on just the ezequiel, so I'm not sure if combining it with the move to high mount leaves enough time.

Having said that, moving to high mount isn't especially complicated, at least in terms of what you need to teach in order to give students the basic idea. I'll test this out again tomorrow in Kingswood, where I've got a few options on how best to show mount maintenance. I haven't done anything on maintaining the mount in Kingswood yet, so I could either show low mount with an ezequiel, moving to high mount via the ezequiel (but without having shown low mount that may be confusing), moving to high mount via the shoulder push, or combining low mount and high mount like I used to in longer lessons. I'll have a think. :)

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