Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Elbows are Knees too

Ok, I think the blogging is actually making a difference in my game. Writing this stuff down helps me commit it to memory. Much more than a simple mental note. So with that in mind, I'm gunna brain dump stuff I noticed yesterday.

My last 3 posts (that's pretty much all of 'em besides that boring "about me" stuff) have been about top game. With the last 2 of them being about concentrating on my opponents lower half, his legs and hips.

It's been about 3 weeks since I've rolled with Chris. I was really looking forward to rolling with him. To me, he's a great measuring stick, and he keeps me real. He rolls at a great pace but isn't afraid to put a little back into it. He's also got hips like a freekin' salsa dancer. It totally drives me nuts, but in a much different way than salsa dancers do.

We touched up, and I immediately grabbed his left pant leg and right lapel and tried to dump him on his right side. Just as I expected, he didn't resist but as he went to his side he wedged his left knee in between our bodies and tried getting control of my left hand so he could scissor the legs and sweep me.

Interesting... Instead of worrying so much about that left hand, I concentrated on getting rid of that annoying knee. He had totally blocked my knee with his so I decided to get creative and pretend my knee was an elbow. While keeping as much weight as I could centered over his top leg and as tight as I possibly could, I wedged my right elbow in between his left knee and his hips (right where I would have liked right knee to be).

To me, it seems like the important part when someone is working a scissor sweep is to NOT let him get that top leg open past 90 degrees. It reminds me of some martial arts video where a guy was demonstrating the strength of arms, where he had some really small woman hold his hand back with his arm totally flexed (so his elbow angle was less than 90 degrees). She did it no problem. He then had the biggest guy (some macho 'roid lookin' freek) try to do the same, but had his arm straightened past 90 degrees. Was impossible. Thinking about the physics of the human body help me when rolling, I tend to remember little tidbits like that.

Once I had that elbow wedged in, looped my hand under his leg, right behind his butt and grabed his belt. At that point, there was NO possibility of any scissor sweep, and I was able to get to work on my stable and step around pass. At that point, it was almost free. There was really no way for him to block me since he had lost use of that top leg. I could pass the other way (to a bread rolled side control) fairly easily as well.

I guess the thing that really stuck out for me was the use of that elbow. When he got his knee wedged in front of my hips and blocked me from getting top half or side. I had to rethink stuff. It was a divergence from the normal path, but I was able to figure out detour that still got me there.

To me, that's a big part of what BJJ is all about.

Happy Rolling,

The Geek in a Gi

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