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post #303 of (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 01:19 AM Thread Starter
True Grappler
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: New York City, New York
Posts: 6,222
I'm still feeling a little sore from yesterday, and I'm busy working on a bunch of stuff for work, so I haven't been posting much, generally. But I have been trying to get in to train some jiu-jitsu. I'm trying to get back in shape by going to the gym (lifting weights, which I really don't like) and making as many BJJ classes a week as possible.

I'm sore from my workout in BJJ on Monday, but the upside is that it reminded me to post a Training Log entry.

We were working butterfly guard in class on Monday and Jeff pointed out that most guys starting to use the butterfly (and most guys generally) have a habit of falling backwards as they load their opponent's weight up. This really is a horrible habit, and you feel it against bigger guys, as you just get smashed all to sh*t a lot of the time.

One of the things that Jeff had everyone working on was falling to the side, in order to control the angle of movement in the standard hook sweep and to ensure establishing better control in top position. That part I felt like I got alright.

But then he started working on defending against the standard method of passing the butterfly as you attempt the sweep, which is to post out, apply pressure and try and crush the guard. I don't know what my issue was, and is, with dealing with this particular attack, but I have a very hard time maintaining the stability of the butterfly guard, keeping my legs out, when I'm under pressure like that.

Jeff pointed out a few details. The first is that I tend to ball up in the butterfly guard, instead of extending my torso, which I think is a product of my being more comfortable in half-guard then spider guard, so I tend to treat it like half guard and try to get in under my opponent, which is a mistake when they're trying to crush me from butterfly. This is the major thing I'm going to work on.

The other is that being on the hip allows for very good transitions to the knees and, if they've secured the whizzer, its easier to sweep from that side position just by using the knee tap. I'm very uncomfortable sweeping from this position (Eddie Bravo calls it the "dogfight" position, if I remember correctly) because I'm a smaller guy and have long arms so I get stretched out a lot and put on my back in side control. Jeff is a big, strong guy but he pointed out that if I keep things compact when I turn out then it's easy to get the sweep as I come up.

Jeff was very helpful, and I felt the movements a lot better as I was rolling. I really feel uncomfortable in butterfly guard, which is not good. But I find the half guard really well from there, and my half guard seem to be coming back to me, as does the x-guard and the ability to get top position from rolling my opponents off of the pass.

I did a good job getting the back against a lot of opponents and Matt (who I think is a blackbelt also, but I'm not sure) had given me a few pieces of advice about establishing back control from the turtle that were working really well.

Matt's advice was really helpful:
  1. Keep the hips low. (I knew this already, but I have to hear it over and over again, especially as I'm coming back to jiu-jitsu; jiu-jitsu means having a more conservative matwork style than judo, so this is important)
  2. Don't be afraid to take the legs out to adjust the hips. In many scenariors, this will score you an extra four points. Often, it will also keep you from ending up on the bottom with him in your guard. (It's not that it's bad to have him in your guard, just that you'd rather have his back about 95% of the time.)
  3. Constantly keep working the hooks in. (Again, this is something that I knew already, but it's been really helpful to hear reiterated repeatedly, because it really is everything when it comes to controlling the back.)
  4. Use the double underhooks first, then transition to the over-under. Often, guys overcommit their hips when they're trying to get the overhook on the back, and since I've been back I've caught myself slipping off the back a few times because I was looking for that Marcelinho-esque backpack position. I have to remember that comes later.
When I start really getting patient, which you should do in the turtle and on the back, and remembering these things, I find I have much more stable position. It's not that I necessarily have a higher rate of submissions (though I probably do, it just doesn't feel that different) but that I don't lose the back because of stupid stuff. And, in my experience, not losing is 70% of winning.

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