Monday, April 9, 2012

Notes to Myself

Dominic was on the mats for a couple weeks in March because Steve was out on travel in Thailand. During his time back Dominic went over some "old school" techniques on not letting your opponent pass your guard by playing a "sitting guard." The idea basically calls for you to have your legs on your opponent's hips to follow them or use your legs to block their legs to prevent them from getting around your legs. You are usually either fully sitting up, on your side with one elbow, or on your side with one arm down. Dominic also went over a loop chock and front chock from the sitting guard; both can transition to and from each other. Another possibility is to have a collar grip which can set up a collar pull to take someone's back. One of my major flaws when I play sitting guard is that I don't hip escape and schoot my hips away from my opponents enough.

I also went and watched the 2012 Pan Ams. The event was located at UC Irvine and was huge. I went on Saturday and watched the Open Weight Black Belts compete, but honestly it was really hard to see from the stands. I couldn't make out who was whom and what happened. Next time, if I'm not competing or going with a bunch of BJJ buddies, I'll probably just order it onlines from BudoVideos because admission was $15/person and that's not including gas or driving time.

When Steve came back, he taught us a concept about connections and how staying connected to your opponent is very important. For example, you have to lock your shoulder and arms in place when smashing their legs to pass, or even locking your shoulder/arm in place to prevent someone from passing guard.

One new concept I learned was about pushing your opponent's head to the side they are trying to pass. Let's say for example, you are on bottom and the person is on top in half-guard. The side they are trying to pass will be the side you want to push their head to, this makes it difficult to pass. It's like when Mark was telling me to push Sam's head to the opposite side when I wanted to get out of his half-guard.

I also had the chance to roll with Steve again. It's been a long time since I rolled with him, but he caught me in a half-guard sweep twice and then arm-barred me... twice! The second time he half-guard swept me, he was disappointed and yelled: "Come on man! You let the same thing happen again." I was disappointed too and asked him what was my mistake. My mistake was that I was trying to smash his legs by turning my hip in... onto his legs. This made me face the direction he was facing and made me very light. Steve says I should turn my hip from the other side (left) in to smash his lower leg and be facing him. This way I have more pressure and feel heavy.

One thing I have to note is that the deep half guard sweep Justin taught me works really well. Especially, on guys who are not too heavy and aren't used to playing the deep half guard game from the top.

I need to toughed up. Not only in BJJ, but wrestling, and maybe consider taking Muay Thai again. I need that grit, passionate, toughness of a fighter, but at the same time, I wonder if this grit of a fighter will make me more impatient and mad more easily. I don't know, but I have to find that balance that makes me a better fighter so that I can earn respect.

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