Monday, June 7, 2010

Snap 'Em Like Twigs

I have a problem with my legs. They're in the high risk category for potential locking.

My last grapple tonight was with one of the purple belts at my school, Brian Morgan. Fabio asked Brian to go for my legs whenever they were exposed. Let me tell you, it pointed out a big weak point in my grappling! I don't even know how many times he went back for a leg lock. He didn't actually apply any of the submissions. He was letting me try to work out of them which showed me that, not only do I expose my legs a lot for submissions, but my escapes are shaky at best.

This is not news to me. I've always had trouble with leg lock escapes. I expose my legs a lot because I like to play open guard and I can't really blame guys for going for them when I lay them out on a silver platter.

There's not really a lot I can do about my legs being exposed. But what I DO need to work on is learning how to react quickly to get my legs out of danger. I need to read people better to know when they're going back for leg locks. And I need to work on my escapes. As Brian pointed out, I need to be careful who I work leg lock escapes with. If I am not sure if someone is going to be controlled enough not to crank my ankle, I'm just going to tap. But if I'm going with a higher rank who is letting me work and who isn't going to try to rip my foot off the end of my leg, then I need to start going for the escapes.

I have been taught several escapes, but I hesitate way too much in executing them. You can't hesitate with a leg lock. You have to be escaping as soon as you even see a hint of someone going for one. And even when I do actually do the escapes, they're sloppy and fumbly. But I am going to focus on trying to read my opponent and get my legs out of danger before they can fall all the way back into the submission.

Also, tonight, we learned a weird omaplata that you get from rolling someone out of turtle. Your opponent is turtled and he over-hooks your near leg. You sit back on his wrist and roll forward, triangling your legs around his arm and then catching his leg as you sit up. Then you apply the omaplata. Or, I guess it's an americana from there. I don't really know. It was one of those moves that didn't feel natural to me, so I kind of stumbled through drilling.

Also, to my chagrin, I noticed my pride creeping back up into me during a few of my first rolls of the night. It showed in my game. Tense. Less movement. More pushing and exploding, less flowing and reacting. Overall, it got in the way of me moving like I should have been able to. I was able to calm down after that, Had to talk myself into getting my focus back where it needed to be. It's not about what people think. It's about learning. Stop worrying about if someone passes your guard!! Ah well. Tomorrow afternoon hopefully I'll be able to just come in and not argue with myself like an insane person.

Despite that, it was a great class. Learned a lot. Had fun. Can't ask for more than that.


Liam H Wandi said...

Here's a great trick I learned by observing someone who never got caught in leg locks on them.

When playing open guard, use your knees to control them, rather than your feet ala Stage two in the punch block series ( until you really have to use your foot and only then use it (cautiously)