The last few classes I’ve attended were taught by different instructors, and were focused on different positions and techniques, but I noticed a basic theme running through all of them, which was essentially “nothing works in isolation”. As Sir Conan said last week “If you only know one mount escape, it’s going to be hard to succeed with it”.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Jerad was in charge of the advanced class at LBJJC on Monday, and we worked on passing open guard from standing, which is exactly what I’ve been focusing on recently. It was a great class for me, because the techniques he taught are right up my alley, and his instruction was very informative.
During king of the mat on Monday, when Jerad saw me pass someone’s guard, he asked if it was with one of the passes we’d practiced, and I told him “Not exactly, it was more of a combination”, and he and Mike replied in unison “Everything is a combination!”. Then Jerad said that when Tumbleweed Mike passes his guard, he can rarely identify any specific pass, because it’s mixture of things, and not in the linear sense of “one technique leads to another”, but rather as my husband describes it, a “smearing”.
Conan was the instructor last night, and he went over a way to trap your opponent’s arm from bottom knee-shield half guard, specifically to transition to butterfly guard and sweep them, but the same set-up could also be used for other techniques, including the shaolin sweep, which I was pretty excited about! I like the shaolin, but I previously only knew one way to set it up (off of another sweep), and I haven’t been able to get that set-up to work for me, so I was happy to practice a different set of combinations that included it.
I wish I had better technical scientific words to explain combinations, but since I’m a predominately right-brained artist-type, I’ll say that if BJJ was a painting, it wouldn’t be a paint-by-number where you stay in the lines. It would be more like a watercolor, where the edges are smeared, and the colors blend together.