My last training session didn’t actually bring with it any specific lessons. Mostly, I just found that I was still making the same mistakes, although slightly less. It’s progress, but I won’t be fully satisfied until I’m not making those mistakes at all.
In today’s blog I would simply like to make an observation, or two.
My focus is attacking from the mount position during sparring. I’ll lay out my current game plan and make note of the things that I find interesting.
From Head to Head the Arm Drag is what I’m looking for from standing/kneeling starts. From standing I would likely look for a single leg as my second option. From kneeling I usually look to (1) Arm Drag, (2) Pull Guard, or (3) Collar/Neck Drag. This is where those usually lead to:
Arm Drag to Back/Turtle Top/Guard Top
Pull Guard to Guard/Half Guard
Collar/Neck Drag to Turtle Top/Back
From Guard Top I look to pass the guard (obviously).
From Turtle Top I look to pull over and attack the Back.
From the Back I look to scoot around to Mount.
From Closed Guard I look to sweep into Mount (Scissors Sweep, Hip Bump Sweep), or scoot around onto the Back.
From Open Guard I look to sweep (Hooks Sweep, X Guard Sweep). Usually I end up either in Side Control or Guard Top.
From Half Guard I have been looking to get deep and scoot out the back door to the Back.
From Side Control I either look to switch base and Mount or transition to North/South.
From North/South I look to take the Back, or go to the other side into Side Control.
Now, that all looks pretty simple and straight forward. Here’s what I’ve observed from this game plan.
I have developed a Guard to Mount game.
I would say that I’m in one or the other 80% of the time, if not more. I believe a lot of this has to do with the previous month I spent working in Guard. It didn’t make me some amazing guard player, but it did get me very comfortable there. It also made me confident in my ability to get back to top once I am in guard. The previous month was spent on escapes, so I’m still rather confident getting out of trouble once I’m there.
When I do get to Mount I am not worried about getting rolled back into Guard. So, if I get a deep collar grip and have to give up the upa in order to get the other grip in, I’m happy to do that, and finish it from Guard. I’m comfortable and confident there.
In fact, in my last four sessions I have only finished once in Mount. All my other taps have come from a setup in Mount and a finish in Guard. Triangles, Armbars, Guillotines, and Cross Collar Chokes. All are set up in the Mount position initially. In order to lock them in I have been allowing the opponent to roll over into Guard. If they’re turning me, they’re not protecting their necks or arms.
If I don’t get the finish I let go and look to sweep back to Mount, or climb around to the Back.
Back to Mount. Mount attack. Finish in Guard OR restart.
This was not expected, but it has become welcome. It’s part of learning to embrace my natural game.