Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Being at home in half

My bottom game really revolves around half guard. Honestly, for me, it just might be better than full guard. No, there aren't as many subs, but for me, there's actually more sweeps. Also, getting back to guard is one of the most frustrating things in the world for your opponent (even though I'd rather just go for a sweep).

I haven't been able to make class much for the last month and a half because work's been crazy, but I have been training with Terrence, T is pretty new to BJJ but is a real athlete. Played football in college or something, and he's strong as an Ox (ugly as one too). He's also got a build that's makes my typical half guard game difficult. Dude's got crazy long arms, but short really short legs. Since I really like the lock down, that kinda sucks for me, because he his short ass legs make it difficult for me to get my inside ankle under his.

Last few classes I've made at Vandry's though, Professor Vandry has been working some half guard stuff. He doesn't have long legs at all either and watching him roll is ALWAYS amazing, but since I've been thinking half guard, I've watched for how he handles half guard. He approaches half guard a totally different way. I rarely see him use lockdown, instead I see him control his opponents through other means, like simply stepping on their calf and ankle.

Today we worked what he called "the pinch", it was something I'd never seen before, and actually might not have grasped had not Carter Fisk, came and gave me a few pointers. The whole point of this is to just hip escape and get one knee ALMOST inside, and push his hip with your knee, while using your bottom leg to apply pressure the opposite way. Honestly, this seems like a REALLY nice place to be, and I'm very interested in exploring some sweeps from this position.

I guess the point of this post is that I feel like I'm really evolving this part of my game. It's probably always been one of my favorite positions, and I kinda got to where everything was just muscle memory. I'd just always go for the lockdown/whip up, and look for the sweep. Rolling with and watching guys with builds that make that difficult has forced me to explore other options, and I'm really excited about all the potential.

I guess the more tools we have in our belt, the more comfortable we are. To me, half guard is just getting more and more comfortable.

Happy Rolling

- The Geek in a Gi

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