I’ve finally started working open guard positions while rolling! Yeah, I know, it’s been a year and half… But I had some trouble kicking some kicking habits. You see, I came to BJJ with a STRONG kicking background. Therefore, I had a very strong instinct to kick people. No, I didn’t kick anyone. But I did have urges. I was like a vampire going on a tofu diet. It was a good year before the urge to kick subsided. As a result, I avoided open guard positions when rolling. Lately, I have been able to explore the open guard positions without any withdrawal symptoms.
We’ve been drilling open guard in class for the past two weeks. I’ve also started playing with open guard positions in rolling, and I like it. My focus has been on preventing the guard pass, as per Kintanon‘s advice. I did find a couple of sweeps. The guys are so nice, when I would find the sweep they would stop resisting and say, “Go ahead. You’ve got it.” Then they would allow me to sweep them. I ended up in mount once, and whispered / laughed, “I don’t know what to do from here.” Thankfully I was saved by the bell, literally.
What I like about open guard:
- I don’t have my opponent’s weight on me.
- I can capitalize on my speed. (my son Joe pointed this out)
- It is easier to manipulate someone’s center of gravity.
What I need to focus on now:
- Don’t let my them control my legs.
- Keep my knees apart.
- Be sensitive to my opponent’s shifting weight.
I’ve selected some resources to to help me focus on the different aspects of open guard and preventing the guard pass.
- BJJ GRRL – Romulo Barral Seminar
- Slideyfoot – Romulo Barral Interview
- Dev of Fueled By Fear – along with Slideyfoot, and Kirsh gave me some helpful advice on controlling someone’s center of gravity.
- Kintanon – Hip Control - This helped me to understand how someone would try to control my hips, and then pass my guard. Thereby allowing me to intelligently defend against hip control and guard pass.
- The essential Guard by Kid Peligro and Rodrigo Medeiros
I hate being in someone’s side control or mount. Once there, I’m stuck, partly due to my lack of technique, the other is my diminutive size. I figure the best way to get out of a bad situation, is not to get into a bad situation. I think the open guard positions will allow me more options to defend against guard passes. It will also keep my hips away from the guys, making it less likely for them to get hip control. And, like my son Joe said, I have amazing speed and in the open guard, I will be able to capitalize on that.
My instructor Jeff Messina, wants me to start working on the triangle choke. I think I can focus on preventing the guard pass with open guard and the triangle choke. The two seem like they would work well together.