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3/28/16 - Closed guard failure, controling the feet, the importance of keeping good position, and being a "wet rug"

3/28/16 - Gi

Closed Guard Failures

In training today (and several days), it was my goal to attempt to use only basic techniques and limited speed as well. I started on the bottom and pulled my training partner, Andrew, into closed guard. From here, I was able to consistently break his posture. However, he did a great job at posturing back up. My goal was to break his posture, and as he was pushing off my chest to get his posture back, I wanted to snag one of the arms he was pushing with for an armbar. I believe that one my my biggest mistakes while doing this was focusing on trapping the arm instead of focusing on getting an angle.

Another thing I believe I could've done to make it harder for him to posture would've been to fish for underhooks. I was so focused on wrapping my arms around his head and shoulders, that I neglected to control the underhook or even an overhook for that matter. An overhook would've worked just as well I'm sure as it would force his hand to the mat making it so he can't push off my chest. So next time when I am trying to force my closed guard game, I should hunt to control the arms rather than just try to get him to push off me and hope I can snag an armbar on the way up. Gotta get those underhooks and overhooks!

In addition, I could use this well as a way to set up the hip bump sweep. After fighting for his posture for so long, it forced him to play in my guard while sitting far back. I nearly hit a couple hip bump sweeps doing this. I just need to figure out how to refine this combination so that I hit them successfully instead of merely nearly hitting it.

Controlling the Feet

I was swept a couple times today while rolling wit this same training partner. After analyzing my rolling after training, I think this can be chalked up to letting him get the control he needs. I get so focused on getting the grips I want, (knee grips, collar grips, etc.) but this forces me to play very close in his guard and puts me in range for him to control my sleeve and use his feet for advanced guards such as spider guard and DLR guard which are difficult to deal with. After all that time drilling passes to these guards, I'm still getting swept with them.

The remedy for this will be controlling the feet. If I play further back, he won't be able to control my sleeves or my collars right away. I can grab his toes and put his foot where I want it, where I'll be able to control it. I can pin it to the floor, pin it with my shin, or just push it away to keep him from being able to use it for any sort of hooks. Another option is to shove them both into his butt and forcing a butterfly guard where I can keep him flat which gives me the upper hand for the pass since his feet are controlled. I have to grab the toes and dictate where his feet are going to be before I engage deeper and try to force the pass. Take away his options!

The Importance of Keeping Good Position

While rolling with my partner today, I got caught in a nasty kind of armdrag position. I let my arm be moved across his body and he clamped down and reached around and grabbed the back of my gi trapping my arm across his body. Obviously from here my back is exposed, I'm endanger of being armbarred, and all sorts of nasty stuff. I tripodded up to keep him from being able to jump to my back which worked for a while, but eventually he was able to lock on a triangle, sweep me to mount where I was in deep trouble and near tapping, and then transition to an armbar. Ultimately I was able to escape, but that was way too close to danger for my comfort. Luckily mysubmission defense was on point. I tried asking myself, "what is the best way to escape from the first position where my arm was drug across my body and stuck. I thought of a couple options, but the simplest is to just listen to Kurt Osiender's advice. "You f***ed up a long time ago." I don't remember how I got there, but there is absolutely no reason that my arm should've gotten stuck across his body. The fact that he was able to trap me there means that at some point, I got myself WAY out of position. Always maintain good posture and proper body positioning before attempting any technique.

Being a "Wet Rug"

One of my students, Adam, read something about the wet rug theory and reminded me of this, so I decided to add it to my training goals today with great success.When I was able to pass to side control and/or mount, I completely relaxed my entire body. I draped myself over there body letting my head post, ever so lightly, on the mat. I let my hips and chest sag. Whenever my partners would try to push off me to escape, the fact that my body wasn't rigid meant that whatever they decided to push on, that was the ONLY part of my body that moved. When someone is rigid, if you push on their knee when underneath their mount, their entire leg moves. If you do that to someone to completely relaxed, only their knee moves, and their leg is able to remain tucked safely underneath their leg. While I can't say for sure, it felt to me as though their body was almost suffocating underneath me. This made them move more in an attempt to escape and this lead to very easy, basic submissions. This is definitely a part of Jiu Jitsu that I want to revisit and re-introduce to my game.

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