Artemis BJJ (MYGYM Bristol), Can Sönmez, Bristol, UK - 07/10/2016
From the low mount, your attacking options are limited. I've found the most reliable is the ezequiel choke, which has the advantage of being low risk and also opening up a route to high mount even if you don't get the choke. To begin, you need to get one arm under their head. Many people will just give you that space as they try to escape, but if not, you can press into their neck to get them to raise their head.
Once you have an arm under the head, you can progress to the next stage. To get the choke, you need to block off both sides of their neck. For the first side, you're going to use your gi. With the hand you have under their head, grab your free sleeve. Pull it tight to the nearest side of their neck. Remember that it is the sleeve that is applying that half of the choke, not your hand. You therefore need to pull that sleeve across and into their neck. You may need to grip the sleeve with less fingers to increase your range, so that you are pulling gi material into their neck.
Curl your free hand in past their chin, moving it across their neck. Keep reaching, until you can make a chopping motion down into the other side of their neck. Make sure you're pressing into the side of their neck, not the throat (although crushing the windpipe may still get a tap, it isn't as efficient). To finish, pull on the sleeve as you chop. If you need to increase your leverage, raise up slightly (some people will even put a foot by the head to really drive). However, be aware that giving them more space could lead to an escape.
Obviously it isn't going to be that easy in sparring. They're going to be blocking you with their hand, trying to buck you off, disrupting your attack any way they can. To avoid that, there are a couple of options. One is to slip your arm inside their defending arm, pushing your arm through, then driving your elbow to the mat. You can then slide that arm back to trap their arm to their side, clearing the way for your choke attempt. Alternatively, they may give you the opportunity by pushing on your knee.
Fill up the space by sticking your head right next to theirs. Use this as both a means of control and a barrier against their efforts to get a hand back inside. Stay low, then gradually slip in your second hand. Again, they may give you the opportunity by bridging. If they are staying really tight, use your head to push into their skull, aiming to get them to turn it away. When that space appears, follow your head with your hand, then slip through for the choke.
Teaching Notes: I think the ezequiel works well as a way to move into high mount, but focusing on it as a submission can be tricky. If somebody has a tight gi, then it's tough to get enough fabric on one side of the neck. That leads to uncomfortably twisted fingers and wrist. So, although I seem to say this every time I write up an ezequiel class (or the high and low mount classes), I think it needs to be combined with a maintenance lesson. The low mount class felt fairly good this month, adding in those no hand drills, as that helps bring home the importance of driving the hips through.
It's important in high mount too, but perhaps better to use the time to add in the ezequiel in the high mount class. That way I can spend less time on it, emphasising it's use as a way to go from low mount to high mount. That should also make the transition clearer. I have taught it that way before, but I think I felt there was too much previously. So next time, I can show the ezequiel as a way of getting to high mount, along with the pushing on the shoulders thing. In the drills, I need to make sure I include the side to side technical mount switch.
What I really want is a reliable way of getting into high mount and moving to an attack. What Chelsea and Tom were saying at the seminar (I'm writing this up a few days later, as usual) makes sense, pressing up in the elbows with your hips to expose the arms for attack. I could do a whole lesson on that too, come to think of it? Maybe that would be worth trying, moving into an armbar and back take across a couple of lessons?