Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mount For Success

This is post 3 in a 6-part series.

For self defense, simplicity is key. You cannot afford to find yourself in a fight and have too many options going through your head. You must be able to react immediately. So that said, this series will attempt to give you a breakdown of what movements you should drill until they are automatic.

Naturally, different people will have different opinions, so the techniques suggested will be drawn from those most often used with success in MMA. Additionally, there are more options from each position than could ever be presented in a single blog post, so major alternatives will be presented in a list immediately following the highlighted techniques.

Also, note that the strategy presented will be from the point of view of a jiu-jitsu fighter. A striking oriented fighter might use the major alternatives presented here as their go-to moves, while using the grappling philosophy as their backup plans. This does not indicate one style as being superior to another. Rather, it is indicative of different fighting strategies, both of which are proven and tested to be effective.

Part 3 - the Mount

Fighting from the Mount is crucial. Once you get here, the fight should pretty much be over. The Mount is the most advantageous position in a fight (except, perhaps, the Back). Two common Mount variations you need to know are high mount and low mount.

Now on to offense from the Mount -

From the Mount, your primary offensive option in a self defense situation is to punch your opponent.

Remember the training maxim - punches in bunches.

Vary the angles of your punches to circumnavigate the opponent's defenses. Also throw in some elbow strikes - smashing across and 12-to-6 - and hammer fist strikes for variety. To be fair, hammer fists and elbows can be more powerful than punches.

Remember another training maxim - don't swing for the fence every time.

When striking, deliver strikes at 40% - 60% power and 80% speed. This way, if you miss or the strike is blocked, you can recover and not leave yourself open to counter attack.

Strikes set up submissions.

When you strike your opponent from Mount, he will do one of three things. Please note the three most common reactions, and what they set up for you to use:
* Cover his face/head in defense with his arms. - Use Americana arm lock  ude garami
* Push you away with his hands. - Use straight arm lock   juji gatame
* Roll to avoid being hit. - Take the modified Mount or Back, depending on what he gives up.

The Americana arm lock - ude garami.

The author demonstrating the straight arm lock - juji gatame - in his pre-beard days. 

Modified Mount.

Escaping the Mount

Escaping the Mount is easy... and difficult. The movements are easy, and there are really only two types of escape - bridge & roll (sometimes called hip lift or upa) and shrimp escapes. It is hard because the Mount is a pretty stable place. And anyone who has trained much can keep the position with relatively little energy expenditure.

You need to have two or three bridge & roll escapes and two or three shrimp escapes in your tool box.

Note: some MMA fighters use a tactic to turn to their knees and stand to escape mount. I do not teach this or train this for a few reasons:
1. This is used in a circumstance where the opponent is the same size. Size match ups are not guaranteed for self defense.
2. MMA fighters use Vaseline on their bodies to prevent cuts. Furthermore, they are often coated in sweat. This makes things more slippery. Neither of these is a guarantee in self defense situations.
3. MMA fighters usually train a lot more than the typical martial artist. They specifically train for opponents. They also train well what to do in a multitude of bad spots. For this reason, you should not rely on a more high-risk escape.

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