Sunday, February 21, 2016

John Will seminar 21 Feb 2016 - collar grip guard, single leg X guard

Seminar held at Rick Spain's gym in Surry Hills.

Collar grip with the seated guard

He is on his knees in front of you. You are sitting up on your L butt cheek, R foot on the ground, R knee bent and pointing straight up. Your L leg is bent with the L foot tucked behind the R foot near your butt. You are posted on your L hand. You do not sit with both feet even in butterfly guard - you only want to give your opponent one possible knee to grab rather than two. Your R hand is in his R collar, not too deep, as you do not want him to be able to weave his head under your arm, and you want to be able to push and keep him away. To me, your fist pushing on his collarbone seems about right. Lock your arm at the elbow to keep him away ... at first.

He moves to your L - track

He starts moving on his knees around to your L, anticlockwise. Just track him by adjusting your position to continue facing him, keeping him away with the fist in the collar.

He moves R - drag

As soon as he changes direction to move back the other way, move your hips to the L and pull his face to the ground on your R using the hand in the collar, like an arm drag. A decent wrestler will try to stay on his knees. if he does so, get side/back control on his R with a seat belt grip. Don't try to get your hooks in  until you get upper body control, it is too easy for him to scramble for an escape. If he falls over and rolls to his back, try for side control.

He moves back - punch

From the hand in the collar starting position with him on his knees, you feel him pull back. Drive forward rolling over your L shin, punching him back and to the L with your R fist and tapping his R knee with your L hand to roll him over his R shin and hip and put him in side control.

He stands up - ankle pick

You feel him start to stand. Keep pulling down hard on the collar to keep his head down as he stands and use that pull to come up to your knees. If his R foot is forward, the pulling on the collar will keep it in place with weight on it, just where you want it to ankle pick his R ankle with your L hand. Hand at the heel of the foot, end of the lever. Cael Sanderson.

He sits there - butterfly sweep

He sits there, not moving. Pull/jump yourself in using the collar so your feet go between his knees. block his R elbow with your L hand in a slap or pak sao motion, preventing him from posting with that hand. Sweep him to your  L with a butterfly sweep, mindful of going to side control rather than mount and avoiding half guard. The pull/jump in and slapping the elbow should have you already falling to your L into the sweep.

He sits there - catapult sweep

Pull yourself in using the collar again, but this time you head goes to the R and both feet go into the space between his R armpit and R hip with your knees more or less across his torso. His R arm should be in a good position for you to grab the sleeve with your L hand. Move your head around to his L side and grab his L pants cuff with your R, coming up on your R elbow. Your L shin should be in his R elbow/bicep, your R shin across his hips. Pull your L hand toward your L hip, roll off you L  and rock your L knee out to your L toward the mat, pulling him forward off his base and onto your R shin. Your R thigh should be on your chest, he should be suspended in mid air on your R shin, held up with your hand grips. Now drive your R knee and shin directly forward and away from you, throwing him onto his back. Allow him to pull you up, rolling over your L shin to kneeride. Do not release the grips.

Setting up other guards/grips/sweeps

The main idea here is that pulling him onto your guard can facilitate you getting the grips you need for a particular sweep, rather than having to handfight for them with him in a strong base. You should be able to apply this idea/principle to a variety of different guards and sweeps.

He stands up and tries to back away - pull him into Single Leg X guard

First, the single leg X position.

Single leg X guard.

Learn by having your partner stand over you with his feet near your armpits. Wrap your L arm around his R ankle with an overhook grip. Lift your hips and get your L heel in front of his R hip bone with the toes pointing out. His R foot is next to your L hip. Your R knee goes between his legs, the R foot hooking around the back of his L thigh. Pinch you knees together and keep the R hook tight around his thigh. His foot should feel well and truly stuck to the floor. Drop your legs back down, then switch to the other side. Keep alternating sides. Or do one side at a time to become familiar with the movement and position on that side, then switch. Your partner may want to protect his groin with his hands lest you accidentally kick him there.

(Marcelo Garcia - no one does it better)

Setting up the single leg X guard from the collar grip.

You have the seated guard with collar grip and him on his knees as before. He stands up and starts to back away. Drag him toward you with the R collar grip, lifting the R knee so he cannot get mount. Get the correct grip with your L arm on his R ankle first, then lift your hips and get the L heel on the hip and the other leg controls. It can be hard to get a good overhook if you get the legs in position before you get the grip.

Single leg X guard - sweep and footlock

If you can grab his L ankle with your R hand, you can do a back sweep from here. If you can't grab his foot, Pinch your knees together on his R knee and drive then to the floor on your L. Keep the L heel on his hip. Once he hits the floor, Keep the overhook and leg controls. Lie on your L side, try and get your L fist up toward your sternum,  lie on your L shoulder and put your L ear to the floor. Arch back, putting extension pressure on his foot and ankle (plantar extension). This should get you the footlock.

Aside on footlocks

The above footlock is IBJJF legal. However in IBJJF competition rolling the other way (toward the leg not being footlocked) is illegal and will result in disqualification. This is related to the rules about reaping the knee. Rules aside, rolling the other way is arguably more effective nd also allows an easy transition to the heel hook (which is illegal under IBJJF but is legal in many other rules sets like the Eddie Bravo Invitational).

Dean Lister would not advocate pinching the leg with the R knee and foot as it allows the possibility of a counter heel hook and prefers hooking the other leg (per the video if I can find it - I found it!). However this is only possible if the guy can sit up, which should be very hard for him if you get on your side properly. Dean Lister has a whole leglock philosophy worth investigating.

Single leg X guard - sweep and prepare to pass

Set up the single leg X guard as before. Sweep by pinching the knees as before. As he falls, push him away slightly with your R hook so as you can bring your L foot back toward your butt without him landing on it (which would mean you couldn't get to the top position easily. To stop him getting up, hook his L leg with your R foot and pass it to your R hand. Keeping his R foot in the air, come to your knees, taking the weight on your L elbow, using it as a post. You should end up on your knees holding both his feet off the mat in a "wheelbarrow" control.

Don't rush to pass here and end up in a scramble or worse. Work through positions of safety deliberately and methodically.

Your partner "grows a tail" and prevents the sweep

You have set up the X guard and are trying to sweep, however your opponent manages to use his free R leg to step around and keep his balance, in effect "growing a tail", like how kangaroos use their tails to balance. Take your L foot off his hip, put it on the floor, and move your body anticlockwise so you are in a position to use your R hook to lift/kick him him directly overhead, pushing on the floor with your L foot. He should post on the gound over your head, allowing you to come out the back door. Keep hold of his R foot with your L arm and spin over it to come to your knees. If all goes well this will also spin him onto his back for your sweep points. Keep hold of his foot at all times until you are on your knees and ready to consider your next move, probably a pass.

Here's a vid of Marcelo Garcia's single leg X guard game. It's no gi, a different setup and a couple of different variations, but I reckon half the people in the world who use this guard based it on this video. No one does it better.

Some caution

You need to be careful with the collar grip with some of the techniques, as some transitions may allow your opponent to snatch a quick armbar or triangle if you are not prepared for such. The starting position itself can be vulnerable to a flying triangle. Seriously.

Learning, practicing and drilling techniques

It is important when learning a new technique to start working through it mindfully and slowly. Avoid drilling techniques with intent, speed, and excitement too early. The emotional investment in such practice means that you will hardwire that technique so much deeper, "marrying" the technique. You do not want to hardwire or marry mistakes and poor technique. Get it right before drilling it with intensity. And remain open to potential improvements. If you do an upa the same way at black belt that you did when you first learned it on your first or second lesson, you are unlikely to have come to any real understanding of that technique. Be keen to break a technique down into more and more steps, and make those steps more and more efficient,

The root technique

The complicated and spectacular techniques one sees world champions do, especially on highlight reels, are often highly specialised and the result of a more simple and fundamental move that someone first learned, then it got countered, then a counter to that counter was developed, then a counter to the counter to the counter, and so on. What you want to learn from those guys in the "root technique", that on which all the exotic variations are based, and which is usually simple and pretty high percentage. Also, most techniques and guards were developed for a reason, and you need to understand that reason.

For example, X guard was developed because a good butterfly guard player was getting countered by his opponents continually standing up to try to nullify his hooks. He would have got the position and then developed a simple sweep from there, most likely the leg-split sweep. Many of the other moves came about as counters to a guy trying to remove the top X guard foot, the bottom foot, putting his knee on your chest, etc. Those other moves are not fundamentals, though, they are more specialised for specific situations, whereas the leg-split sweep will work against anyone without fairly detailed knowledge of the X guard. If you don't understand the butterfly - X - leg-split base of all the other techniques, though, you won't really understand where and when they should be used.

De la Riva guard was developed because guys learned to stop the basic foot-to-hip open guard by sensible elbow positioning when they stood up. De la Riva is arguably a fundamental way of dealing with people on whom you can't get a foot-to hip open guard and need another option.

There is a sweep from here, not all that dissimilar to the single leg X guard sweep above, which is used to set up the berimbolo. But if you do that sweep and the guy just lies there, you don't need the berimbolo, you just go to mount. Only if the guy starts trying fairly hard to get back up after the sweep, is the berimbolo a necessary option, and his efforts to counter (within limits) make it easier. The berimbolo also worked a LOT because it provides a surprising and unconventional pathway to the back to the uninitiated.

The point is to understand the fundamentals and how and why they evolved down these various more exotic pathways, and where the root techniques are on here which were developed to deal with specific problems. You'll learn more if you get a champion to tell you how and why he got from a fundamental movement to the flashy technique he used to win the Worlds, and the various steps he took from the beginning, rather than just getting him to show you the end product.

(Most of the above is my riffing off what I remember of what JW said. Valid though, I think)

Evolution and Jiu Jitsu:

1 comment:

SenseiMattKlein said...

"Be keen to break a technique down into more and more steps, and make those steps more and more efficient". So true Andrew, and I think this is a big reason that teaching really improves your game. You have to break it down to teach well. Great breakdown of the seminar, thanks!