Get to Higher Ground


Wade wants to emphasize passing the guard by standing. I’ve been resistant because of judo. In judo if you stand up you both get stood up and you have to throw or be thrown to get another crack at the ground. There’s also the option of “bad judo”*.

Given how judo’s been going lately I’ve pretty much given up on it as a ruleset. I still love the classes because, hey, who doesn’t love to make their throws better? I just feel I’ve learned more wrestling by glinting tips from wrestlers in BJJ and judo in the last 4 years than I’ve learned actual judo in the last 3. If it shoots like a wrestler, plays the top game like a wrestler, and takes your back like a wrestler…

So I’m starting to pass from standing. It’s easier than passing from the knees. There are really two or three concepts to know and after that it’s just a chess match of knowing how they can move their legs and how you can stuff the attacks. I don’t remember off-hand what Wade calls the pass, but you sprawl hard into an over-under pass. It’s been working very well for me, even against higher level guys. That also means Wade’s standing up from my guard more so I can learn to play the guard up high (spider, De La Riva, sit-up, X, the variations are myriad). It feels good. I keep shooting armbars and triangles and it feels like the days when I used to shoot flying attacks. Side note: I used to be a god at flying armbars and pretty decent at flying triangles. No squats and sub-optimal practice makes the knowledge still there but the physical ability to execute non-existent. I’m enjoying playing guard this new way. After 20 minutes I was able to break the habit of doing a tight half-guard when they started to stand and just move to an open guard. Life is better there.

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