Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Uhhh...You're Doing it Wrong, Allie.

I realized tonight that I had forgotten how to do a certain, close guard pass correctly. It doesn't have a name. So many BJJ moves don't have names or I don't know them if they do. But here's what it looks like: You break the person's guard, then go through their legs/over one leg with your opposite knee and shin and establish side control.

I used to use that guard pass all the time. Then I learned new guard passes and forgot how to do the old ones. That's why Ben told me I needed to brush up my guard passes from when I am close into my opponent, because I am relying on guard passes that primarily work when you are keeping space. As soon as he told me that, I started trying to re-incorporate them into my grappling, only to find that I couldn't remember how to do them correctly!! I remembered what they looked like and how to mimic the basic proponents. But apparently all the little details that make them effective leaked out of a hole in my brain and are now gone. :)

This was a point painfully made to me tonight by one of my favorite sparring partners, a blue belt the school has nicknamed Yeti. He's one of those guys who will roll with you just above your level. He doesn't make you feel like he's going easy, even though he is. And he takes the time to help point out major flaws in your game.

Anyway, I was grappling him and I kept trying to do that guard pass. And I kept getting swept. Over and over and over again. No matter how hard I tried to keep my base, I wasn't able to finish that pass and I kept getting stuck in half-guard. After class, I asked Yeti to show me what I was doing wrong.

I was embarrassed when showed me the little details that I should have known--and did know at one point--but that I had forgotten. I wasn't posting out with my other leg, I wasn't blocking his hip with my elbow, I wasn't keeping my head on his chest as I came through, I was sitting out through instead of sliding my shin and knee through. I could go on. But you get the point.

Hot garbage.

It makes me wonder how many other things I have forgotten. The good news in all of this is that, once Yeti reminded me of all those things, they now seem cemented in my feeble memory. Mostly because the feeling of getting swept repeatedly is also very fresh. ;) I know that forgetting is part of the process of learning. I see so many moves each week that it's pretty near impossible to retain them all, even though I am a nerd and write them all down in detail after class. But, unless I actually use them in grappling, they don't really "stick", if you know what I mean. The other half of the problem is that my game changes and then all the old stuff I used a lot gets rusty because I'm trying new stuff.

I'm sure you all understand and have been through things like this...right? ;)


leslie said...

I think we call that one the cut-through guard pass. I don't know a lot of names, either, though. Techniques are introduced as their generic names: choke from mount, armbar from side control, etc.

I have re-learn techniques all the time. And yeah, it's usually just a couple of little details that botch the whole thing. I try to read back through my techniques page every once in a while to remind myself of what I'm supposed to know. =P

Yeti sounds like a really good training partner, capitalizing on your mistakes. So you know you're making a mistake, even if you can't figure out what yet.

Meerkatsu said...

Through knee pass?

Georgette said...

We call it the knee-through pass. And I'm often told that in order to learn the last 20% worth of details to make a move work, you need to learn the 80% "big picture." But to learn that 80%, you gotta learn 80% of THAT and then the last 20%... of the 80%. Infinite regress means you are always learning, always polishing. :) Gotta love it!

Dev said...

I tend to call it a "smash pass," even though I know that's not the real name, because if you're doing it right you smash your opponent's leg to the ground with your knee/shin, then you smash your shoulder into their face with the crossface. Not to mention if you've got the other leg up you can really stretch their legs apart, but "stretchy pass" doesn't sound as tough. :) This is my go-to pass.

The techniques will come back, I promise. Try to not forget them, but don't worry if you do. You're still in firehose mode - there's entirely too much information to process, and some of it will fall away. Doesn't mean you shouldn't try to retain it, or go back to it, but don't get frustrated - just keep working.

allouteffort said...

It is referred to as the knee pass, knee through the middle, or baseball slide pass.

Liam H Wandi said...

Just to mirror what people have said here, it's a process and you'll forget more than you learn :)

The positive part is that what you retain is usually the core fundamentals and that the whole thing is actually fun :)

A.D. McClish said...

Hahaha, so many different names for the same move! Something funny happened in my last class that I thought I'd share. We were drilling a choke and I asked Fabio what kind of choke it was, meaning was it a blood choke or a windpipe choke. He shrugs and says, "It's a choke. No name. You Americans want to name everything. It's just a choke." lol! Than I explained what I meant and he smiled and said, "Oh! Blood choke!"

As far as remembering techniques go, thanks for all the encouragement. I am trying to remind myself that this isn't a race to see how quickly I can memorize and incorporate all these moves. The only time I do feel a little stupid is when one of the higher belts says something like, "Haven't I shown you this before?" and I respond, "Maybe a couple hundred times. Can I see it again?" ;)