My guard game is getting immensely better. I can control, sweep, submit better than I have ever been able. My top game is starting to wane. My leg-locks are… glorious.
Our newest member does not have a gi yet. He is larger/stronger than I am. This convolutes things. I am in a gi. He is not. I do not have an opening against no-gi if the other person doesn’t want to engage. With the gi I can hold them in place. I am adamant about my sleeve and lapel grip from judo and I typically do a modified judo throw on the ground to get them onto their back or pass the guard right away. Against no-gi this grip is not an option. Standing we have takedowns and throws. If I get my collar and elbow and they disengage I can shoot immediately or turn the corner. These are not possible on the knees.
About the bottom: I’m finding myself in the guard more. I’ve gotten better at reguarding and general control. I’d like to get even better at guard recovery and stopping passes.
About the top: Home is where the sub is. I can still pin very well, but I’ve been losing the position when trying to attack from the top. This could just be context, but it feels like my top game is regressing back to just pins.
About the legs: Last night I decided to use leg-locks. Not just to pass and sweep but as a definitive means of submission. There is an evil in it. I’ve been doing leg-locks so long that I can pretty well predict what people will do. If they do the right thing I switch my hips because if you’re isolating a leg you can easily regain a control position by knowing where to go. If they do the wrong thing but still get out of my first sub, I switch to the second. So last night I got a knee-bar on Wade. He started rolling out and pushing my butt with his leg. I simply switched to the toe-hold to finish. I’ll never understand why we advocate pushing on the butt to escape a knee-bar. We wouldn’t push on the butt to escape an arm-bar. It’s structurally the same finish. If you spin one way I get the toe-hold. The other way is a heel-hook… I’m not allowed to finish the heel-hook in BJJ competition so you’ll get out, but at what cost? I’m finding the rotational knee-locks more and more. Mentally I know they’re no more dangerous than a kimura. Physically I feel the knee tightening up and I just let go. I can’t do that to someone I like. You feel their leg stressing as they flail to get out because they’re not used to the sub. We should spend a weekend doing leg-locks and defenses so that we can more safely practice with them.