2/29/16 - Passing Curu Curu Guard (vatiation), dealing with speed, and focusing on Closed Guard.
2/29/16 - Gi
Passing Curu Curu Guard
One of the guys I've been training with has been using a variation of Curu Curu Guard. I had him place me in standard CC guard, and that was pretty easy to figure out how to pass, but I had him put me in progressively more difficult variations of the guard that he uses, and each one was harder to deal with than the last. The final phase involves him stomping one of my legs out so I can't keep my weight on him, and gripping that same pant leg right at the bottom cuff so I can't step free. This position was incredibly hard to deal with and if he was able to get here, the sweep was nearly guaranteed. The trick to defeating this is the good ol' "don't let them get that far" technique. If you let them get that deep, it's going to be one hell of afight to get out. So the lesson from that (which is overarching and applies to all aspects of BJJ) is to defend the first step of the technique so you don't need to worry about defending the last step. On the flip side, I should look into developing this guard for my own game. It's quite good. Also, I want to play around with pant leg / cuff gripping and see what that gets me.
Dealing with Speed
While open rolling with this same training partner, he was able to pass my guard once, and his greatest ally in that was his speed. It was in a transition if I remember correctly. I believe he had just executed a sweep and as I was about to establish my open guard, he used the torreando flash and was around my guard before I had a chance to defend the pass. From there, as I was trying to push off to shrimp, he was even able to jump into armbar position. It's rare that I find myself in this position with most people so I'm glad that my hitchhike escape was on point. It was also good that I was forced into a position where I had to work a defense as I have to make sure my defense is still sharp from time to time. But anyway, once again, that was attributed to speed. This helped me remember the importance of strategy. If I grapple in an absolute division and get paired up with someone smaller than me, I need to assume they will be faster. In order to beat a faster opponent, I have to keep things tight. I have to close every gap and stay in contact with my opponent the entire time preferable with a degree of control over him. conversely, if I roll with a larger, stronger opponent, I have to be sure to try to keep distance so that I can use my smaller stature and quickness to my advantage. If you are grappling somebody bigger and stronger than you, it can be difficult to make progress once they get control of you and stifle what would arguably be your biggest asset.
Focusing on Closed Guard
One of my other training partners as of late has bee focusing on his basic closed guard passes. As a result, I have been spending a lot of time working from closed guard with him trying to break and pass it. As his closed guard passes get better, my closed guard has to get better in order to keep him from making short work of my guard. He has been working his Single underhook stack pass. I found that the easiest way to prevent this pass (and really any pass) is to just control the sleeves. Then obviously this could easily lead into opening the guard and transitioning to spider guard; however, I want to keep working on options from closed guard. From closed guard, my training partner has been doing a great job at keeping his posture and keeping his elbows in, and this causes a stalemate sometimes for over a minuteat a time before there is a change of position. I need to find a quicker, more efficient way of sweeping and submitting from my closed guard: some higher percentage options aside from the usuals that have been working for me for the past couple years which all of my training partners are getting savvy too. Maybe I should just focus on engaging my legs more: push, pull; right,left; up, down, which after a while I believe would severely compromise their base and put them on the defensive.