BJJ 60 min
While technically another open mat at my brown belt friend’s house, I was once again the only one who showed. Like usual, we warm up with going right into a roll. As an aside, I really think people overestimate the importance of warm-ups with jiu jitsu. Not unlike lifting. I’m sure they’re a necessity for some for various reasons, but I don’t see any particular risk. Plus I’m training for self-defense over sport, so it’s not like I’d get 20 min to do stretches and planks and hip-out movements before things get ugly.
I won the takedown with a nice little sweep when he was off-balance from what I think was a failed sase (sp?) takedown. The crazy thing is that even when I “win” a take down with this guy, he is so technically sound that I have yet to establish true side control on him. He’s always however many steps ahead, posting and framing and escaping or sweeping. I can’t hold this guy down. That’s jiu jitsu.
The rest of the roll went well for me. He’s been working high mount Americana sequences on me and I’m definitely paying attention to what he’s doing. I’m making some decent escapes and defending somewhat, but of course I’m getting tapped still. We did a few more and started working on technique for the day, guard passing details.
This got into a discussion of WHY? Why are we passing the guard, and in what sort of circumstances. A lot of guard positions and strategy for passing exist only in the vacuum of sport grappling matches where everyone agrees to the rules. These are great and all and you can get really creative, but we focused on what to do when things get chippy.
In a fight, you need to be on your feet. If you’re not on your feet, you had better be pinning the guy. This is the “why” behind the tight pass position. I’ve learned this position and the passes stemming from it before, but today we dove a little deeper into the principles that make it work. The tight pass position is basically a low crouch where at least one of your feet is planted and you are making a wedge with your knee, keeping your elbows in and flaring outward onto their legs. Keep your posture upright and don’t grab the belt, posture on the hips instead.
In addition to being a pathway to technical guard passing, this position gives you the ability to stand right back up since one of your feet is already planted. This differs from a lot of stuff that happens on the mat. If you’re in a street fight and your, say, in someone’s guard with both of your knees on the ground, chances are you’ve made some poor choices to get there. Not so during a casual roll. That’s one of the things I like about his jiu jitsu lineage. It is self-defense first, second and third. Plenty of guys from there compete in sport BJJ and do well, but the techniques taught (and the techniques not taught pre-blue/purple belt) on their curriculum are all selected with the goal of preparing you for violence when you are weaponless.
We covered more details today and I’ll try to log them tomorrow, especially the bit about head control when guard passing, but the principles behind the tight pass position were the real eye-opener for me today.
I should sleep like ten bears after deadlifts and an hour with a brown belt!