Thursday, February 24, 2011

Reverse! -- Half Guard Sweeps

This afternoon, Fabio taught us a series of bottom half-guard sweeps. I say series because it is one of those things that is an "if/then" situation. If your opponent does this, then you do this.

Two major things stuck out to me as "most important" in this series:

1. Getting your opponent off balance by switching directions. One of the central ideas of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not fighting force with force, but instead "going with" your opponent and using their momentum against them. First you try to sweep one way, but they block. You be prepared to either sweep them the way that they are pushing or to take advantage of whatever space they are making. Instead of trying to force something, go another way. And then another way. And then another way. You keep switching directions until you catch them off balance and then take them over.

I used to waste a lot of energy trying to force sweeps to happen. Now, I try to be more patient and to keep moving. Sometimes it takes a while to actually get the sweep, especially if the person is bigger. Sometimes I don't even get the sweep, but instead have to use the space created by the sweep attempt to return to my guard.

The important thing I am learning is to go with my opponent and use their movement and weight distribution to my advantage as much as possible.

2. Bringing your opponent on top of you. For a long time, this seemed counter productive to me, especially if my opponent was heavier than me. How would bringing their weight on top of me help?

I am only just starting to understand how to do this with bigger people, but the benefits I see so far are that(1)it removes the effectiveness of their posts. Their weight is on you, not on their arms or legs and (2)when you bring the person on top of you, they have to go where your body goes. If I bring someone on top of me and turn my body to the side, they will fall off to the side.

Other random things I noticed that are important with half guard sweeps:

1. Hipping into the person or diving under the person (in order to bring the person on top of you).

2. Using your knees to pinch the leg and help bring the person up on top of you and then over.

3. NOT using arm strength, but instead using arms to remove bases or swim things.


I think for the next month or so, I would like to focus on trying to get better at half guard sweeps and side control escapes; especially side control escapes from the scarf hold. We'll see how it goes.


Liam H Wandi said...

Brilliant post Allie. Now remember that you are a visual learner and Deep half is not very visual :)

Try to keep your head hidden (hello underhooks) and focus on using your other senses rather than your eyes to feeeeel their balance shift.

A.D. McClish said...

You know Liam, now that you mention it, that was one of the things about deep half guard that bothered me for a while--not being able to see what I was doing. It also hampered my chocking from all positions. You have to close all the space to choke someone well, but I wanted to look at my hands while I was choking. It took me a long time to break that habit. Ok...I haven't broken it yet. I still do it sometimes. lol

Georgette said...

I love bottom half sweeps! Mine are usually ugly, slow, and feel so inefficient. But... they work!

The image for me of why pulling them on top of me works is a sphere sliced in half. If the halves don't line up, then it won't roll all the way over and at best just rocks a little. Once you compose one half on top of the other half, then you can really get rolling. Excuse the pun.

Dev said...

My favorite spot to be... your point about getting them on top of you is the most important, from my perspective. I generally describe it as "controlling their center of gravity," but it's the same thing. Nice.

A.D. McClish said...

@Georgette: Mine are definitely ugly and slow too. lol. Half the time, I have to just attack the lower half of the body and dive completely underneath to get the sweep.

@Dev: It is definitely not my favorite spot, but I have at least gotten to the point where I don't panic when I get there. Looking at it as controlling the center of gravity definitely makes sense. I still have a hard time getting my legs and arms to work together to make that happen. Usually, only one set of limbs works at a time! lol