Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Body Surfing

Last night, I grappled a guy named Derrick. He is one of the senior blue belts at our school and one of the most flow-y, talented grapplers I know. He moves a lot and I am always exhausted after grappling him, but in a good way.

When we were grappling, he kept sweeping me. Sweep. Sweep. Sweep. Most of the time, the sweeps came as I was trying to pass his guard and come into side control, or when I was in half guard. After the roll was over, he pointed out some of the mistakes I was making.

He said I get myself into a tight little ball, for one thing. I do tend to do that. When I am on the bottom, it works out because my arms and legs make a nice frame to keep space. But when I am on the top, i make myself easier to sweep. He told me that, when I feel like I am being swept, I need to make myself as big as possible.

I am like this:

I need to be like this:

He said also that I was using my shoulder to pin him at the neck, instead of just using my shoulder to block him from turning into me. The result was, I was gripping onto him and making it easier for him to take me over.

What I need to do instead is be more mobile. Me? Need to be more mobile? Big shocker I guess what I have been doing is, when I am grappling bigger guys, once I get into a good position, I want to hold onto it. But getting rigid and gripping them actually works against me.

Derrick said that, because I am small, I need to be able to surf on top of my opponent.

I need to feel what they're doing and adapt, move my hips, adjust my balance, shift my weight. The way for me to keep a position is not to pin someone down, it is to be mobile. When they move, I have to adjust. Otherwise, I'm like a big weight on top of a lever. If I don't move, he will get leverage on me and I will go over.


SavageKitsune said...

I ROFL'ed at your animal pictures!

It sounds like you got the exact same tactics speech that I got yesterday on JiuJitsuForums from Kintanon!

Liam H Wandi said...

Hmm. I don't agree with Derek.

I think there are two positions in BJJ and your pictures illustrate them perfectly :o)

However, I believet that whe you are balled up correctly, then 95% of the time you're doing the right thing. I've never seen you roll (why have I not seen you roll? send me some vids!) so maybe you need to move more and maybe you don't but I found myself agreeing with your shoulder tactics and balling up (in general)

Passing in particular is a very peculaiar activity. It's the one time when your hips and your partner's hips are at their closest and you can affect each other's balance and orientation the easiest. Surf it and see what happens. You'll auto-tune your body weight distribution soon enough and balled-up vs parachute are just tools and metaphores.

Dev said...

Yeah, I have to agree with Part-Time. 98% of my bottom game involves me figuring out a way to control my opponent's center of gravity. If you're "surfing" then chances are good that a) you're on my legs, which means I control your center of gravity 100% and OWN you, and b) that all I have to do is control one limb and dump you in that direction.

My advice would be to avoid surfing directly on top of someone. But as Liam said, I don't have a good mental picture of your rolling style. So I could be completely wrong. :)