During a portion of our grappling drills last Sunday, Amy forbid me to use guard in any way, shape, or form. That was totally awesome…NOT! Guard is what I do, it’s who I am, it’s all I know…GET IN MY GUARD!!!
Which is exactly why she wouldn’t let me do it. Amy was trying to help me expand my game by taking away my comfort zone, and forcing me to explore other options. Unfortunately, what we learned is that next to guard my favorite position appears to be any form of turtle! I’m half-kidding. My real second favorite position is back control, but I already knew that (however, I usually get there from guard ;).
It’s one thing to try to lessen my guard dependence, but to completely take it out of my game was an extremely difficult thing for me to do. At first, it felt as if the entire experiment failed miserably. However when I really thought about it, I actually did fairly well when my bread and butter was taken away . It was weird and uncomfortable, which is probably why it felt like a disaster to me, but I did manage to gain and maintain top position. Inconceivable!
I will sometimes put restrictions on myself when I roll; that I’m not allowed to use certain submissions, or I’m only going to defend; but I never would’ve completely given up my guard on my own. I guess sometimes you just have to stop doing what you always do in order to discover all of the possibilities within the things you wouldn’t otherwise consider.