For the past couple of weeks the theme in the advanced classes at Lincoln BJJ has been half-guard. Last week we worked on the Gordo half-guard sweep, and Greg said that the technique we practiced this week, the rolling half-guard sweep, was personally taught to him by the half-guard pioneer himself, Roberto “Gordo” Correa!

We also practiced a couple of variations of the rolling sweep when your opponent goes for a darce choke, and I worked with Mike on Monday, who really helped me understand the nuances of the sweeps, then Felipe was my partner yesterday, and it felt like we banged out a hundred reps! I participated in all of the warm-ups and drilling yesterday, but I decided to sit out of rolling because my right elbow is still sore from being hyper-extended on Monday (my chiropractor called it “golfer’s elbow”, but I’ve never golfed a day in my life, it’s “armbar elbow”!). It was a hard decision to not roll (I even tried to change my mind), but I didn’t want to take the chance of hurting it worse and not being able to train Friday and Saturday when Tinguinha is here!

Since I didn’t roll yesterday, I just watched everyone else roll, which is kind of hard for me to do, because I’m always jealous and I want to join in! I also feel like I’m the type of person who has to learn by doing, but there have been studies showing that observing a sport which you actively train does help you improve. I’ve heard that when you watch someone else do something, a part of your brain thinks you are actually doing it, which is why we do things like flinch when we see someone get injured, and we “feel their pain”.

A bonus was that when I was watching Professor Greg roll, Jordan asked him what technique he had used, so I got to watch Greg teach him a different half-guard sweep. The Professor noticed my interest and said “See, Gina, watching is good for you!”. After I got home from class, I decided that if watching is good for me, then it might be beneficial to look up the sweeps I worked on recently and watch the videos. Hopefully it will help reinforce the techniques in my brain, because when it comes to half-guard, I need all the help I can get!

“You can observe a lot just by watching.” -Yogi Berra


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