Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 23/11/2015
Tonight I wanted to go through a couple more tips on maintaining the back, focused on what to do if you lose your hooks. If you have lost one hook, you can retake the back like I taught earlier, which I re-emphasised again during the warm-up drills. Should it be that you have one hook in but can't establish the other, then Marcelo Garcia's 'hip extension' comes in useful.
When they are blocking your second hook, cross your free foot over your hooking foot. At first that might seem counter-intuitive, because crossing your feet on the back normally puts you at risk of a foot lock. However, if you only have one hook and cross your feet, they can't properly apply pressure against your ankle. Making sure you are aligned with the bottom of their spin, you can then thrust your hips forwards into them and pull back with your seat belt grip.
The result should be that your partner is bent around and stretched out, so that they can no longer connect their knee and elbow to block your foot. That's your chance to quickly insert your second hook, before they can recover their defensive position. When doing the hip extension, don't forget to keep control of their lower leg with your first hook. Otherwise they can just pop over and escape.
If you lose both hooks, as long as you maintain your seat belt you're still in control. Staying low, walking your feet around, until you are belly down, your legs pointing out directly opposite to their legs so that your bodies are in line. Walk your knees towards them, which should push them into an upright sitting position. From there, bring your hook over, or you could step on their thigh if necessary. You can then retake the back.
If they manage to dislodge your first attempt, you can just keep doing that walk around. However, you need to have the seatbelt: this demonstrates why having that seatbelt grip is more important than having the hooks. It is much harder to re-establish your seat belt if they dislodge your arms.
Teaching Notes: I haven't had a clear split between my back maintenance lessons up until now, but this one felt like a potentially effective technique combination for the future. The hip thrust fits with the walk around, as both rely on having that seat belt grip in place. Next time, I'll emphasise that you should walk all the way around so your body is in line. Otherwise, you end up having to yank them a bit because you're more on their side (which can still work of course, but I think it's less efficient).
My neck is still unhappy, so I'm not sure it's going to be ready to resume normal training by the end of the week. I wasn't joining in sparring in order to give it more of a rest, which may have to be the case for the rest of this week too.