Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hooks and Handles

The Battle

Still working on my top game. I had the privilege yesterday of rolling with a new partner. Someone whom I've watched quite a bit. He plays a really lose top game, and spends a lot of his time on his feet, and works to go directly to knee on belly. He outranks me (hold the jokes buttwranglers!), and I make it a point to not just go ask someone to roll that outranks me unless I've rolled with 'em before. So yeah, he came and asked if I was done for the night. My response was "Shit, I'm scared of you".

He got a kick out of it.

Anyway, I avoided getting on my back like it was H1N1, and immediately went to work trying to do the types of things I spoke of in my last blog. Instead of pulling him into my guard or half guard, I grabbed a pant leg and tried to pin down something, anything.  It actually worked - to a point. But instead of just letting me step out into side control, he was able to get a hook in under my leg that wasn't stabling his low hip. To say the least, this put a wrench in my plans. My typically step around pass wasn't working because he had a hook in under my leg keeping me from stepping over. I looked really stupid lifting that leg up higher and higher trying to shake off that hook, and at some point I felt like I was in danger of some really ninja looking sweep that I don't know the name of.
So, I did the obvious. I took a big handful of pant leg and tried to glue that leg to the mat so he couldn't use that hook effectively.

It worked pretty well. Anytime he'd get a hook in, I wouldn't just conceded that hook. I'd grab a handle on the leg that had the hook and try to get that leg pinned down. It was interesting. My step around pass was once again available, but I noticed something that was even better.

Since one hip was stabled down by my body weight from the initial attack, he was one one side. When I pinned down that other leg, if I made it a point to not let his hips get flat on the mat I could pass to his back side easier than stepping over that pinned leg. The hook was inside my thigh and he was rolled up on his side anyway trying to protect that obvious pass. If I just use the fact that he put a hook there and force that leg to the mat, there wasn't much he could do to stop it. It wasn't some anomaly either, because I was successful with it a few times.

I think I'm starting to touch on a bigger picture here. It's all about the opposing forces. If I can control both hips, or just one hip and the opposite shoulder. I've effectively made my opponent immobile, and last I checked it's a hell of a lot easer to walk around something that's immobile.

Anyway, there's my brain dump from yesterday, do with it what you will.

Happy Rolling!

The Geek in a Gi

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