Happiness is... being back to normal BJJ classes. What bliss!
We had a very large class last night and it was great to see everyone again after the holidays.
The weather was warm and very humid after it rained most of the day. So, back in gi for the first time in about five weeks, we were all suffering a little bit. The mats were covered in small wet patches at the end of the night :-)
We paired up and did hip escapes. Our partner's job was to push forward and our job was to stiff arm his shoulder to keep distance, and hip escape away. After some laps of this, we turned this into an attack. As he pushes forward, I do a little escape, then I go for an underhook with the arm that has been used as a frame. I cup his shoulder from behind and pushing down on it, pull my leg out from between his to come to my knees. Finally, this became a half guard escape. My outside leg is over his trapped leg, and I use my shin against his thigh for control as I push down on his shoulder and get my other leg out.
At that point in time, I have a choice, either I can duck under his arm and take his back or I can attack his arm. The control is very good as I can exert a lot of pressure on his shoulder and I restrict his movement by having my shin on his thigh. It is not hard to just push into him and flatten him out, giving me side control or even mount.
We tried one more adjustment. Using the outside foot near his ankle, we wing out his lower leg to his outside. This turns his foot away from him and his knee towards his other knee. Now add the shin on the thigh and the underhook to get the shoulder to the floor, and you nearly have a submission. But certainly, it gives much more control over our opponent's body. With his near leg locked up in this fashion, it's impossible for him to try and push back into us, but I still have the option of going for side control, mount or back control.
After that, we wrestled. I worked with a small white belt first. We played for a bit with grips, trying to get the hang of sleeves and collars again. I made a point of going for open guard, managed a nice sweep. He is small, fast and aggressive (in a non-spazzy way), and fun to wrestle with. At one point he threatened me with a triangle/armbar when I did a standing guardpass (which was a bit sloppy...), but a shin on his forearm and small adjustments saw that I passed his guard. As I still had his arm pinned, I went for a kimura from north/south. Second round we didn't finish because we all had to swap partners.
This time around I had one of the very new white belts. He is a lot heavier than I. Again, I worked on open guard, but also on guard transitions. I let him work a fair bit and concentrated on using my hooks and doing sweeps. I talked him through some stuff, and tried to get him to start using his feet, by showing him how to push and pull with hooks, push with feet and shins. Also, after a scramble, to come back pushing in to flatten me. I know I'll regret that later ;-)
I had a really great time, and it was fun to grapple in the gi again, even though I had sweat rolling off me. I sure wasn't gassed or tired (I've adapted to 2+ hours of far harder training..), but the high humidity ensured I was sodden. We all were. But happy face all around!