Went to do drills this morning with James. This is a weekly thing now and we have decided to increase it to twice a week on Friday as well. That gives us around 2 hours of complete drilling and working on ideas for techniques. My personal opinion is that it is essential to get better on the mat. You need a good partner who will give you feedback in the right places. Shawn Williams even went so far as to say that you should be drilling 70% of the time. That's a lot but given how good he is, I have to agree.
We basically worked on closed guard but with a high guard position. One leg over the shoulder which James calls the Pit Stop. So now we call it the Pit Stop Armbar. After you get the position you rotate the far elbow to force them down and then head over the head for the full armbar. It's very effective if you can get the leg over the shoulder and feet locked together.
I also did a few spider guard attacks/sweeps and passing the spider guard which has been the theme this week. It was a very productive morning of troubleshooting.
After that I sparred a couple of 10 minute rounds with 2 guys. The first was Yoshida-san and the roll was really good. He is very slippery and we have a semi-light flowing roll until he eventually caught me in a rear naked choke. We talked a little afterwards and he said he focuses a lot on putting all his pressure onto a single point when passing. I feel it when he does the over under pass for sure. He also gave me some tips for aggressive passers when I am playing guard since I asked him. I was tempted to stay for the 11 am class but too much work to do at home. However, we decided to make the nogi rolling a normal thing after drilling so I'm happy with that.