Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Filling In Holes



I thought today I would share some of my thought process in what I consider when I go into the academy to train.

Today was no gi day. One of the hardest parts of no gi is passing and guard retention due to lack of grips. So for about 5 5 minute rounds I strictly did passing and guard retention with my partner switching top and bottom after every completed pass to mount. Starting from closed guard. Bottom person offering up only 50% resistance and only trying to recover guard technically. Top person relying on pressure. Then after the technical rolling, I did some live rolling and always doing technical stuff before a live roll puts you in the right mindset to learn.

Standing up from guard - I focused on the technical stand up with my legs staggered for optimal balance and using the force of my weight shifting back to break open my legs as my hand on their chest and hip keep them from sitting up. The invisible details to this are - pinching my knees between his hips before I stand, and getting onto the ball of my feet. Also from staggered stance pivoting and driving my leg into his hip as I push my weight back.

Opening pass grip - As soon as their legs are open I would go both hands in looking for the double underhooks, dropping down to my knees. Invisible details are - lifting him up for a second as I drive my knees under his hips, holding him up on my lap.

The underhook pass - This is a pass I am forcing myself to use because every high level guy uses it. I normally just try to drive a knee through but that's a very beginner pass. From double underhooks depending on what he does, if he tries to hip away then lift his hip up with one hand, the other hand underhooking the leg and you turn your face away as you sprawl to pass. If he tries to sit up or you are having a hard time, with the right timing you can do an over/under pass and make it look easy. The thing that is great about this pass is it opens up every other pass.

The over/under pass - The way I like to do it is initially just post between his leg and hop over. If I need to my free hand can overhook or simply push the bottom leg out of the way. If there was a gi I can grab the collar as I post and pass. With good timing it looks seamless. If they give you resistance, this is when you sprawl and grab a tight underhook on their top leg and push their bottom leg out of the way.

Back step pass - Now if none of those work and he is trying to get half guard, post your bottom arm underneath his armpit, control his top leg, and simply backstep over. It's a timing pass as well but works for a lot of guys.

Cross side - Once you pass, I like to stabilizing by running their legs to the opposite side to force them to flatten back out when they turn back into me. I usually like on knee under their bent legs and my top elbow on their hip. So I lock down their hips first before I make my next move. I want to inch by inch take away their options. Invisible details - as they stiff arm and post on you to prevent you from getting higher, instead of pushing directly against that force which will just give them a post to recover their guard from, its better to deflect that force. Depending on their push you can turn your hips to scarf hold, or turn your hips the other way to head and hip control cross side. Eventually my goal is to mount.

Maintaining cross side - This is an area I need a lot of work in but I filled in some gaps today. The thing I realized today was that when they turn into me to try to recover, I was always taught to plant my arm that's under their neck and place it over their face before moving my bottom hand to block the hip. The invisible detail I learned today was if I move my bottom hand to their hip first, both my arms are on one side. They can't turn into me, all they can do is turn the other way, which will force them to give up their back. Now they won't be dumb enough to do that so a lot of them will go to their knees.

North South - Now if you haven't mounted by now you can use the head and hip position to walk over to north south. The invisible detail - keep your legs wide apart and do not let your knees touch the ground. You can walk all the way to the other side if you like, and mount from there. But most likely their will be shoving you the whole time trying to drive their knee underneath you. Which makes a choke very difficult.

Kimura grip - from north south I like to get my knees right beside his ears, grab under his elbow and shift my weight onto my heels, dragging his elbow off his chest. From there I secure a kimura grip.  If he is nice he will let you flip him onto his side, you will post your knee on his back and you can finish. A lot of times they aren't nice. You can try to then sit to an armbar but you will have the same problem you did when you tried to finish the kimura, he has a death grip and doesn't want to be finished.

Taking the back - with the kimura grip you can drag him on top of you onto your lap. You can step over for a modified s-mount. I will call it what Henry Akins calls it. Sidemount. Because you are mounted, but off to the side. From here you can use that kimura grip to flatten him out and push him onto his belly to take the back. You can release and take mount. Or you can use it, rock him up and use your bottom leg to kick him over your hip so you can take his back and put the last hook in. Both of you will be on your side at this point. Invisible detail - from here you want to roll him over to the other side so you can choke him easier with your bottom hand.

From back -  it is key to get a harness grip aka over under grip on his torso. Now depending on how he rolls you will have to switch your grips to make sure your bottom arm is always the one threatening the choke. To do this just don't pluck your hands out and regrip. Switch to double underhooks and control his wrists, then pull the arm out to choke. Now he will try to shimmy to half guard. Invisible detail - control the wrist or sleeve of the top arm and straighten it out across his body so when he tries to shrimp to half guard you come up and either retake his back or mount him.

Modified Side Mount - from here you will have one knee up, one knee down. The top knee, the heel has to bite down on his hip. Your weight should be evenly distributed. If all your weight is on the bottom knee, your biting leg will become too light and he can simply lift it off the ground. From mount instead of directly fighting them pushing you off, turn your body to deflect. Invisible detail - eventually you must control his elbows and either underhook and walk your hand up or take up that space with your knees and getting under his armpits. From here you can take an arm, spit on him, punch him, choke him.

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