Today, I went to my first ever girls-only class.
Really, I should be sick of driving all the way to Melbourne, having done it for the last seven weeks or so. But an invitation to train with the girls at DMMA, together with another excuse to make a trip to the big smoke was to hard to resist. So I had an early start and headed off for the 10am class.
It wasn't a very big class, but to me it was rather a novelty. I knew the instructor and three of the girls from the comp training and I was made to feel very welcome.
After a warmup, we went through some solo drills to learn specific moves. First a bridge over onto alternating shoulders. Then from there and step over to end up face down and in turtle. Finally, a set of moves consisting of a few little steps to the side (on our back), a bridge and then step over so end up face down heading the opposite way. This would be a series of moves that could be used to regain guard when someone is starting to pass our guard and going for side control.
Then we worked on regaining guard, specifically if the guard passer is going under a leg.
First option: If we can make a stiff and heavy leg before she lifts out leg on her shoulder, we make a plank with our body, turn a bit to the side to give us room to put the other leg on her hip and push off with it. This separates our bodies. If she pushes into us, we have time to either reestablish closed guard or use open guard.
Second option. Same stiff and heavy leg on her arm when she goes under the leg. If she lifts it up hard, we can use that momentum to roll over, around our own axis and land in open guard position in front of her. Sort of like the crocodile roll I learned a few months ago. This worked well, I had to ensure that as I roll over, I keep me legs apart so that they can't be trapped together if she drives forward while I roll. Legs together mean she can hug them together an pass.
Third option: she has progressed to getting my leg bent and on her shoulder. Say she has lifted my right leg. I need to stiff arm her right hip and hip out to my left to create distance. My right foot has to point right and I'm aiming and getting my right knee to the mat by pulling it down pas her head/neck. This seemed very counter-intuitive to begin with. We practiced this with a lot of space to begin with and then worked on achieving the same with more pressure by the guard passer and less space. Once the right knee is on the ground and the foot is freed, I can have the shin across her belly to maintain space, assisted by my left hand on her shoulder. Then I can hip out more to re-establish closed guard. This, I will need to work on.
I think that the stiff leg versions will fit in well with what I'm doing, but the other method gave me a lot of new stuff to think about.
We had brief open mat after and did a little bit of free guard passing after some more practice of the aforementioned techniques.
Well, I think that I might (just occasionally), make the trip to Melbourne. It makes a nice change and I won't be so out of my depth when I get to fight girls at competitions ;-)