This is a bit of a no-brainer but I regularly get caught out. When trying to escape from a side control that feels like you are under a grand piano, it’s easy to forget that you shrimp your bum away from your opponent so that you are always facing them.
This sounds obvious but when rolling but I think it’s helpful to use your opponents weight placement to your advantage. The theory being that a dummy shrimp to push your bum towards them (snigger) followed by a shrimp in the other direction will be enough to remove some of the weight and possibly create enough space to shrimp out in the correct direction.
The problem here is that if the space created in the wrong direction is enough to get out then there is the temptation to continue. You will end up offering the gift of back control to your opponent. A roll and some hooks in, the next thing you know is that you are getting choked.
On the point of choking, I got a nasty injury last lesson when rolling with a blue belt. I was on the bottom, as always, and I felt the outside of a forearm bearing down on my windpipe. The buzzer went before I had a chance to tap but by that point, the damage had been done. I felt a lump in my throat (Boohoo) and found it difficult to swallow. My Doctor said it’s just a bruised Thyroid gland. “Just a…”. I suppose I must accept that injuries are common. I think having an injury every week is a bit excessive. Well, that’s just BJJ.