Sunday, April 24, 2011

4 Weeks Out

With a month to go before the May Revolution, now's the time to hammer into place what's going to be my gameplan, and to hammer out of place any weaknesses that I can forsee that might get in my way.

Interestingly, all three of my training sessions the last time I was on the mat (Wednesday, ugh!) played a role in defining each of the three critical areas I need to address.

Sauleh: Here there were two things that stood out. First, and practically speaking, I'm still without a coherent approach to attacking the full guard, and am too hesitant when it comes to attacking the half guard with the passes I know well.

There's a lot embedded in the first point. But the bottom line is that I need to embrace toreano passing 100% as the foundation of my dealing with the full/open guard. Toreano passing is tournament tested at the highest levels and will help me deal with the most problematic part of guard passing for me: the legs.

The hesitancy issue is the hesitancy issue. That's just a matter of smashing through ego and inhibition and just getting to it. That and a little focus to train specifically what I need to train when the opportunity comes up.

The second thing training with Sauleh was just a matter of intensity. It is easy to get into a lazy rhythm of training - even when the technical edge is not large. But this is the road to a slow and lazy jiu jitsu and sooner or later, someone will come along and expose it. Better now then four weeks down the line.

Glenn: I've long known that I have a great half guard on one side, and a virtually non-existent half guard on the other. I've also not done anything to fix that problem. And when someone has done a good job of putting or keeping me on my worse side, then they've pretty much got the drop on me.

I don't need to be as good in southpaw half as I am in orthodox half. But I need a nice trio of interrelated moves that work for me when I do wind up in southpaw half guard - whether they are the same as on the orthodox side or not.

Prof. Carlos: The big lesson here was having an objective with the guard. Prof. Carlos has the fastest attack of anyone I train with, in large part because he is one of the few higher belts who will challenge your guard from standing.

It was an education to see elements of real jiu jitsu emerge from time to time, moves like the single X that I've never really trained, in the midst of my scrambling to try and avoid the inevitable pass. And it served as a reminder that there is more jiu jitsu locked up in my superego than there is being demonstrated on the mat at any given time.

That said, as the saying goes, "have a point." I've been migrating from the half guard over the past few weeks, feeling a little limited in its ability to attack relative to a more open sitting guard a la Marcelo Garcia. There will always be a little half in my world. But I think a key to getting where I want to be in terms of having a truly effective jiu jitsu from bottom to top lies somewhere other than the half guard that's gotten me from blue belt to where I'm at these days.