Friday, January 29, 2010

half guard, half guard...

Three more BJJ classes, all concentrating on the half guard.

On Monday, we mostly went over seminar stuff, which was the lockdown, whip up and the old school sweep from half guard. Drilled all that a fair bit.

Then we learned another technique which will allow you to take the back from half guard bottom. Assuming I'm on the bottom and I have my partner's right leg in lockdown. If, for some reason he lifts his right arm (in MMA, he might be trying to punch), I stiffarm him on the elbow with my left arm. I bring my left knee up and in front on his bicep then slide my hand to his wrist. This locks his arm against my knee/shin. If I push up and out with my knee while controlling the wrist, it lifts his upper body away from me. I can now push my right arm under him and through his right armpit and cup around the back of his right shoulder. With that setup in place, I quickly straighten my left leg, drag his shoulder forward/down while pushing his wrist against his body. That gets me out from under him and a clear path to his back. It has to be a sudden jerk on his arm to make it work. My right hook is already in, so getting good back control is relatively easy.

In our Wednesday classes, we did again go over lockdown. I still had some problems with the whip up. Wrong technique, so it worked on a partner my size, but not on someone bigger. Adjusted technique, and now it works. Let's hope I can store that in a part of my brain that allows easy retrieval, as that was the third times I've been shown how to do it.... Sigh.

We did the drill against a partially resistant partner. To avoid someone pushing up on my head to creat space for double underhooks, I buried my head on their neck or put it to the floor. This was partially successful, but still they would lever it up. However, if someone did it to me, I couldn't move their head. So Sensei showed me a sneaky way to lever their head off the mat to get me into the starting position. It's pretty hard to explain, so I won't even try but the crux is not to try to muscle it, but use leverage and positioning = good jiu jitsu.

We learned yet another sweep and submission from half guard. Again, hard to explain, but basically it's useful where the whip up worked, but we couldn't get turned and get our right side to the mat. So we are still under him, but deep. So instead of coming out on his right hand side, we aim for his left side. I push my left arm out under his right armpit and straighten it. Then I try to bring my the arm to my left side while I reach for his left leg with my right hand. This rotates him to my left. I keep the lockdown on his right leg, lift his left leg over my head and then pin his knee to my chest. This puts him in the splits position. I can add more pressure by straightening my legs on his locked leg.

Aside from that, we did several rolls from half guard. I got a lot out of that. Had a good laugh when I was busy trying to get someone's back, fiddling around with my left foot. He had the audacity to tickle it!! My answer, of course, was to choke him, but I think we were laughing too much, and I don't recall what happened from there (couldn't sink the choke on his short, thick neck). But the roll went for a long time. I'm pleased about my escapes and avoid a lot of subs. But my attacks still need a lot of works. Still, at least I'm now getting positions where attacks can be contemplated :-)

1 comment:

  1. For years I hated the half guard. I saw no point in it and even when I tried it (or accidentally ended up in it) I was crushed. Then I met a Brit called Oli Geddes, who smashes everyone in his division with just one position - the half guard. It totally opened my eyes and now I try at least a few half guard sweeps and submissions every session. I even get a few privates with Oli to help me understand this position more.
    Check his video blog out and you'll see in almost every fight he does, half guard is his starting point..amazing: