Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Open Mat, Bristol, UK - 18/10/2015
After a lovely mini-break (involving art, my alma mater and an awesome afternoon tea), it was back to the mats today for some drilling and sparring. I wasn't the only one to return: it was great to see Kirsty back on the mats, gradually recovering from a neck injury unrelated to BJJ. She's one of my favourite training partners, so if she's on the mats, that's good for my BJJ. :)
Sam wanted to practice his guard retention, so we practiced from open guard. I find myself getting caught on the knee, as I'm insisting too much on the knee cut rather than switching (same problem Chris had, incidentally). I briefly went for the staple pass, but didn't commit enough. Also not sure if I'm blocking enough with my elbow as I come through, to avoid that knee coming into play. I'll need to do some more drilling and sparring with that on Sam, as he makes good use of his knee. Perfect chance to get better at the pass.
On the bottom, I was repeatedly going for the ankle pick sweep, but not finishing properly. I'm possibly too sideways. I did move into a single leg a few times, which I guess is a plus, but my takedowns are totally rubbish so that didn't go anywhere (well, Sam judoed me with a sacrifice throw, so I guess that happened :P).
I also had a chance to drill my mount attack strategy. My focus in mount for the last couple of years has been improving collar chokes, as I feel relatively confident about holding mount on somebody not too much bigger than me. That single arm choke has been a great addition, as it requires much less of a set up than the collar choke I was using before (Verhoeven's variation is good, but the Saulo version only needs one grip and a bit of leaning, pretty much). The trouble is turning the head enough to get that leaning pressure.
Then again, it leads directly into an armbar opportunity, meaning the attack sequence flows well. If I can't get the armbar, I can either recover mount, go to technical mount or try and take the back. Sam's defence was trying to scoop under my armpit-curling leg in s-mount, as I go to set up the armbar. That leads into either technical mount, if he's got under, a back take if he's really under and I'm losing position, or simply returning to mount if he doesn't have much purchase on the leg. I can then just restart the sequence.
Gift wrap helps too, often available due to backstopping his elbow for the armbar. That should be more than enough to play with for the rest of mount month. I'm continuing to avoid grips as my fingers are feeling the strain, which is another advantage of the less grippy single arm choke. Perhaps that will be less of a problem in future, as I'm (finally) starting kettlebells at David and Natalia's club this week, or maybe it will be worse. But meh, about time I did some s&c for injury prevention, as I can fit it in on Tuesdays now. :)