Thursday, November 19, 2009

Working guard passing details

I’m continuing to work on the details of simplicity. I’ve been reanalyzing my guard passing over the last few days as I realized how lacking it was while working with JS on Monday. Where I normally feel like my hips are heavy, I felt like a kite in the wind and kept getting swept over effortlessly by him.

I keep thinking of the Roger Gracie quote, “The basics work. You just have to do them right.”

And I realized that I am doing the right moves incorrectly and sometimes at the wrong time.

First thing I’m going to work on is committing to being a tight guard passer. I’m not a jumping around, flipping over guy and I find being methodical with my whole game works best for me.

The second thing is to commit my hips more. I’m realizing in hindsight that I was light because my hips were light.

Third, using my head. Just like in takedowns, and open guard, I want my head below his. I’ve used my forehead under the chin from time to time and I need to start that up again.

Fourth is tying the passes in together. The idea is to gain slow steady control and decrease his options, just like in every other position.

Fifth and I think most important, is securing control after the pass. JS is excellent and sweeping right after I’m past his legs or getting to his knees. I think looking at keep his legs crossed, working the crossface, knee on stomach and taking the back may be a few of the options to look at.

But more importantly, I have to realize that a certain level of player is always going to accept the next position and start reacting to it. He accepts the pass so that he can set up the sweep. I have to anticipate the potential sweep I’m giving him and start reacting to that when the pass is finishing.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Kevin Bacon, Organic Chemistry and Jiu Jitsu

Last week in training, I caught my training partner in a toehold. It came from a failed reverse triangle underneath. Which came from a failed arm bar from up top. Which came from a failed choke from sidemount.

For some reason this sequence made me think of organic chemistry exams.

In those tests, you were given a starting compound and a final compound. It was up to you to show the path of chemical reactions that would transform your starting compound into your final one.

And for some other reason this made me think about Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. This was a game that started in the early 90’s where the object was to connect any actor to Kevin Bacon in as few steps as possible.

And this leads back to jiu jitsu where each reaction can lead to the final goal if you just know how to order the subsequent steps. The defenses are predictable and lead to predictable offensive opportunities.

Kron Gracie said his father Rickson was the master at finding the easiest route to the submission.

In college, we got a better score for getting to the final compound in the fewest steps.

And in Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the fewer films you needed to connect to Kevin Bacon, the higher score you got.