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2/8/16 - Sleeve Drag to Back and amping up the conditioning, but technique is suffering

2/8/16 - Monday Morning Training (Gi)

Sleeve Drag to Back Control

While I normally post about certain revelations I have during training, this section of Today's entry is simply a reminder to keep working on the sleeve drag to the back. I was working on this technique a few weeks back when I decided to start working more of a traditional closed guard instead of all the fancy open guards that have developed. It's just another small step in my endeavors to refine and perfect the basics.

Using this technique a few weeks ago, I was having great success! In fact, My success rate with this technique was far greater than 50%, and it was working against good grapplers to boot! But then last week, I started focusing on passing the guard, so when I was on bottom, my thought was just "sweep them as quick as possible" and I reverted back to leg lasso's, De La Riva, and other forms of open guard and neglecting the closed guard. Today, I was going against a longer limbed training partner and decided to keep him in my closed guard because It's easier for me to control him here. While working the closed guard, I went back to the sleeve drag and it worked beautifully once again. I grabbed 2 on 1 (sleeve and elbow control), raised my hips, and as I dropped my hips, i dragged the sleeve across my body. One hand holds the sleeve and the other hand reaches around the back to grab the far side lapel using this grip to keep my chest tight to his body to keep him arm trapped across his body and the path to his back open. Then I slowly work my way toward the back (A la Roger Gracie). I have had a lot of success with this technique lately. Off of this technique, you can also hit a flower sweep or an armbar depending on what your opponent does, but this technique has been so successful for me that I hardly have to think about the other options. I need to remember to keep working on this, perfect it, and make it part of my "A" game. Keep working it!

Pushing the pace

So, I'm 8 weeks out from the Chicago Open on April 2nd and I need to start getting myself in competition shape again. I have once again amped up my training today; however, I notice that every time I do this, the sharpness of my technique suffers. My guard passes get sloppy, my guard work gets jerky, and my transitions just don't seem to flow very well. This always brings me back to the same internal debate. Do I continue to push the pace while trying to keep my technique as clean as possible so that my conditioning is as good as it can be, or do I remain relaxed, slow, and smooth to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of my technique? I've always prided myself on being a technician and ever searching for the "perfect" way to execute each technique. However, if I continue to do that, I have a slower pace. In the long run, this is obviously the wiser choice, but in thinking about the next 8 weeks, I always wonder if I'd be better served by focusing more on speed, explosiveness, and conditioning. When training for the Metamoris Challenger, I trained with a much higher speed and intensity and it seemed to serve me well. I have decided that on at least 3 of my training sessions each week will be reserved for hard, fast, intense rolls while my training with my students will have a heavier focus on Perfection. Stay tuned to remain up to date on the results, my findings, and how the principles can apply to your own game and development.