When I roll against guys who have more skill then me it seems like I have the advantage at the start. I even seem to be winning for a while. But then the tables turn and everything goes down hill. Soon after the down turn I’m tapping. At class last night I got to be on the other side of the equation. I was rolling with one of our white belts, who might be up for his blue belt soon. It didn’t start out so hot for me and I was mounted. I remained calm and kept working my escapes and things changed. He managed to keep the upper hand for what seemed like a long time. I kept working my escapes and transitions. In time I gained side control and then it went all down hill for him. I noticed he was exhausted. I realized I had expended less energy and had waited him out. As he tired he retired, you might say. With more energy and the upper hand I moved from cross body or side control to mount. I latched on to his legs with "grape vines" and based out to ride out what I thought would be a strong attempt at escape. It didn’t come. I quickly moved up and took position under his arm pits and began my attack. It didn’t take long before I got a choke in and he tapped. I felt like a fortress that had ridden out the siege. I got a good insight into how my technique has evolved. If my fortress or technique had been weak his relentless assault would have broken through. I didn’t go for the submission right off. I waited for the opening and then took it, while all the while saving up for it. I wish I had it all on video. I don’t think I’ve gleamed half of what I can from it. I’ll be pondering it for a good while.
So you are getting better at your sweeps and escapes and you are finding yourself gaining the mount position more and more often. But you can’t seem to stay on. Your opponent bumps you right off. Here are some secrets to keeping that position long enough to make the submission.
- Get up under the arm pits. Don’t sit up back on the guys hips. You are sitting on his most powerful lever. Move up by lifting his elbows and sliding your legs under.
- Lower your point of gravity. Don’t sit straight up like you are a cowboy in the saddle. You want your weight to help hold the person in place. Use your free arms for base.
- Lock your legs. Some people call this “grapevines”. It involves getting hooks around your opponents legs. Usually this also has you with your arms out forming the base. If you can’t hook the legs, another option is crossing your legs under the buttock. This gives you more stability.
- Let the storm pass. When you first get someone in mount they are going to upa and try to escape. No one wants to be in mount. It makes them panic. They will throw everything they have at you to get out. But in time they will tire and the storm will pass. If you ride it out before attempting a submission you will have had some time to rest. Now that they are wore down it is time to look for a submission.
- Keep your dominance while looking for the submission. You opponent my be tired now, frustrated, or even ready to give up but don’t sacrifice your base for the submission. You can still keep yourself forward under the arm pits and your legs locked. You could even switch to a forward side mount that gives you more room to look for that coke or arm bar. Just don’t fool yourself thinking that you can easily cherry pick a submission now. Maintain your base while looking for the submission.