Got to the academy early to work on some conditioning and, if I were lucky, some drills with any available bodies.
Fortunately, I was able to find a willing partner and once again I was reminded of how valuable this time is as part of regular training. I've never taken a private, so I can't honestly compare. But the few times I've spent really stopping to drill a specific move or technique with a training partner have often been as valuable as class time itself.
Tonight I worked mostly on the over/under half guard pass that Marcelo is such a big fan of. It's a great way to finish off the Flat Pass, which has been getting stalled out at half guard. I'm still only getting used to it. But tonight was a great kick-off.
I also did a little more review on the counter to the backstep pass. Ironically, Prof Rodrigo taught us a very similar counter as part of the class. The approach I used is another Marcelo Garcia tactic, but Prof Rodrigo's use of the far arm to reach below the leg and secure the gi lapel provides a lot of control. Both finish with the butterfly hook using the outside leg.
We also got to work on dealing with the watchdog pass (as opposed to the turning pass). So far, it seems like your best bet is to assume that your guard is already passed and treat the position like a side control escape: getting the underhook on the topside, going belly down, and then working to your knees and a standoff.
I'm not 100% convinced on this one. But I love this kind of diagnostic approach to training: thinking very specifically about what is not working and then going over the physics of the situation to figure out where the potential opportunity for escape lies.
Good training overall tonight. In addition to the counter I mentioned above, Prof Rodrigo showed us a nice backtake from top side half guard. Right now, it seems as if the jiu-jitsu world has declared war on the half guard - especially the deep half guard - as all the top guys are coming up with ways to take the back from the top position. It's one of the fascinating things about jiu-jitsu, the constant "arms race" that drives the art into ever-greater efficiency and capability.
156.0 on the scale post-train. The brown belt adult lightweight bracket this Saturday at the Revolution is brutal. Sauleh, the brothers who run Seaside Jiu-Jitsu in Oregon, and Jacob - a guy I've lost to twice already at purple. Should be one hell of a show.