We worked from half-guard today and my instructor was going over mechanics used to control your opponent while on top; the two techniques that stood out to me the most are shoulder pressure and the underhook (more on the underhook in another post.)
Maintaining shoulder pressure is TOUGH, because I can feel my opponent begin to squeak over to their hips, coming off of their back and alleviating that pressure I’m so jealously trying to maintain. A few times today, my training partners would get their hips out because I wasn’t maintaining proper shoulder control; then we’d get back to guard, or they’d take my back and we’d have to start over. I was watching a video over at Jiu-Jitsu Brotherhood and the instructor was talking about the two major points to control: the shoulders and the hips. You miss one of those and the entire plan will fall apart.
One of the things I found that works for me is to keep my hips low, activating my toes, even when trying to finagle my trapped leg to gain mount. This requires more stretching, though; it kills my hip flexors.
After a couple of rounds, I began to get this pattern more in play and had better results. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I wrestled a little in high school; pressure there is chest-to-chest based (from what I remember) and this shoulder pressure in the jawline is a lot different. I can only hope it’s coming along though.
Also, I had the privilege of rolling with Kellan, a purple belt today, and he methodically DESTROYED me by maintaining shoulder pressure, blocking out my underhook and using perfect control. His pace was methodical – it was like watching my very own train-wreck in slow motion. I wouldn’t change it though – if I want to get better, I need to train with people better than me, all of the time. I need to plug those holes and internalize the external. So, I’ll let you know how my shoulder pressure is coming along.