Vampire on a Tofu Diet

Happy Halloween!!!

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:

  1. I don’t have my opponent’s weight on me.
  2. I can capitalize on my speed. (my son Joe pointed this out)
  3. It is easier to manipulate someone’s center of gravity.

What I need to focus on now:

  1. Don’t let my them control my legs.
  2. Keep my knees apart.
  3. 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.

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.

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5 Responses to Vampire on a Tofu Diet

  1. Kintanon says:

    Something I’ve been trying to focus on with the guys I coach is starting your escapes EARLY. This goes double for the little folks. If you want to escape from under side control the BEST time to start shrimping is just as your opponent is making it around your legs. You go ahead and shrimp and spin and pull your knee up to your chest. Above all DO NOT wait until your opponent is settled into a solid side control and then start thinking, “Ok, how do I get out of this?”.

    • @ Kintanon – Now I get it!!! I’m such a dunce. My instructor Mike spent almost an entire class drilling that with me! I can see Mike reading this post comment. His reaction *HEAD DESK – HEAD DESK* Thank you again Kintanon. I’m sure Mike thanks you as well. 😉

  2. slideyfoot says:

    If you’re looking for some good basic advice on developing your open guard, the Roy Harris seminar on Roy Dean’s first DVD is excellent (way cheaper than most instructionals too). He breaks it down into groups of grips and leverage points.

    • @ Slideyfoot – Thank you. Every time I look at BJJ reference material / media, I get over whelmed. I don’t know what to look for or what I need. I’ll definitely put that one on my wish list for Christmas.

  3. slideyfoot says:

    Yeah, there is a lot of stuff out there now. It’s always worth keeping in mind that DVDs, books, websites etc are all supplemental: the only real way to get better is to go train. Still, instructionals can be helpful if there is something specific you want to refine, like some open guard basics.

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