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2/17/16 - Passing Spider Guard, triangle escapes, and keeping my base

Wednesday - 2/17/16 - dealing with spider guard, triangle escapes, and finding my balance

Spider Guard Passes

So today, I trained with a small group of guys for an early morning training session, and for this training section, the first half of it is dedicated to drilling. Pick a technique or a position or whatever, and drill it. I chose to drill some different ways to deal with, break, and pass the spider guard because, in my opinion, that is one of the most difficult guards to deal with (along with De La Riva. I would say those 2 are head and shoulders above the rest in terms of difficulty from the passer's perspective)

I worked 2 different passes from spider guard (1 spider hook and 1 leg lass) and both proved to be effective when I tested them out in live rolling. Here's the first technique I was working that I really liked.

From spider guard (my left arm is spider hooked and my right arm is lasso'd). I squatted down and used my left knee against the back of the ankle to release the spider hook from my left bicep. I circled my left hand underneath my opponent's leg and gripped the back of his ankle using a "C-cup" grip (Thumb on the inside of his ankle and 4 fingers on the outside). I would used this grip to elevate his leg and I would cross it over his body and plant his foot on the ground on the opposite side of his body near his left hip. Now he only has the leg lass in place and it's loose. while pinning his left foot to the mat with my left hand, I plant my right knee on top of his left hand (which is gripping my right sleeve for the spider grip) and I pull my right arm away in order to free myself from the leg lasso. This gives me the pass. *Note* if after I break his grips, he keeps his right grip on my left sleeve for a sleeve push pass, I can slide up his body, circle my left hand to the left to get an angle on his arm to grab his wrist with my left hand, and then use my right arm to snake through his arm and grab a kimura grip. This pass proved effective.

The 2nd technique would be harder to put into words, so I won't even try. I enjoyed drilling these and think that if I get back into doing research to work on my specific trouble positions, it'll really help my game. Speaking of that, I should work on some DLR passes...

Triangle Escapes

While training today, I did many rounds starting from inside my opponent's spider guard in an effort to use the techniques I was drilling and to learn to deal with that particular guard. I had pretty good success, but one of the time, I got caught in a triangle. I used my knee in his butt to keep him from being able to lock it in deep, and after enough struggling, I was finally able to slip my head out (nearly at the cost of an ear) and pass the guard; however, this once again reminded me of a gaping chasm I have in my game. I need to learn better triangle escapes and drill the hell out of them. I lost on an advantage due to being unable to escape from a triangle for 6 and a half minutes at the Pan Ams lastyear. I don't get caught in triangles all that often, but then I do, I have a hell of a time slipping out of them. I have good defense (I don't get submitted often), but my escapes are shite! I may drill triangle escapes with my DLR passes to close up that hole.

Keeping my base

One of my training partners that morning has his focus in drilling sweeps from sit-up guard (shin guard / Koala Guard, pick a name). Now, I had some pretty good answers for this but they were mostly ad-libbed (just reaction based on what felt right). However, I did get swept once from this position. He caused me to fall to my hands on almost every occasion though. This is a horrible spot to be in (on top with all 4 appendages on the mat), and I would have to imagine that a better/larger grappler would've capitalized on such a situation. I have to make it a point that when someone sits up and tried to play underneath me that I glue my feet to the groud, bend my knees, and really focus on establishing my base prior to trying to move. When I tried to move right away, this made it easy for me to be knocked off balance. I also need to find some answers for this position when guys either sit up and grab my legs or when they start to go underneath me and play different variations of Xguard. It looks like I've got a lot of stuff to work on.

That morning training session was fantastic for focusing on certain positions and honing in on my weaknesses. I would like to make this a regular part of my training schedule.
So I want to keep working my Spider guard passes (and start on some DLR passes), work on Koala Guard passes, and work on my triangle escapes.