Artemis BJJ (Bristol Sports Centre/MyGym), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 26/11/2014
Having felt great about troubleshooting my closed guard yesterday, for Wednesday I wanted to sort out my open guard. First, I went through some of the lessons Chris was missing this week due to his work, then I moved to open guard. I began by drilling Kev's combat base sweep from last Saturday, where I was finding that I ended up in side control rather than mount. I think that's probably because I'm more comfortable driving through to there than slipping into mount straight off a sweep. Either works though, most of my submissions (when I get them) come from either side control or mount (that's been the case for a few years, though up until recently it was pretty much just side control with the occasional bow and arrow transition off technical mount).
I had a bit less time today, as I did lots of drilling with Chris on some other stuff (which was good too, as it meant I could practice the ezequiel I'm thinking of teaching later, along with some back escapes I've been working on). The ezequiel is the highest percentage submission from low mount and - for short people like me at least - pretty much the only submission from there. When your arm goes under their head, block their view with your own head, keeping three fingers extended on the reaching under hand.
Those are going to shoot inside your other sleeve: because you're only using three fingers rather than four, you've increased your reach. Bring your sleeve arm through across their neck, then pull your three-finger hand elbow across as well (a tip from Caio Terra, apparently). From there, complete the choke as usual, doing a motion like you're attempting to decapitate them.
If you're having trouble getting their arms out of the way, Saulo has a useful tip. Slip your hand under their arm, then when you get you elbow to the ground, drive that back to trap their arm against their side. Your hand is still by their neck, ready to attack. Be aware that if you leave any space at all, they are going to be desperately reaching for your hands to pull them away from their neck. Therefore staying tight and low is important.
Some people, including Saulo, advocate rising up to finish the choke. That certainly gives you more leverage, especially if you step a foot out, but I prefer to remain low and tight. It also means that if I miss the ezequiel for whatever reason, I remain in a strong posture, ready to attack with something else. Moving the knees up into a higher mount - like I taught recently at the Central Bristol location - is a useful go to, or taking the back.
In terms of my own drilling, mainly wanted to practice the sit-up position with a cross-grip that Kev recommended in that private (it's been almost a year to the day, so apparently it takes 12 months for it to sink in ;D). Again, I am not always remember to stay upright, so that's the big thing I need to ensure going forward. Next key detail is getting the collar grip, pushing my fist into their collarbone to help with distance management.
When doing that, like Kev said I need to be careful of jumping armbars. So, if I feel them start to try and control my elbow and shoulder, I have to immediately pull that elbow back to keep it safe. I found when Chris was in the cross-grip guard, there was also a possibility of going for a Brabo (D'arce? I can never remember the difference), if his head gets too close to his arm and I can jam my arm in place in time. To stop that, I guess you need to be careful about your head positioning, raising up if they try to go for it (like guillotine defence). But I'd need to test that more.
Drilling light resistance with Chris, I was finding that the loop choke started appearing if I could break his posture down. I haven't been using that much and I really should: it's surprisingly easy once you've broken their posture down (well, in light resistance, I'm sure it isn't outside of that). The collar drag is a good option too, although I find that works better for me if they are on their knees. When I did it against Chris while he was standing, I could knock him off balance, but often just into a crouch rather than low enough to comfortably take his back. There's the ankle pick sweep there too. Along with that, the usual tripod and sickle combination is there, after you've swung in to grab a heel.
This was the first of three classes today, the other two I taught, as usual. So, second was the women's class on escaping side control, then the mixed class dealing with the mounted americana.