Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 23/08/2015
Great open mat today, which also marks the first week that every single class has been in double digit attendance. Yay! Fittingly, an old training partner popped back in today, with the excellent news that he's moved back to Bristol, so should be with us regularly soon.
My primary goal today was to work on some more material from Jeff Rockwell's instructional (having started that at the previous open mat), covering what he calls the sit-up escape. I prefer calling it the stiff arm, though the actions of sitting up and holding your arm straight are both important to it, so take your pick. The comprehensive system he's shared via Artechoke Media progresses what I used to think of as just a side control escape into a myriad of application.
Of those, the two I focused on today were escaping north south and a pass counter. For the north-south escape, you need to get your arms into their armpits. Bridge, making enough space to bring one arm across to the other side, resulting in both your arms braced behind one of theirs. With your inside arm (i.e., the one that your brought across), grab the gi material by their elbow and stiff arm it away, straightening your arm.
Put your other arm behind you, using that as base. Sit up (you'll probably need to swing your legs for the momentum), continuing to push and keeping your stiff arm straight. Swivel to face them and recover your guard. My training partner Paul did an interesting spin, which was cool. It seemed effective when we switched roles and he was escaping my north south (exactly why I always switch roles when drilling stuff at open mat, as it often brings a new perspective to the technique I hadn't considered), but I felt more comfortable with the standard move out to the side Rockwell shows.
The next option was a stiff arm counter to the knee cut. Right at the moment their foot slides off your leg, sit up and stiff arm into their shoulder. Swing your legs out of the way (towards their head), reversing them to enable you to establish side control. I wasn't swinging my legs enough, though I was still able to get the reversal.
Switching roles, I tried to break the technique: the main thing that hindered it was quickly changing my angle to perpendicular as soon as I passed, as well as not leaning towards the underhook. However, with the stiff arm in place, that still generally gave Paul enough space to recover guard. I was impressed with how effective it seemed to be: I'm wondering if there is a risk of getting armbarred, will test that next time.
In sparring, I was trying to start under north south, but we seemed to quickly end up with me under side control doing that, so I didn't have time to try the escape. Today emphasised how my A game is very much knee cut to side control to either gi choke or some kind of arm attack. I'm liking armbars much more than before now, though I still feel safer with the north-south kimura. I'm not doing an especially good job of breaking their grip on armbars, though I am getting better at switching from side to side.
My omoplata attempts in closed guard weren't working too well. I was missing the switch into an armbar or triangle, something I should work on a bit more. Adding the collar tie from Rockwell's system has been handy for my open guard, giving me a helpful block to their passing efforts. I also landed the crucifix armbar, which was cool: I haven't done that in a while. This time I remembered my crucifix grips properly, unlike when I was last at RGA Bucks and totally forgot about controlling the non-leg wrapped arm.
Attacks from half guard all next week, using the lapel. That's had a big impact on my half guard, having trialled the submission series out over this month. I tried the same lapel trap to americana into a choke today, but off side control. It works from there too, though I wasn't able to lock off the choke as he managed to defend the other side of his neck with his hand. Keeping the Terere triangle option when I have the arm wrapped would be good too, although that does mean I lose the position, so lower down the chain for me.