Closing up Side Control, Stack Escape & Specific Sparring (diary entry)



Tuesday night’s first lesson brought my client up to the eighth hour of his Submission Grappling/Ground-Fighting course. My client was interested in a closer examination of his performance via sparring. We ended up focusing on aspects of attacking from the top and defending against stacking in the guard.

The lesson began with an overview of the various ground-fighting callisthenics before going straight into 4 x 2 minute rounds of sparring. This is unusually short for submission grappling which usually consists of a minimum of five minute rounds. However, my interest here was on focusing on certain areas which we would then be able to go over in our subsequent training. The first two rounds were attack and escape from pins and the last two rounds concerned passing and fighting from the guard position.

My client was concerned about not keeping an effective side control. I went over some finer points regarding keeping gaps closed, including stopping the elbow wedge. We covered distribution of weight whilst pushing the hips forward so as not to make the other mistake of becoming prone to a reversal. From here we covered isolating the far arm and various ways to set it up as well as other techniques. This included the Americana to Kimura and even arm-barring the nearside arm as a counter to the opponent’s counter. We went over the arm-triangle and snake choke as alternative actions. I also introduced a short arm-bar to the far side arm using a head and neck trap. From guard we covered working to keep one hips back under an opponent’s when being stacked in order to get a hook guard position or similar. We also looked at a final last ditch counter move of backward rolling into a shoot.

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