This morning we brought the CCMA basic course on submission grappling/groundwork up to the seven and a half hour point. We focused entirely on submissions from the closed guard. After sport-specific calisthenics for groundwork, we revised the conventional arm-bar and leg triangle choke from guard.
An area I am very keen to express in training is the fluid linking of movements with minimal delay. This seems obvious, but often I find what gets lost in learning is the ability to overlap. I recall this being a big part of Peter Consterdine’s training and also a lot of what I learnt in Muay Thai. However, it rings to true in grappling. One rule I recall constantly being expressed to me during my six years or so with Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was to minimize gaps when setting up submissions. Even the smallest gaps can ruin a strong submission attempt and are often readily exploited by a defender. Therefore, we concentrated a lot on the way the fighter would transition from one move to the next. For example, when executing the leg triangle choke from the guard there is a crucial opening moment when one of the fighter’s legs moves from a high closed guard position to tightly encircle one side of an opponent’s neck. This is coordinated with pushing one of the opponent’s arms back. I was often taught to push and pull an opponent’s arms to in order to facilitate this action. This tactic effectively breaks the opponent’s posture momentarily and the pulling action with one arm can work as a short distraction against the pushing action with the other arm.
To round up the trio of leg submissions from the closed guard, we covered the oma plata shoulder lock. This is a submission that involves the same triangle position used for the choke on the shoulder, resulting in a leg version of the kimura-lock.
We then sparred for two five minute rounds of guard-passing. These were done at 60% intensity, which provides the fighter with just enough pressure to test his techniques in a way that will be productive.
Looking at solo exercises, we focused a lot on getting the right balance point for all these leg submissions from guard. Technique specific hip-ups are great for triangles and arm-bars, and dragon flags are one of the best core developers for these techniques, engaging and activating all the right muscle groups in the right way. We also looked at some good stretches that address hip flexibility for these specific techniques.