Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 25/09/2015
When I trained with Jeff Rockwell several years ago in Texas, he was working on side control escapes. This year, all that work has coalesced into an excellent instructional, The Sit Up Escape System, which Rockwell published online through Artechoke Media. It fits in perfectly with the stiff arm material I've been practicing from open guard for the last two years, as well as what I've been moving towards in my side control escapes. Tonight I wanted to test the comprehensibility of the initial escape Rockwell shows, after spending the whole month practicing it myself.
For this initial look, the scenario is that they are just in the process of passing your legs. Set up your frames before they get fully around, arms up at right angles with your elbows in tight to your sides. One arm blocks the side of their neck, the other presses into the crook of their elbow. Make sure you are blocking with your forearm near the wrist, rather than your hand. A hand will bend, a forearm won't (unless you're sparring the Hulk, in which case you have bigger problems!). Fold your elbow-crook hand over the back of their arm, gripping their shoulder blade with your neck-hand.
Lever up their chin with your neck-arm to create some space. Sit-up into that space, quickly sliding your crook-arm to their collar bone, bringing your other elbow behind you for base. As soon as possible, sit up high, moving from your elbow to your hand. Your crook-arm should still be in the same configuration, almost at a right angle pressing into their collar bone. It's the same concept as with Ryan Hall's Defensive Guard, using your skeletal structure as a defensive barrier. Hook their leg with your foot, then pushing off your feet and basing hand, square back up to them and establish open guard.
Teaching Notes: Two main points from this first outing of the technique are emphasising keeping elbows in and the angle of the arm. People were tending to try it with their arms bent too far backwards, meaning their frame was already partially collapsed.