Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stay safe first, get out second

My instructor has said to me for a long time that the first key to defense when you’re caught in a hold is not getting out, but rather staying safe. Just because someone has you in a hold, doesn’t mean they can finish the hold.

While many people panic when they’re caught, which usually can make it easier to get the submission, in ways the opposite is true as well. If a person gets you in a hold and can’t finish it, then you may have won the mental battle right then and there.

Rolled with T today and thought of this as I was caught in his triangle. I worked the thigh squeeze counter to which he swept me over. I hug his thigh omo plata style with my trapped arm and got back on top. I tried the thigh squeeze again, but have not practiced this enough to know the intricacies and had to tap.

I realize this is the next step in my game. I need to learn calmness in positions like this, then slowly work my way out of danger. The recent half guard work and building a game plan/ flow chart with this has made me more aware of what’s most effective for my mind to work under a pressure situation.

I can already feel a difference in certain positions of half guard, especially underneath a twister pass attempt where I am now setting up sweeps rather than power bridging and mentally accepting that I’m going to be in twister side mount in a moment. The idea of also seeing that as one half guard door closes, the other side usually opens has also been very apparent and I’ve been taking advantage of that as well

So I need to also explore this area when I get caught in things, especially triangle chokes. I’m starting to get a system for ankle and armlock defenses and feel confident in my knee bar defense as well, but getting caught in triangles makes me panic at times. I need to drill this position and learn some real calmness here. The irony is that triangles have probably always been my best attack and I know that it’s tough to deal with someone who’s not phased by my triangle.

I felt good today though. It’s time to continually challenge myself to be calm and effective. I will still get caught, but as long as I’m calm and working out deliberately, it is a step in the right direction. It seems to be working in the offense already and I’m looking forward to drilling the defense as well.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Half Guard Outline

The idea behind this is to come up with a flow chart. I know Eddie Bravo has done this already, but I wanted to do something that fits my particular style a little bit more inclusively. This is a long mess of a read at the moment, but it's a fun activity to work on in the middle of a thunderstorm ;)

Possible solutions (assuming his right leg is trapped)
We'll start with the "scissor half guard" where the guy has his head down and his weight is neutral.

1) Get his head up
a. If head is to left of my center, can bridge and salute slightly to get it into position.
b. Kung fu move to get forearm under neck or to push his chin up and back
c. Push on shoulder with other arm, hip out and get knee onto his hip.

2) If he pushes in slightly, rotate on elbow to get underhook and dive in.
a. Keep looking at watch to prevent an effective whizzer or D’arce.
b. Can v-check other bicep to prevent this also.
c. First work to take the back by ratcheting and keeping head down to prevent cross face. Taking back is the best option!!!

3) If he starts to whizzer effectively from here:
a. Clamp your elbow.
b. Roll to that side over that shoulder while grabbing the opposite side leg for a sweep.
c. If he lets go of the whizzer and bases….
d. Take his back again!

4) Now if he doesn’t lean in and stays neutral when you have your forearm under his neck…
a. Go for the ezekial or cross choke if you have a gi on.
b. He’ll need to defend with his arms and drive in
c. From here you can either… GO TO 2C or…
d. Secure an overhook and or…
e. Get wrist control

5) If you just get an overhook…
a. Try to keep knuckle side up
b. Keep on your side.
c. You can grab far lapel is there’s a gi.
d. Start checking his base to side you have overhook on.
i. If he’s leaning in slightly, a sweep to the back 45 is possible by moving whole body flat.
e. If he’s not pushing in, you should be able to get your bottom leg out or at least threaten it.
f. Most people will take the bait and try to push the leg.
g. You should be able to get wrist control from there.
h. If you get wrist control, you should be able to also get the master blaster grip.
i. If he tries to back away, the triangle should be there.
j. If he drives in, your knee should be able to block him.
k. If he hangs tight, you can hip out and get your hook in and start working for the hook sweep.
i. But if he starts to back up, try to get the hook out and have the foot on the hip.
l. If he bases up on the whizzer side arm and whips it out, you can attempt to sweep back to that hip 45
i. Also it seems like he’d be in a position where you could get the underhook and pull him down.
ii. Might also be a time to work on the far side knee bar.

6) if he slumps over into a twister type pass, you can cross your feet to prevent him from hooking instep with crook of arm.
a. Also look into bridging to teeter totter his weight. If his head’s down, his legs are light.
b. Another option is to look for the lockdown here, although it may not be there.
c. The twister position seems to lead to more leg lacing and bridging type of sweeps.
d. The Roger roll back sweep is there as well if I can change the angle to form a “T” between us.

7) But what if he goes back to head and arm and drives forward?
a. First off, this is probably the best time to do the lockdown.
i. This can create some space to work the forearm under the throat/ jaws of life.
ii. From here whip up, get on side, start to work dog fight etc.
iii. Can also lead to electric chair.
b. Can also work over hook to triangle Jeremy Williams style.
i. If this is the case, remember to hip out and create space to get hook
ii. Once you get the hook, press in or bait with knee to get wrist control then get master blaster control
c. Also seems like a simple trap, bridge and roll can be a good way of getting movement for this as well.

8) Or what if he has head and arm control with his head across my body and has good shoulder pressure making me look to my left?
a. Get the lockdown
b. Pendulum legs out to your left, in direction he’s forcing your chin anyway.
c. You should be able to transition into an electric chair type scenario from here.

9) But what if he isolates your arm like the seminar technique?
a. Seems like you’d want to switch half guards to the other side leg and try to push his elbow out.
b. Wondering if bridging into the direction he’s leaning could start the off balance chain as well.

10) Hanging back, slumping and pinning the legs.
a. Look to sit up and attack the neck
b. He needs to control my hips, so constantly shifting from one side up, to flat to the other side up is important.
c. But ultimately, what do I need to do to pass from there?
i. Keep his far hip pinned to the ground through hugging or belt control.
d. So maybe doing the Jen hip turn to shoulder push technique is a good start.
e. Not letting their head put weight on the far hip by bridging and pushing it down and to the ground.
f. Look at v-checking and kimura sweeping with the far arm.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

more half guard work

Worked with CW and MB on half guard again. CW kept working for more of a twister pass, which was interesting, as most people would try to stack and drive in while he would twist away. Feeling some interesting sweeps although I’m not entirely sure what I’m doing. A lot of it just seems to involve basic principals of trapping one side and bridging or using a leg as a pendulum.

Worked more on the triangle concept that RR and I have been studying from a Jeremy Williams video. Seems like the key it to really work on whizzer control from the bottom. Actually the more your opponent is trying to stack and pass, the better, as his posture is already broken down for a triangle.

Once the whizzer is established, then it’s a matter of hipping out onto my side and getting the hook with the foot on the whizzer side. This prevents them from being able to pass and also gives the option of butterfly sweeping or even popping out all the way onto your knees.

The next step is to get the wrist control. It seems like as long as the pass is baited, the guy will try to push down the non-hooking knee. That’s the moment to grab his wrist with your free hand and pin to his stomach. You can back up that grip with your other hand grabbing your wrist.

From here, you need to switch your hips so you’re closer to being flat on your back. The hooked leg comes out first, then the second leg comes out.

From here you can loose lock triangle or do a regular one.

I used to cringe at half guard and now I'm seeing it as the center of my universe. It's my favorite position and so easy to get. Really excited about it and it's been fun to see all the different reactions my training partners give me. Each one is unique and challenging in its own way.