Two hour format, as is usual these days.
Actually the previous blog spot was inaccurate. This month, I have two
favorite techniques. Yes, it's true that the double attack from mount
(armbar, cross-choke) still my number one technique this month, however
it's also not the only one. I have just remembered the escape sequence
from knee on belly we have been shown.
The first one is actually the preferred one, since it's much more higher
percentage. From bottom knee on belly, the outside hand will stiff-arm
the belt at the knot, pretty much around the belly button. A discrete
shrimp away from the attacker combined with a strong push on the belt
will naturally lead into a technical stand-up. As an added bonus, the
free arm, the one close to the attacker's body, can actually grab the
ankle for a single-leg take-down. In case the person resists, or is
heavy, the option to simply pull the ankle inwards still exists.
Rolling was pretty good today. In fundamentals, I've successfully
protected using Saulo's sequence (squat down lower and lower,
cross-block your lapel while the free hand blocks incoming lapel
attacks. Pinch with your knee the attacker's hook at the knee and after
finding the space left between yourself and your attacker's knee with
the free elbow, kick that leg hard and put the elbow to the ground).
I've pretty much been unstoppable with this attack, and I personally
find it's way more effective than what I currently know, since the other
methods momentarily open up the neck for an overhook lapel grab, which
is mostly a game-over or a question of time. Grabbing one hook with the
hand is probably one of the worst moves I could make.
The second major improvement in my back game, came from at least
grabbing a double over-hook and gluing my chest to the victim's back.
Control is pretty darn good, and in the worst case, you will momentarily
lose one hook, but there's always time to put it back afterward, just as
long as the legs are locked in a half-guard-like manner.
Free sparring was a mixed bag, but overall a very nice display of
technique. I've personally found out I rely a lot on the butterfly
guard, which I don't really understand that well or have transitions
from, other than simply grabbing the half-guard. Note for next time :
transition to spider-guard instead, from which I have quite a bit more
moves. The good news is that while in half-guard, I am careful enough to
block the pesky cross-face and either transition closed guard right away
or to z-guard, then full guard. While in full guard, I threaten quite
often with either a high guard or a sweep. My biggest complaint about
closed guard at the time comes from when opponents stiff-arm at the
stomach level and go for the single underhook pass. Played both the top
and bottom position in sparring, with different partners. From side
mount, isolate one hand by stepping the knee over. Actually while on the
bottom, I've had the common sense to protect against the person stepping
the knee over my head. How did I get in that crappy position ? The
person forced a knee slide pass a bit too much as compared to what I was
expecting (my usual training partners are maybe lazier), and I got stuck
in a very shallow half-guard. While squirming away, it was only a
question of time until I tried to transition to the turtle position, but
the person saw it coming and flattened me into side control. I've tried
bridging, but his control was superb, transitioning to kesa-gatame and
not letting me put my elbow to the ground at all. Tried to off-balance
him a few times, but his control was damn good. I didn't let him have
the mount, and he knew it would be a dead-end, since I was awake. So he
tried the so-called step-over side control, which he failed to complete
for lack of time.
The other sparring sessions were not as memorable, except the last one.
The person let me attack, and I quickly transitioned to top half-guard.
After quite a bit of fighting, I got side control. The mount preparation
was pretty hard, since the person was grabbing the step-over leg just
before I would transition. Played his game a bit, until I finally got mount.
Played another round against a dangerous bottom deep-half player. He
tried quite a bit of sweeps, but his setup was crappy, so I generally
transitioned to half, which opened the whole game of who gets the
underhook. It was a good call of closing my half-guard (by locking my
legs together), since that stopped quite a few of his sweep attempts and
let me work for that underhook-cross face combo. Passed to his side
about twice from half.
The other memorable technique of the day was Ippon-seoi-Nage. The
professor showed it as a two-step process, similar to a hip throw.
Recalling what the black-belt Judo person said, the two most important
things of the throw are the initial off-balancing, right after freeing
the attacking arm, combined with a darned good pinch of the person's
armpit by using your forearm and arm. Once the arm is locked, it's just
a question of time.