Tuesday, March 1, 2011

more figure fours

Monday night we worked on attacks from closed guard. Following last week's theme of figure fours, we first drilled the figure four from guard.

Then we looked at the hip bump sweep and got in a fair few reps just working on getting good technique at smashing our hip into our partner. Lots of reps. It was pretty jarring to be on the receiving end, but it was really good to get a feel for it. It's a technique that's always been hard for me, and I think I have a much better handle on it now.

Next we looked at the hip bump sweep to figure four combination. Essentially, as he posts his arm on the floor to avoid being swept, we secure that hand by grabbing the wrist. Next, we separate that hand from his body (to forestall him grabbing on to something to defend later) by pushing our hip against his hand. For this, we have to open our closed guard, and I found I ended up sitting about 1/2 body width toward the side of his trapped hand. Next step is to bring my knee forward to tip his elbow towards me. That angles his body across mine and makes it much easier to reach over and get the figure four grip on my other arm.

Next thing I do is to bring his elbow to my armpit (on the side where I'm reaching over his arm) and then I rotate the lower arm for the submission. Bringing his elbow forward like that really makes the lock come on sooner. I experimented with this and found that by the time I reef his elbow across and into my armpit, I get the tap. If I just rotate the lower arm, I need to rotate it a long way.

When I looked at the angles, it corresponds perfectly with what Ryan Hall says in his back control concepts, where he talks about the figure four grip from the back. It made a big penny drop in my head.

We rolled for a bit at the end of the class. I had one partner only, one of the bigger white belts. For my taste, I spent a bit too much time having him in my closed guard and not enough time doing stuff. But I nearly got an armbar, and I got his back once, easily. Stupidly, I was too busy trying to choke him and not spending enough time ensuring I controlling him, so I lost it. Oh, and I was too busy laughing because a certain someone was making comments about the "poor guy". End result was he got away. Oh! Ah well, he had three chances to try for a submission from good positions, and ever time I got him back into my guard. In the end it was a fun roll. I could have done much better, could have worked more open. But what the heck, I'm not going to continuously beat myself up over stuff. He's a big boy, and I gave him a lot of grief. Plus, we both had fun and we both took something away from it, some thing was learned. And that is (to me at least) one of the measurements I apply to determine if it was a good roll.


  1. I get in that same trap of wanting to keep big scary whitebelts in my guard. I am still trying to convince myself that moving is the better way to go! lol

  2. I feel the same way. A big guy is still big regardless of his white belt status.
    Even if I can't get the tap because he can muscle out of everything or because his tendons are made of tiger bone if I can control him, I've done my job.

    To quote CS, "Winning!"