Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 07/02/2015
I think today marks the first open mat where we've had two women attending, which is cool! Tracey has been a regular pretty much since we started the Artemis BJJ open mat at PHNX, so I'm really pleased that she had a chance to train with somebody her own size and weight for once. Hopefully this will set a trend for the future (and it all helps towards that 50/50 gender mix I'm aiming for).
There was some light sparring from side control for me, mainly to help one of the students work on their escape. I then had another relatively light roll with a visiting purple belt: I know he can go a lot harder than that, so appreciated the steady pace. It gave me a chance to play with various techniques, starting with the stiff-arm guard I've been using a lot recently. He was tending to step in close, which makes it harder to play the ankle pick/loop choke/collar drag combination I've been attempting to develop, but does makes the tripod/sickle sweep combination possible.
I continued to try and add in the Fowler 'unstoppable sweep' from last week, but couldn't get his weight sufficiently off-balance. When I got on top, I repeatedly went for the knee cut, focusing on controlling the feet and legs (particularly shoving one across, like how Donal showed me a couple of years ago). Holding on to the kimura was a useful thing to try out too (this particular purple belt is the one who gave me that advice in the first place), but as he's got a dodgy shoulder, I'm sure he was tapping earlier on that than normal (and rightly so: I like to think I never whack anything on hard or without control, but I had forgotten about that old shoulder injury).
Rolling out from the running escape sort of worked, but that's still a technique that needs a good bit of work. I look forward to refining that once we get to the month of side control. It's handy having a lot of guard practice over the three months of open, closed and half guard, but my favourite place to be is still either side control or mount. I feel like I've shored up my guard a bit in these last couple of months, so the back will be something else to look forward to (as along with guard that's what I view as my biggest weak point).