Sunday, February 12, 2012

On Hall in Houston

One of the most impressive things I've seen all weekend was Ryan Hall's performance at the IBJJF Houston Open.

Down 2-3 (takedown - guard pass), Ryan finds himself on top against a deep half attack. He goes right to the move that he shows on his DVD: grabbing the leg and crunching to break the guardplayer's posture, then slipping into a watchdog top position against a regular half and setting up the rolling back take.

I count six separate times in less than 45 seconds that Ryan goes for this move. Full roll and kicking. No go. Half roll and searching for leverage. No go. Adjust. No go. Complain to the ref. No go. Start over. Full roll, half roll, angle, leverage, momentum ...

On the SEVENTH try, he gets the reverse to take the back. With seconds left, however, Ryan loses the match because, in crossing his ankles, he was not awarded four points for taking position. Time runs out before he can readjust his ankles from crossed to hooks.

Ryan was not amused by the decision (though he was respectful to his competitor). And there's sure to be all sorts of petit controversy on the interwebs.

But all I'll say is that the fact that we were denied a J.T. versus Ryan final is a far greater outrage than the ankle-crossing rule for getting points after taking the back.