After being off the mats for any proper type of training for two weeks, due to illness and travel, I was more than eager to get back to training. As hard as it was to stay away from training, I have to say that the complete rest did my body good. My forearm injury (which I got in April) has healed considerably. It’s still not back to 100%, but it has definitely improved. I know that I still have to be careful during training; the last thing I want is to hurt it again by accident and set my recovery time back even further. Waiting for my arm to heal has truly been testing my patience — I’ve managed this long. There’s no point getting reckless now!
This past week we focused on mount submission counters. Being under someone’s mount can feel very overwhelming. First of all, there’s the physical fact that there’s someone else basically sitting on top of you. It’s very easy to feel trapped and helpless. Wanting to learn how to escape from this position is one of the main reasons why I started learning jiu-jitsu in the first place.
Well, learning to escape is one thing. If, however, the person on top is trying to attack you – for example by trying to isolate one of your arms to apply a joint lock – the fear and stress of being under attack can paralyze you. Learning how to neutralize those attacks and defend yourself when in that vulnerable position was really informative. As with all techniques, now that I’ve learned several counters, I’ve got to focus on drilling them until they are natural reflexes.
One common attack by a person who is mounted on you is a collar choke. The good thing is, if you know you’re vulnerable, then you can use effective hand positioning and blocking to prevent the choke. In this photo, although my training partner already has one hand in my collar, I’m safe until her 2nd hand comes in. As a result, I’ve positioned my hands in a way to slow down and hopefully prevent the entry of her 2nd hand.
Armbars can be tough to defend against. You’ve got to be aware of when you’re at risk and time your defense perfectly. In this photo I’m blocking the entry of my partner’s arm to prevent him from hooking my arm and securing it for the joint lock.
One of my favorite jiu-jitsu concepts is that of learning how to move yourself around the attacker’s body instead of trying to move the attacker. If you use techniques that rely on strength, then they won’t be effective if you’re attacked by someone bigger/stronger. However, when you learn how to use correct timing and principles of leverage, you will be able to create small openings that you can use to your advantage to shrimp away from your attacker and avoid being submitted. In this photo, while my partner was trying to pin my arm down, I braced his body and pushed him in one direction while shrimping my body back in the opposite direction, thereby creating space for me to escape.