On Monday, side control escapes were the theme.
We had a medium sized class of mixed levels, and I ended up with a fairly new guy. He's still apologising for all sorts of things, but I'm working on him ;-). He made a real effort and listened to me when I helped him. Good to work with.
Starting in short base side control, the first escape began with a hip bump into his knee, so I could get my lower elbow past his hip and against my body. That was followed by a bridge to make the space to bring my arm out on his far hip. Now I had both arms on his far side, sort of like a forklift. Next move was another hard bridge and a slight twist towards him. It moved him up a bit and me out from under him, so that I could "see the light" on his far side. Holding on to his arm, I had to spin around towards his head, ending up face down while holding his upper arm. It was necessary to keep pressure on his shoulder, and we ended up with him turtled and myself nearly front on, with my arm still inserted under his. From here it was easy to go for a collar choke or a head arm choke.
Next scenario was if the top person switches out their legs before I could bump them forward and escape out their far side. Switched out, he is well based to the front, but has nothing at hisback, so could I sit up. I found I needed to raise my legs up, and then kick out or swing them back down, to get a pendulum effect. Also, I needed to brace out on one arm. But once I started, it was easy to tip him over all the way and end up with me in side control top.
Another option from that switchback scenario: if my arm (the one near his hips) didn't end up on his far side, and was in danger of getting attacked, I reached over his back and made a gable grip with the other hand. Then I walked into him, pinned him to me and swept him over. Very much like the headlock escape.
We played with this a little, changing from getting the arm through or not, and from the top person staying in side contol to going to switchback.
Lastly, we revisited a sidecontrol escape which John Will had taught us at a seminar last year. I didn't "get it" at the time, but this time, it made sense and I think it would work for me, excepting maybe with a really big guy. This one is useful where the top guy has his elbow against your head, and your top arm is trapped outside (you couldn't get your elbow wedged against his hip). Say he is positioned with his head on my left side. I had to reach over my head with my exposed right arm, and grab his gi near his left elbow. Then I had to bridge up and to my left, punching his elbow as far away from me as I could, while I roll onto my left side. As he pulled his arm back in, I needed to get my left arm under me so I could roll to my right and end up face down under him. The tricky part was to get my right arm around his right arm. But after the bridge, there was a lot of space to get my arm in. Ideally, I wanted my left arm between his legs, cupping his left thigh. Last step: looking left towards his feet, I got to my knees, and raising my butt, I rolled towards my right shoulder (that's why it was important to look to the left). As I became a "hill", he rolled off. As I rolled over, I still had hold of his right arm, and could attack it with several techniques, for example a figure four.
It really was great to revisit that escape. It's fairly technical, but you end up in a good attacking position, and it's not a sweep anyone expects.
We did a few minutes of wrestling, for which I had the same partner. I pulled guard to work on my attacks from guard. I still didn't feel my usual self, too stiff and too tired to do much, so when he made a good attempt at a guard pass, I didn't fight it too much. That was as much because I was tired as it was to let him work a bit :-). But I managed a couple of sweeps, one from half guard, one from guard. And he managed a textbook escape from side control like we had just drilled. So that was excellent and I didn't fail to tell him that.
For part of the night I scored the job of being demo grappling dummy. All in all a good evening, and those escapes certainly are pretty useful.