Today, I had a private lesson and was fortunate enough to use one of my training partners, Mike, as an extra body to train with while Darren conducted the private lesson. Mike’s the guy who I blogged about a couple of months ago who trains with his eyes closed.
The absolute WORST aspect of my Jiu Jitsu game is defending the “pass” when someone stands up in my guard. I totally just shut down when someone stands and begins to either disconnect or control the grips. We focused on a game plan for fixing this glaring weakness in my game, and will follow up with some additional reinforcement next Tuesday. Here's what I learned today:
1. When I have someone in my closed guard, control the grips. If he’s got my lapels and is trying to put both hands in my armpits while driving towards the mat, bring my elbows in and break the grip. If someone has my sleeve, pummel for the dominant grip, and lock my hands behind my head to distract them and get them to reach and extend for my sleeves.
2. Now, SHIT does happen and sometimes the guy stands up, so I learned how to comfortably transition to the “spider guard” that I blogged about a couple of weeks ago.
3. We focused a bit on the “De La Riva Guard”, popularized by Ricardo De La Riva. This open guard is often used while transitioning from the spider guard and involves controlling the standing guy’s sleeve while hooking his ankle with your other hand and threading your leg through his leg that is being controlled at the ankle by your hand. I’ve drilled this guard before but never in a private lesson situation where I really got to work on drilling it as well as using it to try to stop Mike from passing.
4. Lastly, Darren reviewed with me how to take the back from this guard. Here’s a pretty decent video of this move being demonstrated, and no, it’s not Darren and I doing the demonstrating, but it will paint a picture for you, and the audio description is pretty decent for us blind guys. Taking the Back from the De La Riva Guard
I at least understand where I need to really tighten things up and by the end of the lesson, I was rolling a little better in these positions. I guess I just mentally kinda shut down when someone stands, and freeze for a few costly seconds. But I’m aware of it now, and am really committed to tighten up this grossly loose aspect of my GJJ game.
I’m off to Nashville to conduct some business later this week and will be hopefully getting some mat time in at Nashville MMA, Lloyd Irvine’s Jiu Jitsu school in Music City and will let you all know how that goes. One of our blue belts, Clark, trains there when he goes home, and says the guys are fairly solid and keep a pretty rigorous pace, so I’m looking forward to taking in the blue belt Gi class and perhaps the beginner no-Gi class as well. Will keep you posted.
Larry, the LTrain