Thursday, July 14, 2011

Passing the Guard

This afternoon, I grappled one of the blue belts at our school, Salsa John, twice. Whenever I grapple him, he generally makes me work to pass his guard and he tries out different sweeps and different things to defend his guard. He is a very mobile grappler in whatever position he is in, and it is no different in guard, so I make very little progress actually passing.

I really get a lot out of my grapples with him because:

1. He forces me to constantly watch my base. If my hips get too high, I am going over.

2. Having to grapple someone with a really solid guard means that I have to look at it like a puzzle. If I try something and it doesn't work, I need to either figure out what I am doing wrong or try something else. Also, it makes me try a number of different kinds of passes and try out new things I haven't tried before.

3. I get to see what details I have been messing up. I have said it before, but most of my teammates are willing to show me where something is off and how to correct it.

4. I get really good cardio! LOL Spending five minutes moving, moving, moving and trying to pass means that my heart is pumping when time is called. Love it.

Tuesday night we had eleven people at the girls class, including me, Steph and Joyce. Two ladies came to just watch, but I think they want to try it out now that they have seen what goes on. I was wondering the entire class what they were thinking when they were watching people grapple. Were they excited to try it? Or scared by the close, intense nature of what was going on? I guess we'll find out if they come back or not! lol


Aaron Bair said...

I really suck it up at passing the guard. I don't have a lot of passes in my arsenal, just the basic passes. I am learning some new passes and have been working them sparring.

Rolling with somebody that is good at everything,but excels in one facet of jiu jitsu, like sweeps, is very beneficial. My base has improved because there is one guy that has mad sweeps and gets me every time. said...

Ahhhh - my favorite subject. As you are aware by now, passing the guard is a huge weakness of mine. Thanks for the positive perspective - helpful words as I'm heading off to class.

Congratulations on the class! Glad to hear you had some newbies!

Liam H Wandi said...

guard passing is my favourite part of BJJ. It's such a dialogue and I love playing that game. The pre-emption, the pressure, removal of obstacles, the actual pass and securing the position. I loves it.

To me, passing is very similar to escaping mount. The principles are very similar:

1. control the legs
2. Control the hips
3. lock the upper body or at least monitor the distance between the the upper bodies
4. pass around, over or under the leg.
5. secure the new position.

As for people watching, I can only hope they are excited by how fun grappling is :) I can't feel what they feel. It's impossible to un-know grappling. It's like languages. I'm fluent in three and getting to grips with two more.

When I hear a conversation in a language I'm totally unfamiliar with, I get a certain feeling in my head. I can appreciate or dislike it's rythm...etc. but my lack of understanding of what's being said gives me a certail outside perspective. If the same conversation is carried out in a language I know, there is no way I can re-create that outside perspective. Believe me I've tried :)

Once you know a little grappling, you can't unknow it :)