This week we are working on opening closed guard. Opening closed guard never really gets any easier. I've always thought it better to stand up to break and pass. Although, this week was mainly focused on the Wilson Reis/Sao Paulo pass, which I like but tend to mess it up near the end. K-sensei gave me some advice, which was to switch my hips (switch to kesa-gatame) while still moving forward since I tend to take the pressure off at this point.
I've also been attempting deep half guard while sparring. It's a guard I used very rarely since blue belt. I often stall here and get into all sorts of trouble. In an attempt to get out of the plateau I am in right now, I am working on this guard in addition to butterfly and single X. These are guards I never really used, instead preferring spider guard or lasso guard with more room to play.
I'm a little beat up today after sparring twice with Shusei yesterday. He is heavy and very technical, looking like a silverback and crushing me into the mat. It's funny because while I am getting crushed in half-guard or side control, all I can think of is how this is good for me and making me tougher as his weight drives into my diaphragm. I hate that weight driving into and under my ribs like that but at the end of the day it builds my resistance to being crushed.