After my last BJJ promotion, when Professor Greg talked to me about needing to improve my guard passing, I had a sort of personal epiphany from something he told me. He said my technical application of a guard pass was more important to him than the end result, then he told me that although he’s the highest ranking person at our school (and the only black belt), because he’s on the smaller side, it’s not always possible for him to beat the bigger advanced guys, even if he does everything correct.
When The Professor told me that, it made me think about something Sir Conan had said “Force your opponent to have perfect technique”. So, I decided if there’s little hope of me “winning” against some people, then I at least have to make sure that I do everything in my power to not help them beat me.
That’s the attitude I took with me to the advanced class last night, and it was a good thing, because Professor Greg mixed up the usual routine by having us do positional sparring immediately after warm-ups, and I rolled with everyone in class. There were only five of us, so we did eight rounds from closed guard (four on bottom, four on top), and since the other students besides myself were Sir Conan, Tumbleweed, The Hulk, and Young Henry, it’s safe to say that I had little chance of beating any of them (and in fact, I did not, not even close), but I did try to force them all to have perfect technique, and I believe I was somewhat successful.
After the positional grappling, Greg had us do full speed guard passing drills with everyone in class (four different passes of our choosing), and since passing guard is exactly what I’m working on right now, I couldn’t have asked for a better class. We finished off with king of the mat (again from closed guard), and I never got to be the queen, but I’m sure that I learned something anyway.
Throughout my training I’ve really been more of a guard puller than a passer, so focusing on my passing is making me more well-rounded, and working on being as technical as I can has lessened the number of times I’ve been getting swept and submitted. Even if it’s possible that I might never be able to pass certain people’s guards, it’s always worth trying my best.