Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Controling to motivate mistakes

Worked with the Mighty JH last night and MB this afternoon. Again doing the knee on stomach, wrong knee, elbow combo. With JH was definitely forcing the pin and see how exhausting that can be.

Felt better this afternoon with MB seeing how things can transition to the triple attack, to back control, one cheek sneak armlock, bat chokes etc. The pin is merely a motivating factor. I’m working on the balance for that.

One the bottom game, I’m mainly working on making sure everything is occupied with doing something productive. If the upper body is working a submission, the lower body is pushing out his base. If my legs are tying his legs up, I want to make sure my arms are pulling him off balance. And if my legs are working on his upper body, I want to make sure my arms are checking his base, moving my body etc.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Knee on stomach and invisible knee.

Got some good training with the ever Zen TO today. Again the concepts of needing to coordinate my upper and lower half came into play when I felt the blinders go on as I went for a guillotine from butterfly guard. I forgot about my feet for just a second and he immediately passed.

In that particular situation, I think using the guillotine to hook sweep, or maybe pushing his knees out or even just keeping my feet at his hips would be some effective options. This is going to take some time to drill into my head as I am definitely consistently making this mistake in many areas.

Worked on knee on stomach and invisible knee for a little bit as well. I still really like this technique but need to get more precise on my knee and elbow placement.

He used the defense of turning away and bringing knee to elbow. Normally I use this as a chance to take the back, but realized I could and probably should jump to the other side and do knee on stomach on that side.

Felt a little more tired than I wanted to be after the roll. Conditioning is still coming back but for some reason the knee on stomach seems to tire me out as much as my opponent and I’m not quite sure why that is.

Definitely see how that position can lead to the Rigan twister as well as people want to turn in, especially once the knee is on the ground. I’m liking this better than the D’arce right now as I feel like I have better control and a submission, while the D’arce can be hit or miss.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Half guard angles and more 10%

Been working on the next phase of half guard, which involves overhooking attacks. Worked with TG yesterday and the mighty JH today. Both presented some interesting problems and were good at nullifying my lazy, get pinned and bridge half guard. While I still think the techniques on that one are effective, they are not the first line of attack so it’s time to put them in the proper order.

I really enjoy playing the triangle/omoplata game from the half guard overhook but one thing I am not doing well is getting the proper angle. I’m getting better at getting on my side, but I’m still too close which lets the person on top posture up too easily at they have a perpendicular angle to push again.

What I need to work on is that extra hip out motion which will flatten the opponent out more. I should also get my outside hook in from here to prevent the slice through pass and to also give me the option of the hook sweep.

In a way, it’s similar to using 45-degree angles in other positions. It seems like it’s always better to have this angle because then the guy on first needs to get back to his centerline first before he can posture up.

Felt that the knee across the hip guard is a little limiting in certain positions. The Roger sweep seems to work sometimes and not at all at others. I haven’t developed the sensitivity yet to figure out when that is and when it’s not.

Also still trying to figure out when to get underneath for that type of half guard. I’m not sold on it yet as the Mighty JH was cradling me when I tried that and I had to get wrist control and pry him away. There was no moving and I’m just not sure if that’s a great guard for someone my height to be using. The jury’s still out on that one.

I also need to work on framing off the bicep or the far hip to get on my side and also to have pressure on their shoulder to keep their head down. If they start to get their arm out of the overhook I should then swim in for the underhook and get ready to clamp down and shotput sweep towards that arm.
Also had plenty of practice working on the vital 10% again. It’s still scary to get that close to the flame but I need to keep doing it. I feel very calm but not taking a moment for granted either. It’s necessary and I’m enjoying it even though it scares me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The upper/lower connection and the 10%.

Rolling with GC last night made me realize that my upper and lower body are not moving together the way they should be. My instructor had told me this last week in regards to my half guard, but I realized last night, this is an overall problem for me.

I kept looking for half guard when it wasn’t there as GC tends to pass standing and that makes it tough to get a half guard. The De La Riva was there but I’m normally not a big fan of it.

After sparring, he and I were drilling De La Riva and coming up with some interesting variations. One of which, I think I’ll call the De La Vandry as it uses Will’s X-guard technique of instep to instep control but from a de la Riva rather than x-guard. It seems to eliminate the knee bar threat but still keeps the opponent tripped up and stretched out.

But while we were drilling GC kept emphasizing for me to grab the collar or the sleeve and I realized I never do that properly. My legs are in decent position but I’m not pulling the opponent down.

And I started to think about my half guard and realized while I’m emphasizing leg and hip movement, I’m not controlling, attacking and defending properly with my upper body. I’m actually giving up those elements and relying on my legs to save me.

GC made me quickly aware of the danger of that by never letting me comfortably set up half guard in the first place. I relied on people “accepting” half guard and a skilled player won’t do that. Again it’s coordinating the upper and the lower together.

Thinking about it a little more I realize the opposite is also true. When my upper body movement is decent my lower body is off. This is especially true with arm drags where my timing is decent but my lower body control is not there. If someone has a feel for my timing, the can just go with the momentum of the drag into an easy pass.

The solution for all this is probably straight up drilling, positional drilling and more than anything being aware of this problem. I had never really thought about it before last week.

The 10%

Another thing that came up in training was the concept of 10%

One of my good training partners, MB, is really good at shutting down the last 10% of someone’s submission. Against someone who’s inexperienced or panics, 90% is usually all you need to get the tap. But when someone knows how to shut down the vital 10%, the attacker, even with 90%, will not be able to get the tap.

What’s most important about that 10% is that most attackers will think they have the tap if they only push a little more or squeeze a little harder. If you can continue to shut down the 10%, control your breathing and your mindset, you should be able to wait out the fire. Meanwhile the 90 percenter will most likely burn himself out.

I’ve been on the 90% side of things many times. I’ve felt myself squeeze the hell out of a triangle or strain for that armlock and have someone just…barely….get out. It’s extremely frustrating and tiring to be on that end of things. You just gave them your best shot and they’re still standing. Often times I couldn’t even tell what I was doing wrong.

So now I’m starting to focus on figuring out the 10%. My instinct is to scramble in these situations rather than really assess what needs to be done for the lock or choke to work. Often times it becomes a game of inches. If you can figure out tiny roadblocks to put up, most people won’t be able to feel them. If you can give someone false confidence that they’re almost there, that if they push just a little bit harder, I think that’s entering the realm of the 10%.

Now I expect this will lead to me getting tapped a lot and having to deal with a certain amount of fear. These are positions that have always made me panic. But if I learn where those roadblocks are, I force the opponent to make an adjustment. And adjustments almost always mean making space for a moment to move. And if I can furthermore start to anticipate what direction they’ll need to move and can work on the timing, I can start turning the 10% into 15% and so on.