Saturday, November 01, 2008

John Will seminar 1 Nov 2008 - open guard, side control escapes

The Open Guard

JBW feels the closed guard is not the best guard for students to learn first, and that the current popular teaching model of closed guard first is flawed.

Closed guard does not allow you to control the distance in a striking situation. Also, the guy in your guard is learning about posture at the same time you are learning the basic sweeps and submissions. The cross collar choke requires him to have broken posture and his hands not protecting his neck. Kimuras require his hand on the floor, near his knee. It can be hard to get a good sleeve grip to set up sweeps and other techniques.

Building the Open Guard

He is on his knees. Put your feet in his hips, along the underwear line. Your feet can now control and stop him coming forward, get in range to punch to your head, etc.. Sit up and grab his R lapel with your R hand, anywhere, low near his waist or high near his neck. "Climb the rope" hand over hand up his lapel until your R hand is deep inside his  R collar near the label at the back of his neck. You can now pull him in with the collar and/or push him away with your legs. Keep your knees inside his arms, providing an extra barrier, but also stopping punches. By moving his upper body back and forth (you even have some lateral control) you can bring his R hand into the right position where you can grab the sleeve easily with your L hand - and also disrupt his base. Pull hard on collar and sleeve, push actively with your legs, keeping him under tension and control. His R arm can be either outside or inside your L leg.

Most people are right handed, so controlling the R hand gives the best probability of controlling his principal striking or grabbing implement. Unless you know which is his dominant hand, you have to go with the percentages.

Cross Collar Choke from Open Guard

You build the open guard with your right hand deep in his collar as above. Create tension by  pushing back against him with your feet. Get your left hand under your right, releasing the sleeve and getting ready to slide your left hand into his left collar. Release the tension with your feet and pull him into your closed guard. He will often post with his hands to avoid the face plant, leaving his neck unprotected. This gives you the opportunity to punch your right hand up, opening the collar so you can get your left hand deep into his left collar. Finish the choke as normal from here.

The problem with this choke from closed guard is that while you are learning to do it, the other guy is learning to build posture. So opportunities to get it are few. Not so when you set it up like this.

Basic Sweep from Open Guard

Build the open guard as before. You have his R sleeve with your L hand, your R hand in his R collar. Shift your hips to your R. Your L foot goes in front of his R knee, your R shin is under his L armpit - about mid shin jammed in his armpit. Pull hard on the sleeve, push hard away with your L foot on his knee and drive your R shin anticlockwise up over and toward the floor, just like a roundhouse kick. Go to mount.

John digressed a little about roundhouse kicks - in his view the kick should always be driving through the target, using hip flexors, quads and adductors. The kick should end up being pushing the kicking leg away from the target after impact if continuous follow through is done correctly. Same thing applies with the R leg in this sweep.

The major problems with doing this sweep from closed guard are getting his sleeve, getting enough space to get the knee through with the right angle to avoid being sprawled on, and pulling him forward off his base. This sweep from open guard prevents all these issues. You also get better leverage as your R shin is closer to the end of the lever (his trunk). Another advantage is that you usually end up in a high mount rather than around his hips.

Kimura from Open Guard

Build the open guard as before, but this time get his R wrist with your L hand rather than getting the sleeve. Put the tension on with feet, collar and wrist. Take your L foot off his hip and straighten your L leg and hip far enough to get your knee past his elbow. Now pull him in with the collar, take you R foot off his hip, push his R wrist back with your hand as you bring his R elbow toward you with your L knee and put your L calf across his back. He should be off balance forward with his R arm wrapped around your L leg. Move your L leg just enough to get your R hand in for the figure 4. Clamp down on his R upper arm and turn the propellor with his L forearm to finish.

The big problem with this tech from the closed guard is getting his wrist and getting it in the right place to do the kimura. Much less so with this.

Move to Hooking Guard with Cross Arm Control - then take the back or sweep

Build the open guard. Now grab his R sleeve with the R hand as well. His R arm should be between your knees now if you are applying tension with hands and feet. With as few gaps in time and space as possible,  drop your feet off his hips to inside his thighs, pull his arm across your body to the floor, hip out slightly to the L and sit up, reaching over his back to grab his belt or waist, pinning his R hand to the floor with your straight R arm.

From here:

If he doesn't move, bring your R foot in front of his L knee, pushing it back and away to flatten him out, Throw your L leg over his body and "kill the fly", moving onto his back.

Most people with experience will try to square up in guard. As he pushes back into you, underhook his L arm with your R, roll back and to the L and use the underhook and your hooks to sweep him to your L. Go to side control rather than mount to avoid the half guard.

If he is too heavy, you miss the timing for the sweep, or he sprawls on you, just keep the controls on his arms, and with small movements gradually move your hips under him to the right, so that his body is now on your L side rather than on your R. It should now be much easier to complete the sweep. "One out, three back".

From this open guard, it is much easier to move to other guards - hooks, spider, butterfly, half, closed, outside hook/DLR, etc. than it is to move from closed guard to other guard types. Therefore this adds to the case for making this guard the centre of your guard game.


From Shortbase side control with head and far arm control

He has short base side control on your R side. His R knee is blocking your R hip so you can't get your R knee through to go to guard. His L arm is under your head, cross facing, his R arm is underhooking your L arm. He has managed to "kill" your R arm, so the elbow is not in his L hip but out in space, and his L elbow and L knee are touching, stopping you from getting your R elbow back in his hip.

To get the R elbow in his L hip: Feet up toward your butt. Bump his R knee with your R hip at the same time you flick your head to the L pulling his grips with it. This should hopefully create enough space to get your elbow back in his hip.

Get you feet right up near your butt, loading the quads for a BIG bridge. Bridge explosively towards him, at the same time driving his head to the mat over your body to the R side of your head with your bicep (like an underhook escape - JBW calls it the "invisible underhook"). Now spin your body back the other way, your back to the mat, so your head comes out under his L armpit. Your L arm is hooking his right arm. You in effect do a shoulder spin and end up head to head with you sprawled on top of him. The second half of the move is similar to the switchout escape from head to head where he is on top with a R underhook on your L arm - you do the sitout and shoulder spin to end up on top head to head.

From Shortbase side control, both of his arms underhooking your far arm

He has shortbase side control on your R. Both his arms are underhooking your L arm. Grab the cloth behind his L tricep with your R hand. Feet up for a BIG bridge. Bridge hard and to your left, straightening your R arm and pushing his tricep away from you to your left, locking out your R arm. While your R arm is locked, bring your L elbow back under your body, allowing you to be able to roll to your stomach. Let go the sleeve with your R hand; he should try to move back and regain side control. As he does, overhook his L arm with your R. Now roll to your stomach, dragging his L arm underneath you with the R overhook. Get on your toes drive into him and push your butt up in the air; He should be rolled off your back and right shoulder onto his back. Keep the grip on his L arm - you may be able to turn anticlockwise over his head to side control on his R with a figure 4 finish on his L arm ready to go.

The problem with this technique is that of you are regularly practicing BJJ, you should seldom be put in this position in wrestling, but escaping earlier or avoiding the position entirely. So it needs to be drilled specifically in case the need arises. However there is a similar technique which allows the technique to be practiced from a less threatening position which will occur much more often in sparring.

He is passing your guard around to your R and has almost passed. Underhook his L arm with your R. As he drives around, turn to your left side, get your elbow under and turn onto your stomach, keeping the grip with our R arm so the underhook turns into an overhook. Roll him over your shoulder and onto his back as before.

Kneeride Escape

He has kneeride on your R. Your R arm goes under his R ankle. Pick the foot up using the crook of the elbow. Your L hand goes into his L hip - the L elbow is a stiff arm. Grab your L wrist with your R hand to form a figure 4. His balance is now pretty shaky. Hip escape away from him and he should  fall back - with a taller guy you may need to use your L knee to help him over. Come up on top - his R leg should be open to a possible legbar opportunity.

Brown Belt

At the end of the seminar, John Will presented Rick Spain with his BJJ brown belt, to the congratulations of all.