Last night, we did more of what I described in my last post. We had three guys on the mat and three challengers attempting to pass their open guard. It’s a tough exercise, especially when you’re trying to put into action what you’ve just gone over.
I already told you that we went over the x-pass last week. This is the pass that I’ve chosen to practice for the guard pass exercises and I’ll tell you one thing – it’s not easy. These guys are onto the fact that I’m practicing this pass and don’t just let it happen. I think the only one I was successful with all night was with medium Kevin very early on. And I couldn’t even get the original x-pass. I had to change it up half way through and reverse my direction for a modified knee punch through from standing. It’s a good pass though, but not one that’s simply enacted.
At the end of class, I explained to big Kevin that it’s tough and kind of demotivating when I fail at what I’m attempting to practice. I told him that I could easily revert to my old game and kind of get things done, but then I wouldn’t be growing and trying to learn new things. The problem is, as I’m growing, I’m getting housed by a few guys. I have to suck it up and continue practicing. The game is very different here and it’s definitely a challenge getting down with these types of guards and passes. I’ve always had sort of a modified no-gi type of game. Here, it’s total gi and grips. I’ll get it though because it’s really good stuff.
At the beginning of class, Kevin asked the higher belts to teach one other person their favorite sweep. I worked with medium Kevin and wanted to show him my made up “pop the guy forward while in closed guard, dig my head behind his arm, hook his leg and bend him like a banana” sweep. But that was too simple. I knew big Kevin wasn’t going to leave it at that, so I decided to go with Brad Wolfson’s modified flower sweep. The one where the guy on bottom is in closed guard, takes the top guy’s right arm out of commission, grabs the top guy’s left pant leg and throws his own leg up through the armpit of the top guy to sweep him up and forward. Yeah, like typing that description here works at all. I tried finding a video of Brad going over the sweep but I couldn’t.
After we taught our partner that, we had to rotate and the person who just learned the sweep, had to teach the next higher belt (the guy who just taught one). Medium Kevin taught big Kevin the sweep I just taught him. I know I forgot some parts, but I hope he got the general gist of things.
When I was learning the sweep that another guy just learned, I had to go ahead and suggest a little bow and arrow choke at the end. The sweep originally ended in a choke from back and by adding the bow and arrow portion of it, it was made just a bit more lethal. I’m not sure if I was supposed to do that or not, but it was fun nonetheless.
In the middle of all this, Kevin decided to stop things and show a quick escape from the leg lock down. If you’ve been rolling for any amount of time, you most likely know (and hate) the leg lock down. It’s a stalling or sweeping technique used by a guy who’s on bottom and holding the top guy in half guard. For whatever reason, the bottom guy can figure-four the top guy’s leg and lock it down to slow the game. I know a few guys who use this, really to no avail other than being a pain in the ass, but it works for what it’s intended, I guess. I’ve done it in the past, but only if I’m outweighed by an opponent and I’ve run out of things to turn to. I’ll just lock the guy down to take a break.
Anyway, what Kevin suggested we do when we’re in the lock down and we’d like to get out of it is to reach down and grab around the bottom guy’s legs and continue to push our leg through. This way, we’ll be putting pressure on the bottom guy’s ankles and they’ll either tap or let go. We practiced it and if the bottom guy doesn’t have underhooks, it works really well. The escape also sends a message to those “lock down” types of guys that they better not try it again. Perfect.
I couldn’t find a video of this particular escape. I really have got to start taking some pictures and videos up there because this stuff is gold. Actually, I’m not finding videos of anything we do, which makes what we do even better and more video-worthy. But what I did find was a sweet long lock down escape series put out by Rener Gracie. He shows a few pretty fancy escapes, including setup and where to turn after the escape has been successful. Let me know what you think.
Breaking the Lock Down 101