In Guard We Trust

In our Sunday Jiu-Jitsu class, Amy always has us start our grappling matches from standing, but last week she spared me the agony of being taken down by Joe, and she let us start from the ground.  I immediately pulled Joe into guard, and she immediately chastised me for it.  I was like “But that’s what I do!”, then I realized that Amy never sees me roll starting on the ground, so she didn’t realize that I thought her “no guard-pulling” rule only applied to when I was standing.  Come to find out, it does not.  She wants me to at least try to do something else.

I obviously completely disregarded her advice this past week, because I started every roll by attempting to pull my partner into guard.  Old habits are hard to break.  I have limited success with it against senior students, but it works better than anything else I ever try.  I know Amy’s right that I need to move forward (and her point was confirmed by Conan’s latest post “Expand Your Game”), but since I have a competition coming up, I’m not sure if this is the time to do that, or if I should just focus on perfecting my existing game.

David & Adam
I call David’s guard “The Danger Zone”

Which is why yesterday in class when Amy asked me what I wanted to work on, I said guard.  She rolled her eyes, but I couldn’t believe she actually let us do it!  However, she made me play defense for the majority of the time.  Hrrmph!  Every time I got to play offense, I put Joe in a different form of guard, and he hated spider guard most of all.  He did figure out how to get out of it, but then I just went to closed guard, and he had a really hard time passing.

The one new thing that I did add to my game this week, the back take from guard that we worked on in Thursday’s class, is a good fit.  When Joe and I grappled yesterday, I managed to take his back from guard using what we practiced…not once…but twice!  I couldn’t submit him, and he eventually rotated, but then I still had him in guard!

Amy did make us start from standing at the end of class yesterday, and I did try to take Joe down with a double leg, but when it failed…I pulled him into guard.  I suppose I should also start giving something else a try when I start from sitting, because it’s not like guard won’t still be there when I need it.


2 comments on “In Guard We Trust

  1. You should of came in early and worked on armdrag with us yesterday. Then if it works it's like you are pulling back mount instead of pulling guard. This might get Amy off your back (pun intended).

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