Monday night we worked on back control.
There were some fairly new guys in the class, so we started with the basics of back control: the seat belt grip and the hooks. Then everyone had a go at keeping back control when their partner started rolling around a bit.
Next thing covered were the two most common chokes form the back, the rear choke and the collar choke. Not from the point of view of applying the choke, but from the point of view of defending it and escaping back control. With a grip on the collar, we drilled escaping from back control. First, grab the choking arm with both hands, then fall to the side where he has our collar (or if you like: to the side where his choking hand points) so we can get our shoulder to the floor. Now we kick our bottom leg straight to dislodge his hook on that side and put weight on his bottom leg. Next step is to use our bottom hand and grab the pant leg on his top let. This is to ensure he can't come over the top and go to mount. Now it's a case of turning into him and we are in his guard.
I've used this escape plenty of times. Yet I didn't know about the hand to block his top leg. Which probably explains why more often than not, I ended up in mount as I scrambled to try and turn and end up in guard. So, a valuable lesson for me. Did I mention before that I pick up something every time we revisit 'basic' techniques??
We also looked at why it's unwise to cross feet when we have back control. It was just my luck that I happened to be the demo dummy for that part of the evening's proceedings. Ouch.
After that, we had a few rounds of rolling starting in back control. We were allowed hooks in, but hands only on shoulders. Just so our partners had a chance :-)
In my first roll, I started on someone's back. Ha, I snaked my right arm around his neck so fast it was scary, choke, bang! That elicited a giggle from the instructor who was walking past. I'm sure it will just make him say I'm mean ;-) After that, there were several other rolls. I was annihilated by a blue belt. He started on my back, and somehow I ended up in a scarf hold. From there, he pulled off his favourite, the armchair (I think that is what it is called). That is nasty. Do not like.
Then I ended up with a brandspanking new white belt. Big guy. On my back... I escaped but as I turned into him, I made the mistake of not blocking the top leg and he ended up in mount. I escaped that and got guard. He strained and pushed and tried to stack me, all the while attempting a figure four. That didn't work of course and when I tried to collar choke him, he started to grab my collar. If he had been my size, I would have just laughed, but a big boy like that, using all his strength is a different matter. So I went for feet on hips to keep him away. Somehow he realised I had gone to open guard and he grabbed my ankle and shoved it over, landing in side control. I didn't feel dreadfully threatened, but he was heavy. He smiled and told me it's good to be big and heavy. I nodded sagely (how could I argue?) and started escaping :-) . Some place in that roll I also ended up turtled and once I was in mount, but he just tossed me off...
Still, it is good to be reminded what new guys do. I'm pleased to say that while the big new guys still give me loads of trouble, they no longer freak me out. If they do muscle a submission it means I was careless and I need to work on that. But mostly, they get nothing, and I use the opportunity to hone my escapes and my open guard techniques.
Last couple of rolls were fun. Someone more my size. Less experienced, but explosive and squirmy. I caught him in a cross lapel choke from guard. Don't know how I got there. Next round was lively, but time was called. Great fun and we had a good laugh, too.