Tonight’s session was completely focused on top position submission fighting. I was especially keen to focus on transitioning. Like all ranges of fighting, some of the greatest mistakes are made when a fighter moves or changes position. This is a consistently dangerous phase, no matter who is fighting. A good coach should reinforce good time management. All too often a fighter will think about getting to another position without considering what needs to be done in order to get there. As discussed in the penultimate part of my recent submission fighting cross training course, an untrained person typically forgets about any offensive or defensive tactics when he is scrambling to get back to his feet, frequently leaving himself wide open to a standing person’s attacks. The same can be said with all other ranges. When it comes to symmetrical ground-fighting, many a strong fight game has been lost or position reversed when the person fighting from the top fails to move correctly.
We transitioned through side controls, scarf-holds, north-south, knee pins, reverse scarf-holds and the mounted position, covering openings for submissions. The top fighter looked to constantly keep his base low and not to give any gaps away or leave trailing limbs to be captured by the fighter underneath. We repeated individual transitions in short repetitions to ensure retaining good habits. Then the fighter drilled examples of submissions he could use from each position. Finally he linked the transitions together to move all around the body and through the various top positions. Next progressive pressure was added to test for any mistakes.