After the intensive work done last week on guard passing, Professor decided to move the lesson of ‘guard pulling’ to this week as to ensure the understanding around the mechanics of the guard pass were taught. As we go into the this week we are reminded of an event at the end of the month reference Royler Gracie visiting the academy and conducting a seminar. It’s a warm evening in the academy so the Professor encouraged everyone to take in fluids and to pace ourselves through out the evening.
We went in and did the standard warm-up, running, side-stepping, hip escapes and finished off with some punch defence standing, mainly hooks, straight punches and punches to the stomach.
Professor then went and recapped very, briefly the guard passing technique shown to us last week. After which he then explained the processes of ‘pulling guard’ if in a street fight. We were reminded that going to ground is a last resort and Professor isn’t an advocator of ‘jumping guard’ as this can lead to the ‘jumper’ being smashed into the floor.
So in the altercation, if we end up in the clinch, we aim to have both our arms underneath the attackers armpits and stretched up to grab on to their shoulders, keeping the head tight and connection to the body firm.
The idea next is to find the shins of the person, which is a guide to understand where their feet are. We then stand on their feet and sit down away from them. Once your backside hit’s the floor, open the legs to bring them into your guard.
It is also important to keep the head up, as to prevent you from hitting it on the floor when you pull them down. Once on the floor, we placed an arm on top of their head to control it and also trap their arm on the same side your head is.
We drilled this a few times, a relatively straight forward moves which i don’t believe anyone struggled with. Professor then asked questions about the type of assailant, in particular, what if they refused to go down? Or were extremely strong? He then showed a small variation which involved tucking the knees to destabilise the assailant prior to pulling them down.
We practiced that variant and again people didn’t have any problems. Professor then explained that once in the guard at the bottom, if the person knows some Jiu-Jitsu and then proceeded to come out of the guard, similarly to the lessons taught last week, how can we defend against it? The next series of techniques that the Professor taught us was geared at just that.
First part involved making sure we are on our side, a common feature when being at the bottom and need to escape or defend, next we needed to make sure if the person in the top position is trying to force us down to deflect the attempt.
Now, with the person in this position gives us an opportunity to guide the left arm around the top person’s right arm, inside, to move closer to them and establish a connection with the head just under their’s.
This simple position is extremely solid and the professor demonstrated how solid by allowing several people to attempt to push him over.
At this point, Professor instructed us to drill this part to get comfortable and assess what ever adjustments we personally had to make to enable us to have a solid base.
Following on from this, Professor then showed us two variations to get the top person back on to the floor. First being a sweep which required movement to grab the leg whilst falling back onto our own shoulder, finishing off with a roll to obtain cross body control.
The last included details on what to do if the person being rolled stuck out an arm to stop them from going over. Professor then displayed some alterations which still allowed the technique to be executed with the same result.
During the demonstrations, drills and after several members in the class had good questions to ask the Professor about different aspects of each stage of the moves. Professor not only explained but went through all the scenarios and broke down what could happen and why certain things work and certain things wouldn’t, which instantly improved everyone’s understanding of the positions being queried.
This concluded the lesson for the evening.
My thoughts, with the relative short time being introduced and practising this science, i’ve noticed now that i’m slowly beginning to understand the fundamentals of how this all works. There are areas that i’m still working through which hinders my progress but it’s humbling in a way and gives me plenty to think about. The good thing is that the support structure is here for when ever i need to ask those questions and get extra guidance.
For those of you wondering Gandalf? it’s a Lord of the Rings reference… more importantly the Professor kicked off the week discussing the format for this week’s lessons and touched on the details we learnt from last week. This week would see progression towards techniques to putting people into the guard. But before going into those details he had designs on teaching us a guard pass so good it will work on anyone, even black belts!
We kicked the lesson off with a warm-up, consisting off running, side-stepping and then into an interesting exercise which was geared at posture and connections when in a standing circumstance. The Professor also reminded us all that jiu-jitsu does start standing up and all the concepts of connections still apply!
After we completed the exercises, the professor proceeded to guide us through the basics of the guard pass.
The importance of connections were again paramount, down to the posture in the guard, positioning of the knees, positioning of the arm on the person’s waist. The initiation of the guard pass was interesting as it seemed to depend on the person, who has you in their guard, attempting to pull you down into the guard to control you. Normally done by grabbing the collar, from here Professor demonstrated techniques to prevent or make it very difficult to pull you down into the guard, even if the person is extremely strong.
Then maintaining strong connections to the person in the guard to open the guard or force them to open the guard. With this done, working the position around the leg and driving your body forward to put the person at the bottom in an uncomfortable position as you move round to obtain a cross body position.
We practiced this a few times, with the Professor breaking us at different points to correct common mistakes being made. He also demonstrated on different individuals and using different body types to demonstrate for him, under his direct instruction to prove a point on certain details.
The lesson concluded there, with the Professor recapping the importance of certain connections when attempting this pass, also mentioned a lot was maintaining proper structure in positions to make the pass possible.
My thoughts, I struggled with this particular technique mainly due to the position i needed to have when inside someone’s guard. Sitting on my knees put pressure on my ankles which had always been uncomfortable for me and doing this no exception. It appears i’ll need to find a way of getting comfortable to be able to do this pass.