Open Mat today with the 4th of July holiday. I got in some good open guard drilling with Glenn (X-guard sweeps for him, Leandro Lo sweep for me), helped a new guy with armbar defense, and managed two sparring sessions, including a long roll with Jeremy, who I haven't seen much less trained with in some time.
W/re2 the Leandro Lo sweep, I think the key is in abandoning the spider control as soon as you get the leg locked up. Otherwise, I feel as if I'm leaving myself vulnerable to a potential footlock or ankle lock. Maybe even more importantly, I am able to get to the top after the sweep much faster if I get rid of the spider control (i.e., foot on bicep). This is more or less what I discovered drilling the sweep with Mark awhile back. But it was good to be reminded of the issue.
One thing that is becoming clearer about my sparring is that the guard passing work of this year is really starting to pay off. My guard passing confidence has never been higher, which in some ways isn't saying very much because I've never felt as if guard passing was a strong part of my game, anyway. But confidence is confidence, and I've got it. I'm finally starting to enjoy attacking the guard.
The flip side of this is that I've been spending so much time working on my guard passing game that my guard has started to suffer. As always "guard" for me is just shorthand for "half guard". And while I have no intention whatsoever of giving up the half guard as my go-to guard, I also need to grow the guard out a bit if I'm going to be able to use it effectively against bigger and more talented opponents.
The issue is that I'm not controlling the space, and am spending too much time fighting from a flattened position. There are three ways to fix this: (1) re-prioritize the frame, either at the shoulder or with the knee, (2) use the butterfly hook more aggressively to change the balance and attack with a hook sweep from sitting up, and (3) crush the space with a deep half attack.
Right now (2) is the option I need to focus on particularly. I was able to get a reverse out of a fairly flattened situation at one point today with the Foster sweep, which was a reminder of not only the value of the butterfly hook, but also of the kimura grip. I really don't have a sweep out of (1), though this may be a good place to start, including this variation that gets you to the back.
Last, (3), especially with the Faria sweep, is another option I need to train more. I got a lot of insights out of the Pan and Mundial this year when it comes to understanding the Faria sweep from deep half, and I've been letting those insights ripen on the vine a little too long.
160.5 on the scale post-train. I would have liked to knock another pound off that number for a sub-160 midweek count. But assuming the end of week number on Friday is where is should be (i.e., 157-159), Wednesday's 160+ is no crime.