This first private was more theory based than anything as I wanted to cover all the things that have been niggling at me. And often they just needed some specific advice or demonstration to fix. The triangle problem was my big concern.
Turned out what I was doing was focusing to much on my hand that was closest to my body. Keeping my other arm at a safe distance to avoid armbars I didnt think to much about it. I use these two grips as a base from which to go for most of my passes. I figured if I made sure they couldnt get my close arm under their legs then I couldnt get triangled, which is true. But its also a very easy grip for them to break and control. Which leaves my far arm that enables the triangle. So Andy got me to keep it much much closer, so I can dive it under their leg if they try go for the triangle. And also be able to protect the other arm.
We then worked on adding more pressure to my top positions, mainly side control and mount. In mount by putting my feet on their hips, widening my base and pushing my pelvis back. These things definitely made me feel heavier. In side control I needed to have as little of my body touching the ground as possible. Driving my weight 45 degree's through their chest. Important to still keep tight and to block their hips, but instead of resting on my knee's to rest on my toes. This made a big difference, need to drill it alot so I do it automatically though.
Another big concern was keeping my mount whilst working a submission. By leaning over to the side rather than staying upright and in the middle it gave me a MUCH better base. With the example of a cross collar choke I could then get one hand in, move over to the other side. Slide my arm to open up their neck and get my other grip in to finish the choke without giving much room at all to get rolled off. Must remember to get high up as well to minimise their upa.
Ive taken to controlling people ankles recently, which is good but I often control the wrong one!. So must remember to control the leg in which Im turning into, to avoid getting put it in guard.
I need to take my time a little more in dominant positions, I keep on jumping the gun abit early. Which is allowing room for things not to go my way. Especially in turtle I find myself sometimes going for the rnc without having my hooks in, so I get rolled over.
We worked abit on chaining moves together, sweeps with other sweeps in case the 1st is blocked. Submissions with sweeps, subs with subs etc. An example of which is going for the armbar, underhooking their leg and if they block it turn it into a pendellum sweep.
Worked a guillotine defense as Ive become to reliant on the von flue choke, so Ive not been stopping the guillotines from happening. The von flue is great but it cant work if I can get out of their guard, and once Im on the opposite side of their body they cant put on the choke anyway. Essentially it was guarding my neck with one hand diving my arm underneath their shoulder so that I could stack shoulder pressure into their chest while looking up. This motion plus the pressure leads to them letting go of the guillotine.
Andy noticed I sometimes keep to much distance when ontop, and do not push my hips down enough. Something Ive noticed alot in my comp footage. This is sometimes due to getting straight armed in my hip. So we worked on shimmying the hips so that hand slides off. He also showed me how remaining static on top was not going to work and that you had to move with them to always stop any space being created. People are pretty wriggly, not eel or ferret wriggly but wriggly enough that a big heavy lump is not gonna stop me inching my way into making the space I need.
Other things we covered were:
- Finishing omoplata's by scooting hips out
- Pendelum sweep variations
- Turtle attacks
- Attacking stalling opponents in my guard
Alot of what we covered we got through pretty quickly as some only needed tiny adjustments. But they really helped. In the next privates Ill be asking to do more drilling and specific sparring on some of these issues.
We then had a final roll so I could work the stuff we had talked about. Felt good but itll take some time to fully get that top pressure down. I lost...but not by triangle :D .
The guys arrived for the beginners session, but I opted out and ended up talking to two prospective new students, giving them info on the club and the art.
In the next lesson we drilled some throws and worked on getting the armbar when the opponent stands up. Breaking posture and keeping tight while you walked your legs up their back was key, otherwise they would pull their arm out. Getting your leg over their shoulder before swinging it over their head to keep it as tight as possible.
We did some positional sparring and I was committed to being chilled out today. Which really paid off. No one got close to sweeping me. Passing took abit longer but I felt more in control and safe in their guard. People still passed my guard as I was perhaps "to chilled" but I was alot more conscious of what they did right and what I did wrong and it didnt bother me at all. Chris passed really well as I shrimped to block his hip but went to the wrong side, his base didnt give me any openings for sweeps. I do need to try standing up and passing abit more though. One of the guys stood up to pass my guard and I flung the omoplata sweep on him instinctively, which worked perfectly. But I was to happy with myself for the sweep and got caught in a reverse triangle, but I kept cool and postured out of it to secure top position.
In full sparring I went with a new guy called Bunny, who was a nice chap and abit bigger than me. Showed him the beauty of sweeps (sit up, butterfly sweep and half guard sweep) and finished each time from mount using my new found base, which made me feel really solid.
Next was Terry who I decided to keep relaxed and to slowly work his guard and then to explode when 30 seconds was called. Early on he got on top but I made sure I didnt give him much to work with and I slowly inched my way back into his guard. Where I kept myself safe whilst trying to work him open. I exploded and passed but he kept me at bay and never stopped moving, putting me back in guard twice. I was still happy as I managed to explode fully but kept a level head and didnt go after any 50/50 sub chances.
Had my usual session with Nick after who is really coming along, his got a pass that his been working hard on getting good at. Its a knee through the middle pass. He went for some guillotines and kimura's, some of which got close but I managed to escape.
So in the end via combination of being chilled out and the private my base seemed really solid and I defended everything. And not one triangle got setup on me.
Zambia!. Im going to Zambia for 6 weeks, leaving in 2!. Im gonna be volunteering at an orphanage at there. So should be a great experience, the person whose organised me going with the orphanage wants me to show them some jiu jitsu. But am not 100% if thats a great idea, all depends if theres the space, the interest and the right temprement. With the language barrier I think I would keep it to positions, sweeps and some judo stuff. But we shall see! . Ive done a quick look on the net and I think the chance of a BJJ club is very slim. But they MUST have a judo club...
So Im gonna come back rusty as hell for the next bunch of comps but its gonna be a great experience. My chief worry at the moment is that I might miss Mauricio coming down to give us a lesson and hopefully see some of the guys get their blues. But I seem to be naturally lucky so Im sure itll work out.
Congrats to Christian Graugartwho won this years Fightworks podcast bjj blog of the year. I urge you to check his blog out as he has some really great stuff on there. Im gonna take a leaf out of his book and try put some pizazz into this blog.