Another good time last night, but nowhere near as grueling as the past few classes I’ve had to endure. While we did sweat, the doors were open to offer a slight (warm) breeze and we didn’t free roll at all. Not that I mind that – I actually prefer the strenuous side of BJJ. But, I will tell you that last night’s classes were good and that, like usual, I was able to play with a few things I had on my mind.
For the fundamentals class, we basically went over x-pass drills. From all my study over the weekend, I was able to put two and two together to realize what we were doing. I kept telling my partner that I like to focus on the end result position, which, in turn, helps with with the drill in its entirety. We did a few of those drills for the hour and then I did, in fact, attempt a few x-passes during the next class. I’ll talk about that later.
For the second class, the advanced one, we went over some fairly sweet half guard escapes and sweeps. I was lucky enough to have Darec (the brown belt) as my drilling partner. Which is good because Darec is very enthusiastic about his Jitsu and was all too open to passing it along to me. I’m fine with that. During last night’s drilling, Darec shared something called the high knee block (I think) he picked up at a seminar once. He said he absolutely loved the setup and sweep we were working on and that it was one of his favorites. That’s good because as I mentioned earlier, he’s an awesome BJJ player. To see him get so excited about a technique we were drilling and for me to pull it off effectively, was a good sign.
After playing with the half guard sweep for a while, we did some drills where we had four guys on the mat. Others would come in, get one grip on one inside knee of the other’s open guard. The goal for the top guy was to either pass or submit. The goal for the bottom guy was to sweep or submit. I like these kinds of drills.
I probably did just as well from top as I did from bottom. A few times though, I had to resort to my old ways and play really low as I passed, which I find very effective. I can do my pressure passes from there and those passes are difficult to stop. The times where I did stay on my feet to attempt to pass didn’t go as well. I was practicing my x-pass and when I would get my grips, I found that the bottom player got their grips as well. They would immediately break my grips in their attempt to sweep. That’s when I decided to go back to my old ways. I’m going to have to talk to Kevin about that – what to do about the bottom player when setting up the x-pass.
After a while, we changed up the drill we were working on to one where we still had four guys out there on bottom, but this time, those four put the top guy on half guard. We had to start from that position and either sweep or submit. Again, the top guys had to either pass or submit.
I had tremendous luck with this drill. When on top, I can quite effectively pass a number of ways, my favorite being a knee punch through. There’s also one pass that Jeff taught me that I believe no one here knows. I’m going to have to demonstrate it to Kevin to see if he’s ever taught it because it’s really good. Good enough and tricky enough to include in his classes. I’ve tried it a few times to totally take those who I’m sparring with off-guard. If they can use it, all the better.
I’m very comfortable in half guard. While I was on bottom last night, I felt right at home. I used the technique we went over in class to much success – but only the first time around. I’ll tell you, you can’t try the same trick twice on these guys because they learned what I was up to rather quickly. I had to turn to my triangle after a while, which was fine. I wanted to play with that too.
As I was rolling last night, I asked Christy to snap a few pictures for me. She started shooting away with her cell phone and will email to me later on what she took. I do want to bring my camera and small tripod in so she can get some different types of wide angle shots. I think it would really spice things up on this blog as well as add to their school’s promotion.