Friday, 28 June 2013

On the Mat Day 386: Working on Guard Passes

I was supposed to go in an isolation tank on Wednesday for my first float ever but the guy didn't turn up to meet me. This not only meant that I was pissed off but that I also missed my usual Wednesday night training. Instead I went last night (Thursday). Matt turned up and we sparred a few times. I also sparred with the new kid twice and F-sensei twice. F-sensei is so good at keeping me off balance. It means my brain just keeps spinning around and around like a mouse on a wheel and doesn't allow me time to think about my attacks.

Matt asked me later about what are the basic concepts he needs to think about when playing guard. I made a rudimentary list:

1. Just like a climber on a wall, always maintain 3 points of contact. 2 feet + 1 hand, or 2 hands and 1 foot, etc. In general, push with your legs and pull with your arms.
2. Always look to stretch out and unbalance the opponent. If he isn't worried about his balance, he is in the process of passing your guard.
3. Drill sweeps that work in combination to catch the opponent off guard and so you have a contingency plan. If you have one sweep with nothing to follow and that sweep fails. Your stunned/worried silence or lack of movement will give him an opening to start passing.
4. If you cannot invert well (or value the longevity of your spine), always turtle as he passes your guard and then sit out back to guard. This applies to the older guys like me.
5. Your knees should be wider than your ankles.
6. If you are not in contact with the opponent and he is trying to grab your feet, rotate them so he cannot grip them. If he grips the pants, push your foot into his bicep to spider guard. In fact, these are 2 good drill to work on.
7. Have the sense that there is an angle of about 90 degrees shooting out from the end of your knees. If your opponent steps out of this angle so he is closing on your side, adjust your hips to keep your legs between him and you.
8. If you don't have all 3 grips, sit up or even continue with technical stand up, reset to get grips and pull guard again.
9. Unless you are extremely technical, sitting guard is harder to pass than when your back is flat on the floor. If you don't feel in control, sit up.
10. Be careful when reaching from sitting guard with 1 hand because your opponent can jump into a triangle.

Sparring time: 6 x 6 mins = 36 mins

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