While I’m still struggling to find time to write much, I’m beginning to train more consistently. I’m envious of those of you who can get in to train so regularly! Lately, I’ve been averaging three classes per week. I’m looking forward to continuing at least that. I know that when I get in three or four times per week, I feel good and get a real sense of progress. Less then that and I’m just coasting along. It’s hard to focus on your B game when you’re only training once each week.
In Bing’s class on Monday, he showed one of my favorite reversals, a gator roll type reversal when someone’s about to pass your half guard. This technique has been one of my favorites for years. It’s one of those techniques that’s been around so long that a lot of guys have forgotten about it. This reversal isn’t a sweep, in that it doesn’t technically begin in guard, so the one downside of this technique is that in a tournament you shouldn’t get sweep points for it.
Basically, I go to this move when someone is threatening to pass my half guard. It works particularly well if they’re controlling my bottom leg with their lead arm. So, let’s say I’m on my right side and “bad guy” is pinning my right leg down with his left hand. The trick is to sell the pass. First thing to do is control that lead arm. I want to make sure that he doesn’t have any base or control my head. So, I’ll control the sleeve or the wrist and make sure that he doesn’t get that arm out. Usually, this isn’t a problem as he’s actively working to pin my leg, so he’s happy to keep his arm right there for me.
As he comes around, I’ll hip back and use my monkey feet to hook his leg, giving him some trouble coming around. I don’t want him to think that I’m really going to let him pass. The idea is to really get him thinking about driving his weight forward. When I’m ready to reverse him, I’m going to let him get around my leg, push his head down toward my waist with my left hand, making sure I’ve still got control of his lead arm with my right. This is so that I can sit up and reach around to grab his belt (or if I can’t get his belt I use the natural grip along the ribs/lats area). Then, as he moves to side control, I’ll turn almost to where I’m giving him north/south. At the same time, I drive that arm I’ve been controlling underneath him, bridge up and roll to get the reversal. It makes sense if you do it.
If I keep that arm, I’ll often come up in a position to work for the kimura from the top, or if I can’t get that, I can sit back to an armbar.
This is one of those techniques that really works on everyone. While nothing is 100%, I’ve caught big guys and small with this and it’s saved my ass more than once when someone double my weight is passing my guard like a freight train.
Technique yesterday was a slick guard pass.
Sparring was good. I got a lot of matches in with a variety of skill levels and sizes. I’m still working to really open up my guard when possible, and working the deep half guard when I can. Oh, on that note, I did get caught by Owen. I was working to get to deep half guard and ended up getting caught in a guillotine. Can you say “gaping hole in my technique?” I thought you could!
At the end of class, coach added some stripes. Thad got his first stripe on his brown belt, I got a fourth stripe on my blue and Trevin and Bing are now three stripe purple belts.
Oh, almost forgot. Looking forward to Sunday Morning! Foster BJJ is moving into a new space next month and renovations are underway. A lot of the guys are meeting up to clean, paint, demolish (hopefully) and help make the transition a smooth one. Can’t wait to see the new space in person. In the meantime, here’s Coach Foster giving a tour on YouTube: