So Fredson, a wee little black belt visiting Maxercise, taught the classes there on Sunday and Monday. He went over his personal way of passing the half guard to "the negative", by sitting on the hips and controlling your opponent's leg between your legs, keeping an upright posture. I got to train with him on Monday, and it was pretty fun. He has an interesting choke where he attacks under your arm and tricks you into thinking that you're safe, but then you realize it's an arm triangle.
He also taught a variation of the esgrima pass that is in Saulo's book and I have used and I know Eli uses it on me all the time, where you control the elbow with your hand and put pressure and weight on the guy's chest with your elbow and allow him to come up on his side. He went to the negative from there. Given my druthers I'd rather just pass from there and go for the armlock, but it's not always possible if the guy hides his other arm.
Wednesday at Bainbridge Brian taught the more typical way of passing to the negative done by Regis and Marcelo, and I worked on it with one of my trains with John P. I have a hard time with both variations, partly due to my lack of weight, and partly do to my bad positioning when I step around. It's hard for me to keep the guy flat. Fredson's version leave me vulnerable to the guy on the bottom sweeping me with a butterfly hook, although I know you can step over his knee to hop to the north-south it's easier said than done.
Training was excellent and super tough. Zack G. choked me out at least six times, Eli was all over me, Rob smashed me with that half-guard pass he does really well, and Kevin armbarred me like five or ten times. I got to train with a visiting blue belt which was cool, swept with a scissors sweep, then tapped him with an x-choke from the mount. Then swept with an x-guard sweep but got lazy passing and got caught in a triangle armbar. It seems like guys who haven't seen that x-guard entry and sweep don't really have an answer for it. As long as you slide yourself underneath them and don't just try to yank them on top of you.
I've been working on playing a more sitting up guard type of game and only using the de la Riva guard when I get pushed back as a secondary defense. It gets me into trouble because I suck at it but I'm making progress slowly. Passing, I'm thinking about the squatting position Fredson showed and that's getting me into trouble because I'm thinking too much about that, and not passing quickly. Also everyone has such a good half-guard and open guard it's a different world than what I have become used to. Then a quick soak in the hottub and a nice walk home in beautiful spring weather. Good times.
Got my brown belt ! (back in March, 2015)
10 months ago