Sorry that I’m a little late with this past week’s recap. In short, this week we primarily spent our time training positions from the half-guard. Half-guard has become a fairly offensive position for me, and while it’s not my first preference, (for I feel that I’m developing more into a top game player) I’ve worked pretty hard to shore up this position to where I can stay fairly safe and pull off some sweeps and submissions during live rolling when I play half-guard.
From the feet, we worked on pulling half-guard. I worked this position with a few people who have never drilled this before, and was very much aware of the need to really choose a hip to fall to when pulling half-guard, or any sort of guard from the feet. It was a good exercise for me, for we drilled it all week long, but I really don’t see myself using it for no-Gi very often at this stage. Not until I get a whole lot more comfortable with pulling half-guard without the Gi grips!
Regarding the ground, we worked two submissions and two sweeps. From taking the overhook on the top guy’s arm, we worked a Gi choke as well as an Uma-Plata. The Gi choke details were interesting, and Ricardo fixed a really bad habit I had acquired when trying to finish this choke. He showed how to really drop one’s shoulder of their choking arm to get deeper in the lapel when setting up this choke to finish. When the choke isn’t there, abandon ship and switch to the Uma-Plata (shoulder lock). Again, he showed a cool detail as to how to advance the bottom knee, thus making it easier to rotate one’s hips away and move toward finishing the shoulder lock. He also showed me privately a variation of this shoulder lock that one of his black belts, Cameron Diffley likes to use whereby rather than shifting to the Uma-Plata, you simply trap the near side shoulder with your top knee and rotate your hips clockwise towards the mat for the tap. I actually picked up on this rather quickly and really like it.
The sweeps were just reviews of two basic half-guard sweeps that requires your head to be on the top guy’s hip. One involves pinning the guys foot to his butt as you switch your legs on the bottom trapping the guy’s leg and pulling it towards you as you push into him. The other sweep is when the top guy bases out and takes the whizzer, nullifying your underhook; simply trap that arm by pinching your elbow tight and roll toward your opposite shoulder. In both instances, I find it’s imperative to control the top guy’s leg that you have in your half-guard, for there’s nothing more irritating to me than sweeping someone and ending up in their half-guard, so I’m really ensuring that I complete the pass.
Yesterday I trained privately with a buddy of mine, and we focused a great deal on grip fighting and working from the feet, an element that I feel is neglected in a lot of BJJ schools. If I’m not traveling for work and am healthy, I plan to compete next month, and my gameplan is to do a better job dictating how the fight goes by having a strong showing from the feet, regardless of whether I choose to pull guard or work for the takedown—the point is, I want the choice to be mine to make! I hope everyone’s weekend was good, and let’s all have a safe and fun week training!
Respectfully Submitted By:
Larry, the LTrain