Andy our beloved leader has gone and got himself hitched, and some how justified it in his mind that he could go on honeymoon!. So we were appointed a replacement in Ollie "the maestro" Geddes (another nickname Im trialling, maestro because of the way he lures and directs people in his half guard).
Ollie was delayed so we started the warmup ourselves, Ollie arrived halfway through and finished the warm up with a ton of push ups. He then got us rolling straight away. For some reason I found myself playing a very loose open guard, looking mainly for sweeps. But as I was to loose I was getting passed and stacked. Stacked alot, but thats ok I dont mind playing from there. Even got a reverse triangle on but couldnt finish it. Had fun replacing guard though. Got a few sweeps but not as many as I liked as since andy has recently shown the sit up, scissor and pendelum sweep; everyone has caught on to my tactics. I was pleased when I tried an elevator sweep, didnt get it and then through reflex swapped and got the sweep on his other side.
One of the young guys has really progressed!, found myself in his guard for a long time. He wasnt able to attack to much as I kept posture and him pinned but took a long time to escape. Was quite happy to see such a jump in his progress though. As a note to myself I found it difficult to break open his legs, and his a thin guy.
Through observation of us rolling, Ollie then designed the lesson, he got us working on our triangles. With a few adjustments I hadnt seen that made a big difference to keeping my triangles tight and the way I executed them. He also showed us the catdip counter (the one I sued against Matt in my comp video), and the counter to that counter. Which was as they take your knee to the side, to walk up on your hands so your belly down and to roll them over so you sitting in a mounted triangle. Ollie then had us spar from the triangle position, giving us 15 seconds to get the tap or defend. I managed to defend by focusing on keeping posture and my arm out of danger. I couldnt get the tap the first time as even though it felt tight, pressure wasnt enough. Second time he countered with the cat dip, I countered with the roll over and managed to pull his head hard to really crank on the pressure and get the tap.
Annoyingly this counter counter nullifies my favourite counter...
Ollie then showed us another counter to a counter, when your opponent gets his arm out of danger to make some room for himself inside your triangle. Reach up behind your own legs and hold your hands in an S grip style (finger tips curled over each other). Then uncross your feet and extend your soles up to the ceiling. This puts ALOT of pressure on their neck (but is a choke). This move is known as the Teepee, I first witnessed it when Ollie won the absolute division in Hereford against a guy 30 kg's heavier and a pro rugby player. You can also do this move on peoples ribs, although it is hard to reach and is more of a pain complaince move. So its bit dodge, but hurts quite abit if you can get it on. Scorpion crunch I think its called.
Whilst we were drilling I got Ollie to give me some help on my reverse triangle (so instead of facing towards them, you are on the side looking the same way they are), its abit obscure but through playing open guard I seem to land this quite often as people try bend me in half. But I finish it rarely. Won my 2nd fight at Brighton with it (in mount) though, caught Matt in it at Brighton as well but couldnt finish it. Ollie gave me some great pointers, the problem was I wasnt controlling there trapped arm. Meaning it was only a 1 sided choke. By reaching over and pulling their tricep in, then extending my back it really put it on tight. Am stoked, will be looking to use this more often now as its hard to see coming. Great in North South, attacking turtle, etc.
Onto more sparring!
Sparred one of my long time training buddies (put a comment on as Philpot), he seemed indecisive about his strategy so I took the lead and went for top position. Got it, and worked on position, got mount. But couldnt sub him!, tried to setup the armbar by faking a choke but he wasnt biting and was defending the choke well. Kept on moving to coax something loose but no luck. I got silly and threw on an armbar on a arm I hadnt fully secured, he got it out without much fuss. We then scrambled and I ended up on top with him in turtle, which reminded me to try out a sub I watched in a Mario Sperry video. Clock choke, which Ive tried from back control but no where else. I like Mario Sperry his ramblings had a lot o character to his vids with usefull nuggets hidden in them. And the technique worked!, although more practise is needed.
His also really done well recently, especially on his defense. Once he gets abit more decisive on what his going for he will be a real pain.
Sparred a few more people, was having issues getting my sweeps and really couldnt seem to do anything from mount.
Stepped up against Ollie twice in the night, 1st time he broke and passed my guard rather easily. What was impressive was how he only made a few tiny movements and seemed to slip through my guard like butter. 2nd time I nabbed him from Matt rather cheekily. He played it passive, I went for top position, even getting side control and feeling chuffed with myself. I knew I just had to avoid his half guard. But in comes the one leg and Im in bloody half guard. I twist and spazz out abit, nearly giving him my back. He throws on an arm triangle, but I reckon Im safe on top and I can just move my arm to get air. Ah......no luck, TAPTAPTAPTAP. A very fast and annoying fight, wanted to show him I was better than that.
Me and Matt had another series of showdowns. First one we fought for grips and I fought for dominance, I kept his guard open and was well out of reach, holding onto his ankles. I positioned myself to try a roll over guard pass into mount, a watcher told me to watch out for the triangle. I told him "watch this". I rolled, Matt saw it coming and caught me in the triangle. I try and catdip, does the counter roll!. I try my own counter counter counter by crocodile death rolling to try and making some space and to try get on my stomach to stretch him out and use my legs to break open the triangle. We keep on rolling but I get no luck and he gets on tight and I have to tap.
2nd roll, I go for guard this time and get it, we work for abit. I go for a sit up sweep get everything right and feel him going over. So I celebrate in my head but the loss of focus loses me the sweep and end up back on my back!. We arnt really getting anywhere so we both spazz abit to make something happen, we scramble and I end up on top in side control. He tries to move an arm and puts it straight into my legs to lock on (as I was shown a few weeks ago at RGA). This then gives me both arms to work on his one. I get it down on the mat by the wrist, slip my other hand under to grab my own wrist and put on the americana. He taps.
I roll another mate of mine who decided to go no g, I comply. He dives hard and pins me in my guard. I go for a few sit up sweeps but each time he then dives his weight on me to put me down. I also try for the pendelum but he is vary wary and pulls his leg away each time. He keeps his arms tight. Ive caught him in a fair few armbars and his really learnt from it. I get abit desperate and it leads to him taking my back. Im screwed. But I notice he cross his feet!. I slip them under my thighs and go for the foot lock, he realises and gets them out. Still desperate I then put it on one of his feet and keep it locked, I straighten my legs out and he has to tap. Was a fun roll and he really had me completely sewn up till that point. Another guy who has come miles.
Great lesson from Ollie (2 hours! :D). Gave me plenty to think on.
1) Open guard does not = loose guard
2) experiment with my new enhanced reverse triangle
3) break posture more and control grips to avoid being nullified when playing guard
4) work on breaking legs in guard
5) positioning feels good, but need to remember to isolate limbs more
Dean phoned me the next day, turns out during the warm up he stubbed his toe on the mat and its broken in 3 places!