4/11/16 - Going slow and focusing on technique, working on pressure, and thought about a tighter passing style
Going slow and focusing on technique
I felt great in training today. During the entire training session, I made it a point to not exceed 50% in rolling speed, and by doing this I was forced to really focus on control. If I didn't control my training partner, they would be able to use their speed which would make for a severe disadvantage to me if I wanted to keep my speed low.
While playing guard, I let my partner come in to try to pass my guard, and when they did I secured a tight grip control on their sleeves, a collar, their pant legs, or any combination. When I got the grip I wanted, I anchored that hand to my body. I would drop my elbow to my hip and this would secure my grip. This worked especially well when I did this with a collar grip because it would prevent them from being able to posture up. With their posture broken, I'm set up for all of the basic submissions and sweeps.
Kimura from Half-guard Tip
When I was on top, I made it a point to pin their hips and shoulders to the ground. I did this from both half guard and from side control. Something great to note here was my kimura lock from half guard. I secured the kimura grip (my body was slightly curled forward toward their hips), I anchored my elbows to my body, and I used my entire core to pull his arm. I would stretch by body which brought his arm a little higher on his body and closer to the point where I'd be able to pull it off his body and pin it to the mat. When I straightened my body as much as I could using my core, I would use my arms to keep his arm where it was and I would recurl my body. I would then start the straightening process over again. Each cycle brought his arm a little higher up his body. After about 3 or 4 cycles of this, my partner had to open his halfguard in order to defend the kimura which made for a super easy high-leg out for the pass. I need to remember to use this technique in the future as it worked great for me against a tough grappler.
When I was in side control and in the mount, again focusing on technique, I made it a point to try to maximize my pressure on top and try to feel as heavy as possible. While I felt that I was heavier than usual, I still feel like there is a lot of room for improvement.
From side control, again, I felt that I was doing a good job of pinning my opponent, but it didn't feel as soul crushing as I know some guys are capable of. There's obviously some big pieces of the puzzle that are missing. Today, I focused on keeping my knees and elbows off the mat and tried to put all of my body weight on a single point on their body. I'm not sure if the hole here is with my hip position, my feet not driving off the mat right, my body weight not being focused enough on a single spot, or maybe I just have to put all of my body weight in a SPECIFIC spot.I really don't know, i have to play with it.
From the mount, I keep my hips driving downward by hooking my legs around their legs. I wasn't grapevining, rather, I was driving my feet toward the ceiling trying to use my leg curl strength to drive my hip weight down as much as possible. I also kept my knees splayed open as I did this to ensure that all of my lower body weight was on their hips and none of it was on the mat. And with my upper body, I just kept my chest laying down flat against their chest. I did feel heavy, but I found my movement to be extremely limited. My partner was pushing straight up on my chest to try to keep weight off, but I would feel that I wouldn't be able to transition to the armbar quickly enough to catch him. I feel that I got the pressure right here, I just need to learn how to reconcile this heavy pressure from mount with the ability to move that I need to transition to submissions
*Note* the cross choke or americana could work well here as they don't require hip movement.
I should try a tighter passing style
Since I was not using speed today, I found myself using a much more crushing style of passing. However, I find myself wasn't to be more crushing from the inside. Today, I did well and driving both of their legs to one side or the other and passing around the outside, but I want to develop a slow, crushing passing style right up the middle. I want to be able to drive a knee to the ground, drive my shin over it, keep them from closing half-guard, make them feel completely pinned and immobile, and slowly pass unobstructed. In the past, when I try this against people with more dextrous lower bodies, I have trouble keeping their top knee out. People have been good about bringing it in front, but I think that if I use a label grip and brace my elbow low and against a solid part of my body, that might keep their knee out. It's something I want to play with.