Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 22/04/2015
It's been a while since Chris and I have managed to get together for drilling and sparring on a Monday or Wednesday. I always get a lot out of it when we both have time and today was no exception. Things were bolstered by taking some video, as I'm keen to try and isolate where I'm having issues with both escaping and attacking mount. We did specific sparring, taking it in turns to defend and then attack from mount.
My camera placement wasn't great as it often went out of shot, but there were enough sustained bits of footage that I could see I was bridging far too much. Especially the first round under mount, I was bouncing a lot and moving down the mat. Repeatedly I was knocking Chris forward so he needed to base with his hand, but not really manipulating his weight distribution. I need to think more strategically about those bumps, capitalising on the shift in weight.
A useful point on that which Chris mentioned was that I was mostly bridging straight up, rather than an angled bridge. The straight up bridge is best suited for dislodging submission attempts, so I wasn't really using it efficiently. When I did angle my bridge, I was doing it to the side where Chris either already had his weight (so was tough to budge) or was able to put out a hand (thereby blocking any roll).
When I did escape, it was often due to Chris giving me some space by his leg, as he tried to transition into an attacking position. I could then get a leg under and start to lift. I want to be thinking more about angling my bridge, getting a sense of his weight distribution and doing a better job of controlling an arm when I do manage to get the timing of the bridge right.
My stamina is poor, so too much bridging is going to tire me out fast. I could have a go at thinking about my breathing, something I rarely bother taking into account. It's something Rickson and others talk about all the time and has in the past felt a bit gimmicky and New Agey to me, but perhaps I should give it a chance. Couldn't hurt, and if it does help balance my crap stamina, that would be cool. I know I'm never going to bother hitting the gym to do cardio or whatever, that's far too boring). ;)
On top I was a lot better at conserving my energy, but then it's much easier to do that on top. I did leave my lower leg in range to be grabbed a number of times (Chris was tending to clamp it between his feet in a sort of quarter guard), so I should do a better job of tucking that out of the way and quickly moving up into a higher mount. I was generally able to get to high mount: the first time Chris popped out the back, timing it nicely. I was caught by surprise, over-focusing on getting really really high in mount.
The next few times, I was able to get into a decent attacking position. I went for the choke, but couldn't get the second hand in place. I also tried that gi lapel variation on the ezequiel, but couldn't quite get the leverage. Still, the gi tail grip was fun, and eventually helped me move into an armbar. On finishing that, I landed it once, helped by controlling the head by twisting out my leg. However, the next time I got into position, Chris was able to escape because my second leg wasn't tight enough. I was focusing so much on keeping the head leg tight that I forgot about the importance of the second leg being tight too, up into the armpit.
Lots to play with. I'll keep on taking footage of these mini-open mats, but I'll need to work out the best place to put my camera next time. :)