Wednesday was my second session in October, where attacking in the mount is my focus. Here are some more lessons I’ve learned.
For lessons 1-2 click here
Lesson #3- 100% of the shots that you don’t take, won’t go in
I’ve quickly realised that I’m not willing to pull the trigger on submissions. For example, I got into mount and worked into a deep cross collar grip on my opponent. From there, I reached over to grab a palm-down grip on the other shoulder to put on the choke. However, I only went towards the shoulder at 30% pace. I was thinking, “Surely, he’s going to stop this”. Sure enough, he did. Would he have stopped it if I’d gone at full pace, with full determination? I don’t know. But I do know that he was able to easily stop the 30% attempt. I didn’t actually take the shot.
He brought an arm up to defend, so I grabbed the elbow, pushed it across into the underhook, moved my legs halfway into place and thought, “Surely, he’s going to stop this”. So, what happened? Well, my prophecy came true. He stopped it. Would he have stopped it if I’d gone at it 100%? I don’t know. I didn’t take the shot.
So, can a shot that’s never taken hit a target?
The answer is, no. It can’t. Because it never left the gun.
This links into lesson 4
Lesson #4- Don’t be scared to jump… especially when you know how to land
I rolled with my coach last night. He let me pass his guard (he rewards proper technique. If you try to muscle through a pass he’ll shut you down and sweep you. If you use proper technique he’ll allow it, even though he knows full well how to stop it. It’s quite nice of him, really). I get into side control, switch base to face his legs, and pull his far knee towards me so that I can switch to mount.
Then I just froze. I sat there looking at his legs.
After a few seconds he says, “So… are you going to go to mount, or what?”
I froze because I was thinking, “He’s setting me up for something. He’s going to put me right back into guard if I try to go to mount”. But, let me think about it for a minute. I’m in side control without an underhook, and not a ton of control over the bigger, stronger, more technical, more experienced opponent. Would I actually rather stay there than attempt a switch to mount and maybe get caught in half-guard (which I have always been confident in passing)?
Risk vs Reward
If I stay in side control until I know I can get mount (when would I know that anyway?).
Risk = losing side control and ending up in full guard. Being swept would probably be the worst case scenario. Considering I’m pretty comfortable on the bottom, and confident in being able to sweep, I’d say this ins’t a huge risk. But, just staying there till mount presents itself would give me:
Reward = absolutely nothing, since I didn’t have a controlling side control anyway. I’m not attacking from there, so there’s no insentive.
Now, what if I’d just taken the chance and attempted mount?
Risk = getting caught in half-guard on the way through. I’ve always been confident in my ability to pass the half-guard. Esspecially if I get caught coming through from side control because I tend to be able to gain some kind of head/shoulder control in transition.
Reward = mount…
Risk vs Reward points (overwhelmingly) to attempting mount instead of just sitting there.
Finally, I’m comfortable on the bottom because of my last two months of work (escapes in August and guard in September). So, attacking on the top shouldn’t worry me at all. I should be attacking liberally when I’m up there.
My fear of jumping into transition and submission isn’t rational.
And that is the glory of being able to fight off your back. It frees your top game up to be fast, flowing, and attacking.
So, I will be doing a lot more of that for the rest of the month.