I’ve gotten really good at finding leg locks recently. They’re once again everywhere. In practice I’m taking the setup and then releasing the lock to see where we go if I can’t finish it. I’m not even trying to finish them mind you, so there’s a lot of practice to be done on actual execution once I get into the correct position. I’m still trying to work the basics instead of leg locks. In my experience they’re the easy way out – most people of my skill level don’t know them or how to defend them. Having them is a boon in competition.
So, the basics… You know that moment when you tell a black belt that you’re having trouble with X, they have you show them how you do X, and then they tell you the most obvious advice that makes you feel like a complete idiot? Yeah… Sweeps from open guard – I wasn’t popping them forward with my legs first so I was always trying to fight their arms using only my hands. It’s one of those first week details that I really should have known, but it’s the difference between grip fighting until I get passed and an instant flower sweep.
Inverted De La Riva guard and Berimbolos may be nice, but when you’re having problems with closed guard and mount there are simpler concerns which are much more pressing.
It’s good to be in an environment where you can bring up a problem you’re having and any of five black belts will jump in to help, none of them judging your for not knowing.