Due to the silly season coming up and people being on holidays, we are having a shortened timetable for most of December. No day classes and no open mat. Pout!
I was roped into taking last Monday's class. After the warm up I made everyone roll for some ten minutes. My instructions were: no submission, look at moving a lot, going from position to position, making it at flowing as possible. Avoid muscling, gripping, smashing etc. I watched and made suggestions. I think maybe, just maybe, I saw some lighter, smoother rolling. It's something I think we must all work on.
I spent some time on teaching the technical stand up and made people do a drill where they have to hip escape, then do an open guard type butt scoot to the same side and then follow it up with a get up. After that, get back down and repeat on the other side. I find that a useful drill for mobility.
Lastly, I went through posture in guard, how to protect from chokes and to keep arms safe. How to close elbows and why, how to strip a grip to get posture. Also why it's unwise to sit back too far, to put hands on the mat or to cross the centreline. Hopefully, this will help some of the newer guys.
Finished off with more rolling. Sadly, I missed out myself. Oh well.
One of the purple belts taught Wednesday and Friday. We went no-gi and did rubber guard basics. It's been a while since we've done any of that in class, and some of the guys had never seen it. So it was all basic stuff on how to break down posture and get mission control. Next step was to get the arm to the floor using the zombie (the sound effects to demonstrate this move really were cool!). Then we got to New York and finally chill dog.
On Friday, we added the jiu claw setup as well. And a attack if our opponent postures up and then rolls forward. We let him start to roll but then hold his legs and transition to side control. That was neat.
Oh, I still detest the names, but wonder of wonders, I'm starting to remember them :-). The only thing I hadn't seen before was rescue dog. Say we can't get an arm to the floor using the zombie, we can threaten a sweep or put on pressure with the forearm on his collarbone in mission control. He may well put his other arm on the floor to brace. So we switch our legs and go straight to New York on the other side. We actually did a side to side drill to react to hands touching the mat.
I can't imagine rubber guard as a be all and end all or something to use exclusively. I also don't like it on big strong guys, as they just stack me up or bust out. But I've found I successfully mix it up with open and closed guard as another holding position, especially on people more my size. I have long legs and good flexibility, so it suits me. I'm also a happy guard player, so it fits into my game. I'm still working on having more knee pressure to avoid a guard pass on the side where me foot is on their hip. But that's getting better, and in any case, there is a neat shoulder lock (the Carney?) if they step over my leg to pass my guard while I have their arm trapped. I nearly pulled that off on a guy the other day, except the bell went off :-)