For the past two classes, we’ve been working on the leg lasso guard and sweep. I’ve been discovering that this setup and sweep is a universe unto itself. While I’ve yet to find anything as comforting and dominant as the simple closed guard, these fancy variations of the open guard offer the playfulness and satisfaction our bodies are looking for when it comes to training. Honestly, if I could revolve my game around the world of the open guard and the shoulder roll, I think I’d be a happy man. It’s just so fun.
I haven’t been able to find any precise videos that cover exactly what we’re doing in class. It’s a shame, because it’s good stuff. It’s so obvious, yet so hidden down in the depths of the game. When you train the lasso guard, I think it’s common to say, “Why haven’t I ever seen that before? The position is as clear as day.” And it’s fluid too. The guard allows your body to move the way it’s supposed to with not all that much effort. What I’m finding though is that the initial setup is the most difficult. If you’re rolling with someone with limited experience, these types of guards are easily attainable, but if you’re up against someone who’s been around for a while, you’ll most likely get stuffed. Thursday night, I had trouble getting the basic closed guard. I mean, I’ve never had to fight so hard for that position.
I’m not the kind of guy who likes to sit still, so I’ve already been researching a few ways to deal with the lasso after it’s been thrown on me. My instinct is to sit tight, look at where I am, look at what my opponent needs to complete the sweep and then take away those tools. That’s what I generally do and in this case, my instinct was fairly accurate. I found a good video of the Mendes Bros going over how to pass this guard. What I like about these guys is how they (while not specifically stated in this video) stay low and maintain their base. This is the type of sweep that requires getting your opponent off balance and while passing it, base becomes critical.