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Old 05-23-2008, 04:02 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
The can opener and the elbow dig are the two best ones for beginners, because they are so effective for minimal skill, but here's something a little better.

Just lock your opponent down by pushing your palms into your opponents ribs, keeping your elbows in and maintaining good posture.

Then, slide one of your knees under your opponent's butt and step backwards (like 90 degrees from your opponent) with one of your legs (your foot should be on the ground and your leg should be extended, and your butt should be off the ground). Then take off the arm that is on the same side of your opponent and pop the guard by dropping your hipsbackwards (this is the direction 45 degrees from the was your leg is pointing, so, perpendicular to your opponent). This should open the guard.

Once you have opened the guard, go about your pass whichever way you like to pass (toreando, double under, spin pass or shoulder pass or whatever).

If you need help with the actually passes and not just the breaks, Fedor>all, let me know.
Thanks IronMan, it's mainly breaking the guard itself which poses problems for me. I'm pretty explosive when it comes to actually passing, but I really needed to figure out more ways to open the guard. I'm going to re-read what you typed up and try to visualize it, thanks for your help man, it's greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:41 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Another good way to open up a guard is to just stand up. This will usually cause your opponents guard to open. Make sure you put your feet back though otherwise you'll get your ankle grabbed and swept
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:10 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Another good way to open up a guard is to just stand up. This will usually cause your opponents guard to open. Make sure you put your feet back though otherwise you'll get your ankle grabbed and swept
Thanks for this one, wukka. I totally forgot about the standup option.

A few details in addition to keeping your opponent from grabbing the feet:

Keep your elbows inside to block out your opponent's knees. If your opponent pinches his knees together, he can flip you on to your back, so get your elbows inside and block his legs out to prevent that.

Throw your hips forward when you do this move, this is usually what pops the feet and opens the guard.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:21 PM   #34 (permalink)
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I too need another option for breaking the guard. The knee in butt turn hip isn't working for me, it leaves out to much space. What I am starting to do is just reach back to the ankle and put one arm in, they always go for the triagnle and open the guard. I am pretty good at passes after the guard is open.
One more thing that I need help on is butterfly guard. When I go for the classic double overhook sweep I am always getting passed. As soon as I go to my side to sweep he jumps to the other side.
Please help, if there are any video's that you have they would greatly help. I learn better seeing something
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Old 05-25-2008, 07:06 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ozz525 View Post
I too need another option for breaking the guard. The knee in butt turn hip isn't working for me, it leaves out to much space. What I am starting to do is just reach back to the ankle and put one arm in, they always go for the triagnle and open the guard. I am pretty good at passes after the guard is open.
One more thing that I need help on is butterfly guard. When I go for the classic double overhook sweep I am always getting passed. As soon as I go to my side to sweep he jumps to the other side.
Please help, if there are any video's that you have they would greatly help. I learn better seeing something
Try the standup break, listed above. (it's right above your post)

Also, if your opponent has long legs or a loose guard, I sometimes slip my arms underneath their legs and go for a double-under pass right from there. If anyone needs clarification on what that means, happy to provide it.

With that one, make sure you get both arms out, or you'll get triangled.
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Old 05-28-2008, 12:57 AM   #36 (permalink)
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IronMan, thanks for your guard breaking suggestions. I used one of them tonight, which ended up leading to my first ever submission
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:17 AM   #37 (permalink)
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IronMan, thanks for your guard breaking suggestions. I used one of them tonight, which ended up leading to my first ever submission
Glad it worked for you.

Let me know if you need help with more stuff. It's my job.
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Old 05-28-2008, 01:35 AM   #38 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
clarification on what that means, happy to provide it.

With that one, make sure you get both arms out, or you'll get triangled.
Do you ever try and bait the triangle for a pass? I do this sometimes, usually only if I have good posture though first. I feel like a lot of people go for triangles when they get the opportunity but if I have good posture and my base is strong, I will end up defending the submission and passing most of the time.
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Old 05-28-2008, 11:30 AM   #39 (permalink)
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Do you ever try and bait the triangle for a pass? I do this sometimes, usually only if I have good posture though first. I feel like a lot of people go for triangles when they get the opportunity but if I have good posture and my base is strong, I will end up defending the submission and passing most of the time.
Depends on the opponent.

If I'm training or competing against someone I know isn't going to catch me in the triangle, then yes. Usually, though, I'm quick to get both arms out.

My problem is that most of the people I train with that are better than me, the purple and brown belts I train with in particular, have really good triangles, which has made me really cautious about how I bait it.

If I do, I really focus on keeping control of my arm (the one that I have in), keeping that elbow short and blocking my opponents knee, making sure that I pin it to the ground so that I can pass.

Really, all of this is dependent on good guard posture. If you are broken down in your opponent's guard, never bait the triangle because it's going to be really hard to shorten that elbow up and slip out. If you are really comfortable with your posture and you feel like you are really safe in the position you have, then go ahead and try it.

Again, though, I'm very careful with how I use it and I generally try and work with both arms in or both arms out because it's much safer.
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Old 05-28-2008, 05:07 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Sorry for the wait, Dempsey Roll. Now I'll cover the sprawl. Let me give you a basic step-by-step with a minor variation on the initial contact. The reason why the variation has to be pointed out is that one version is all well and fine for pure grappling contests, but can get you knocked out in a MMA bout. So let me go over the grappling only version first.

The Sprawl With Cowcatcher:
1) When your opponent changes levels, lower your level to match theirs.
2) While lowering your level bring your lead hand down to your lead knee (palm up), and your rear hand to your rear knee (palm up or down does not matter). This will allow you to sink at least 1 underhook with your lead hand if your opponent is shooting a single (usually to your lead leg) and has your other hand ready to shoot in for the other underhook if they shoot a double.
3) While the opponent makes contact with you, shoot your hips and your feet back. Many times new guys make the mistake of shooting one back, but not the other. If you shoot your hips back and not your feet, your legs will be right there for your opponent to suck in and they will drive through you. If you shoot your feet back and not your hips, they will still be able to wrap a body lock up, drive and take you down. So hips and feet back at the same time.
4) At this time, gravity will be working for you. Your opponent's body will still be moving forward under you and your body will be coming down into a prone position on top of them. While coming down, shoot your hips down toward the ground and let your feet land down insteps first. It should feel like your driving their head into the ground with your groin. Make sure to keep your insteps to the ground when you land as it will allow your body to slide forward with their drive. If you land toes down, your toes will dig into the mat, lifting your center of gravity as they drive. This will allow them to suck you into a takedown.
5) Your finished position should be you on top, your hips/groin arched through the back of your opponent's neck head (no higher than the back of their shoulders), insteps down, with both underhooks in the classic "cowcatcher" position. From there fight for separation, turn your opponent, or float over to their side or back.

That is your classic sprawl with cowcatcher/double underhooks. It is the go-to technique when someone shoots in pure grappling competition. However, when you are in a MMA setting where striking is allowed dropping your hands in preparation for underhooks is a bad, bad idea. If your opponent notices or anticipates it, you can get laid out. They can simply drop levels (baiting you to drop your hands) and then explode out from the crouching position with a strike. For a prime example of this, see Randleman vs CroCop I. Obviously this is a place you don't want to end at.

To allow for that same level of control with contact on a sprawl, you would want to use a "bull-post" or "forearm crash" version of the sprawl. In fact, Forrest Griffin covered the forearm crash when he went over the sprawl on the MMA episode of Human Weapon. Here is how these work.

The Sprawl With Bull Post:
1) When your opponent changes levels to shoot, lower yours to match.
2) While the come forward, reach out and post both your hands on the opponent's shoulders, head or combination of the two.
3) As the opponent drives forward, use your arms to drive their upper body down and to the side of you while you sprawl.

From that point, everything is the same as the Sprawl above. I've seen Eugene Jackson and Chuck Liddell use this a few times, usually followed up with an uppercut or hook to the head. With this, you have to make sure that you lower your level to match theirs or your opponent's drive will crash right through your posting arms. Also, lower your chin and head while shrugging your shoulders up so that they act like a barrier to keep your head protected.

The Sprawl with Forearm Crash:
1) When your opponent changes levels to shoot, lower yours to match.
2) While the opponent comes forward, drop your elbows and forearms so that they are between you and your opponent. Some folks like this as this does not bring them completely out of their normal standing gaurd.
3) When your opponent crashes into your forearms, go into your sprawl and shoot your hips and feet back.
4) While coming down into contact with the mat, use your elbows and forearms to drive your opponent down underneath you, or to the side. Drive them face first into the mat.

From that point, finish the sprawl like you would normally. This is also a good one to use for MMA, as it doesn't take you completely out of gaurd while you are standing. The drawback to it is you don't have the same control as the cowcatcher, neither do you have the same distance afforded to you as the bull post. The upside is that you are less likely to be caught off gaurd and knocked out.

Notice how the rules of changing levels and re-directing your opponent's force apply to the sprawl? In fact, watching Lyoto Machida shut down Tito's shots in the last UFC event was a beautiful demonstration of controlling range, matching level and re-directing your opponent when they try to shoot. It was all a lot of basic stuff executed perfectly. When you have a mastery of the basic principles and techniques, you end up making things look easy and everything else becomes more effective because of that.

I hope this helps.
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