Tuesday, June 22, 2010

They Were Right

Went to class tired and cranky, not really wanting to be social. Had a crappy night at BJJ last night and I wasn't looking forward to a repeat. Liam did a great post on his blog, The Part Time Grappler, that goes over some of same issues I was dealing with. Nothing like having an outside perspective to give you a new take on a situation. I think I need to work on being less forthcoming about my aggravations with people on here and more forthcoming with the actual people I am dealing with. lol. Even so, I didn't feel like grappling today.

Turned out to be one of the best classes I've had in a while. Guess they were right about the whole "the best time to grapple is when you're tired" thing. We worked the same exact x-guard sweep as last night, but I took away a completely different set of lessons.

The first thing that really stuck out to me today was the importance of hipping in. A lot of emphasis is given in BJJ to the hip out. But the hip-IN is just as important. Without it, most sweeps cannot be done correctly. That is definitely the case with this x-guard sweep. If I expect to get my little legs up underneath some guy who has got seventy pounds on me, I have to first hip under him to get him off his base and get his weight up over my body so I can move him around. I can tell when I haven't hipped in enough when I am having to use a lot of muscle to pull his weight up on top of me.

The second thing that I took away from today was that I have to be ready to stand up sometimes during a grapple. In this case, when you are executing the sweep, you have hold of the person's leg (you swim it in the beginning). As you are trying to take them over, they may post out wide with their arms. But the sweep is not lost. If you still have hold of their leg, you can stand up and pull their hip up and in toward you, forcing them to fall back. Then you can drop into knee on belly or side control. It never occurs to me to stand up during a grapple. Need to be more aware of that option!

During grappling, I found myself trying to use spider guard a lot. I was trying to sweep people using spider guard, but was having very limited success. And by limited, I mean none. After my grapple with Ben, I asked him if he could pretty please show me how to sweep someone using spider guard. Don't know how many times I've seen this already. But I was forgetting key details.

Instead of just pushing on the person's elbow with my foot and trying to pull them over and down, what I need to do is bring my knee in and then out to the side again in a "V" motion. At the same time, I let go of the opposite arm and grab hold of their leg on the sweep-side, pulling their leg in. If I do the motions all together, it takes away their ability to stop themselves from falling on that side.

I'm going to play around with this and see if I can use the same idea to sweep from inverted guard. In that situation, my legs and arms are reversed, but I think the concept can still work. I don't know. I'll give it a go.


Liam H Wandi said...

Firstly, many many thanks for the very sweet and kind words!

I'm glad you still went to class and actually enjoyed it despite being stressed. That feeling rules. It's the greatest gift in BJJ: How it commands your full attention on the now.

The Hip-in. You are right! It doesn't get enough attention. I'm going to mention that to Martyn tomorrow. We worked on deep half-guard sweeps yesterday and he used the term "get your weight and hips under them" and that phrasing works for me but I could see a couple of peeps struggling and thanks to you I now have an alternative phrasing to use :)