Artemis BJJ (PHNX Fitness), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 04/04/2015
I had my first roll in ages after bronchitis, with one of the women. It was a good way to get to training. I did my usual thing of a relaxed open guard, encouraging my partner to pass by controlling the legs, as otherwise I can keep pushing into their hips and maintain distance.
She also asked for some advice on escaping side control too. I found that I could push the knee away and move round as they tried to bring it in. Thinking about my approach when I escape from there, I suggested a focus on connecting elbow to knee, to avoid leaving a space that the person on top can get their arm or hip inside.
I then did some rolling with a bigger white belt, re-encoutering my old problem of not managing to finish from mount. I was going for the palm up palm down choke, where you use the static arm as a 'bar', but I didn't have that in place properly. I'm not sure my initial grip was deep enough either. As ever, it's still positive that I could maintain the position. Next time, I need to focus on the positioning of that 'bar'.
My favourite side control gi choke didn't work for me either. I think I didn't have that locked in tight enough, in order to properly drop the arm over the top. I need to stay low, not give them any space. From closed guard, I looked to angle off, but failed to get a decent lock into their shoulder with my chest. Could be I need to get a bit higher, or use my legs more.
Though I would normally keep on practicing that open guard from Kev, I avoided it this time as my partner has an ankle injury. I find the movement for techniques like the loop choke and especially collar drag are jerky and can lead to stumbling on their part. Not good for ankle injuries! That makes me wonder if there a 'gentle' collar drag I could use instead. Perhaps grabbing their foot and gradually taking them down, putting me on top? I'd rather be on top than on the back anyway.
Also, my neck was sore yet again. Is that from playing guard too flat, or squirming too much underneath side control etc and relying on the neck muscles to get me into position? I need to have a good think on that, how to compensate. Perhaps getting more onto my shoulders, thinking of where I can get my skeleton into play rather than muscles. It happens a lot: this was after just one roll, so that's an issue I need to resolve.