Tuesday, August 26, 2014

John Will Seminar 24 August 2014 - a Spider Guard Plan

Spider sweep

The brain has a tendency to equate things based on similarities. Look instead for what is different.

A hyena is not a dog:

This sweep looks similar, superficially, to the basic scissor sweep. But if you try to do it like a scissor sweep, it won't work. To do it properly, the mechanics are VERY different. Almost nothing is the same.

From "baby" spider guard (shin on bicep guard) "hip escape" around to your left until you are at an angle and onto your R side and out of the "Corridor", leaving a space into which you can sweep him. Rather than moving back away from him as a regular hip escape might do, instead try to stay close and compact.

Put your L foot in his bicep. Lock your L leg straight. Try and stretch your body out away from him as much as possible while keeping the spider grips and control. Your R shin goes to the floor, in front of his L knee. Do a sort of situp, but without pulling him in or crunching,  and bring your R elbow back and come up on it, ideally moving still further clockwise up to 180 degrees. This movement should sweep him onto his back. Mount is probably your best option from here.

The Hybrid Sweep against Combat Base

Hybrid, in that it is a combination of hook, spider and X guard sweeps

You set up the spider guard as before from baby spider, moving around to your L and onto your R side. This time he posts on his L foot to stop the sweep (posting on the R foot does nothing to prevent the sweep) and ends up in combat base position:

Straighten up so you are flat on your back. Your R foot should go flat to the floor assuming he is going to continue to stand up; once you realise he isn't going to stand up fully. put your R hook behind his L knee. Pull him forward with your arms, L foot, and the R hook, using the R hook as a flagpole, guiding his L foot up next to your R ear so you can underhook his leg and grab the knee with your R hand as if taking X guard. Push his elbow to the floor with your L foot in his bicep. If he doesn't fall over he will end up on his R elbow and knee with you controlling his L leg.

From here:
  1. The quick move with smaller payoff:  Let go his R hand with your L and stand up in base - L elbow, L hand, move back to knees and technical standup. At best he will turn and you will end up in his open guard, at worst he will run away, pulling his leg out and escape.
  2. Adding extra steps for a delayed but superior payoff: Keep the spider control and grip on his R arm. Hip escape backward to give yourself enough room to get your R foot, but not the knee, under his R leg so the R foot is next to his  hip. The R knee doesn't go through. Now you can Kick out his L knee with your L foot, pull it back, and roll him over, rolling over your L shin and coming up to kneeride. The extra steps allow you to in effect pass his guard before you sweep him.
If you let go the L grip. you have no choice but to do option 1. A good spider guard player will always be reluctant to give up the spider control on the arm and in this case that certainly makes sense.

The deeper lesson here is to forego the immediate payoff of the first option, for the delayed, but much larger payoff  of the second, ending up in kneeride, having in effect passed his guard BEFORE you swept him, rather than sweeping him first and then having to pass his guard.

A concept exemplified by: The Stanford Marshmallow Experiment.


Also: simplicity isn't always the best thing, nor is complexity a bad thing. A complex technique like the twister may have more steps, but just do each one, one at a time, and don't think about the later steps until you have accomplished the one at hand.

Spider guard to back sweep, when opponent stands up 

You have set up the spider controls from baby spider, this time the opponent stands up. You square up to him, your R foot goes to the floor, foot flat, knee bent. Use both feet and your arms to pull him in so he steps towards you, so that his feet are close enough for you to grab both ankles for a back sweep. Back sweep him with your L leg. In a competition you could stand straight up and get your three points. A better strategy would be to sweep him, but do not come up straight away; instead once he falls, stay on your back and retract your L leg, then roll over your R shin and go to your knees. Keep hold of at least one of his ankles and keep a foot or feet off the mat so he cannot stand up or go to his knees. This is  good position to set up a pass; the leg drag pass is right there.

The underlying concept here is that you may already have or know a solution (the back sweep) to a new problem (standing opponent in your spider guard). This may often be a better strategy than assuming that every new problem requires you to invent a new solution.

Don't reinvent the wheel.

This in some ways conflicts with the "notice the differences" concept described earlier, but this quantum universe is not always consistent and orthogonal, nor is it immune to paradox, contradiction, grey areas, or conflicting and complementary ideas. Dare I say it's a yin/yang situation?

A Drill

Your partner is on his knees. You get baby spider / shin on bicep guard.

From baby spider, shrimp out to the L and  onto your R side and get spider control on his R arm and set up for the spider sweep.

If your partner stays on his knees, drop your R shin to the floor in front of his L knee.

He brings up his left foot, going either to combat base, or as a prelude to standing up on both feet.

Put your R foot flat on the floor between his legs and square back up to him.

If he stays on one knee in combat base, put the R hook in behind the L knee.

If he stands up completely, leave the R foot on the floor and pull him toward you slightly.

If he goes back to his knees, shrimp out and onto your side again, R shin to the floor in front of his knee.

Your partner cycles randomly between  kneeling, standing and combat base, you change position and R foot placement accordingly.

(Apologies to Kit Dale)

Shrimping - 4(+) types

John discussed at length the possibilities and value of going deep into a technique, rather than going broad and accumulating techniques. His example was shrimping and hip escape. You think you know hip escapes. Are you sure?

There are at least four types of hip escape:
  • Backwards -  the first one you usually learned, most useful for escaping side control and going to your knees
  • Fishtail / diagonal  - to escape side control, you may need to move your head away, then your hip to escape. Moving your hip first may allow him to control your head
  • Parallel - moving directly backward so your body is on its side perpendicular to the direction of travel - usually moving backward, but you can move the other way too
  • Reverse - moving feet first down the mat, useful/necessary to escape front control
and hybrids of all the above, like the type you use to set up the spider sweep, which is a hybrid of the parallel and reverse. Or is it fishtail and reverse?

(Since then I have remembered at least two more types or subtypes of shrimping:
  • Backwards, pushing with one leg keeping the other flat per the elbow/knee escape from mount
  • Backwards, moving the shoulder and head to the side first so the hips can move straight back rather than out to the side - useful for escaping side control where he has switched base towards your feet
and I strongly doubt that exhausts the possibilities)

Sao Paulo pass

Keep the underhooked shoulder on the mat and switch base / drive with the hips as many times as necessary to get the spinal twist happening. When his legs open, go flat with your legs together and just inch over his bottom leg to avoid the half guard.

Against a taller lanky opponent, drive your head under his R armpit to isolate his R arm. Run your L hand down his arm to the wrist to grab and control it. Your head goes to the floor, tripod up on your head and walk around clockwise until his hips are past his R hand. Pass his R hand from your L to your R hand, under his back. Your L elbow now goes to the far side of his L ear. Now work the Sao Paulo hip switch to open his legs and go flat, legs together to avoid the half guard as above.

John took me to task a bit when he asked me what problems I was having with Jiu Jitsu and I said I wasn't really having many. That's only because I've gone into cruise control for a while after both retiring from work and being awarded my black belt. It of course didn't take long at all to come up with at least a couple of problems, particular individuals were giving me in rolling. I'm training up to five classes a week, but concentrating on having fun, going with the flow, and just getting through the class way too much. A lack of apparent obstacles indicates you aren't trying hard enough to run up against them. The obstacle is the way, and it is pressure that builds diamonds. There's still SO much to learn, and life is short. John told me, "you have lots of problems" and he wasn't being mean. Problems are what allow growth. Bring it on.

How does the current Australian budget "emergency" affect Jiu Jitsu?