October 30, 2010

The Holy Grail has been found.

Several weeks ago I wrote about passing (um, or, rather not passing) Louis' guard.  He is an annoyingly talented black belt who recently put on 25 pounds of lean muscle weight, so now he has excellent movement skills, AND functional strength, AND speed.

We did no-gi today, which always requires a certain amount of quick translation in my head.  I asked Louis if I could roll with him.  He agreed.  And we were off.  I jumped, sprinted into action.  I curled my right hand around the back of his neck, head into his right shoulder, and moved forward.  Louis has an excellent base, so I struggled for a bit trying to find that one open space where I could drive ahead.  Found it.  Got Louis on his back.

And then the all too familiar sight of Louis' knees and right arm trying to mess with my position.  I kept my weight down on his legs.  I grabbed his right arm, pinned it with my left knee.  And I did it fast. I remember thinking, whoa, did I just do that?  Half guard.  Okay, I thought.  Quit screwing off Dag. Let's DO this today.

I trapped his right arm with my left arm and drove my left shoulder into his neck like a mack truck to stabilize my position.  I used to right arm to push his half guard off of my right leg, all the while keeping my hips drawn into the floor, and keeping my shoulder on his neck.  I could feel my leg start to loosen out, here we go....I thought, this is where he always sweeps me.

Not today.

I kicked my right leg out of his half guard with an efficient snap, drove it to the ground to join the left leg, shifted my hips and swooped my right arm under his left to stabilize the SIDE CONTROL position I had just achieved.  Holy mackeral.  I just did that.  I passed Louis' guard.  And I did it fast!

I have been trying to pass Louis' guard for five years.  His open guard functions as a treasure trove (for him) of triangles, sweeps, you name it.  One little mistake and down the rabbit hole you go.  It's like a steel bear trap.  And today I passed it.  

That's all I have today.  I rarely allow myself a good brag, so today will be it for another long while, until I find the next Holy Grail.

Train well,


  1. Passing open guard gives me fits. I just did a private on it and while I understand it better now, I'm still miles from pulling it off on higher belts. What do you think changed for you?

    Congrats on the grail!

  2. Oh gosh, I though about this on my way home from work tonight. Wouldn't it great if BJJ was like IKEA furniture? "Simply insert tab A into tab B..."

    Ah, but no..

    I start by maintaining solid posture and base by using the stabilizing power in my hips and butt. I imagine my shoulders arcing back and I keep my elbows IN, away from armlocks.

    But the thing that has really started to change my game is risk taking and searching. I look for moves ahead. If I am in a position of disadvantage, I am looking for, not only the escape route, but how I can get a submission. I force myself to try anything. I am finding, the more I just go for a move, the more submissions reveal themselves to me.

  3. Awesome, it's great to find a blog where I can read about another feamle perspective with BJJ. Congratulations on passing his guard!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog


SWAT tryouts

For Grandma