Friday, February 17, 2012

Guard Passing With GSP And BJJ Overload

I am going to be reprinting some old classic entries from my previous blog called The Angry Grappler. It will chronicle the evolution in my understanding of martial arts.

02 February 2009 @ 04:05 pm

There has been much controversy over the GSP/PENN 2 fight. I won't go into that because it has nothing to do with grappling. What I will go into is that pass GSP was using on Penn to perfection. The same one he used on Serra and everyone else he's beaten.

It is the knee through the middle pass. One of my favorites. Now I will admit every fighter he's fought has just about accused him of greasing but that doesn't take away from the effectiveness of this pass.

It's a pass I have been getting caught with lately, even though I use it myself. My previous ways of stopping the pass are no longer working, which means guys are getting better. So I must also get better.

In watching the GSP/Penn fight, you will see GSP peppering Penn then using that moment to get the underhook and pass. BJ tries to hold onto his leg in half guard to no avail and he passes. A lot of times we think to prevent the pass we must hold onto the leg. This idea became popular last few years because of all the good half guard players from Alberto Crane, Eddie Bravo, to Jeff Glover. But original BJJ concept was to recover guard.

Why this move was working against Penn and also working against me I realize isn't that I am not controlling his leg properly. I'm sure I could do a scorpion/lockdown to try and hold him down longer but I think the real problem is not stopping his control, his grips.

I allow him to get grips and so he anchors himself and yanks or slides his leg out. So all this time I am trying to fight his leg when I should be trying to fight his hand. His crossface grip or his underhook, or both. If he can't get that, he is detached from my body and as he passes I can easily transition to my knees and finish a single leg. As long as he can't get a grip of my head or armpit or even an overhook, I am safe, I can survive and eventually I can turn the tides.

But lately though beyond all that I have been rolling like crap. My timing is off, my game confused. But this is all normal. Because I am in the process of reading 2 BJJ books, one biomechanics book, a leg lock dvd, and catching up on advanced physics online along with learning the curriculum at my own academy. This has my head in a spin and while my mind is absorbing all the new info, my game suffers. But only temporarily. Its a period of training we have to be aware of and accept. Whenever we invest in new knowledge, we must realize that it cannot be instantly applied no matter what the book says. It takes time to incorporate it into your game, which is a good thing because that means you have a game.

They call the ground game kinetic chess. Yet we don't study it or learn it like chess. So then that term just becomes a gimmick. But it shouldn't be. If it is a game like chess, it is more important to learn the rules of the whole game, what is allowed and what is not allowed, what are good and bad strategies, and then how the individual pieces fit into this bigger concept of chess and more importantly the chess board.

If you learned chess like most people learn BJJ it would be hard to get good and probably a lot of people do learn this way and it's why they give up on chess. But if you learned what each piece does and all the kill moves of each piece, not the strategies of the overall board and rules and concepts and how each piece works together, then you will never be one of those players who can memorize the board and play it in their mind.

That is the difference between learning an armbar, or learning that my hips on any joints pulling that joint on a fulcrum (my centerline) the wrong way will cause a break. Learn the armbar, you learn one move. Learn the concept and you learn them all. Now I must go digest and learn about aeronautics and how that can apply to BJJ.
About the Author:

Sam Y. is a Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.

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